2009 Canadian Open: four players with 6.0/7 points

7/18/2009 – Two top seeds and internationally well-known players, Alexei Shirov and Michael Adams, are accompanied by two players below 2600 on the rating scale: GM Mark Bluvshtein and IM Edward Porper at the top of the table after seven rounds of this event. We bring you extensive annotations of the last three rounds by GM Alexander Shabalov, together with pictorial and video impressions by MonRoi.

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2009 Canadian Open Chess Championship, Edmonton

The Canadian Open is underway in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. This open Swiss tournament with a Classical time control has attracted a few very strong GMs such as Alexei Shirov, Ni Hua and Michael Adams. Top Canadian players like GM Mark Bluvshtein are playing, as well as many other professional and amateur players. 203 players are competing, all in one section. The playing venue is a ballroom within a large shopping mall in downtown Edmonton, with restaurants, a movie theatre and shopping all just minutes away. And with just one game every day, unlike most Opens in North America, there is plenty of time for entertainment and tourism.

Standings after seven rounds

Four players are in the lead with 6.0/7 points. Two are top internationals and seeded one and three in this event; the other two are players below 2600 on the Elo scale – one is just an IM. They are clearly destined for higher rankings.

# Name Rtng Pts.

1

GM Mark Bluvshtein

2598

 6.0

2

GM Alexei Shirov

2748

 6.0

3

IM Edward Porper

2510

 6.0

4

GM Michael Adams

2699

 6.0

5

GM Surya Ganguly

2637

 5.5

6

GM Hua Ni

2701

 5.5

7

GM Eugene Perelshteyn

2588

 5.5

8

GM Anton Kovalyov

2586

 5.5

9

IM Dmitry Zilberstein

2437

 5.5

10

IM Zhe Quan

2465

 5.5

11

FM Theo Hommeles

2412

 5.5

12

IM Artiom Samsonkin

2612

 5.5

13

FM Jonathan Tayar

2392

 5.5

14

IM Irina Krush

2481

 5.5

15

GM Victor Mikhalevski

2631

 5.0

16

FM Raja Panjwani

2418

 5.0

17

GM Xue Zhao

2544

 5.0

18

FM Michael Langer

2313

 5.0

19

IM Leonid Gerzhoy

2530

 5.0

20

IM Joseph Bradford

2459

 5.0

21

Nicholas Moloney

2230

 5.0

22

Zhichao Li

2264

 5.0

23

WIM Alisa Melekhina

2315

 5.0

24

FM John C Yoos

2442

 5.0

25

Victor Plotkin

2310

 5.0

26

FM Ian Mackay

2328

 5.0

27

FM Eric Hansen

2472

 5.0

 

28

FM Vladimir Pechenkin

2366

 4.5

29

Nicolas Haynes

2290

 4.5

30

FM Michael Barron

2357

 4.5

31

Keith MacKinnon

2241

 4.5

32

Robert J Gardner

2272

 4.5

33

Kevin Me

2124

 4.5

34

Aman Hambleton

2206

 4.5

35

FM Kevin Gentes

2270

 4.5

36

Liam Henry

2280

 4.5

37

FM Dale Haessel

2276

 4.5

38

Paolo Araullo

2047

 4.5

39

Alexander Martchenko

2314

 4.5

40

Avinaash Sundar

2210

 4.5

41

Roy Yearwood

2079

 4.5

42

Benedict Daswani

2115

 4.5

43

Noam Davies

2214

 4.5

44

Edward Tang

2053

 4.5

45

Alex Yam

2060

 4.5

46

Tanraj S Sohal

2072

 4.5

47

Aaron Sequillion

2108

 4.5

48

Nandor Tot

1975

 4.5

49

Aron Kaptsan

2159

 4.5

50

IM Leon Piasetski

2406

 4.5

51

Lucas Davies

2244

 4.5

52

Jeff Reeve

2314

 4.5

53

Sean Rachar

1897

 4.5

54

Vitaly Motuz

1905

 4.5

55

Dezheng Kong

1890

 4.5

56

Omaray Shah

1921

 4.5

57

Peter Kalisvaart

2255

 4.5


Commentary by GM Alexander Shabalov (highlights)

Alexander Shabalov (born September 12, 1967) is an American chess grandmaster of Latvian origin, and like his fellow Latvians Alexei Shirov and Mikhail Tal he is known for courting complications even at the cost of objective soundness. He is a four-times winner of the US Championship and currently rated 2580 on the FIDE ratings list.

Until recently Shabalov regularly lectured chess players of all ages at the House of Chess, a store that he ran at the Ross Park Mall in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, until it closed in mid-2007. He has been known to play against anyone who shows up, and to be similarly obliging to autograph-seekers.

