Before theCOVID-19pandemic occurred, the Pacific Coast Open was scheduledto be held lastJuly in California.Unfortunately, the current situation precludes that, and theContinental Chess Association (CCA)madethedecisiontomovemostof their canceledover-the-boardevents online.The dates for many of those events have beendifferent, as well as formats(time control, rounds, prize fund), but at least these events were held to continuethetournaments tradition.In order to keep the regional flavor, entry fees weresignificantly discounted for those who live in the region where the OTB event would have been held.
With that backdrop, the 2020Pacific Coast Open was held September 26-27and hosted on the Internet Chess Club (ICC).The eventdidnot quitematchthe size of itsOTB tradition,thoughit did have an $8,000 prize fund and drew 165 playersacrossfour sections. The top section had 29 players and drew 5grandmasters,as well as aninternational master and womens fide master.
Upsets started occurring as early as round one,andtitled players were not exempt:IM John Watson lost to Derek Chen,FM Matthew Casella lost to Thomas Li, andGM Michael Rohde surrendered a draw to Iris Zhou.Not surprisingly,the names ofthese playerswould come up againin the prize calculations!
Round twobroughteven more surprises.Top-seededGMGusirGuseinov, playing fromAzerbaijan,faced rounds at hoursin the middle of the night.Heattempteda nap after his first game, but unfortunately did not wake up in time for round two, forfeitingto Derek Chen.
An evenmore-surprising result occurred when Donald Johnson defeated Rohdein this second-round game.On move 10,Johnson made a thematic piece sacrificewhichcorrectlyneeded to be accepted.Rohdes decision todecline the sacrifice, however, left him quicklyin a losing position.
Only four perfect scores remained after two rounds:GMs Aleksej Aleksandrov, Timur Gareyev, andJakhongir Vakhidov; as well asChen.Aleksandrov, playing through the night fromBelarus,opted for athird-round bye,which broughtGareyev and Vakhidovtobe paired on board one.Vakhidov had a nice combination to defeat Gareyevafter 17. g4 --can you spot the tactic?
Solution:17. Rad818. Qe2 Ng5 (Gareyev needs to accept that he is much worse and play 19. e4 Be6 20.bcf621. Bg3 Rd222. Qe3 Nxf323. Qxf3 Rxa2)19. gf Rd220. Rxc4 Rxe2 21. Bxe2
Board two also featuredthisexciting gamebetweenChenandJohnson.The players castled on opposite sides,and a tactical melee ensued.
After thecarnageof the first day, three of thefiveGMs had withdrawn!Onlytwo perfect scoresremainedat the halfway point:VakhodovandChen, who had entered as the 24thseed. On Sunday morning the two facedoff, withVakhidov emergingvictoriousandthe only player at 4-0.He was closely followed byAleksandrov who stood at 3.5/4,andLiandChen at 3/4.These four players were matched in the penultimatefifthround:Vakhidov and Aleksandrov were contentplaying toasix-move draw, whileLi suffered a tactical oversight and dropped his game withChen.
Going into the last round,Vakhidovmaintained clear first with 4.5/5.Only Aleksandrov and Chenwere within range at 4/5each,thoughVakhidov had already played them both, and he was paired down a full point to Ethan Sheehanin the final round.Vakhidovswin there secured him inclear first place, finishing with5.5/6 and winning $1,200.
Aleksandrov defeated Chenin this gameto finishclear second with5/6. Aleksandrov won$600.
Tommy Wenfinished 4.5/6 in clear third and won $400. Hesqueezed outthiswinoverKenneth Thomasin the final round.
Derek Chen and Ryo Chen (no relation) finished at 4/6, tying for fourth place overall, as well as the top U2200players.Both won $350.Sheehan, Li, Zoey Tang,as well asWFM Ellen Wangallfinished at 3.5/6 and tiedforsecond place U2200, witheachplayerwinning $50.
Other sectionwinners wereAdithya Sharma, SurenMikoyen, and Ruthvik Singireddy going 5/6 in the U2100 section and winning $433apiece; as well as Young Cui playing to 5.5/6 in the U1700 section to win $500. Luca Fischbein and Jaswant Ambati also scored 5.5/6 inthe U1300 section and won $325.
