GM Sadorra Wins Gulf Coast New Year's Open

Julio Sadorra, the Winner with Thomas Edison Looking over his Shoulder GM Julio Sadorra
The sunny coastal town of Fort Myers, Florida is a unique place, for sure. Home to the renowned Edison and Ford Estates, with year-round beach weather and alligators around every corner, it set the stage for the second annual Gulf Coast New Year’s Open. Along with excellent performances from top seeded players, this three day tourney (January 8th-10th, 2016) was filled with  mysterious openings, intriguing moves, and surprising blunders. Perhaps the cause of the madness and upheaval of the norm was abnormal weather—including a tornado on Saturday night. Regardless of Mother Nature, this year’s Open, honoring late chess enthusiast Eric Rosenthal, was different. The tournament kicked off with an exhilarating blindfolded simul led by GM Timur Gareev. Gareev is gearing up for his world-record breaking attempt for the most wins in a blindfolded chess simul. This event was inspiring. Blindfold Chess requires a certain magnitude of visualization and calculation. International Arbiter, Jon Haskel said the lineup for this tournament included one of the largest turnouts of titled players in the state of Florida’s recent history with 6 GMs, 2 FMs, and 1 WIM. One of the most captivating moments was the opening in the match between GM Julio Sadorra V FM Corey Acor.

[Site "Fort Myers, Florida"]
[Date "2016.01.09"]
[White "Sadorra, Julio"]
[Black "Acor, Corey"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A52"]
[WhiteElo "2635"]
[BlackElo "2368"]
[PlyCount "89"]
[EventDate "2016.??.??"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e5 3. dxe5 Ng4 4. Nf3 Nc6 5. Bf4 Bb4+ 6. Nbd2 Qe7 7. e3 Ngxe5
8. Be2 d6 9. a3 Bxd2+ 10. Nxd2 Bf5 11. Nb1 g5 12. Bg3 h5 13. h4 Ng6 14. Nc3
gxh4 15. Nd5 Qd8 16. Bh2 Nce5 17. Qd4 c6 18. Nf4 c5 19. Qc3 Qg5 20. Nxg6 Bxg6
21. O-O-O O-O-O 22. Rxd6 Qf5 23. Rxg6 Nxg6 24. Qa5 Rd7 25. Qxa7 Kd8 26. Rd1 Ke7
27. Rxd7+ Qxd7 28. Qxc5+ Kf6 29. Bd6 Rd8 30. Qd4+ Kg5 31. c5 Qe6 32. Bf4+ Nxf4
33. exf4+ Kh6 34. Qxd8 Qxe2 35. Qf6+ Kh7 36. Qxf7+ Kh6 37. Qf6+ Kh7 38. Qf5+
Kh6 39. Qg5+ Kh7 40. Qd5 Qf1+ 41. Qd1 Qxg2 42. Qxh5+ Kg8 43. Qxh4 Qe4 44. Qg5+
Kf7 45. Qe5 1-0[/pgn]
FM Acor played the Budapest Gambit 2. The GM played an interesting novelty: 11 Nb1, in a position that has been seen only once prior, according to ChessBase13. The FM went for aggression, but then lost due to sharp tactical/defensive play by the GM. The FM played well until move 20. On move 21 Black played a big mistake with 0-0-0. Directly after, White played the brilliant 22 Rxd6! In the endgame White simply had too many pawns for any attempt of perpetual check. Suffice it to say, Black resigned. In the last round (round 5), we saw another exciting one between GM Timur Gareev and GM Julio Becerra.

[Site "Fort Myers, Florida"]
[Date "2016.01.10"]
[White "Becerra, Julio"]
[Black "Gareyev, Timur"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B31"]
[WhiteElo "2626"]
[BlackElo "2693"]
[PlyCount "129"]
[EventDate "2016.??.??"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 g6 4. O-O Bg7 5. Re1 Nd4 6. Nxd4 cxd4 7. c3 Qb6 8.
Na3 Nh6 9. Bd3 O-O 10. Nb5 e5 11. cxd4 d5 12. Qb3 exd4 13. e5 Re8 14. f4 Bf5
15. Bxf5 Nxf5 16. d3 a6 17. Na3 Qxb3 18. axb3 f6 19. e6 h5 20. Bd2 Rac8 21.
Rac1 Rxc1 22. Rxc1 Rxe6 23. Rc8+ Kh7 24. Kf2 Ne3 25. h3 Nd1+ 26. Kf3 Nxb2 27.
Nc2 f5 28. Rc7 Kg8 29. Nb4 b6 30. Rc2 a5 31. Rxb2 axb4 32. Rc2 Bf8 33. Rc8 Kf7
34. Rc7+ Kf6 35. Rc8 Bc5 36. Rc7 Be7 37. Kf2 Bc5 38. Kf3 Re8 39. Ra7 Ke6 40.
Ke2 Kd6+ 41. Kd1 Kc6 42. h4 b5 43. Rg7 Re6 44. g3 Kb6 45. Rf7 Be7 46. Rg7 Kc5
47. Bc1 Bd6 48. Rg8 Bc7 49. Rg7 Bd6 50. Rg8 Bc7 51. Rg7 Bb6 52. Rg8 Kc6 53. Rg7
Bc7 54. Rg8 Kb7 55. Rg7 Ra6 56. Bb2 Kc8 57. Rg8+ Bd8 58. Rg7 Re6 59. Bc1 Be7
60. Rg8+ Kd7 61. Rb8 Ra6 62. Rb7+ Ke6 63. Bb2 Ra2 64. Kc2 Ra6 65. Kd1 1/2-1/2[/pgn]
After playing a fairly new line in the Sicilian (Nimzovitch-Rossolimo attack with g6), 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 g6 4.0-0 Bg7 5.Re1 Nd4 6.Nxd4 cxd4 7.c3 Qb6 8.Na3… GM Gareev came up with a novelty: 8…Nh6. This caught GM Becerra unawares in the opening. Although GM Gareev did not win this game, his opening play and latter play is extraordinary. In the end, the game fizzled out to a draw. Back in the U2050 section, one of my games was reminiscent of Fischer V Sydney Bernstein (1959).

