Ex-Soviet takes US title, lining up as a potential world challenger

Grandmaster (GM) Lev Alburt, of New York but originally from Odessa in the Soviet Union (he defected from the USSR to the United States in 1978), dominated the field at Berkeley, Calif., and scored 121/2 points out of 17 games to win the US Chess Championship. International Master (IM) Nick deFirmian, who grew up in Santa Barbara, Calif., finished strongly to place a clear second with 11 points. Both qualify to represent the US at the 1985 Interzonals, the next step in the cycle to produce a challenger for the World Championship.

Following closely with 101/2 points were GMs Yasser Seirawan and Jim Tarjan and IMs Maxim Dlugy and John Fedorowicz. Fedorowicz, Tarjan, and Dlugy will play off for a third place in the Interzonals; Seirawan is already qualified by virtue of his high World Chess Federation ranking over the past two years.

GMs Larry Christiansen and Lubomir Kavalek, both former US Champions, tied for seventh place with 91/2 points. Following were IM Joel Benjamin, GM Roman Dzindzichashvili, GM Ron Henley, and IM Boris Kogan, 9 points; GM Robert Byrne, 81/2; GM Walter Browne, 71/2; GM Dmitry Gurevich, 61/2; IM Jack Peters, 6; IM Sergey Kudrin, 31/2; and IM Kamran Shirazi, 1/2 point.

Dzindzichashvili and Kudrin made up for whatever disappointment they may have felt by rebounding two weeks later to tie for firt place in the US Open Championship at Fort Worth, Texas -- a tournment we'll report on more fully in another column.

Tailender Shirazi suffered through the worst tournament of his life but finished his schedule and fought hard every game. He fell victim to Gurevich's imaginative attacking play in today's prizewinning performance, featured below.

King's Indian Defense

Gurevich Shirazi 1. P-Q4 N-KB3 2. P-QB4 P-KN3 3. N-QB3 B-N2 4. P-K4 O-O 5. N-B3 P-B4 6. B-K2 PxP 7. NxP (a) P-Q3 8. O-O P-QR3 9. B-K3 P-N3 10. P-B4 B-N2 11 . P-K5 (b) PxP 12. PxP N-K5 (c) 13. NxN BxN 14. N-B3 N-Q2 (d) 15. P-K6 N-K4 (e) 16. N-N5 B-R3 17. Q-N3 BxN 18. BxB P-B4 19. B-K3 Q-Q3 20. P-B5! (f) PxP 21. QR-Q 1 QR-N1 22. Q-B3 QxP 23. B-KB4 N-B2 (g) 24. B-B4 Q-N3 25. B-R6 (h) QxP (i) 26. BxN ch KxB (j) 27. Q-B4 ch K-K1 (k) 28. QxB (l) R-B3 29. Q-QB4 Resigns

A. The King's Indian Defense has now metamorphosed into the ''Maroczy Bind,'' ''hedgehog,'' or the structure known as the ''hippopotamus.''

B. Aggressive play, with a view toward exploiting Black's laggard development.

C. If 12.... KN-Q2 or 12.... N-K1, then 13. P-K6 is unpleasant for Black.

D. If Black exchanges queens, his QNP is forfeit.

E. 15.... PxP; 16. N-N5 and Black is in difficulty.

F. White opens some lines and defends his KP.

G. With this offer of the exchange, Black hopes to obtain counterplay, since he is a couple of pawns ahead. White does not oblige.

H. Much stronger than the obvious 25. BxR.

I. Black defends mate and threatens mate of his own. Has White blundered?

J. Or 26. ... RxB; 27. QxQ, RxQ; 28. R-Q8 ch mates.

K. If 27. ... P-K3; 28. R-Q7 ch, K-B3; 29. B-N7 ch or 28. ... K-K1; 29. QxP mate.

L. Now 28. ... PxQ; 29.RxR mate. A dazzling combinational display by the winner.

International Grandmaster Arthur Bisguier is a former US champion who has won or shared the US Open title five times.

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.