Bryant Golden in 10th Annual Golden State Open

IM John Bryant at the 2016 Southern California Open. Photo: Irina Nizmutdinova
International Master John Daniel Bryant won clear first in the 10th Annual Golden State Open held from January 18th to 21st in the San Francisco suburb of Concord, California.  This year’s event drew 278 players which is slightly smaller than normal but still well within attendance ranges for this event.  However, this year the event was not nearly as strong as past year’s events.  In past years, the event benefitted from close proximity timewise to Bay Area International events.  This year the Bay Area International and Pan-Ams were not quite as close to the Golden State Open and rather than get a synergy, top players had to make a choice.  Given that the events are locked in to holiday weekend schedules, it didn’t work out that some of the stronger GMs could play in multiple consecutive events. Bryant certainly made the most of this opportunity as he was the top seed and outrated the second seed by nearly 200 points.  Even though Bryant was the presumptive favorite, there were two FMs, one WIM, two WFMs and a total of 15 players over 2200, so his victory was certainly not pre-ordained.  Bryant did dominate the field scoring 6-1 with 5 wins and two draws.  He played every game on board one.  Bryant played five of the six players seeded immediately behind him and all but his first round game were played against masters seeded in the top 10 in the tournament. Bryant played in the four day schedule and started at 3-0 winning his games against Theodore Biyiasis, NM Michael “f-pawn” Aigner, and WIM Megan Lee.  By round four, there were only two perfect scores, Bryant and second seeded NM Chao Zhang.  These two played in round four.  Bryant was better in the middle game and was a pawn up for a while, but Zhao had a dangerous passed pawn and was able to obtain a winning position In the end Bryant held the draw.
[pgn]

[Event "Golden State Open"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2019.01.20"]
[White "Bryant, John Daniel"]
[Black "Zhang, Chao"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C67"]
[WhiteElo "2540"]
[BlackElo "2375"]
[PlyCount "136"]
[EventDate "2019.??.??"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. Re1 Nd6 6. Nxe5 Be7 7. Bf1 Nxe5
8. Rxe5 O-O 9. d4 Bf6 10. Re1 Re8 11. Rxe8+ Nxe8 12. d5 d6 13. c4 g6 14. Nc3
Bf5 15. Be3 Bg7 16. Rc1 Nf6 17. h3 Ne4 18. Nxe4 Bxe4 19. Bd4 Bf5 20. Bxg7 Kxg7
21. Rc3 Bd7 22. Qe2 Qg5 23. Re3 Kf8 24. Qd2 Qf6 25. Rf3 Qg7 26. c5 Qe5 27. Re3
Qf6 28. c6 bxc6 29. dxc6 Bxc6 30. Rc3 d5 31. Qc1 Bd7 32. Rxc7 Qd6 33. Be2 Re8
34. Bf3 a5 35. Qc3 d4 36. Qxa5 d3 37. Rc1 Kg8 38. Qd2 Rc8 39. Rd1 Bb5 40. a4
Rc2 41. Qa5 Bc4 42. b4 d2 43. Qa8+ Kg7 44. Qe4 Bb3 45. Qe3 Bxa4 46. Ra1 Bb5 47.
Bd1 Rc4 48. Be2 Rd4 49. Bd1 Rxb4 50. g3 Qd4 51. Qxd4+ Rxd4 52. Ra2 g5 53. f3
Bd7 54. Kf2 Bxh3 55. Ke3 Rc4 56. Rxd2 Be6 57. Rd4 Rc1 58. g4 Kf6 59. f4 Rc3+
60. Kd2 Rg3 61. f5 Bc8 62. Rd6+ Ke5 63. Rh6 Bb7 64. Rxh7 Bd5 65. Rh5 Kf4 66.
Rh6 Rg2+ 67. Kc3 Rg1 68. Kd2 Rg3 1/2-1/2[/pgn]
Round four featured a nice miniature where NM Kevin Pan defeats Archit Dasika.  Can you spot the winning combination?
[pgn]

[Event "Golden State Open"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2019.01.20"]
[White "Pan, Kevin"]
[Black "Dasika, Archit"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B17"]
[WhiteElo "2240"]
[BlackElo "2183"]
[Annotator "Hater,David"]
[PlyCount "41"]
[EventDate "2019.??.??"]

