Giorgi Kacheishvili has been playing in the U.S. for some years and has gotten use to the Swiss tournaments. He still gets bitten every now and then, but at the Continental Open, he successfully waded through the waters of young sharks. In the first round, the GM from the Republic of Georgia was paired against the newly-minted National Master Justus Williams.
Giorgi Kacheishvili facing 12-year old Master Justus Williams in round one.
Photo from uschess.org.
Kacheishvili had quite a scare as he was in a fierce battle with the 12-year old All-American. He actually missed a winning continuation in the middlegame and was on the verge of being upset. However, the Georgian fought back from being two pawns down and won after Williams blundered with 45.Nxb5?? (See Williams-Kacheishvili)
Kacheishvili waded through the field carefully, but would face the ever-dangerous Alexander Shabalov in the final round. Shabalov only needed a draw to win first place, so the battle would be on! The board was in flames by move 20 as both sides were trying to force the issue. A tactical melee ensued after which Shabalov had an exchange for a pawn.
When the Georgian applied more pressure with the two bishops, Shabalov was forced to give the exchange back and ended up a pawn down. Opposite colored bishops did not help as Kacheishvili won another pawn and converted the advantage. He ended on 7/9 followed by Shabalov, Gregory Kaidanov and Sergei Kudrin on 6.5/9. The young Aleksandr Ostrovskiy, had a strong tournament (2535 TPR) and scored an upset over GM Aleksandr Lenderman.