US Chess Championship 2022 Details, Wesley So Looks To Join Special Club

US Chess Championship

The 2022 edition of the US Chess Championship certainly isn’t lacking drama through one week.

This year’s tournament is once again being held at the Saint Louis Chess Club in St. Louis, Missouri. The venue has hosted the U.S. Chess Championship each year since 2009, one year after opening its doors.

Unlike other sports and games, chess overall athletic ability doesn’t come into the game of chess. Anybody can ace the game with enough practice, experience and savvy strategizing. A recent article by Robert O’Connell of the New York Times detailed how chess is emerging as a popular hobby for NFL stars. 

The state of New York launched legal mobile/online and in-person sports betting back in January. Customers can take advantage of the many promo codes for betting in New York upon signing up at these sportsbooks. This includes a risk-free wager of up to $1,000 from FanDuel, four-risk free wagers of up to $200 per from PointsBet and $200 from DraftKings if you place AND win a $5 on the NFL or college football.

Aside from the likes of football, baseball, basketball and hockey, interested bettors can also place wagers on tennis, golf, chess, water polo and much more.

The men’s ($250,000 prize fund) and women’s ($154,000 prize fund) 2022 US Chess Championship tournaments commenced on Oct. 4, and they will run through the 20th. The men’s championship.

The format for the men’s and women’s tournaments are both 14-player round robins. There will be a playoff round if necessary, with the closing ceremonies running on the 20th.

The Competitors of the US Chess Championship

As previously noted, there are 14 competitors in both the men’s and the women’s tournaments. 

The 14 competitors in the men’s tournament are three-time champion Wesley So (more on him below), Jeffery Xiong, Levon Aronian, Sam Shankland, Leinier Dominguez, Ray Robson, Sam Sevian, Hans Niemann, Dariusz Swiercz, Christopher Yoo, Alex Lenderman, Fabiano Caruana, Elshan Moradiabadi and Awonder Liang.

So has won three of the last five tournaments. Shankland was the 2018 winner, and Caruana won it all in 2016.

Hikaru Nakamura, a five-time men’s U.S. Chess Champion,  is among the notable names not competing at the tournament this year. 

The 14 competitors for the women’s tournament consists of Anna Zatonskih, Irina Krush, Ashritha Eswaran, Nazí Paikidze, Rochelle Wu, Begim Tokhirjonova, Tatev Abrahamyan, Thalia Cervantes, Jennifer Yu, Ruiyang Yan, Alice Lee, Sabina Foisor, Megan Lee and Sophie Morris-Suzuki.

The women’s field is loaded with US Championship tournament winners. The 38-year-old Krush is aiming for a ninth U.S. Women’s Championship. She was victorious in 1998, 2007, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2020.

Zatonskih won it four times (2006, 2008, 2009 and 2011) over a four over a six-year span, with Krush of course winning it those two years in between. Paikidze has two titles, having won it all in 2016 and 2018.

Foisor was the 2017 U.S. Champion, and Yu won it all in 2019. Last year’s tournament winner, Carissa Yip, is not competing in this year’s event. 

Can Wesley So Win A Fourth US Chess Championship In A Row?

Wesley So, who turned 29 years of age on Oct. 9, is looking to add another major championship to his trophy room. So won the men’s US Chess Championship tournaments in 2017, 2020 and 2021. 

Only nine Chess players have won the men’s U.S. Championship more often than So. If he can win the tournament one last time, So will become the 10th player to win the event at least four times. Chess legend Samuel Reshevsky and Bobby Fischer share the record for most U.S. Championship victories with eight apiece.

If he wins this year’s tournament, So will be the first to three-peat as the men’s U.S. Chess Champion since Walter Browne. The latter achieved the feat by winning three in a row from 1978 to ‘80.


So also won the first ever FIDE World Fischer Random Chess Championship tournament back in 2019, defeating Magnus Carlsen in the finals.

So’s chess career also includes a gold medal at the 2013 Summer Universiade (when he was just 19 years of age, just like some of our Rebels on; gold at the 2011 Southeast Asian Games in the Men’s Blitz and silver in the Men’s Standard. Will he win another US Chess Championship in the future?

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