The Pacific Coast – and the Pacific Coast Open 2013

by Timur Gareyev
8/23/2013 – The 18th Annual Pacific Coast Open was held at the Sheraton Agoura Hills Hotel, Agoura Hills, California. With a number of GMs and titled players participating it was won by Timur Gareev of Uzbekistan. He is not just a very strong player – and a blindfold record setter – but an explorer and adventurer who is in the process of discovering America's West. Here is his pictorial report.

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Pacific Coast Open 2013

The 18th Annual Pacific Coast Open was held from July 18-21, 2013, at the Sheraton Agoura Hills Hotel, 30100 Agoura Road, Agoura Hills, California.

The tourney kicked in with several dynamic 45-minute games. I picked the alternative two-day schedule. I got to play rapid chess in first three rounds, after which our group merged with the rest of the tourney. After a couple stimulating games vs. >2200 players I got to face a co-leader of the event GM Vadim Milov. US open tourneys are famous for their peculiarities. Multiple games a day, looking for a chess set, late parings, and late start. My opponent was 30 min late for the round and was surprised he was deducted 15 minutes off his clock. After a bit of an argument we began my first decisive battle of the tourney.

[Event "Pacific Open"] [Site "?"] [Date "2013.07.21"] [Round "?"] [White "Milov"] [Black "Gareev"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "E43"] [Annotator "Gareyev,Timur"] [PlyCount "100"] [EventDate "2013.??.??"] [SourceDate "2011.05.31"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 b6 5. f3 Ba6 6. e4 (6. Bd3 c5 7. d5 (7. Nge2 Nc6 8. Qa4 Ba5) 7... exd5 8. cxd5 Nxd5) 6... Nc6 {Here I get something of a Saemish System without having taken on c3.} 7. Bg5 (7. e5 Ng8 8. f4 {seems promising for white} Na5 9. Nf3 Nh6 {leads to an interesting situation.}) 7... h6 8. Bh4 e5 {White was a moment too slow while Black starts fighting back in the center.} 9. a3 Bxc3+ 10. bxc3 Qe7 11. Nh3 Na5 12. Bd3 Bxc4 {Picking up a pawn was not particularly attractive to me. However I did not envision any other active play.} 13. O-O g5 14. dxe5 (14. Bg3 Bxd3 15. Qxd3 d6 16. dxe5 dxe5 17. Qb5+ Nd7 {where Black gets to solidify plus has an extra pawn.}) 14... gxh4 15. exf6 Qxf6 16. Bxc4 Nxc4 {I spent a little more time contemplating the opening. Black is ahead with about 20 minutes on each opponents' clock.} 17. Qe2 (17. Qd5 Qc6 $15) 17... Qc6 18. Kh1 O-O-O 19. Nf4 Rhe8 $1 20. Qf2 f5 $1 21. exf5 Ne3 {Being lost and down on time my opponent now offered a draw...} 22. Rfc1 Nxf5 23. c4 Qc5 24. Qxc5 bxc5 25. Kg1 Nd4 26. Ra2 c6 27. Kf2 Kc7 28. Ng6 h3 29. g4 Rb8 30. Rc3 Rb1 31. f4 {My opponent manages to create positional opportunities. However now tactics take over.} Ree1 32. Rxh3 Rg1 33. Rg3 Rbf1+ 34. Ke3 Rxg3+ 35. hxg3 Rf3+ 36. Ke4 Rxg3 37. Rh2 Rxg4 38. Rxh6 Rg1 39. Ne5 Re1+ 40. Kd3 d6 41. Rh7+ Kb6 42. Nd7+ Ka5 43. Nf6 a6 44. Ne4 Nf5 $1 {both defending and attacking} 45. Nc3 Re3+ 46. Kd2 Rf3 47. Rf7 Rxf4 48. Ne2 Rf1 49. Rf6 Ne3 50. Rxf1 Nxf1+ {My opponent resigned after a few moves.} 0-1

As the tournaments merged I was a facing GM Enrico Sevillano in a classical time control round. This game presented a positional challenge which I believe I executed quite masterfully.

