When Lazar Vilotijevic registered for the 2010 Burt Lerner National Elementary Chess Championship in Atlanta, Georgia held on May 7-8, 2010, he decided to enter the simul with Women's World Chess Champion GM Alexandra Kosteniuk, "Queen of Chess". He was one of about 50 registrants for the simul. Little did Lazar know when he started the simul with GM Alexandra at 9 a.m. that he would just barely finish in time to make it to round one of the K-5 section games at 1 p.m. For four hours he battled the Queen. His efforts paid off: Kosteniuk offered Lazar a draw after the 45th move.
When asked if he would play a simul with a grandmaster again at the National Elementary Championships, Lazar replied, "Only if it is after the championship rounds, not before them. I was exhausted going into round one." Lazar was able to tie for 30th place in the K-5 Championship section, but feels he could have done better if he hadn't played four hours of chess right before his first game! Still, Lazar says he has no regrets, because he is able to say that he drew GM Alexandra Kosteniuk, in a simul! (Denise Vilotijevic)