Senior Master Levon Altounian won the 2001 Southern California Championship, held July 14-22 in Los Angeles by the Southern California Chess Federation. Los Angeles Times chess columnist IM Jack Peters reports the last round was particularly dramatic and completely altered the standings. Varuzhan Akobian, the sole leader, lost to Cyrus Lakdawala, while Altounian beat Andranik Matikozian. Altounian was the only undefeated player in one of the strongest Southern California Championships in recent memory. The rejuvenation of Los Angeles chess by Armenian players was evident as half of the players in this event were born in the small country located in the Caucasus.

Final Standings: 1. SM Levon Altounian 5-2; 2-3. IM Varuzhan Akobian and SM Cyrus Lakdawala 4.5; 4. IM Jack Peters, 4; 5. IM Andranik Matikozian 3.5; 6. IM Melikset Khachian 3; 7. NM Ron Hermansen 2 and 8. NM Karl Yee 1.5