Grandmasters and Hopefuls Seek Gold in the Bay

Several GMs and other chess stars descended on San Francisco over Martin Luther King Day weekend.  The first major event was the Golden State Open held over MLK weekend which drew 274 players (counts re-entries but not house players).  Among the players were six GMs, four IMs, four FMs and one WIM.  The tournament strength was undoubtedly helped by the Chinggis 2nd Invitational which is a 10 player round robin with 7 GMs, 2 IMs, and 1 CM.  Three of the players in the round robin (including two of the three co-champions) played in the Golden State Open The Golden State Open ended in a three way tie for first between GMs Andrey Stukopin, Eugene Perelshteyn, and IM Andrey Gorovets.  Each won $1766.67 and Stukopin received an extra $100 for his superior tiebreaks.  All scored 5 1/2 points.  Tying for 4th-7th with 5-2 were GMs Oliver Barbosa, Batchuluun Tsegmed, IM Darwin Yang and Siddharth Banik.  Siddharth won $1000 for the Under 2300 prize while the others won $267.67. Stukopin started 4-0 and then "coasted" into first place with three draws.  He played the strongest competition (2 GMs, 2 IMs, 1 FM, 2 masters) and his tiebreaks reflected that.  He was the tournament's top seed, starting on board 1 and never relinquishing it.  Stukopin is now a student at University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (formerly University of Texas -Brownsville).  When not leading his team to the chess final four, he is a computer science major and travels to various high level tournaments. Here is his fourth round victory over GM Oliver Barbosa.
[pgn]

[Event "2016 Golden State Open"]
[Site "Concord"]
[Date "2016.01.17"]
[White "Stukopin, Andrey"]
[Black "Barbosa, Oliver"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A00"]
[WhiteElo "2636"]
[BlackElo "2593"]
[PlyCount "97"]
[EventDate "2016.01.16"]
[EventCountry "USA"]
[SourceDate "2016.01.16"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. d4 Nd6 6. dxe5 Nxb5 7. a4 Nbd4 8.
Nxd4 Nxd4 9. Qxd4 d5 10. exd6 Qxd6 11. Qe3+ Be7 12. Nc3 c6 13. Re1 Be6 14. Ne4
Qc7 15. Nc5 Bxc5 16. Qxc5 Qe7 17. Qe5 O-O 18. Bh6 f6 19. Qg3 Rf7 20. Ra3 Re8
21. Rae3 Qd8 22. h4 Bd7 23. Qd6 Rxe3 24. Bxe3 a6 25. Qb4 Be6 26. Bc5 Qd5 27. c4
Qf5 28. Be7 h5 29. Qxb7 Kh7 30. b3 a5 31. Qc7 Qg4 32. Qd6 Bf5 33. Qxc6 Qxh4 34.
Qd5 Bg6 35. Re3 Qf4 36. Qxa5 h4 37. Qe1 Qg4 38. c5 Bf5 39. Bd6 Qd4 40. Qc3 Qd5
41. Kh2 Rb7 42. b4 h3 43. Rxh3+ Bxh3 44. Qxh3+ Kg6 45. b5 Ra7 46. Qf3 Qd2 47.
b6 Rxa4 48. Qg3+ Kh5 49. b7 1-0[/pgn]
Another Texas College first board also tied for first.  IM Andrey Gorovets was the tournament's second seed.  He plays first board for Texas Tech which recently won the Pan-American Inter-Collegiate.  He started a bit slow ceding two draws in his first four rounds.  Amazingly, he drew with white and won with black!  Then he played 3 GMs and scored 2 1/2.  One has to like his chances for a GM norm in the invitational.  In round four Gorovets defeats GM Niclas Huschenbeth with a nice sacrificial mating attack.
[pgn]