In the following we bring you a selection of Shabalov's excellent daily commentary of the Canadian Open. By clicking the link at the end of each game you can view the full commentary (including additional games we have given here). Remember that on our JavaScript replay board you can click on the notation to follow the moves on the graphic chessboard.


Ni,Hua (2701) - Gerzhoy,Leonid (2530) [B19]
2009 Canadian Open Chess Championship Edmonton (4), 14.07.2009 [Alexander Shabalov]

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Bf5 5.Ng3 Bg6 6.h4 h6 7.Nf3 Nd7 8.h5 Bh7 9.Bd3 Bxd3 10.Qxd3 e6 11.Bd2 Ngf6 12.0-0-0 Qc7 13.Ne4 0-0-0 14.g3 Nxe4 15.Qxe4 Bd6 16.Kb1 Rhe8 17.Qe2 e5! 18.Rhe1 e4 19.Nh4 Nf6 20.Nf5 Bf8 21.Bf4 Qd7 22.Ne3?! Nd5 23.Nxd5 Qxd5 24.c4 Qf5 25.Be3 Qf3 26.g4 Qxe2 27.Rxe2 Rd7 28.Kc2 f5 29.gxf5 Rf7 30.d5 Rxf5 31.dxc6 bxc6 32.Red2 Bc5 33.Rd7 Re7 34.Rd8+ Kc7 35.Ra8 Bxe3 36.fxe3 Kb7 37.Rdd8 Rxh5 38.b4 Rh2+ 39.Kb3 Re2?! 40.Rdb8+ Ka6 41.a3








41...c5?? Clear case of suicide. Now black simply gets mated or loses the rook or lets the pawns run. White is still better, but not by much. After 41...Rg2 42.Ka4 Rb7 43.Re8 (43.Rc8 Rg6). 42.Ka4 cxb4 43.c5 Rb7 44.c6!+–. Pretty, but 44.Re8 Rc7 45.Rab8 Rc6 46.axb4 was just as effective. 44...Rf7 45.axb4 Ra2+ 46.Kb3 Ra1 47.b5+ Ka5 48.Rb7 Rb1+ 49.Kc3 Rc1+ 50.Kb3 Rb1+ 51.Kc3 Rc1+ 52.Kd4 Rf5 53.Rbxa7+ Kb4 54.Ra4+ Kb3 55.Ra3+ Kb2 56.Ra2+ Kb3 57.R8a3+ Kb4 58.Ra4+ Kb3 59.R2a3+ Kb2 60.Rc4 Rd1+ 61.Kxe4 Rg5 62.Raa4 Rd8 63.c7 Re8+ 64.Kd4 Kb3 65.b6 Rb5 66.Rcb4+ Rxb4+ 67.Rxb4+ Kxb4 68.b7 1-0. [Click to replay the full analysis]


Davies,Noam (2214) - Adams,Michael (2699) [C95]
2009 Canadian Open Chess Championship Edmonton (4), 14.07.2009 [Alexander Shabalov]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 0-0 9.h3 Nb8 10.d4 Nbd7 11.Nbd2 Bb7 12.Bc2 Re8 13.Nf1 Bf8 14.Ng3 g6 15.Bg5 h6 16.Bd2 Bg7 17.dxe5?! dxe5 18.Be3 Qe7 19.Nd2 h5 20.Ne2 Red8 21.Nc1 Nc5 22.f3 Ne6 23.Qe2 c5 24.Ncb3 Rac8 25.Na5 Ba8 26.a4 c4 27.Qf2 Nd7 28.axb5 axb5 29.Reb1 Ndc5 30.b3








30...Nd4! Nice shot, which has more psychological than objective value. 30...cxb3 31.Naxb3 Na4 32.c4 Nc3 33.Rb2 bxc4-/+. 31.b4? White gets overwhelmed by the amount of threats. 31.Rc1-/+ was still holding material even. 31...Nxc2 32.Bxc5 Rxc5 33.Qxc5 Qxc5+ 34.bxc5 Nxa1 35.Rxa1 Rxd2 36.c6 Rd8 37.Nb7 Re8 38.Ra7 Bf8 39.c7 Rc8 0-1. [Click to replay the full analysis]


