GM Shabalov Threepeats at Golden Anniversary of Liberty Bell Open

GM Alexander Shabalov at the 2015 US Open, Photo: Mike Klein
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.  The last two years Shabalov tied for first with 5 ½ points.  This year, he scored 6-1 and won clear first.  He won $2104 for his efforts. The tournament drew a total of 364 players (counting re-entries, house players etc.) in six  sections.  The Major section had four GMs, four IMs, four FMs, and a total of 26 players over 2200 among the 59 players vying for their piece of the $20,000 projected prize fund.  The prize fund was raised for the 12th year in a row because the tournament again drew more than the projected players. GM Shabalov was kind enough to provide some light annotations for his games.  All his games will be presented with these notes, but before doing that, it is useful to look at how the tournament unfolded. This tournament had a slightly unusual demographic for the Major section.  The Major section had both a 4 day schedule and a 3 day schedule.  Normally, the shorter schedule draws more of the top players, perhaps as they wish to save expenses.  This year though all the GMs and most of the IMs played in the 4 day schedule. Round one was not that unusual.  Most of the top players won.  However, IM Justin Sarkar did surrender a draw to Zachary Martin.  This is the second year in a row that Martin played the role of spoiler in round one.  Last year, Martin drew with GM Ruifeng Li in round one.  Whoever plays Martin in round one in 2019 is now forewarned!
[pgn][Event "Liberty Bell Open"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2018.01.12"]
[Round "1.6"]
[White "Sarkar, Justin"]
[Black "Martin, Zachary"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "E11"]
[WhiteElo "2397"]
[BlackElo "2109"]
[PlyCount "99"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Bb4+ 4. Nbd2 d5 5. Qa4+ Nc6 6. e3 Ne4 7. Bd3 Nxd2 8.
Bxd2 Bxd2+ 9. Nxd2 Bd7 10. Qa3 Qe7 11. Qxe7+ Kxe7 12. Rc1 Nb4 13. Bb1 c6 14. a3
Na6 15. Bd3 Rac8 16. c5 Nc7 17. Nb3 b6 18. Kd2 f6 19. a4 Rb8 20. Rc2 e5 21. Ra1
Ne6 22. cxb6 Rxb6 23. Ra3 exd4 24. Nxd4 Nxd4 25. exd4 Rhb8 26. Kc3 g6 27. a5
R6b7 28. h4 Kf7 29. Re2 Bg4 30. f3 Bf5 31. Ba6 Re7 32. Rxe7+ Kxe7 33. Rb3 Rxb3+
34. Kxb3 Kd6 35. Kc3 h6 36. f4 g5 37. hxg5 hxg5 38. fxg5 fxg5 39. Be2 Be4 40.
g3 Bf5 41. Bf3 Be6 42. Bh5 Bd7 43. b4 Ke7 44. Kd2 Kf6 45. Bf3 Ke6 46. Ke3 Kd6
47. Bh5 Ke7 48. Be2 Kd6 49. Bd1 Ke7 50. Be2 1/2-1/2[/pgn]
