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Alexander Shabalov vs Sam Shankland
36th World Open (2008), Philadelphia, PA USA, rd 1, Jul-02
Sicilian Defense: Delayed Alapin (B50)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jul-11-08  Takya Kotov: Anybody know why the game ended? 0-1 seems premature
Premium Chessgames Member
  pawn to QB4: I think White's lost a piece. 36.Bh3 Rg3; 36.Qh3 Rxg4; 36.any other B move Qxh2+ 37.Kxh2 g1=Q.
Jul-13-08  offtherook: Huge upset here. Wonder why Shabalov chose such an offbeat opening?
May-22-20  Sally Simpson: ***

Sam has this as his most memorable game over at Chessbase where he adds more analysis.

Final Position.

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"If the bishop moves, Black can finish the game with Qxh2+. [if 36.Bh3 Rg3 see above] Alex resigned, and I had finally defeated my first grandmaster!

Oddly enough, looking back (although forward from the time of the game), I was quite lucky to play the black pieces, as Black won every single one of our decisive games for the next 9 years until I finally beat him with white in 2017.

I blame my horrible lifetime score against Alex on the terrible luck of getting White in most of those games!"


May-22-20  Sally Simpson: ***

White has just played 29.Qf3 and offered a draw.

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"At this point, Alex actually did me a big favor by offering a draw.

I think he did so hoping that I would immediately see the forcing continuation Ng6-e5, forking the queen and d3 pawn, and then queen back to h3, and knight back to g6.

I probably would have found that idea on my own anyway, but his draw offer made me immediately note the possible repetition, and helped me find the way to improve on this idea."


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