Roman Dzindzichashvili, usually referred to as ''Dzindzi,'' since his name is virtually unpronounceable and unspellable, won $18,000, the largest prize in American chess to date, when he took first place in the recent New York International Tournament held at the Casa de Espana in New York.
Dzindzi, who just turned 40 and resides in Corona, N.Y., scored 7-2 to top an elite field including 23 grandmasters, 27 international masters, and 10 World Chess Federation masters. In second place with 61/2 points were Lajos Portisch and Andras Adorjan of Hungary, Gennadi Sosonko of the Netherlands, Lubomir Kavalek of Reston, Va.,and Boris Kogan of Stone Mountain, Ga.
Tied for seventh through 11th were US co-champion Walter Browne of Berkeley, Calif., Dmitry Gurevich of Brooklyn, Florin Gheorghiu of Romania, Sergey Kudrin of Stamford, Conn., and Johann Hjartarson of Iceland.
Ljubomir Ljubojevic of Yugoslavia, the top-rated player in the tourney, was also in contention all the way, but lost to Dzindzi in the last round to drop down to a 12th-place tie at 51/2. Other well-known names included many-time US Champion Samuel Reshevsky of Spring Valley, N.Y. (5 points); Kevin Spraggett of Canada, who defeated Dzindzi in the last round to take first in the preceding $ 105,000 New York Open but just made the .500 mark here with 41/2 points; and longtime international star Bent Larsen of Denmark, who could manage only 4.
Today's game features two US co-champions battling in the semifinal round. In Walter Browne, Dzindzi met an adversary ''worthy of his steel,'' and the tense cut-and-thrust duel did honor to them both.
Finally Browne, desperately short of time, faltered as Dzindzi conjured up a fiendishly clever denouement in a problem setting.
Roman Dzin- Walter dzichashvili Browne 1. P-KN3 P-QB4 2. B-N2 P-KN3 3. N-KB3 B-N2 4. P-B3 N-QB3 5. P-Q4 PxP 6. PxP P-Q4 7. N-B3 P-K3 (a) 8. O-O KN-K2 9. B-B4 (b) O-O 10. Q-Q2 N-B4 (c) 11. P-K3 P-B3 12. P-KR4 (d) P-KR3 13. P-KN4 (e) N-Q3 14. P-N5 N-K5 (f) 15. NxN PxN 16. PxRP (g) PxN 17. PxB KxP 18. BxP P-K4 19. B-N3 PxP 20. KR-Q1 (h) N-K4 21. B-N2 B-N5 22. PxP N-B6 ch (i) 23. BxN BxB 24. R(Q)-QB1 R-B2 25. Q-Q3 B-Q4 (j) 26. P-R5 PxP 27. K-R2 Q-K1 (k) 28. R-K1 R-K2 29. R-KN1 B-K5 (l) 30. B-Q6 ch K-R2 31. Q-KN3 R-Q2 32. QR-K1 Q-K3 33. B-N8 (m) Q-K1 34. RxB QxB (n) 35. R-K5 (o) PxR 36. Q-N6 ch K-R1 37. Q-R6 ch Resigns (p) A. 7. . . . N-B3 at this point would transpose into a symmetrical Neo-Grunfeld Defense, which tends to favor White after 8. N-K5. Black heads for a more elastic configuration, aiming for the maneuver . . . KN-K2 and . . . N-KB4, when , with his KB unobstructed, he has three minor pieces bearing down on the White QP. B. A courageous decision. Since White will be forced to play 11. P-K3, his KB may hurt for a retreat. C. Completing his maneuver and preventing 11. B-R6. D. 12. . . . P-KN4 was threatened. E. White is virtually committed to this and his following move, when play becomes very complicated. F. Browne banked heavily on this move, by which he hopes to usurp the initiative. G. An important capture, ensuring White counterplay. H. This fine move, which involves a possible exchange sacrifice, is necessary if White wishes to play for a win, since 20. BxN, PxB; 21. QxP (not 21. PxP, B-R6; 22. KR moves, Q-Q4), 21. . . . QxQ; 22. PxQ, and White's extra pawn is insignificant in view of his weak pawn structure and the bishops of opposite color. I. The acceptance of the sacrifice with 22. . . . BxR; 23. RxB, N-B3 (23. . . . N-B5; 24. Q-N4, and other N moves allow 24. BxP, winning for White); 24. P-Q5 and 25. P-Q6 strongly favors White, whose two bishops and strong passed QP are more than a match for a rook and knight. J. 25. . . . B-B3; 26. R-B5, intending 27. P-R5 or P-Q5, or both, is probably no better. K. Black wants to play 28. . . . Q-K5, both for counterattacking purposes and also to defend along the QN1-KR7 diagonal. Now if 28. R-KN1, then Q-K5 works, since any White discovered checks prove to be innocuous. This explains the subtlety of White's next move. L. Still trying for the diagonal, but all is not as before, since Black must expend a valuable tempo later to move his attacked rook on K2. M. The first of two beautiful ''problem'' moves with an interference theme. White now threatens 34. RxB, QxR; 35. Q-N8 ch, K-R3; 36. Q-R8 ch, Q(or R)-R2; 37 . QxP ch mate, and if 33. . . . P-B4; 34. P-B3 wins. N. Black hopes to buy time with this pin. If 34. . . . QxR; 35. Q-N8 ch, as in the previous note. O. The real stinger, which unpins the White queen and also threatens 36. RxP mate. Black's reply is forced. P. If 37. . . . R-R2; 38. Q-B6 ch and mate next move.