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Wilshire Chess Society

The monthly quads on October 27 saw sections won by Julian Landaw, Jack O'Connell and Dessi Quito. On November 24, Tim Taylor topped a Swiss section ahead of Mansour Bighamian and Daniel Berman, while Matt Witten and John Rolston won their Quads. The Wilshire Chess Society meets in the Westside  Pavilion, Westwood Blvd. at Pico Blvd. Rated Game/45 quads at 10:30 a.m. on  the fourth Sunday of every month in Community Room C (third  floor, near Barnes & Noble). For information, call Michael Jeffreys at (310) 473-6291.

Conejo Chess Club

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. - October 28, 2002 - Master Larry Smith presented a 16 board simultaneous demonstration at The Gamekeeper in The Oaks Mall in Thousand Oaks today. Playing against a total of 25 players ranging in skill from a four-year-old to an expert, the former Ventura County Champion won 19 games, lost 3, and drew 3. The demonstration was organized by the Conejo Chess Club and sponsored by The Gamekeeper.

Winning their games were B-class players Armando Martinez and Bob Gruspe as well as Grigoriy Makarov, who is unrated. Draws were recorded by expert Steffan Urban, A-class David Chow, and a consultation team consisting of unrated junior Stacie Crittenton assisted by her father, Larry (B-class). Gruspe, Makarov, Urban, and Chow are all members of the Conejo Chess Club.

The annual event is used to raise the public's awareness of chess and to promote chess activities in the Conejo Valley. "Public interest in this visually appealing event was very high. We had many shoppers stopping by to either watch the games in progress or to find out more about chess in the Thousand Oaks area," said Conejo Chess Club Director David Howard. "The Conejo Valley has an active chess community. In addition to the Conejo Chess Club's activities, Newbury Park has served as the venue for the Ventura County Open for a number of years. Hundreds of elementary students participate in several after-school programs and the area hosts summer camps that include chess programs."

The Conejo Chess Club meets on most Wednesday nights at the Bridge Academy in Vogue Plaza, 380 Thousand Oaks Blvd in Thousand Oaks at 6:30pm. The club is closed on the 2nd Wednesday of each month. All ages are welcome. Please contact David Howard, 805-499-5716, for more information about the club or the event. 

Joe Hanley State Championship Qualifier and Scholastic

John Williams took first place in this October XX event at St. Iranaeus School in Cypress with a 4-1 score.  Next at 3½-1½ was Ike Miller. In the concurrent Scholastic, Alex Yee scored a perfect 5-0, followed at 4-1 by Gabriel Tse and Anthony Warmuth. Arthur Torosian and Gregory Litman-Navarro topped the U700/Unrated class.

A Scholastic on November YY at the same site saw Alex Yee and  Gabriel Tse tie for first, while ion U700/Unrated Gary Tatoyan and Daniel Fedunov (4½ yrs. old!) split top honors. -- Joe Hanley

Arcadia Chess Club

The Istvanyi Memorial, ending in November, with 37 players, went to Matt Beelby with 4½-½. Second with 4-1 was Randy Hough. Class prizes went to Tom Peterson (A), Romeo Milan (B), Frank Lee (C), and Jeremy Stein (D/unrated).

The Arcadia Chess Club meets 6:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Mondays in the Senior Citizens building, 405 S. Santa Anita Ave. For information, call Fred Brock at (626) 331-1638 or Mel Clark at (626) 447-9355.

Costa Mesa Octos

Thirty-two players competed in four sections in the November 16th Costa Mesa Octo held at the Chess Center. The top section was won by Leo Raterman with a perfect 3-0 score. Second place was a three way tie between Takashi Iwamoto, John Badger and John R. WIlliams all at 2-1. The second section was won by Chad Salinas also posting a 3-0 score. Again there were three people tied for second at 2-1. These were Werner Belke, Arkadiy Onikul, and Donald Hopkins. The third section saw Arturo Saliva win with a score of 2 1/1-1/2. Second place was split between Ped Bashi, Arnold Baldwin, and Richard Martin, all at 2-1. The bottom section was won by Richard Henri with another perfect 3-0 score. Second place was again a three way tie between Richard Smock, Michael Beckham, and nine year old Christian Tanaka (a student of Takashi Iwamoto's), all at 2-1. The next Costa Mesa Octo will be January 11th at the Chess Center. -- Mike Carr

SPA Fall Classic

October 26

This traditional event at St. Paul the Apostle School in Westwood drew 97. The Advanced (K-12) section went to Robbie Rosenberg with 4-0, followed at 3½-½ by David Bennett. In the Junior Varsity (K-8), Arthur Pyuskulyan topped the field with 5-0. In the Novice (K-3), Rishi Bagrodia took first place with 4½-½. Richard Rico directed.

Fighting Knights Chess Club Classic

This inaugural scholastic event in Aliso Viejo saw a good turnout of 29. Tying for first with 4-0 were Randy Myers and Justin Copenhaver. Samuel Lee took third with 3-1. For information ion future Fighting Knights tournaments, call Rusty Myers at (949) 425-1667.