Almost half of the players in the Major 4 day schedule opted for first round half point byes! This coupled with a few first round draws led to the first GM vs GM pairing in round two!  On board one, top seeded Aleksandr Lenderman had white versus GM Dmitry Gurevich.  Lenderman won a game in which he tried to sacrifice his light squared bishop three times!  The bishop could not be taken and Gurevich did not take it the first two times.  The third time he didn’t have a lot of choice.  He took the piece and lost!
[pgn][Event "Liberty Bell Open"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2018.01.13"]
[Round "2.1"]
[White "Lenderman, Aleksandr"]
[Black "Gurevich, Dmitry"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D37"]
[WhiteElo "2695"]
[BlackElo "2505"]
[Annotator "Hater,David"]
[PlyCount "55"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 a6 4. Nc3 d5 5. cxd5 exd5 6. Bg5 Be6 7. e3 c5 8. Be2
c4 9. O-O Be7 10. b3 Qa5 11. Bxf6 Bxf6 12. Rc1 O-O 13. bxc4 dxc4 14. Ne4 b5 15.
Nxf6+ gxf6 16. d5 Bc8 17. Nd4 Qxa2 18. Bd3 Qa3 (18... cxd3 19. Rxc8 Rxc8 20.
Qg4+) 19. Bb1 Qd6 20. Qh5 f5 21. Nxf5 Bxf5 22. Bxf5 h6 23. e4 Kg7 24. Rc3 Rh8
25. Be6 Ra7 (25... fxe6 26. e5 Qd7 27. Rg3+ Kf8 28. dxe6 Qxe6 29. Qf3+) 26. e5
Qc5 27. Rf3 fxe6 28. Rf6 1-0[/pgn]
The merge occurred in round three, and there were only five perfect scores remaining.  The top three seeded GMs (Lenderman, Shabalov, and Sergey Erenburg) all had 2-0 along with Senior Master Mika Brattain and NM William Graif.  The top two boards were both long hard fought games.  Lenderman defeated Brattain while last year’s co-champions – Shabalov and Erenburg drew on board two and that game is presented below. Graif was paired down to the top 1 ½ pointer IM Alexander Katz and drew.
[pgn][Event "Liberty Bell Open"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2018.01.13"]
[Round "3.1"]
[White "Brattain, Mika"]
[Black "Lenderman, Aleksandr"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "E07"]
[WhiteElo "2511"]
[BlackElo "2695"]
[PlyCount "120"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]1. Nf3 d5 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 e6 4. O-O Be7 5. c4 O-O 6. d4 c6 7. b3 b6 8. Bb2
Nbd7 9. Nc3 Ba6 10. a4 dxc4 11. bxc4 Bxc4 12. Nd2 Ba6 13. Bxc6 Rc8 14. Bg2 Nb8
15. Nb5 Qd7 16. Qb3 Nc6 17. Rfc1 Na5 18. Qd3 Nd5 19. e3 Nb4 20. Qe2 Nc2 21.
Rab1 Na3 22. Rxc8 Rxc8 23. Bxa3 Bxa3 24. Nf3 Bd6 25. Qd1 Bb8 26. Ne5 Bxe5 27.
dxe5 Bxb5 28. axb5 Qxd1+ 29. Rxd1 Kf8 30. Rd7 Rc1+ 31. Bf1 Nb3 32. Kg2 Ra1 33.
Be2 g6 34. Bf3 Nc5 35. Rd2 Ra3 36. Bc6 g5 37. f4 Rxe3 38. fxg5 Rxe5 39. h4 Re3
40. Ra2 Ne4 41. Rxa7 Rxg3+ 42. Kh2 Rg4 43. Kh3 Nf2+ 44. Kh2 Nd3 45. Kh3 Rb4 46.
