Southern California Chess Federation
News & Notes Archive

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Jan. 21-22, 2012

Metropolitan Chess plans its first workshop on January 21st to 22nd, 2012. The workshop is a new instructional monthly weekend class that will be led by IM Andranik Matikozyan, IM Zhanibek Amanov, and FM Konstantin Kavutskiy with 1- and 2- day options. Flyer here.


Feb. 22-26, 2012

Metropolitan Chess, Inc. is hosting an International Master norm round robin tournament from February 22nd to 26th of 2012. The tournament is sponsored by California Market Center, Fashion Business, Inc, Chess.com, MonRoi, LawyerFy, and Betty Bottom Showroom.

This tournament is the 16th in its series and is being held in Suite C1002 of the California Market Center on 110 East 9th Street, Los Angeles 90079. The tournament is organized by Ankit Gupta, FA, IO and the chief arbiter is Randy Hough, IA. The participants include: IM Zhanibek Amanov (KAZ), IM Andranik Matikozyan (ARM), IM Larry Remlinger (USA), FM Alexandre Kretchetov (RUS), FM Konstantin Kavutskiy (USA), FM Kayden Troff (USA), Alexander King (USA), CM Giovanni Carreto (MEX), NM Michael Bodek (USA) and FM Philip Xiao Wang (USA). The IM norm is 6.5/9.0.

The tournament will be a 10 player round-robin (all play all), with rounds scheduled as follows – 22nd: 7:00 PM, 23rd: 11:00 AM & 5:00 PM, 24th: 11:00 AM & 5:00 PM, 25th: 11:00 AM & 5:00 PM, 26th: 10:00 AM & 4:00 PM. Spectators are welcome and encouraged to come to watch the games in person at the tournament site. The standings can be found on the Metropolitan Chess, Inc. website here.


Dec. 16 & 18, 2011

ChessPalace will be having its annual Blitz Championship at 8 p.m. Friday on December 16th that will determine the 2011 Blitz Champion. A new feature this year is a $600 projected prize fund with added under-class prizes, U2000, U1800, and U1600. In addition, it will be USCF-rated and an added round to the event totals it up to 12 USCF quick-rated games! Then two days later on December 18th, ChessPalace will have its G/15 Quick Chess tournament (no delay and no notation). It will be 5-double rounds and will offer cash prizes as well as ChessPalace gift certificates. Here are the links to each events for more tournament details and registration: Blitz: www.chesspalace.com/blitzentry.htm Quick: www.chesspalace.com/quickchess.htm Thanks and hope to see you there! ChessPalace


Dec. 5, 2011

Free Chess Clubs Join Forces. The Antelope Valley Vets Chess Club & Checkmate Chess Club become one. When the now 16-months-old Checkmate Chess Club met at the Lancaster Library, between 30 and 50 people showed up each week to play chess. This past August, when the library became too busy and could no longer host weekly meetings, the club moved to the Old Fire Station a block away. Since then, unfortunately, attendance has dwindled. Similarly, although the AV Vets Chess Club has been meeting at the Vets Home (30th & West Avenue I) since it began in October, only 3 Vets have attended. Because both clubs have attendance issues, they are being combined. As of Wednesday, December 7th, this free ‘new’ Checkmate Chess Club is open to all ages and skill levels and meets Wednesdays, 5-6:30pm at the AV Chess House, 3710 Neola Way (near 37th & West Avenue J). Chess sets are provided. (No food allowed on the premises. Please park across the street from the building.) For more information, contact: daa@mahowald.org


Sept. 4, 2011
SCCF Executive Board Election Results


Mike Nagaran reported the following were elected to two-year terms on the SCCF Executive Board:

Chuck Ensey (23 votes).
Randy Hough (20 votes),
Phil Chase (17 votes),
Ankit Gupta (16 votes),
Takashi Iwamoto (15 votes), and
Elliot Landaw (14 votes).

A complete list of Board members and committees is here.


