Connecticut State Chess Association
a 501(c)(7) nonprofit corporation


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Jun 4 - 26th Annual Robert Musicant/Donald Yazgoor Memorial Tournament, an open scholastic (pK-12) tournament hosted by the Norwalk Public Library (Main) and co-sponsored by the library and RedBandit Chess. FREE entry for Norwalk residents. See details.

CSCA Revives Annual Musicant/Yazgoor Memorial with Help from RedBandit Chess and Norwalk Library
As contemplated in the February 22 edition of the Connecticut Chess Journal, and after months of planning and preparation, the CSCA is reviving the annual Musicant/Yazgoor Memorial Tournament, starting with its 26th installment on June 4 at the Norwalk Public Library, co-sponsored by the library and RedBandit Chess. Senior TD NM Ian Harris and local player Daniel Cooper volunteered to direct the event. (See event flyer for complete details.) The Memorial tournament was last held in June 2019 by Christopher Potts and the Norwalk Knights Chess Club. Mr. Potts retired from organizing chess shortly after the 2019 event.


GM Kudrin wins Senior Championship; Laurel Aronian wins Girls Title; Dharani Ravi is Women's Champion; NM Tanenbaum wins Inaugural Collegiate, Yale takes Collegiate Team Title

Round 1 of the inaugural Collegiate Championships at Wesleyan.

Round 2 of the Senior and Women & Girls Championships at Exley Science Center, Woodhead Lounge.

On April 30, Wesleyan University and Chess Club hosted the CSCA's inaugural Collegiate Championship, Senior Championship and Women & Girls Championships. All three events were organized together on the same day and at the same venue. CSCA would like to thank Wesleyan University Chess Club volunteers for making this combined event possible, as well as TD Doug Fiske for volunteering and assisting STD Ian Harris throughout the competition. CSCA would also like to thank Rob Roy for donating his prize to the CSCA's programs fund.

Results from all three events can be found here:

CSCA Board Fills Vacancies, Appoints US Chess Delegates
On April 30, the CSCA Board met at the combined Championships at Wesleyan. The Board filled various vacancies and appointed outstanding Officers and US Chess Delegates. New Board members Parag Joshi, Manchester High School Chess Club Coach and Advisor, Kee Low, father of eight time Connecticut Haring Nominee Beatrice Low, Bill Sweeney, Sacred Heart University Chess Program Organizer and Advisor, Gabe Borges, CSCA volunteer and event floor director, and Saurabh Kumar, scholastic chess parent, filled vacant Board seats. NM Mikhail Koganov, player, coach and chess parent, was voted Vice President. Wesleyan Chess Club's former President, Vibhuv Reddy, was elected Secretary. Ramaswamy Dharmarajan, father of 2022 High School Champion, Nakul Ramaswamy, was appointed to the vacant US Chess Delegate position. Alexander Lumelsky was renewed as US Chess Delegate. The Board deferred remaining open seats to executive appointment.

Manchester High Hosts 2022 Connecticut Speed Championships;
NM Zachary Tanenbaum Crowned Connecticut's 2022 Speed Champion

Manchester High hosts CSCA's 2022 Speed Championships.

On April 23 at Manchester High School, CSCA held its first Connecticut Speed Championships, a combined format event of Quick, Blitz and Bullet chess. The event drew 40 players, mostly from Connecticut. Zachary Tanenbaum won the 2022 Quick and Blitz Championships, and finished second (top Connecticut player) in the Bullet event, claiming all three titles and the grand title of Connecticut Speed Chess Champion. Vermont's Ian Dudley finished first in the Bullet Championship.

NM Zachary Tanenbaum, shown here at 2019 Nationals, is
Connecticut's 2022 Speed Champion.
(photo courtesy of US Chess)

Prize winners were as follows:

