GM Vladimir Belous wins Atlantic Open

GM Vladimir Belous won the 51st Annual Atlantic Open (August 23-25, Falls Church, VA) with a score of 4.5-0.5 to take the first place prize of $3100.  Belous played the two other GMs in the 38 player Major Section, scoring 1.5/2, and he graciously provides some notes to his games for CLO readers. Belous also won clear first in the blitz event and came up a half-point point short of winning a mixed doubles prize!
Vladimir Belous (photo David Hater)
This year’s event drew 303 players across seven sections, all chasing the guaranteed $30,000 prize fund. These numbers are in line with historical averages and served to guarantee good competition for all the players! The first round generally went as expected, with the usual draws and two upsets. 25th seeded Joshua Altman (who could have opted to play in the U2100 section) drew with 6th seeded NM William Marcelino. Also, Charles Bouzoukis drew with Diana Suralik. The upsets were NM Daniel Clancy losing to Ronen Wilson and Peter Boris losing to Nikunj Oza. By the second round the top boards featured masters playing the GMs. There was a surprise on board one when NM Paris Prestia drew with top seeded GM Oliver Barbosa. At the end of the second round, there were only four perfect scores: GMs Mark Paragua and Vladimir Belous, FM Andrew Samuelson, and NM Evan Ling. Round three saw another draw on the top board as Samuelson held against Paragua. Belous continued to roll as he beat Ling. He would head into Sunday’s money games in clear first place at 3-0, but chased by many players a half-point back including GMs Paragua and Barbosa, IM Kevin Wang (who took a bye in round 1), FM Samuelson NM Terry Luo, and Joshua Altman.  (Wang withdrew and would not be a factor in the rest of the event.) A lot of blood was shed in Sunday morning’s fourth round. Belous defeated Barbosa, while Paragua defeated Luo to stay within striking distance. Alton pulled off his third straight upset as he defeated Samuelson.
[pgn]

[Event "Atlantic Open"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2019.08.25"]
[Round "4.1"]
[White "Belous, Vladimir"]
[Black "Barbosa, Oliver"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D31"]
[WhiteElo "2580"]
[BlackElo "2620"]
[Annotator "Belous"]
[PlyCount "75"]
[EventDate "2019.??.??"]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 dxc4 5. a4 e6 6. e4 Bb4 7. e5 Nd5 8. Bd2 b5
9. axb5 Bxc3 10. bxc3 cxb5 11. Ng5 Nc6 12. h4 a6 13. Qh5 Qe7 14. Rh3 b4 15. Ne4
O-O 16. Bg5 f6 17. exf6 Nxf6 18. Nxf6+ gxf6 19. Bh6 Rf7 20. Bxc4 Kh8 21. Kf1
bxc3 22. Rxc3 Bd7 23. Be3 (23. Rd1 Nb4 $18) 23... Nb4 24. Kg1 Bc6 25. Qc5 Qxc5
26. dxc5 Rg8 27. g3 Nd5 28. Rca3 Bb5 29. Ba2 Rg4 30. Rd1 Rd7 31. Bh6 Ra4 32.
Rxa4 Bxa4 33. Re1 e5 34. Rb1 Bb5 35. c6 Rd8 36. Bxd5 Rxd5 37. Rc1 Rd8 38. c7
1-0

[/pgn]
[pgn]

[Event "Atlantic Open"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2019.08.25"]
[Round "4.3"]
[White "Altman, Joshua"]
[Black "Samuelson, Andrew"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A61"]
[WhiteElo "2059"]
[BlackElo "2254"]
[PlyCount "169"]
[EventDate "2019.??.??"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 e6 4. Nc3 exd5 5. cxd5 d6 6. Nf3 g6 7. Bf4 Bg7 8. e3
O-O 9. h3 Na6 10. Bc4 Nc7 11. a4 a6 12. O-O Re8 13. Nd2 b6 14. Bb3 Bb7 15. Nc4
Ncxd5 16. Nxd6 Nxc3 17. Bxf7+ Kf8 18. bxc3 Re7 19. Qb3 Qd7 20. Bc4 Nh5 21. Nxb7
Nxf4 22. exf4 Qxb7 23. Bd5 Qa7 24. Bxa8 Qxa8 25. Rad1 Qb8 26. Qc4 Bf6 27. Rfe1
Rf7 28. Re6 Be7 29. Rde1 b5 30. Qe4 Qc7 31. Rxa6 bxa4 32. Rxa4 Bd6 33. Qd5 Bxf4
34. Ra8+ Kg7 35. Qd8 Bh2+ 36. Kh1 Qf4 37. Ra2 Qc4 38. Rae2 Bc7 39. Qd2 Bf4 40.
Qb2 Bd6 41. Re4 Qd3 42. c4+ Kg8 43. Re8+ Bf8 44. Qe2 Qd4 45. Rd1 Qxf2 46. Qxf2
Rxf2 47. Kg1 Rf6 48. Rf1 Rxf1+ 49. Kxf1 Kf7 50. Re4 Bd6 51. Ke2 h5 52. Kf3 Kf6
53. Re8 Kg5 54. Ke4 Bh2 55. Kd5 Bg1 56. Rg8 h4 57. Ke6 Bf2 58. Kf7 Kf4 59. Rxg6
Bg3 60. Re6 Bf2 61. Kg6 Kg3 62. Kh5 Kxg2 63. Kg4 Bg3 64. Re2+ Kf1 65. Kf3 Bc7
66. Rd2 Ke1 67. Rd5 Bb6 68. Kg4 Ke2 69. Kxh4 Kf3 70. Kg5 Ke4 71. h4 Bc7 72. h5
Bf4+ 73. Kg6 Be3 74. h6 Bd4 75. Rxd4+ Kxd4 76. h7 Kxc4 77. h8=Q Kb3 78. Qh1 c4
79. Qc1 c3 80. Kf5 c2 81. Ke4 Kc3 82. Ke3 Kb3 83. Kd3 Ka2 84. Qxc2+ Ka1 85. Qd2
1-0

