Just when I though that the angel who was watching over me during the last two rounds would be with me the whole tournament, she abandoned me.Â I lost today against Walter Browne, who is formerly one of the top players in the world.Â Now his best years are past, so I did not expect to lose to him, but he played very well.Â He got a better position out of the opening.Â Then it seemed like I had surmounted all my difficulties, but it was really not the case.Â I allowed some tactics to happen, thinking that there had to be something there, but there just wasn't.Â The best I could find was a spectacular-looking (but benign) queen sacrifice which led to a position where I had only some drawing chances.Â He won with good technique.
Shabalov is running away with the tournament - he beat Hikaru Nakamura today with black, and now has 4 /4.Â "Shabba" has a very sharp and creative style, and is one of my favorite players.Â
Tomorrow I play against Jay Bonin, an international master from New York.Â For some reason I get black again.
-Bryan (p.s. the game score above is incorrect.Â I had a pawn on a4 until the end of the game.Â My 31st move was Qb3, not a3)