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Alexander Shabalov
Photo courtesy of "WannaBe"  
Number of games in database: 1,642
Years covered: 1978 to 2021
Last FIDE rating: 2528 (2526 rapid, 2477 blitz)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2645

Overall record: +661 -323 =447 (61.8%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 211 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (220) 
    B90 B62 B32 B47 B20
 Ruy Lopez (72) 
    C85 C77 C95 C80 C93
 French Defense (55) 
    C02 C18 C11 C10 C13
 Sicilian Najdorf (49) 
    B90 B97 B96 B95 B99
 Nimzo Indian (42) 
    E32 E20 E34 E38 E39
 Sicilian Richter-Rauser (40) 
    B62 B67 B63 B65 B64
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (180) 
    B90 B30 B33 B32 B22
 Semi-Slav (71) 
    D45 D44 D47 D43
 Queen's Pawn Game (58) 
    A50 A46 D02 A40 E10
 Slav (56) 
    D11 D10 D15 D14 D16
 Alekhine's Defense (50) 
    B05 B03 B02 B04
 King's Indian Attack (40) 
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   J Vetemaa vs Shabalov, 1986 0-1
   Shabalov vs I M Shliperman, 1995 1-0
   Neo Zhu vs Shabalov, 2017 0-1
   Xiong vs Shabalov, 2017 0-1
   Shabalov vs Arkell, 1991 1-0
   Shabalov vs Smirin, 1992 1-0
   Shirov vs Shabalov, 2001 0-1
   Shabalov vs A Ivanov, 1994 1-0
   Shabalov vs R Elseth, 1991 1-0
   H Tanner vs Shabalov, 1991 0-1

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   40th World Open (2012)
   US Championship (2007)
   United States Championship (1993)
   116th US Open (2015)
   Foxwoods Open (2009)
   38th World Open (2010)
   US Championship (2010)
   American Continental (2014)
   112th US Open (2011)
   American Continental Championship (2005)
   Reykjavik Open (2016)
   Xtracon Chess Open (2017)
   Manila Olympiad (1992)
   London Chess Classic Open (2016)
   Pro Chess League (2018)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Western Pennsylvania games and players by RonB52734
   US Open 1993, Philadelphia by Phony Benoni

   🏆 U.S. Senior Championships
   V Akopian vs Shabalov (Jul-16-22) 1/2-1/2
   L Christiansen vs Shabalov (Jul-16-22) 0-1
   Shabalov vs Dlugy (Jul-16-22) 1-0
   Shabalov vs Dlugy (Jul-16-22) 1/2-1/2
   Shabalov vs D Gurevich (Jul-16-22) 1-0

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Alexander Shabalov
Search Google for Alexander Shabalov
FIDE player card for Alexander Shabalov

(born Sep-12-1967, 55 years old) Latvia (federation/nationality United States of America)

[what is this?]

GM Alexander Anatolyevich Shabalov was born in Riga, Latvia in 1967. He studied under former world champion and fellow Rigan Mikhail Tal. He won his IM title in 1989 and his GM title in 1991. About 1992, Shabalov emigrated to the United States with his family and eventually settled in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is known for courting complications and for an uncompromising, attacking style.

Shabalov played for Latvia in the 1986 Soviet Team Championship and for the Riga Chess & Draughts Club in the 2nd Soviet Chess Club Cup held in Podolsk in 1990. He also played in the 1992 Olympiad for Latvia, and in 1992, 1994, 1998, 2000 and Calvia Olympiad (2004) for USA on board 2 or 3 in every case, helping his team to a silver medal in 1998. He has been the United States Champion four times: in 1993 (with Alex Yermolinsky) (1); 2000-2001 (with Joel Benjamin and Yasser Seirawan) (2); in 2003-2004 (3); and most recently in 2007. He was =1st at the American Continental Championship 2009 played in Sao Paulo 2009 alongside Fidel Corrales Jimenez. He played in the FIDE World Championship Tournament (2001/02) and defeated Gregory Kaidanov in the first round before losing to Alexander Khalifman in the 2nd round. He also played in the World Cup (2007) and the World Cup (2009), in the latter event beating Vladimir Baklan in the first round before bowing out in the 2nd round to David Navara. He also qualified for the World Cup (2013) through his strong result in the American Continental Championship 2012; there he played and lost to eventual semi-finalist Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in the first round. He was =1st, 3rd on tiebreak, with 8.5/11 behind Julio Ernesto Granda Zuniga and Sam Shankland at the 9th American Continental Championship in October 2014, qualifying for the World Cup in 2015. This will be his fourth participation in the World Cup.

