Stukopin and Petesch Tie for First at King's Island Open

GM Andrey Stukopin and FM Gabriel Petesch shared first place at the 28th Annual King’s Island Open with a score of 4.5-0.5. Each won $1912.50 with Stukopin winning an extra $85 for the best tiebreaks. Petesch also won first mixed doubles, adding his share ($425) of the proceeds to his winnings.
Andrey Stukopin (photo Austin Fuller)
This  year’s King’s Island Open was held November 15-17th in Blue Ash, a suburb of Cincinnati. 312 players attended the seven section event, while four GMs, one IM, five FMs and a total of 27 NMs made up the 59 player Major section. Round 1 saw a number of upsets: four masters were defeated, and another seven drew. The biggest surprise had to be top seeded GM Aleksander Mista drawing with expert Hemachandra Rambha on board one of the two day schedule. Round 2 was also not kind to the top players. NM Evan Park defeated SM Mika Brattain in the three day schedule when Brattain’s king got trapped in the center. Park would then go on to draw with GM Mistra in round 3, FM Jason Wang in round 4, and FM Joshua Posthuma in round 5. Park shared the Under 2300 prize and won $1020. He also picked up nearly 50 rating points, an incredible number for a master in a single tournament.

[Event "King's Island Open"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2019.11.16"]
[Round "2.1"]
[White "Brattain, Mika"]
[Black "Park, Evan"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A50"]
[WhiteElo "2551"]
[BlackElo "2215"]
[PlyCount "42"]
[EventDate "2019.??.??"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 b6 3. Nc3 Bb7 4. Qc2 d5 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. e4 Nxc3 7. bxc3 e5 8.
dxe5 Nd7 9. Nf3 Qe7 10. a4 O-O-O 11. a5 Nxe5 12. axb6 axb6 13. Be2 f5 14. Nd2
Qh4 15. Ra4 Ng4 16. g3 Qh3 17. Bxg4 fxg4 18. Ba3 Qg2 19. Rf1 Bxa3 20. Rxa3 Rxd2
21. Qxd2 Qxe4+ 0-1

There were seven perfect scores at the merge after two rounds: GMs Andrey Stukopin, Vladimir Belous & Carlos Hevia, FM Joshua Posthuma, and NMs Rubens Cezila, Alex Kolay and Evan Park. The top three boards were all decisive as Stukopin defeated Posthuma, Belous defeated Cezila, and Hevia defeated Kolay. With Park’s draw against Mista, there would be only three perfect scores entering Sunday morning’s fourth round. Belous faced Stukopin on board one. Given the standings, the two college teammates from reigning collegiate champion University of Texas Rio Grande Valley played a quick draw. Board two was a bit more combative but also ended in a draw as IM Sarkar with 2.5 points drew with GM Hevia who was at 3. The draws on the top two boards allowed others to catch up and there were five players tied for first at 3.5-0.5: GMs Andrey Stukopin, Vladimir Belous & Carlos Hevia, FM Gabriel Petesch and NM Dimitar Mardov.  Six players were only half a point back. If the top two boards drew there could be as much as an eight way tie for first and eleven players had a chance to win the event! Perhaps because of the possibility of such a large tie, the top two boards would fight it out and both would be decisive. GM Stukopin defeated GM Hevia and FM Petesch defeated GM Belous. Boards three and four both ended in draws. This meant that the only other person to tie for third was FM Jason Wang who defeated NM Deshawn Kelley. FM Wang and NM Mardov (who took a final round bye) each won $510.

[Event "King's Island Open"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2019.11.17"]
[Round "5.1"]
[White "Stukopin, Andrey"]
[Black "Hevia, Carlos"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A13"]
[WhiteElo "2656"]
[BlackElo "2541"]
[PlyCount "83"]
[EventDate "2019.??.??"]

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. g3 e6 3. Bg2 d5 4. O-O Nbd7 5. d3 c6 6. c4 Bd6 7. Nc3 O-O 8. cxd5
exd5 9. e4 dxe4 10. dxe4 Ne5 11. h3 Nxf3+ 12. Qxf3 Re8 13. Rd1 Qe7 14. Bf4 Bxf4
15. Qxf4 Nd7 16. Qd6 Qxd6 17. Rxd6 Kf8 18. f4 f6 19. Rad1 Nb6 20. b3 Be6 21.
Ne2 Ke7 22. R6d2 Rad8 23. Nd4 Rd7 24. Nxe6 Kxe6 25. Rxd7 Nxd7 26. Kf2 a5 27. h4
Nc5 28. Ke3 Ke7 29. h5 h6 30. Bh3 b6 31. Bf5 Rd8 32. Rxd8 Kxd8 33. Kd4 Ke7 34.
e5 Ne6+ 35. Bxe6 Kxe6 36. Ke4 fxe5 37. fxe5 Kf7 38. Kf5 Ke7 39. Kg6 Ke6 40.
Kxg7 b5 41. Kxh6 c5 42. Kg5 1-0


[Event "King's Island Open"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2019.11.19"]
[Round "5.2"]
[White "Petesch, Gabriel"]
[Black "Belous, Vladimir"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E61"]
[WhiteElo "2411"]
[BlackElo "2628"]
[PlyCount "75"]
[EventDate "2019.??.??"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. c4 Bg7 4. Nc3 O-O 5. Bf4 d6 6. h3 Nbd7 7. e3 b6 8. Be2
Bb7 9. O-O Ne4 10. Nxe4 Bxe4 11. Nd2 Bb7 12. Bf3 Bxf3 13. Nxf3 e5 14. Bh2 exd4
15. exd4 Re8 16. Qa4 Nf8 17. Rad1 Re2 18. c5 Qe8 19. Qc4 Rxb2 20. cxd6 cxd6 21.
Bxd6 Qb5 22. Qxb5 Rxb5 23. Rd2 Rd8 24. Bxf8 Bxf8 25. Rfd1 Rdd5 26. Rc1 Bd6 27.
Re2 Kg7 28. g3 a5 29. Kg2 h6 30. h4 a4 31. Rc4 a3 32. Rcc2 Rb4 33. Rc3 Rb1 34.
Rcc2 Ra1 35. Nd2 g5 36. hxg5 hxg5 37. Nc4 b5 38. Ne3 1-0

The section winners were: Under 2100 Michael Johnson, 4.5-0.5 $1700 Under 1900 Tong Chieh & Arthur Galstian, 4.5-0.5, $1275 Under 1700 Jason Ebelhar, 5-0, $1530 Under 1500 Vunay Sama, 4.5-0.5, $1275 Under 1250 Aditya Induri, Michael Cleversley, 4.5-0.5, $765 Under 1000 Samuel Musser, Brooks Tyre, 4.5-0.5, $510 Mixed Doubles Chloe Wang & FM Gabriel Petesch, 8 points, $425 each Blitz Dimitar Mardov, 7-1, $195 NTD David Hater directed for Continental Chess assisted by Steve Immitt, Myron Thomas, Nicholas Ostroski and Stephen Plotnick. Previous Continental Chess tournaments can be found at the Continental Chess website at