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:

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:

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:

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


  1. Jeffrey Turner also directed; Chuck Ensey was the organizer. We have a similar event at the same location scheduled for 10/28 10/30. Hope to see you all there!

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