Rb7 Ne5 47. Rxb6 Rb3+ 48. Kg2 Nxc6 49. Rxc6 Rxb5 50. Kg3 Kg7 51. Rc7 Kg6 52.
Kg4 Rb4+ 53. Kg3 Rb3+ 54. Kf4 h6 55. gxh6 f6 56. h7 e5+ 57. Ke4 Rb4+ 58. Kd5
Rxh4 59. Ke6 Rxh7 60. Rc8 Kg5 0-1[/pgn]
This left Lenderman as the only player at 3-0.  Erenburg and Shabalov led a group of eight players at 2 ½.  In round four, Lenderman and Erenburg drew.  Shabalov defeated NM Zachary Tanenbaum to catch up with Lenderman.  All the other games involving the players at 2 ½ were drawn so now Lenderman and Shabalov were alone at the top of the leader board. Since Lenderman and Shabalov were the only players at 3 ½, they would face each other in round five.  Shabalov won a pivotal game to emerge as the clear leader after five rounds.  The game is presented below. Round six pairings were interesting.  Since Shabalov had already played Erenburg, he played the only other player who had 4-1: IM Sarkar.  Erenburg played the top 3 ½ pointer GM Gurevich, and he won to stay with striking distance of Shabalov. Going into the last round, Shabalov was the only player at 5 ½ points.  Erenburg was the only player at 5-1, and there were three players at 4 ½: IMs Thomas Bartell & Jay Bonin and SM Brattain.  Shabalov had white against Bartell and drew rather quickly to guarantee him at least a tie for first.  Last year, Erenburg and Shabalov shared first place with Erenburg having higher tiebreaks.  Erenburg again had a chance to be co-champion, but he drew with Brattain to take clear second place. Bonin was paired “down” to Lenderman and drew to tie for third place with Bartell, Brattain and IM Katz and FM Youn-Young Kim who both won their final round games to also finish at 5-2. As noted, this is the third year in a row that Shabalov won the Liberty Bell Open.  The past two years he finished at 5 1/2 and tied for first, but this year he finished 6-1 and achieved a performance rating of 2804. He scored 2 ½ out of 3 against GMs and won the rest of his games with the exception of the last round draw to secure first.  GM Shabalov was kind enough to provide some annotations to his games.  Here are all his games: Round 1:
[pgn][Event "Liberty Bell Open"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2018.01.12"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Khanna, Nalin"]
[Black "Shabalov, Alexander"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B08"]
[WhiteElo "2156"]
[BlackElo "2629"]
[Annotator "Alexander,Shabalov"]
[PlyCount "52"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[SourceDate "2018.01.12"]1. e4 Nc6 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 Nf6 4. Nc3 g6 5. Bc4 Bg7 6. O-O O-O 7. h3 (7. Be3 Bg4
