December 3, 2005
The 2005 Alaska State Championship Tournament has been completed. The statewide Chess population was well represented this year with players competing from North Pole, Fairbanks and Wasilla as well as the Kenai Peninsula and of course the local Anchorage crowd. In all 20 players were registered between the Open and Closed Sections. All were eager for a Championship Title!
The Closed Section did not consist of the 5 highest rated entrants as in previous years. Mike McKinney and Jesse Holganza chose to play "down" in the Open Section. As an organizer, player and fan it is always nice to see the strongest players competing against one another, but no one is obligated to play in the Closed Section, regardless of their USCF rating. With that being said let there be no doubt that this years event was full of excitement and surprises with the substitution of Joseph Fuoco and Will Brooks. Both Joseph and Will eagerly accepted their opportunity to play in the Closed Section.
A huge surprise came early in the tournament when young Will Brooks held recent Interior Tournament Champ, Chuck Sherwood, to a long and hard fought draw. Next came a rather narrow "draw" escape for Scott Mason against the improving Dick Clendaniel and Jesse Vizcocho's win from an inferior position in time pressure against Will Brooks. The next big shocker came when the ever dangerous Jesse won against Chuck after Chuck blundered in what was probably a drawn position. It was rumored that Dick Clendaniel barely achieved the win in his game with young Will Brooks.
When all the smoke and lightening ceased Scott Mason won the 2005 Alaska State Championship Tournament with a 4 - 1 score and no losses. He is now the 2006 Alaska State Champion. Scott indeed played the best Chess of the Tournament. Congratulations Scott on a well deserved victory!
This years runner-up Jesse Vizcocho surprised us all with his placing in the Tournament. He played uncompromising games and won a couple out of a clear blue sky. Jesse plays a dangerous brand of Chess and somehow seems to find good moves in pressure situations especially. Jesse finished with a 3.5 - 1.5 score, losing only to Scott. Congratulations Jesse on your fine performance!
Finishing in a tie for 3rd and 4th position were Chuck Sherwood and Dick Clendaniel. Chuck felt after the Tournament that his game with Will Brooks had zapped his strength somewhat. He was also battling the flu throughout the event. Dick Clendaniel, last years Open Section representative, finished well and played pretty solidly throughout. Congrats' to both on their 3 - 2 plus scores!
Finishing 5th and 6th respectively were Will Brooks and Joseph Fuoco . Ten year old Will Brooks was really the talk of the Tournament. If ever there was "bad luck" for a Chess player, then Will certainly had his share for the event. If not for losing the thread in and during the approach of sudden death time pressure, he would have won or drawn most of his games. Joseph Fuoco from the Kenai Peninsula joined us again for tournament competition after a rather long absence. Despite this absence and being the lowest rated player in the event, Joseph played good Chess and all of his games lasted well into the third hour of play. Winning against Joseph was no easy task. Thank you both for proving once again that: "It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog!" cross-table
The Open Section was no less hotly contested. Narrow escapes abounded. Matthew Parshall's win against eleven year old Hannah Warren in the first round is just one example. Despite being a queen for a bishop down, Matthew kept his tactical eyes open and when the opportunity presented itself , he escaped when he discovered a knight and rook configuration that resulted in back rank mate.
After all the twists and turns of the Open Section ended, Jesse Holganza and Mike McKinney finished in a tie for 1st and 2nd place. Jesse won the 1st Place trophy on tie-break and has pledged to compete in next years Closed Section. Sixteen year old Alison Parshall played very well and fought her way to a 3rd place finish. Congrats' to all on a fine performance!
The Junior Division gold medal was won by Autumn Brooks. Autumn was most impressive in the Tournament when, with flag hanging, she administered mate in five against her opponent. The crowd was breathless waiting for Autumn to "hurry up and move", but she preferred to use her remaining time wisely and when she had it all worked out in her head, she proceeded to get it done at a rapid pace! Congrats' Autumn! Rob Miller took the silver medal in the Junior Division with improving play. Way to go Rob!
In the Scholastic Division Matthew Parshall, after his wake up call in round 1, got it together and played well to take the gold medal on tie-break over Michael Brooks. Matt is a fast player, but told me during the Tournament that he was trying to slow down. Michael Brooks continues to impress and took silver medal honors. In Michael's game versus eventual Open Champion, Jesse Holganza, he found himself in a complex position with three far advanced connected passed pawns versus a rook. Michael didn't find the best moves and eventually lost his pawns and the game. While the best moves would have required the defensive skills of Fritz to hold the position. My point of course is that Michael is arriving at some very interesting positions in his games and is improving rapidly. Congratulations to Matt and Michael for their fine performances. Young John Warren played very well and took the bronze medal in this division. Look for both John and sister Hannah Warren to continue to improve! cross-table
Several adult players commented on how strong the youth players seem to be. They're absolutely right! The Youth players just lack consistency at times due mostly to lack of experience. As they continue to play and study the inconsistency will surely be reduced. At such time they will fill the ranks of Alaska Chess with strong play! It would be nice to see more adults competing in order to slow down the march of the Youth players, at least!
We would like to extend a "welcome aboard" to Link Fannon from Wasilla, our only new or renewing USCF member for this event.
A special note of appreciation for Don Brooks and crew for providing and setting up the tables and chairs for this event. Don was especially helpful with accomplishing most of the "leg-work" task prior to the tournament as well.
A really big Thanks Again to Miles Schlosberg for donating space in the Yukon Building for the 2005 Alaska State Championship Tournament!
The Tournament was a fine event, with $545 in entry fees out of a possible $585 awarded in cash prizes. Thanks and Congratulations to all that took part in the 2005 Alaska State Championship Tournament!
Tournament Report - 1st Anchorage Invitational
"The Anchorage Fall Invitational provided an opportunity for our local chess warriors to do battle over a four-week period. The format was a 8 player Round Robin with G/90 Time Controls. Players received a schedule with a contact phone number for each person.
Games were either played according to the schedule or at both players convenience. Overall the tourney was a terrific success with only a couple glitches. Flexibility was the key for our players as many games were played at alternative times and some in alternative locations. Some games were even played out of round order. Such is the way of these over-time tourneys. It worked for all.
I would like to thank Jesse Holganza for his willingness to join the tourney at a day's notice. We would also like to say a warm good-bye to Russell as he and his family move to the Lower 48. Russell was unable to complete the tourney due to family responsibilities.
As the tourney began the highest rated player, Dick Clendaniel and his chief rival, Ryan Cassidy were expected to battle for first. Certainly the rest of the pack would provide many opportunities for upsets. This is exactly what happened! All played well and made each game a valiant contest.
In the final rounds of the tourney there were four in contention for the top three spots. Whoever won out was assured of the tourney title or a share of the title. Michael lead with 5, Dick and Ryan each had 4.5 with Will close enough with 4. Dick, the Chess Gladiator garnered victories over Will, Michael and Kevin to secure 1st place. Dick had a great tourney with no losses and only one draw to Ryan early on.
With first place determined the battle was now for 2nd - 3rd. Michael's wins over Will and Ryan secured second with an excellent 6/7. This is without a doubt Michael's strongest result in his tourney experience. He is estimated to gain over 200 rating points for his performance. Ryan, having beat Will in Round 1, clinched third with a win over Jesse Holganza in the last round. Ryan scored 5.5/7. Will's last game against Michael was well played. With only four minutes on his clock, Will sacked his bishop for the draw only to blunder under time pressure and lose. Will placed fourth, a full point ahead of the rest with 4/7.
Thanks all for playing. Currently we are looking toward another invitational in January." cross-table
Invitational's like this are a great idea, especially for those with work schedules that don't allow regular competition on weekends. Good Luck with your next event!
"To all Alaskan Chess!
Hey everyone! I just want to say goodbye to all of you. I'm heading back to Philippines this early morning of Saturday.
Don & Rick
I'm sorry I can't make it to the State Championship. This is really a nice web site. It reminds me my achievements in chess. Unfortunately, I have to start from the scratch again. My family said that I'm good at chess and that's what I read here too. That's why right now, I'm learning to play chess again. I have this what they called amnesia. It's better for me to be back in the Philippines. Don, I have read your e-mails to me. Looks like I have this thinking of quitting chess before. Maybe it's one of the reason for what happened to me. It's a long story guys and It's better if I kept it private. I'm just hoping that I can have the strength I have before in playing chess. Maybe I'm going to excel much better when I'm in the Philippines. One day, if fate will give me a chance, I hope I can play to everyone here again.
Good luck to everyone and goodbye for now."
Mario Vinoya Jr.
