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


























News

(Email us to report chess news in and around Connecticut.)


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LATEST


CSCA Tournament Event -- Registration is OPEN!!!
Dec 17 - Norwalk Knights Winter Championship (Norwalk), hosted by Norwalk Library and organized by the CSCA and RedBandit Chess. FREE entry for Norwalk residents. Online registration: here.


12/7/2022
CSCA Releases 2022-23 National Nomination Rules & Information
The 2022-23 National Nominations Rules & Information, including nominations to the Denker, Barber, Rockefeller, Haring and Irwin Tournaments of Champions, are released. CSCA plans to make all nominations through qualifying tournaments, as follows: Scholastic Championships (Jan 7), Girls Championship (Jan 21) and Senior Championship (planned for Feb/Mar). Questions regarding the nomination process can be directed to the CSCA via email.


CSCA Modifies Scholastic Championships, Separates Individual and Team Competitions
For the 2022-23 tournament cycle year, the CSCA will divide the annual Scholastic Championships into two events: The 2023 Scholastic Championships (individual competition), which will focus on individual performance and results, take place on January 7 at Sacred Heart University and include the selection of Connecticut 2023 grade-based national invitational nominees to the US Chess Denker, Barber and Rockefeller Tournaments of Champions. The 2023 Scholastic Team Championships (team competition), which are expected to take place March 4 at Manchester High School, will be a new team-based competition, awarding Connecticut schools state team titles based on team performance. The division of the traditional championships will also present new more placement opportunities, based on event type.
...The decision to split the events results from a long-standing debate over the quality of the Scholastic Championships when organized as one tournament for all titles. The unique qualities of the individual and team competitions typically conflict with one another, requiring "imperfections" or compromises when merged into a single or hybrid format. Everything from preferred time controls to quality of play to pairing format are prioritized differently in these competitions. As such, the standard hybrid event, held throughout the history of the CSCA due to concern over cost and independent organizer interest, does not meet the expectations of either the individual- or team-focused proponents.
...Thus, to maintain the purity, quality and goals of both competition types, the CSCA is separating the Championships for 2023. The divided format is approved for 2022-23, only, and the CSCA will review both events closely after their conclusion to determine future formats.

12/3/2022
GM Nico Checa Wins 2022 Connecticut State Championship!


Round 1 gets under way at Fayerweather event hall on the Wesleyan
University campus.



2022 Connecticut Champion GM Nico Checa with
Champion trophy and CSCA President Alexander
Lumelsky.


Eighty-five players participated in the 2022 Connecticut State Championship, held at Wesleyan University today. GM Nicolas Checa won the Championship section and his second consecutive Connecticut State Champion title. This was the first back-to-back State Championship win since NM Ian Harris won two in a row in 2015 and 2016, and only the second since GM Sergey Kudrin made it six in a row from 2004 to 2009. Ian Harris directed this year's event, and Sergey Kudrin finished second. Meanwhile, Omkar Maralappanavar won the U2000 section, and Nikhil Addleman and Ethan Shemo shared first in the U1400 section. Volunteer floor directors were NM Mikhail Koganov and NM Arslan Otchiyev. All top section games were broadcast via DGT and are available for review on our Live Games page.
...The prize list, US Chess Rating Report, game broadcast notations and the event's Photo Collection are now posted.

Chess News Wire -- December 2022

  • CSCA membership peaks at 623 individual members and eight member organizations after 2022 State Championship. (12/3)
  • Defending Champion GM Nico Checa, six consecutive time Champion GM Sergey Kudrin and eight time Champion FM Richard Bauer will rumble at 2022 Connecticut State Championship tomorrow. (12/2)


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11/27/2022
Connecticut Chess Journal
Connecticut Chess 2022 Year in Photographs

by Robert Cyr



The CSCA Historian, Robert Cyr, presents the Connecticut Chess 2022 Year in Photographs. Bob will distribute a limited number of printed color copies on December 3 at the 2022 Connecticut State Championship at Wesleyan University. If you would like to reserve a free copy, please contact the CSCA.