Pasadena Chess Club

Gordon Brooks reports that the "Kyoto Protocol Open," ending in November, saw Dane Hinrichsen take first place with 4½-½. Tied for second with 3½ were Alan Lacombe, Dave Matson and Gordon Brooks. Class prizes went to Anand Kesavaraju, Marc Willis, Elston He, Sebouh Kouladjian, Donald Rogers and Dean Mitrovich.

In the club's November-December event, "A Rose For Your Queen," Mikhail Chetverukhin swept the filed with 5-0. Second at 4-1 was James Boren. Class prize winners included Yves Tan, Mac Willis, Glen Weinbaum, Albert Dietrich, Rolando Tenoso, Richard Luchetta and Don Rogers.

The Pasadena Chess Club meets 7:00 p.m. to midnight Fridays in the Pasadena Senior Center, 85 E. Holly St. For information, call Neil Hultgren at (818) 243-3809 or Tim Thompson at (818) 354-8698. The club has its own Website at

La Palma Chess Club

Winner of the 20-player La Palma Chess Club Championship is Gregg Fritchle, with a 6½-½ score. Joe Hanley finshed second at 5-2. Class prizes went to Bill Martino, Dr. Harold Valery and Mike Juchniewich, while Rory Valle received a special prize for biggest upset.

The La Palma Chess Club meets 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Fridays in Central Park, 7821 Walker St. For information, call Brian Scanlon at (714) 523-2550.

Gambito Opens

Chuck Ensey reports:

Thirty-six players battled for prizes in the 98th Gambito on 11/02/02, which was a near record turnout for these four round Saturday events held every week at the San Diego Chess Club. The 98th Gambito was also the third "Super Gambito," a new format with a guaranteed prize fund of $500, which is offered on the first Saturday of every month. 

The 21 player Open Section featured 4 masters and 8 Experts and was won by a newcomer to the SDCC, Alexandre Kretchetov, rated 2357, who cruised to a perfect score with 4 wins, earning him $125. Expert Jorge Balares placed 2nd for $75 with 3 ½ points. Jorge has been on fire lately in the weekly Gambito tournaments, scorching the competition and winning prizes five out of the last six weeks. Scoring 3 points and taking the Under 2200 prize of $75 was Dimitry Kishinevsky, who has cut back on his very active chess life, but still seems to really make it count when he does play. He tied with Cyrus Lakdawala for 1st place in the first Super Gambito in September. This time he beat two masters in one day, and his only loss was to the overall winner Kretchetov in Round 1. Nice going Dimitry! There was a 3-way tie for the Under 2000 prize, shared between Yanni Shainsky, Alejandrino Baluran and Jerry Soelberg, scoring 2 points and $25 each.                   

In the Reserve Section, 15 players rated under 1800 raced up and down the chessboard along with several house players who filled in when needed to avoid byes, and when the dust cleared, Carl Batuyong had slam-dunked his opponents for a perfect 4-0 score worth $75. Loyal Gambito player James Mitchell also won $75 for best score under 1600 with 2 ½ points. Circle your calendar for the 1st Saturday of every month for great competition, big prizes and low entry fees brought to you by the San Diego Chess Club!

To encourage more games for publication, a $20 prize was also added for the best game in the Open Section, and another $20 for the Reserve Section. This month the best game prize in the Open Section went to Yanni Shainsky for his sparkling win against Nestor Estrella. The game featured a speculative rook sacrifice, followed by another pawn sacrifice and ended in a beautiful checkmate. The overall attack may have been unsound, but with only 45 minutes per side, the more aggressive player often comes out on top in these tournaments. The Reserve Section best game prize went to Buddy Morris, who is well known for his tricky tactical shots, but yours truly was unable to resist grabbing a pawn in the opening, even though I had never met this particular gambit before. Buddy got full compensation and proceeded to outplay me badly while I burnt up valuable clock time desperately trying to equalize, leading to a few comical blunders at the end of the game. Bruce Baker judges the best games and Cyrus Lakdawala has offered to help if necessary.

Yanni Shainsky (1845) - Nestor Estrella (1935)

Gambito Open #98, Rd 3

D00 Tromowski Attack              

1.d4 d5 2.Bg5 c6 3.e3 Bf5 4.Nd2 Nd7 5.Be2 Ngf6 6.Bxf6 Nxf6 7.h4 h5 8.Nh3 Qb6 9.b3 e6 10.Nf4 g6 11.c4 Bb4 12.0-0 Bc3 13.cxd5?! Bxa1 14.dxe6 Bc3 15.exf7+ Kxf7 16.Nc4 Qc7 17.b4 Bxb4? 18.Qb3 a5 19.Nd6+ Kg7? 20.Nxf5+ Kh7 21.Ne6 a4 22.Ng5#   1-0

A record 49 players gave up their weekend to play in the 100th Gambito on November 16th and 17th 2002. The unusual 8-round G/45 two-day format was well received and many players said it wasn't as grueling as expected and that they really enjoyed it.

