Friedel Wins American Open on Tiebreak Over Sevillano and Khachiyan
By Randy Hough   
November 29, 2010
GM Josh Friedel, Photo Betsy Dynako
Bay Area GM Joshua Friedel is the 2010 American Open Champion on tiebreaks, ahead of IM Enrico Sevillano and GM Melikset Khachiyan. They scored 6-2 in the 39-player Open section at the LAX Radisson. This is the first time in the winners' circle for Friedel and Sevillano, but Khachiyan is now "six-time" in terms of having at least tied for first (that includes the last three tournaments).
Having been tied for first when the three- and four-day schedules merged, Friedel took a bye (he was preparing his well-received lecture on the initiative in chess), then downed new IM Steven Zierk, and drew with Sevillano and IM Andranik Matikozyan (a quick one) to set up the tie. Sevillano had given up two draws in the three-day, but caught up with wins over FM Robby Adamson and untitled upstart Roman Yankovsky (a fascinating game, which we'll see in our final report), and then drew with Friedel and Khachiyan (another quickie).
Khachiyan, after losing in the first round and taking a pre-arranged bye, ran up five straight wins before the last round draw. The GM known to friends as "Melik" scored wins over the Under 2450 winner, IM Zhanibek Amanov, and Yankovsky.  The top two seeds, GMs Alejandro Ramirez (reigning US Open Champion) and Mark Paragua (now 26, a former junior superstar), drew a tough battle and were unable to catch up. Ramirez had come back nicely from his 2-2 start in the three-day, beating FMs Adamson and John Bryant. Paragua's victims included Bryant and Zierk. Matikozyan and Amanov joined them at 5 1/2 points.
The turnout in the main event was 211 players, and there was a clear winner in each of the other sections!
Final standings can be viewed at Look for a full report of the tournament on CLO later this week, with some games.