Erenburg and Shabalov Win the Liberty Bell Open

GM Sergey Erenburg at the 2016 Chesapeake Open GM Sergey Erenburg at the 2016 Chesapeake Open
GM Sergey Erenburg and GM Alexander Shabalov shared first place at the recent Liberty Bell Open each scoring 5 ½ - 1 ½.  Erenburg took the more traditional GM route as he got off to a 4-0 start and then drew his final three rounds.  Shabalov lost to NM Erick Garcia in round two and had to catch up. The tournament had 348 players in six sections and had a based on prize fund of $20,000.  The $20,000 prize fund was increased as this tournament again drew more than the based on.  This is the 12th consecutive year that the prizes have been increased above the announced total as this tournament has a history of drawing quite well! Erenburg started as the third seed but worked his way to board one by round three as top seeded Shabalov lost in round two and second seeded GM elect Ruifeng Li drew in round one.  Once at board 1, Erenburg did not relinquish it.  After two “routine” wins in the first two rounds Erenburg defeated GM Bryan Smith in round three and IM Atulya Shetty in round 4 to emerge as the only perfect score.  Erenburg then faced GM Aleksandr Lendrman, IM John Burke, and GM elect Ruifeng Li and drew those games.  None of the three games were quick draws.  In round six against Burke, Erenburg sacrificed a pawn as black in a position with opposite side castling, but the players eventually repeated the position.  In the last round Erenburg and Li played a very balanced position for 53 moves before agreeing to the draw. Here is Erenburg’s last round game against Li.
[pgn][Event "Liberty Bell Open"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2017.01.16"]
[Round "7.1"]
[White "Erenburg, Sergey"]
[Black "Li, Ruifeng"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B90"]
[WhiteElo "2650"]
[BlackElo "2660"]
[PlyCount "106"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 e5 7. Nf3 Qc7 8. a4
Be6 9. Be2 h6 10. O-O Nbd7 11. h3 Qc6 12. Qd3 Nc5 13. Bxc5 Qxc5 14. Nh2 Be7 15.
Rfd1 O-O 16. Ng4 Rfd8 17. Nxf6+ Bxf6 18. Nd5 Bxd5 19. Qxd5 Qxd5 20. Rxd5 Rac8
21. c3 Rc5 22. Rad1 Rxd5 23. Rxd5 Kf8 24. g3 Ke7 25. Bg4 Rh8 26. h4 h5 27. Bh3
g5 28. hxg5 Bxg5 29. a5 h4 30. gxh4 Bxh4 31. Bf5 b6 32. b4 Rb8 33. Bh3 b5 34.
Kf1 Rh8 35. Bf5 Bg5 36. Ke2 Bh4 37. Rd3 Bg5 38. Rd1 f6 39. Rd3 Bf4 40. Rd5 Bc1
41. Bg4 Bf4 42. Rd3 Rg8 43. Bh3 Rh8 44. Bg4 Rg8 45. Kf3 Rh8 46. Rd1 Bg5 47. Bf5
Bf4 48. Rd3 Rb8 49. Kg2 Rh8 50. c4 bxc4 51. Rc3 Rb8 52. Rxc4 Bd2 53. Rc7+ Ke8
1/2-1/2[/pgn]
Alex Shabalov GM Chicago Open 2016 By Betsy Dynako Zacate-1110 Shabalov at the 2016 Chicago Open. Photo: Betsy Dynako Zacate
Shabalov had to play catch up.  After the second round upset, he was paired down for two rounds before facing the titled players in the last three rounds.  Here is Shabalov’s second round game.
[pgn][Event "Liberty Bell Open"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2017.01.14"]
[Round "2.1"]
[White "Garcia, Erick"]
[Black "Shabalov, Alexander"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A41"]
[WhiteElo "2321"]
[BlackElo "2672"]
[PlyCount "116"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]1. d4 d6 2. Nf3 Bg4 3. e4 Nf6 4. Nbd2 e6 5. Bd3 Be7 6. b3 d5 7. Bb2 O-O 8. O-O
Bh5 9. Qe2 Nc6 10. e5 Nd7 11. c4 Nb4 12. Bb1 c6 13. a3 Na6 14. cxd5 cxd5 15.
Bd3 Nab8 16. Qe3 Nc6 17. Rfc1 a5 18. h3 Qb6 19. g4 Bg6 20. Bxg6 fxg6 21. Kg2