This is the type of correspondence that always saddens me. It always tough to say good-bye to our Chess players. We've lost several to life's endeavors through the years, Ben Hoback, Bryan Smith, Brian Moore, Charles Musselman and Russell Gates to name just a few. And now Mario?! Really all we can say to these players is "good luck" with their futures and stay in touch. There's always room in Alaska Chess for ALL!
Until next time ...
November 9, 2005
Greetings Chess Warriors,
As was brought to my attention on October 30 the match game for the 2004 Open Championship between Dick Clendaniel and Lloyd Hilling has been completed! I'll leave it too Lloyd Hilling of Fairbanks fame for an explanation ....
"... BTW, would you be so kind as to change (or arrange for the change) to the information on the web site that incorrectly states that Dick Clendaniel is 2004 Open Champion? The arrangement you allowed was that he would have the right to enter the closed this year, having won per the computer, but that per his and my desire first place would not be awarded per the computer. Instead we arranged (by your leave) to play a formal game early in 2005 to decide who would have first place.
Such was done this last Jan or Feb. and I won and we traded trophies and I have had the great pleasure of occasionally bragging about being the AK Open Champion. However, some wags doubt me, and I come up rather short when they cite your web site!"
Right you are on all points Lloyd, and Congratulations on winning the "official" 2004 Alaska Open Championship !! However Lloyd has also stated: "Wish I could make it to 2005 Alaska Championship (...) but I think I already mentioned I will be in Seattle"
So while it's unfortunate that Lloyd will be out of state and not competing in the tournament, I'm sure Dick Clendaniel is a worthy representative of the Alaska Open Championship in this years Closed Section !
Congratulations again to Rob Miller for his sparkling result in the Fall Scholastic Tournament !! cross-table
Thanks again to all of you that sent in pictures for the Labor Day Photo Album !! A special note of Thanks to Dick Clendaniel who has contributed many photographs through the years and in a few cases, there wouldn't have been much of a photo album for some tournaments without him.
Thanks to Burton Moon and Artem Ruppert for sending in pictures for the 3rd Annual Interior Fall Tournament Photo Album !!
Hope to see EVERYONE at the State Championship !!
Until next time ....
October 28, 2005
I hope everyone is gearing up for the State Championship!! Our playing site has moved this year due to some good fortune for Dean Barnes & Integrity Solutions Inc. The space previously used by all of us to hold the State Championship Tournament has been leased this year. Dean explained that he was both happy and sad that the space was not available. He had enjoyed helping us out. We will be forever thankful to Dean & ISI for their sponsorship!!
About the time things were looking a little gray for finding a playing site, up jumps one of Alaska's very own, Miles Schlosberg! It seems Miles has some space available for contribution, in the "Yukon Building", off of C St. here in Anchorage. Thanks a ton Miles for helping us out! Hope to see you (all) at the Tournament!!
The Fall Scholastic Tournament was a great time. I'll leave it to Don Brooks ...
Fall Scholastic Tournament Report
The Fall Scholastic was well attended with 15 young combatants. Some veterans of our Castle Defenders Chess Camp students also made it out for their first tourney! It was great to see Joseph Anderson, Toby Coman and Steven Murphy take what they have learned to do battle in OTB.
The tourney had many bright spots, but perhaps the two that shined most bright was Rob Miller and John Warren who finished first and second respectively. Rob Miller was the only perfect score in this four-round G/30 event. Rob Miller has shown steady improvement and increased understanding. His win is was a thrill to all of us! We are proud of him!
The second bright light was the very solid showing of another Alaskan chess youngster, John Warren. He has been working hard and it shows! John and Rob locked horns for the tournament title in the last round. John had a two pawn advantage with each having a rook. John looked as though he would pull-off his 4th upset of the tourney until he took a poisoned pawn that left his King on the rim and in opposition to Rob's King. Rob slid his rook to the a-file and the game ended abruptly. Rob commended John's play.
1st Place- Sir Rob Miller!
2nd Place- John Warren
3rd Place- Michael Brooks
4th Place- Will Brooks
5th Place- John Weber
6th Place- Chris Risley
Several others Alaskan Scholastics are on the rise. John Weber, Will Crowther, Chris Risley and Joseph Anderson to name only a few. Alaskan Scholastic chess is getting stronger and deeper! Watch out!
Way to go Rob!!
Until next time ....
October 12, 2005
Fall Scholastic Tournament
October 22nd, 2005
Who: All school age children and young people are invited to join!
What: This tournament will be a USCF rated event with 4-rounds. Each player will have 45 minutes to make his or her moves.
When: Saturday, October 22nd from 12:00 to 5:00.
Registration: 11:30 - 12:00, Advanced Entry Form
Round 1: 12:00 - 1:30
Round 2: 1:30 - 3:00
Round 3: 3:00 - 4:30
Round 4: 4:30 - 6:00
Schedule subject to change due to flow of tournament
Awards: Trophies. Medals and Certificates will be given at the close of the ceremony.
Cost: The cost for the tourney is $10.00 per student. Those needing USCF membership will receive a $5.00 discount.
US Chess Federation membership can be obtained at the tournament. The cost is $17 (age 14 or younger) for a one-year membership. Other discount memberships may be available.
If you have any questions please call Don Brooks at 339-7141
3rd Annual Interior Fall Tournament Report
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
Looking for a few good moves
Monday, October 10, 2005 - I was such a nerd in high school, even the chess club wouldn't have me.
Yet I learned to play the game, originally taught by my mother's father. Grandpa Ray schooled me in the most important skill in the game, how to lose with dignity. And lose I did, brutally and with abandon.
I beat him twice in all my life. Those two victories were enough to fuel the fire to really learn the game, to master the 64 squares like none other.
At the third annual Interior Fall Tournament on Saturday and Sunday, I was reminded of what my grandpa taught me long ago. The game remains dynamic because of its ability to draw together vastly different players, from diverse cultures and backgrounds and histories, and unite them with the common language of chess.
A quick glance around Room 413 of the Gruening Building on the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus revealed just a taste of the competition. There was the Russian Anton Kulchitsky, rated 1775 and a favorite to win.
Anchorage players Chuck Sherwood (1891) and Brian Moore (1519) had reason to think they could vie for the title, but newly transplanted Fairbanksan Scott Mason, a manager at a local Pizza Hut, had the highest rating (1950) and best chance to win the Open Section.
The Fall Tournament was put on by the UAF Chess Club. The two-day Swiss event consisted of four rounds and was rated by the United States Chess Federation. Games were a maximum of 90 minutes.
Of the 17 players who entered the Open Section, 12 already had ratings from the USCF. Two of those were high school players.
Eielson High School student Kevin Mader had the misfortune of drawing Kulchitsky in the first round, but Mader played well in a loss and surprised all of his opponents with a consistent and strong game.
"Sometimes I felt like there were moves I didn't understand," Mader said about his test against Kulchitsky. "I'm not quick enough, but I'm sure he had a plan."
Five of the Open players were unrated and played in their first tournament. I was among them. I was thoroughly stomped in the first round by Harry Karmun, who helps run the UAF Chess Club and helped officiate the tournament.
"For our first tournament of the year, I think this was a very good one," said Karmun, who finished in a three-way tie at third with a 3-1 mark. "I used to be a patsy in high school. Look at me now."
One high schooler who was definitely not a patsy was Dylan Tucker, the North Pole student who lost in a good first-round game to top seed Mason and then drew me in the second round.
I was happy when I learned after the fact that he is rated over 1200, because Tucker whooped me in 26 moves. He took advantage of my mistakes and showed no mercy when he was granted an open attack avenue.
"Chess is a really fun game," said Tucker, who has been playing since age 7. "It uses the mind, not the body. I'm not an athlete."
Broken and humiliated, I left the tables on Saturday with two losses, and overwhelming losses they were. But I returned at 10 a.m. Sunday with a plan, and executed the plan to precision in a Round 3 win that was both succulent and satisfying.
But then a Round 4 match versus an unranked, but promising eccentric named Michael King loomed on the horizon. At stake was a share of the prize money for Top Unrated Player. King entered the fourth round after an exquisite draw against the elegant Murty Dinivahi, whose games showed not a single defensive weakness all weekend.
King played white in the decisive fourth round, while I marshaled the black forces. True, we vied for the 15th and 16th positions in a 17-player field, but we played like it was for all the marbles.
King, who loves the modern game and craves the Pirc Defense, castled early while I tried to establish an attack with my queen. There were tense moments throughout the contest, and rumors spread that I had missed a checkmate at one point.
We played the longest and closest game of the fourth round, but in the end I resigned on the 43rd move. King shared Top Unrated Player honors with Dinivahi.
Anchorage resident Sherwood prevailed in a battle of blunt force against Mason and won the tournament.
