Kacheishvili Takes Vegas
December 30, 2008
GM Georgi Kacheishvili, 2008 North American Champion. Photo Chris Bird
GM Georgi Kacheishvili took clear first in the North American Open in Las Vegas (Dec.26-29), with a penultimate win over GM Varuzhan Akobian and a final score of 6/7. The champion's win over Olympic bronze medallist Akobian featured crazy sacrifices. They resulted in an unusual two piece and pawns vs. queen material imbalance, at which point Black was totally winning. If Black doesn't capture 32.Rxc1, Black has total domination and can win by sticking a knight on f4, when White is practically in zugzwang. Black can even march his king to the h-file and switch his rook to the g-file to create more threats. 


Tied for 2nd through 6th were GMs Zviad Izoria, Melikset Khachiyan, Alexander Shabalov, Julio Becerra and Jaan Ehlvest. Ehlvest's last round win over GM Rogelio Antonio began with a positional exchange sack which looked good, but Ehlvest didn't have the point in the bag till his opponent made an unsound sack of his own.


Some other interesting round 7 games included Aigner's wild win over FM Dale Haessel and Julio Becerra's quick win on the Black side of the Ruy:



Check out final standings, round by round reports by Chris Bird and a pgn file of all the games. Also look for Jerry Hanken's upcoming Chess Life Magazine report on the North American Open.