"A Place to Play" Initiative to Provide Community Access to University Clubs
As part of CSCA's "A Place to Play" Initiative, CSCA is working with Connecticut university chess clubs to offer open club meeting to the Connecticut chess community. Although these meetings may be limited to collegiate calendars, they provide a quality club experience. Interested players should contact participating clubs to verify schedule and hours. At this time, UConn Chess Club meetings are open, and additional university clubs will be available soon. Club schedules will also be listed in The Chess Community Post, the CSCA quarterly publication to members. Please join the CSCA to be added to our mailing list.


11/26/2022
CSCA Announces 2022 Honors of the Connecticut Chess Community
On November 26, 2022, the CSCA Awards Committee together with the CSCA Board finalized the 2022 Honors of the Connecticut Chess Community, to be awarded at the Connecticut State Championship on December 3. The annual awards, made part of the CSCA's annual flagship tournament, celebrate the contributions of players, organizers, coaches, volunteers, clubs and others in representing, serving and growing the chess community of our state. Congratulations to all recipients and all of Connecticut chess! The complete list of Honorees may be accessed on the State Championship Event Page.


11/23/2022
SHU-CCFC Second Pioneer Open Draws Another Strong Attendance


Sixty players compete at Sacred Heart University's Second Pioneer Open,
co-organized with Chess Club of Fairfield County.


On November 12, Sacred Heart University hosted its second Pioneer Open tournament with sixty players, representing ten states. The tournament was organized in partnership with the Chess Club of Fairfield County and included a $1,000 prize fund. SHU freshman, Mark DeDona, enjoying "home field" advantage, won the Open section of the tournament for a second consecutive year with a perfect score of 4/4, taking home $300. Omkar Maralappanavar won the U1800 with 3.5/4, and Lucio Luini won the U1400 with 4/4. Rating report is available here.


Chess News Wire -- November 2022

  • CSCA partners with East Side Chess (Kevin Zimmerman) for chess supply vending at 2022-23 CSCA events. (11/22)
  • CSCA expands State Championship and other event live broadcasts to six boards from last year's two, thanks to NM Ian Harris and RedBandit Chess for supplemental equipment and broadcasting services. (11/21)
  • Thirty-eight participate at DIG's November South Norwalk event. (11/18)
  • Marcus Kim wins November 13 Scholastic at Way of the Board in Ridgefield. (11/17)


    (left to right, front to back) Marcus Chan, Kate Kumar,
    Marcus Kim, Adaora Enu, Supriti Saravana and Arinze Enu
    playing at the November WOB in Ridgefield.


  • Praharsh Varada and Logan Carney win U1200 and U600 at HCC November Action on November 12. (11/17)
  • Mike Smith, Alan Lasser, Patrick Murphy and Maxwell Gardnen finish 1, 2 and 3/4 at Groton Chess Club's October 29th Quick & Cheap Tournament. (11/16)
  • CSCA approaches record mark of 600 members. New activities, high tournament turnouts and an increase in regular memberships appear to be contributing factors. Numbers also indicate a strong and speedy post-shutdown recovery for the Association and the Connecticut chess community. (11/12)
  • November 19 11th Grade Championship at Hall High School increases tuition credits prize fund. Players can contact organizer Fred Townsend for details, listed on CSCA events calendar. (11/8)
  • Connecticut Grade Championships reach capacity in several sections, closing online registration. Available slots and waiting list available by email. (11/3)
  • GM Hans Niemann sues GM Magnus Carlsen for defamation, seeking $100M in damages, over cheating allegations. (11/1)


11/6/2022
CSCA-NSCF 2022 Connecticut Grade Championships Set Event Participation Record


The Middle School Champions (left to right): Seann Dubrovsky (6),
Lily Wang (7) and Jeraldin Sundar (8) with Sunil Weeramantry
seated rear to the left. (photo courtesy of Yi Wu)


On November 5, 2022, a record 185 players competed at the Connecticut Grade Championships, organized at the Greenwich Country Day School by the National Scholastic Chess Foundation; Sunil Weeramantry, chief organizer. The Grade Championships are a relatively new event in the CSCA's annual tournament cycle, organized just four times since 2018 and now twice at GCDS. The previous high, set in 2019, was 145 players.