"Last year this was one of the highest rated tournaments, according to average player rating," said Sherwood, who is vice president of the Alaska Chess League and is now a two-time Fall Tournament winner. "I'm sure this year that will be the same. Fairbanks always has one of the stronger tournaments."
Newly elected Fairbanks City Councilman Lloyd Hilling continued his great week and finished second at the Fall Tournament. Mason, Moore and Karmun tied for third.
Five-time defending Alaska state champion Artem Ruppert, who moonlights as a project engineer for the Department of Transportation, helps run the UAF Chess Club and was the Fall Tournament director.
"We had some pretty good players," Ruppert said. "There were tense games, especially in the third and fourth rounds when the players were evenly matched. Each of the matches went into the last moments. Hopefully it was exciting for the players."
Staff writer Eric Goold can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 459-7591.
A few words from the Champ!
"Alaska's tournament chess players met at the University of Alaska, over the weekend of October 8th and 9th, for the third annual installment of Fairbanks' Interior Fall competition. Held at the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus, Brian Moore from Anchorage, George Lombardi from Nikiski and YHR made the annual pilgrimage to the interior with high expectations. With Brian and George finishing 1st and 2nd, respectively, in the Labor Day tournament, and myself, Brian and George finishing 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the Kenai Challenge, our hopes were up for good results in Fairbanks. Anton Kulchitsky, also finishing in the 2nd position in the Labor Day, and Scott Mason, recently relocated to the interior, headed up the Fairbanks contingency and were bound and determined to take away a few rating points from the boys coming from down south - Harry even thanked us in advance. LOL
Once again, Harry Karmun and Artem Ruppert, organized an excellent event with strong players, including Lloyd Hilling - Alaska State Open Champion, who won clear second place honors in this event, and a couple of very competent, unrated antagonists, Murty Dinivahi, recently from India and Michael King, from Fairbanks. Staff writer Eric Goold, from the Fairbanks News Miner, also competed as an unrate and got a first hand taste of tournament chess which enabled him to compose a very interesting article for the local newspaper that all should find an entertaining read. Conducted on the fourth floor of the Gruening building with two playing areas - one room for skittles and an unrated youth tournament, and another room for the main event - conditions were comfortable and spacious. Always considerate and gracious, the Fairbanks players always accommodate the traveling players with the best arrangements including an incredible feast prepared by Artem's wife at their home on Saturday evening. A big THANK YOU goes out to Harry Karmun and Artem and family as well as all of the Fairbanks competitors for hosting yet another outstanding event. Although a long driving trip by any standard, the Interior Fall remains one of the highlight tournaments on the Alaska Chess League calendar, and one that should never be missed by any serious tournament player.
Round one, played on Saturday morning saw only one upset with Murty Dinivahi, surprising George Lombardi with unusually strong play from what was supposed to be an unrated opponent. Murty has played in India but newly joins the USCF with this tournament, showing solid promise in chess skills, Murty is a contender. My first round game was with newly arrived Burton Moon, a Field Service Engineer on Eielson AFB, who has supplied us with many of the photos for this event. (Thank you, Burton.) Burton is welcome help in organizing chess in the Fairbanks area and seemed to enjoy himself throughout the tournament despite his score. I can only say that many of us could take a lesson from Burton in personal conduct and friendliness, it is a pleasure to have played you.
Round two saw recently transplanted, Dylan Tucker, picking up his first win against News Miner reporter, Eric Goold. Dylan's family has relocated to North Pole, Alaska, just a short distance from Fairbanks, leaving the peninsula down one regular member but certainly adding strength to the interior. Brian Moore slows down Murty in a long encounter which certainly served notice to the rest of the field concerning Murty's abilities at the chess board. Although Brian eventually converts the full point, Murty does not go down easily. Following the second round, Artem and family hosted a splendid feast. With analysis of some of the first day's games to go along with about 12 dishes of various fare, plus desert candies and a great wine, one couldn't ask for a better ending to day one.
Round three saw some of the first clashes of the top boards, with Brian Moore's hopes for 3 points being dashed by number one seed, Scott Mason. My encounter with Anton Kulchitsky went right down to the wire. With the time control nearly expended, Anton steps backwards in a 2-pawns and King vs. 2-pawns and King ending, where stepping forward might bring the draw. Unfortunate for Anton, this game derailed his charge for the top score. Never fear for Anton though, being one of the nicest guys in the world away from the board, Kulchitsky is fierce and relentless at the board and will be scoring his victories soon enough. Everyone agrees that no one likes to play Anton, I've said it in the past and I'll say it again...Anton likes to hoist the kitchen sink on his shoulders and toss the whole thing into the game going after someone's king. He is a head hunter with a passion and always fun to play. Eventual second place winner and newly elected Fairbanks City Council member, Lloyd Hilling, picks up his second victory to bring his score to 2-1/2 going into round four. Co-winner of the unrated section, Michael King finally picks up his first score of a 1/2 point, but earlier losses to Brian Moore and George Lombardi are hard fought battles and demonstrate a much tougher chess player than his score to this point reveals. Drawing with Murty (co-winner of the unrated award), who had already established himself Michael announces his presence and will go on to win his fourth round game to finish alongside Murty with 1-1/2 points. Mike Leonard and Harry Karmun pick up their second victories and a surprising 730 rated Kevin Madder, joins the list of players with two points to make round four an endless plethora of possibilities.
The final round brings some of the first signs of snow falling on the college campus, a site we didn't need to see while contemplating the long ride home that evening. With Scott Mason and I paired at 3 points each, Lloyd Hilling enters the fourth with 2-1/2 paired with Anton carrying 2 victories. A draw on board 1 could mean a 3-way tie for first. The players bringing 2 points into the final round were all aware that cashing in this tournament had all come down to the final pairings. Brian Moore weasels out of sure defeat at the hands of dark horse, Mike Leonard, with a sharp combination Mike missed and Brian capitalized on.
As a side note, Brian leaves Alaskan chess this week, heading for Topeka, Kansas, and I'm sure you will all join me in wishing him well. A great traveling companion and tough competitor whose support has been invaluable. We will sorely miss him. His Three points will be good enough to share third prize money and yet another cashing in his third tournament this year!
Harry Karmun stops the surprising Kevin Mader to pick up his third point and a share of third prize money to go along with a sizable chunk of rating points. My encounter with Scott also ended with a sharp combination. Playing the Four Pawns Attack as white, against Scott's Kings Indian, white's central push countering Scott's f5 blast, initiated a combination that netted the exchange, a pawn in the black castle position and heavy pieces bearing down on a soon to be lonesome king. Scott graciously resigned instead of attempting to navigate the barrage of heavy artillery and shared third place money with Harry and Brian, leaving YHR to take the top prize of $135.00. If it's any consolation Scott, I promptly lost the money at the University just prior to our departure back to Anchorage. I choose to believe the money was misplaced rather than stolen and am hoping it will turn up soon. If not....the chess community may need to watch its' possessions a little more closely.
To one and all, thanks for a great tournament - good bye to Brian Moore, hope you stay in touch - hope to see some Fairbanksan's at the tournaments this winter in Anchorage, you have some tough competition up there, now bring some of that down here."
Sincerely, YHR Chuck Sherwood
Congratulations to all that continue to make Alaska Chess just a wee bit more than worthwhile!!
I'll get the Labor Day and Interior Fall Open photo albums up in a few more days, surgery bright and early Thursday morning (ouch). Enjoy your PFD!! And Kids, I'll hopefully see you all on the 22nd!!
Until next time ....
September 19, 2005
The 2005 Labor Day Tournament was one of the most hotly contested events in the history of the Alaska Chess League. The tournament was run in two sections, Open and Scholastic. The Open saw uncompromising games played throughout the event. At the end Brian Moore emerged as the clear winner with an undefeated score of 4.5 points out of 5. George Lombardi, Anton Kulchitsky and Jesse Vizcocho finished in a tie for 2nd thru 4th place respectively, with a final tally of 3.5 out of 5. Young Will Brooks captured the Top D class prize while sister Autumn Brooks won the top Junior prize.
The Scholastic section was comprised of Alaska's youngest Chess Warriors. This double-round robin event was played at a frantic pace despite the game/40 time control. These Kid's can really "bang-out" the Chess games! After the smoke and dust cleared young Chendall Brooks was on top of the heap with 1st place in hand! Following close behind and finishing in 2nd and 3rd place respectively were Henry Thomas and Ivan Kulchitsky. Beware of young Ivan as he easily held his own in his first tournament with more experienced kids, he is 6 years old! Congratulations to all the prize winners and contestants of the 2005 Labor Day Open!!
Next on the agenda is the much anticipated 3rd Annual Interior Fall Tournament, October 8th and 9th. Perhaps arguably Alaska'a Strongest event!! Don't miss out!!
