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Tournament Results - June Cool-Down

The 2007 June Cool-Down chess tournament was held at Goodnoe Elementary in Newtown, PA on June 2.  Tournament newcomer John Zhang took 1st place in the K-3 section, going undefeated with a 4-0 score.

U.S. Championship - Final

Congratulations to GM Alexander Shabalov, who is the 2007 U.S. Champion!  After his incredible 5-0 start, Shabba lost to GM Alexander Onischuk, and after he drew two more games Onischuk had caught up, but in the final round Shabalov defeated GM Sergey Kudrin, while Onischuk could only draw against GM Boris Gulko.  Thus Shabalov's score of 7-2 gave him clear first.  Next was Onischuk with 6.5-2.5, who got clear second.

This was Shabalov's 4th U.S. championship.  Apparently modest, he credits his success to an amulet he was wearing, which is supposed to stabilize its wearer's magnetic field, making him more relaxed.  More likely, he just played very well. 

I ended up with 4 points, which was not a great result, but not embarrassing either.

U.S. Championship - Fifth Round


Today I finally won a "real" game (the mate-in-one game does not really count).  My opponent was IM Jay Bonin.  I didn't know the opening at all, and thought for almost a half an hour on the fifth move.  But by move nine, my position was completely won, because he took a pawn he shouldn't have even looked at.  He could have even resigned by move twelve, but decided to play on down a piece.

Tournament Results - May Rumble

The May Rumble chess tournament took place on May 19 at Kutz Elementary School in Doylestown, PA.  John Fleming, a 3rd-grader from Our Lady of Good Counsel, took 1st place in the K-3 section.

U.S. Championship - Fourth Round

Just when I though that the angel who was watching over me during the last two rounds would be with me the whole tournament, she abandoned me.  I lost today against Walter Browne, who is formerly one of the top players in the world.  Now his best years are past, so I did not expect to lose to him, but he played very well.  He got a better position out of the opening.  Then it seemed like I had surmounted all my difficulties, but it was really not the case.  I allowed some tactics to happen, thinking that there had to be something there, but there just wasn't.  The best I could find was a spectacular-looking (but benign) queen sacrifice which led to a position where I had only some drawing chances.  He won with good technique.

Lucky Again!

Hi kids and parents.  Yesterday I played against GM Dmitry Gurevich.  It is a strange story—I played him in a simultaneous exhibition when I was fourteen years old.  I had just learned how to play chess, and naturally I lost.  But I think his visit to Alaska was one of the reasons I ended up getting so interested in  chess.  Who could imagine that thirteen years later  I would play him in the U.S. Championship?