Timur Gareyev Clinches the Pacific Southwest Open by a 1.5 Point Margin

Timur Gareyev while he plays a blindfold simul at the Marshall Chess Club Timur Gareyev before his blindfold simul at the Marshall Chess Club

Timur Gareyev won the Pacific Southwest Open in Irvine, CA with an undefeated 5.5 score, securing victory by an impressive 1.5 point margin. Along the way, he defeated all of his closest competitors, including IM Darwin Yang and nine-time California State Champion, IM Jack Peters. Here is his victory against Peters:

[pgn][Event "Pacific Southwest Open 2016"] [White "Peters, Jack"] [Black "Gareyev, Timur"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B66"] [PlyCount "94"] [EventDate "2016.07.02"] [EventRounds "6"] [EventCountry "USA"]1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Bg5 e6 7. Qd2 a6 8. O-O-O h6 9. Be3 Qc7 10. f3 b5 11. Bxb5 axb5 12. Ndxb5 Qb8 13. Nxd6+ Bxd6 14. Qxd6 Bd7 15. Bc5 Qxd6 16. Bxd6 e5 17. a4 Be6 18. b3 O-O-O 19. Nb5 h5 20. Bc5 h4 21. Na7+ Nxa7 22. Bxa7 Nh5 23. Be3 Nf4 24. Bxf4 exf4 25. h3 Kc7 26. c4 Ra8 27. Kc2 Rh6 28. Kc3 Rg6 29. Rd2 Rg3 30. Ra1 g5 31. Raa2 g4 32. hxg4 Bxg4 33. Kd4 h3 34. gxh3 Bxf3 35. Ke5 Bh1 36. Rf2 f3 37. b4 Rxh3 38. a5 Re8+ 39. Kf5 Rh5+ 40. Kf6 Rh4 41. b5 Rf4+ 42. Kg5 Rfxe4 43. b6+ Kd6 44. b7 Ke6 45. Rab2 Rg8+ 46. Kh5 Rh8+ 47. Kg5 f6+ 0-1[/pgn]
Gareyev specializes in blindfold chess and conducts blindfold simultaneous exhibitions throughout the world, including two recent ones on opposite ends of the country in California and New York. He hopes to break the world record for the most simultaneous blindfold games ever played: 50 opponents with a score of at least 40 victories.

"It gives me great joy to know that some day when I look back on all of the athletes I covered in my life, I’ll be able to say the most impressive guy I ever saw was an exercise-bike-riding, walnut-eating, flip-flop wearing, blindfolded chess player." -Shad Powers, Sports Columnist for The Desert Sun

Gareyev will be one of the top seeds at the upcoming U.S. Open, which begins on July 30th in Indianapolis, IN. The only player who was able to score a draw from GM Gareyev was 14-year-old Annie Wang, who even had a winning advantage at several points during the game:

[pgn][Event "Pacific Southwest Open 2016"] [Site "?"] [Round "?"] [White "Wang, Annie"] [Black "Gareyev, Timur"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "E39"] [WhiteElo "2250"] [BlackElo "2686"] [PlyCount "142"] [EventDate "2016.??.??"]1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 c5 5. dxc5 O-O 6. a3 Bxc5 7. Nf3 Qb6 8. e3 Be7 9. Bd3 d6 10. O-O Nbd7 11. b4 Qc7 12. Bb2 h6 13. Rfd1 a6 14. Rac1 b6 15. Ne4 Bb7 16. Nxf6+ Nxf6 17. Nd4 Rac8 18. Qe2 Qb8 19. f3 Rfd8 20. Bb1 Rc7 21. Nb3 Bc6 22. Qd3 Ba4 23. Re1 Bc6 24. Bxf6 Bxf6 25. Qh7+ Kf8 26. Nd4 Be8 27. Ne2 Qc8 28. Ba2 Ke7 29. Qd3 g6 30. e4 Bg7 31. f4 b5 32. f5 Be5 33. fxg6 f6 34. Qh3 Bxg6 35. cxb5 Bf7 36. b6 Bd4+ 37. Kh1 Bxb6 38. Rxc7+ Qxc7 39. Nf4 Qd7 40. Qxh6 Rg8 41. Qh7 Kd8 42. Qh4 Qe7 43. Qh3 Re8 44. Rc1 Qd7 45. Qc3 Ke7 46. Qh3 Bd4 47. Qh7 Kd8 48. Qh3 Ke7 49. Rd1 Be5 50. Qf3 Rh8 51. h3 Qa4 52. Rc1 Kd7 53. Nxe6 Rc8 54. Nf8+ Ke7 55. Rxc8 Bxa2 56. Qg4 f5 57. Ng6+ Kd7 58. Qxf5+ Be6 59. Nf8+ Kxc8 60. Qxe6+ Kd8 61. Qg4 Qb5 62. Qf5 Qc6 63. Qg5+ Kc7 64. Qe7+ Kc8 65. Qg5 Qc3 66. Qg4+ Kb7 67. Qd7+ Kb6 68. Qd8+ Kb7 69. Qe7+ Kc6 70. Qe8+ Kb7 71. Qe7+ Kc6 1/2-1/2[/pgn]
In 2014, Annie Wang broke the record (at the time) for the youngest American girl to earn the title of National Master. Wang finished tied for the top Under 2300 prize along with FM William Duckworth.

