Sevillano Triumphs in Agoura Hills
By Randy Hough   
July 22, 2010
nov08cover.jpgCCA's 15th Pacific Coast Open attracted a typical turnout of 203 players (and 12 reentries) to the beautiful Renaissance Hotel in Agoura Hills, northwest of Los Angeles, over the July 15-18 weekend. The 30-player Open section featured two GMs and four IMs, with one of the latter, Enrico Sevillano, finishing on top with a 5-1 score. The 42-year-old Sevillano, winner of the 2008 US Open (his win was featured on the November 2008 Chess Life cover to the left) and several Southern California Invitational Championships among many other triumphs, won a critical game against IM Andranik Matikozyan with surprising ease in the third round: 


Sevillano,Enrico(2502) - Matikozyan,Andranik (2478) [B07] 
Pacific Coast Open (3), 17.07.2010 
1.e4 c5 2.c3 d6 3.d4 Nf6 4.Bd3 e5 
One of a number of valid defenses to Alapin's anti-Sicilian variation. Black aims to lock the center.
5.Nf3 Nc6 6.Be3 Ng4 7.Bg5 Be7 8.Bxe7 Qxe7 9.d5 Nb8 10.h3 Nf6 11.Nbd2 0-0 12.g4   
after12g4.jpg
12...g6 
An unnecessary weakness. Simply 12...Nbd7 or 12...a6 leaves it up to White to demonstrate that he has something on the kingside. 
13.Qe2 a6 14.a4 b6 15.Nc4 Nbd7 16.Nfd2 Ne8 17.h4 Nc7 18.Ne3 Rb819.h5 Qg5
Perhaps hoping for a repetition with White's knight going to f3 and back to d2. Not happening.
 20.Nf3 Qe7 21.g5 f6
Panic? This makes things worse by weakening g6. Black might as well carry out his plan with 21...b5 and hope White misplays the attack. 
22.hxg6 hxg6 23.Rh6 
Now it becomes apparent that after the g-pawn goes -- 23...Qg7 24.Nh4 -- a knight comes to f5 with deadly effect.
1-0  

A loss to GM Alejandro Ramirez (spending the summerinterning for The Blizzard video game company in Orange County before returningto UT Dallas to finish his masters) in the fourth round dimmed Enrico's hopes: 


Ramirez,Alejandro(2562) - Sevillano,Enrico (2502) [A13] 
Pacific Coast Open 2010 (4), 19.07.2010 

1.c4 Nf6 2.Nf3e6 3.g3 d5 4.Bg2 dxc4 5.Qc2 Nbd7 6.Qxc4 c5 7.0-0 Be7 8.Qc2 0-0 9.d4 cxd4 10.Nxd4 
A deceptively simple position which could arise out of either the English or Catalan. Black has to solve the problem of getting his Bc8 into the game and keeping White's fianchettoed bishop from doing too much damage. 
10...Bc5 11.Nb3 Bb6 12.Na3 a6 
As Black will incur a queenside weakness in any case, 12...a5 with a possible further advance gives White less latitude.
13.Nc4 Qc7 14.Bf4 e5 15.Bd2 a5 
This is less effective now. Black gets his bishop out, but the price is high. 
16.a4 Nb8 17.Rac1 Nc6 18.Nxb6 Qxb6 19.Be3 Nd4 20.Bxd4 ! 20...exd421.Rfd1 Bf5 22.Qxf5 Qxb3 23.Qb5 Qxb5 axb5
afteraxb5.jpg

And the weak d- and b-pawns spell doom. 
24...Rae8 25.Bxb7 Rxe2 26.Rxd4 Rxb2 27.Bc6 h5 28.h3 Nh729.Rdd1 Ng5 30.Kg2 Ne6 31.Rb1 Rxb1 32.Rxb1 Nd4 
The knight will be no match for the bishop and passer.
33.Be4 Re8 34.f3 Ne2 35.b6 ! 35...Nc336.Bc6 Rb8 37.Rb3 Na2 
37...Ne2 is better but still losing. 
38.Rb5 Nb439.Be4 g6 40.b7 f5 41.Rc5 Kg7 42.Rc8 Na6 43.Bd3 Rxb7 44.Bxa6 Rb2+ 45.Kf1 a446.Ra8 a3 47.Bc4 Rc2 48.Bd3 Rd2 49.Rxa3 h4 50.gxh4 Kh6 51.Be2 Rd4 52.Ra8 Kg753.h5 gxh5 54.Rc8 Rf4 55.Rc4 1-0  

But Sevillano came back to beat IM Dmitry Zilberstein of Northern California in Round Five and caught a break in the last round, getting paired with 15-year-old expert Dipro Chakraborty of Arizona (a half-point behind him) in the finale. He won as expected, but not without difficulty: 


