"It seems awfully quiet this year without Wojo,"
reflected tournament director Steve Immitt at the end of the Atlantic Open,
held August 26-28 in Washington D.C. Aleksander Wojtkiewicz (1963-2006) had played in
8 of the last 9 Atlantic Opens and his absence opened
the field wide. The top seeds going into the tournament were GMs Alexander Shabalov, Eugene Perelshteyn, and IM Emory Tate. Eugene and Emory
played the 2-day, where they each gave up a draw-- Eugene accidentally in round one to Zhi-Ya Hu (2174) and Tate intentionally in round three to Alex Barnett
(2300). Tate offered a draw after only a couple moves,
either tired from the previous two games or in an
effort to avoid the expected round four matchup Shabalov-Tate.
By Sunday there were only two perfect scores: Shabalov and WGM Katerina Rohonyan (2292). This game was
very interesting-- Rohonyan accidentally hung a piece
but it turned out to be quite good for her, and she
defended heroically in time pressure to draw.
Perelshteyn both won in round four, so going into the
last round they were paired with the two other players with 3.5/4; Tate to Shabalov and Perelshteyn to Rohonyan.
Tate-Shabalov was the last round game to watch.
After his opening draw offer was declined, Tate
quickly amassed a large advantage both on the clock
and the board. When Tate played the brilliant
cross-board shuffle 29. Rg4!, I thought Alex was headed
for a spectacular loss. But Shabalov defended
tenaciously, going into an ending where despite being
down two pawns (two outside connected passed pawns, I
should mention), he bravely tried to win. The game
ended in an exciting draw in the last seconds of the
final time control.
Alexander Shabalov (left) and Emory Tate's(right) fifth round game was a draw, but who has the superior wink?
Meanwhile, Perelshteyn got only a small advantage out of a
fashionable line of the Rossilimo, but ground Rohonyan down in rook and minor piece, then a knight
vs bishop ending.
With this victory, Perelshteyn secured clear first in the Atlantic Open, his first major win as a Grandmaster. (He earned his last norm at the Foxwoods Open in April and was awarded the title in the FIDE congress held at the Turin Olympiad.)
1. Eugene Perelshteyn (4.5/5)
2-4. Alexander Shabalov, Emory Tate and Thomas Bartell (4/5)
Click here for complete Atlantic Open crosstables. [/HREF]
A new Senior Master
Here is Thomas Bartell's brilliant win over IM Larry Kaufman. Thomas broke 2400 for the first time in the Atlantic Open!
Thomas Bartell climbs over 2400 for the first time with his victory over IM Larry Kaufman.
11-year-old Michael Yee scored 3.5/5 in the U2200 section. Here he shows off a nice endgame finish.
13-year-old Dianna Hu won clear first in the U1400 section with 4.5/5.