Serpik-Wang (PSW Open 2016) Annie Wang playing against NM Ilia Serpik. Photo: Kele Perkins

There was a four-way tie for 2nd place between IM Darwin Yang, IM Jack Peters, FM Michael Casella, and recent U.S. Women's Championship runner-up Tatev Abrahamyan. Here is the hard-fought draw between Peters and Abrahamyan in the penultimate round:

[pgn][Event "Pacific Southwest Open 2016"] [White "Abrahamyan, Tatev"] [Black "Peters, Jack"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B43"] [PlyCount "111"] [EventDate "2016.07.02"] [EventRounds "6"] [EventCountry "USA"]1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 a6 5. Nc3 Qc7 6. Bd3 Nc6 7. Nxc6 dxc6 8. O-O Nf6 9. f4 e5 10. f5 b5 11. Be3 Bb7 12. a4 b4 13. Nb1 Nd7 14. Nd2 Bc5 15. Bxc5 Nxc5 16. Bc4 O-O-O 17. Qe2 a5 18. c3 Qb6 19. Kh1 bxc3 20. bxc3 Qb2 21. Ra2 Qxc3 22. Nf3 f6 23. Rb1 Rd7 24. Rc2 Qa3 25. Be6 Nxe6 26. fxe6 Rc7 27. Nd2 Rd8 28. Nc4 Qd3 29. Qxd3 Rxd3 30. Nxa5 Kd8 31. h3 Bc8 32. Nxc6+ Ke8 33. a5 Bb7 34. Rxb7 Rxb7 35. a6 Rc7 36. Ra2 Rxc6 37. a7 Rc8 38. a8=Q Rxa8 39. Rxa8+ Ke7 40. Ra7+ Kxe6 41. Rxg7 h5 42. Rh7 Re3 43. Rxh5 Rxe4 44. Kg1 Rf4 45. Rh8 Kf5 46. Ra8 Rb4 47. Ra6 Rb2 48. g4+ Kg5 49. h4+ Kxg4 50. Rxf6 e4 51. Kf1 Rh2 52. Rf8 Kg3 53. Ke1 Rxh4 54. Ke2 Rf4 55. Rxf4 Kxf4 56. Kf2 1/2-1/2 [/pgn]

Class Sections

In addition to the Open section, there were 5 class sections. Here are the top performances in each.

Under 2200

Adam Corper (5 points)

Under 2000

Angel Adona (5 points)

Under 1800

Larry Miller (4.5 points)

Dylan Gould (4.5 points)

Tommy Wen (4.5 points)

Shree Ayinala (4.5 points)

Under 1600

Andy Johnson (5 points)

Matthew Mullen (5 points)

Under 1400

Bilgehan Yilmaz (5.5 points)


Blitz Tournament

The Southwest Pacific Open also had an exciting side event, a blitz tournament on Saturday night. Ilia Serpik went undefeated in 8 rounds and won clear first. Second place went to Daniel Mousseri. Here are is the full crosstable. The Pacific Southwest Open was organized by Chuck Ensey, Vice President of the Southern California Chess Federation, and directed by Randy Hough and Jeffrey Turner. View results and games at the Southern California Chess Federation website