Alexey Shirov of Spain defeated Vladimir Kramnik of Russia, 5 1/2-3 1/2, in their World Chess Council (WCC) match in Cazorla, Spain. The best-of-10-game match ended June 5 with Shirov’s sensational victory in the ninth game. Shirov also won the fourth game and drew the rest.

The 23-year-old Kramnik, once tabbed by Garry Kasparov as a future world champion, again played poorly in a match against one of his peers. He has lost three matches despite outrating his opponent. He earned about $200,000 for this disappointment.

Shirov, 25, will face Kasparov in the first WCC world championship, scheduled for Spain in October. That match will offer a prize fund of about $1.9 million, with about $1.2 million to the winner. Although Shirov has played impressively in recent months, he will be a heavy underdog against Kasparov, whom he has never beaten.

The incomparable Viktor Korchnoi won the Bosnia 98 tournament in Sarajevo. Against an all-GM field averaging 2613 in rating, the 67-year-old Swiss grandmaster scored 7-2, winning six games and losing only to Kiril Georgiev of Bulgaria. Bosnian star Ivan Sokolov took second at 6 1/2-2 1/2. Other scores: Georgiev and Evgeny Bareyev (Russia), 5 1/2-3 1/2; Zdenko Kozul (Bosnia), Smbat Lputian (Armenia) and Predrag Nikolich (Bosnia), 4-5; Emir Dizdarevich (Bosnia), 3 1/2-5 1/2; Jeroen Piket (Netherlands), 3-6; and Bojan Kurajica (Bosnia), 2-7.



The U.S. Game/60 Championship takes place June 20-21 at the Commerce Plaza Hotel, 6300 E. Telegraph Rd. in Commerce. The tournament consists of seven one-hour games, with a national title to the winner. For details, call Randy Hough at (626) 282-7412 or Mike Carr at (714) 768-3538.

Hovnan Arabyan scored a perfect 4-0 to win the Open section of the Warner Spring Scholastic, held May 30 at Warner Elementary School in Westwood. Julieta Stepanyan and Steven Villacorta tied for second in the 45-player section with scores of 3 1/2- 1/2.

Max Moacanin swept the Booster section (for grades K-5) with 5-0. Second, at 4 1/2- 1/2, was Jordan Martinez. The tournament, in its fourth year, set a new record with 118 participants.


The 1998 Emperors of Chess Scholastic Championship takes place June 20 at St. Anthony of Padua Parish Hall, 1003 W. 163rd St. in Gardena. The tournament consists of a four-round Championship section (open to any student in grades K-12) and a five-round Junior Varsity section (limited to students in grades K-8 rated below 800 or unrated). For more information, call Kurt Stenzel at (310) 686-0721.

The West Valley Chess Club, which meets at 6:30 p.m. Thursdays in the Jewish Community Center, 22622 Vanowen St. in West Hills, has completed two tournaments. Carlos Garcia won the Spring Round Robin with a 5-2 score, a half-point ahead of Fereidon Geula. Ghobad Vafa topped the 33-player Spring Swiss with a 6-1 score. Dana Jackson, Ed Isler, Duane Cooper, Jose Morga and Vicente Fierro won class prizes.

The club will begin a six-game double quad tournament (two games against each of three similarly rated opponents) on June 18. Call John Price at (818) 363-1379 or Duane Cooper at (818) 999-0837 for details.

The newly formed Covina Chess Club will meet on the first and third Fridays of every month at 209 S. Citrus St., Suite 7, in Covina. For information, call Ariel Carmona Jr. at (626) 915-5602 or Casey Trescunas at (626) 339-4331.


The Southern California Chess Federation (SCCF) has sent invitations to all 30 qualifiers for the SCCF Candidates tournament, scheduled June 27-28 at the Lakeview Senior Center, 20 Lake Rd. in Irvine. Each qualifier has achieved an outstanding score during the last year in at least one of the major local tournaments or county championships. The Candidates tournament will determine the participants in the SCCF’s invitational state championship, which will be held July 11-12 and July 18-19 in Irvine. For information about any aspect of the three-tier state championship format, call SCCF president Mike Carr at (714) 768-3538.