In Dallas, 6 Lead Going into Final Round
By Jennifer Shahade   
August 10, 2008
One of six leaders going into the last round of the U.S. Open: Chaitanya Vaidya, Photo Elizabeth Vicary
With just one round to go at the U.S. Open (Dallas, August 2-10), six players lead with 7/8 including GM Alexander Shabalov and IMs Enrico Sevillano, Joseph Bradford, Michael Mulyar and Rade Milovanovic.

Rounding out the leaders is University of Texas at Dallas student Chaitanya Vaidya, who upset GM Yermolinsky last round. The game was an exciting opposite side-castling Queen's Gambit Declined in which White drummed up a powerful attack and then managed to win a pawn. Surprisingly, Black had more than enough compensation after the dust settled. After 30...Rf8, he quickly won two pawns of his own. White can hang on to his pawns for dear life with f4 Qe7 Rg3, but he will be totally paralyzed and Black just has a free hand to do b5 a5, etc. The bishop and queen combo turned out to dominate the queen and knight easily (the generalization that Q+N are often better than Q+B refers usually to positions where both sides have attacks, while this endgame was all about Black.)


IM Rade Milovanovic got to 7/8 win an instructive endgame win over Matt Parry. The two bishops reigned after 26.Ba6!  26. Bxb6 axb6 Rxb6 is no good because of Ra7! and the a-pawn is a goner. so instead of 25...Rdc7, the knight should have returned to c4. Parry may have been concerned about Bxc4 dxc4 a5 with the idea of a6 and Rb7 but that seems much more likely to defend than the game. In the game, White found 27. a5 (again, not 27.Bxb6 axb6 28.Rxb6 Rca7) and quickly won.


Before this loss, Matt Parry told CLO U.S. Open blogger Elizabeth Vicary "I'm playing the best chess of my life." He was happy with the following upset win against IM Daniel Fernandez, "I got a little lucky. (My pawn sack) probably wasn't sound but he tried too hard to hold on... and I got a big initiative. Then he blundered an exchange and resigned right away. I hadn't played him before but have a lot of respect for him, as I've seen him win a lot of tournaments." Parry thinks Fernandez should have played 19.Qxd1 instead of Nxd1: "Then I would play c5 and could regain the pawn (unless White tried to hold on to the material with the weakening f3), but would have to give up the bishop pair."


Matt Parry, Photo Elizabeth Vicary

In another victory for the two bishops, Joseph Bradford defeated IM Emory Tate in round eight to earn his place at the top of the score-table.


The other decisive game for the leaders was GM Shabalov's sacrificial Bogo-Indian win against Joel Banawa: Shabalov said that Banawa should have played 4...d5 before Nc6. d5 forces Qc2 but after Nc6 Shabalov played a promising pawn sack, g3 followed by 0-0. Shabalov added that 8...Rb8 was also a mistake-- Black should have just castled.


IMs Enrico Sevillano and Michael Mulyar started the round half a point of the field, so their board-one draw was enough to put them at the top going into the final game.


The final round of the U.S. Open starts at 3 PM Central Time, so watch it live on and check later tonight for results and stories.