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Two State Champions Achieve Goal in Century City Tourney


Nov. 9, 2001

Position No. 5663: Black to play and win. From the game Bacrot--Anand, Corsica 2001.

Solution to Position No. 5662: White wins material with 1 Ng5! fxg5 2 Bxg5.


Varuzhan Akobian won the John Rowell Invitational in convincing fashion last weekend in Century City. Akobian, already an International Master at age 18, led the tournament throughout despite a fifth-round loss to Joe Hanley. He secured first place by drawing his final game on Sunday against his closest pursuer, state champion Levon Altounian.

John Rowell and Altounian organized the tournament to give local masters a chance to achieve norms toward the title of International Master. Altounian (who finished in second place at 6-3) and former state champion Armen Ambartsoumian (who tied for third place with IM Melikset Khachian at 51/2-31/2) both achieved IM norms. Usually a player needs three norms to earn the IM title.

Other scores: IM Rashid Ziatdinov, 5-4; Michael Casella and former state champion Cyrus Lakdawala, 4-5; Eduardo Ortiz, 31/2-51/2; Hanley, 3-6; and Stephen Jones, 2-7.

A booklet containing photos, all 45 games and annotations by the players will be published soon. For a copy, send $8 to John Rowell, 3511 Country Club Drive, Glendale, CA 91208. All proceeds will go to the second Rowell Invitational, tentatively scheduled for February.


The 10th annual Ladies versus Veterans match ended Saturday in Amsterdam. A few decades ago, few women could hold their own against male grandmasters. Since Dutch philanthropist Joop van Oosterom began this series, though, there have been plenty of young, impressive women capable of defeating much more experienced opponents.

This year, the Veterans' powerful lineup of former world champion Vassily Smyslov and four former world championship contenders proved sufficient to notch a 26-24 victory. The Veterans now lead the series with five match wins, four losses and one tie.

Individual results: 65-year-old Lajos Portisch of Hungary, 61/2-31/2; 70-year-old Viktor Korchnoi of Switzerland, 51/2-41/2; 57-year-old Vlastimil Hort of Germany, 51/2-41/2; 80-year-old Smyslov of Russia, 5-5; and 75-year-old Mark Taimanov of Russia, 31/2-61/2.

The women's team lacked Judit Polgar, the greatest female player ever. Scores: Zhu Chen of China, 6-4; women's world champion Xie Jun of China, 51/2-41/2; Nana Ioseliani of the Republic of Georgia, 5-5; Alisa Galliamova of Ukraine, 4-6; and Sofia Polgar of Hungary, 31/2-61/2.


Eduardo Ortiz scored 41/2-1/2 to win the 37-player Istvanyi Memorial, which finished Monday at the Arcadia Chess Club. Esmaeil Almasi, Donald Danlag and Randy Hough (who held Ortiz to a draw) shared second place at 4-1. Class prizes went to James Sutton (best Class A), 4-1; Thurlo Mishler (best B), 31/2-11/2; Mel Clark and Issa Razzaghi (tied for best C), 3-2; and Steven Williamson (best D-E-unrated), 21/2-21/2.

The Arcadia Chess Club meets at 6 p.m. Mondays in the Senior Citizens building, 405 S. Santa Anita Ave., Arcadia. The club will start the six-round Arcadia Winter Open on Monday. Call Fred Brock at (626) 331-1638 for details.

The Exposition Park Chess Club hosted another successful free tournament last Sunday. Rene Aventura, Ilya Malinskiy, Eugene Ivanov, Sridhan Ramanujan and Leroy Norriss won their sections. The club meets at 1 p.m. Sundays in the public library, 3665 S. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles. For more information, call the library at (323) 732-0169.


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