Denker Fund Report
We would like to thank all of those who participated in the Denker Benefit tournaments this past year. Our Denker Benefit tournaments proved to be good events with competitive chess all around. The total money raised for the Denker Fund this year was $500. On Sunday, September 4th just prior to the last round of the Labor Day Open a check was presented to Ms. Julie Cassidy on behalf of our Denker Tournament of High School Champions qualifier, Ryan Cassidy. We are proud of our Chess combatant Ryan Cassidy for Alaska's first Denker Tournament of High School Champions participant.
Until next time ......
August 22, 2005
Castle Defenders 2005!
This year’s camp was a wonderful success with 44 chess battlers from ages 5-18. The camp was scheduled around class instruction, tournament play, Chess Olympics, Beat Your Teacher Blitz and good food.
Our class instruction was great. Autumn Brooks and Kacey Barrett taught 15 young Knights the basics of castling, checkmate and piece movement. Michael Brooks and Kevin Barrett taught 18 rarin’ to go Cavaliers. They focused on center control, mating patterns, development and the decision making process. Rick Everett taught 11 rulers of the game in the Monarch’s class. Rick kept these chess minds focused working through a couple of Capa’s best games. He also spiced things up with some challenging puzzles, such as a five move combination that leads to a four move mate! Ouch.
Our chess Olympics is a unique event that combines physical activity with chess thinking. After four chess related relays, Kacey Barrett’s Bishops won the Gold! These games are always a hit and a nice change of pace for our campers. We would like to thank James Larsen and Emmanuel Warren for being team captains as well.
Our tournament was a three-division six-round slugfest. In the 5-8 division John Warren displayed his chess strength with a perfect 6-0 performance. In second with 5 points was Chendall Brooks followed by Joseph Anderson with 4.5 and Wynter Brooks with 4. Our youngest player at five years of age, Michael Anderson, is sure to be a force in Alaskan Scholastic Chess.
The 9-10 year old division was won by Henry Thomas with a perfect 6-0 score. Henry continues to be a dominant young chess player. Lucas LaPointe, another good young player scored 5. Andrew scored 3.5 for third with Bo Bray and Zoe Cromwell following with 3.
The 11 and Up division was won by 10 year old Will Brooks with a perfect 6-0 score. Will’s hard work continues to net results. In second place was Emmanuel Warren with a 5-1 score. James Larsen took third on tie-breaks with 4 points over Hannah Warren who placed fourth. Hannah at 11 had a very fine tournament.
Finally we would like to thank Kim Barrett for doing such a great job at all the details! Thanks Kim. We would also like to thank the Cromwells for putting together a great lunch and Grace Baptist Church for their fine facilities.
Play chess and get your schools involved this year!
Castle Defenders Chess Camp 2005 was even more enjoyable than last year as more of Alaska's Chess Playing Kids attended! The excitement and energy of these Kids was almost unbelievable. Chess Olympics certainly entertained and was enjoyed by all those involved! Classes were especially great as wide eyed youngsters began to realize how piece coordination and the initiative very often lead to victory. The Beat Your Teacher Blitz was absolutely "not easy"! YHR narrowly escaping defeat in more than one game! I'm talking about finally checkmating your opponent with mere seconds to spare?! The "Monarchs" are capable of beating anyone on a given day and some work especially hard on improving their play!! Continue the work and enjoy the rewards!!
I'll have the photo album and complete list of prize winners posted in a few days, I've got a busy week...grrr..
We'll see you at the......
August 4, 2005
CASTLE DEFENDERS CHESS CAMP
August 19th and 20th, 2005
Where: Camp will be held at the Family Life Center of Grace Baptist Church. It is located at 1801 E. 68th St. The FLC is a superb facility for chess camp.
For directions CLICK HERE
Registration: Friday, August 19th, 9:00AM - 10:00AM. Please try and register early! Early Registration is possible in two ways: Internet Registration or call Don Brooks at (907) 727-1290.
Chess Camp: 10:00AM - 4:00PM on Friday, August 19th and Saturday, August 20th
What: Chess Camp will have age and skill level instruction in classes that emphasize individualized instruction.
Who: This camp is for those from 5-18 years of age. We will have chess instruction specifically designed for every level of chess player. Our classes include:
Swordsmen This class is for the younger players who are just learning the basics of chess.
Knights This class is for those who know the basics but are in need of coaching on basic principles and tactics.
Cavaliers This class represents the up and coming in Alaska chess. Tactics, openings, middle game strategy are only a part of what these future chess monarchs will learn.
Monarchs! Rulers of the Game This class is designed for the strongest players with instruction fitting their title.
In addition CDCC will have G/30 and Blitz tournaments, trophies, medals, Chess Olympics, food, and additional opportunities to view Roman's Chess Instruction on DVD, Think Like a King Chess Software. But most of all it WILL BE FUN FOR ALL!!
Cost: The cost is $60 for two days of camp. The price includes all camp activities, award and two snacks and lunch on both days. There are discounts for families with more than one camper in attendance.
Don Brooks, the camp director has been successfully running the Castle Defenders Chess Camp, with nearly 100 in attendance, for the past five years in his home state of Michigan. If you have any questions please feel free to call Don at (907) 727-1290.
Chess Camp is a blast, don't miss out!!
July 21, 2005
July 22, 2005 *
July 24, 2005 **
The 4th Annual Kenai Chess Challenge was held at the Boys and Girls club in Kenai on July 16 and 17, 2005. Our attendance had increased every year for the first 3 years and this year I was hoping to have 20 or more. Instead we had 11 die hard chess enthusiasts (3 less than last year) compete.
In the first round Brian Moore tried to be too cute and hung a knight against Randy Parshall but Randy missed the gift horse and Brian eventually won the game. Also in the first round young Will Brooks showed his knowledge of end game play in defeating his father Don. In my opinion Will is going to be a force to be reckoned with.
In the second round another youngster, Robert Miller, drew his game with Randy Parshall which was enough for him to win the upset prize. Had he not missed pinning Randy's rook to his king he would have won the game!
The third round saw the two top players Chuck Sherwood and Brian Moore squaring off on board 1. Chuck seemed to have the advantage most of the way but Brian refused to give up finally succumbing on move 70.
Barring a major upset on one of the top 2 boards the battle for 3rd between myself and Michael Brooks was all that was to be decided in the last round. I played a line against Michael's Sicilian which I'm sure he had never seen before and I won the game. Had he not allowed me to castle I think the result may have been different. If I try that same thing against Michael again I'm sure he'll be ready for me.
It was a great weekend of chess and I think everyone there enjoyed it. The only thing which would have made it better would have been to see a few more faces.
Congratulations to the prize winners of the 2005 Kenai Chess Challenge: 1st Chuck Sherwood, 2nd Brian Moore and 3rd George Lombardi! (cross-table)
Thanks George for your continued support for Alaska Chess and the Kenai Chess Challenge!
For those that haven't already planned in advance, please make an effort to join us for the * 2nd Denker Benefit Tournament *, being held this Saturday, July 23 at the Family Life Center at Grace Baptist Church. Show your support for Youth Chess in our great State and prepare for battle !!
I'll post the results for the Blitz Tournament that was held on Friday night of the Kenai Chess Challenge as soon as I receive them.
July 22, 2005 *
The warriors were battling in unrated OTB blitz! In a round robin blitz marathon that went from 7:30-10:00 the combatants struck without mercy! At least some of them struck without mercy :o). It was nice for the Anchorage group to meet a new friend in David Edward-Smith. He is looking forward to devoting more time to chess and chess tourneys. We look forward to seeing him amongst the ranks of active tournament players.
The tourney seemed to favor the young as the pre-tourney favorites Matt, Michael and Will began their quest for yet another Blitz conquest. The tournament itself was a G/5 round robin with 11 participants. No one was able to score a perfect score. Michael Brooks and Will Brooks tied for first with 9/10. Matt Parshall stood alone in third with 8.5/10. The next closest competitor was Autumn Brooks with 6.5/10 (The Brooks motto is "if we bring enough people we gotta win something!") while Randy Parshall secured fifth with 6/10.
We would like to thank the Parshall's for opening up their home to us again. We love it (in spite of YHR's second straight tourney loss to the head of the Parshall clan! Next time I may pick up my marbles and go home! Pastors are suppose to be nice . . . .) Keep checking the web sight and plan to come on out for the Kenai next year. We had great facilities and a great time.
