Announcement - Ask questions from Alexander Shabalov

GM Malev212
Aug 17, 2015, 1:00 PM |

GM Alexander Shabalov the recent winner of the US Open is answering your questions next Sunday.

The interview takes place here on on  live chess window  using the analyses board. We can accommodate only first 22 registered aficionados who may register by email to You need to send your skype name so we can include you to the conference call.  You may ask your question during the live interview or if you are too shy, you can send the question by email. The scheduled interview takes place on 23rd of August at 2.30pm EST time. If there are too many people who like to attend then we are going to make the second event a week after. The fee for the interview is only 10 USD. It is not only an interview, Shabalov is going to comment live one of his games from US Open as well. Approximate length of the event is one hour. Our moderators are WFM Tuuli Vahtra and GM Jaan Ehlvest.

Please send email ASAP to Tuuli and she is going to register you and if you are late and can not take part of the interview this weekend she is going to put you onto next one. If we have a nice feedback we are going to invite a new GM every week to have an interview and live chat with our chess aficionados. Please send us email also if you have some thoughts how to improve the format etc.

Who makes the best question to Shabalov is getting a free chess book:  The Story of a Chess Player

I know Shabalov for years and he is one of the most devoted chess player I ever knew. In recent years he became one of the most wanted coaches as well. First I was skeptical, assuming that coaching is going to hurt his own chess. It seems I was wrong. Despite his veteran status he did not change his style of play. He is not grinding his opponents, but likes the open game. Sometimes this backfires and when losing to lower rated opponents you are losing a lot of rating points. This might be misleading when you are looking his current FIDE rating one may conclude that this is the regular GM. His colleagues have different opinion and they know that he is always the favorite.

In top level it is a secret who is helping who. Usually it is mutual agreement between the student and the coach. It is not correct to say a coach. We like to refer a GM who is helping other GM during the tournament as his second. Sometimes it is difficult to figure out your own position, who I was when in 1995 I was invited by Karpov to his training camp. I was not really his coach and I did not attend the tournament where he played afterwards. Anyway I use his name as my former student in my resume if needed.  Other top players I was helping I can not tell here because of the mutual agreement I mentioned earlier. The point being is that if you know who is working with whom you may use this information in your preparation.  

After this long introduction I want to say that Shabalov is not only good friend of mine, but we work together on chess as well. I was helping him over skype in several recent important tournaments and I am very happy that he finally qualified to the US Chess Championship for the next year.  My help in the US Open was limited to the game against  Illya Nyzhnyk in the last round. Here I want to mention that Alexander  has one very good quality. He takes orders very well.

Before the last round he had eight points out of eight and white pieces in the last round. There was however a chance that if he loses and in the other game between Holt and Molner one of them is victorious Shabalov needs to play rapid match to determine the qualifier to the US Championship. We made strict decision, forgot the 9 out of 9 and make a draw.  How you make a draw if you need one? Illya Nyzhnyk was trailing Shabalov by one point, so he was going to play to the very end. I prepared the line against King’s Indian and when following the game on Monroi I was not worried first.