An 11-year-old Long Beach boy set a world record at a Santa Ana tournament Friday by becoming the first youth under age 12 to win 21 chess games simultaneously, his coach said.
Roy Runas, a fifth-grader at St. Barnabas School, defeated 21 players during a 2 1/2-hour competition at Taft Elementary School in Santa Ana.
His coach, Robert Snyder, director of Chess for Juniors in Garden Grove, said the results will be submitted to the Guinness Book of World Records. However, it could not be verified officially Friday that Runas had broken a world record.
Last year, Justin Clark, 10, of Long Beach scored 20 simultaneous wins, Snyder said.
Runas and Clark are members of Chess for Juniors, a club with 120 members, ages 7 to 15, from throughout Southern California, Snyder said.
Runas' competitors Friday were fourth- and fifth-graders at Taft, all experienced chess players, Snyder said.
"It was pretty tough. I had a couple of matches that were pretty hard, but I won all my games," Runas said. "There is an attack that opened up lines, which could make them lose the game. Most of the time it works. On most of the games, I beat them in the opening."
Runas said he first became interested in chess when he broke his wrist a couple of years ago.
"I couldn't play soccer, so my dad enrolled me in a chess program. My dad had taught me the basic rules, but that was about as much as I played," he said.
While he plays chess about twice a week now, Runas said it isn't his favorite hobby. And when he grows up, he wants to be a mathematician or a computer engineer.
"I play basketball, the piano and computers--but I like basketball the best," he said.
Runas will compete in two national championships this spring, in Albuquerque and Memphis.