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Levon Altounian Wins State Title With Undefeated Score

July 27, 2001|JACK PETERS | INTERNATIONAL MASTER

July 27, 2001

Position No. 5648: Black to play and win. From the game Adams-Morozevich, Dortmund 2001.

Solution to Position No. 5647: Black wins a piece by 1 ... Rc8 2 Ne4 Nxe4 3 Rxe4 f5 4 Rf4 g5 5 Nxb6 Rc1+ 6 Rf1 Bc5+.

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Vladimir Kramnik of Russia and Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria shared first place in the "Sparkassen Chess Meeting 2001," a double round robin that ended Sunday in Dortmund, Germany. Each scored 61/2-31/2 in the elite tournament, the strongest of the summer. Kramnik has taken six first prizes in the last seven years in Dortmund.

Peter Leko of Hungary finished third at 51/2-41/2. After defeating Michael Adams in the first round, Leko cautiously drew nine straight games. Other scores: Alexander Morozevich (Russia), 5-5; Adams (England), 31/2-61/2; and Viswanathan Anand (India), 3-7.

Anand, ranked third in the world, had not lost a slow game since Kramnik defeated him in Dortmund in July 2000. This year, he lost four games (including two to Topalov) in the worst performance of his career.

LOCAL NEWS

The new state champion is Levon Altounian, who won the Southern California Championship last weekend in Century City with an undefeated score of 5-2. In a dramatic last round, Altounian defeated IM Andranik Matikozyan while defending champion Cyrus Lakdawala beat the leader, IM Varuzhan Akobian.

Lakdawala and Akobian shared second place at 41/2-21/2. Other scores: IM Jack Peters, 4-3; Matikozyan, 31/2-31/2; IM Melikset Khachian, 3-4; Ron Hermansen, 2-5; and Karl Yee, 11/2-51/2.

This is the fourth state title for Altounian, a 25-year-old resident of Glendale. He tied for first in the 1998 Southern California Championship and he was the highest-scoring Southern Californian in the 1999 and 2000 Southern California Opens.

John Hillery directed the tournament for the sponsoring Southern California Chess Federation. All 28 games are posted on the SCCF Web site, http://www.scchess.com.

Winners in the Wilshire Chess Society's tournament last Sunday at the Westside Pavilion were Max Landaw, Julian Landaw, Ped Bashi, Alfredo Con, Edgar Saenz, Jonathan Hanish, Gregory Yakubovich and Bertram Buggs. For details of the club's next tournament, scheduled Aug. 26, call Michael Jeffreys at (310) 473-6291.

In last Friday's report on the July Octos in Costa Mesa, I neglected to mention that Anatoliy Manko swept his section with a perfect 3-0 score.

TODAY'S GAME

C. Lakdawala -Akobian, SCCF State Championship, Los Angeles 2001: 1 d4 e6 2 Nf3 c5 3 e3 d5 4 Nbd2 Nf6 5 c3 The Colle System. In a must-win situation, Cyrus opens quietly. Nbd7 6 Bd3 Bd6 7 0-0 0-0 8 Re1 b6 Adequate, though 8 . . . Qb6 and 8 . . . Qc7 equalize more easily. The nearly symmetrical 8 . . . e5?! 9 e4 cxd4 10 cxd4 favors White. 9 e4 dxe4 10 Nxe4 Nxe4 Not bad is 10 . . . Be7 11 Bf4 Bb7 12 Nd6 Bc6. 11 Bxe4 Rb8 12 Bc2 Bb7 13 Qd3 g6 14 Bh6 Re8 15 Rad1 Threatening to win a piece by 16 dxc5. Bf8 Sharpest is 15 . . . Bxf3 16 Qxf3 Qh4 17 Qh3 Qxh3 18 gxh3 Nf6, planning to post a piece at f4. 16 Bf4 Rc8 17 dxc5 Nxc5 18 Qe3 White has the initiative, but Black's position remains defensible. Qe7 19 Bd6 Qf6 20 Be5 Qe7 21 Bd6 Qf6 22 Ne5 Threatening 23 Bxf8 Rxf8 24 b4 Na6 25 Nd7. Bxd6 23 Rxd6 Be4? Black should simplify by 23 . . . Red8! 24 Qd4 Qe7 25 Rd1 Rxd6 26 Qxd6 Qxd6 27 Rxd6 Rc7, holding. If 24 Red1 Qe7 25 Rxd8+ Rxd8 26 Rxd8+ Qxd8 27 Qf4, Black fights back with 27 . . . f6 28 Ng4 f5 29 Ne5 Be4! 30 Qc1 Qd5. 24 Ng4! Qe7 25 b4! A terrific shot, yet Black may still survive. Qxd6? Losing. After 25 . . . Bxc2 26 bxc5, Black must parry the threat of 27 Rd7! by 26 . . . Red8, when White cannot quite land a knockout punch. For example, 27 Qe5 Qf8 28 Nf6+ Kh8 29 Rxd8 Rxd8 30 cxb6 axb6 31 Nd7+ Qg7 32 Qxg7+ Kxg7 33 Nxb6 lets Black draw by 33 . . . Rd3 34 c4 Ra3. 26 Nf6+ Kf8 27 bxc5 Not so clear is 27 Nxe8?! Qe7. Qd8 28 Qh6+ Ke7 29 Nxe4 Foreseeing 29 . . . bxc5 30 Rd1 Qb6 31 Qh4+ Kf8 32 Rd7, mating, or 30 . . . Qc7 31 Nd6. Qd5 30 Bb3! White finishes by attack. Black lasts longer after 30 Nd6 Qxa2. Qe5 31 f4 Qf5 32 Qh4+ Kf8 33 Qxh7 Red8 34 cxb6 axb6 35 Ng5 Threatening to sacrifice any piece on e6. Qf6 36 Rxe6! As 36 . . . fxe6 runs into 37 Nxe6+ Ke8 38 Ba4+. Rd1+ Or 36 . . . Qg7 37 Qxg7+ Kxg7 38 Re7. 37 Bxd1 fxe6, and Black lost on time. Easiest is 38 Qd7 Re8 39 Nh7+.

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