CONTACT:                         FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JAY STALLINGS                               FEB. 25, 2010



SANTA CLARITA, CA – Four of the top-ranked chess players in Southern California will compete Saturday February 27 at the College of the Canyons in a one-day-only special event.

The day-long competition begins at 10 a.m. and continues to 5 p.m. pitting one Grandmaster and three International Masters against each other with each competitor assigned a team of six young chess prodigies from Southern California.

 “We are truly honored that they will be spending their time to mentor the young prodigies,” said Jay Stallings, director of the California Youth Chess League based in Valencia.


Grandmaster Melikset Khachiyan won the B Section (2nd Highest section in the World!) at the 2009 Aeroflot Open in Moscow. He wins the majority of Southern California’s main events.

International Master (IM) Enrico Sevillano is the current state champion and has won the United States G/60 Championship (for games played with only 1 hour each).

IM Armen Ambartsoumian coaches the U.S. Youth Team as it travels abroad. He previously coached the Armenian National Team (a position akin to managing the New York Yankees).

IM Andranik Matikozyan mixes play and coaching having won many tournaments in the Western region of the U.S. and also coached players that have achieved the title of World Youth Champion.

The first round of play gets underway about 10.30 a.m. (after team photos and introductions) then again about 2pm (after a catered lunch). In each of these rounds, the master on the team will simultaneously play the 6 juniors on the other team and vice-versa! The matches will be intense and exciting as these players are some of the best players in the nation for their age.

“The junior players (between ages 7 and 17) are amazing kids!,” Stallings said. “Some have traveled to Turkey, Brazil, Singapore, Argentina and more in order to represent the United States at the World Youth Championships and World Youth Olympiad. Most of them have won state titles, and many have won regional and national titles. But they are not just chess players.”

A San Diego youth made the varsity cross country and golf teams as a freshman. Another from San Diego was 1st in the nation for his 8th grade Math SAT, is a graduate of the Suzuki School of Violin, and has bowled a 278! There is a Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do, an Eagle Scout, a Physics Olympiad aspirant, a drummer, several pianists, an artist, and much more!

The event will be directed by National Tournament Director and International Arbiter Randall Hough and sponsored by the Sean Christian Reader Memorial Chess Fund. Sean lost his battle with leukemia 3 ½ years ago, but his passion for chess and his constant desire to improve as a person lives on through his fund which: 1) provides financial assistance to families who cannot afford chess classes; 2) donates chess bags (filled with great chess stuff) to patients at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles; and, 3) hosts events like this.

For more information please contact Jay Stallings 661-755-2992

Khachiyan    2631
Huang, V    2172
Kao, A    2103
Jung, H    1978
Polsky, R    1936
Sun, T    1829
Kamgar, L    1713
Team Av    2051.71
Jr. Avg    1955.17

Sevillano    2547
Griffith, K    2193
Tsoi, A    2103
Qu, J    2038
Orlowski, J    1994
Liao, S    1898
Wang, A    1613

Matikozyan    2559
Yee, J    2184
Tan, J     2170
Giordani, D    1968
Xia, Y    1942
Mousseri, D    1899
Estolas, B    1664

Armen A    2497
Tanaka, C    2197
Zhang, E    2135
Hughes, A    2050
Gunawan, C    1951
Zeng, W    1840
Samuelian, A    1801