  • Quick: 1-NM Zachary Tanenbaum 2-GM Sergey Kudrin 3-Rajesh Shanmugasundaram (IND) (final standings)
  • Blitz: 1-NM Zachary Tanenbaum 2-Rajesh Shanmugasundaram (IND) 3-GM Sergey Kudrin (final standings)
  • Bullet: 1-Ian Dudley (VT) 2-NM Zachary Tanenbaum 3-Nakul Ramaswamy (final standings)
  • Speed Champion: NM Zachary Tanenbaum
  • Top U1800: Michael Santana
  • Top U1200: Ian McGregor
  • Top Senior: Kevin Zimmerman
  • Top Female: Elizabeth Smith
  • Upper School (6-12): 1-Nakul Ramaswamy 2-Punyavrat Upadhyay 3-Jason Bai
  • Lower School (K-5): 1-James Shemo 2-Adam Clough 3-Vivaan Lodha
  • Collegiate Team: University of Connecticut Chess Club
  • Upper School (6-12) Team: Hall High School (West Hartford)
  • Lower School (K-5) Team: Weston Intermediate School
CSCA thanks Parag Joshi and the Manchester High School Chess Club, staff and players, for their support and assistance in organizing this tournament. Additionally, CSCA would like to thank NTD Harold Stenzel for driving all the way from Long Island to direct the event.

54 Connecticut Players Compete at Foxwoods 2022;
Jithya Sajeevan Wins U1100 Section

Jithya Sajeevan and Sebastian Lopez
with their prize checks and coach,
Jithu Sajeevan, at Foxwoods.

on The 2022 Foxwoods Open was held April 13-17. 54 Connecticut players participated in a total group of 438 competitors. Top Connecticut results were as follows: GM Robert Hungaski finished 11th of 67 in the Open Section. Connecticut College Chess Club's President, Jordan Groff, finished 22nd of 90 in the U2200. Connecticut's 2022 High School Champion, Nakul Ramaswamy, finished fifth of 71 in the U2000. Sahil Vora finished 28th of 55 in the U1800. Karim Naba finished fifth in the U1600. Sebastian Lopez finished second in the U1400. Jithya Sajeevan won the U1100 section for Connecticut's best finish. Additionally, Jithya and Sebastian won the mixed doubles title with 11.5 points, a point and a half ahead of the next team. In the Blitz, Connecticut NMs Zachary Tanenbaum and Nathaniel Moor finished fourth and fifth, respectively. See complete results.

CCFC Owner, Melvin Patrick, Passed Away

CCFC Founder and Owner,
Melvin Patrick

CSCA is informed by multiple sources that Melvin Patrick, owner and founder of the Chess Club of Fairfield County, passed away last night at a local hospital in Fairfield County. Mr. Patrick's sudden passing leaves a great legacy and influence on the Connecticut chess community via CCFC, Connecticut's most prominent and successful chess club, and many other chess projects. The CSCA sends its deepest condolences to Mr. Patrick's family and friends. Obituary at Baker Funeral Services.

Connecticut Chess Journal: "In Their Own Words"
IM-elect Max Lu Breaks Down IM Nikolai Andrianov's London System

Max poses for the camera ahead of a
simultaneous exhibition at CCFC.

Connecticut's IM-elect Maximillian Lu shares his Round 1 match from the New York Spring Invitational last weekend against IM Nikolai Andrianov. Ahead of this match, Andrianov did not lose with white since the 2007 Foxwoods Open. Follow link to annotated game. Max scored his 3rd IM norm at this event.

Simsbury Library Chess and Go Club Celebrates Another Great Year!

Simsbury club players with volunteer coaches Gert Hilhorst (center sitting), Lisa Smith (right standing) and Mike Scudder (left kneeling)

SLCGC Cake Challenge:
chess: Green starts and mates in two moves
go: Black to move and win the white stones

The Simsbury Library Chess and Go Club celebrated its final meeting of this season this Tuesday. The club is organized at the Simsbury Library by its volunteer chief organizer, Gert Hilhorst. The club is at least 25 years old and since 2007 meets every other Tuesday from late fall to mid-spring. In addition to Gert, this year's returning volunteer coaches were Lisa Smith for chess and Mike Scudder for go.

2022 State K-12 Championships Draw 230 Players in Fairfield

Allez! Tie break! Punyavrat Upadhyay (left) and Nakul Ramaswamy (right)
square off for the High School title.

The annual CSCA K-12 Championships were held today at the Ludlowe Middle School in Fairfield, Connecticut. The Championships drew 230 players, the largest attendance for this tournament in 13 years. The event was organized by the CSCA and the National Scholastic Chess Foundation and hosted by the Ludlowe Chess Club and their many volunteers. Senior TD NM Ian Harris directed the event. Full story, results and photos to follow. CSCA's DGT Broadcast from the top boards was also a smash hit with exciting games and a G/10 tie break between Simsbury High School's Nakul Ramaswamy and Farmington High School's Punyavrat Upadhyay. Results:

New ratings are here.