After four rounds of competition, the 2022 Connecticut Grade Champions are:

  • 12th Grade: Nakul Ramaswamy (Simsbury HS)
  • 11th Grade: Aditya Krishan Mital (Wilton HS)
  • 10th Grade: Vedanta Bhargava (Trumbull HS)
  • 9th Grade: David Mashkov (Farmington HS)


    The High School Champions (left to right): David Mashkov (9),
    Aditya Mital (11), Vedanta Bhargava (10) and Nakul Ramaswamy (12).
    (photo courtesy of Irina Dubrovsky)


  • 8th Grade: Jeraldin Sundar (Edwards MS)
  • 7th Grade: Lily Wang (Middlebrook MS)
  • 6th Grade: Seann Dubrovsky (Whitby)
  • 5th Grade: Kushagra Bhargava (Middlebrook MS)
  • 4th Grade: Andy Wang (Cider Mill ES)
  • 3rd Grade: Lucio Luini (Royle)
  • 2nd Grade: Andrew Ichiro Rohrs (Speyer)
  • 1st Grade: Sky Liu (Old Greenwich ES)
  • Kindergarten: Maxim Rowland (Rye Country Day)
See US Chess rating report for this tournament. Or view official final standings: individual and team.


Chess News Wire -- October 2022

  • Over thirty players attend the first of eight classes of CSCA's Norwalk Knights Program with NM Ian Harris at the Norwalk Library. (10/28)
  • US Chess increases National scholastic entry fees by $10 across all events organized by US Chess directly. (10/24)
  • 2022 Connecticut Haring Nominee Laurel Aronian is featured on US Chess Podcast Ladies Knight with Jen Shahade. (10/21)
  • Yonatan Axelrad wins 1st NBCC Grand Prix. (10/20)
  • Justin Lalor wins NBCC Oktoberfest tournament, Yonatan Axelrad wins U1600, and Pragyan Pandey wins U1200. (10/19)
  • Jasmine Su finishes fourth in Major, Mikhail Bilokin wins U1500, and Jeraldin Sundar wins U1200, as 61 Connecticut players compete at 2022 Hartford Open, held October 14-16. (See complete results.) (10/17)
  • Simsbury Library Chess Club starts a new year with 30 players, meeting every other Tuesday. (10/11)


    Simsbury Library Club holds first meeting of 2022-23 season.


Chess News Wire -- September 2022

  • FIDE will perform investigation of the Carlsen-Niemann scandal via its Fair Play Commission and a three-member investigatory panel. (9/30)
  • Magnus Carlsen releases written statement; accuses Hans Niemann of cheating. (9/26)
  • Hans Niemann finishes with 3.5/8 in his first supertournament at Sinquefield Cup, facing adversity on and off the board. (9/11)


    GM Hans Moke Niemann in final Round at 2022 Sinquefield Cup.
    (photo courtesy of Saint Louis Chess Club/Lennart Ootes)


  • Joe Bihlmeyer wins 14th Western Massachusetts Chess Association Free Chess Tournament, going 4-0. (9/10)
  • Chess.com bans GM Hans Neimann from the platform's tournaments in the wake of the Sinquefield cheating accusations. The platform released statement that it presented Niemann with their evidence. (9/10)
  • Cheating accusations and speculations surface in news and social media over GM Hans Niemann's win against World Champion Magnus Carlsen. Niemann denies any wrongdoing but admits cheating in online play in the past. (9/8)
  • NM Nathaniel Moor ties for second in Championship section at 2022 NY State Championship. (9/6)
  • GM Magnus Carlsen withdraws from Sinquefield Cup for unstated reasons, igniting broad speculation throughout the chess world. (9/5)
  • Connecticut 2021 Player of the Year GM Hans Niemann defeats World Champion GM Magnus Carlsen at 2022 Sinquefield Cup in St. Louis. (9/4)


    World Champion GM Magnus Carlsen and GM Hans Niemann
    square off at 2022 Sinquefield Cup.
    (photo courtesy of Saint Louis Chess Club/Crystal Fuller)


9/12/2022
FM Bauer: No Evidence of Computer Assistance in Carlsen v. Niemann
After reviewing Carlsen v. Niemann, Sinquefield 2022 in his online game analyses compilation, Connecticut's FM Rick Bauer reported that he found no evidence of computer assistance in Niemann's play. However, Bauer offered Niemann this advice: "Learn from the tragic life of Bobby Fischer, who accomplished everything in the chess world at the cost of everything that is most important in life. You also have a great talent but let it be your servant rather than your master."