(7... Nxe4)) 7... Nxe4 8. Bxf7+ Rxf7 9. Nxe4 d5 (9... Bf5 10. Neg5 Rf8 11. Qe2
Kh8 12. c3 e5 13. dxe5 Nxe5 14. Nxe5 Bxe5 15. Be3 Bf6 16. Nf3 Qe7 17. Qd2 Be4
18. Nh2 Bc6 19. Ng4 Bg7 20. Bd4 Bxd4 21. Qxd4+ Qg7 22. Rfe1 Qxd4 23. cxd4 Rae8
24. Rac1 Rxe1+ 25. Rxe1 Kg7 26. Rc1 Rf7 27. f3 Re7 28. Kf2 Kf7 29. Rc2 Bd5 30.
a3 g5 31. Ne3 Be6 32. Nf1 Bf5 33. Rd2 Ke8 34. Ne3 Be6 35. d5 Bf7 36. Rd4 Bg6
37. Ra4 a6 38. Rb4 b6 39. Rg4 Re5 40. Ra4 a5 41. Rd4 Kd7 42. Ng4 Re7 43. Ne3 c5
44. dxc6+ Kxc6 45. Rc4+ Kb7 46. Rd4 Re6 47. h4 gxh4 48. Rxh4 Kc6 49. Rc4+ Kb5
50. a4+ Ka6 51. Nd5 Re5 52. Nc7+ Kb7 53. Nb5 Rc5 54. Rd4 Rc2+ 55. Kg3 Rxb2 56.
Rxd6 Rb4 57. Rd7+ Kc6 58. Rc7+ Kd5 59. Rb7 Kc4 60. Rxb6 Rxa4 61. Nc7 Rb4 62.
Rc6+ Kb3 63. Nd5 Rb5 64. Nf4 a4 65. Nxg6 Rg5+ 66. Kf2 Rxg6 67. Rc7 Ra6 68. Rb7+
Kc4 69. Rc7+ Kd5 70. Rd7+ Kc4 71. Rc7+ Kb4 72. Rb7+ Kc5 73. Rc7+ Kb5 74. Rb7+
Rb6 75. Rxh7 a3 76. Rh1 a2 77. Ra1 Ra6 78. g4 Kc4 79. Kg3 Kd4 {1/2-1/2 (79)
Razin,V (2354)-Onischuk,V (2608) Lvov 2017}) 10. Ng3 (10. Nc3 h6 11. Re1 g5)
10... Qd6 11. c3 (11. Be3 Bd7 12. Ng5 Rf6 13. f4 Raf8 14. Qd2 Bh6 15. h4 Nd8
16. c4 c6 17. c5 Qc7 18. Qd3 Ne6 19. Ne2 Ng7 20. Ng3 Bg4 21. Bd2 Ne6 22. f5
Bxf5 23. Nxf5 Bxg5 24. Nxe7+ Qxe7 25. hxg5 Rxf1+ 26. Rxf1 Rxf1+ 27. Kxf1 Nxg5
28. Qg3 Qf8+ 29. Kg1 Ne4 30. Qe3 Qf6 31. Ba5 Qg5 32. Qh3 Qc1+ 33. Kh2 Qf4+ 34.
Kg1 Qf5 35. Qe3 g5 36. Bc7 h5 37. Bb8 a6 38. Bc7 h4 39. Be5 Kh7 40. Kh2 Kg6 41.
Qf3 g4 42. Qxf5+ Kxf5 43. Kg1 Nd2 44. b3 g3 45. Bg7 {0-1 (45) Glavan,P (1977)
-Itkis,B (2371) Eforie Nord 2017}) 11... Bd7 (11... e5 $1 12. dxe5 Nxe5 13.
Nxe5 Bxe5 14. f4 Bg7 15. Be3 Be6 16. Qd2 Raf8 17. Rf3 b6 18. Rd1 Bc8 19. Qf2
Bb7 20. f5 d4 21. Bf4 Qd7 22. Rfd3 h5 23. Rxd4 Bxd4 24. Rxd4 Qc6 25. Bg5 gxf5
26. h4 f4 27. Nxh5 f3 28. Rg4 Qg6 29. Nf4 Qb1+ 30. Kh2 fxg2 31. Qg1 Qxg1+ 32.
Kxg1 Kh7 33. Nxg2 Rf1+ 34. Kh2 R8f2 35. Be3 Rxb2 36. Bd4 Rxg2+ {0-1 (36)
Bojkovic,S (2410)-Gligoric,S (2560) Novi Sad 1979}) 12. Ng5 Rff8 13. f4 Bh6 14.
h4 Bg7 15. Qd3 Bg4 16. f5 (16. Bd2 $14) 16... gxf5 17. Bf4 e5 18. Bxe5 Bxe5 19.
Nxf5 Bh2+ 20. Kh1 Qg6 21. Qb5 Bxf5 22. Qxd5+ Kh8 23. Kxh2 h6 24. g4 Bxg4 25.
Nf7+ Kh7 26. Rf2 Be6 0-1[/pgn]
Round 2:
[pgn][Event "Liberty Bell Open"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2018.01.13"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Shabalov, Alexander"]
[Black "Kim, Yoon-young"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D78"]
[WhiteElo "2629"]
[BlackElo "2353"]
[Annotator "Alexander,Shabalov"]
