Alexandre Kretchetov and International Master Enrico Sevillano tied for first place last Sunday in the Southern California Championship. Each scored 5-2 in the round robin that serves as a state championship.
Next at 4 1/2 -2 1/2 were IM Andranik Matikozyan and this writer. Others: IM Cyrus Lakdawala, 3 1/2 -3 1/2 ; Julian Landaw and Christian Tanaka, each 2 1/2 -4 1/2 ; and Danyul Lawrence, 1/2 -6 1/2 . Only eight of the 28 games ended in draws.
Two sixth-round upsets, Sevillano’s stumble against 15-year-old Tanaka and Matikozyan’s unexpected loss to Kretchetov, left five players in contention for first prize entering the final round. Kretchetov capitalized against the luckless Lawrence, while Sevillano eked out a win against Lakdawala with a superb endgame.
The tournament was held on two weekends in the Century City law office of John Rowell, an expert who participated in the 2000 state championship and offered to provide a more comfortable site. John Hillery directed for the Southern California Chess Federation.
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– GM Susan Polgar