Milovanovic, Sevillano and Shabalov Score
By J.Shahade/Elizabeth Vicary   
August 12, 2008
GM Alex Shabalov, Photo Ola Osanyinjobi
GM Alexander Shabalov and IMs Rade Milovanovic and Enrico Sevillano tied for first in the U.S. Open (Dallas, August 2-10) with 8/9 each. Remarkably, all three players won their final games with Black.

 IM Joseph Bradford erred against famed University of Texas at Dallas coach IM Rade Milovanovic by allowing the deadly Ne4 discovery after 14.Bf4? Bradford, who had a fantastic event up to that point calls the move his sole blunder of the event. University of Texas at Dallas chess program director James Stallings said, "the team has been sending in compliments all day long and copying everyone on our team roster. I think my favorite was from Davorin Kuljasevic who said that the 'Coach (Milovanovic) proved he was the strongest semi-retired player in the country!'"


IM Rade Milovanovic. Photo courtesy University of Texas at Dallas

IM Michael Mulyar had great compensation for the exchange against GM Alexander Shabalov, but didn't find the most accurate continuation, and slipped majorly with 37.f5, which allowed Alex to transpose into a solid pawn-up game.


The final co-champ, IM Enrico Sevillano is constantly at the top of major American Open crosstables but his results are often overshadowed by other players in the chess press- Elizabeth Vicary's interview with Enrico reveals more about the Philipino-American enigma.

Elizabeth Vicary: Congratulations on winning the tournament! Tell me about your game today against Chaitanya Vaidya.

Enrico Sevillano: It was interesting—we had a good opening, a Queen’s Indian. I thought b4 was dubious—after that Black gets an initiative. He played a desparate combinaton which allowed me to grab an extra pawn for basically no compensation. After that we traded queens; he still had two bishops but they were not that strong. Then we traded light-squared bishops, after which his d pawn was very vunerable and his knight on h3 was passive.


EV: What was your favorite game from this tournament?

ES:  The game against Blanco probably, but also I liked the one against Battaglini.

EV: Are you a chess professional then, or do you also teach or work?

ES: You know, sometimes I’m a chess professional, sometimes not. I have a few students, but I’m very picky when it comes to this because I find teaching hurts my play. So the students I have are mostly quite good.

IM Enrico Sevillano, Photo Ola Osanyinjobi

EV:  You are Phillipino originally, right? Where are you living now?

ES: I moved to this country in ’95. I was in Vegas for a while, but moved to the mountains in California, about an hour and a half north of LA.

Enrico was buying a US Open t-shirt for his wife, so I asked if he had kids and whether they also played chess.

ES: I have two: a step-son and step-daughter. In fact, my son plays: he’s 2300.

EV: Wow, it’s unusual for a good player to have such a strong child. What’s his name, and do you guys study together?

ES: He’s John Bryant. Mostly we don’t study together: he’s very industrious and studies on his own, although sometimes I look at his games with him. I don’t study too much myself: I don’t have time, although I love to play. I play bullet on ICC a couple hours a day (laughs). When I was in the Phillipines I was on the national team, and we all used to study together very seriously: 25 of us including GM Eugenio Torre. I studied with them every day for two years.

EV: How much do you play now? Do you have any favorite tournaments?

ES: I play in California and Nevada tournaments. I guess there are four annually in Nevada : two in Vegas and two in Reno, but more in California. I play in local events pretty often—they are a nice warm-up.

Do you have a favorite opening?

The c3 Sicilian. It’s a good opening for players without a good opening repertoire: non-theorectical. (laughs) But if I had a good opening repertoire I definitely wouldn’t play it: I’d play the mainline.

EV: A favorite opponent?

ES: I don’t know... everyone at this tournament? (laughs)

EV: Last question, any predictions for the upcoming World Championship matches? Does Kamsky have a chance?

ES: Kamsky has a chance, sure, just not as good of a chance as his opponent has.. (laughs) Kramnik-Anand... It will come down to who is in better form, but I think Anand is a slight favorite. And overall, I would pick Anand, but it’s close.

U.S. Open Photo Gallery-
Photos by Ola Osanyinjobi unless otherwise noted.

IM Michael Mulyar was tied for the lead at the U.S. Open till his last round loss to Shabalov

Collegiate Champ Daniel Fernandez and Lorena Zapeda. Photo Elizabeth Vicary

Elizabeth Vicary

IM Joseph Bradford

  WFMs Chouchanik Airapetian and Bayaraa Zorigt

Check complete results at the Open and look for more on the U.S. Open later this week from Jonathan Hilton and Jerry Hanken.