In July 2019, Shabalov won the US Senior (50+) Championship, a round-robin tournament of 10 GMs played at the St Louis Chess Club, with +3 =6 -0. In July 2022, he scored +3 =5 -1, tying for first with four other GMs, and won the title after a playoff.

Shabalov had managed and had regularly lectured about chess in the House of Chess, a store in the Ross Park Mall in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, until it closed in mid-2007. (5)

(1);; (2); (3); (4); Wikipedia article: Alexander Shabalov;

Last updated: 2022-07-18 22:08:46

 page 1 of 70; games 1-25 of 1,738  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Jekabson vs Shabalov 1-0221978URSB29 Sicilian, Nimzovich-Rubinstein
2. T Khasanov vs Shabalov  1-0341980USSR Junior ChampionshipA73 Benoni, Classical, 9.O-O
3. Shabalov vs D Berkovich  0-1341980USSR Junior ChampionshipB77 Sicilian, Dragon, Yugoslav Attack
4. Shabalov vs Smirin  0-1551984USSR Junior ChampionshipA49 King's Indian, Fianchetto without c4
5. Gladysh vs Shabalov  0-1281984USSR Junior ChampionshipA62 Benoni, Fianchetto Variation
6. Shabalov vs Khalifman  0-1311984USSR Junior ChampionshipA49 King's Indian, Fianchetto without c4
7. Shabalov vs N Poleshchuk  1-0401985Soviet Army Team ChampionshipA05 Reti Opening
8. P Martynov vs Shabalov  0-1421985URS-chT (Juniors)A04 Reti Opening
9. J Petkevich vs Shabalov 1-0341985RigaA30 English, Symmetrical
10. Shabalov vs I Lutsko  1-0401985RigaA10 English
11. Shabalov vs Osolinsh  1-0281985RigaA30 English, Symmetrical
12. A Vitolinsh vs Shabalov 1-0351985RigaB54 Sicilian
13. V Ronin vs Shabalov 0-1461985KharkovB78 Sicilian, Dragon, Yugoslav Attack, 10.castle long
14. Shabalov vs K Supatashvili  0-1251985Soviet Army Team ChampionshipC13 French
15. A Nosenko vs Shabalov  1-0451985USSR Junior ChampionshipD11 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
16. Shabalov vs Minasian  1-0271985USSR Junior ChampionshipA65 Benoni, 6.e4
17. Shabalov vs M Ulybin  0-1381985USSR Junior ChampionshipB56 Sicilian
18. V Prokofiev vs Shabalov  0-1281985USSR Junior ChampionshipB76 Sicilian, Dragon, Yugoslav Attack
19. Shabalov vs M Kapengut  1-0261985USSR Junior ChampionshipC55 Two Knights Defense
20. Bagirov vs Shabalov 1-0251985JurmalaA52 Budapest Gambit
21. Shabalov vs Tukmakov  ½-½371985JurmalaE32 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
22. V Inkiov vs Shabalov  ½-½161985JurmalaB54 Sicilian
23. Shabalov vs D King 1-0371985JurmalaE39 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Pirc Variation
24. E Kengis vs Shabalov 1-0301985JurmalaA30 English, Symmetrical
25. Shabalov vs M Gurevich  ½-½361985JurmalaA80 Dutch
 page 1 of 70; games 1-25 of 1,738  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Shabalov wins | Shabalov loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Oct-06-09  The Rocket: "Because you cannot play a second-rate opening like this consistently in US swisses. He would have problems against anyone rated 2400+."

what are you talking about, its not a second rate opening! its sound for cryin out loud!, sicilian dragon for instance is far more dubious. And shabalov has beaten 2500+ player with alekhines defence for more than 10 years.

