Gareyev and Bryant Win Western Class

By John Hartmann |  April 7, 2020  |   News

The Western Class Championships were held in the Los Angeles suburb of Van Nuys from March 6-8. In today’s environment, that seems like a lifetime ago, and the tournament was negatively affected by COVID-19 concerns, drawing 191 players as opposed to the usual 260+ historical average. This event was the last event before COVID-19 dramatically affected operations. It was the last CCA event with a guaranteed prize fund until the situation stabilizes, and it was our last event played before CCA suspended operations in March and April. Interestingly, the section that seemed least affected was the Master section. It featured 6 GMs, 5 IMs and 4 FMs, with 31 players in all. There were several examples of GM versus GM games and the tournament was highly competitive throughout. The first GM to pull away from the pack was GM Steven Zierk. He defeated top seeded GM Vladimir Akopian in round two and IM Robby Kevlishvili in round three to be the only player to get to 3-0 going into Sunday’s money rounds. There were five players with scores of 2 ½ - ½ chasing Zierk: GM Timur Gareyev & Francisco Rambaldi, IMs John Bryant & Justin Sarkar and FM Robert Shlyakhtenko. In round four Gareyev defeated Zierk on board one to emerge as a new tournament leader. Gareyev was kind enough to annotate this game for CLO.

[pgn] [Event "Western Class Championship"] [Site "Khanty-Mansiysk"] [Date "2019.03.08"] [Round "?"] [White "Gareyev, Timur"] [Black "Zierk, Steven"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D27"] [WhiteElo "2683"] [BlackElo "2582"] [Annotator "Gareyev"] [PlyCount "51"] [EventDate "2010.09.21"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3 e6 5. Bxc4 c5 6. O-O a6 7. Qe2 Nc6 8. Rd1 Qc7 9. a4 Be7 10. dxc5 Bxc5 11. h3 O-O 12. b3 b6 13. Bb2 Bb7 14. Nbd2 Rfd8 15. Rac1 Qe7 16. Ba1 Bb4 17. Bd3 Na5 18. Be5 Nd7 (18... Nc6 $142 19. Bxf6 gxf6 20. Be4 (20. Nc4 Bc5 21. Be4) 20... Rac8 21. Nc4 b5) 19. Rc7 $36 f6 $2 (19... Bd6 20. Bxh7+ Kxh7 21. Qd3+) (19... Rdc8 20. Be4 Rxc7 21. Bxc7 Bxe4 22. Nxe4 Nxb3 23. Qb2 Na5 24. Qd4 $14) 20. Be4 $5 (20. Bg3 e5 21. Nh4 $40 Rac8 22. Bc4+ Nxc4 23. Rxc8 Rxc8 24. Nf5 Qf8 25. Nxc4 Rc7 26. Ncd6) 20... Bxe4 21. Nxe4 fxe5 22. Nxe5 Qh4 (22... Nxe5 23. Rxe7 Bxe7 24. Rxd8+ Rxd8 (24... Bxd8 25. b4 Nac6 26. Qd1) 25. Qxa6 $18) 23. Ng4 $5 (23. Nxd7 Qxe4 24. Rd4 Qb1+ 25. Kh2 Be7 (25... Qxb3 26. Nf6+) 26. b4 Nb3 27. Rd1 Qf5 28. Qc4 Qxf2 29. Qxb3 $14) 23... Nc5 ( 23... Nf8 24. g3 Rxd1+ 25. Qxd1 Qd8 26. Nh6+ gxh6 27. Qg4+ Ng6 28. Qxe6+ Kh8 29. Qf7 Be7 (29... Ne7 30. Nf6 Qd3 31. e4) (29... Qd1+ 30. Kh2 Ne7 31. Nf6 Qd3 32. e4) 30. Nf6 Qd1+ 31. Kh2) (23... Ne5 $1 24. g3 Qxh3 25. Nxe5 Qf5 26. Nd7 Qxe4 27. Rd4 Qb1+ 28. Kg2 Be7 29. Nxb6 Nxb3 30. Nxa8 Nxd4 31. exd4 Kf7 32. Qf3+ Qf5 33. Qb7 Qd5+ 34. Qxd5 exd5 35. Ra7 $16) (23... h5 24. g3 Qe7 (24... Qxh3 25. Rdxd7 Rxd7 26. Ngf6+ gxf6 27. Nxf6+ Kg7 28. Rxd7+ Kxf6 29. Qf3+ Qf5 30. Qxa8 $18) 25. Rdxd7 Rxd7 26. Rxd7 Qxd7 27. Nef6+) 24. g3 Rxd1+ 25. Qxd1 Qd8 26. Nh6+ (26. Nh6+ gxh6 (26... Kf8 27. Qf3+) 27. Qg4+) 1-0 [/pgn]
