Ivanov and Ehlvest Win Liberty
By Jennifer Shahade
January 16, 2007
GMs Jaan Ehlvest and Alexander Ivanov. Photos Jennifer Shahade
by Jennifer Shahade
Jaan Ehvlest and Alexander Ivanov shared top honors at the The Liberty Bell Open (Jan. 12-15, Philadelphia.) The Liberty Bell is Philly's lightweight tournament--the World Open and National Chess Congress draw many more players with their large prize funds. Another factor is that Martin Luther King Day is not a paid holiday in all jobs and schools. Despite all this, Philly is a popular destination and this year's tournament attracted four grandmasters and 45 players for the Open Section.
GM Ehvlest began with a 4-0 charge in the rapid section while Alexander Ivanov fought hard to earn a fourth round draw against Shabalov, who was up a pawn for most of the game. Kudrin defeated Shabalov in Round 6,knocking him out of contention for first place. Otherwise, the last day was not exciting. Ivanov and Ehlvest failed to draw blood in their Round 6 face-off while Round 7 saw quick draws on boards 1 (Smith-Ehlvest) and 2(Kudrin-Ivanov).
Here is Ivanov's instructional round five win over IM elect Bryan Smith:
The opening is a specialty of Ivanov's but 12.Bc4 was a new idea. (He's played Bg2 in the past.) Bryan thought his mistake was 15....Bb7. Instead he should have played 15...Nf6 16.Qd3 Bh3!, with compensation for the pawn. Ivanov was very pleased with his 21.Ba7!, an in between move that Bryan overlooked. By getting the b8 rook off the b-file, Ivanov can occupy the d5 square with 22.Bd5! and begin a decisive domination of the white squares. If 21. Bd5 immediately, black can just take on d5 and then on b2. Ten moves later, Ba7 was once again a powerful blow, causing resignation soon after.
21. Ba7!-A pretty positional finesse by Ivanov
Liberty Bell Photos
Jaan Ehvlest took a quick draw in the last round against Bryan Smith, Jaan's friend and translator of his book, Story of a Chessplayer.
When will redheaded women dominate chess? Soon, according to two top seeds in the U2200 section, Elizabeth Vicary (left) and Hana Itkis.
NYU Freshman Mackenzie Molnor tied for third place.
1-2-GMs Jaan Ehvlest and Alexander Ivanov
3-6- GM Alexander Shabalov, GM Sergey Kudrin, IM elect Bryan Smith and Mackenzie Molner.
Liberty Bell Crosstables
Later this week,look for Jerry Hanken's report on the West Coast's concurrent tournament with much larger prizes, the Western Class Championships (Jan.12-15).