The 2020 Pacific Coast Open was directed by NTD SteveImmittand assisted by David Hater, Tom Brownscombe, Harold Scott, Al Losoff, Martha Underwood, Bob Messenger, Marty Grund, Ruy Mora, Charles Darnell, Terry Winchester, Bill Scott, Marvin Martzell, Daniel Bell, and Alonzo Barrow.
Crosstablesand all games for the online event can be found here. Previous CCA tournaments can be found here.
- Meet the Fritztrainer - Chris Ward - Chessbase News - November 26th, 2020
- When a retreat is the best way to advance - Chessbase News - November 25th, 2020
- Ex-chess champ Garry Kasparov worries over 'enfeebled Congress', says 'extremist wings' will help Donald Trump - MEAWW - November 24th, 2020
- Who Was The First Female Grandmaster? - Chess.com - November 24th, 2020
- Calm and powerful - Chessbase News - November 21st, 2020
- On Chess: Mizzou's Chess Team Proves Capable Of Winning Even In A Virtual Space - KBIA - November 21st, 2020
- Two Chess Grandmasters Weigh in on "The Queen's Gambit" | Amanpour and Company - pbssocal.org - November 18th, 2020
- Vidit plays the Skilling Open... and Banter Blitz - chess24 - November 16th, 2020
- So wins 4th match in Speed Championship The Manila Times - The Manila Times - November 12th, 2020
- Should Open Tournaments Be Included In World Chess Championship Cycle? - Chess.com - November 11th, 2020
- 50th anniversary of the Interzonal in Palma de Mallorca - Chessbase News - November 11th, 2020
- Iran's Chess On The Verge Of International Ban - Iran News By Radio Farda - November 11th, 2020
- Take it Outside: Fresh Air Chess in the Big City - uschess.org - November 11th, 2020
- Iran warned continued boycott of matches against Israelis will lead to FIDE ban - Insidethegames.biz - November 11th, 2020
- Vera Menchik: The Real-life Beth Harmon - Chess.com - November 11th, 2020
- 35 years ago: Kasparov becomes youngest World Champion in the history of chess - Chessbase News - November 11th, 2020
- Jeffery Xiong Wins Nov. 3 Titled Tuesday - Chess.com - November 5th, 2020
- I'm a Grandmaster and The Queen's Gambit has all the right moves - Sydney Morning Herald - November 3rd, 2020
- The real lives that inspired the O Gambito da Rainha prodigy re:Jerusalem - re:Jerusalem - November 3rd, 2020
- Just the Rules: Rulebook U-Turns | US Chess.org - uschess.org - November 3rd, 2020
- Whanganui weekend: 5 things to do - New Zealand Herald - November 3rd, 2020
- This week on "Sunday Morning" (November 1) - CBS News - November 1st, 2020
- This week on "Sunday Morning" (November 1) - msnNOW - October 31st, 2020
- U.S. Championship: So Still Leading the Way - Chess.com - October 30th, 2020
- So Tallies Five Straight Wins in U.S. Championship; Robson, Xiong Still Chase - uschess.org - October 29th, 2020
- U.S. Women's Championship: Krush tops the standings - Chessbase News - October 28th, 2020
- Irina Krush wins her 8th U.S. women's title - Chessbase News - October 28th, 2020
- Your chance to play two grandmasters on chess24 - chess24 - October 24th, 2020
- Chess, cricket, chickens and Nostradamus - TheArticle - October 24th, 2020
- Navara on the Candidates & reluctantly playing in Spain - chess24 - October 24th, 2020
- The memorable 4th edition of the Capablanca Memorial in 1965 - Chessbase News - October 24th, 2020
- Checks and counter checks - Chessbase News - October 24th, 2020
- Asian online team chess: India men and women enter semifinals - The Indian Express - October 24th, 2020
- Thomas Brodie-Sangster on Game Of Thrones final season: I havent met anyone that likes it - NME - October 24th, 2020
- On Chess: 18th And Olive: Historical Site Of The First World Chess Championship - St. Louis Public Radio - October 23rd, 2020
- Thomas Brodie-Sangster: Macca didnt like that John Lennon was taller in Nowhere Boy' - NME.com - October 23rd, 2020
- Pandemic Has Caused 'Cheating Crisis' in Chess - Newser - October 23rd, 2020
- The Queens Gambit Review: A Winning Chess Thriller - Wall Street Journal - October 23rd, 2020
- Tabada wins National Executive Chess Online tilt - manilastandard.net - October 23rd, 2020