[PlyCount "73"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[SourceDate "2018.01.12"]1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nbd2 g6 5. g3 Bg7 6. Bg2 O-O 7. O-O e6 8. Qc2
b6 9. b3 Bb7 10. Ba3 Re8 11. Rac1 Nbd7 12. Rfd1 Qc7 13. e3 Rac8 14. Qb1 Qb8 15.
b4 Qa8 16. c5 Ba6 17. Qc2 Be2 18. Re1 Bxf3 19. Bxf3 e5 20. dxe5 Nxe5 21. Bg2 b5
22. Bb2 Nc4 (22... a5 23. a3 axb4 24. axb4 Qa4 $11) 23. Nxc4 bxc4 24. e4 a5 25.
exd5 Rxe1+ 26. Rxe1 cxd5 27. a3 axb4 28. axb4 Qb8 29. Bc3 Rd8 30. Rd1 Qb5 31.
Qb2 Ne8 32. Bxd5 Bxc3 33. Qxc3 Rd7 34. Rd4 Nc7 35. Bxc4 Qc6 36. Rxd7 Qxd7 37.
Qf3 1-0[/pgn]
Round 3:
[pgn][Event "Liberty Bell Open"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2018.01.13"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Erenburg, Sergey"]
[Black "Shabalov, Alexander"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B08"]
[WhiteElo "2652"]
[BlackElo "2629"]
[Annotator "Alexander,Shabalov"]
[PlyCount "149"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[SourceDate "2018.01.12"]1. e4 Nc6 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 Nf6 4. Nc3 g6 5. h3 Bg7 6. Be2 O-O 7. O-O e5 8. Be3
exd4 9. Nxd4 Re8 10. Nxc6 bxc6 11. Bf3 Nd7 12. Qd2 Ba6 (12... Rb8 13. b3 Qf6
14. Ne2 (14. Na4 c5) 14... Qxa1 (14... Ne5) 15. Rxa1 Bxa1 16. c3) 13. Rfe1 Qb8
(13... Ne5 14. Be2 Bxe2 15. Qxe2 Nd7) 14. Rab1 Qb4 15. a3 Qa5 16. b4 Qe5 17.
Ne2 Bxe2 18. Qxe2 a5 19. g3 Qe6 (19... axb4 20. axb4 Ra3 21. Rb3 Ra2 22. Qc4
Qb5 $15) 20. Bg4 Qe7 21. Bg5 f6 22. Qc4+ Kh8 23. Bf4 h5 24. Bf3 axb4 25. axb4
Ne5 26. Bxe5 Qxe5 27. Qxc6 Ra3 28. Rb3 Rxb3 29. cxb3 Re7 30. Rd1 h4 31. gxh4
Qf4 32. Bg2 f5 33. exf5 Qxf5 34. Qd5 Qxd5 35. Bxd5 Bc3 36. b5 Re1+ 37. Rxe1
Bxe1 38. Bf3 Kg7 39. h5 g5 40. Kf1 Ba5 41. Bd5 Kh6 42. Bf7 Bb4 43. Ke2 (43. Kg2
d5 44. Kg3 (44. Kf3 Ba5 45. Kg4 d4 46. Bg6 (46. h4 gxh4 47. Kxh4 d3 48. Bc4 d2
49. Be2 Bb4 50. Kg4 Be7 51. Kf5 Bc5 52. f4 Bd6 53. Ke4 Kg7 54. Bf3 Kh6) 46...
Bb4 47. h4 gxh4 48. Kxh4 Be1 49. Kg3 d3) 44... d4 45. Kg4 d3 46. Bc4 d2 47. Be2
Bc5 (47... Ba3 48. Kf5 (48. h4 gxh4 49. Kxh4 Bd6 50. Kg4 Bc5 51. f4 Bb6 (51...
Bb4 52. Kf5 Bd6 53. Ke4 Kg7 54. f5 Kf6 55. h6 Kf7 56. Kd5 Bf4 57. h7 Kg7 58.
Ke6 Kxh7 59. f6 Kg8 60. Ke7 Bd6+ 61. Kd7 Bf4 62. Ke8 Bd6 63. f7+ Kg7 64. Kd7
Bf4 65. b6 cxb6 66. Ke7) 52. Kf5 Kg7) 48... Bc5) 48. f3 Be7) 43... Bc5 44. f3 (
44. Kf3 d5 45. Bg6 Bb4) 44... d5 45. Kd3 Bg1 46. Ke2 Bd4 47. Kf1 Bc5 48. Bg6
Bd6 49. Kf2 Bf4 50. Bf7 Bh2 51. Ke2 Bd6 52. Kd3 Bc5 53. Kc3 Bb6 54. Kb4 Be3 55.
Be8 Bf2 56. Ka5 Bb6+ 57. Kb4 Bf2 58. Bf7 Be3 59. Kc3 Bc5 60. Kd2 Bg1 61. Kd3
Bc5 62. Bxd5 Kxh5 63. Ke4 Kg6 64. Ke5 Bb6 65. Ke6 Kg7 66. Kf5 Kh6 67. f4 gxf4