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Nd7 5. Nf3 Ngf6 6. Ng3 e6 7. c3 c5 8. Bd3
Be7 9. O-O O-O 10. Re1 b6 11. a4 Bb7 12. Bf4 cxd4 13. Nxd4 Nc5 14. Bc2 Qd5 15.
f3 Qd8 16. b4 Ncd7 17. a5 Nd5 18. a6 Bxa6 (18... Bc8 19. Nc6 Qe8 20. Nxe7+ Nxe7
21. Be4) 19. Nc6 Qc8 20. Qxd5 Bd8 21. Qd6 1-0[/pgn]
Solution:  18. a6! Bxa6 (18. … Bc8 19. Nc6 Qe8  20. Nxe7 Be4) 19. Nc6 Qe8 20. Nxe7 and either 20. … Qxe7 21. Rxd5 or 20. …Nxe7  21. Rxa6 The round four draw between the two perfect scores allowed others to catch up.  Entering round five, there were five players tied at 3 ½ - ½ Bryant, Zhao, FM Eugene Yanayt, and NMs Sergey Nazaryev and Kevin Pan.  All of their fifth round games were decisive.  Bryant had black and defeated Nazaryev, Zhang defeated Pan and Yanayt played NM Kyle Morrison who had 3 points.
[pgn]

[Event "Golden State Open"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2019.01.21"]
[White "Bryant, John Daniel"]
[Black "Yanayt, Eugene"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B06"]
[WhiteElo "2540"]
[BlackElo "2293"]
[PlyCount "129"]
[EventDate "2019.??.??"]

1. e4 c5 2. c3 d5 3. exd5 Qxd5 4. d4 g6 5. Nf3 Bg7 6. Na3 cxd4 7. Nb5 Na6 8.
Be3 Nh6 9. Bxd4 Bxd4 10. Qxd4 Qxd4 11. Nbxd4 Nc7 12. O-O-O O-O 13. Bc4 Bg4 14.
Rhe1 e6 15. Be2 Rfd8 16. h3 Bxf3 17. Bxf3 Rab8 18. Nc2 Rdc8 19. Nd4 Kf8 20. Nb3
b6 21. Nd4 Ne8 22. g4 Ng8 23. Nc6 Rb7 24. a4 Rbc7 25. Nd4 a6 26. a5 b5 27. Nc2
Ne7 28. Kb1 Nc6 29. Bxc6 Rxc6 30. Nb4 Rd6 31. Rxd6 Nxd6 32. Nxa6 Ra8 33. Nc5
Rxa5 34. Rd1 Nc4 35. Rd8+ Ke7 36. Rd7+ Ke8 37. Rc7 Ra8 38. Ne4 Rd8 39. Kc2 h6
40. b3 Nd6 41. f3 Nxe4 42. fxe4 Ra8 43. b4 Ra1 44. Rb7 Rh1 45. Rxb5 Rxh3 46.
Rc5 h5 47. gxh5 Rxh5 48. e5 Kd7 49. b5 f6 50. b6 fxe5 51. Rc7+ Kd6 52. c4 Rh2+
53. Kc3 Rh3+ 54. Kb4 Rh4 55. Rc8 Rh1 56. c5+ Kd5 57. Rd8+ Kc6 58. Rd6+ Kb7 59.
Rxe6 Rb1+ 60. Kc4 Rc1+ 61. Kd5 Rd1+ 62. Kxe5 Rc1 63. Re7+ Kb8 64. Kd6 g5 65.
Kc6 1-0[/pgn]
This narrowed the leaders to three: Bryant, Zhao, and Yanayt.  Bryant defeated Yanayt in round six, but Zhao could only draw with NM Vinesh Ravuri. In round six Dasika showed he could also be on the good side of a miniature where it may have looked like white was attacking but black had a very nice counterattack which features a very nice mate threat.
[pgn]

[Event "Golden State Open"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2019.01.21"]
[White "Wu, Derek"]
[Black "Dasika, Archit"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B17"]
[WhiteElo "2201"]
[BlackElo "2183"]
[PlyCount "40"]
[EventDate "2019.??.??"]

