The 11th edition of the Edmonton International was once again packed with International talent. The top four players were all in the high 2600s ranging from the former world #3 Alexei Shirov to American Samuel Shankland, and India's Surya Ganguly and S.P Sethuraman. The 5th GM was Canadian Bator Sambuev.
The locals were represented by IM Richard Wang, AB Champion Bitan Banerjee, FM Dale Haessel, qualifier winner FM Ian Findlay and Edmonton Champion Belsar Valencia.
From the get go, it was clear that Surya Ganguly and Samuel Shankland had a no prisoners approach and they going into the 8th round, Surya had an amazing perfect score of 7/7 while Samuel wasn't far behind with 6.5/7. The penultime round was decisive as the two leaders faced each other. Samuel Shankland sacrificed a piece for two connected, central pawns which proved to be unstoppable. In the last round, GM Shankland's was not able to break through against IM Richard Wang and had to settle for a draw which lead to an impressive tie for first between the two Grandmasters with 8/9 each. The tie-break went to Shankland as he won their head to head encounter.
Shankland,Samuel (2646) - Ganguly,Surya (2654) [D35]
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nxc3 6.bxc3 c5 7.Rb1 Be7 8.Bc4 0-0 9.Ne2 Nc6 10.0-0 b6 11.Be3 Bb7 12.Nf4 cxd4 13.cxd4 Rc8 14.Nxe6 fxe6 15.Bxe6+ Kh8 16.Bxc8 Qxc8 17.Qa4 b5 18.Rxb5 Ba6 19.Rfb1 Bxb5 20.Qxb5 h6 21.h3 a6 22.Qb7 Qxb7 23.Rxb7 Bg5 24.Rc7 Nb4 25.a3 Nd3 26.e5 Rb8 27.Kh2 Kh7 28.Kg3 Rf8 29.Rc6 Bf4+ 30.Kf3 Ne1+ 31.Ke4 Nxg2 32.d5 Nxe3 33.fxe3 Bg3 34.d6 Re8 35.d7 Rd8 36.e6 Bh4 37.Kd5 Kg8 38.Rxa6 Kf8 39.Ra4 Bf6 40.Rc4 Ke7 41.Rc8 Bg5 42.a4 Bxe3 43.a5 h5 44.Kc6 1-0
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Dale Haessel, President
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University of AB Chess Club
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