Chakraborty,Dipro(2106) - Sevillano,Enrico (2502) [B33]
Pacific  Coast Open (6), 18.07.2010 
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5 6.Ndb5 d6 7.Bg5 a6 8.Na3 b5 9.Nd5 Be7 10.Bxf6 Bxf6 11.c3 Bg5 12.Bd3 
The immediate 12.Nc2 is much more common.
 12...0-0 13.0-0 Be6 14.Nc2 Rb8 15.b4Qc8 16.Nce3 Bxe3 17.Nxe3 Ne7 18.Qc2 Qc6 19.a3 g6 20.c4 Rfc8 21.Rfc1 Qb7 22.Qd2 Nc6 
after22...nc6.jpg

White has played solidly and it's equal after 23.Nd5 or 23.cxb5. But now he suddenly lashes out... 
23.Nf5?! Bxf5 
Already getting short of time, Sevillano chooses not to risk 23...gxf5, though after,e.g., 24.cxb5 Nd4 25.Qg5+ Kf8 26.exf5 Bxf5 27.Bxf5 Rxc1+ 28.Rxc1 Ne2+ White has no mate and Black is better. 
24.exf5 Qe7
Giving White a huge opportunity. 24...Nd4 is correct. 
25.fxg6 hxg6 26.cxb5 axb5 27.Rc3
27.Bxg6 wins a critical pawn because 27...fxg6 allows 28.Rxc6 Rxc6 29.Qd5+.
27...Nd428.Rac1 Rxc3 29.Rxc3 Kg7 30.h3?!
White should restrain Black's center pawns with 30.Qe3.
30...e4 31.Bf1 Qe5 32.Rc7 Ne6 33.Rd7 Rb6 34.Qd1 Ra635.Qe2 Rb6 
Gaining time on the clock, though 35...Rxa3 is objectively better. 
36.Ra7
Now the pawns start rolling. 36.Qd1 is equal. 
36...d537.Ra8 
37.Qc2 is in order, to free the bishop.
37...d4 38.Qg4  
Now the pawn gets away, and White's h-file threat can be parried.
38...d3 39.Qh4 Qh5 40.Qxe4 d2 41.Be2 
Time control has been reached, and White is lost. 41.g4 Qg5 42.Be2 Qf4 is no better.
41...d1Q+ 42.Bxd1 Qxd1+ 43.Kh2 Qd6+ 44.g3 Qd4 
White can playon for a while, but the result is not in doubt.
0-1  

IM Simon Ansell, a 35-year-old Londoner who played in his first U.S. tournament along with WFM Maria Yurenok (whose father,a master, lives in Orange County), was in contention after drawing Zilberstein and beating FM Harutyun Akopyan:  


Ansell,Simon(2398) - Akopyan,Harutyun (2256) [C77]
Pacific Coast Open (5), 18.07.2010 
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.Qe2 b56.Bb3 Bc5 7.c3 0-0 8.d3 h6 9.Nbd2 d6 10.Nf1 Ba7 11.h3 Be6 12.g4 Nh7 13.Rg1 Na514.Bc2 f6 15.Ne3 
The rare Worrall Variation has produced a position akin to those that arise from the"Giuoco Pianissimo." Black is fine after 15...Ng5 16.Nxg5 fxg5.
15...d5
The rule about answering a wing attack in the center seems not to apply here. Giving up the light-squared bishop makes Black's king position too airy. 
16.Nxd5 Bxd5 17.exd5 Qxd5 18.b4 Qc6 
The threat on c3 is easily parried.18...Ng5 19.Nxg5 fxg5, counterattacking the Nf3, makes more sense. 
19.Bd2 Nb7 20.Bb3+ Kh8 21.Nh4 
And now Black will have no compensation for the lost Exchange.
21...Ng5 22.Ng6+ Kh7 23.Nxf8+ Rxf8 24.0-0-0 Nxh3 25.Rg3 Ng526.Kb2 
26.d4 or 26.Bc2 are more accurate. 
26...a5 27.a3 Qb6 28.Bxg5fxg5 29.Rf3 Rxf3 30.Qxf3 Nd6 31.Re1 axb4 32.axb4 c5 
32...Qxf2 results in a quite lost endgame, but this is no better.
33.bxc5 Qxc5 34.Bc2 Kg8 35.Qa8+Kf7 36.Bb3+ Kg6 37.d4 exd4 38.Re6+ Kh7 39.Bc2+ 1-0 

Ansell held a draw with his fourth Black against Ramirez in the final round, allowing Sevillano to pass them both. Matikozyan, a half-point behind Sevillano, downed Zilbersteinto move into the second place tie. 