[/pgn]
Going into the last round, Belous still was in clear first place with a perfect 4-0 score, followed by just two players at 3.5: GM Paragua and Altman! Belous would face Paragua and Altman would get paired down to the highest rated player at 3-1: NM Daniel Clancy. Needing to win to get to first place and with the white pieces, Paragua came to play, but Vladimir did get the draw that he needed.
[pgn]

[Event "Atlantic Open"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2019.08.25"]
[Round "5.1"]
[White "Paragua, Mark"]
[Black "Belous, Vladimir"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D96"]
[WhiteElo "2610"]
[BlackElo "2580"]
[Annotator "Belous"]
[PlyCount "138"]
[EventDate "2019.??.??"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. Qb3 dxc4 6. Qxc4 a6 7. e4 b5 8. Qd3
Bb7 9. e5 Nd5 10. Ne4 O-O (10... Nd7 11. Be2 Nb4 12. Qb1 f5 13. Neg5 $14) 11.
Be2 Nb4 12. Qb1 Nd7 (12... f5 13. Nc5) 13. a3 Nd5 14. O-O c5 15. Nxc5 Nxc5 16.
dxc5 Qc7 17. Qc2 Bxe5 18. Nxe5 Qxe5 19. Bf3 Rac8 20. Bh6 Rfd8 21. Rad1 Qf6 22.
Qc1 Qc6 23. Rfe1 e6 24. Bg5 Rf8 25. Be7 Rfe8 26. Bd6 f6 27. Qh6 Qd7 28. Qd2 Qf7
29. h4 Bc6 30. Re2 Ne7 31. Bxc6 Nxc6 32. f4 Rcd8 33. Rde1 e5 34. fxe5 Nxe5 35.
Qf4 Kg7 36. Bxe5 fxe5 (36... Rxe5 37. Rxe5 $18) 37. Qg3 Rd5 38. b4 a5 39. h5
axb4 40. axb4 Qf5 41. hxg6 hxg6 42. Rf2 Qe6 43. Qc3 Rd4 44. Qxd4 exd4 45. Rxe6
Rxe6 46. Rf4 d3 47. Rd4 Kf6 48. Kf2 Re2+ 49. Kf3 Rb2 (49... Ke5 50. Rxd3 Rc2
51. Re3+ Kd5 52. Re4 Rc3+ 53. Kf4 $11) 50. Ke4 Rxg2 51. Kd5 d2 52. c6 Rg5+ 53.
Kd6 Rg4 54. Rxd2 Rxb4 55. Rc2 Rd4+ 56. Kc5 Rd8 57. c7 Rc8 58. Kd6 Kf5 59. Kd7
Rxc7+ 60. Rxc7 g5 61. Kd6 Ke4 62. Rg7 b4 63. Rxg5 Kd4 64. Rg4+ Kc3 65. Kc5 b3
66. Rg3+ Kc2 67. Kc4 b2 68. Rg2+ Kb1 69. Kc3 Ka1 1/2-1/2

[/pgn]
The draw allowed Altman to possibly share first place if he could defeat Clancy, but he only drew. This meant that Paragua and Altman shared 2nd place / 1st Under 2300, with each winning $1400.  Sharing 4th place and 2nd Under 2300 was GM Barbosa, FM Samuelson, NM Clancy and Sigautam Bonam. Each won $525. Altman had a great event, scoring 3 wins and 2 draws against the five masters he faced. His post-event rating climbed to 2183 and I’m sure he will join the ranks of national masters soon! The section winners were: U2100 Sebastian Prestia, 4.5-0.5, $2000 U1900 Lillian Wang, 4.5-0.5, $2000 U1700 Michael Eidi & Daniel Wang, 4.5-0.5, $1350 U1500 Andrew Shermeyer, 4.5-0.5, $1500 U1300 Adhiraian Ayyappan, 5-0, $1300 U1000 Ryan Lindley, 5-0, $800 Mixed Doubles Aadarsini Ayyappan & Adhiraian Ayyappan, 8.5 points, $500 to each player Blitz GM Vladimir Belous, 8-0, $150 NTD Steve Immitt directed for Continental Chess assisted by Andy Rea, Harold Stenzel, Adam Chrisney and Josh Hilban. Previous Continental Chess tournaments can be found at the Continental Chess website at http://www.chesstour.com/cross.html.

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