Belous in a Golden State of Mind

GM Vladimir Belous won the 11th Annual Golden State Open in clear first place with a score of 6-1.
Vladimir Belous (photo David Hater)
Held in the San Francisco suburb of Concord, CA from January 17-20th, the 11th edition of the series drew a record setting 320 players in five sections. The Major section had 73 players including four GMs, two IMs, four FMs and one WIM. In all, there were 21 masters in the field. The first round of the three day schedule saw a key upset when SM Jack Zhu lost to Maurya Palusa. At the merge, only eight perfect scores remained: GMs Dariusz Swiercz, Andrey Stukopin, Vladimir Belous and Francesco Rambaldi, IM Teddy Coleman, FMs Kyron Griffith and Rayan Taghizadeh, and NM Gnel Melikian. Only half of the top games in round three were decisive as both boards one and two drew. On board one, FM Taghizadeh held GM Swiercz to a draw while on board two FM Griffith held GM Stukopin to a draw. The other two GMs scored full points as GM Belous defeated NM Melikian and GM Rambaldi defeated IM Coleman. The last of the two perfect scores faced off in round four with GM Rambaldi downing Belous to emerge as the lone perfect score at 4-0. There were only two players at 3 ½, GMs Swierecz and Stukopin, while GM Belous led a group of ten players who stood at 3-1.
[pgn]

[Event "Golden State Open "]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2020.01.19"]
[Round "4.1"]
[White "Belous, Vladimir"]
[Black "Rambaldi, Francesco"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A13"]
[WhiteElo "2651"]
[BlackElo "2619"]
[PlyCount "102"]
[EventDate "2020.??.??"]
[SourceVersionDate "2018.12.29"]

1. Nf3 d5 2. c4 e6 3. g3 dxc4 4. Bg2 a6 5. Qc2 Nf6 6. Ne5 Nd5 7. Nxc4 b5 8. Ne3
Bb7 9. Nxd5 Bxd5 10. Bxd5 Qxd5 11. O-O c5 12. Nc3 Qb7 13. d3 Nc6 14. Be3 Rc8
15. Rac1 Nd4 16. Qd2 Be7 17. Ne4 e5 18. f4 f5 19. Nf2 exf4 20. Bxd4 fxg3 21.
Qc3 gxf2+ 22. Rxf2 Rc6 23. Rg2 Rg6 24. Rxg6 hxg6 25. Bxc5 Qc7 26. Kf1 Qxh2 27.
Bf2 Qh1+ 28. Bg1 Qh3+ 29. Ke1 Qg3+ 30. Kf1 Qf4+ 31. Kg2 Qg4+ 32. Kf1 Qf4+ 33.
Kg2 O-O 34. Qc6 Kh7 35. Bf2 Qg4+ 36. Kf1 Bg5 37. Qh1+ Qh5 38. Qxh5+ gxh5 39.
Rc7 Bf6 40. b3 Be5 41. Rc5 Bb2 42. Rc2 Be5 43. Rc5 Bb8 44. Bh4 Bf4 45. Rc6 g5
46. Bf2 h4 47. Rxa6 h3 48. Rc6 Re8 49. Rc2 g4 50. d4 g3 51. Rc3 h2 0-1

[/pgn]
The field narrowed a bit in round five. GM Rambaldi drew with GM Stukopin, but stayed in clear first as GM Belous defeated GM Swiercz. Belous had a good position, but Swiercz was definitely playing for a win and overpressed, aiding Belous in his quest for the full point.
[pgn]

[Event "Golden State Open "]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2020.01.19"]
[Round "5.1"]
[White "Belous, Vladimir"]
[Black "Swiercz, Dariucz"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A20"]
[WhiteElo "2651"]
[BlackElo "2748"]
[PlyCount "149"]
[EventDate "2020.??.??"]
[SourceVersionDate "2018.12.29"]