9/10/2022
GM Alex Fishbein at Hamden Chess Club


GM Alex Fishbein begins the simul at Play More Chess Academy/
Hamden Chess Club.


On September 10, 2022, twenty-eight players and thirty-two participants attended CSCA's and Hamden Chess Club's joint Lecture & Simul event, featuring GM Alex Fishbein, winner of the first Denker National Invitational and two-time winner of the Irwin Tournament of Senior Champions. An excellent public speaker, Fishbein presented his lecture, entitled "Creativity in Chess Calculation", including three game reviews and a glimpse into the Grand Master mind. Fishbein's advice to the audience was: Be creative when selecting your target position and allow yourself to dream. CSCA would like to thank Rod Groff, Play More Chess Academy and Hamden Chess Club for hosting and co-organizing this event for the chess community, which also raised funds for CSCA activities.


9/5/2022
NECA Approves CSCA Clearinghouse and Website Proposals; Elects CSCA's Gert Hilhorst as Clearinghouse Coordinator
On September 5, 2022 at the New England Chess Association's (NECA) Annual Meeting in Medford, Massachusetts, CSCA proposed the construction of a new New England Clearinghouse. The NECA Board approved the proposal unanimously and elected CSCA Web Admin and Treasurer Gert Hilhorst as its new Clearinghouse Coordinator, a position previously held by the late Ken Ballou. The Clearinghouse has been inactive since Mr. Ballou's passing in spring 2021. NECA also approved the CSCA's supplemental proposal for the construction of NECA's first website. The proposals were assembled and presented by Gert Hilhorst and CSCA President Alexander Lumelsky. "The CSCA," comments Lumelsky, "is proud to assist our regional organization in revitalizing its historic events calendar for organizers and players. The Clearinghouse is a crucial service for New England chess and US Chess. We hope that this project and the new NECA website will bring all New England chess communities closer together."


9/1/2022
Connecticut Chess Journal
NM Arslan Otchiyev: Chess Master, MMA Fighter, Wanderer

by Alexander Lumelsky



Arslan Otchiyev shares the story of his journey and origins from Turkmenistan to Ukraine to the United States. The 2018 Connecticut State Champion, chess coach and MMA professional prepares a post-COVID return to competition. Complete article here.


Summer Chess News Wire -- August

  • NM Nathaniel Moor finishes in seven-way tie for second in Major section at 54th Atlantic Open in Arlington, VA. (8/29)
  • NM Ian Harris and 2022 Connecticut Denker Nominee Nakul Ramaswamy win 57th NBCC Summer Open at Wickham Park in Manchester; 66 players took part in Connecticut's premier annual outdoor tournament event. (8/28) (Rating report)


    2022 NBCC Summer Open at Wickham Park (Manchester).

  • Michael Uwakwe and Matt Shirvell win Kevin Zimmerman's Get in the Game! tournament at Wilson-Gray YMCA (Hartford). (8/27)
  • Joe Bihlmeyer and Rod Groff win HCC's August Advantage tournament at Play More Chess Academy (Hamden). (8/27)
  • CSCA to kick off its "A Place to Play" initiative with two free programs, online and in person, starting this fall. More information and registration coming soon. (8/25)
  • CSCA partners with Play More Chess Academy and Hamden Chess Club for lecture and simultaneous exhibition, featuring GM Alex Fishbein, coming September 10, registration opens soon. (8/22)


    GM Alex Fishbein at 2018 National Invitationals,
    where he won the Senior title.
    (photo courtesy of US Chess)


  • IM Maximillian Lu, a Connecticut 11th grader, was awarded the title of International Master from FIDE, following his 6.5/9 performance and final IM norm at the New York Spring Invitationals in April. (8/22)


    Maximillian Lu at 2019 Jr High Nationals.
    (photo courtesy of US Chess)


  • Central High School (Bridgeport) hosts DIG's Bridgeport Open, a three-day tournament including lectures, simuls and blitz play with Super GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, visiting from France. 110 players took part, the greater majority from Connecticut. Connecticut's IM Max Lu finished second on tie break in the Open with IM Mykola Bortnyk of Ukraine and New York finishing first. Gert Hilhorst won the U1900. Connecticut's 2022 Rockefeller Nominee, Kushagra Bhargava, won the U1500. Oscar Perdomo-Santamaria won the U1250. Andrew Rohrs won the U1000. Henry Buczkiewicz was the highest finishing Connecticut player in the post-event Blitz. (8/21) Complete results.


