CHESS : INTERNATIONAL NEWS
The final match in the knockout tournament in Wijk aan Zee, the Netherlands, will pit two members of the Russian Olympiad team against each other. Evgeny Bareyev will play Alexey Dreyev for first prize. Bareyev reached the final by defeating another Russian grandmaster, Alexander Khalifman, while Dreyev eliminated Nigel Short of England. In the quarterfinal round, Dreyev traded victories with former U.S. champion Yasser Seirawan, then won two speed games to break the tie.
Joseph Blitzstein scored a perfect 5-0 to win the Los Angeles County High School Championship in Bell Gardens last weekend. Tied for second in the 36-player event were Feliks Akopyan, Juan Ramirez, Steve Saulenes and Arsen Tonoyan. Bravo Medical Magnet High School of Los Angeles finished first in the team competition, just ahead of Bell Gardens High and Central High of El Centro.
A disappointing total of 22 players competed in last weekend’s Goldenwest Open, a Grand Prix tournament in Buena Park. Levon Altounian took first prize, scoring 5 1/2- 1/2, a half-point ahead of GM Rosendo Balinas. At the same site, Ron Gross outdistanced a field of 17 players over age 50 to win the Southern California Senior Championship.
Andy Kleinman swept the Advanced section of the Warner Winter Scholastic, held Jan. 21 in Westwood, with a perfect 4-0 score. Andres Santa-Cruz and Kyle Sellers tied for first with 5-0 scores in the Booster (under-900 or unrated) section. The tournament drew 58 entrants.
The Balboa Open, a four-round Grand Prix tournament sponsored by the San Diego Chess Club, will be held Saturday and Sunday next weekend at the Balboa Club, 2225 Sixth Ave., San Diego. Call David Saponara at (619) 420-7436 for details.
The D.A.R.E. Eissler Scholastic tournament, a five-round event for students in grades K-9, takes place Saturday at Eissler Elementary School, 2901 Eissler St., Bakersfield. Scholastic tournaments in Bakersfield regularly draw more than 100 entrants, and the nonprofit Kern Chess Education Foundation has had great success in promoting chess. For more information, call Ellen Quon at (805) 871-8267.