Shabalov and Sadorra Win King’s Island Open

Alex Shabalov GM Chicago Open 2016 By Betsy Dynako Zacate-1110

Alex Shabalov, Photo Betsy Dynako Zacate

The King’s Island Open was held from November 11-13 in Blue Ash, Ohio a suburb of Cincinnati.  The $30,000 projected prize fund drew 305 players in seven sections including 8 GMs in the 59 player open section.  When the event ended GMs Alexander Shabalov and Julio Sadorra each had 4 ½ out of 5.  Both GMs had performance ratings over 2800. Each of the GMs had to play three other GMs, which is somewhat unusual in a 5 round event!

After two rounds, there were nine perfect scores and seven were GMs so GMs would be facing each other on Saturday night!  The top four boards were all decisive.  GM Alexandr Shimanov defeated GM Alexander Fishbein.  GM Julio Sadorra defeated GM Nikola Mitkov.  GM Alexander Shabalov defeated GM Bryan Smith and GM Priyadharshan Kannappan defeated FM Ben Li.

That meant there were four perfect scores on Sunday morning.  Round four was the critical round of the tournament.  Both GM pairings on Sunday morning were decisive and black won in both cases.  GM Shabalov defeated GM Shimanov on board one while GM Sadorra defeated GM Kannappan on board two.

Round five was not as exciting as the two leaders played a quick draw to assure themselves a tie for first.  Shabalov had the better tiebreaks and won the bonus and pocketed $1930.  Sadorra won $1848, but also tied for third mixed doubles.

The two leaders could have been caught.  FM Todd Andrews was the only player to enter the last round with 3 ½.  He could have tied for first be defeating GM Shimanov, but that proved to be too tall of an order.

Shimanov and Fishbein finished at 4-1 and won $493 for tying for third.

Twelve players tied for 5th at 3 ½.  The players under 2300 took the class prize and won $492.75.  The others won $30.75.

In the class sections the most impressive story was in the lowest two sections.  Brothers Malachi Fowler in the Under 1250 section and Matthew Fowler in the Under 1000 section each scored 5-0 and finished a point ahead of the field.

The mixed double prize had an extremely high score as Marrissa Li & Agarkhorol Gangaa scored a combined 8 ½ – 1 ½ to share the first place $821 mixed double prize.

The section winners were:

Under 2100

Jonathan Clinton, Abhinav Ramaswamy & Marrissa Li, 4  ½ – ½ $958.34

Under 1900

Adith George, 5-0, $1643

Under 1700

Matthew Campbell, 5-0, $1479

Under 1500

Rohan Padhe & Steven Fu, 4 ½ – ½, $944.50

Under 1250

Malachi Fowler, 5-0, $986

Under 1000

Matthew Fowler, 5-0, $657

Mixed Doubles

Marissa Li & Agarkhorol Gangaa, 8 ½ – 1 ½ , $821 each

Blitz Tournament

Walker Griggs 7 ½ – ½ $165

NTD Steve Immitt directed for CCA assisted by David Hater, Myron Thomas, and Harold Scott.

Full tournament details can be found at

Previous Continental Chess tournaments can be found at the Continental Chess website at

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