68. Kxf4 Kh5 69. Bf3+ Kh4 70. Bg4 Bc5 71. Ke5 Kg5 72. Kd5 Bb6 73. Kc6 Kh4 74.
b4 Kg5 75. Bd7 1/2-1/2[/pgn]
Round 4:
[pgn][Event "Liberty Bell Open"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2018.01.14"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Shabalov, Alexander"]
[Black "Tanenbaum, Zachary"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A28"]
[WhiteElo "2629"]
[BlackElo "2237"]
[PlyCount "117"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[SourceDate "2018.01.12"]1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. a3 d5 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. Qc2 Be7 7. e3 a6 8.
Nxd5 Qxd5 9. Bd3 Qd6 10. b4 h6 11. Bb2 Bd7 12. O-O O-O 13. Bh7+ Kh8 14. Be4 Bf6
15. Rfd1 Qe7 16. h3 Rfe8 17. Rac1 Rad8 18. Qb1 Kg8 19. Rc5 Qe6 20. Rdc1 Be7 21.
Bd5 Qd6 22. Nxe5 Be6 23. Bxe6 Qxe6 24. Nxc6 bxc6 25. Rxc6 Qd5 26. Rxc7 Qxd2 27.
Bd4 Bh4 28. Qf5 Qa2 29. R1c2 Qb1+ 30. Kh2 Be7 31. f4 Qf1 32. Rd7 Qb5 33. Qxb5
axb5 34. Rxd8 Rxd8 35. Kg3 Ra8 36. Rc3 Bd6 37. Kf3 f6 38. Rc6 Bf8 39. Bb2 Rb8
40. Rc7 Bd6 41. Rd7 Bf8 42. Ke4 Re8+ 43. Kd3 Rb8 44. g4 Rb6 45. e4 Rb8 46. e5
fxe5 47. Bxe5 Rb6 48. f5 Ra6 49. Bb2 Rb6 50. h4 Rb8 51. g5 hxg5 52. hxg5 Rb6
53. g6 Rb8 54. Ke4 Re8+ 55. Be5 Ra8 56. f6 gxf6 57. Bxf6 Ra6 58. Ke5 Rxa3 59.
Rh7 1-0[/pgn]
Round 5:
[pgn][Event "Liberty Bell Open"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2018.01.14"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Shabalov, Alexander"]
[Black "Lenderman, Alex"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C02"]
[WhiteElo "2629"]
[BlackElo "2695"]
[Annotator "Alexander,Shabalov"]
[PlyCount "113"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[SourceDate "2018.01.12"]1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 c5 4. c3 Nc6 5. Nf3 Qb6 6. a3 c4 7. Nbd2 Na5 (7... Bd7
8. b3 cxb3 9. Nxb3 Na5 10. Nxa5 Qxa5 11. Bd2 Qc7 12. Bd3 Ne7 13. O-O Ng6 14. h4
Be7 15. h5 Nf8 16. Qe2 Bc6 17. Rfc1 Nd7 18. c4 dxc4 19. Rxc4 Nb6 20. Rcc1 Qd7
21. Be4 Bxe4 22. Qxe4 O-O 23. h6 g6 24. Bg5 Rfc8 25. Bxe7 Qxe7 26. Qg4 Qf8 27.
Qh4 Nd5 28. Ng5 Rxc1+ 29. Rxc1 Qxa3 30. Rf1 Qe7 31. Qg4 a5 32. Ne4 a4 33. Rb1
a3 34. Qe2 a2 35. Ra1 Qa3 36. g3 b5 37. Qxb5 Qf8 38. Qb2 Qxh6 39. Rxa2 Rxa2 40.
Qxa2 Qc1+ 41. Kg2 Qc6 42. Kg1 Kg7 43. Qd2 h6 44. Nd6 Nc3 45. Qe3 g5 46. Kh2 Nb5
47. Nxb5 Qxb5 48. Qf3 Qb2 49. Qf6+ Kg8 50. Qd8+ Kg7 51. Qf6+ Kg8 52. Qd8+ Kh7
53. Qf6 Qb7 54. Kg1 Qb1+ 55. Kh2 Qg6 56. Qd8 Qf5 57. Kg2 h5 58. Kg1 Kg7 59. d5
Qxe5 60. d6 Qe1+ 61. Kg2 Qe4+ 62. Kg1 Qe1+ 63. Kg2 Qe4+ 64. Kh2 Qf5 65. Kg2