1. c4 e5 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. Nf3 Nc6 6. O-O Nb6 7. b3 Be7 8.
Bb2 f6 9. Nc3 Be6 10. Rc1 Qd7 11. Ne4 Rd8 12. Qc2 Bh3 13. Bxh3 Qxh3 14. d4 exd4
15. Rfd1 d3 16. Rxd3 O-O 17. Rxd8 Rxd8 18. b4 Qe6 19. a3 a6 20. e3 Nd5 21. Rd1
Rd7 22. Qc4 b5 23. Nc5 Bxc5 24. Qxc5 Nb6 25. Rxd7 Qxd7 26. Bd4 Qe6 27. Nd2 Nd7
28. Qc2 Qd5 29. Qb3 Qxb3 30. Nxb3 Kf7 31. f4 Nxd4 32. Nxd4 c5 33. Nb3 c4 34.
Nd4 Nb6 35. Kf2 Na4 36. e4 Nc3 37. Ke3 g6 38. Nc6 f5 39. exf5 gxf5 40. Nb8 Nd5+
41. Kd4 Nc7 42. a4 Ke6 43. Nxa6 Nxa6 44. axb5 Nb8 45. Kxc4 Nd7 46. b6 Nxb6+ 47.
Kc5 Nd7+ 48. Kc6 Nb8+ 49. Kb7 Nd7 50. Kc7 h5 51. b5 Nc5 52. Kc6 Nb3 53. b6 Na5+
54. Kc7 Kd5 55. Kd7 Nb7 56. Ke7 Kc6 57. Kf6 Nd6 58. Ke6 Nc4 59. Kxf5 Nxb6 60.
Kg5 Kd6 61. Kxh5 Nd5 62. Kg6 Ke6 63. h4 Ne7+ 64. Kg5 Kf7 65. g4 Nd5 66. f5 Nf6
67. Kf4 Kg7 68. g5 Nd7 69. h5 Kf7 70. h6 Nf8 71. Ke5 Nd7+ 72. Kd6 Nf8 73. Kc7
Ke7 74. g6 Kf6 75. g7 1-0

[/pgn]
Going into the final day, GM Rambaldi led with 4 ½ out of 5. He was closely followed by six players at 4-1: GMs Stukopin & Belous, FMs Griffith & Taghizadeh, SM Zhu, and NM Pranav Nagarajan. The penultimate round saw a major shakeup as FM Griffith defeated GM Rambaldi on board one. GM Belous defeated FM Taghizadeh to also get to 5-1.  GM Stukopin drew with SM Zhu and NM Nagarajan was paired “down” to GM Rambaldi, splitting the point.
[pgn]

[Event "Golden State Open "]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2020.01.20"]
[Round "6.3"]
[White "Taghizadeh, Rayan"]
[Black "Belous, Vladimir"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B08"]
[WhiteElo "2407"]
[BlackElo "2651"]
[PlyCount "130"]
[EventDate "2020.??.??"]
[SourceVersionDate "2018.12.29"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. Nc3 d6 4. e4 a6 5. Bd3 Bg7 6. Qe2 Bg4 7. Be3 Nc6 8. h3
Bxf3 9. Qxf3 Nd7 10. Ne2 e5 11. c3 exd4 12. Bxd4 Nxd4 13. Nxd4 c5 14. Ne2 Ne5
15. Qe3 O-O 16. O-O Re8 17. f4 Nxd3 18. Qxd3 Qb6 19. Qc2 Re7 20. f5 c4+ 21. Kh1
Qe3 22. f6 Qxe4 23. Qxe4 Rxe4 24. Ng3 Re3 25. fxg7 Rxg3 26. Rf6 Rd8 27. Rd1 d5
28. Rf4 Kxg7 29. Rxc4 dxc4 30. Rxd8 Rd3 31. Rc8 Rd2 32. b3 cxb3 33. axb3 Rd7
34. Kg1 Kf6 35. Kf2 Ke5 36. Ke3 h5 37. Re8+ Kd6 38. Kd3 Kc6+ 39. Kc2 Rd5 40. g4
hxg4 41. hxg4 Rd6 42. c4 Rd4 43. Re7 Rf4 44. Kd3 b5 45. Ra7 Kb6 46. Rd7 Kc5 47.
Rd5+ Kc6 48. Rg5 Rf3+ 49. Kc2 Kb6 50. cxb5 axb5 51. b4 Rf4 52. Kc3 Rc4+ 53. Kb3
Kc6 54. Ka3 Rd4 55. Rc5+ Kd6 56. Rxb5 Rxg4 57. Rb6+ Ke5 58. Rc6 Rg1 59. Kb2 Rd1
60. b5 Rd6 61. Rc7 Rb6 62. Rxf7 Rxb5+ 63. Kc2 Rd5 64. Re7+ Kf4 65. Rf7+ Kg3 0-1