Board two ended in a draw between GM Rambaldi and IM Sarkar. However, on board three, IM Bryant, who had drawn with Gareyev in round three, defeated FM Shlyakhtenko to keep pace with Gareyev as the tournament leader.
[pgn] [Event "Western Class Championship"] [Site "?"] [Date "2020.03.08"] [Round "4.3"] [White "Shlyakhtenko, Robert"] [Black "Bryant, John"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A65"] [WhiteElo "2441"] [BlackElo "2521"] [PlyCount "92"] [EventDate "2020.03.10"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Nge2 O-O 6. f3 c5 7. d5 e6 8. Ng3 exd5 9. cxd5 a6 10. a4 h5 11. Bg5 Nbd7 12. Be2 Qb6 13. Qd2 Nh7 14. Bh4 c4 15. Bxc4 Nc5 16. Nge2 f5 17. Bf2 Nf6 18. exf5 Bxf5 19. O-O Qb4 20. b3 Nfd7 21. Rad1 Ne5 22. Ne4 Qxd2 23. Nxd2 Nxc4 24. Nxc4 Nxb3 25. Nc1 Bc2 26. Nxb3 Bxb3 27. Rc1 Bxa4 28. Nxd6 b5 29. Rc6 b4 30. Rb6 Rfb8 31. Nb7 b3 32. Rb1 Rc8 33. Rb4 b2 34. Nc5 Be8 35. d6 Rab8 36. d7 Bxd7 37. Rxb8 Rxb8 38. Nxd7 Rb5 39. Nc5 Ra5 40. Nb3 Ra3 41. Nd2 a5 42. Kf1 Rc3 43. Ke2 Rc1 44. Kd3 a4 45. Bc5 Rxc5 46. Nc4 a3 0-1 [/pgn]
Heading into the last round, there were two leaders at 3 ½ - ½: Gareyev and Bryant.  They were being chased by six players at 3-1: GMs Vladimir Akopian, Vladimir Belous, Steven Zierk & Francesco Rambaldi and IMs Justin Sarkar & Robby Kevlishvili. Since Bryant and Gareyev had already played, they were paired down to the next scoregroup. Both players won as Gareyev defeated Akopian on board one and Bryant defeated Belous on board two. Zierk and Rambaldi drew on board three, but Kevlishvili defeated Sarkar to get to 4 – 1 and finish in clear third place. Again, Gareyev annotates the key game with Akopian.
[pgn] [Event "Western Class Championship"] [Site "Khanty-Mansiysk"] [Date "2020.03.08"] [Round "5.1"] [White "Akopian, Vladimir"] [Black "Gareyev, Timur"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C55"] [WhiteElo "2749"] [BlackElo "2683"] [Annotator "Gareyev"] [PlyCount "76"] [EventDate "2010.09.21"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. d3 h6 5. O-O d6 6. c3 g5 7. Nbd2 Bg7 8. Bb3 O-O 9. Nc4 Be6 10. Ne3 d5 11. Qc2 a5 12. Ba4 Qd6 13. exd5 Bxd5 14. Nd2 (14. Nf5 Qd7 15. Nxg7 Bxf3 16. gxf3 Kxg7) 14... Ne7 15. Ne4 Qa6 16. Bb3 Rad8 17. Nxd5 Nfxd5 18. a4 Qg6 19. Be3 b6 20. Rad1 Kh8 21. Bc1 Rd7 22. Rfe1 g4 23. Bc4 f5 24. Nd2 h5 (24... f4 $1 25. Ne4 f3 26. g3 Qh5 27. h4 Nf5) 25. Bxd5 Rxd5 26. d4 (26. f4) 26... f4 (26... e4 27. Nf1 (27. Nc4 Qc6 28. Ne5 Bxe5 29. dxe5 Ng6 30. Qb3 Rfd8) 27... Qc6) 27. Qb3 (27. Qxg6 Nxg6 28. dxe5 Nxe5 (28... Rfd8 29. e6 Bf6 30. Re4 Kg7) 29. Nf1 Nd3 30. Re2) (27. Qe4 Qxe4 28. Rxe4 Ng6) 27... f3 (27... h4) (27... g3 28. fxg3 fxg3 29. hxg3 Qxg3 30. Ne4) 28. Nc4 (28. Qc4) (28. g3 h4 29. Nf1 Qh5 30. Qc4 Rfd8) 28... h4 $1 29. Rd2 (29. dxe5) (29. Nxe5 Bxe5 (29... Rxe5) 30. Rxe5 (30. dxe5 g3) 30... Rxe5 31. dxe5 g3 32. fxg3 hxg3 33. h3 Qe4 ( 33... Qh5) 