Expert Brandon Wang Wins Bradley Open with Breakout Performance

Brandon Wang Brandon Wang had a phenomenal performance in the 21st Bradley Open scoring 4-0 with a half point bye and tying for first with GM Michael Rohde and winning $825.  He was paired up 3 out of 4 games, but he won them all and had a performance rating of 2233 and gained over 100 rating points!  In the final two rounds on Sunday, Wang defeated GM Alexander Ivanov and FM Christopher Chase.

[pgn][Event "Bradley Open"] [Site "Windsor Locks, CT"] [Date "2016.07.24"] [Round "4"] [White "Ivanov, Alexander"] [Black "Wang, Brandon"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B50"] [WhiteElo "2546"] [BlackElo "2005"] [Annotator "Hater,David"] [PlyCount "72"] [EventDate "2016.??.??"]1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. c3 Nf6 4. Bd3 Nc6 5. Bc2 Bg4 6. d3 e6 7. Nbd2 Be7 8. h3 Bh5 9. Nf1 d5 10. Ng3 Bxf3 11. Qxf3 d4 12. O-O O-O 13. c4 h6 14. Qe2 Nd7 15. f4 e5 16. Nf5 Kh7 17. a3 exf4 18. Bxf4 Nde5 19. Ba4 Bf6 20. b4 cxb4 21. Bxc6 bxc6 22. axb4 a5 23. Rxa5 {GM Ivanov spent 40 minutes on this move and played under time pressure the rest of the game.} Rxa5 24. bxa5 Qxa5 25. Kh1 Qc3 26. Rd1 Ng6 27. Bd2 Qb3 28. Rf1 Be5 29. h4 Qb2 30. Qd1 Re8 31. h5 Ne7 32. Nh4 Bg3 33. Rxf7 Bxh4 34. Qg4 Bf6 35. Bf4 Qa1+ 36. Kh2 Qa5 {GM Ivanov flagged.} 0-1[/pgn]
One of the ironies of Wang’s performance is that he almost did not play.  Brandon had been experiencing some tough results of late in his last four tournaments and he dropped nearly 100 rating points from his all time peak rating of 2079.  He gained all that back in one tournament (plus some) and has a new peak crossing 2100 for the first time.  One of the reasons Brandon decided to play was that he won 9 months of free entries to CCA tournaments at this year’s Kasparov New York City Scholastics.  He certainly put that prize to good use this weekend! As mentioned, there was another co-champion, GM Michael Rohde.  Rohde had a “routine” Saturday starting with 3-0 against experts and class A players.  On Saturday morning, he defeated FM Chase in the following game.
[pgn][Event "Bradley Open"] [Site "Windsor Locks, CT"] [Date "2016.07.24"] [Round "4"] [White "Chase, Christopher"] [Black "Rohde, Michael"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A12"] [WhiteElo "2402"] [BlackElo "2513"] [PlyCount "62"] [EventDate "2016.07.??"] [EventRounds "5"] [EventCountry "USA"]1. Nf3 Nf6 2. g3 d5 3. Bg2 c6 4. O-O Bf5 5. d3 e6 6. Nbd2 h6 7. b3 Be7 8. Bb2 O-O 9. c4 a5 10. a3 Bh7 11. Bc3 Na6 12. Qc1 c5 13. d4 Ne4 14. e3 Nxc3 15. Qxc3 Rc8 16. Ne5 Bd6 17. Rad1 cxd4 18. exd4 Bxe5 19. dxe5 d4 20. Qb2 Nc5 21. Nf3 Qb6 22. Nxd4 Nd3 23. Rxd3 Bxd3 24. Nb5 a4 25. Qd2 Bg6 26. Nd6 axb3 27. Qb2 Rc5 28. Rc1 Rxe5 29. Qxe5 b2 30. Rb1 Bxb1 31. Nb5 Qa5 0-1[/pgn]
In the last round, Rohde drew FM Josh Colas who had already taken a half point by.  The only person who could possibly catch Rohde was Wang, but it seemed unlikely that he would beat FM Chase even though he had just beaten Ivanov.  It certainly looked like Rohde’s 4 ½ points would be good for clear first.  But there is a reason we play the game:
[pgn][Event "Bradley Open"] [Site "Windsor Locks, CT"] [Date "2016.07.24"] [Round "5"] [White "Wang, Brandon"] [Black "Chase, Christopher"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A41"] [WhiteElo "2005"] [BlackElo "2402"] [PlyCount "67"] [EventDate "2016.??.??"]1. d4 g6 2. c4 Bg7 3. Nc3 d6 4. Nf3 h6 5. e4 e5 6. Be3 Nd7 7. dxe5 dxe5 8. Qc2 Ne7 9. Bd3 O-O 10. Nd5 c6 11. Nxe7+ Qxe7 12. c5 Nf6 13. O-O Nh5 14. Nd2 Nf4 15. Bxf4 exf4 16. Rae1 Be6 17. h3 Rad8 18. Nf3 g5 19. e5 h5 20. h4 gxh4 21. Bf5 Kh8 22. Bxe6 Qxe6 23. Ng5 Qh6 24. Qf5 f6 25. exf6 Bxf6 26. Ne6 Rd5 27. Qxf4 Qxf4 28. Nxf4 Rxc5 29. Ne6 Be7 30. Nxc5 Bxc5 31. Re5 Bd4 32. Rxh5+ Kg7 33. Rxh4 Kg6 34. Rxd4 1-0[/pgn]
The Bradley Open has been going on for 21 years.  This year’s event had an $8000 prize fund which drew 149 players including two GMs, three FMs, 1 WFM and three NMs in the 40 player open section. Other section winners were:

Under 2010

Andrew Colwell 5-0 $800

Under 1710

Rishabh Vuthamaraju 4 ½ - ½ $700

Under 1310

Helena Servin- Demarris 5-0 $400

Mixed Doubles

Helena Servin- Demarris  5-0 & Akobirkhon Saydaliev 4-1  $150 each

Blitz Tournament

FM Joshua Colas 7-1 $80