July 22, 2011
USCF Executive Board Election Results


Gary Walters 1596 (elected)
Mike Nietman 1573 (elected)
Allen Priest 1552 (elected)
Sevan Muradian 406

Congratulations to the winners and thanks to all who voted!


Sept. 11, 2011
Boy Scouts unveil chess merit badge.



June 6, 2011

With a convincing 7-2 score, IM Zhanibek Amanov won Metropolitan Chess, Inc.'s 10-player International Master norm round robin tournament held on June 1 to 5, 2011. FM Joel Banawa and FM Philip Xiao Wang achieved IM norms scoring 6½-3½. This was Philip's 2nd IM norm, and Joel's 3rd IM norm, making FM Joel Banawa International Master-elect. Games in java and pgn are here.

This tournament was held in Suite C998 of the California Market Center on 110 East 9th Street, Los Angeles 90079. The tournament was organized by Ankit Gupta, the chief arbiter was Randy Hough, and the deputy arbiter was Michael Belcher. The participants included: IM Zhanibek Amanov (KAZ), IM Timothy Taylor (USA), IM Andranik Matikozyan (ARM), FM Joel Banawa (USA), FM Pedram Atoufi (IRI), FM Phillip Xiao Wang (USA), CM Giovanni Carreto (MEX), FM Harutyan Akopyan (USA) and NM Alessandro Steinfl (ITA).

The tournament was sponsored by California Market Center, Fashion Business, Inc, Chess.com, MonRoi, LawyerFy, and Betty Bottom Showroom.


June 1, 2011

Here's the link to NPR's interview of IM Tony Saidy and the maker of the latest Fischer documentary, Liz Garbus. I saw the documentary and liked it. It's going to be aired on HBO next week at various times, starting on Monday evening. ~ IM Jack Peters


Metropolitan Chess, Inc. was voted 2011 Chess Club of the Year by United States Chess Federation (USCF). NM Ankit Gupta, Chief Organizer of Metropolitan Chess, Inc, was voted 2011 Organizer of the Year by the USCF.


Metropolitan Chess Invitational Camp (August 12-16, 2011)

A short video about the Metropolitan Chess' August 12-16, 2011 Scholastic Camp (with GM Michael Adams, GM Loek Van Wely, GM Melikset Khachiyan, and many other titled instructors):

It is rare to see so many top GMs in Los Angeles to begin with, and even more so, to see them teaching at a camp. Contact us here for camp info. This camp lead into the 1st Metropolitan International from August 17-21, 2011.


Mr. Craig Faber and Miss Taylor McCreary drew in the last round and shared first place with a score of 3½-½ in the San Luis Obispo Chess Club's Spring Open held April 30, 2011. James Wilson won the reserve section with a perfect score. More results and wall charts are posted here.


ChessPalace is bringing back monthly Super Sunday starting this Sunday on April 17, 2011 with regular large cash prizes. April's event has a $650 guaranteed prize fund. The tournament is broken down into two sections Master/Expert (over 2000) and U2000. April rating supplement OR most-updated will be used. Players rated 2000 can play in either section. It's 5-round Swiss, USCF-rated event. Time control: G/30 + 10sec/move (digital clocks required). Registration ends at 12:20pm. Round 1 starts at 12:30pm. GMs and IMs free with one day notice. FMs, half of entry. $10 extra for players U2000 in the Master/Expert section. Flyer here. Register online here.


Joel Banawa won the 4th Metropolitan FIDE Invitational with 7½-1½, a full point ahead of the field. And, in doing so earned his second IM norm!

Michael Brown won the 2nd Metropolitan FIDE Qualifier with a score of 4½ on 5.

Complete standings here.


The showing of Queen to Play this Sunday at 11am at Pasadena Playhouse Theatre - 673 E. Colorado Blvd. will be $6.00 per ticket if we get more than 25 people showing up. If less than 25 it will be $8. Hope to see you there! ~ Randy Hough

Opens April 1st at the Laemmle's Royal Theatre, 11523 Santa Monica Blvd. West LA. 310-478-3836.

Opening across Southern Califonia, see listings here.

Trailer here.


