Alex Shabalov wins US Championship – with Q-Link?

5/24/2007 – America's sixth highest rated player, GM Alexander Shabalov, won clear first in this year's US Championship, scoring 7/9 points and picking up a $12,000 purse. In a time when people are worried about electronic assistance during chess games Shabalov pinned his hopes on a more mystical device, a Q-Link pendant. Read all about it before you get yourself one in our illustrated report.

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The Frank K Berry 2007 US Championships took place from May 15 – 23, 2007, in Stillwater, Oklahoma. It was a nine-round Swiss with a US $75,000 prize fund (1st $12,000, 2nd $8000, 3rd $5000, etc. up to 30th to 36th $700). The official web site provided round by round reports and round by round results.


The winner of the 2007 US championship: Alexander Shabalov

The event was won by GM Alexander Shabalov, who won his final game against Sergey Kudrin to take clear first with 7/9 points. Second place went to Alexander Onischuk, who scored 6.5/9, followed by three GMs with 6/9 each: Greg Kaidanov, Yury Shulman and Julio Becerra. Below are the final standings. You have to go sixteen places down the list to hit on the first American sounding name.

Final standings

No.

Name

Elo

St.

Pts

1

GM Alex Shabalov

2671

PA

7

2

GM Alex Onischuk

2712

MD

6.5

3

GM Greg Kaidanov

2686

KY

6

4

GM Yury Shulman

2667

IL

6

5

GM Julio Becerra

2608

FL

6

6

GM Sergey Kudrin

2612

CT

5.5

7

GM Boris Gulko

2660

NJ

5.5

8

GM Varuzhan Akobian

2651

CA

5.5

9

GM Alex Stripunsky

2664

NY

5.5

10

GM Jaan Ehlvest

2683

NY

5

11

GM Hikaru Nakamura

2738

NY

5

12

GM Ildar Ibragimov

2680

CT

5

13

GM Alex Ivanov

2623

MA

5

14

GM Melik Khachiyan

2550

CA

5

15

GM Eugene Perelshteyn

2611

MA

5

16

FM Joe Bradford

2457

TX

5

17

GM Alex Yermolinsky

2588

CA

4.5

18

IM Enrico Sevillano

2566

CA

4.5

 

No.

Name

Elo

St.

Pts

19

GM Dmitry Gurevich

2583

IL

4.5

20

FM Robert Hess

2472

NY

4.5

21

FM Michael Langer

2334

TX

4.5

22

IM David Pruess

2473

CA

4.5

23

IM Ron Burnett

2396

TN

4.5

24

IM Irina Krush

2488

NY

4

25

GM Walter Browne

2520

CA

4

26

IM Michael Mulyar

2420

CO

4

27

IM Joshua Friedel

2542

NH

4

28

IM Bryan Smith

2441

PA

4

29

IM Justin Sarkar

2470

NY

4

30

IM Jay Bonin

2383

NY

3.5

31

FM Ray Robson

2378

FL

3.5

32

WFM Iryna Zenyuk

2229

NY

2.5

33

Michael Aigner

2300

CA

2.5

34

FM Movses Movsisyan

2274

OK

2.5

35

Tom Braunlich

2136

OK

2

36

WFM Chouch Airapetian

2188

WA

1.5

Success with Q-Link

In a time when people are worried about external electronic assistance during chess games Alex Shabalov pinned his hopes on a more mystical device. The former Latvian GM used a Q-Link pendant that tunes your being for optimal living: more energy, less stress, greater focus, and enhanced well being." The USCF web site tells us that Shabalov implied that Q-Link was a crucial ingredient to his success. "I never wore it before. I wore it here every game – and I won the tournament," he said. The USCF site cautions that Shabalov is known for making jokes, so it is unclear how serious he is about Q-Link.


GM Walter Browne re-cafeinated (he really is a bundle of nervous energy)


GM Varuzhan Akobian, rated 2651


Shot of the lower boards, with Michael Aigner, left, and Tom Braunlich, local wildcard


GM Julio Becerra is left is engaging GM Gregory Kaidanov


GM Boris Gulko, right, playing GM Alex Yermolinsky


IM Irina Krush versus IM Joshua Friedel


GM Hikaru Nakamura, who finished with 5/9 on place eleven

Pictures by Kevin Godsave

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