US Open: chess games, awards, dedications, meetings


After the eighth round, Grandmaster Aleksandr Lenderman was one point ahead of the peloton. Therefore, he only had to draw in the last round to secure the first clear round at the US Open. In the 9th round, he drew as a black against Grandmaster Benjamin Gledura. Thus, Lenderman became the champion of the US Open 2021.

Gledura vs. Lenderman – Day 9

Across the boardroom, a public meeting of the US Chess Executive Board was underway. Lenderman spoke briefly to those in attendance, saying he was thinking of playing in the final position since he was better.

The best matches of the US Open were played on DGT tables and broadcast on, where they are still available. For this article, Mike Walder annotated Lenderman’s 7th round victory over Grandmaster Hans Niemann and his 8th round victory over Grandmaster John Michael Burke.


While Lenderman was the biggest off-board winner, there were also many off-board winners. The Chess Journalists of America (CJA) donated rewards in 55 categories. John Hartmann of American Chess was the chess journalist of the year. American Chess Magazine, edited by Josip Asik, won the award for best print magazine. Click it CJA Award link to see all the winners.

Joshua Anderson (left) and John Hartmann

During the Annual American Chess Award reception, the editor advises for American Chess Magazine, Pete Tamburro, received a Special Services Award.

Pete Tamburro

Other winners include Abel Talamantez (Organizer of the Year Award) and Lauren Goodkind (Meritorious Service Award). Talamantez is the new chairman of the US Chess Clubs Committee and the Director of the chess room of the Institute of Mechanics. Fellow played at the US Open, and she took time off to attend the reception. Northern Californian Fellow Jim Eade, from The Eade Foundation, joined Talamantez and Goodkind for a photo.

Jim Eade (left), Abel Talamantez, Lauren Goodkind

New Jersey had winners besides Tamburro, including the Club of the Year award for the Toms River Chess Club and a previously unannounced award for the world‘s youngest grandmaster, Abhimanyu Mishra. Click on the Annual American Chess Award link for a list of the 2021 winners.

Chess Club of the Year (Toms River Chess Club)

Abhimanyu Mishra

After receiving the US Chess Annual Award came the induction of Frank Brady and James Sherwin into the American Chess Hall of Fame. Neither attended in person, but both addressed the reception attendees via video and audio. President of the United States Chess Trust Steven doyle animate the enthronement.

US Chess Trust President Steven Doyle moderated the induction.

Book dedications

Grandmaster Joel Benjamin gave a lecture and a signing session. His lecture included Benjamin-Kaidanov (World Open, 1992), which is in Benjamin’s next book

Winning the World Open: Strategies for Success at America’s Most Prestigious Open Chess Tournament. Benjamin’s book signing featured a handful of his books, including World Junior Chess Champion: Learn from the greatest players of all time. Benjamin also played at the 2021 US Open.

Wendy Reed has Joel Benjamin sign a book

Dewain Barber signed Chess humor. I signed Prepare with the chess strategy. Steve Elkins, who represented Arkansas in the John T. Irwin National Senior State Champions Tournament, spent some of his “$ 50 upset price certificate” to buy my book. Elkins annotated his upset Irwin first-round victory for this article.

Irwin Senior participant Steve Elkins with upset prize of $ 50

Grandmaster Stuart Rachels did not sign his book The Best I Saw in Chess. But he mentioned it when he received the Frank J. Marshall Award.

Stuart rachel


It was not possible to attend all the workshops and meetings at the United States Open 2021. Here are the highlights of four I attended. At the meeting of the collegiate chess committee, chaired by Grandmaster Alex Onischuk, the Head Coach and Program Director for Texas Tech University Chess, the main topic was the chess arms race. Each “chess” university tries to recruit the same young top-ranked grandmasters. One proposed solution could be to limit the “A” team from each university to an average of 2,500 US Chess.

College chess

The nominating committee, chaired by David Grimaud, received the “committee of the year” award for its work recommend candidates for the US Chess Executive Board. If you are interested in running for the board, check out this link elections.

The August 5 open board session highlighted that the US Open will likely be shortened in the coming years, but not for years where there is already a hotel contract. Envisioned is a US Open that lasts seven days, Monday through Sunday. Currently, the US Open lasts nine days, like this year’s US Open from July 31 (Saturday) to August 8 (Sunday).

On August 8, at another public meeting of the Executive Council, the leaders for the following year (2021-2022) were announced. They are Mike Hoffpauir, President; Randy Bauer, Vice president; Chuck unruh, vice-president of finance; and Fun Fong, Secretary. David day, Jean Fernandez, David Hater, and Kevin Pryor are members in general.

The Board of Directors plans to meet online and in person over the next 12 months. However, whether or not US Chess will send delegations to in-person international chess events remains uncertain due to the ongoing pandemic.


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