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U.S. Women's Open Chess Championship

The U.S. Women's Open Championship is an open chess tournament that has been held irregularly. From 1934 through at least 1966 it was held in conjunction with the annual U.S. Open Chess Championship. After some years of inactivity, the event was reinstituted in 2009.


From 1934 through 1950 and in 1954, the women's tournaments were held as a round-robin tournament in conjunction with the U.S. Open. From 1951 through at least 1966, with the exception of 1954, the women played in the U.S. Open with the title U.S. Women's Open Champion being awarded to the woman with the highest score.

The title was not awarded for some time. In 2009 the event was held again, with sixteen players in a six-round tournament, but not in conjunction with the U.S. Open. It was held in conjunction with the U.S. Senior Chess Championship and two other tournaments. Chess Life incorrectly called it the first U.S. Women's Open Championship. The highest-placing US citizen qualifies for the U.S. Women's Chess Championship.



Complete records of the Women's Open Championship are not available.

No. Year Location Champions
1 1934 Chicago, Illinois Virginia Sheffield
2 1937 Chicago, Illinois Jean M. Grau
3 1938 Boston, Massachusetts Mona May Karff
4 1939 New York, New York Mona May Karff
5 1948 Baltimore, Maryland Mona May Karff
6 1950 Detroit, Michigan Mona May Karff and Lucille Kellner
7 1951 Fort Worth, Texas Maxine Cutlip
8 1953 Milwaukee, Wisconsin Eva Aronson
9 1954 New Orleans, Louisiana Gisela Kahn Gresser
10 1955 Long Beach, California Sonja Graf
11 1956 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Sonja Graf
12 1957 Cleveland, Ohio Sonja Graf
13 1958 Rochester, Minnesota Kathryn Slater
14 1959 Omaha, Nebraska Sonja Graf
15 1960 St. Louis, Missouri Lisa Lane
16 1961 San Francisco, California Eva Aronson
17 1962 San Antonio, Texas Kathryn Slater
18 1963 Chicago, Illinois Kate Sillars
19 1964 Boston, Massachusetts Kathryn Slater and Cecilia Rock
20 1965 Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico Mary Bain and Kathryn Slater
21 1966 Seattle, Washington Mary Bain
22 1969 Lincoln Nebraska Eva Aronson
23 1972 St. Petersburg, Florida Eva Aronson and Marilyn Braun
24 1973 Chicago, Illinois Eva Aronson
25 2009 Tulsa, Oklahoma Saheli Nath (WFM)

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