July 24, 2005 **
Denker Benefit #2
Our second Denker had 10 combatants. Due to turnout it was chiefly a Scholastic tournament with YHR playing to prevent byes. We had a great time. It was good to have the Warren trio of players back. There absence from tournament chess does not mean they haven't been studying chess. Emmanuel has a strong attacking style that keeps the pressure on. Hannah and John are very solid young players who are certain to challenge for the elementary championship in coming years. This tourney also saw the return of Will Crowther. Although Will did not have his best day, he is a very talented attacking player. More experience is all Will needs. We were happy to see Bo Bray return as an improved player as well. Keep working guys.
Emmanuel Warren was involved in the two most dynamic games. In round two against Michael (Brooks), Emmanuel pulled out the Reti, sacked a Knight and fell just a little short. Michael said he was just thankful that he had some experience against the Reti and felt it was an excellent game. Emmanuel's game against Will (Brooks) in round one was quite dynamic as well. Emmanuel's Queen and Bishop had Will's King targeted in the corner. Emmanuel said that he should have reversed his move order with Queen taking pawn first to cut off Will's flight square. This reverse move order is worth taking a look at.
The battle for first took place in the third round with a superb game between Will and Michael. Will may have had a slight advantage in an even King, Rook, and five pawn endgame. But Will's clock was ticking down at 15 minutes while Michael still had over thirty. A draw was agreed on. Michael and Will both won their last round and shared first.
The crop of young players continues to grow and develop. This bodes well for the coming year of Scholastic and Junior chess. (cross-table)
The Denker Fund update coming.
Thanks again to both Don Brooks, George Lombardi, Richard Haynes and Randy Parshall for working together to help supply ample opportunities for Chess competition throughout this summer!! A big thanks and congratulations to those that have competed in as many of these events as possible, you are truly the "Warriors". If you thought that perhaps there would be a lull in the Chess activity: "wrong again" :o) There is yet a 3rd and final "Denker Benefit Tourney" planned for August and I'm sure Alaska's Youth players are anxiously looking forward to the annual "Castle Defenders Chess Camp", also planned for August. Dates for these events should be set within the next few days. The planning for the annual Labor Day Open is 99% complete and will be finalized on receipt of the awards being offered for the tournament. Look for adult attendance to pick up (hopefully) in these tournaments as our beautiful Alaska summer begins to fade.
Until next time ...
June 21, 2005
July 12, 2005 *
Denker Dreams Tourney Report
The first Denker Benefit Tourney was a great success! We had 16 players turnout for the festivities. A report on how much was raised is coming soon. We appreciate the generosity of those who came and made donations!
Where do I start? Let me first begin with a thank you and an advertisement. We would all like to thank the Parshall's for letting a crew from Anchorage stay at their home! What a kind gesture from a wonderful family. The two-day tourney was so much fun that we can hardly wait for the Kenai Chess Challenge coming up in July. We hope you make it!
The Denker Benefit was a 4- round Swiss. The tourney was won by the young Alaskan star, Mario Vinoya. On the way home I asked Mario if he blundered away anything, even a pawn, throughout his four games. He thought for a several seconds and humbly said, “no.” At this the whole Van started to cry out in despair! Great tactics and preparation combined with consistency can be a fearsome force. Mario did comment that in his game with Ayla he felt some real pressure on his King.
Ayla had a strong weekend with her only loss coming to Mario. She scored three of four and took second on tie-breaks. Our Denker honoree took third with his only loss coming at the hands of Mario. Ryan has been studying hard for his trip to the Denker Tournament of HS Champions. Dick Clendaniel also scored three with his loss to Mario.
We were also able to meet some newcomers. Not newcomers to chess, but newcomers to our rated tourneys. Richard Haynes, Jim Childers and Jordan Bower all play in the Kenai clubs and we are thrilled that they have joined the ranks of rated tourney play.
Our fun blitz tourney was also full of fireworks. Mario, once again, took top honors with 8.5 out of 9. Ryan timed Mario out and got the draw! Ryan took second with 6.5 while Ayla and Michael tied for third with 6.0. Another Kenai newcomer played in our blitz tourney Andy Veh. He and his wife just adopted a baby. We wish their new family a blessed future. (cross-table)
On our way home we got stopped behind an accident. With Ryan following behind we were only minutes from the accident itself. This delayed our arrival home nearly two hours. We learned that the accident was a 60 mile per hour – head-on collision with at least one fatality. For me it served as a reminder that life is fragile and no one knows when their time will come. Whenever I see an accident I wonder, “why is that not me?” Only the Lord knows. Focus on what is important folks!
The ratings report will be slightly delayed as one new membership was snail mailed in last week. We have to wait for the USCF to receive that membership and post it. Until then visit the cross-tables on this sight!
Thanks to Dick Clendaniel for photos of the event! Two more Denker Benefit Tournaments are coming up, one in July and one in August. Stay tuned for details.
Next on the tournament agenda is the Annual Kenai Chess Challenge on July 16th and 17th. The KCC has evolved into a great event over the years. Make your plans early to attend this fantastic Chess gathering!! * Blitz Tourney * Friday night July 15th
Until next time ...
May 20, 2005
This year’s High School qualifier for the 2005 Denker Tournament of High School Champions is Ryan Cassidy! Ryan is a mainstay in Alaska Chess and has been both successful and active in tournament Chess for many years. We are proud of Ryan’s accomplishments and pleased to assist him in his expenses for the Denker Tourney being held in Phoenix later this summer.
To help make our Alaska State High School Champion’s Denker Dream come true we will be holding Three Benefit Tourney’s with the proceeds going to the Denker Fund.
The 1st of these events is the Soldotna Denker Benefit being held June 10th & 11th. The Soldotna Denker is designed for your participation. For those in Soldotna it is a welcome relief to not have to drive all the way to Anchorage! We are hoping that those on the Peninsula will come out in force! For those in Anchorage we are offering a choice between a one-day and two day schedule. Hopefully this choice will help more Anchorage Chess players to make the trip! Our goal is to see 20 Chess warriors doing battle to benefit Alaska Youth Chess. Show your support for Chess and put this tourney on your calendar. See you in Soldotna!
The 2005 Thunderbird Open, held this past April, drew 25 participants!! This annual event is an Active Duty Air Force qualifier tournament for the Air Force Championship, where Air Force Team placement and individual honors are at stake. The Air Force Team then moves on to compete for the Armed Services Championship.
Charles Musselman won 1st place in the Active Duty Air Force Division of this year's event and thereby qualified for a spot in the Air Force Championship! Charlie played good Chess and showed a lot of nerve as "sudden death time pressure" crept into many games played in this year's event. Kenneth Nichols also played well and assured himself of the Alternate position by defeating Ed Caparas in a Quick Chess playoff match. Congratulations to both Charlie and Ken!!
Charlie was able to attend the Air Force Championship and had a great result ....
The AF tournament went well but, unfortunately, I just missed making the AF Team by a half point. I finished with 4 out of 7 points and a tie for 7th place (I was the 12th seed going in to the tournament). I had some tough matches against three of the four highest rated players in the tournament. I secured draws against two experts rated over 2000 and beat a strong class B player rated 1786. The top three finishers had 5 total points and 4th through 6th had 4.5 total points. Only the top 6 players advanced to the Armed Forces competition. A former Alaska player, Nathaniel Ola, won the AF Championship... I'll forward his tie breaking game he played to win the championship... Ola's Game
Great job Charlie and Congratulations to Nathaniel too!! As life in the Air Force would have it, Charlie will be rotating out of Alaska next month?! We'll miss you Charlie but please try and stay in touch! Good luck to you and your family!
The Open Section of the Thunderbird Tournament had 15 participants, consisting of both "civilian" and Air Force players. Scott Mason won 1st place by winning all his games, defeating the always dangerous duo Ayla Mekhdiyeva and Mario Vinoya along the way!! Unfortunately for the Anchorage Chess scene Scott will be moving to Fairbanks shortly due to occupational necessities. Congrats' Scott on winning the Thunderbird Open and don't forget about us "patzers" here in Anchorage!! And Thanks again for your significant contributions at the K-12 Championship!!