    Super GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave conducts a simultaneous exhibition at
    the Bridgeport Open, held August 19-21.


  • CSCA releases summer issue of The Chess Community Post, the CSCA quarterly newsletter. (8/19)
  • The US Chess Executive Board elected Randy Buaer (IA) as President of US Chess after former President Mike Hoffpauir (VA) announced his decision not to run for another term; Kevin Prior (FL) was elected Vice President. (8/9)
  • CSCA President Alexander Lumelsky appointed co-chair of US Chess States & Affiliates Committee, which was honored as Committee of the Year at the 2022 US Chess Annual Awards. (8/8)
  • US Chess Board of Delegates adopts new rules for Affiliates, expands scope of Professional Players Health and Benefits Plan, and adds 15 Delegate seats to accommodate national representation of smaller states. (8/6)
  • Connecticut represented by Karen Aronian and Alexander Lumelsky at 2022 US Chess Annual Meeting. (8/6)


    Connecticut Nominees Nakul Ramaswamy (Denker)
    and Laurel Aronian (Haring) at the US Chess
    National Invitational Tournaments in Rancho Mirage,
    California.


  • GM Sergey Kudrin finished fifth at Irwin Invitational with 4.5 out of 6 points. (8/2)
  • Kushagra Bhargava finished 20th in the Rockefeller Invitational with 3.5 points and 2nd in the Weeramantry Invitational Blitz Under 1400 section; Nakul Ramaswamy finished 27th in the Denker with 3 points; Laurel Aronian finished 29th in the Haring with 3 points; and Colin Dean finished 40th in the Barber with 2 points. (8/2)
  • Connecticut finished 19th in the 2022 Invitational team standings. (8/2)


8/23/2022
Connecticut Chess Journal
Game Reviews from Bridgeport Open MVL Simul

by FM Rick Bauer



FM Rick Bauer (left) reviews the simultaneous exhibition matches of GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave versus top challenger Connecticut's IM Maximillian Lu and Chloe Gaw of New York, who was the only player to defeat Maxime in the simul event. Complete article here.


8/12/2022
Connecticut Chess Journal
A Recap of the 2022 Candidates Tournament

by NM Ian Harris


FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich makes ceremonial first move for
U.S. GM Fabiano Caruana at 2022 Candidates Tournament in Madrid.
(photo courtesy of FIDE/Stev Bonhage)


NM Ian Harris reviews the 2022 Candidates Tournament with event background and games analyses. Games include Nepomniachtchi v. Firouzja, Nakamura v. Nepomniachtchi, Caruana v. Nepomniachtchi and Liren v. Nakamura, the final round match that decided the all-important runner-up. Complete article here.


Summer Chess News Wire -- July


    GM Sergey Kudrin at the CSCA Summer Lecture & Simul at Sacred
    Heart University on July 23.


  • Thirty participate at CSCA's Summer Lecture & Simul, featuring Connecticut's GM Sergey Kudrin, co-sponsored by Sacred Heart University Chess and CCFC. (7/23)
  • Bridgeport Open changes event parameters--interested and registered players should consult latest event announcement. (7/20)
  • Citing lack of motivation, GM Magnus Carlsen withdrew from the World Championship cycle and will not defend his title. (7/19)
  • 74 Connecticut players participate at 2020 Bradley Open. (7/18)
  • GM Ian Nepomniachtchi wins Candidates and will rematch GM Magnus Carlsen in the 2023 World Championship. (7/4)


Summer Chess News Wire -- June

  • World Championship Candidates Tournament is in progress from Madrid and can be viewed on Lichess.org, Chess.com, Chess24, St. Louis Chess Club, YouTube and many more. (6/22)
  • CSCA to offer Summer Chess Club, part of CSCA's Place to Play initiative, meeting online via Zoom and Lichess.org July to August, registration opens soon. (6/22)
  • CSCA partners with Sacred Heart University for lecture and simultaneous exhibition, featuring Connecticut GM Sergey Kudrin, on July 23, registration opens soon. (6/22)
  • GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave to appear at DIG's Bridgeport Open, August 19-22. (6/22)
  • Former Connecticut GM Hans Niemann is one of five recipients of the 2022 Samford Fellowship from US Chess Trust, receiving $25,000, his second Samford award and in consecutive years. (6/20)
  • FM Max Lu, NM Zach Tanenbaum and NM Nate Moor finish 5th, 6th and 7th at Northeast Open in Stamford. (6/14)
  • FM Nelson Castaneda wins 2022 Arkadijs Strazdins Cup--named in honor of New Britain Chess Club's 1970-2001 President--organized by NBCC from May 10 to June 4. (6/13)


