Kacheishvili Wins Continental Class
By GM Larry Kaufman   
October 12, 2010
GM Giorgi Kacheishvili in his first round game against new NM Justus Williams, Photo Michael Atkins
The Master section of the Continental Class Championships (October 7-11, Arlington, VA) finished with a dramatic final round battle between GM Giorgi Kacheishvili and GM Alex Shabalov. Kacheishvili had White but Shabalov only needed to draw to secure clear first place. However Giorgi pressed and won a pawn, but the presence of bishops of opposite colors (plus a pair of rooks) left the result in doubt until the last moment.


With this win Kacheishvili took clear first with 7 out of 9. Shabalov was tied for second through fourth with GMs Gregory Kaidanov and Sergei Kudrin at 6.5 (all of whom I played here, as well as GM Alex Ivanov). Ivanov finished in a big tie for fifth along with GMs Perelshteyn, Paragua, and Zapata, plus IM Justin Sarkar and the untitled young Aleksandr Ostrovskiy, who pulled off a huge upset in the final round over Grand Prix leader GM Aleksandr Lenderman.


Ostrovskiy's performance rating was 2535 and he raised his FIDE over 2300. Ostrovskiy, like Darwin Yang, who also had an IM performance in Arlington, did not play only enough foreigners, so missed out on his first IM norm. (Editor's Note- Ostrovskiy will be conducting a lecture at the Marshall Chess Club tonight, 10/12/10 at 7 PM.)

As for myself, I was doing great for three days, winning the first two and then drawing three straight games against strong Russian-American GMs. But on the fourth day I lost first to GM Kudrin and then I lost from a good position to FM Yanayt, and decided to withdraw. Nine games at 40/2 in 4 1/2 days is a bit too much for a Senior, especially when four in a row were against 2600 level GMs! I meant to ask for one or two byes but missed the deadline for this. Anyway I would like to call your attention to my loss to Kudrin.


He played a very strong theoretical novelty (18.Qb3!) that casts some doubt on the fashionable Caro-Kann with opposite side castling. According to Rybka, all the moves I made were best or near-best after a short search up to 22...Qxb2+?; instead 22...Qxf2 was necessary leading to the unusual imbalance of two Exchanges for White vs. three pawns. White would be better, but at least it would still be a game.
For more details, see the official website and
games on Monroi.com.

The Continental Class Championships overlapped with National Chess Day. See CLO round-ups on parties and tournaments from Freeport to Bakersfield here.

GM Kaufman's next dispatches will be from the World Senior Championship in Arco, Italy (October 26-November 11).