CSCA Presents! ... The Chess Community Yearbook ... VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!!!
The CSCA is inviting chess clubs and organizations to participate in the annual Chess Community Yearbook. The Yearbook will present a photo record of Connecticut chess activity. It will be published online on the CSCA website, as entries are received with updates and changes when available or requested through the end of the year.
... To participate in the Yearbook, please email us, re: “YB”, attaching proposed photographs of your group, including a group photo, together with a photograph roster, naming the people depicted in the photo in order, i.e.: left to right or in rows, as well as adding a roster list of all members for the record, whether or not depicted.
... Together with this project announcement, the CSCA is looking for volunteers to assist in Yearbook development. Please email us, if you are interested.

CSCA President Alexander Lumelsky Appointed to US Chess States & Affiliates Committee
In February, the US Chess Executive Board appointed Alexander Lumelsky to its States & Affiliates Committee. The Committee serves advisory, regulatory and quasi-ethics functions and was created in 2018 as the "States Committee" in response to state chapter applications in multiple states, including Connecticut. At the 2019 US Chess Annual Meeting, the States Committee was merged with the Affiliates Committee to form one advisory group in its present name, to address all affiliate issues. In addition to affiliate disputes, the Committee is presently working on a Bylaws amendment, concerning US Chess affiliates rights and duties, including expanding the functions of State Chapters.
... Alexander is also a member of the US Chess Bylaws Committee and served on the 2018-20 US Chess Governance Task Force. All three appointments were bestowed as part of his voluntary advocacy efforts for the Connecticut chess community at the national organization.

US Chess Votes to Sell Tennessee Headquarters as Part of St. Louis Move
At the Special Delegates Meeting this evening, the US Chess Board of Delegates voted to authorize the sale of its Crossville, Tennessee premises, which served as the organization's headquarters for the past 15 years. Alexander Lumelsky, as Connecticut Delegate to US Chess, represented Connecticut at the meeting, and wrote and presented the final adopted resolution before the Executive Board and Board of Delegates. Watch the online meeting here.
... Ahead of the meeting, unofficial sources revealed to CSCA that the premises will be sold soon with multiple offers having been made, and that the final sale price is expected to meet the 985K property appraisal. Proceeds from the sale will be added to the Life Member Asset Trust, which is typically applied to US Chess general operations. Meanwhile, US Chess plans to lease its new headquarters in St. Louis and, according to Executive Board members' representations, is unlikely to purchase again in the future.

CSCA Updates 2022 National Nominations Rules
The CSCA updated the 2022 Rules & Information for nominations of Connecticut players to the US Chess Tournaments of Champions. Qualification events for Irwin (Senior) and Haring (Girls) nominees are being planned for late April and will be announced as soon as they are final. Denker, Barber and Rockefeller selections will be made via the 2022 Connecticut State Scholastic Championships on April 3.

Connecticut Chess Journal: "In Their Own Words"
2022 USATE Board Prize Winner Dietrich Moor on his Round 3 Match

Dietrich Moor at the analysis board.

Dietrich Moor reviews his Round 3 match from the 2022 US Amatuer Team East. The game features the Pirc Defense and leads to a King’s march for the win. Follow link to annotated game. This game was also submitted for publication in Atlantic Chess News.

CSCA Teams Up With NSCF and Ludlowe M.S. Chess Club to Organize 2022 K-12 Scholastic Championships
The Connecticut State Chess Association is partnering with the National Scholastic Chess Foundation and the Ludlowe Middle School Chess Club to hold the first Connecticut State Scholastic Championships since March 2020. Ludlowe Middle School (Fairfield) is hosting the event, and NSCF is organizing the tournament together with Ludlowe Chess Club volunteers and CSCA officers. CSCA is grateful to Sunil Weeramantry of NSCF and Matthew Tuccillo of Ludlowe Chess Club for their support and determination in helping CSCA overcome COVID disruptions in 2022. Additionally, the Championships will serve as the 2022 National Nominations qualifying events for nominees to the 2022 US Chess Denker, Barber and Rockefeller Tournaments of Champions, to be held this summer in California. For more information see event flyer, online registration and CSCA's Event Page for the latest news and updates on this CSCA scholastic tournament.

Connecticut Chess Journal: "In Their Own Words"
Jasmine Su: A Tactical Display at the 2021 Empire State Open

Jasmine between rounds at the 59th Baltimore Open
(Lithicum, MD January 2022).