[Event "2016 Golden State Open"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2016.01.18"]
[White "Gorovets, Andrey"]
[Black "Huschenbeth, Niclas"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E43"]
[WhiteElo "2635"]
[BlackElo "2613"]
[PlyCount "79"]
[EventDate "2016.??.??"]
[SourceDate "2016.01.16"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Bb4+ 4. Nc3 b6 5. e3 Ne4 6. Qc2 Bb7 7. Bd3 f5 8. O-O
Nxc3 9. bxc3 Bxf3 10. gxf3 Bd6 11. f4 O-O 12. Kh1 c5 13. d5 Qh4 14. f3 g6 15.
Bd2 e5 16. e4 exf4 17. exf5 g5 18. Rae1 Qh5 19. Re2 Kg7 20. h4 Kh8 21. Be1 Na6
22. Rg2 Rg8 23. Rfg1 Rae8 24. Be4 Be7 25. Qa4 Bf6 26. Rg4 Nb8 27. Qxa7 Rxe4 28.
fxe4 Qe8 29. Qxb6 Qxe4+ 30. Kh2 Be5 31. Qxc5 f3+ 32. Kh3 Qxf5 33. hxg5 d6 34.
Qe3 Nd7 35. Qe4 Qf7 36. g6 Qe8 37. g7+ Rxg7 38. Rxg7 Qh5+ 39. Qh4 Qxh4+ 40.
Bxh4 1-0[/pgn]
In the last round Gorovets defeated GM Batchuluun Tsegmed to catch Stukopin and Perelshteyn for first place.
[pgn]

[Event "2016 Golden State Open"]
[Site "Concord"]
[Date "2016.01.17"]
[White "Gorovets, Andrey"]
[Black "Batchuluun, Tsegmed"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E20"]
[WhiteElo "2541"]
[BlackElo "2635"]
[PlyCount "83"]
[EventDate "2016.01.16"]
[EventCountry "USA"]
[SourceDate "2016.01.16"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Bb4+ 4. Nc3 c5 5. g3 cxd4 6. Nxd4 Ne4 7. Qd3 Qa5 8.
Nb3 Nxc3 9. Bd2 Ne4 10. Qxe4 Bxd2+ 11. Nxd2 Nc6 12. Bg2 O-O 13. Qd3 Ne5 14. Qd4
d6 15. O-O Qc7 16. Rac1 Nc6 17. Bxc6 bxc6 18. Ne4 d5 19. cxd5 exd5 20. Nc5 Re8
21. Rfe1 Rb8 22. Qc3 h6 23. Nb3 Ba6 24. Rc2 Qb6 25. Nc5 Re7 26. e3 Rbe8 27. Rd1
Bc4 28. Qa3 a5 29. b3 Bb5 30. Qb2 Rb8 31. Rd4 Qa7 32. Qc3 Qb6 33. Rg4 g6 34. a4
Ba6 35. Qf6 Ree8 36. Rh4 h5 37. g4 Be2 38. gxh5 (38. Rxh5 gxh5 39. Qg5+ Kh8 40.
Qxh5+ Kg7 41. Qg5+ Kh7 42. Nd7 {Winning Fritz}) 38... Bxh5 39. Rxh5 gxh5 40. f3
Rb7 41. Rg2+ Kf8 42. Qd6+ 1-0[/pgn]
The only non-Texas college student in the tie (and the only one not playing in the GM invitational) is GM Eugene Perelshteyn.  Like Gorovets, he also started with 3/4 and then finished with 2 1/2 in the last three.  Perelshteyn faced 3 GMs and scored 2/3.  Here is Perelshsteyn's round two win over FM Andy Lee.
[pgn]

[Event "2016 Golden State Open"]
[Site "Concord"]
[Date "2016.01.16"]
[White "Lee, Andy C"]
[Black "Perelshteyn, Eugene"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A00"]
[WhiteElo "2391"]
[BlackElo "2596"]
[PlyCount "92"]
[EventDate "2016.01.16"]
[EventCountry "USA"]
[SourceDate "2016.01.16"]