Qd5+ 66. Kh2 Qc5 67. Kg2 Qd5+ 68. Kg1 Qd1+ 69. Kg2 Qd5+ {1/2-1/2 (69) Grischuk,
A (2750)-Vachier Lagrave,M (2795) chess.com INT 2017}) 8. Be2 (8. Rb1 Bd7 9.
Be2 Ne7 10. O-O Nc8 11. Qc2 Qc7 12. a4 Nb6 13. Ra1 Rc8 14. Bd1 Be7 15. Qb1 O-O
16. Bc2 h6 17. h3 f5 18. exf6 Bxf6 19. Re1 Rce8 20. Bg6 Rc8 21. Bh7+ Kh8 22.
Bc2 Rce8 23. Bd1 Nc6 24. b4 e5 25. b5 e4 26. bxc6 exf3 27. Rxe8 Rxe8 28. Nxf3
Bxc6 29. Qg6 Re4 30. Bc2 Be8 31. Qg3 Qxg3 32. fxg3 Re2 33. Bd1 Re7 34. a5 Nc8
35. Bf4 a6 36. Ne5 Na7 37. Bf3 Bxe5 38. Bxe5 Bf7 39. Kf2 Nc6 40. Bf4 Kh7 41. g4
g6 42. h4 Be6 43. Re1 Bf7 44. Ra1 Be6 45. Bd1 Kg7 46. Kg3 Bc8 47. Bf3 Be6 48.
Bd6 Rd7 49. Bc5 Kf7 50. Bd1 Kg7 51. Ba4 Rc7 52. Re1 Bf7 53. Bd6 Rd7 54. Bxc6
Rxd6 55. Bxb7 Rd7 56. Rb1 Re7 57. Kf2 Re4 58. Bxa6 {1-0 (58) Papp,G (2598)
-Rojicek,V (2403) Slovakia SVK 2018}) 8... Bd7 9. O-O Ne7 10. a4 Nc8 11. Qc2
Be7 12. h4 f5 13. b4 cxb3 14. Qd3 Bc6 15. Ng5 Bxg5 16. hxg5 Qd8 17. Qb1 f4 18.
Bg4 Kd7 19. Nf3 Nb6 20. Bxf4 Nxa4 21. c4 Nxc4 22. Qxb3 Nab6 23. Ne1 h5 24. Bh3
Qe7 25. Nd3 Kc7 26. Nc5 Bd7 27. Rfc1 Bc8 28. g6 Qe8 29. Qg3 Kb8 30. Rab1 a5 31.
Rxb6 Nxb6 32. Qb3 Ka7 33. Ra1 Qc6 34. Rxa5+ Kb8 35. Rb5 Ra1+ 36. Kh2 Nc4 37.
Bxe6 Bxe6 38. Nxe6 Qxe6 39. Rxb7+ Ka8 40. Rxg7 Rb8 41. Qh3 Qxh3+ 42. Kxh3 Rh1+
43. Kg3 Rb3+ 44. f3 Rb2 45. e6 h4+ 46. Kg4 Re1 47. e7 Rbe2 48. Rf7 Rxg2+ 49.
Kf5 Ne3+ 50. Kf6 Ng4+ 51. fxg4 Rxg4 52. Kf5 Rg2 53. Be5 Rf1+ 54. Ke6 Rxg6+ 55.
Kxd5 Rxf7 56. e8=Q+ Kb7 57. Qxf7+ 1-0[/pgn]
Round 6:
[pgn][Event "Liberty Bell Open"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2018.01.15"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Sarkar, Justin"]
[Black "Shabalov, Alexander"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B08"]
[WhiteElo "2397"]
[BlackElo "2629"]
[Annotator "Alexander,Shabalov"]
[PlyCount "60"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[SourceDate "2018.01.12"]1. e4 Nc6 2. d4 d6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 g6 5. d5 Nb8 6. Be2 Bg7 7. O-O O-O 8. Bf4
c6 9. a4 b6 10. Nd2 Bb7 11. Bf3 Na6 12. Re1 Rc8 13. Nb3 cxd5 14. exd5 Nb4 15.
a5 b5 16. a6 Ba8 17. Na5 Qd7 18. g4 h5 19. h3 hxg4 20. hxg4 Rc5 (20... Rxc3 21.
bxc3 Nfxd5 22. cxb4) (20... Bxd5 21. Nxd5 Nfxd5 22. Bxd5 Bxb2 23. Rb1 Nxd5 24.
Qxd5 Bc3 25. Nb3 Bxe1 26. Rxe1 Rxc2) 21. Be3 Rxd5 (21... Rxc3 22. bxc3 Nfxd5
23. cxb4 Nc3 $19) 22. Nxd5 Bxd5 23. Bxd5 Nbxd5 24. Bd4 e5 25. g5 Nh5 26. Qf3
Nb4 27. Be3 Nxc2 28. Nc6 Kh7 29. Bxa7 d5 30. Bc5 e4 0-1[/pgn]
Round 7:
[pgn][Event "Liberty Bell Open"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2018.01.15"]
[Round "7"]
[White "Shabalov, Alexander"]