[Event "Pacific Open Round 4"] [Site "?"] [Date "2013.07.21"] [Round "?"] [White "Gareev"] [Black "Sevillano"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A67"] [Annotator "Gareyev,Timur"] [PlyCount "81"] [EventDate "2013.??.??"] [SourceDate "2011.05.31"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 e6 4. Nc3 exd5 5. cxd5 d6 6. e4 g6 7. f4 Bg7 8. Bb5+ Nfd7 9. a4 {I beat Enrico in this system at the LA International 2012.} Qh4+ 10. g3 Qd8 11. Nf3 O-O 12. O-O (12. Kf2 $5 {might seem a little too original. I like this idea which allows White to play h3 restricting Black's light-squared bishop.} a6 (12... Nf6 13. h3) 13. Bd3 Nf6 14. h3) 12... Na6 ( 12... a6 13. Bd3 Nf6 14. f5 {seems interesting}) 13. Re1 {preparing e5 break as well as the retreat of the bishop to f1.} (13. f5 $5 Ne5 14. Nxe5 Bxe5 15. Bh6 Nb4 16. Qd2 $40) 13... Nb4 14. h3 $1 {White is getting proactive. Black needs to exchange a piece to feel comfortable. White must avoid exchanges and restrict Black's pieces. At 2009 National Open Bareev lost to Sevillano in the decisive round using this system. Bareev allowed Black to exchange light squared bishops and was soon facing counterplay.} (14. e5 a6 15. Bf1 Re8 16. e6 fxe6 17. dxe6 Nf6 18. Ng5 d5 $132) 14... a6 15. Bf1 Re8 16. Be3 b6 17. Qb3 $1 { Another excellent prophylactic idea. Black's counterplay flourishes as he plays ...c4, Nc5. Qb3 allows White to take control of b4 and c4 squares, solidify the center, control the a2-g8 diagonal, as well as connect the rooks.} Bb7 18. Bf2 Qf6 19. Rad1 Rab8 20. Re3 $1 {I must continue strengthening my position as I restrict my opponent. 20. Re3 overprotects both knights and prepares doubling rooks.} Qd8 21. Rd2 $1 {Time to relocate the queen.} Ba8 22. Qd1 Qc7 23. Bc4 $1 {preventing c4 push} Rbd8 (23... b5 {might have been the best idea for Black to try sooner or later.} 24. axb5 Nb6 25. Bf1 $16) 24. Re1 (24. Qe2 Bb7 25. e5 dxe5 26. d6 Qc6 27. Nd5) 24... Qb7 25. g4 {White keeps expanding.} Kh8 26. Kh2 Re7 27. Bh4 Bf6 28. Bg3 $1 {Keeping all of the pieces on the board is important. e5 break is about ready to launch!} Rde8 29. Rde2 Bg7 (29... Qb8 30. Qd2 $16 {with e5 coming...}) 30. e5 $18 Qb8 31. exd6 (31. Bh4 dxe5 32. Bxe7 Rxe7 33. d6 Re8 34. Ng5) 31... Qxd6 32. Ng5 $1 {One of the several winning solutions.} Rxe2+ 33. Rxe2 Rf8 34. Re8 $1 Qf6 35. Qe2 h6 36. Nxf7+ Qxf7 37. Re7 Qf6 38. Rxd7 b5 {is finally played, but with little effect.} 39. axb5 axb5 40. Bxb5 (40. Nxb5 Qxb2 41. Qxb2 Bxb2 42. Nc7 Bd4 43. Ne6 Rc8 44. f5 $18) 40... Qd4 41. Bc4 {The restricted bishop on a8 never got to play...} ( 41. Bc4 {As we reached time control, Enrico was obviously considering his last shot} Rxf4 42. Bxf4 Qxf4+ 43. Kg2 Be5 44. Qf3 Qh2+ 45. Kf1 {and Black runs out of ideas.}) 1-0

Having 4.0/4 I played the last two games for a win but was wise to accept draws in challenging positions. John Bryant executed a nice comeback, beating Milov in the last round. We shared first place. Here are the top final standings of the Open Section:

# Name Rtng St Tot TB1 Prize
1 GM Timur Gareev 2768 CA 5.0 19.5 $2115.00
2 FM John D Bryant 2527 CA 5.0 16 $2025.00
3 Jonathan Homidan 2146 CA 4.5 21.5 $1260.00
4 IM Andrannik Matikozyan 2553 CA 4.5 19.5 $330.00
5 GM Ehsan Ghaem Maghami 2604 IRI 4.5 17 $330.00
6 FM Luis Carlos De Arco 2308 CA 4.5 14.5 $330.00
7 GM Enrico Sevillano 2558 CA 4.0 19.5  
8 GM Vadim Milov 2715 SUI 4.0 19  
9 Kyron W Griffith 2401 CA 4.0 16.5  
10 FM Konstantin Kavutskiy 2363 MO 3.5 19  
11 Zachary Allan Bekkedahl 2158 CO 3.5 18.5 $105.00
12 IM Roman Yankovsky 2542 CA 3.5 17.5  
13 FM Jonathan Chiang 2285 TX 3.5 17.5 $105.00
14 Kesav Viswanadha 2253 CA 3.5 17.5 $105.00
15 Yusheng Xia 2256 CA 3.5 17 $105.00
16 Tony Yim 2135 AZ 3.5 15.5 $105.00
17 Nathan Lee 2155 WA 3.5 15 $105.00

As the tourney concluded, I continued the journey through Southern California to San Francisco, Cali National Parks and Las Vegas.

Lake Elsinore – photo Wikipedia – scroll right for full panorama

Flying over Grand Canyon

Sunset at Grand Canyon

Hearst Castle is a National and California Historical Landmark mansion, designed by architect Julia Morgan between 1919 and 1947 for newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst. In 1957 the Hearst Corporation donated the property to the state of California. Since that time it has been maintained as a state historic park where the estate, and its considerable collection of art and antiques, is open for public tours. The site attracts about one million visitors per year.

The Neptune Pool is an outdoor swimming ensemble at Hearst Castle in San Simeon, California. It includes fountains, ornamental pools, sculptures, marble pavilions, alabaster lanterns, dressing rooms, and an ancient temple facade. It was designed by architect Julia Morgan in 1924, but was built and rebuilt three times, each version increasing the size. It was finally deemed completed by William Randolph Hearst in 1936.

El Capitan (the mountain in the background, not the GM in front of it) is a granite monolith in Yosemite National Park, about 3,000 feet (900 m) from base to summit, is one of the world's favorite challenges for rock climbers.

You cannot see rock climbers on the face of El Capitan with the naked eye...

... but high resolution digital photography allows you to capture them. You simply take dozens of pictures of the rock surface and then, at home, scan them for the climbers on a large computer monitor.

This is the original resolution of a Panasonic Lumix TS7 at 12x optical zoom, hand held. You can see the socks and shoes of the climber on the right. The pictures were taken (by Frederic Friedel) a few years ago. With today's 32x optics you can probably capture the beads of sweat on the climbers' brows.

Climbers on the ground, after a safe descent

With a guitar on the road in California – GM Timur Gareev

Timur Gareyev is a chess grandmaster originally from Uzbekistan. He has held the rank of 3rd highest rated chess player in the US and top 100 players in the world with a peak USCF rating of 2780. He is best known for his exceptional Blindfold Chess playing ability.


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