6/6/2022
CSCA Renews Musicant-Yazgoor Memorial with Help from RedBandit Chess, Norwalk Library


Chris Potts, organizer of the Norwalk Library Chess Club 1992-2019, addresses players and parents at the 26th MYMT awards ceremony.

On June 4, the CSCA, in partnership with RedBandit Chess and Norwalk Library, reignited the annual Musicant-Yazgoor Memorial Tournament at the Norwalk Public Library. For 25 years, Christopher Potts, former Norwalk Library Chess Club instructor 1992-2019, organized the event until his retirement from instruction following the 2019 memorial event. In this year's twenty-sixth installment, 38 players took part, including the 2022 Connecticut Rockefeller Nominee, Kushagra Bhargava. Former library club student and Yazgoor Champion, STD NM Ian Harris of RedBandit Chess volunteered to direct the competition, which was completed in just three hours. The tournament offered free entry to Norwalk players and raised funds for CSCA chess programs. The results were as follows:

OPEN
1. Kushagra Bhargava (Musicant Cup Winner)
2. Aditya Mital (Yazgoor Cup Winner)
3. Vedanta Bhargava
Top 6-8: Ethan Shemo
Top 3-5: Anthony Low
Top K-2: Cody Wu

RESERVE
1. Ishan Chugh
2. Timothy Wang
3. Chandramauli Rathi


5/23/2022
FM Yoon-Young Kim Wins NBCC Annual Planet Earth Championship


2022 NBCC Champion Jason Lalor, FM Yoon-Young Kim, NM Suhas Kodali,
TD Norman Burtness, Bob Campbell and Gaetano Bompastore (seated)
at 2022 NBCC Planet Earth Championship.


On May 21, NBCC held its annual Planet Earth Championship at the Armenian Church of the Holy Resurrection in New Britain. Held since 2011 and last held in 2018, due to the pandemic, the tournament drew 37 players in three sections. Voluneer organizers included NBCC President NM Suhas Kodali, TD Norman Burtness, George Himes, Roger Bessette, Estee Axelrad, NM David Herscovici, NBCC Vice President Lisa Smith and NBCC and CSCA Historian Bob Cyr. Intended to be played outdoors, the event was forced indoors due to excessive heat. FM Yoon-Young Kim, presently attending Yale University, was crowned "Planet Earth Chess Champion". Bill Campbell won the U1600 section, and Jeraldin Sundar won the scholastic section. See rating report here.


5/17/2022
Hans Niemann Wins Back-to-Back International Tournaments
Connecticut's GM Hans Niemann continued his international playing tour in Havana, Cuba, winning the 55th Capablanca Memorial Tournament, held April 19-28, two points ahead of the field. He then flew to Sweden for the 27th Tepe Sigeman Tournament, held May 3-9 in Malmo, and again finished first, one point ahead of GM Michael Adams. Hans is now just 26 rating points from 2700. See US Chess release and select games here.


5/6/2022
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.


4/30/2022
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.


4/24/2022
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.


4/22/2022
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.


4/21/2022
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.


4/20/2022
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.


4/3/2022
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.


3/30/2022
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.


3/23/2022
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.


3/14/2022
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.


3/9/2022
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.


3/8/2022
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.


3/7/2022
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.


3/6/2022
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.


3/2/2022
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.


3/1/2022
Connecticut Chess Journal
An Interview with the Red Bandit, NM Ian Harris

Edited by Alexander Lumelsky


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

CSCA sits 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.


2/22/2022
Connecticut Chess Journal
An Organizer’s Autobiography: the Story of the Norwalk Library Chess Club 1992-2019

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.


2/21/2022
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.


2/4/2022
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.)


2/3/2022
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.


2/1/2022
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.


1/25/2022
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.


1/10/2022
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.