Hansen,Eric (2472) - Mikhalevski,Victor (2631) [C90]
2009 Canadian Open Chess Championship Edmonton (4), 14.07.2009 [Alexander Shabalov]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.d3 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 0-0 9.Re1 Bb7 10.Nbd2 Na5 11.Bc2 c5 12.Nf1 Re8 13.Ng3 g6 14.Bg5 Nd7 15.Bh6 Bf6 16.Qd2 Nf8 17.b4 cxb4 18.cxb4 Nc6 19.Bb3 Ne6 20.Bd5 Nc7 21.Bxc6 Bxc6 22.d4 Rc8 23.Rac1 Na8 24.d5 Bd7 25.Bg5?! Bxg5 26.Qxg5 Qxg5 27.Nxg5 Nb6 28.Nf3 Nc4 29.Rc3 f5 30.Rec1 Rf8 31.a4 fxe4 32.Nxe4 Bf5 33.Ng3 Bg4 34.Ng5 Nb6 35.Rxc8?! Rxc8 36.Rxc8+ Bxc8 37.axb5 axb5 38.N3e4 Nxd5 39.Nxd6 Bd7 40.Nf3 Kf8!-/+ 41.Nxe5 Ke7 42.Ne4 Bf5 43.f3 Bxe4 44.fxe4 Nxb4 45.Kf2 Kd6 46.Nf3 Nc6 47.Ke3 Kc5 48.Kd3 h6








49.Nh4? The endgame must be winning for black, but not in seven moves. [49.h3] 49...Ne5+ 50.Kc3 b4+ 51.Kb3 Kd4 52.Kxb4 Kxe4 53.g3 g5 54.Ng2 Nd3+ 55.Kc3 Kf3 56.Kxd3 Kxg2 0-1. [Click to replay the full analysis]


Mulyar,Michael (2440) - Bluvshtein,Mark (2598) [B66]
2009 Canadian Open Chess Championship Edmonton (4), 14.07.2009 [Alexander Shabalov]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Bg5 e6 7.Qd2 Be7 8.0-0-0 a6 9.f4 Nxd4 10.Qxd4 b5 11.Bxf6 gxf6 12.f5 Qa5 13.fxe6 fxe6 14.e5!? fxe5 15.Qg4 Bd7 16.Qg7 Rf8 17.Be2 Qb4 18.Bh5+ Kd8 19.Rhf1 Rxf1 20.Rxf1 Bc6 21.Bg4 Qc4? 22.Rf7 Ra7 23.Qg8+ Be8








24.Rf3? It takes White two blunders in a row to throw the game away when he was one step away from the victory. [24.Bh5 Qh4 25.Rf5!! exf5 26.Qxe8+ Kc7 27.Nd5+ Kb7 28.Qxe7+ Qxe7 29.Nxe7+-] 24...e4 25.Bh5? 25.Bxe6 Qc5 26.Rf1 Rc7 worst is over for Black, but no more than that. 25...Kc7! This particular move order must have been missed by White. His queen gets overloaded and he suffers heavy material losses. 26.Qxh7 Kb6! 0-1. [Click to replay the full analysis]


Shirov,Alexei (2748) - Panjwani,Raja (2418) [C67]
2009 Canadian Open Chess Championship Edmonton (5), 15.07.2009 [Alexander Shabalov]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.0-0 Nxe4 5.d4 Nd6 6.Bxc6 dxc6 7.dxe5 Nf5 8.Qxd8+ Kxd8 9.Nc3 h6 10.h3 Bd7 11.b3 b6 12.Bb2 Kc8 13.Rad1 Ne7 14.Rd2 c5 15.Rfd1 Be6 16.Ne2 Ng6 17.Rd8+ Kb7 18.Rxa8 Kxa8 19.Ng3 Be7 20.Nh5 Rg8 21.c4 Nh4 22.Nxh4 Bxh4 23.Nf4 Rd8 24.Rxd8+ Bxd8 25.Nxe6 fxe6 26.g4 Bg5 27.Kg2 Bd2 28.h4 g6 29.h5 g5 30.Kf3 Kb7 31.Ke2 Bf4 32.Bc3 Kc6 33.b4 cxb4 34.Bxb4 Kd7 35.Kd3 c5 36.Bd2 Bxe5 37.Ke4 Bg7! 38.f4 gxf4 39.Bxf4 a6?! 40.a4 Kc6 41.Be5 Bf8 42.Bf6








42...b5? 43.Ke5! White wins 43...Kd7 44.cxb5 axb5 45.axb5 Bd6+ 46.Ke4 Bf8 47.g5 hxg5 48.Bxg5 Kc7 49.Kd3 e5 50.h6 Kb6 51.Kc4 e4 52.Be3 Kb7 53.h7 1-0. [Click to replay the full analysis]


Gardner,Robert (2272) - Porper,Edward (2510) [B21]
2009 Canadian Open Chess Championship Edmonton (5), 15.07.2009 [Alexander Shabalov]