Russell Gates rose to the heights in this year's event. Russell was seeded 10th but never the less defeated Alaska Chess mainstays, Jesse Holganza and Ryan Cassidy on the way to a tie for 2nd Place with Ayla Mekhdiyeva. Russell then showed his true mettle by defeating Ayla in a Quick Chess playoff!! Thus winning the 2nd Place plaque!! Congratulations Russell on a fine performance and Thanks again to you as well for your help with the K-12 Championship!! (Russell provided practically all the Chess sets, boards and clocks for the event and kept a watchful eye on the kids as well)
As the consequence of the Quick Chess playoff result with Russell, Ayla Mekhdiyeva finished in 3rd Place for the event! Ayla defeated Alaska's most active player, Dick Clendaniel, in round 4 in what must have been a nerve racking adventure for Dick. Sudden death time pressure saw Ayla's position improve until mate was absolutely unavoidable. In all fairness to Dick, quick Chess is not one of his main strengths. Congrats' to all for the exciting finish in this year's Open Section!! (cross-table)
The Scholastic Section of this year's event saw 10 young Chess warriors eager for a day of none stop Chess play! Although officially a 4 round Section this group of Kids played more games for fun than could be counted! At the end of a long day of jamb packed competition, Adam Leibert finished in 1st Place with a perfect score of 4-0!! Rainer Caparas and Adam Davis played well and finished in 2nd and 3rd Place, respectively. All the Kid's received mementos for the Tournament and we wish them all more fun and good luck with their Chess!! Congratulation's to all!! (cross-table)
Although the Annual Thunderbird Open Tournaments offer no cash prize funds (proceeds going to the Elmendorf Chess Club) they never the less continue to grow in popularity and strength of competition!! We at the Alaska Chess League are absolutely delighted to assist in this important Annual Chess Event!! (photos)
Congratulation's to Chuck Sherwood for attaining the Local Tournament Director Certification with the USCF!! No small feat, I assure you!
In closing just let me say that I hope Alaska's Chess Players will continue to show their generosity and willingness to compete for the sake of a good cause and play in the Denker Benefit Tourneys if at all possible!? The future of Alaska Chess depends on it!!
A special note of Thanks to Don Brooks for all of his contributions toward revitalizing Youth Chess in Alaska!! This guy just never stops and has been there in all of the ways possible for such a task!!
Until next time ...
May 4, 2005
The 2005 Alaska K-12 Scholastic Championship was the most spectacular Chess event held in the last decade! Rarely have I seen what had to have been at least 65-75 people in line for registration at an Alaskan Chess Tournament. While some in line were parents and guardians, in the end we had 46 crafty young Chess players ready to do some serious thrashin' on the Chess board for State Championship honors.
Super Scholastic Chess!!
( Elementary Report )
This year's Scholastic Championships was a fantastic success! We had the largest gathering of young chess players seen in Alaska in years. Forty-six young masters of the 64 squares came to battle for the title! The travel award goes once again to the Tok contingent led by Michelle Stout. Five mom's brought 12 young people to this year's competition! Thanks for coming! This year's tourney had three divisions. After a few health related withdrawals there were eight in the K-1 division, twenty-one 2nd-6th graders and seventeen Jr. High and High Schoolers.
The youngest of our chess enthusiasts had a great time vying for the K-1 title. It was wonderful to watch these little ones sit on their knees studying the board. But don't let their adorable faces fool you into thinking that this was not a competition. It was serious stuff for some! Even though a few tears were shed; in the end they were all smiles after a job well done. Wynter Brooks took the division championship with a 5-0 score. She was thrilled to win her first chess trophy! David Simmons, Hezekiah Ewing, and Payton Weisz took Gold, Silver and Bronze medals for 1st grade. The daughter of one of our terrific volunteers, Amy Gates took the gold for Kindergarten and Katie Williams brought home the silver. (See cross table for complete results)
The 2nd through 6th Grade division had 21 combatants in the final tally. Will Brooks returned to defend his title as the elementary champion against a field which included several school club champions. Will was able to win the title of elementary champion with a 5-0 score. The highlight game of this division was certainly Will's battle with Henry Thomas. With Will's clock ticking down (under two minutes) and Henry having more than 20 minutes, Will managed to promote a pawn in the nick of time. All observers remarked on the quality of this game. Will Crowther, another strong player placed third overall and took home the Silver for sixth grade. Last year's 1st grade winner, Chendall Brooks won the gold medal for second grade.
Several newcomers made their mark on scholastic chess. Let this be your warning! John Weber, 3-time elementary champion at Grace Christian had a very good tourney and scored 4-1. He received the gold medal for sixth grade. Newcomers Hannah Warren (5th) Zoe Cromwell (4th), and Cody Weisz (3rd), playing in their first rated tourney, took the gold medal for their respective grades! Good job guys! Beware, the runners-up in these grades played well and will offer a real test to anyone they play in coming tourneys. (See cross table for complete results)
I would like to thank Rick Everett for his hard work and great job as TD. Scott Mason and Russell Gates kept an attentive eye on our young players making everything run very well. They were great. I would also like to thank all parents and school sponsors for your terrific support. See you next year!
Drama highlighted many of the games that were played in the Junior High and High School Section of this year's event. The course of the tournament followed a relatively normal path until the 2nd round began. Out of a clear blue sky Emmanuel Warren rated 448 defeated Michael Brooks (1129) and secured the upset of the tournament honors.
When round 5 arrived on Sunday it was clear that this round would have a huge impact on the outcome. The pairing for board 1 was white: Ayla Mekhdiyeva (1369) vs black: Ryan Cassidy (1592). The game began as a Caro-Kann opening and Ryan won a pawn against the wily Miss Mekhdiyeva. Ryan and Ayla followed age old Chess advice and centralized their pieces and "advanced" their Kings in the endgame. Ryan simply forgot that there is an adjective attached to the "advance" your King advice, that being "securely"! Before you knew it he was in an awkward position and although still a pawn ahead a draw was offered. Ayla pondered over the position and the draw offer while Ryan assured me in the hallway that the game would be drawn, as there had already been one repetition of the position (3 repetitions is a draw). Never suspecting that Ayla may have repeated the position to gain more analysis time, you can imagine Ryan's shock when she declined the draw offer and uncorked a hay-maker that won a piece. Although Ryan played on gamely, Ayla simply wouldn't release her grip on the position. As a last resort in a completely lost position, Ryan attempted a $20 bribe, Ayla refused and as a completely last ditch effort Ryan emptied his pockets of all available cash and went for the "all-in" bribe, Ayla again refused his paltry offering and the young "nobleman" Ryan played till mate was administered. Ayla is a fierce competitor and played the best Chess of the tournament. She confirmed this by defeating the solid player, Junior High School Champion Matthew Parshall in round 6. Ayla finished the tournament with a score of 5.5 out of a possible 6, a point and a half ahead of the field! She is richly deserving of the Alaska High School Chess Champion title. Somewhat sadly for us and Ayla, it appears she will be returning home soon, as her time as a foreign exchange student in Alaska will expire this June, consequently she will not be attending the Denker Tournament of High School Champions (DTHSC) in August. A Special Congratulations to a most gracious Champion!!
Another dramatic encounter occurred in round 5 when Dylan Tucker (1233) as white met Autumn Brooks (989) as black in a Center-Counter defense. Miss Brooks out played young Dylan early in the game and arrived at a somewhat murky position with a queen versus rook advantage. Dylan made the most of his worse position and considerable time advantage and managed to advance a pawn to the 7th rank protected by his rook from behind. This proved to be to much pressure for Autumn with her time deficit, and Dylan, gold medal winner 8th Grade, went on to win a hairy time scramble ending.
Round 6 saw Ryan Cassidy, still groggy from his round 5 game, defeated by the resurgent Michael Brooks, silver medal 8th Grade. Autumn Brooks rebounded from her lose to Dylan and also won her 6th round game. It was right about then that the tournament directing staff realized that we were about to have a play off for the DTHSC qualification spot. Autumn, gold medal winner 9th Grade and Ryan, gold medal winner 12th Grade, had tied with a 4-2 score in the section. With the DTHSC qualification spot on the line, 10 minute play off games with alternating colors was used for the tie-break. Although quick Chess is not Autumn's forte' she played admirably but eventually lost the play off. Thus Ryan took the coveted DTHSC qualification spot. As fate would have it, it was brought to my attention that the 2005 Susan Polgar National Invitational for Girls K-12 Tournament is being held at the same place and time as the DTHSC. With Ayla planning to leave for home soon, it appears Miss Autumn Brooks has qualified for the 2005 Susan Polgar National Invitational for Girls K-12 Tournament!! Congratulations to both Ryan and Autumn for their special achievements and "may the force be with them" as they represent Alaska in the USA's most prestigious Scholastic Chess Tournaments!!
Of the five players that tied for 2nd overall in the tournament with a score of 4-2, three were Junior High School competitors. Matthew Parshall continues to improve his solid style of play and is about to take another step up the ladder of Chess strength. As a result of his continuing Chess study (work), Matthew has won the Alaska Junior High School Chess Champion title for 2005! Gold medal winner for the 8th Grade, Dylan Tucker, showed a lot of character in this year's event. Dylan was pressed in most of his games and showed the determination of a hardened Chess warrior, always fighting back with everything he had! Michael Brooks, silver medal 8th Grade, showed some championship qualities and picked himself up off the mat after his 2nd round debacle and fought hard to get into this score group! Michael had two teeth pulled on Friday before the tournament (ouch?!). Congratulations Guy's on your fine showings and may you have continued success!!