Zilberstein,Dmitry (2389) -Matikozyan,Andranik (2478) [E94]
Pacific Coast Open (6), 18.07.2010 
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.0-0 Na6 8.Be3 Ng4 9.Bg5 Qe8 10.h3 h611.Bh4 exd4 12.Nxd4 Nf6 13.Bd3 Nc5 
13...Nh5, aiming at f4, may be better. 
14.Re1 c6 
And here,14...g5 15.Bg3 Nh5, opening up the Bg7, improves. 
15.Bc2 Qd8 16.Qf3 Ncd717.Rad1 Re8 18.Rd2 Qb6 19.Bb3 Ne5 20.Qd1 Qa6 21.Rc2 Qb6 
Of course, thepawn is taboo: 21...Nxc4?? 22.Bxc4 Qxc4 23.Nd5.
22.f4 g5 ?! 
After simply 22...Ned7 it's not clear that White can do anything with his development and spatial trumps. 
23.Bf2
Now Black's queen as well as the knight are in jeopardy.
23...gxf4 24.Ne6 Qa5 25.Nxf4 
The d6 pawn and Black's loose kingside give White something to work with, though the position is still basically equal.
25...Bf8 26.Re3 Bd7 27.Nce2 Kh7 28.Ng3 Be7 29.Rd2 Rad8 30.Rc3 Rg8
afterrg8.jpg
31.Rxd6
?  
A very unfortunate idea; Black will win the queen for insufficient compensation. 
31...Bg4
Better than 31...Bxd6 32.Qxd6 Be6, which also favors Black.
32.Rxd8 Bxd1 33.Rxd1 Bb4 
33...Bc5 immediately appears a bit stronger.
 34.Rc2 Bc5 35.Rdd2?? 
A time pressure blunder. After 35.Nfh5 it's still a game, though Black is well on top. 
35...Rxg3  0-1  

The other GM in the tournament, Melikset Khachiyan, had just returned from a teaching gig atthe Western invitational Chess Camp in Tucson. He drew with Ramirez and FM Alex Kretchetov, but in the "slow" fourth round blundered against Akopyan and withdrew. Master Vadim Kudryavtsev and Expert Jeremy Stein (who upset Akopyan in the finale) split Under 2300 honors. One other game in the Open had no bearing on the prizes but featured an amusing final position: 



Nita,Marian Nick (2074) - Tanaka,Christian (2127)[A48]

Pacific Coast Open (6), 18.07.2010
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.Bf4 Bg7 4.Nc3 0-0 5.Qd2 d6 6.Bh6 a6 7.Bxg7 Kxg7 8.e3 Nbd7 9.Bd3 c5 10.h4h5 11.Ng5?! b5 12.f3 Bb713.0-0-0
Still dreaming about a kingside attack, but really just castling into it. 13.0-0 is equal, with both king positions compromised a bit. 
13...Qa514.Kb1 c4 15.Be2 b4 16.Nce4 Bxe4! 17.fxe4 c3 18.Qc1?
18.Qd3 or even 18.Qe1 offer some chances of living to tell the tale. 
18...cxb2 19.Qxb2 Nb620.Rde1? Na4 21.Qb3 Rac8 22.Bc4 d5
Of course, 22...Nc3+ 23.Ka1 Nfxe4 is also fine.
23.exd5 Nb6 24.Bd3 Rc3 25.Qb2 Na4 
He's baaack!
26.Qa1Rfc8 27.Rd1 Ra3 
afterra3.jpg
(White's king and queen are both tragicomically entombed.) 0-1  

A few of the section winners deserve special mention. Eight-year-old Annie Wang, winner of the 2009 Panamerican Girls Under 8 Championship, broke out of a six-month slump with a vengeance; starting as the 22nd seed in the Under 1700 section, she tallied 5½ points,outpacing her competitors by a full point, gaining 166 rating points (she'sover 1700 for the first time), and earning $1660. 

Peter Hodges of San Diego had the same margin in Under 2100; he was contemplating reentry when he had a bad position in Round One, but rebounded to win that game and go on to triumph. Gil Magno, who came with a group of players from the High Desert, had the only perfect 6-0 score for the weekend, taking Under 1500 honors by a point. 

Other winners included young Yash Pershad of Arizona (Under 1900, the only reentrant in the winners' circle), and David M. King in Under 1200. The informal competition to see if anyone could draw all their games waswon by high schooler Aditya Kumar of Northern California, who played in Under 2100 and gained 13 rating points. 

Another winner who deserves a nod is ten-year-old Spencer Toy of nearby Camarillo, playing in his first "adult" weekender. On the advice of his coach, Jack Cashman, Spencer played "up" in Under 1500 and finished fourth. This lad has a very serious demeanor, and you almost wonder if he's about to break into tears. But his prize check elicited a nice smile. 
Agoura3.jpg

Spencer is pictured with the large chess pieces that the Renaissance Hotel puts out in the lobby twice a year when Continental Chess is in town. 

Directors Steve Immitt and this writer dealt with some problems that were typical for a tournament of this size and length. Alas, as happened last July also, one player lost his temper and caused an unpleasant disruption that was quickly squelched. It's only a game, folks, and everyone is entitled to respect and silence! As psychic compensation, several participants went out of their way to praise the playing conditions and direction, and one apologized for a quite forgotten hassling of a director while inebriated many years ago... And one rebellious comedian responded to the ubiquitous "Don't Write Anything on the Wall Charts" signs by writing...yes, "Anything" on one.  

Post-tournament ratings can be viewed at the Pacific Coast Open MSA pageand final standings at: http://www.chesstour.com/pco10r.htm.