Sunday, January 6, 2008

GM Akobian Simul

  GM  Varuzhan Akobian  Simutaneous Exhibition on 8/30/06

The #1 rated player in California & winner of the 2004 World Open


The simul was preceded by a lecture from about 6:45 to 7:30. There was plenty food - chips & dip, cheese & crackers, fruits & veggies, some light sandwiches, some shrimp & cocktail sauce and lots soft drinks & botlled water provided by the club from the $5 simul fee.  32 players got the thrill of playing a Grandmaster.


GM Akobian gave a very interesting lecture to about 50 club members. He went over a recent game he had played in the Olympics and stopped several times to challenge the attendees to find the best move... 

Don't forget this is all leading up to the 28th Annual Southern California Open at the Pechanga Resort/Casino in Temecula on Sept 2-4th. Varuzhan and hopefully several other GMs and lots of IMs will be playing for $25,000 in Guaranteed Prizes.  There are plenty of generous Class prizes too. Please consider playing in this wonderful event! We really need your participation so we can do more tournaments like this. If chess is going to grow and become more popular, I am convinced that one of the best ways do it is by having big events like this with lots of publicity. Plus we need a bigger stage to showcase the many talented players in Southern California.   

The basics rules of a simul are: 1. No consulting with other players, books or computers (that's cheating).  2. You must make a move as soon as the GM gets to your board (but not before, so he sees you make your move).  3. NO moving the pieces while the GM is away. Think of it as the same as regular game with touch move.  4. You will be allowed 3 passes in case the GM comes too quickly to your board and you don't have a move ready. The more games he wins, the faster he comes around, so you have to pick up the pace at the end, save those passes for critical positions!  5. Varuzhan wants to play White on all boards, so prepare your Black defences!

Here are the players who participated.


Varuzhan paid special attention to the top boards of Bruno & Corper. Jorge Balares, in the background here, was the only Expert to notch a win.

Master Board 1 & 2- Adam Corper, Ron Bruno


Funderburg and Aeria were next on his hit list - But Rick survived with a draw! 

Expert Boards 3 through 7  Jorge Balares, George Zeigler, Rick Aeria, John Funderburg, Jim Humphrey

Class A Bds 8-16  Nickolay Arutyunov, Ed Baluran, Ben Barquin, Peter Hodges, Ramin Sinaee, Chris Borgan, Nathanael Plapp, Ron Rezendes, Mariano DeMedina

Class B Bds 17-20  Vincent Broman, Chris Wonnell, Fausto Robles, Anthony Harbone

Class C Bds 21-27  Caleb Guy, Robert Le, Varun Krishnan, Theron Pummer, Jason Qu, Caley Anderson, Mark Lawless

Class D & below Bds 28-32  Tom Kuhn, Monica Ness, Patrick Edwards, Keith Wetterer, Jim Krooskos 


By Chuck Ensey and Rick Aeria

There were 4 wins and 3 draws and 25 losses. Wins were earned by 1) Varun Krishnan - the first player to win a game, and with a smothered mate! You can view this game on Cyrus Annotates.  2) Peter Hodges - he has a knack for doing well in simuls. This game is also now up on the Cyrus Annotates page.   3) Jorge Balares - making the Filipino community proud. (4) Nikolay Arutyunov made all the Soviet expatriates happy by nailing down the last win. He did it in a difficult position late in the session an exchange down but starting picking up pawns and soon, overpowered Var's position.  The draws were earned by 1) Rick Aeria,  2) Vincent Broman and 3) Chris Wonnell. Good job guys!  

I'd say the club did a very respectable job in giving the GM a tough battle all night. Varuzhan was playing fairly slowly and carefully, even on the lower boards, spending much more time on each board than our last two GM simuls (Shabalov and Yermolinski). We were flattered to get his attention, and he played solidly from 7:45 PM to 12:15 AM without stopping!! We asked if he wanted to take a break, but no, he said just wanted to keep on playing chess, and so we were very happy to oblige.    

Worthy of mention in honorable losses were:


George Zeigler at work against the GM.  Also Monica Ness gave her best.

Expert George Zeigler sat away from the experts-masters section and seemed to occupy GM Akobian's attention early. It was rumored that George had a very promising if not won position earlier but the grandmaster's resourcefulness pulled him through.

Club champion NM Ron Bruno repeated his Nimzo-Indian Defence, which brought him spectacular success earlier in the week against IM Cyrus Lakdawala, this time Queen Pawn specialist Grandmaster Akobian solved the opening problems early and garnered the point.

Former club champion (2005) NM Adam Corper, enthralled the entire club in a very tense position which had grandmaster Akobian grimacing as Adam looked like he was about to win an exchange. Later analysis showed that this line, at best, would lead to a draw. Throwing caution to the winds, the feisty Brit went for the gusto like the Charge of the Light Brigade...and went down in glory.

Expert John Funderburg, the Thunderbird, essayed a Slav Defence and was met with Varuzhan's Exchange Variation (Ugh!). It was not pleasant sitting next to John and seeing him get squeezed. After shedding a pawn and then another, John put up a valiant defence late into the endgame which was won prettily by the grandmaster.

Class "A" Ben Barquin walked up to me during the simul, gold tooth a-glitter and smiling broadly. My good buddy Benjy whispered, " I'm winning!" I walked over to Benjy's board and true enough - Benjy had a great position. Somehow things took a deadly spiral and at the end of the night, I saw a morose Benjy leaving and after prying out the result from him I was shocked to learn that he lost that position!

Class "A" Chris Borgan put up a Herculean effort to stave off defeat but was finally ground down. One of the last boards to finish.


We look forward to having more exciting events like this at the SDCC - stay tuned all you Experts & assorted woodpushers! 

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