Chad Speer, 7th Grade gold medallist, showed that he is a practical young Chess player by securing a draw with Alison Parshall, gold medal 10th Grade, in the last round. Although Chad was a rook ahead he realized that a draw would secure the gold medal and that playing for the win in a very dangerous position for both parties might result in a lot less. Chad is a very sharp young man and will be competing in a National Science Tournament soon. It seems that Chad has designed a bridge that weighs not much more than a small bag of potato chips yet is able to support over 30 pounds!! Good luck to you my young friend both in Chess and life's endeavors!!
Congratulations to unrated Patrick Gingrich for winning the gold medal for 11th Grade!!
(See cross table for complete results)
In closing we must acknowledge the Hilton Garden Inn as our nicest playing site to date and Thank Them for their discounted room rates for the event. That indoor swimming pool is hard to beat, right guy's? Thanks especially to all of those that pre-registered for the event. Forty-one of our 46 competitors were already signed up when they arrived at registration, this effort resulted in a smooth registration process that saved a lot of time!! Thanks to all the support staff for this year's event, you're irreplaceable!! Thanks goes out to the Speer Family for their donation that allowed us to break even monetarily for the tournament!! But mostly, Thanks to All the Kids who made this event particularly enjoyable by their sheer numbers and abundance of youthful enthusiasm!! We hope to see you all again next year!
Hopefully I'll have the K-12 photo album and Thunderbird Open results posted within the next few days.
Until next time ...
April 21, 2005
April 30th - May 1st, 2005
Join us for Alaska's Premiere Youth Chess Tournament! Alaska Youth Chess has seen a significant resurgence in participation and strength in the last few years. The 2005 event promises to be the most exciting and fun to date. No other competitive arena compares to the battle of the 64 squares! You don't necessarily have to run fast or jump high to be a Champion in this mind over matter competition!
Registration: Saturday, April 30th 10:00 - 10:45 a.m. for all grade levels at the
Hilton Garden InnGrades K-1: April 30 (one day event)
5 Games, Game/30 (1 hour games), USCF membership not requiredGrades 2-6: April 30 (one day event)
5 Games, Game/30 (1 hour games), USCF membership required
Playing Schedule Grades K-6:
Grades 7-12: April 30 - May 1 (two day event)
6 games, Game/60 (2 hour games), USCF membership required. Two 1/2 point byes are possible for this section and must be requested at or prior to registration.
Saturday Schedule Grades 7-12
Champions Plaques will be awarded to the winners of the following sections:
For current USCF membership prices, click HERE. Memberships can be purchased at the playing site
Frequently Asked Questions please click HERE
For additional information please contact email@example.com
Life has pre-empted a full report on the completion of the very successful Thunderbird Open, the report should be coming soon, my apologies.
Until next time ...
March 26, 2005
Greetings Chess World,
The ACL Mini Camp has come to a blustery end with twelve young dynamos giving it their all. The skies saw a blue bird spring day as we rallied up for morning registration, and at the end we had twelve young people excited about a day full of Chess! We quickly divided up and found ourselves with eight young people in the beginner Mighty Knights class and four in the more advanced Cavalier class.
Yours truly had the pleasure of working with the Cavalier section for the morning class. We looked into both a quick knock-out and a long term strategic victory by the late World Champion, Jose Capablanca. The Cavalier kids absorb Chess like sponges and grow more dangerous as Chess opponents day by day! It's always great to get together with the Cavaliers and I hope they enjoy it as much as I do! I give what I consider sage advice: "study tactics and endgames" they'll take you far!
Don Brooks handled the Mighty Knights section and we are both glad and thankful to have had his help! This young group of Chess players not only had several classes throughout the day, but managed to squeak in a 3 round Blitz Tournament to boot! Young Henry Thomas continues to play well and won 1st place in the event! John Warren and Chendall Brooks finished in a tie for 2nd-3rd. Congratulations Guy's!!
All of these young people seem to be starving for Chess and by the time lunch break rolled around the word Simul(?) could be heard amongst the murmur. Upon Chuck Sherwood's arrival for afternoon classes with the Cavalier kids, we quickly decided we would give a tandem-simultaneous exhibition instead of have a late afternoon class. Early afternoon classes ended and the final rounds of the Mighty Knights Blitz Tournament began. Chuck played several time odds blitz games with the Cavalier kids while the Knights were finishing up.
After a short break the 12 man Simul was underway. And I've got to say I believe it was the most difficult to date I've participated in. These young people have a certain knack for the game and it's not easy, especially when Chuck and I are playing every other move against each opponent. All of the Kids played good games and at the very end Michael Brooks, with solid play, was able to draw! Congrats' Michael!!
And so it was that the ACL Mini Camp ended and if I may speak for Don and Chuck we thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to the next time!! photos
As always, Thanks to the Support Staff and Don Brooks for the use of the Family Life Center - Grace Baptist Church!
Next on the agenda is the 3rd Annual Thunderbird Open on April 9th, 2005. This is a fantastic event and you really should try to make arrangements and play!!
And Alaska Youth Chess Players don't forget the Alaska K-12 Scholastic Championship scheduled for April 30-May 1, 2005. Kids this is YOUR Tournament, be a part of it!! Supporters of Alaska Chess please read the Alaska's High School Chess Champion & the Denker Dream article and make your contribution today!!
Until next time...
March 14, 2005
Just a quick note to let everyone know that Chess is alive and well in Alaska, USA!
There will be a Mini-Chess Camp on March 26th for our Youth Chess players. This will be a fun and instructional event with various Chess classes and quick Chess Tourneys scheduled. We look forward to seeing you all!
The 3rd Annual Thunderbird Open will be played on April 9th. This is an extremely enjoyable event hosted by the Elmendorf AFB Chess Club. You owe it to yourself to participate in this terrific annual gathering. Don't forget to pre-register, it makes life much simpler to gain access to Elmendorf AFB if you do so.
Last but certainly not least is The Alaska K-12 Scholastic Championship. Alaska's premiere Youth Chess event is scheduled for April 30th - May 1st. The Championship will be hosted by the Hilton Garden Inn of Anchorage and we are honored to have their endorsement! The Alaska High School Champion will be assisted by the Denker Fund to allow participation in the Denker Tournament of High School Champions! Kid's it's time to get ready for your Championship!
The games from the 2005 Fur Rondy Youth/Scholastic Section are now available for your viewing pleasure! Please enjoy!
Let us know how we're doing by casting your vote in the Great Alaska Mini Poll
Thanks to Veronica Kasatkina for the use of her Chess posters for this update! Find out more about Veronica at Russian Chess Art Posters by Veronica Kasatkina
Until next time...
February 23, 2005
Greetings Chess Fans,
The 45th Annual Fur Rondezvous Tournament has come to a hard fought end. Two Sections were again offered this year with various class prizes awarded in each. The Open Section consisted of mostly adults with the notable exceptions of Junior players Mario Vinoya and Ryan Cassidy. Twenty-eight players competed in the Open Section and all games were exceptionally contested. Eleven players competed in the Junior/Scholastic Section and exhibited all the qualities of fighting Chess in their games.
Results for the Open Section are:
Tying for 1st with 4.5 points out of a possible 5, were Mario Vinoya Jr. and Harry Wrase. Mario was awarded the 1st place plaque on tie breaks and the 1st and 2nd place cash prizes were divided equally. A fine result by both gentleman!
Rather surprisingly unrated Ernest Guldin pulled off 4 points and managed to win clear 3rd place in his first tournament ever!! It's been a long time since a player like Ernest has joined our ranks and we welcome him aboard!
Alaska youth Ryan Cassidy and Brian Moore tied for 4th and 5th with 3.5 points respectively and rounded out a group of tough competitors.
Ron Campbell and Anton Kulchitsky of Fairbanks, tied for 1st in the U1800 class. Both players showed their "scrappy" ways to finish with plus scores!
The U1600 class was the hardest fought class of the Open Section. No less than four players tied for top honors! Congratulations to Jesse Holganza, Charles Musselman, Lance Roberts and Jae Kim for their fighting spirit! Charles Musselman also won the Upset prize for the tournament by defeating Mike McKinney in round 2.
Low and behold George Lombardi of Kenai Chess Challenge fame actually won a prize in a Chess tournament!! George won the U1400 prize! "Right-on" George and continued success!!
Randy Parshall won the U1200 prize thereby assuring plenty of "gas money" for the drive back to Soldotna with his family!!
Roky Louie from Seattle, son of Henry "Tiger" Louie of Sitka, won the top Unrated prize with an even score of 2.5! Slobodan Kitanovski and John Kelly tied for 2nd and 3rd respectively. A special Congratulations to all of our unrated players that competed this year!!