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Nd7 5. Ng5 Ngf6 6. Bd3 e6 7. Qe2 Bd6 8.
N1f3 h6 9. Nh3 Qc7 10. Bd2 O-O 11. O-O-O e5 12. Rde1 Re8 13. dxe5 Nxe5 14. Nxe5
Rxe5 15. Qd1 Be6 16. Bc3 Rxe1 17. Qxe1 Nd5 18. Qe4 Nxc3 19. Qh7+ Kf8 20. Qh8+
Ke7 0-1[/pgn]
This meant Bryant went into the last round in clear first.  Zhang was the only player ½ point back.  There were four players 1 point back including Yanayt, Nazaryev, Ravuri, and NM Rochelle Wu.  In the last round, Zhang and Nazaryev played a fairly quick draw.  I thought there was some chance that might encourage Bryant to draw to take clear first,  He did eventually draw, by it wasn’t quick and it looked like Wu was definitely trying to win. Yanayt and Ravuri also drew.  This left Bryant clear first at 6-1, Zhao clear second at 5 ½ - 1 ½ and Yanayt, Ravuri, Nazaryev, Wu and NM Michael Zaloznyy (who won his last round vs Pan) to share third place and earn $600.
[pgn]

[Event "Golden State Open"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2019.01.21"]
[White "Wu, Rochelle"]
[Black "Bryant, John Daniel"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A70"]
[WhiteElo "2284"]
[BlackElo "2540"]
[PlyCount "116"]
[EventDate "2019.??.??"]

1. d4 c5 2. d5 e6 3. c4 exd5 4. cxd5 d6 5. Nc3 g6 6. Nf3 Nf6 7. Bf4 Bg7 8. Qa4+
Bd7 9. Qb3 Qc7 10. e4 O-O 11. Nd2 Nh5 12. Be3 f5 13. exf5 Bxf5 14. Be2 Nf6 15.
h3 Na6 16. a3 Qf7 17. O-O Nc7 18. Nc4 Rad8 19. Bf4 Ne4 20. Nxe4 Bxe4 21. Bxd6
Bxd5 22. Bxf8 Rxf8 23. Qg3 Ne6 24. Ne3 Nf4 25. Bf3 Be6 26. Bg4 Bd7 27. Kh1 Bb5
28. Rfd1 Be5 29. Bf3 Qg7 30. Ng4 Bd4 31. Rd2 h5 32. Ne3 Kh7 33. Be4 Qe7 34. Bc2
Bc6 35. Rc1 Qf6 36. Rcd1 Re8 37. h4 Ne6 38. Nc4 Nf4 39. Ne3 Bxb2 40. Rd6 Qf7
41. Bb3 Qxb3 42. Qxf4 Bd4 43. R1xd4 cxd4 44. Rxd4 Re7 45. Qd6 Qe6 46. Qb8 Qf6
47. Rf4 Qa1+ 48. Kh2 Qe5 49. Qf8 Rg7 50. Nc4 Qe7 51. Qb8 Rg8 52. Qe5 Re8 53.
Qd4 Qg7 54. Qc5 Kg8 55. Qg5 Re6 56. Qd8+ Re8 57. Qg5 Re6 58. Qd8+ Re8 1/2-1/2[/pgn]
Only one other section had a clear winner and that section featured the only perfect score.  Gabriel Enkhjargal scored a perfect 7-0 and picked up 233 rating points and $1000.  Gabriel won the tournament with a round to spare.  In the last round he was 6-0 and was paired down to a player at 4-2 as he had already played and beaten everybody with a higher score.
Rochelle and Derek Wu both played in the Golden State Open, Photo Maggie Luo
Here are the winners of each section: Under 2100 Michael Taylor and Jaisuraj Kaleeswaren, 6-1, $1300 Under 1800 Abraham Canafe, Igor Garbouz, Abraham Martinez, Yash Mago, Vincent Qin, Elia Harmatz, & Deepak Kini, 5 ½ - ½, $833.34 Under 1500 Robert Chen and Garrett Edwards, 6-1, $1050 Under 1200 Gabriel Enkhjargal, 7-0, $1000 Mixed Doubles Tatiana Vasilkchuk/Chao Zhang & Megan Lee/Robert Chen, 9 ½ - 4 ½, $750 each team Blitz Tournament Kyle Morrison, 7-1, $80 NTD David Hater directed for Continental Chess Association assisted by Tom Langland and John McCumiskey. Full tournament details 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.

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