Its hard because the rating are not always mentioned but I know he has beaten Ian Rogers with it.

I can tell you that I am a semi-expert in the alekhine, I know the lines, the main themes and no lines gives me any problems.

And if its really a second rate opening why does a very strong grandmaster(but inconsistent) like Jonny hector(2568) who has beaten player like Boris Avrukh, Ulf andersson, Jan Timman e.t.c Play 2 nc3? that clearlt shows that he respects the main lines.

AND you claim that 2400+ players would give shabalov problems?=

Oct-10-09  dx9293: <The Rocket> The key word is <consistently>. Almost anything is playable once-in-awhile. The Alekhine isn't a bad opening, but it's definitely second-rate: if it wasn't, you would see more Top 100 GMs playing it.

I don't play the Sicilian Dragon, but I think it is a stretch to say it is more dubious than the Alekhine.

Jonny Hector has a lot of ability. Probably his results would be more consistent if he played mainstream openings more consistently.

I maintain that if it was known that Shabalov (or another strong GM) played something like the Alekhine more than, say, 70% of the time, he would soon experience problems because opponents would prepare for it and its main benefit at GM level—surprise—would be lost.

Mar-21-10  VladimirOo: In need some help, who could you suggest to enrich this list of players,

Tal, Shirov, Shabalov ...

They are all latvian, ok, but that's not the point. I mean players always seeking for tremendous complications, throwing chaos on board and barely looking at computeresque evaluations of the position, but rather its potential in complications and tactics...

May-23-10  Sydro: <VladimirOo> I suggest Nezhmetdinov.
May-23-10  Prugno: The biography above requires a small but important change.

Shabalov emigrated to the US around 1992, when he was already 25 years old and a GM (in fact he represented Latvia in the Olympiad that year), so it's impossibile that he moved "as a child".

May-23-10  unsound: <Vladimir> Morozevich.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: Placed 4th in the Canadian Open 10-18 July 2010:

Oct-25-10  wordfunph: <Jim Bartle: Mikhail Tal commented on Shabalov from his time training with him, Gipslis and Bagirov in Riga in the 80s:

"For example, one boy was very talented tactically, but he had no idea where to place his pieces! The cure was to have him go over T. Petrosian's and Ulf Andersson's games. Now he tries to trade queens right away!">

also written by Andrew Soltis in Chess Life 2008 December edition..

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <dx9293> This is exactly what happened to Lev Alburt-he achieved great success with the Alekhine, but the lines he played were nothing special. Had we ever met OTB in the 1980s, I would have played 1.e4 and gone straight into the morass, though I played almost exclusively 1.d4/c4 then, cos I had something in store.
Dec-20-10  Antiochus: [Event "Continental ch-Americas"]
[Site "Sao Paulo BRA"]
[Date "2009.??.??"]
[White "Shabalov,A"]
[Black "Vescovi,G"]
[Round "8"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "2580"]
[BlackElo "2631"]
[ECO "C89"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. c3 d5 9. exd5 Nxd5 10. Nxe5 Nxe5 11. Rxe5 c6 12. d4 Bd6 13. Re1 Qh4 14. g3 Qh3 15. Re4 g5 16. Qf1 Qh5 17. Nd2 f5 18. Bd1 Qh6 19. Re1 f4 20. Ne4 Bh3 21. Qe2 Rae8 22. Qh5 Qxh5 23. Bxh5 Re6 24. Bd2 Be7 25. g4 f3 26. Nxg5 Rxe1+ 27. Rxe1 Bxg5 28. Bxg5 b4 29. cxb4 Nf4 30. Bxf4 Rxf4 31. g5 Bg4 32. Bxg4 Rxg4+ 33. Kf1 Rxd4 34. a3 Kf7 35. Rc1 Rd2 36. Kg1 Kg6 37. Rxc6+ Kxg5 38. h3 Rxb2 39. Rxa6 h5 40. Rc6 Rb3 41. Rc5+ Kg6 42. h4 Rxa3 43. Kh2 Rb3 44. Rg5+ Kh6 45. b5 Rd3 46. Rg8 Rd4 47. Kh3 Ra4 48. b6 Rb4 49. Kg3 Kh7 50. Rb8 Kg7 51. Kxf3 Rxh4 52. b7 1-0

