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Dmitry Gurevich, a grandmaster from Illinois, won the 30th edition of the American Open last weekend in Long Beach. Gurevich overcame a fifth-round loss against GM Walter Browne to collect the $2,000 first prize in the 96-player Open section. His 7-1 score included wins against SMs Mark Duckworth and Jesse Sales and IMs Jack Peters and John Watson.

Browne and Tal Shaked tied for second at 6 1/2-1 1/2. Each went undefeated, although Browne barely survived a fierce attack by Shaked in their seventh round showdown. Next at 6-2 were Levon Altounian, Fernando Miguel, Peters, Sales, Valdis Saulespurens and Watson.

Javier Torres took the under-2300 prize. Harutyun Akopyan, Sharon Burtman, Allan Karman, Show Kitagami and Bruce Weiner shared expert honors.

Rex Bridgeford scored 6 1/2-1 1/2 to lead 55 players in Section II (under-2000). Bill Johnson, Russell Laidman and Hiu Yong split first prize with 6 1/2-1 1/2 scores in the 53-player Section III (under-1800). Section IV (under-1600) attracted 73 players; Feliks Akopian and Isidro Oviedo shared first place at 7-1. Mazahir Shaikh topped Section V, which consisted of 16 unrated players, with 7 1/2- 1/2.

Jerry Hanken, who has organized the last six American Opens for the Santa Monica Bay Chess Club, was "very pleased" with the overall turnout of 293 players. Hanken had guaranteed $18,200 in prizes and he feared a financial loss when his pre-tournament mailing went astray, but the tournament showed a small profit.

Side events always add to the luster of the American Open. Walter Browne's World Blitz Chess Assn. (WBCA) conducted a 59-player blitz tournament that attracted many strong players. Gurevich claimed another first prize with 10 1/2-1 1/2, a half-point ahead of state champion Cyrus Lakdawala. Shaked was third at 9 1/2-2 1/2.

David Gliksman won the Quick Chess (10-minute) tournament, scoring 8 1/2-1 1/2. Stephen Booth and Bende Lagua had 8-2 in the 45-player event.

A total of 56 players competed in the American Open Scholastic. Eric Libicki finished first in the Open section, and Derek Schloss won the under-1400 section.

Brennan Ciaran won the 16-player Rated Booster Open, an event for newcomers to tournament play. Jorge Gonzalez was second.


Gallant Knights, a new chess club, meets Wednesdays at 6 p.m. at Stuft Pizza, 25352 Crenshaw Blvd. in Torrance. The club will host a 30-minute tournament on Wednesday. For information, call Rick Okubo at (310) 544-1140.

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