The 2021 Connecticut Rockefeller representative and CSCA Female Player of the Year, Jasmine Su lets her moves nearly speak for themselves in this beautiful tactical assault in Round 3 at the 7th Annual Empire State Open on December 27, 2021. A slow Sicilian start leads to a must see finish against a slightly higher rated opponent. Follow link to annotated game.

CSCA Releases 2022 National Nominations Rules
The 2022 Rules & Information for nominations of Connecticut players to the US Chess Tournaments of Champions, which will be held in California this summer, are announced. The upcoming Scholastic Championships on April 3 will serve as the qualification event for nominees for the Denker (grades 9-12), Barber (grades 6-8) and Rockefeller (grades K-5) Tournaments. Meanwhile, the CSCA continues to attempt arrangements for qualification competitions in the Irwin (Senior) and Haring (Girls) categories, and a final selection method for those tournaments will be available by March 15.

Connecticut Chess Journal: "In Their Own Words"
FM Kapil Chandran on his Round 5 Shoot Out at the US Amateur Team North

Kapil, pictured on the right, with his teammates from the University of
Chicago at 2022 US Amateur Team North.

Connecticut Master Kapil Chandran details an exciting victory over NM Nicholas Ladan of Illinois in Round 5 at the 2022 US Amateur Team North, which was held in Schaumburg, Illinois, February 18-20. The game starts off as a positional battle focused on piece placement and central control. Before long, chaos breaks loose, and both players are gunning for checkmate! Follow link to annotated game. Kapil's University of Chicago team finished third with a score of 4.0/5.

US Chess Planning Move to St. Louis
Although not many details are available thus far, US Chess is planning a move to St. Louis, Missouri in the near future. Mound City's central location was, reportedly, a primary lure. However, the proximity to the St. Louis Chess Club, the Chess Hall of Fame, several top collegiate chess programs and a home in a city rich with chess history and culture are likely additional benefits. The organization's current headquarters are located in Crossville, Tennessee. The Board of Delegates is scheduled to meet March 23, to vote on a resolution to sell the building.

Connecticut Chess Journal: "In Their Own Words"
NM Nathaniel Moor on his Round 1 Win at 2021 State Championship

NM Nathaniel Moor at the analysis board.

The 2021 Connecticut Denker representative Nathaniel Moor shares some notes on his upset win over IM Jan van de Mortel at the 2021 Connecticut State Championship. The game featured the Classical London System and an array of pivotal moments for both players, ending in an isolated pawn advantage for Nate, which helped him secure the win. Follow link to annotated game.

Justin Lalor Wins NBCC Club Championship; Lisa Smith Wins Reserve
On March 1, 2022, the final round of the 2022 New Britain Chess Club's Club Championship was held. A new member, Justin Lalor, who is an expert-rated player, became the first non-master to win the club title since 2005. In the reserve, NBCC VP Lisa Smith finished undefeated to win the section. The event was directed by Mark Bourque, assisted by NBCC President Suhas Kodali. The NBCC Club Championship, held annually since the 1930s, is a seven week competition held from January to March on club meeting days, using G/75 and G/60 time controls.

Connecticut Chess Journal: Feature
An Interview with the Red Bandit, NM Ian Harris

Three-Time Connecticut Champion and RedBandit Chess Founder, NM Ian Harris.

This week, we sit down with Ian Harris for a Q&A on his journey in chess. The Norwalk native is a former Denker nominee, two-time President’s Cup winner and three-time State Champion. As the founder of RedBandit Chess and co-founder of Sixty Four Squares, Ian shares some highlights of his experience and a unique perspective on chess coaching and education. Continue to article.

Connecticut Chess Journal: Feature
An Organizer’s Autobiography: the Story of the Norwalk Library Chess Club 1992-2019

submitted by Christopher Potts

Christopher Potts at the Norwalk Library Chess Club, awarding the 2009
Yazgoor-Musicant Trophy to Aman Karunakaran.

Chris Potts details the history of the Norwalk Library Chess Club and the origins, tragedies and triumphs of a volunteer commitment that lasted 27 years. In that time, the club served hundreds of players in the highly diverse Norwalk area and became a staple of the Connecticut chess community. Among the club's notables are NM Ian Harris, GM Robert Hungaski, NM Zachary Tanenbaum, NM Dennis Li and 2021 Connecticut Female Player of the Year, Jasmine Su. Continue to article.

