Shabalov Wins US Championship

| 5 | Chess Event Coverage

Alexander Shabalov (rated 2671) won the 2007 US Chess Championship on May 23, 2007.  He previously won the US championship in 1993 (tied with Yermolinksy), 2000 (tied with Joel Benjamin and Yasser Seirawan), and 2003.  The event was held in Stillwater, Oklahoma from May 15 to May 23.  There were 36 players in the event.  The other players included Nakamura, Onishuk, Kaidanov, Ehlvest, Ibragimov, Shulman, Gulko, Akobian, Stripunsky, A Ivanov, Kudrin, Perelshtein, Becerra, D Gurevich, Yermolinsky, Sevillan, Khachiyan, Friedel, Browne, Krush, Bradford, Pruess, Hess, Sarkar, Bryan Smith, Mulyar, R Burnett, Bonin, Robson, Laner, Movsisyan, Aigner, Airapetian, Zenyuk, and Braunlich.  GM Joel Benjamin withdrew after playing in 23 consecutive US Championships!

Shabalov is America's 6th highest rated player.  He won $12,000 after scoring 7 out of 9 (prior tournaments has a first place pize of $25,000).  The total prize fund was $75,000. Second place went to Alexander Onischuk (2712), who won the championship last year.  3rd-5th place went to Greg Kaidanov, Yuri Shulman, and Julio Becerra.

 Frank K. Berry donated over $50,000 of his own money to have the championship in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

Shabalov has now won the championship 4 times over a period of 14 years.  Fischer won in 8 times over a span of 9 years.  Reshevsky won it 6 times in 33 years.  Walter Browne won in 6 times in 9 years.  Larry Evans won it 4 times in 29 years.  Christiansen, Sierawan, DeFirmian, and Benjamin have each won it 3 times.

Shabalov said that his preparation for the championship had mostly been working with a computer to go over openings and also reading “The Week in Chess” publications from England to get an idea of what the top players were playing. Beyond that, he said, “What you can do with the middle game and the end game is up to you.”

The link is at

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