Muhammad wins Georgia State Championship!

Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) is one of the most reputable engineering schools in the U.S. It received international acclaim after helping to host the 1996 Olympics held in Atlanta. The scenic campus of Georgia Tech would be the venue for the Georgia State Championship which drew a little over 100 players. Despite the friendly confines of the Atlanta campus, the chilly temperature in the tournament playing room left players scrambling for their jackets and sweaters. 

Nevertheless, there was some heated action throughout the tournament including several upsets and the tense finale on board one between
IM-elect Stephen Muhammad and IM Rashid Ziatdinov. These two players have played each other several times and going into the last round, Muhammad was leading the pack with four straight wins (including a 4th round win over IM Carlos Perdomo). A draw would clinch the title, but Ziatdinov (3-1 with two draws) was definitely playing for a win for share of first.

IM-elect Stephen Muhammad

IM-elect Stephen Muhammad

The game was complicated throughout and the IM from Uzbekistan pressed for the advantage and won a pawn for his efforts. After the complications, Ziatdinov ended up in a K+R+P (g-pawn) vs.  K+R, but Muhammad was able to hold the draw, and thus take clear 1st. The state title is Muhammad's 2nd title as sole winner (4th overall).

Photo Gallery

Posted by The Chess Drum: 20 May 2003