Rf7 22. Rf1 h6 23. Ne1 g5 24. Nd3 Nf8 25. f3 Ng6 26. Rad1 Raf8 27. Rf2 Bd8 28.
Nc5 Nf4+ 29. Kh2 Qa7 30. Nf1 Bb6 31. Na4 Ng6 32. Nxb6 Qxb6 33. Kg3 Rf4 34. Rd3
h5 35. Rd1 Nh4 36. Nh2 Qc7 37. Qc3 Qf7 38. Bc1 Ne7 39. Rd3 Neg6 40. Qxa5 Ne7
41. Qd2 Qg6 42. Rf1 Qh7 43. Qd1 Nhg6 44. Kg2 hxg4 45. hxg4 Rc8 46. Be3 Kf7 47.
Rf2 Qh4 48. Kf1 Ke8 49. Qd2 Kf7 50. Rc3 Nc6 51. b4 Ra8 52. b5 Nce7 53. Ke2 Ra4
54. Bxf4 Nxf4+ 55. Kd1 Qg3 56. Kc2 Qg1 57. Kb3 Rc4 58. Rf1 Rxd4 1-0[/pgn]
Shabalov beat GM Smith in round 5, drew GM elect Li in round 6 and defeated IM Burke in the last round which enabled him to catch Erenburg.  Here is Shabalov’s last round win:
[pgn][Event "Liberty Bell Open"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2017.01.16"]
[Round "7.2"]
[White "Shabalov, Alexander"]
[Black "Burke, John"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D87"]
[WhiteElo "2672"]
[BlackElo "2487"]
[PlyCount "117"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nxc3 6. bxc3 Bg7 7. Bc4 O-O 8.
Ne2 c5 9. O-O Nc6 10. Be3 Bg4 11. f3 Bd7 12. Rb1 Qc7 13. Rc1 Rad8 14. h4 Bc8
15. h5 e5 16. Bd5 exd4 17. cxd4 cxd4 18. Nxd4 Qg3 19. Ne2 Qe5 20. hxg6 hxg6 21.
Qb3 Na5 22. Qa3 b6 23. Rfd1 Bf6 24. Bf4 Qe7 25. Qxe7 Bxe7 26. Rc7 Bc5+ 27. Rxc5
bxc5 28. Bc7 Nc6 29. Bxd8 Nxd8 30. Nf4 Ne6 31. Nd3 Rd8 32. Nxc5 Nxc5 33. Bxf7+
Kxf7 34. Rxd8 Be6 35. a3 Kf6 36. Kf2 a5 37. Ke3 a4 38. Kd4 Nb3+ 39. Kc3 Ke5 40.
Ra8 Bd7 41. Ra7 Bb5 42. g3 g5 43. Rg7 Kf6 44. Rg8 Be2 45. Rf8+ Ke7 46. Rf5 Ke6
47. f4 gxf4 48. gxf4 Bf3 49. Re5+ Kd6 50. Kd3 Bg2 51. Ke3 Nc5 52. Rd5+ Kc6 53.
Rg5 Bh1 54. Rg1 Bxe4 55. Rc1 Kd5 56. Rxc5+ Kxc5 57. Kxe4 Kd6 58. Kf5 Ke7 59.
Kg6 1-0[/pgn]
There was an eight way tie for third place at 5-2.  GM Lenderman, GM elect Li, IMs Shetty, Ostrovskiy, Burke, and Alexander Katz, FM David Brodsky and NM Daniel Vasserman. Each shared part of third, but Vasserman won the clear first Under 2300 prize.  At 2263, Vasserman was seeded 23rd in the 57 player open section.  He played four of the top players in the tournament scoring 2-2 (+1, -1. =2) against GM Smith, IM Ostrovskiy, IM Burke and NM Brandon Jacobsen.  His sixth round victory  over Brandon Jacobsen was a double edged highly instructive affair.
[pgn][Event "Liberty Bell Open"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2017.01.16"]
[Round "6.7"]
[White "Jacobsen, Brandon"]
[Black "Vasserman, Daniel"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C00"]
[WhiteElo "2368"]
[BlackElo "2263"]
[PlyCount "108"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]1. d3 d5 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 e6 4. Nd2 Be7 5. e4 O-O 6. Ngf3 c5 7. O-O Nc6 8. Re1
Qc7 9. e5 Nd7 10. Qe2 b5 11. h4 a5 12. h5 c4 13. d4 b4 14. Nf1 c3 15. b3 a4 16.
Bf4 Ba6 17. Qe3 Ra7 18. N1h2 Rfa8 19. Ng4 Qd8 20. Bh3 Bb5 21. Rad1 axb3 22.
axb3 Ra2 23. h6 g6 24. Ng5 Nf8 25. Rc1 Nxd4 26. Nxf7 Nxc2 27. Rxc2 Kxf7 28.
Rxa2 Rxa2 29. Nf6 d4 30. Qf3 Bxf6 31. Bg5 Bc6 32. Qf4 Kg8 33. exf6 Kf7 34. Kh2
Ra5 35. f3 Ra2+ 36. Kg1 Qd7 37. Qb8 d3 38. Bxe6+ Nxe6 39. Qh8 Qd4+ 40. Re3
Qxe3+ 41. Bxe3 d2 42. Qxh7+ Kxf6 43. Bd4+ Nxd4 44. Qg7+ Ke6 45. Qxg6+ Kd5 46.
Qg5+ Kd6 47. Qf4+ Kc5 48. Qf8+ Kb6 49. Qd8+ Kb7 50. Qxd4 Ra1+ 51. Kh2 d1=Q 52.
Qxb4+ Kc7 53. Qe7+ Qd7 54. Qe5+ Kb7 0-1[/pgn]
In the Under 2100 section, there was a nice tactic played by Dilshod Madolimov.  Can you spot the winning move in the following position?

