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Shabalov Shares Lead in Curacao Print E-mail
By Jennifer Shahade   
July 23, 2007
Shabalov and Miklalevski at the barbecue on the free day.

by Jennifer Shahade

A few months ago, U.S. Champion Alexander Shabalov was not sure that he'd be able to make it for his sixth year in a row to the Curacao Chess Festival (July 17-26), because it conflicts with the Continental Championship. After winning the U.S. Champs, he had no need to race for a championship spot in Columbia, so he is back in the Dutch Carribean island, leading the tournament with Viktor Mikhalevski. Mikhalevski is an Israeli GM who is a frequent guest in big-money American Opens. Viktor and Alex face off today.

Curacao International Chess Festival
Standings after 5 rounds
1-2- GM Alexander Shabalov and GM Viktor Mikhalevski
3-4- IM Emory Tate and IM Thomas Willemz
5-10- GM Joel Benjamin, IM Robert Ris, GM Jan Gustaffson, Dirk Sebastian, and Benjamin Bok

Click here for complete player list.

Shabalov's most important win so far was against Dutch GM Jaan Werle:


You can also see Shabalov's and Werle's annotations of this game (along with some other cool annotated games) on the Curacao Chess Festival's official webpage.

The legendary IM Emory Tate is also in Curacao and is currently tied for third place. As usual, he is causing mayhem on the board. Here's an effort of his against Jose Torres of Venezuela: