Ivanov and Shabalov Advance to World Cup
August 3, 2009
GM Alexander Shabalov, Photo Betsy Dynako
GM Alexander Shabalov tied for first place in the Continental Championship in São Paulo, Brazil (July 25-August 2) with Fidel Jimenez Corrales of Cuba, securing a World Cup spot. Shabalov won a crucial game in round eight against Brazil's top player, Giovanni Vescovi.


The final position is very similar to a theoretical position in which even if White had an extra pawn on the g-file or h-file, the game would be drawn. But Shabalov's f-pawn assures the win- it will march up the board, distract Black's king from the safe g7-h7 haven and when the king goes to f7, the skewer trick Rh8 wins.

See the final standings here.

Meanwhile Ivanov and Friedel tied for 3rd-8th and had to playoff for the remaining four spots into the World Cup.

Ivanov advanced but Friedel missed out.


After Josh Friedel recovers from his grueling tournament, check CLO for a report from him. Also read his first report from the scene, midway through the event.