Kolev and Gonzalez Lead in Vegas Print E-mail
By Jennifer Shahade   
June 10, 2007
IM Reiner Gonzalez (left) and GM Atanas Kolev face off in round 5. Photo Jennifer Shahade

by Jennifer Shahade

After four rounds of the National Open (June 7-11, Las Vegas) only two players have a perfect 4-0 score: IM Reiner Gonzalez from Miami and GM Atanas Kolev from Bulgaria.

In round 4, Josh Friedel fought very hard against Atanas Kolev from a worse endgame but Kolev finally got the better of him.


Gonzalez defeated the Georgian GM Merab Gagunashvili in an endgame that at first seemed very even. However, once the bishops were traded, and Reiner secured the d4 square, he had a winning edge.


Viktor Korchnoi recovered after his first round accident and has 3.5/4. In round he dispatched GM Dashzegve Sharavdorj with impressive isolated queen pawn play.


U.S. Champion Alexander Shabalov faltered with his pet Sveshnikov in round three against Melikset Khachiyan. The friendly Aremenian-born Californian showed how to use a queen to dominate two rooks.


National Open Standings after four rounds

1-2. Atanas Kolev and Reiner Gonzalez- 4.0

3-Viktor Korchnoi Hikaru Nakamura, Sergey Erenburg, Enrico Sevillano, Meliksey Khachiyan, Dmitry Gurevich, Julio Becerra, Gregory Serper- 3.5