- Anya Taylor-Joy Infiltrates the Boys Club of Chess in The Queens Gambit - Den of Geek - October 21st, 2020
- Chess, The Musical Finally Opens In Moscow - Chess.com - October 21st, 2020
- CBM 197: Magnus and his rivals - Chessbase News - October 19th, 2020
- The Best Shows and Movies to Watch This Week: The Vow Finale, Borat Sequel - Up News Info - October 19th, 2020
- Lighting lamps to guide physics on its way - The Hindu - October 19th, 2020
- 2020: A Year of Success for Oxford Chess - Cherwell Online - October 19th, 2020
- Hennessy Presents "Make Your Move" Featuring RZA And GZA Of Wu-Tang And Maurice Ashley - Chess.com - October 9th, 2020
- Dr C K Rajkumar: The Velvette man who pioneered the sachet revolution - Deccan Herald - October 9th, 2020
- Asian Online Chess: India start favourites in both mens and womens events - The Indian Express - October 9th, 2020
- Chess vs. checkers: The brilliance behind Justin Houston's approach to the pass rush - The Indianapolis Star - October 9th, 2020
- How man and machine can work together in the age of AI - The European Sting - October 9th, 2020
- A trout in the milk? - Spectator.co.uk - October 8th, 2020
- 'Young and the Restless' Spoilers: Chelsea Considers Dumping Adam Will She Bail on 'Chadam'? - Soap Dirt - October 8th, 2020
- October Cover Stories with Chess Life: GM Maurice Ashley - uschess.org - October 7th, 2020
- Teen star stands out in Wilfredo Neri Memorial chess tiff - Philippine Star - October 7th, 2020
- Netflix in October: All the new shows and movies coming out Film Daily - Film Daily - October 7th, 2020
- Carlsen and So tie in Chess 9LX tournament - Stabroek News - October 5th, 2020
- King in the middle (2) - Chessbase News - October 3rd, 2020
- Its more natural for men to pick chess as an interest or women to pick arranging flowers - Mint - October 3rd, 2020
- Cloud9 Signs Chess Grandmaster Andrew 'penguingm1' Tang The Esports Observerhome of essential esports business news and insights - TEO - The Esports... - October 3rd, 2020
- The world's our lobster - TheArticle - October 3rd, 2020
- Trump joked while people suffered with Covid. Well, is now the time to stop? - The Guardian - October 3rd, 2020
- How to get more productive? Try this meditation app - Economic Times - October 1st, 2020
- How SPB helped a teenage Viswanathan Anand for a national championship - The News Minute - October 1st, 2020
- Bhavik Rathod ventures out with edtech platform Kyt - ETtech.com - October 1st, 2020
- The other Pandey: An ode, a shout out and a plea... - afaqs - September 30th, 2020
- Required Reading: The Secrets To Pro's Success MTG Arena Zone - MTG Arena Zone - September 30th, 2020
- Spotted on a Safari - The New York Times - September 30th, 2020
- Celebrities that stream Among Us TalkEsport - TalkEsport - September 29th, 2020
- Alexander Donchenko: The importance of working hard at the board - Chessbase News - September 28th, 2020
- AI in IT service and support: The promise approaches reality - TechBeacon - September 28th, 2020
- The Queen's Gambit Netflix release date, cast, trailer, plot: When is the series out? - Daily Express - September 28th, 2020
- 'The Queen's Gambit' Trailer: Anya Taylor-Joy Is A Chess-Prodigy Carving Her Place In A Man's World - Mashable India - September 26th, 2020
- Who are the 50 Greatest Chess Players of All Time? - chess24 - September 24th, 2020
- So, Carlsen Tie in Saint Louis Speed Event; Nakamura Third - uschess.org - September 24th, 2020
- Essential strategies to win every game in Auto Brawl Chess: Battle Royale - Pocket Gamer - September 24th, 2020
- Sheikh Hasina International Online Chess begins Thursday - United News of Bangladesh - September 24th, 2020
- Chess players in war of words Zambia - diggers.news - September 22nd, 2020
- What is the puzzle result win, loss or draw? - Financial Times - September 22nd, 2020
- Post-mortems and princes - Chessbase News - September 20th, 2020
- Centre's deadline to AICF warring factions nearing fast - Sify News - September 20th, 2020