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2011 US Chess Championship - GM Elect Sam Shankland vs GM Alexander Shabalov - Round 5

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Uploaded on Apr 20, 2011

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US Championship 2011 - GM-elect Sam Shankland Vs GM Alexander Shabalov. GM-Elect Shankland has truly come out swinging this year at the US Championship with an impressive 3/4, with notable victories over veterans Gregory Kaidanov and Larry Christiansen. Shabalov had been struggling, with 1/4 in the first few rounds. However, the tables turned in this game as Shabalov mixed it up and apparently took Shankland into some tricky home preparation. Shabalov sacrificed an exchange early in the game, and retained his extra two pawns as ample compensation throughout. Shankland resigned on move 39 out of frustration, not wanting to stick around for a few extra hours in a hopeless endgame.

This year's US Championship has had a few major upsets thus far, however it's not surprising that Gata Kamsky and Yury Shulman are leading the field in group 1 after the completion of round 5. 20 year-old Robert Hess is topping group 2 with a very impressive 4/5 points. It's definitely a shame that US #1 Hikaru Nakamura has elected not to participate in this year's event, as it would be fantastic to see another great match-up between these two rising stars.

Predictions:
It seems that Kamsky and Shulman have a good hold on group 1, and will certainly remain the favorites to make the semi-finals. As for group 2, Hess has a solid lead over the competition however there is still a lot of chess to play (4 more rounds until the semi-finals). It seems reasonable to pick Onischuk as the fourth player in the semi-finals.


Final standings

Group A

1 GM Kamsky, Gata 2733 x ½ ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 1 5.0
2 GM Shulman, Yuri 2622 ½ x ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ 4.5
3 GM Robson, Ray 2522 ½ ½ x 1 ½ ½ 1 0 4.0
4 GM Ivanov, Alexander 2540 ½ 0 0 x 1 ½ ½ 1 3.5
5 GM Akobian, Varuzhan 2611 0 ½ ½ 0 x ½ 1 ½ 3.0
6 GM Ehlvest, Jaan 2586 0 0 ½ ½ ½ x 1 ½ 3.0
7 GM Stripunsky, Alexander 2578 ½ ½ 0 ½ 0 0 x 1 2.5
8 IM Naroditsky, Daniel 2438 0 ½ 1 0 ½ ½ 0 x 2.5

Group B

1 GM Hess, Robert L 2565 x 1 ½ ½ 1 1 1 ½ 5.5
2 GM Onischuk, Alexander 2678 0 x ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 4.0
3 IM Shankland, Samuel L 2512 ½ ½ x ½ 0 1 1 ½ 4.0
4 GM Seirawan, Yasser 2636 ½ ½ ½ x ½ ½ 0 1 3.5
5 GM Shabalov, Alexander 2590 0 ½ 1 ½ x 0 0 1 3.0
6 GM Kaidanov, Gregory S 2569 0 ½ 0 ½ 1 x 1 0 3.0
7 GM Christiansen, Larry M 2586 0 0 0 1 1 0 x ½ 2.5
8 GM Finegold, Benjamin 2500 ½ 0 ½ 0 0 1 ½ x 2.5

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