Connecticut Teams Compete at U.S. Amateur Team East

Wintry Knights at 2022 USATE: (right to left) Ian Harris, Mikhail Koganov,
Oliver Chernin, Hanon Russell.

USATE is a regional tournament, annually organized by Steven Doyle and the New Jersey State Chess Federation. Over 250 teams and 1000 players participated this year. Connecticut's Moderna Chess Openings: Omicron Variation (Zach Tanenbaum, Nathaniel Moor, Bryan Weicz, Jack Klein) took the Connecticut State Prize with a score of 4.5/6. Other Connecticut teams included Connecticut College, Sacred Heart University, NBCC's Chess Nuts Roasting on an Open File (James Nitz, Mario Guevara-Rodriguez, Jithu Sajeevan, Norman Burtness), and Wintry Knights (Ian Harris, Mikhail Koganov, Oliver Chernin, Hanon Russell). See complete results and event info.

Connecticut Chess Journal: "In Their Own Words"
NM Zach Tanenbaum on his Round 3 Match at 2021 State Championship

Zach provides incite into his Round 3 game with GM Sergey Kudrin at the 2021 State Championship. The recent meeting between these two of the top fifteen Connecticut players featured the Sicilian Defense, Dragon Variation and a Bishop and Knight v. Rook endgame. Follow link to annotated game.

New Chess Club and Program at The Sherman School

The Sherman School chess club and program participants with Mr. Trinchillo, program organizer.

The Sherman School has launched an after school chess club and program. The program is organized by teachers, Steven Trinchillo and Shannon Lathrop, and sponsored by the Sherman Parents Teacher Organization. The program gained immediate popularity with 29 student members and received a Student Success Grant for equipment and other program needs. The club plans to participate in state and regional tournament play soon. The town of Sherman is the northernmost and least populated town in Fairfield County, and the school is a pre-K to 8th grade public school. (Reported by Steven Trinchillo, The Sherman School.)

Free Online Chess Program for Bridgeport Youth
Starting in January, DIG, a children’s activities company, is providing Bridgeport youth ages 10 and under free online chess classes 5 days per week. The program is sponsored by DIG owner Dan Starbuck Pelletier’s nonprofit organization, Starbuck Foundation, a nonprofit for Bridgeport youth programs. The program averages 15 students per class.

February CSCA Events Cancelled; Events Planning Continues for Spring
Due to the resurgence of COVID-19 and the response from scholastic and collegiate institutions affecting potential venues, CSCA tournaments planned for February 2022 are cancelled. CSCA will continue efforts to schedule/reschedule events for March and April. Thus, all early spring events remain tentative, and additional information will be available, as soon as venues are finalized. This includes the annual Scholastic Championships, which are now contemplated for an April date. Meanwhile, if National Nominations cannot be awarded via tournament play, a registration for rating-based selection will be established by March 15 for any and all categories not covered by then scheduled events.

GNYSCC Cancelled due to COVID Spike
The Kasparov Foundation cancelled the 2022 Greater New York Scholastic Chess Championships, planned for February 5 and 6, due to the resurgence of COVID-19 in New York City. The fifty plus year annual event is traditionally held at the Brooklyn Marriott and draws at least 1,500 scholastic players. Last year, it was held online.

Yale Finishes Just Short of Final Four at Pan Am Intercollegiate

Yale players (left to right) Yoon-Young Kim, Maxim Yaskolko
and Dexter Webster at Pan Am Intercollegiate.

Yale University was one of three schools to compete at the 2022 collegiate tournament for selection to the Final Four of chess. The Yale players were GM Nicolas Checa, FM Yoon-Young Kim, Dexter Webster and Maxim Yaskolko. Through five rounds the team finished 4-1-0 and a chance to qualify for the Final Four, if a victory over one of the traditional collegiate juggernauts of Texas Tech-A could be secured in the final Round 6. The only loss to that point was 3:1 to Final Four regulars and former President Cup winners University of Texas at Dallas-A in the third round. However, the Round 6 ended with Texas Tech 2.5 Yale 1.5. Yale needed a full point to beat the odds and secure an unlikely Final Four bid. However, with that result, Yale officially finished 9th. Texas Tech, along with last year's runner up, St. Louis, and former repeat champions UTD and Webster moved on to the President's Cup/Final Four event. All four collegiate finalists are well- established competition chess programs, which offer scholarships and engage in recruiting for top chess talent, nationally and internationally. Other Connecticut schools participating in the event were Connecticut College and Sacred Heart University. Complete team results.