2017 Zonal Games: Rd.9 Hambleton - Sambuev

Final Round

Going into the final round, GM Bator Sambuev and IM Nikolay Noritsyn were tied with 7/8. 

Noritsyn had defeated all the highest-rated players (including Sambuev) and was Black against the 21st ranked Rohan Talukdar (2269 CFC, 2119 FIDE), and so could reasonably be expected to win. 

That made this a must-win game for Sambuev, who had lost to Noritsyn in round 4 -- bundering a piece in an endgame he should have drawn -- but had won all his other games. Sambuev was Black against IM Aman Hambleton.

IM Aman Hambleton was far back with 5/8: after a loss to Noritsyn and a series of draws against lower-rated opponents he couldn't win but could still play spoiler/king-maker.  Even with a sub-par tournament, Aman is an IM with 2 GM norms, the #4 seed, and a player who Black had never beaten in a tournament game.  This made their final round pairing particularly interesting.

See game, with notes, below.

The 2017 Canadian Championship (Zonal 2.2) runs June 27-July 1 at Olympic Stadium in Montréal.  It is a 9-round Swiss with the top prize being:

  • the 2017 National Championship
  • qualification to the 2017 FIDE World Cup with air fare
  • $1,500 
  • $1,000 CFC subsidy for the 2018 Continental
  • FIDE IM Title

Top Players: GM Bator Sambuev, GM Alexandre LeSiege, IM Nikolay Noritsyn, IM Aman Hambleton


Crosstable after 9 rounds



The photo above shows IM Aman Hambleton watching the round 3 game between GM Sambuev and IM Duong with IM Noritsyn playing in the background


Round 9: Hambleton - Sambuev


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