[Event "2nd Gulf Coast New Year's Open "]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2016.01.10"]
[White "Tony, Burrus"]
[Black "Roshan, Jayaraman"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C93"]
[WhiteElo "1776"]
[BlackElo "1884"]
[PlyCount "161"]
[EventDate "2016.??.??"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. d3 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. c3
O-O 9. h3 h6 10. Re1 Bb7 11. Nbd2 d5 12. exd5 Nxd5 13. Nxe5 Nxe5 14. Rxe5 Nf4
15. Nf3 Nxd3 16. Rxe7 Qxe7 17. Qxd3 Rad8 18. Qf1 Qf6 19. Nh2 Rfe8 20. Be3 Qg6
21. Bd1 Be4 22. Nf3 f5 23. Rc1 f4 24. Bd4 c5 25. Bxc5 Bd3 26. Bb3+ Kh8 27. Qd1
Be2 28. Qc2 Bd3 29. Qd1 Be2 30. Qc2 Bd3 31. Qd2 Bf1 32. Nh4 Qg5 33. Qxf4 Qxc5 (
33... Qxf4 34. Ng6+ Kh7 35. Nxf4) 34. Rxf1 Rd6 35. Qf7 Qc6 36. Qf3 Qxf3 37.
Nxf3 Re2 38. Nd4 Rxb2 39. Re1 Rd8 40. Re6 b4 41. Nc6 Rf8 42. Nxb4 Rfxf2 43. Bd5
Rf8 44. Rxa6 Rd8 45. Ra8 Rxa8 46. Bxa8 Rb1+ 47. Kh2 Rc1 48. a4 Rxc3 49. a5 Rc7
50. a6 Rc4 51. a7 Rxb4 52. Bf3 Ra4 53. a8=Q+ Rxa8 54. Bxa8 Kg8 55. Kg3 Kf7 56.
Kf4 Kf6 57. g4 g6 58. Be4 g5+ 59. Kf3 Ke5 60. Ke3 Kd6 61. Kd4 Ke6 62. Bf5+ Kf6
63. Kd5 h5 64. Kd6 hxg4 65. hxg4 Kf7 66. Ke5 Kg7 67. Bc8 Kg6 68. Ke6 Kg7 69.
Kf5 Kh6 70. Bb7 Kg7 71. Kxg5 Kh7 72. Kf6 Kh8 73. Kf7 Kh7 74. Be4+ Kh8 75. Kg6
Kg8 76. Bd5+ Kh8 77. Kf7 Kh7 78. g5 Kh8 79. Bc6 Kh7 80. g6+ Kh6 81. g7 1-0[/pgn]
After a standard Ruy Lopez   Black plays 11.d5?! (A Marshall Gambit idea). This is not a wise move, as White’s position is very solid. Now, Black makes an inexplicable 15. Nxd3??! Now comes 16. Rxe7! Qxe7 (16.Nxf2 or Nxb2, then comes 17.Qxd8). 17.Qxd3 is the desired result of 16.Rxe7. Now, White is up 2 pieces and a pawn. Several moves later, Black tried to complicate matters, but soon fell prey to this crafty maneuver. And White went on to win the game.
David Esserman Winner of the Under 2050 Section David Esserman, Winner of the Under 2050 Section
Throughout the Open, the GMs played comparably well against one another. Though, when the final tally was counted, GM Julio Sadorra came in clear first, scoring 4.5/5—at least a half point ahead of the rest of the pack. The 2016 Gulf Coast New Year’s Open was filled with ups and downs, taking many twists and turns. In the end, a tornado was not the only thing to rock the idyllic beach town of Fort Myers, Florida on that January weekend. Find full standings here. 

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