1.f4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.e4 g6 4.Be2 Bg7 5.0-0 e6 6.c3 d5 7.d3 Nge7 8.Kh1 b6 9.Be3 Bb7 10.a4 Qc7 11.Na3 Rd8 12.e5 a6 13.d4 c4 14.Nb1 Nf5 15.Bf2 h5 16.Nh4 Nce7 17.Nd2 Bh6 18.Nxf5 Nxf5 19.g3 Kd7 20.Kg2 g5!? 21.Bxh5 gxf4 22.g4 Rdg8 23.Kh1 Ne7 24.Bxf7 Rf8 25.Bh5 Kc8 26.Nf3 Bc6 27.Bh4 Bg7 28.Ng5 Qd7 29.Nh3 Ng6 30.Bg5 Bxe5?! 31.Ng1 Bd6 32.Bxg6 Qg7 33.Qc2 Rhg8 34.Nh3? Qxg6 35.Qxg6 Rxg6 36.Rf2 e5 37.a5 Rh8 38.Kg2 Rxh3 39.Kxh3 Rxg5 40.dxe5 Rxe5 41.axb6 Kb7 42.Raf1 Re4 43.g5 Bd7+








44.Kh4. Stepping right into the checkmate, but 44.Kg2 Kxb6 45.h4 Bg4 is completely lost as well. 44...f3+ 45.Kh5 Be8+ 46.g6 Be7 47.Kh6 Bf6 and 48.Kh7 Rh4+ 49.Kg8 Rh8 mate. 0-1. [Click to replay the full analysis]


Ganguly,Surya (2637) - Hommeles,Theo (2412) [B67]
2009 Canadian Open Chess Championship Edmonton Canada (6), 16.07.2009 [Alexander Shabalov]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Bg5 e6 7.Qd2 a6 8.0-0-0 Bd7 9.f3 Rc8 10.Kb1 Be7 11.Nxc6 Bxc6 12.h4 Qc7 13.Bf4 Rd8 14.g4 h6 15.Qf2 b5 16.Bg2 Nd7 17.g5 hxg5 18.hxg5 Rxh1 19.Bxh1 Rc8 20.Qd2 Ne5 21.Ne2 Bb7 22.b3 g6 23.Bg2 Bf8 24.Be3 d5! 25.Bd4 Rd8 26.Qc3 Qxc3 27.Nxc3 Nc6 28.Bb6 Rc8 29.exd5 Nb4 30.d6








30...Bxd6? A blunder. After 30...Kd7 31.Ba5 Rxc3 32.Bxb4 Re3 33.c4 White retains the initiative,but position is still very unclear. 31.Rxd6 Rxc3 32.Ba5 Rxc2 33.Rd8+ 1-0. [Click to replay the full analysis]


Zhao,Xue (2544) - MacKinnon,Keith (2241) [A58]
2009 Canadian Open Chess Championship Edmonton Canada (6), 16.07.2009 [Alexander Shabalov]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 b5 4.cxb5 a6 5.bxa6 g6 6.Nc3 Bxa6 7.Nf3 d6 8.g3 Bg7 9.Bg2 Nbd7 10.Rb1 Qa5 11.Bd2 0-0 12.0-0 Nb6 13.b3 Qa3 14.Ne1 Bb7 15.Nc2 Qa6 16.e4 Ne8 17.Re1 Nc7 18.a4 e6








19.Ne3. Marin gives +/- here in his comments to a Van Wely-Carlsen game and also suggests more energetic way: 19.a5 Nd7 (19...Qxa5? 20.Ra1+-) 20.b4!? cxb4 21.Nxb4 Qxa5 22.Nc6 Bxc6 (22...Qa6 23.Bf1+-) 23.dxc6 Bxc3 24.Bxc3 Qxc3 25.Rc1 Qe5 26.cxd7 with attack. 19...exd5 20.Ncxd5 Ncxd5 21.exd5 Qd3 22.Rc1 Rfe8. 22...Nxd5 won't help because of 23.Nc4+–. 23.Bc3! After these exchanges White's position is simply winning. 23...Qxd1 24.Rexd1 Bxc3 25.Rxc3 Ra5 26.Bf1 Ba6 27.Bxa6 Rxa6 28.f3 Rb8 29.Ra1 Kf8 30.Kf2 Ke7 31.g4 h6 32.h4 Kd7 33.f4 c4 34.a5 cxb3 35.Rxb3 Rba8 36.Re1! Nc8 37.Rb7+ 1-0. [Click to replay the full analysis]


Pictures and videos


Top seed and one of the four leaders in the Canadian Open: Alexei Shirov


Sharing the 6.0/7 lead with Shirov: British GM Michael Adams


Adams giving a simultaneous exhibition in Canada


An important game from round five (draw in 38 moves)


Game analysis with audience paticipation: Lecture with Leon Piasetski

Photos Tracy Kolenchuk and Zeljka Malobabic of MonRoi

Video impressions of the Canadian Open by Zeljka Malobabic

Here is the remaining schedule:

Round 8 Saturday July 18th 4:00   PM
Round 9 Sunday July 19th 12:00 PM
Awards Presentation  Sunday  July 19th 6:00   PM


Links

The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and a selection on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download the free PGN reader ChessBase Light, which gives you immediate access. You can also use the program to read, replay and analyse the PGN games.



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