Malodimov vs. Phillips

White to move.
Show Solution
[pgn][Event "Liberty Bell Open"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2017.01.15"]
[Round "4.42"]
[White "Madolimov, Dilshod"]
[Black "Phillips, Jonathan"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B50"]
[WhiteElo "1900"]
[BlackElo "1808"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "r4rk1/1bq2pp1/p2bp2p/1pp1n1NQ/4B3/1P6/PBPP1PPP/R4RK1 w - - 0 16"]
[PlyCount "7"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]16. Bh7+ Kh8 17. f4 Nc6 18. Qxh6 Nd4 19. Qh5 1-0[/pgn]
All of the under sections were won with a of 6-1 score except for the Under 1900 section which took 6 ½.  There were no perfect scores in any section this year.  In some sections, 6-1, was enough for clear first and in some sections there were ties.  However, one of the section winners deserving special mention is Robert Cheng.  He won the Under 1500 section of the Empire City Open with 5 ½ - 1 ½ and scored 6-1 at Liberty Bell Open winning $823.  He gained 300 rating points and won’t be playing in Under 1500 sections anymore!  Here are the section winners:
Under 2100

David Zhurbinsky, 6-1, $1235

Under 1900

Sanel Torres, 6 ½ - 1/2, $1235

Under 1700

Zhouhai Liu & Noah Thomforde-Toates, 6-1. $823

Under 1500

Swagnik Roychoudhury & Robert Cheng, 6-1, $823

Under 1250

Howard Serota, Robert Fetell, & Ty’Jon Conway, 6-1, $823

Mixed Doubles

Ella Papanek & Kenneth Fernandez, 10 ½ - 3 ½, $514.50 each

Blitz Tournament

Erick Garcia, 7 - 1 $185

            NTD Steve Immitt directed for CCA assisted by Harold Stenzel, Jabari McGreen, Andy Rea, and Danny Rohde. For information, visit:  

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