Premium Chessgames Member
  Stonehenge: <Antiochus> Please use this feature: PGN Upload Utility.
Jan-04-13  PhilFeeley: This game is not here yet:

[Event "North American Open"]
[Site "Las Vegas"]
[Date "2012.12.26"]
[Round "1.9"]
[White "Barnett, Alex"]
[Black "Shabalov, Alexander"]
[Result "0-1"]
[WhiteELO ""]
[BlackELO ""]
[Eco "B90"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bc4 g6 7. f3 Qb6 8. Bb3 Nbd7 9. Be3 Nc5 10. Qd2 h5 11. O-O-O Bg7 12. e5 dxe5 13. Na4 Qc7 14. Nxc5 exd4 15. Qxd4 O-O 16. Bf4 Qc6 17. Be5 Bf5 18. Rhe1 Rfc8 19. Ne4 a5 20. a4 b5 21. Rd3 bxa4 22. Bxa4 Qa6 23. Bb3 a4 24. Ba2 Nxe4 25. Bxg7 Rxc2+ 26. Kxc2 Rc8+ 27. Kb1 Nd2+ 0-1

Apr-21-13  PhilFeeley: He didn't do so well in Philadelphia in March, losing to T. Bartell (2380) and P. Balakrishnan (2075). He did, however, win a significant number of his other games to finish equal 2nd.
Apr-21-13  PhilFeeley: In the crosstable ( one of his losses was to A. Balasubramanian (2253), not Balakrishnan. In the database I have the loss is attributed to Balakrishnan. I wonder how these discrepancies get resolved, if ever.
Oct-26-14  twinlark: Congratulations to GM Shabalov for qualifying for the World Cup in 2015! He was =1st at the American Continental Championship that concluded today.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <dx9293> You have a good point, as <perfidious> suggests. There *are* some GMs who regularly play Alekhine's, though not at the very highest level. And those who do, tend to mix it with something else. The Alekhine is not unsound, but it is possible to prepare against the main linesn great depth -- something that has cost GM Alex Baburin a few points against lower-rated players in recent years.

It may or may not be better than the Sicilian Dragon, which seems to be currently under a cloud. But I've seen the Dragon fall out of favour several times over the years, always springing back when new resources are found.

But chess would be a poorer game if 1...e5 and 1...c5 were the only viable responses to 1.e4. All the semi-open defences -- Sicilian, French, Caro-Kann, Alekhine, Scandinavian, Pirc, Modern, even the Nimzowitsch -- are playable, to some degree.

Plus, of course, the more all these different defences are played, the more pressure there is on the White player of 1.e4 to have playable lines against each of them.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Incidentally, after Nimzowitsch, Tal, and Shirov, is Shabalov the 4th great player from Riga?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Shabalov is doing great at the Dubai Open, currently sitting at 6.5/8, one of 5 players leading the way with a round to go. He'll face Ivan Ivanisevic (6) with black in the final round.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: And Shabalov loses the final game, and ends up in a 6-way tie for 7th (but 1st on tiebreaks) with 6.5/9 (+5,-1,=3). However, he was the 35th seed, and gained 23.2 rating points, which is the most out of anyone in the top 37 places in the tournament.
May-25-15  TheFocus: <I like life on a tour; just nothing else compares to it – you are so free. Nothing else can possibly come close to the lifestyle. This is how it works for most of the chess players. Material-wise it is not so rewarding, but the lifestyle is everything. It is more than a drug; nothing can replace it, so I am really surprised when I hear about people dropping chess entirely and going to a 9-to-5 job and then never come back. To me that is just total nonsense. Once you taste this, it is like forbidden fruit. Once you’ve tried it you can never come back> - Alex Shabalov.
May-26-15  TheFocus: <If the position after my move becomes more complicated then the game is going in the right direction> - Alex Shabalov.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ketchuplover: Happy Birthday young man :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  ketchuplover: Shame on you for disrespecting the memory of Tal :(
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: <ketchuplover> What? What happened? What did I miss?
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: I assume <ketchup> is referencing this monstrosity:

Ehlvest vs Shabalov, 2017

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