1. e4 d6 2. d4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. Be3 a6 5. Qd2 b5 6. a3 Bb7 7. f3 Nd7 8. h4 h5
9. Nh3 c5 10. d5 Ngf6 11. Be2 Ne5 12. a4 b4 13. Nd1 e6 14. dxe6 fxe6 15. Ng5
Qe7 16. c3 bxc3 17. bxc3 O-O 18. Rb1 Bc6 19. Qa2 d5 20. O-O Nh7 21. f4 Nxg5 22.
hxg5 d4 23. Bd2 d3 24. Bf3 Nxf3+ 25. gxf3 Qd7 26. Rb6 Kh7 27. Qc4 Bxa4 28. Qxc5
Rfc8 29. Qd6 Qxd6 30. Rxd6 Rc6 31. Rxc6 Bxc6 32. e5 a5 33. Nb2 Rb8 34. Nc4 a4
35. Kf2 Bf8 36. Nd6 a3 37. Ra1 Ra8 38. c4 a2 39. Bc1 Be7 40. Ke3 d2 41. Bxd2
Ra3+ 42. Kd4 Bxf3 43. Nb5 Ra8 44. Nc7 Rd8+ 45. Kc3 Be4 46. Bc1 Bb1 0-1[/pgn]
AignerVenice15-2 One of the more interesting games from round one was from Michael Aigner (aka "f-pawn") versus GM Niclas Huschenbeth in round one. The GM obtains an edge with black.  Later he sacrifices a piece for three pawns. Aigner was better/winning for a time and then the game ends in perpetual check!
[pgn]

[Event "2016 Golden State Open"]
[Site "Concord"]
[Date "2016.01.15"]
[White "Aigner, Michael"]
[Black "Huschenbeth, Niclas"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A00"]
[WhiteElo "2242"]
[BlackElo "2613"]
[PlyCount "92"]
[EventDate "2016.01.16"]
[EventCountry "USA"]
[SourceDate "2016.01.16"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 a6 3. g3 b5 4. Bg2 Bb7 5. d3 e6 6. Be3 Nf6 7. f4 b4 8. Na4 Qc7
9. Nf3 d5 10. e5 d4 11. Bd2 Nd5 12. b3 Nc3 13. Nxc3 bxc3 14. Bc1 a5 15. a4 Be7
16. Qe2 Nd7 17. O-O Nb6 18. Ne1 Nd5 19. Be4 O-O 20. Qg2 Rae8 21. Qh3 g6 22. Ng2
Bc8 23. Qh6 f5 24. Bf3 Kh8 25. Ne1 Bb7 26. Bg2 Nb4 27. Bxb7 Qxb7 28. Rf2 Rg8
29. Rg2 Qd5 30. Ba3 Nc6 31. Bc1 g5 32. Qh5 g4 33. h3 gxh3 34. Qxh3 Rg7 35. Ba3
Reg8 36. Kf2 Nxe5 37. fxe5 Qxe5 38. Bc1 Qf6 39. Nf3 Bd6 40. Kf1 Rxg3 41. Rxg3
Rxg3 42. Qh5 Qg7 43. Qe8+ Bf8 44. Ng5 e5 45. Nf7+ Kg8 46. Nh6+ Kh8 1/2-1/2[/pgn]
Class players are often overshadowed by titled players, but every tournament produces interesting games and stories from all levels.  This year A player Jerry Mays returned to tournament chess after a prolonged absence from tournaments,  Even though he is a life member, he has no events since 1991 until this last year!  He was eligible for the Under 2000 section, but played up two sections and scored a very respectable 3-4. His enthusiasm for the game was infectious and when he pulled off an upset over a master you would have thought he just won he tournament. Even though his opponent was a bit too aggressive, upsets are always part of the excitement of tournament competition.
[pgn]