The top prize of $300 was won by Bruce Baker with 7 points. Bruce was undefeated and allowed draws only against Esteban Del Aquila and Ruffo Orihuela. Cyrus Lakdawala placed  second for $150 with 6 points and Romeo Ignacio was 3rd for $100 with 5 ½  points.   Expert Carey Milton also scored 5 ½ and won $200 for Best Under 2200. Carey plays almost every Saturday, so his experience in this format makes him tough to beat. Ruffo Orihuela led the large contingent from Mexico and was 2nd Under 2200 with 5 points and $100. The border is not easy to cross these days, so we really appreciate the effort by leaders such as Carlos Varella and Jesus Orozco in helping to organize the trips.  Some players, such as Gustavo Hernandez, were unable to make it due to the recent change of visa requirements. Rick Aeria, Jorge Balares and Tony Davis tied for 3rd place in the Under 2200 category with 4 ½ points each, so they received $60 each. Nestor Estrella won clear 1st for the Under 2000 prize of $200 with 5 points. The 2nd and 3rd place prize was shared between Alejandrino Baluran and Rene Tolo, two of many participants from the McDonalds Club in National City. They each scored 4 ½  points and $75 of hard earned money against very tough competition.  Esteban Del Aguila won the $50 upset prize for his draw against International Master Cyrus Lakdawala, barely squeaking past Gene Arnaiz (rated 1500), who upset a player rated 1759.                 

In the Reserve Section, Buddy Morris tied with Arthur Taylor with 6 ½ points, good for $150 each. On Sunday, Art had to miss the play of his favorite NFL team, the Green Bay Packers, but Art had plenty of game of his own on the chessboard that day.  Chuck Ensey was clear 3rd with 5 ½ for $50. Arsenio Caccam continued the strong showing of the McDonalds club with 5 points in the Under 1800 section, and the rarely seen Llewelyn Milton and Brian Watson came out of the woodwork to share the pooled prize of $75 each for 2nd and 3rd with 4 ½ points. Hercules Madriaga and Lawrence Pagtama, two unrated players from the McDonalds club, scored an impressive 5 points each and were awarded book prizes. I know there are lots of strong unrated players who hang out at the McDonalds restaurant off Plaza Blvd in National City on Friday nights, but I am starting to wonder just how many are there??! 

Chuck Ensey (1695) - Buddy Morris (1778)

Gambito Open #98, Rd 4  

D32 Schara-von Henning Gambit

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5 4.cxd5 cxd4 5.Qxd4 Nc6 6.Qd1 exd5 7.Qxd5 Bd7 8.Bf4 Nf6   9.Qd2 Bb4 10.e3 Qa5 11.Bd3 Rd8 12.Nge2 Bf5 13.Nc1? Ne4 14.Qc2 Rxd3 15.Nxd3 Nxc3 16.0-0 Nd5 17.Qb3 Bxd3 18.Qxd3 Nxf4 19.exf4 0-0 20.a3 Be7 21.Rac1 Qb6 22.b4 Bf6 23.Qc4 g6 24.Rc2 a6 25.Qc5 Qd8 26.a4 Be7 27.Qc4 Bxb4 28.f5 Qf6 29.fxg6 hxg6 30.Rb1 a5 31.Re2 Rd8 32.Qe4 Kg7 33.h4 Rd4 34.Rxh4 Qb8? 35.Qf5 36.Re8 Qxb1+ 0-1

San Diego Chess Club

The Fall Swiss at the SDCC drew 39 players and ended up as a 3-way tie between President Ron Rezendes, Secretary Chuck Ensey and up-and-comer Ron Soto, each with 4 out of 5. At the same time, newcomer Stefan Pronivk won the Master Round Robin with 4 of 5. Tom Nelson and Dimitry Kishinevsky tied for 1st in the Expert Round Robin with 3½  each and Fidel Gonzalez took clear first in the Class A Round Robin with 4 points. Finally, Alfredo DeLeon won the Class A/B Round Robin, also with a score of 4/5.                    

The annual Class Championships were held in late October thru November and drew 56 players. Thomas Hanak won the Class A trophy with 4 out of 5, Esteban Escobedo handily won the Class B trophy with 4½ (ending Brian Kelly's two year reign), and Gene Fernando won the Class C trophy on tie breaks with 3½, edging out Treasurer Louis Pace and newcomer Ryan Tester. Oscar Reyna won the Class D trophy with 4 points. Meanwhile 12 players vied for first place in the Master/Expert Swiss while the Class Championships were being decided. Bruce Baker reeled off four wins in a row after a draw with Ruffo Orihuela in the first round to capture first place with 4 ½ points. Ruffo came in second with 4, easily outdistancing two other masters and two experts who tied for third with 2½  each.  Ruffo is very close to earning a Master rating, maybe this will put him over the top if he is not there already.

The membership of the Club expanded greatly in 2002 and ended the year with 168 players on the books.  We look forward to hosting the Southern California Open over the Labor Day weekend on August 30, 31st and September 1, 2003.

The San Diego Chess Club meets at 7 PM on Wednesdays at 2225 6th Ave. (at Ivy) in Balboa Park and also hosts the 4 Rd, G/45 Gambito Opens on Saturdays at 10 AM. For information, call Bruce Baker at (619) 239-7166.  -- Chuck Ensey