[Black "Bartell, Thomas"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A15"]
[WhiteElo "2629"]
[BlackElo "2489"]
[Annotator "Alexander,Shabalov"]
[PlyCount "30"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[SourceDate "2018.01.12"]1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. b4 Bg7 4. Bb2 O-O 5. g3 d6 6. Bg2 e5 7. O-O c6 8. d3
Nbd7 9. Nc3 (9. Nbd2 Qc7 10. Qb3 Re8 11. Rac1 Nf8 12. b5 Bg4 13. h3 Bd7 14. Ng5
Ne6 15. Nxe6 Bxe6 16. bxc6 bxc6 17. Qa4 Rac8 18. Rc2 h5 19. Nf3 Bd7 20. Ng5 Bh6
21. Bc1 Bg7 22. Be3 c5 23. Qa6 Rb8 24. Bd2 Bc8 25. Qa3 a6 26. Rb2 Bb7 27. Bxb7
Rxb7 28. Rxb7 Qxb7 29. Qb3 Qxb3 30. axb3 Rb8 31. Rb1 Nd7 32. Ne4 Bf8 33. Nc3 f5
34. Nd5 Kf7 35. Kg2 Nf6 36. Nc7 Rb6 37. b4 Rc6 38. Na8 Nd7 39. bxc5 Nxc5 40.
Nb6 Rc7 41. Be3 Rb7 42. Bxc5 dxc5 43. Rb2 Ke6 44. Kf3 Bg7 45. e4 Bh6 46. Na4
Rxb2 47. Nxb2 Kd6 48. Na4 Bd2 49. Ke2 Ba5 50. f3 fxe4 51. dxe4 Kc6 52. f4 Kd6
53. Kf3 Be1 54. f5 g5 55. g4 h4 56. Ke2 Ba5 57. Kd3 Bd8 58. Nc3 Kc6 59. Nd5 Kd6
60. Kc3 Kc6 61. Kb3 Kd6 62. Ka4 Kd7 63. Nc3 Kd6 64. Ne2 Kc6 65. Ng1 Kb6 66. Nf3
Bf6 67. Nd2 Bd8 68. Nb1 Kc6 69. Nc3 Kd6 70. Nd5 Kd7 71. Kb3 Kd6 72. Ne3 Kd7 73.
Nd1 Kd6 74. Nf2 Kc6 75. Nd3 Bf6 76. Ka3 Bg7 77. Ka4 Kb6 78. Ne1 Bf6 79. Nf3 Ka7
80. Ng1 Kb6 81. Ne2 Kb7 82. Nc3 Kc6 83. Ka5 Kb7 84. Nd5 Bd8+ 85. Ka4 Kc6 86. f6
Kd6 87. f7 Be7 88. Ka5 Bf8 89. Kxa6 Ke6 90. Kb6 Kxf7 91. Kc6 Ke6 92. Nb6 Be7
93. Na4 Bf8 94. Nxc5+ Ke7 95. Kd5 Ke8 96. Nd3 Kd7 97. Nxe5+ Kc7 98. Nf3 Kb6 99.
Nxg5 Be7 100. Nf3 Kc7 101. g5 Kd7 102. c5 Kc7 103. g6 Bf6 104. e5 Bg7 105. e6
Kd8 106. c6 Bf6 107. Nd4 Kc7 108. Nf5 {1-0 (108) Kovalev,D (2504)-Tomczak,J
(2588) Katowice POL 2017}) 9... Re8 10. a4 d5 11. cxd5 Nxd5 12. Qb3 Nf8 13. Ne4
f5 14. b5 (14. Rfe1 fxe4 15. dxe4 Be6 16. exd5 Bxd5 17. Qc3 Qe7 18. e4 Bf7 19.
Rad1 $14) 14... fxe4 15. dxe4 Be6 1/2-1/2[/pgn]
The section winners were:
Under 2100

Nick Failon, 6-1, $1203

Under 1900

Ram Singh, $1203

Under 1700

Allen Stern, 6 ½ - ½, $1002

Under 1500

Robert Whiteside, Malina Pavlova, Will Luo, & Eric Li, 5 ½ 1 ½, $551.25

Under 1250

Aaron Torres, Aarush Tippa, & Nathaniel Schultz, 6-1, $468

Mixed Doubles

Malina Pavlova & Ethan Klein, 11-3, $501 each

Blitz Tournament

Mika Brattain, 6 ½ - 1 ½, $200

NTD Steve Immitt directed for Continental Chess Association assisted by Harold Stenzel, Jabari McGreen, Andy Rea & Harold Scott. Full tournament details can be found at www.libertybellopen.com. Previous Continental Chess tournaments can be found at the Continental Chess website at  http://www.chesstour.com/cross.html.

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