[Event "2016 Golden State Open"]
[Site "Concord"]
[Date "2016.01.16"]
[White "Mays, Jerry"]
[Black "Zhao, Art"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A00"]
[WhiteElo "1982"]
[BlackElo "2249"]
[PlyCount "47"]
[EventDate "2016.01.16"]
[EventCountry "USA"]
[SourceDate "2016.01.16"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Bc4 e6 7. Bb3 a6 8. a3
Bd7 9. O-O h6 10. Be3 Be7 11. f4 O-O 12. f5 Nxd4 13. Bxd4 e5 14. Be3 Bc6 15.
Qf3 Nxe4 16. Nxe4 d5 17. f6 Bd6 18. Qg4 g6 19. Qh4 h5 20. Qg5 Re8 21. Qh6 Bf8
22. Qg5 dxe4 23. Qxg6+ Kh8 24. Bxf7 1-0[/pgn]
Derek Zhang dominated the Under 2200 section.  He finished in clear first with 6 1/2 finishing a full point ahead of the field and pocketing $1500. He started 6-0 and was 1 1/2 points ahead of second place going into the last round thus guaranteed clear first even with a loss in the last round.    He then drew the last round.  Conventional wisdom says his last round draw was either a quick draw or his opponent pressed for the win.  Not the case!  Zhang's opponent offered a draw (and was arguably better).  Zhang turned it down!  The game was lengthy and Zhang turned down a second draw offer late in the game, though the game was eventually drawn.  Top seeded player Leo Creger at 2199 tied for 5th after a roller coaster start.   He started the three day schedule with a loss which was somewhat caused by an incorrectly set clock.  He then drew two games and re-entered the two day schedule.  The problem was only two players entered the two day schedule!  The first round pairing was easy, but  Creger again started with a loss.  Now the tournament had a problem.  We needed players!  We recruited house players and Creger won his remaining three games in the two day schedule and won his first game after the merge before running into Zhang.  He then took 1 1/2 out of the final two tying for second and also tying for 3rd mixed double. The Under 2000 section ended in a three way tie for first with Jesse Turner, Hovik Manvelyan, and Roger Buland scoring 5 1/2 and taking home $900.  Turner and Manyelvan occupied board 1 in the last round and drew and waited to see who would join them.  Buland won on board 2 to join the tie and while there was one other player with a chance, he could not deliver the win. The Under 1800 section also featured a dominating performance.  Colin Albert scored 6 1/2 to finish a full pont ahead of the field and take home $1500.  Unlike Zhang, Albert entered the last round "only" ahead by one point since he drew round 6 and"only" had 5 1/2 out of 6, so he was "only" guaranteed a tie.  Perhaps with this extra motivation, Albert won his last round game to finish with 6 1/2. Kyle Kai-yi Wu scored 5 1/2 to take clear first place and $1300 in the Under 1600 section.  Trevor Strearman and Kunal Shivastav also scored 5 1/2 in the Under 1400 section to take $675 each.  Avi Khannawon the Under 1200 section with a 6-1 score. FM Cameron Wheeler and Aaron Grubinsky both scored 7 points in the blitz and earning $75.  One amusing anecdote from the blitz was bets on the over/under for the number of disputes in the last round. Apparently, the over/under was set at 1.5 (I don't know how that compares with the Las Vegas line).  The actual number of disputes was apparently two, so if you bet the over, you won. David Hater directed the event for Continental Chess Association assist by Tom Langland and John McCumiskey.  Full tournament details are at www.goldenstateopen.com.  Archives of previous CCA events are at www.chesstour.com/cross.html

Comments

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Mea Culpa! IM Gorovets played 4th board for Texas Tech University at the recent Pan-American Inter-collegiate behind GM Yaro Zherebukh (1st board), GM Elshan Moradiabadi (2nd board), and GM Andriy Baryshpolets (3rd Board). My apologies to the entire TTU team for this inaccuracy.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

[…] Director David Hater’s report on the 2016 tournament, Grandmasters and Hopefuls Seek Gold in the Bay, and look for his article on this year’s […]

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