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Akobian Wins Imre Konig GM Invitational

Eighteen year old IM Varuzhan Akobian of Glendale, California won the Imre Konig GM  Invitational Chess Tournament with a score of 5.5 out of a possible nine points. With this victory, Akobian earns his  second GM norm. He earned his first GM norm by tying for first place at the 2002 World Open in  Philadelphia. Akobian needs one more norm to earn the Grandmaster title.

The Imre Konig GM Invitational is a ten player international invitational chess tournament held September 4 through 15, 2002 at the Mechanics Institute in San Fransisco, CA. The average international ratings of the ten players is 2538, making the Imre Konig GM Invitational a category twelve tournament, also making it the strongest round robin chess tournament  held in the United States in the 21st century. IM Hikaru Nakamura of White Plains, NY, GM Suat Atalik of Bosnia and  Herzegovina, GM Alex Baburin of Ireland, and GM Nick DeFirmian tied for second place with 5 points. GM Alex Yermolinsky of El Cerrito, CA and GM Alex Wojtkiewicz of Poland tied for sixth place with 4½ points. GM John Fedorowicz of New York, NY and GM Yuri Shulman of Belarus tied for eighth place with 4 points. GM Walter Browne of Berkeley, CA finished in tenth place with 2½ points.

The chief sponsor of the tournament was the estate of Imre Konig. For more information about the tournament, please visit -- USCF news release

Wojtkiewicz - Akobian
Konig Memorial, San Francisco 2002

1. Nf3 e6 2. c4 d5 3. d4 c5 4. cxd5 exd5 5. g3 Nc6 6. Bg2 Nf6 7. O-O Be7 8. Nc3 O-O 9. b3 Ne4 10. Bb2 Bf6 11.  Nxe4 dxe4 12. Nd2 Bg4 13. h3 Bh5 14. Nxe4 Bxd4 15. Bxd4 cxd4 16.Rc1 Qe7 17. Re1 Rac8 18. Qd2 Rfd8  19.Nc5 Bg6 20. b4 b6 21. Na6 Ne5 22. Rxc8  Rxc8 23. f4 Nc4 24. Qxd4 Ne3 25. Bf3 f6 26. Qb2 Nc2 27. Rd1 Qe3+ 28. Kh1 Qf2 29. Qb3+ Bf7 30. Qd3 Ne3 31. Qd7 Rf8 32. Rg1 Nf1 33. Qg4 Qh2# 0-1


Time to Team: 20th Annual U.S. Amateur Team West

It's not too early to begin planning for the Southland's premier team event. From February 15 to 17, the 20th Annual U.S. Amateur Team West will return to the Radisson LAX with trophies, teamwork and top-notch chess.

The tournament is open to teams of four players with an average rating under 2200 -- so every player can contribute. The December 2002 Annual Rating List will be used. In addition to trophies and clocks, special prizes will be awarded for the best team names, so put on your thinking caps!

For scholastic players who aren't ready for the "big time," there is also the Scholastic Amateur Team on February 16 and 17, open to teams averaging under 1200. Not to mention a Blitz tournament on Sunday night -- and maybe some surprises as well! The Amateur Team West is the chess place to be in February -- don't miss it!

For full details, see the Upcoming Events link at left, , or check us out on the Web at

Man vs. Machine: Kramnik draws Deep Fritz

In a much-heralded match held In Bahrain in October, World Champion Vladimir Kramnik drew with computer program Deep Fritz, 4-4. Kramnik took an early lead, winning games 2 and 3, but back-to-back losses in games 5 and 6 evened things up. The last two games were quiet draws.

Although the match attracted much media attention, its chess value may be doubted. Alas, such "boxing kangaroo" events have become increasingly popular in recent years. Garry Kasparov will reportedly face off against another chess program later this year, and Kramnik expressed willingness to meet Deep Fritz again for a rematch. For this encounter, the world champion received $800,000.

Kramnik,V (2807) - Deep Fritz
Bahrain (8), 2002

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 c6 5. Bg5 Be7 6. e3 0-0 7. Bd3 Nbd7 8. 0-0 dxc4 9. Bxc4 Nd5 10. Bxe7 Qxe7 11. Rc1 Nxc3 12. Rxc3 e5 13. Bb3 exd4 14. exd4 Nf6 15. Re1 Qd6 16. h3 Bf5 17. Rce3 Rae8 18. Re5 Bg6 19. a3 Qd8 20. Rxe8 Nxe8 21. Qd2 ½-½