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Three Lead American Open at Halfway Point Print E-mail
By Randy Hough   
November 28, 2009
GM Melikset Khachiyan, IM Andranik Matikozyan, and Master Julian Landaw lead the 45th Annual American Open at the Renaissance Montura Hotel in Los Angeles at the halfway point with 3½ of 4. The recent passing of Jerry Hanken, who had played in every previous Open and saved the tournament when it lost its corporate sponsorship in 1990, cast a pall over what is normally a festive holiday occasion.

Their paths have been rather different. Khachiyan, playing in the traditional four-day schedule, was unhappy with his play, getting into big trouble in Round One against young Howard Chen of Washington State. Surviving a strong attack and winning, he then downed FM Takashi Iwamoto and the second seed, IM Enrico Sevillano, with a draw against low master Vadim Kudryavtsev sandwiched in. (He also gave a well attended lecture.) Kudryavtsev also downed Sevillano in the big upset of the tournament thus far. Eleven-year-old Kayden Troff of Utah (whose fall schedule had already taken him to San Diego and Reno) is among the three-pointers after upsetting FM Eugene Yanayt.

The three-day Open field proved unexpectedly strong, with the 2006 winner, IM Vladimir Mezentsev, entering at the last minute. Top seed Matikozyan was impressive, with wins over the second and fifth ranked players, FM Alexandre Kretchetov and WFM Tatev Abrahamyan, plus a draw with Mezentsev. Ninth seed Landaw, a UC Berkeley (go Bears!) sophomore who has little time for chess these days, drew Mezentsev and beat FM Greg Small.
With the two schedules merging, Matikozyan will play Khachiyan and Landaw faces Iwamoto on the top two boards.

The turnout of 197 players is frankly disappointing after last year’s 231. The Northern California Federation’s decision to move its open championship (traditionally placed on Labor Day weekend as most states do) doubtless cost a number of entries.

In this preliminary report we give Kudryavtsev’s big (324 point upset).

Kudryavtsev,Vadim - Sevillano,Enrico [D64]

American Open (2), 26.11.2009
1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 d5 4.d4 Be7 5.Bg5 0–0 6.e3 Nbd7 7.Rc1 c6 8.a3 Re8 9.Qc2 Nf8 10.Bd3 N6d7 11.Bf4 Bf6 12.0–0 Qe7 13.Bg3 Ng6 14.Rfe1 dxc4 15.Bxc4 e5 16.Ne4 Nb6 17.Nxf6+ gxf6 18.Be2 Bd7?

After Bd7

Having played an uninspired game and being forced to weaken his kingside (17…Qxf6? 18.Nxe5 simply wins a pawn for White), Sevillano misses the chance to keep things unbalanced with 18…e4 or 18…Nd5.  Now White’s attack begins…
19.h4! Bg4?
…and Black simply blunders. 19…e4 still made the best of an unpromising position.
 20.Nxe5! fxe5 21.Bxg4 exd4 22.exd4 Qxe1+ 23.Rxe1 Rxe1+ 24.Kh2
The two rooks and two knights are no match for the queen and beautiful bishops.
 24…f6 25.h5 Nf8 26.Qb3+ Kg7 27.Bf4 Re7 28.Bd6 Rae8 29.Qg3 Kf7 30.Bf5 Nd5 31.h6 Ng6 32.Bxe7 Rxe7 33.Bxg6+ hxg6 34.Qb8 Re8

 35.Qxe8+! 1–0
A nice finishing touch.

On the opposite coast, see standings and live games on Monroi from the National Chess Congress , where GMs Robert Hess, Michael Rohde and Alexander Stripunsky have joined in for the two-day Premier.


November - Chess Life Online 2009

In Dallas, A Rocky Start, a “Rocky” FinishNewsflash: Results in for Thanksgiving TourneysFront Page News: University of Texas at Dallas Chess Team Travels to Cuba Three Lead American Open at Halfway Point Nakamura Tops Carlsen in BNbank Blitz in Norway Thanksgiving Tourneys Begin in Philly and LAAmericans in the World Cup: Kamsky OutAmericans in the World Cup: Akobian and Shabalov Out GM Josh Friedel on the World Cup: All the Way to Siberia for This? Sharks and Knights in US Chess League Championships! Morales and Samuelson Win Duncan Oxley New National Event: US Girls Junior OpenKamsky Advances; Akobian and Shabalov Head to TiebreaksIce Cream, Two Minute and Norm Hopefuls at the University of Texas at DallasWorld Cup Round 2, Game 1: Kamsky Wins, Onischuk FaltersShabalov and Akobian Advance in World Cup! Action and Upsets in IllinoisSilver for Tanuj and Samritha! Americans in the World Cup: Two Advance, Three Go To TiebreakNorm Hunting in Texas BeginsNational Youth Action in Full SwingUSA Scores 4.5/10 in World Cup Game 1 Two Rounds to Go in the World Youth! GM Josh Friedel on the World Cup: A Long Road to Siberia Tanuj, Jarod and Samritha Roll on Countdown to the World CupA Parent's Perspective on King's IslandBig US Scorers Increase Pressure at World Youth Video From the King's Island Open Tanuj, Sarah, Samritha and Jarod on 5/6 in Turkey Five Tie in Turkey BowlKnockouts, Knights, Sharks and Mechanics Advance in USCL Playoffs Alena and Tanuj Still Perfect at World YouthUps and Downs in Round Two of the World YouthUS World Youth Squad Scores 22/25 in Round 1 Big Opens Kick Off in Ohio and FloridaAbby Marshall Previews the World YouthOn the Way to TurkeyGM in Residence at the CCSCSL: Ben Finegold GM Ronen Har-Zvi Hosts Kick off Schenectady Simul 15 spots up for grabs at 2010 U.S. Chess ChampionshipUS Chess League Heads to PlayoffsGM Larry Kaufman's Final Word on the World Senior Texas and Belgrade Colleges Battle Kaufman on the World Senior's Final Stretch GM Robert Hess on Channel One 25 Player World Youth Squad SetLenderman Fifth in World Junior!All-American Battle Set for Round Eight of the World Senior GM Joel on Quality vs. Quantity in Your RepertoireThe November Check is in the Mail World Cup Round 1 PairingsBryan Smith Scores 14-3 in Allentown Halloween Simul Week 9 US Chess League RecapUS Chess Scoop #9- A Lesson with Lenderman