Heinrich Gruber received our Tournament Elder award. Heinrich was born in 1929!! We All wish you continued success and many more Fur Rondezvous, Heinrich!! cross-tables
The Junior/Scholastic Section was filled with games where the advantage slipped back and forth between the competitors. The Youth players really had to fight in all their games, sometimes leaping back from what looked like certain defeat. All of Alaska's Youth players are uncompromising in their games.
Matthew Parshall bounced back from a prior lack luster result and won the Gold Medal in the "Junior" Division. Matthew played the most solid games in this Section and is richly deserving of our admiration!! Dylan Tucker continued his cunning ways and took Silver! Newcomer Saphath Sim rounded out the "Junior" Division and took the Bronze Medal! Congratulations to all of you and continued success!!
The "Scholastic" Division was a bit of a "family affair" with a trio of brothers and sister winning the hardware! Will Brooks, recipient of our Youngest Competitor award at 10 years old(!), won the Gold Medal with a great score of 3.5 out of 5!! Brother Michael took the Silver and sister Autumn took the Bronze! Great job and keep working!! We All wish you much success at the upcoming Super Nationals. cross-tables
Miss Alison Parshall took the Top Ladies Division plague for 2005. Congratulations Alison!
We can never Thank our Major Sponsors enough for their continued support of the Fur Rondezvous Chess Tournament. Without the contribution of the Alaska Joint Electrical Apprenticeship and Training Trust we wouldn't have such a nice playing site each year. Preston Gates and Ellis LLP continue to provide funding for the Awards presented each year, Bush Landscaping and Kean and Associates continue to pay our Fur Rondezvous sanctioning fees and Potelcom Supply continues to pick up the cost of all the "loose ends" that show up for such an event. Without the support of these Sponsors Alaska Chess might indeed be going backward instead of forward. Thank You Again Sponsors!!
Thanks to Mario Vinoya Sr, Harry Wrase and Dick Clendaniel for our 2005 Fur Rondy Photo Album!!
Thanks again to the guys and gals that baked cookies, brought donuts, bought breakfast, picked up trash, swept floors, stacked tables and chairs, took out garbage and cleaned the bathroom! You were indispensable!!
A couple of Tournament Reports from Don Brooks:
Denker Dreams Tourney Report
Our first Denker Dreams tourney was a great success! We had 21 participate in two separate divisions. The top division included Ayla Mekhdiyeva , Ryan Cassidy and Jerel Morrill. They played a round robin type tourney. Ayla is an exchange student from Azerbaijan and Jerel is a regular at the Anchorage Chess Club gatherings. Of course we all know Ryan! Ryan came out on top with two wins. Ayla split her games and Jerel is improving fast as he transitions his game into slower time controls. cross-table
In the Scholastic division we had 18 competitors. There were six new faces at the tourney. The Warren brothers, new to Anchorage, performed very well in their first tournament. There was also a contingent from Grace Christian School. These enthusiastic chess players will certainly be a force to be reckoned with in the coming tournaments!
The Scholastic division came down to the final round between Michael Brooks (3.5) and Will Brooks (4.0). With a measure of initiative and attack Michael made a touch move rule error and opened the door for Will to pounce. Will did just that and never looked back. Will played the tournament of his life to finish with a perfect 5.0 score. Will's third round game with Alison Parshall was the highlight of the tourney. It was a tense and complicated game that drew a crowd. At the critical moment in the game Ali moved her Knight for a mate-in-one on Will. This move threatened to dissipate Will's attack if not win. But Will had the initiative with three different pieces poised to check her King. Will was forced to find the correct check on Ali's King to keep his attack going. Somehow he did. In severe time trouble Ali missed a perpetual check draw and Will eeked out the win. The third round also featured a very good game between Matthew Parshall and Michael Brooks. Matt was a pawn up in the end game but the position was locked-up and Matt's extra pawn would not have been able to get by Michael's King. Michael offered a draw and Matt accepted. This was to be a preview of the final standings as Michael and Matthew finished second and third respectively. Michael got second on tie-breaks.
Another Will, named Will Crowther, had a terrific first tourney and finished with 4.0. He took the top U12 prize. Watch out! Will is going to be a force in Scholastic chess!. Chris Lacher of Abbott Loop had another solid tourney and finished second on tie-breaks over Chendall Brooks who took third.
We'd like to give the enthusiasm award to Michael Parshall. We haven't seen many kids more excited and more delightful than Michael. His victory in the last round was due to persistence and determination. A well played game Michael. cross-table
Over $100 was added to the Denker Fund through this tourney. Our Denker Fund now has $206! Keep your eyes open for more good news on the Denker Fund! If you would like to donate or learn more please contact Don Brooks at (907) 727-1290.
Soldotna Quick Quads
On January 14th we gathered in Soldotna for a pair of Quick (G25) Quads. It was also our first event in which we reserved a portion of the registration fees for our Denker Dreams Fund. The Denker Fund has been created to assist Alaska’s State High School Champion in his travel expenses for the Annual Denker Tournament for State HS Champions. More about the Denker in a moment . . .
Our Quick Quads were a lot of fun! We would like to thank Randy Parshall for providing the use of Christ’s Lutheran Church. It was perfect! In the “older” quad we had new comer Andy Veh score 2.5/3.0 to win! We can thank Ali Parshall for keeping Andy from a perfect score. By the way, did anyone notice how great Ali did at the Alaska State Championships? Her rating shot up over 230 points! The winners of this quad donated their prize winnings to the Denker! cross-table
The younger section included Dylan Tucker, Matthew Parshall, Michael Brooks and Will Brooks. Dylan, Michael and Will all traded blows scoring 2 points each. Matthew Parshall had an off-night. Matthew has been working hard on his chess of late and as it often happens there is a little drop in performance after such hard work. I would warn all those who face Matt at the coming Denker Tourney (January 29th) and the much anticipated Fur Rondy to watch out! cross-table
The night ended with some wild bughouse with Matt and Michael dominating the play. YHR tried the newly studied “Halloween Attack” from the recent issue of Chess magazine. Bughouse is always a fun time to do crazy stuff! Everyone wanted to have our friend Rick Everett as their bughouse partner---so in his absence we just kept telling our partners, “I need a Knight!.” But once we got the Knight we weren't sure what Rick did with it!
Soldotna has two chess clubs. One meets on Thursday and the other on Saturday. The Thursday crowd will stay until Midnight or so playing chess! Dedication! Be sure to come on out if you live in the area or are passing through. Contact Randy Parshall for info.
The Denker Dreams Fund received its first donation of $50.00 from longtime chess player and supporter Michael Beck. Thanks Michael we are excited for what the Alaskan Chess community can do! After all is said and done this tourney and our first donation raised $106.00 for our Denker Fund! If you have any questions please contact Don Brooks at (907) 727-1290.
In closing let me remind you all that the Annual Thunder Bird Open is planned for April 2!
I'm working on the Rondy_05 database used for publishing the games on our Site.....(eventually)......
Until next time.........
$1,500 Prize Fund !!
January 18, 2005
Hosted by: Alaska Joint Electrical Apprenticeship and Training Trust!
Sponsored by: Preston Gates and Ellis LLP, Bush Landscaping, Kean and Associates, Potelcom Supply and the Alaska Chess League!
The Tournament will be a 5 round, USCF rated Open Swiss event. All games are played at game in 90 minutes. One 1/2 point bye per player for the tournament, you must notify the tournament director at or before registration.
February 18, 19 and 20, 2005
NECA/IBEW Training Center
5800 B St
For directions click HERE
Friday, Feb 18 - 5:00 PM until 6:00 PM
USCF membership required and available on site.
Adult $25, Senior $20 (age 65 and over), Military $20, Child $15 (19 and under). Family Entry Fee Discount: First entry - full price, all other family members 1/2 off. (All adults pay full price). advanced entry form
Friday, Feb 18 - Round 1: 6:30 PM
Saturday, Feb 19 - Round 2: 10:00 AM, Round 3: 2:00 PM
Sunday, Feb 20 - Round 4: 10:00 AM, Round 5: 2:00 PM, Closing Ceremony: 5:30 PM
Overall - 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th & 5th place trophy plus cash prize.
Class Prizes - Under 1800, Under 1600, Under 1400, Under 1200 & Top Unrated, medals plus cash prizes.
Youth and Scholastic - Gold, Silver & Bronze medals plus extras.
Ladies - 1st place trophy plus cash prize.
* Prizes dependant on number of entrants in each class and division.
For further information please contact Chuck at firstname.lastname@example.org or (907) 338-0044.