The World Chess Federation (FIDE) world championship match has passed the halfway point, and Anatoly Karpov of Russia holds a 7 1/2-4 1/2 lead over challenger Gata Kamsky of New York. Karpov needs only 3 points in the final eight games to win the match.
Kamsky has played very aggressively in almost every game. This strategy has brought him two impressive wins, but it has also contributed to his five losses. So far, the match resembles the start of the first Garry Kasparov vs. Karpov match in 1984, in which the young, ambitious Kasparov fell four points behind in the first nine games. Kasparov then steadied himself with 17 consecutive draws. In a 20-game match, Kamsky does not have that option. He must keep slugging and hope for a miracle.
The U.S. G/60 Championship attracted a modest total of 97 competitors to Hollywood Park Casino in Inglewood last weekend. Although the one-hour-per-game format allows more creativity than Action chess (30 minutes per game), it is too fast to appeal to devotees of “serious” chess (40 moves in two hours). Some G/60 struggles end with an appropriate result, but many degenerate into blitz play, where anything can happen.
Jack Peters took first prize at 7 1/2-1 1/2, a half-point ahead of GM Walter Browne, IM Anthony Saidy and masters William Longren and James Maki. Stephen Booth, Reynaldo Del Pilar and top expert Richard Mattern finished with 6 1/2-2 1/2. Del Pilar defeated Peters and drew Browne, but lost to Saidy in the final round. Even more unfortunate was Mark Duckworth, who won his first six games but lost all three on Sunday.
Class prizes went to: Jaime Salanga, Cid Sarmiento, Roger Smith and Aldrin Vidal, tied at 5 1/2-3 1/2 for best under-2000; Todd Adams, Jesus Fernandez and Donald Volkman, tied at 5-4 for best under-1800; Kevin Goroyan, Brian Havey, Iian Jablon and Terry Payne, tied at 4 1/2-4 1/2 for best under-1600; Miguel Lee and Evan Sofer, tied at 4-5 for best under-1400; and Daniel Gomez, 3 1/2-5 1/2, best unrated.
The Pacific Southwest Open, a seven-round tournament run by the Santa Monica Bay Chess Club, will be held July 4-7 at the Wyndham Hotel, 6225 W. Century Blvd. in Los Angeles. Entrants may choose a four-day schedule (two games on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday and one on Friday evening), a three-day schedule (three games Friday, two on Saturday and Sunday), or a 3 1/2-day schedule (same as four-day, except two one-hour games Thursday evening). For full information, call Randy Hough at (818) 282-7412.
The Court St. Chess Club will continue its series of four-round Action chess (30 minutes per player) tournaments on July 6 at the Carousel Mall in San Bernardino. The club hosts Action events on the first Saturday of every month. For details, call Robb McDermott at (909) 799-6487.