GM Alexander Shabalov won clear first at the Golden Anniversary of the Liberty Bell Open held from January 12-15 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This is the third year in a row that Shabalov has won or tied for first.
GM Kamil Dragun won the Golden State Open held from January 11-15 in Concord, California.
Certainly, Smith had to be regarded as one of the contenders for a top prize, but given that he was over 200 points lower rated than the top few seeds, winning clear first has to be regarded as a bit of a surprise and a significant accomplishment.
Grandmaster Sergey Kudrin needed a victory in the final round to win 1st. He did emerge victorious in the following game.
After four rounds, IMs Keaton Kiewra and Joshua Sheng were the only players at 4-0.
The nature of the Swiss system pretty much requires the higher rated players to play for a win, especially in the early rounds when the rating differences are the greatest.
This is the first tournament Elshan won as a US citizen. Congratulations Elshan!
This will be the first time in the history of the NATO Chess Championship that the event will be held in the United States and only the second time that the event will be held in the Western Hemisphere.
The 26thAnnual Midwest Class Championship was held from October 6th to 8th in the Chicago suburb of Wheeling, IL and drew 333 players pursuing the $20,000 guaranteed prize fund.
GM Timur Gareyev, the Blindfold King, won the Atlantic Open held August 25-27 at the Washington DC Crystal City Hilton with a score of 4 ½ – ½. While he didn’t have to play blindfolded, he did play an unintentional Swiss gambit.
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