USC won the 2011 Amateur Team West with a perfect team score of 6 points. Complete standings and prizewinners here.

Games and pictures from the USAT playoff here. USCF article here.


GM Mark Paragua won the Jimmy Quon Memorial Final (a.k.a. the 2nd Metropolitan Chess FIDE Invitational) with 7½-1½.  A final report is here, pictures here.


IM Enrico Sevillano won the Metropolitan Chess Club's first FIDE Invitational with 7½-1½.  A final report is here, pictures here.


A site on California chess history, games, and pictureshere.


Al Pena provided a PDF of the November 1935 issue of the "Western Chess Chronicle," published by the Southern California Chess League. This is but one of many lost chess publications, many (like this one) of high quality with interesting articles and hard-to-find games. If anyone offer information about the publication, the organization which produced it, or addtional editions, email us here.

Later: IM John Donaldson sends us the following:

Hi John (Mr. Hillery, RIP),

Yesterday, I happened to notice Al Pena's scan of issue 1 of the Western Chess Chronicle which was much appreciated. Below is the history of the publication from the ChessDryad website - www.chessdryad.com. Kerry Lawless, who runs the site, has issue nine scanned and available for download as jpegs here. I had a chance to view all the issues at the Cleveland Public Library a few years ago and recall the magazine's content continually improving right up until the final issue which featured annotations by Reuben Fine.

John Donaldson
WESTERN CHESS CHRONICLE (1935-36)
Editor: Alfred L. Paul (Lomita 1936)
"Official Organ of the Southern California Chess League" Volume 1, Number 1: November 1935
Volume 1, Number 4: February 1936
Volume 1, Number 5: March 1936
Volume 1, Number 6: April 1936
Volume 1, Number 7: May 1936
Volume 1, Number 8: June 1936

Volume 1, Number 9: July 1936


Feb. 2009
West wins U.S. Amateur Team playoff


The 2009 USAT Playoffs was one filled with excitement, drama and even a dose of madness that the month of March usually reserves for college basketball. In the end, after a day of thrilling chess that included game(s) in 15 sudden death tiebreaker matches to decide the semi-final and championship rounds, the West team ("ACA Beasts!") came away with this year's U.S. Amateur Team National Championship by defeating the South team("My Girl Is Pissed!")!

The West team was led by 17 year old NM John Daniel Bryant (stepson of 2008 U.S. Open Champion IM Enrico Sevillano), talented young experts 14 year old Michael Yee, 15 year old Vincent Huang and expert Santy Wong. Ironically, Santy is a current Florida resident who moved from Los Angeles only 8 months ago. Due to rating limits, Wong replaced Sevillano this year, so this was especially sweet for Sevillano as his team finished 2nd in the 2007 USATW, missing an opportunity to participate in the playoffs that year.

In the championship round, boards 1 and 4 (Bryant and Wong) lost their games which put young teens Yee and Huang in "must win" situations. Incredibly, both boys won endgames in which they had knight vs rook along with pawn advantages. From there, the "ACA Beasts!" won the 15 minute sudden death match 3-1.

Also noteworthy was the 3½-½ undefeated performance of Michael Yee in the 4 matches today. Huang just won the Southern California High School state championship last week. Both Yee and Huang are top students of IM Armen Ambartsoumian and his American Chess Academy (ACA). ACA's string of success in recent tournaments is truly a tribute to Ambartsoumian's talent as a world class chess coach and is a sign that ACA will be a force to be reckoned with for years to come.

This year, the event moved to the World Chess Live website from ICC. The transition was not without some minor issues. After ending the semi-final round in a draw, teams West and North needed to play their sudden death Game in 15 match but the start of the match was delayed for an hour due to organizational problems at World Chess Live. The championship round started awkwardly as well, with mistakes with colors and pairings.

In the end, the event ultimately delivered the kind of excitement that national championships are famous for. I came away from the event with the lasting memory of the "ACA Beasts!" running out of the Chess Palace tonight...screaming, yelling and celebrating their very first National Championship title. ~ Jerry Yee