34. Qe6 Nf5) 29... g3 30. hxg3 hxg3 31. Qc2 e4 (31... exd4 32. Rxe7 (32. Qxg6 Nxg6 33. fxg3 Rc5) 32... d3 33. Qd1 (33. Qb3 Qh6 34. fxg3 f2+) 33... Qh5 34. fxg3 f2+) 32. Qxe4 Qh6 33. gxf3 (33. fxg3 Rh5 34. gxf3 (34. Kf2 fxg2+ ( 34... Rh2 35. Rg1 fxg2+ 36. Ke1 (36. Ke2 Rf1 37. Rxf1 g1=Q+) 36... Nf5) 35. Ke2 (35. Kxg2) 35... Rh1 36. Qxg2 (36. Rdd1 Qh2 (36... Qh5+ 37. Kd2 (37. g4 Qh2) 37... Rf2+ 38. Kd3 (38. Ke3) 38... Qxd1+ 39. Rxd1 Rxd1+) 37. Kd3 (37. Qh4+)) 36... Rh2) 34... Rh1+ 35. Kf2 Qh2+ 36. Ke3 Rxe1+ 37. Kd3 Qh1) 33... Rh5 (33... Rf4 34. Qxe7 Qh2+ 35. Kf1 Qh1+ 36. Ke2 Qxf3+ 37. Kf1 Rh5) 34. f4 (34. Kf1 Rh1+ 35. Ke2 Rxe1+ 36. Kxe1 g2) 34... Rxf4 35. Qa8+ Rf8 36. Rde2 (36. Qg2) 36... Rg5 (36... Qh7 37. Qg2 gxf2+ 38. Rxf2 Bxd4 39. cxd4 (39. Be3 Bxe3 40. Rxe3 Qb1+ 41. Qf1 Rg8+) 39... Rg8) 37. fxg3 Rxg3+ (37... Rxa8 38. Rh2 Qxh2+ 39. Kxh2 Rh5+) 38. Rg2 Qh4 (38... Qh4 39. Qe4 Rxg2+ 40. Qxg2 (40. Kxg2 Rf2+ 41. Kg1 Qh2#) 40... Qxe1+) 0-1 [/pgn]
The section winners were: Expert Eduard Hakobyan, 5-0, $1500 Class A Justin Cha, 4 ½ - ½, $1500 Class B Suren Mikoyan, 4 ½ - ½ , $1500 Class C David Koller, 4 ½ - ½, $1200 Class D Sergio Hernandez & Heber Sarmiento, 4 ½ - ½, $750 Class E Ashwin Damaraju, 4 ½ - ½ , $600 Mixed Doubles IM Annie Wang and Leo Wang, 6 ½ - 3 ½. $250 to each player Blitz GM Timur Gareyev, 8-0, $120 NTD David Hater directed for Continental Chess assisted by Tom Brownscombe and Randy Hough. Full tournament details can be found at http://chessevents.com/westernclass/ 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)

Thanks for the report. The event was indeed exceptionally strong and quite top heavy. Was very glad to make it, after almost being unable to go last minute. Shlyakhtenko-Bryant game in the 4th round... what a crazy game... thanks for supplying. I was actually playing right next to their board, yet for like the whole game had no clue who's better! Very interesting game. According to the database this game followed the game Black-Zenyuk, Vegas 2012 up to move 17. As for the opening: I have vague knowledge of this Nge2-Ng3 line against the Benoni (including the idea of meeting an early ...h5 with Bg5), from a book by Lars Schandorff many years ago. According to Lars, white gets "an improved version of the Sämisch King's Indian". Well later in the game it looks like a critical point came on move 25 when instead of Nc1 white should just take on d6 and sac the exchange. And then on move 33, instead of Rb4 white should go for 33.Nc5 b2 34.Rxg6 with ideas of sacking the exchange to capture the b2-pawn and at least not be worse. I have a brother who lives in LA, in fact super close to Van Nuys where the tournament was held. I unfortunately ended up not seeing him that weekend, but oh well. And despite my bittersweet end to a good tournament result, I was very glad to have played such a nice event, just before what one can call a long break from tournaments for all of us.

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