[/pgn]
This meant that going into the last round, GM Belous and FM Griffith led the pack at 5-1. They were followed by seven players at 4 ½ - 1 ½ : GMs Stukopin & Rambaldi, IMs Konstantin Kavutskiy & Teddy Coleman, SM Zhu, NM Nagarajan and Henry Wang. NM Nagaranjan had opted for a last round half-point bye. He would thus finish at 5-2. If Belous and Griffith drew, there could be as much as a five way tie for first. But Belous defeated Griffith to finish at 6-1 in clear first place, winning $3100.
[pgn]

[Event "Golden State Open 2020"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2020.01.20"]
[Round "7.1"]
[White "Belous, Vladimir"]
[Black "Griffith, Kyron"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E92"]
[WhiteElo "2651"]
[BlackElo "2434"]
[PlyCount "81"]
[EventDate "2020.??.??"]
[SourceVersionDate "2018.12.29"]

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. d4 O-O 6. Be2 e5 7. d5 a5 8. Bg5 h6
9. Bh4 Na6 10. Nd2 Qe8 11. O-O h5 12. a3 Bd7 13. b3 Nh7 14. f3 Bh6 15. Kh1 Be3
16. Rb1 Bc5 17. Qc1 f5 18. exf5 gxf5 19. f4 e4 20. b4 axb4 21. axb4 Nxb4 22.
Rb3 e3 23. Qb2 Bd4 24. Nf3 Ra2 25. Qb1 Bxc3 26. Rxc3 Rxe2 27. Qxb4 b6 28. Nd4
Rd2 29. Ne6 Qg6 30. Rg1 Re2 31. Nxf8 Kxf8 32. Qb3 Qg4 33. Qd1 Ba4 34. h3 Qxg2+
35. Rxg2 Bxd1 36. Rxe2 Bxe2 37. Kg1 Kf7 38. Bd8 Nf6 39. Rxe3 Bd1 40. Re7+ Kf8
41. Re1 1-0

[/pgn]
Two of the next three boards were decisive: GM Rambaldi defeated Henry Wang and SM Zhu defeated IM Coleman. GM Rambaldi and SM Zhu each won $1100 for tying for second. GM Stukopin drew with IM Kavutiskiy. They finished in a five way tie for fourth. The section winners were: U2100 Felix German, 6 ½ - ½, $1700 U1800 Enoch Martinez, 6 ½ - ½, $1700 U1500 Jeremy Cawthon, 6 ½ - ½, $1400 U1200 Charles Clem & Roy Sfadia, 6-1, $750 Mixed Doubles Hansika Kolli & Aarya Gorjalar, 11 ½ – 2 ½, $750 to each player Blitz Arman Baradaran, 7-1, $115
NTD David Hater directed for Continental Chess assisted by Tom Langland and Jordan Langland. Full tournament details including many games can be found at www.goldenstateopen.com. Previous Continental Chess tournaments can be found at the Continental Chess website at http://www.chesstour.com/cross.html.

Comments

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

As no comments on this Golden State report have been posted, I'd like to draw attention to a concurrently held California tournament: Dreaming King Open, in San Diego. It was a 6 round, 100 GPP event, won outright by young FM Robert Shlyakhtenko. Not sure if Robert or that many others will see my comment here, but given there might be no scheduled news item on his tournament win, let me take the chance to post a short personal note to congratulate him: Congratulations Robert! Noticed your excellent clear 1st place win at the Dreaming King. It was great to introduce myself briefly with a handshake, in between rounds on the final day of the American Open. By the way, taking spontaneous initiative like this generally remains quite difficult for me. Last but not least I enjoyed a past US Chess School article you wrote to this site, which was how I first heard of your name. IM Justin Sarkar

Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.

Plain Text Comments

Share Your Feedback

We recently completed a website update. If you notice a formatting error on this page, please click here.