Sevillano and Mulyar Lead
August 9, 2008
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Grandmasters Alexander Yermolinsky and Alex Shabalov are half a point behind the leaders. Photo Elizabeth Vicary

IMs Enrico Sevillano and Michael Mulyar share the lead in the U.S. Open with 6.5/7 and two rounds to go. They both won quick attacking games, against Gabriel Battaglini and Douglas Root, respectively.





But the leaders should watch their backs. Just behind with 6/7 are eight players, including GMs Shabalov and Yermolinsky. Shabalov won an exciting Sveshnikov game last round-a structure which he usually finds himself on the Black side of.



Round seven also saw Jerry Hanken putting his writer cap back on. Here is his latest "Hanken's Corner."

Tis now then very witching hour of night, now could I drink hot blood and do such bitter business as the day will quake to look upon…..” Hamlet        I am getting ready for tomorrow’s USCF delegates meeting!!

I promised myself I would not write anything about chess politics so I will stop here.

Last night I finally played a real game of chess. After 3 rounds when I had overwhelming positions in all 3 games and collected a half point for my troubles, I played a game worthy of a Master. My young opponent was rated only in the middle 17oos, but he fought as hard as he could and found almost every possible resource, but he was lost out of the opening. The way to avoid dropping pieces, as I did the last two nights, is to trade them all off. I was able to reduce the game to a simple rook and pawn ending and win smoothly. The last chance he had to at least stay in the game, was to drop his Queen back to the white square d7 to avoid trading. I would have had to give that position some serious thought but felt my game was too good not to have good moves after that. He allowed the trade and had no breath of counterplay after that.



His attitude toward the game was surprising. “I loved playing that game”, he said after it was over, “I don’t mind so much losing a game like that. I lost a couple when I blundered away good positions, but I really learned a lot from this game.” I think the young man is better than his current rating and with such a positive attitude, he will get a lot better quickly. I don’t know if my last two trips to the butcher shop got into the bulletin or the on line report. I am afraid to look. But I am proud of this effort, and believe you gentle readers out there, (all three of you), will find this game both instructive and interesting.

I promised you a “longer Corner”, after my shameful copout last night, (Thanks, YKE, for covering my you know what.), but the muse seems to be on vacation tonight. I have asked the Chess Gods for inspiration, but they, like me today, seem to have slept in.

I am simply going to abandon the quiz. I have had no one who even wants to take a crack at the two or three I have out there. I have already used up my self-allotted Shakespearian quote to open this bit of rambling, so I will leave you with a piece of advice for the last two rounds. Stop looking at the wall charts and trying to figure out if you can win money! Just go out there and play a good couple of games of chess and let the chips fall where they may. You don’t really need a piece of the class Q money to pay the rent, now do you?  Enjoy!!