The 40th Annual World Open was held on July 2-8th at the Sheraton Philadelphia City Center Hotel, 17th & Race Streets, Philadelphia, PA.
Both players could have been caught by GMs Wesley So and Yury Shulman or IM Marc Arnold who all started the final round half-point behind the leaders but none of those players managed a victory, leaving Sokolov and Shabolov alone at the top.
An Armageddon play-off between the two GMs was held after the end of the tournament. Sokolov had the white pieces and 5 minutes while Shabalov had the black pieces, 3 minutes and draw odds (both players also had a 5 second delay). The game was won by Sokolov who becomes the 2012 World Open Champion.
On the norm front, Arnold had already secured his 3rd and final GM norm going into the round after a victory over GM Robert Hess in round 8.
Other GM norms were scored by IM Eesha Karavade and FM John Bryant. IM norms were scored by FM Michael Kleinman, FM Thomas Bartell, Yaacov Norowitz and Luke Harmon-Vellotti.
Open section final standings:
1-2. GM Ivan Sokolov 2676 NED ($12926.50) and GM Alexander Shabalov 2534 PA ($12673.50) – 7.0
3-9. GM Wesley B So 2650 PHI, GM Aleksander Lenderman 2613 NY, GM Giorgi Kacheishvili 2605 GEO, GM Ray Robson 2601 FL, GM Yury Shulman 2588 IL, GM Alexander Evdokimov 2544 RUS and IM Marc Tyler Arnold 2529 NY – 6.5 ($1484.57 each)
10-19. GM Eduardo Iturrizaga 2628 VEN, GM Abhijeet Gupta 2627 IND, GM Sergey Erenburg 2624 ISR, GM Sam Shankland 2579 CA, GM Marin Bosiocic 2570 CRO, GM Alexander Stripunsky 2553 NJ ($70.34 each), GM Mikheil Kekelidze 2494 GEO, IM Mackenzie Molner 2479 NJ, FM John Daniel Bryant 2377 CA and IM Eesha Karavade 2343 IND ($636.25 each) – 6.0 etc (118 players competed)
GM Sam Palatnik provided free analysis of the games for amateurs. Official website.