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U.S. Championship - Fifth Round


Today I finally won a "real" game (the mate-in-one game does not really count).  My opponent was IM Jay Bonin.  I didn't know the opening at all, and thought for almost a half an hour on the fifth move.  But by move nine, my position was completely won, because he took a pawn he shouldn't have even looked at.  He could have even resigned by move twelve, but decided to play on down a piece.

Shabba is completely unstoppable.  Today he beat GM Gregory Kaidanov without trouble, and still has a perfect score.  He is a point and a half ahead of the next player.  Tomorrow he plays Onischuk as black, and as long as he doesn't lose it will be hard for anyone to catch him.  Bobby Fischer once won the U.S. Championship with a score of 11/11.  I don't think Shabalov can match that (especially since there are only nine rounds in this tournament), but in those days the U.S. Championship was nowhere near as strong as it is now.

Tomorrow I am playing against my friend GM Eugene Perelshteyn, who was my roommate in college.  He is one of America's newest grandmasters.  I am happy to finally have white again.