PAST EVENT RECAPS

Spring Quads

June 9th,

In a very tough quad, Eric Wang and Ellen Rosenfeld braved to play against experienced veterans Leo Bykhovsky and Melvin Patrick. Bykhovsky and Patrick both won their first two games to battle it out for top honors in the last round. In the end it was Bykhovsky who emerged as the sole victor and winning the $50 prize!

Meanwhile, Fide Master Leif Pressman and National Master Daniel Lowinger battled in a three game match. Unfortunately for Lowinger he fell to Pressman by the same score that he had defeated Prawira the day before! With this win, Pressman gained a cool 20 points, putting him on the road to passing 2400!

 

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Friday Night Action

June 8th,

With many of our usual participants playing in the Northeast Open, this week’s quads were a bit slower than usual. Never-the-less, we hosted two highly competitive matches. The first match was between masters Daniel Lowinger and Dennis Prawira. Lowinger showed his strength and Prawira still seems to be a bit rusty after a year of no tournaments as Lowinger swept the match 3 – 0. The second match was between regular David Kniffin and CCFC Director Melvin Patrick.

Patrick was the favorite on paper, but Kniffin is always dangerous and has bested Patrick on occasion. Kniffin won the first game, but Patrick equalized in the second. In the final round showdown, Kniffin showed great stamina to win the final game! Congratulations to the winners! We look forward to the return of many of our regular players next week.

 

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Spring Quads

June 2nd,

Saturday was a good day for chess as 18 players participated in our Spring Quads. The top section was a master quad in which NM Oliver Chernin joined FM Nelson Castaneda, NM Ian Harris and NM Daniel Lowinger. Lowinger was looking for a repeat performance of the previous night and Castaneda was looking to rebound, but it was Harris’s turn to shine as he defeated both of them and then finished off the tournament with a wild draw against Chernin!

Quad two was also quite strong with strong expert Andres Castaneda leading the pack from start to finish and only ceding one draw to Nicolas Checa. Checa also had a solid result drawing all three of his games against tough opposition.

Next was a very close-knit six player swiss with four 1700’s, a 1600 and a 1400. CCFC Director Melvin Patrick looked to pick up where he left off, but fell in the first two rounds to Leo Bykhovsky and Jonathan Aiyathurai. Bykhovsky lost to Herring who was defeated by Aiyathurai, which gave Aiyathurai the win and catapulted him over 1800!

Quad three was a very dangerous section. The favorite on paper was Vincent Xu, but he was chased very closely by Grant Wang and Ellen Rosenfeld. Add to that, a relatively unknown 600 rated player who arrived in a group of experts and masters, and you have an incredibly unpredictable section. In the end, it was Xu who managed to maintain his hold on the top position by only drawing one game! Ellen Rosenfeld finished closely behind with 2 points.

Congratulations to all of this week’s winners and we look forward to seeing everyone again soon!

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Friday Night Action

June 1st,

Joining the CCFC home players Harris and Lowinger in the top quad were National Master Dennis Prawira and Fide Master Nelson Castaneda. It was a good night for the home team as Lowinger went undefeated, only drawing to Castaneda in the last round and Harris finished with two points, losing only to Lowinger in the first round.

At the top of the table of the second section was Ed Scimia followed by Garrett Browning and Melvin Patrick. Rounding out the section were regulars R.J. Arnold and Al Pinto. Newcomer Jason Wang joined the field as a relative unknown looking to make a splash in his first tournament. In the end, Patrick went on a rampage and won all three of his games picking up 50 points.

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K-5 Scholastic Championships

May 27th,

21 students participated in our K-5 Scholastic Championships this past weekend. Along with several of our tournament regulars, many new faces graced the club. It was impossible to predict what the outcome would be. In the K-2 section Sam Forfang dominated, winning all four of his games and is now approaching the 1000 mark! Sophia Medina, Justin Jacob and Cyrus Pearson each scored 3 points to tie for 2nd! In the 3-5 section the competition was fierce. Brandon Wang (1200) and Nick Boer (1030) were the tournament favorites, however there were many other talents looking to make their presence known, including Terry McGrath (900) and Leo Koganov (900). However, it was Max Lu (700) who breezed through the field, defeating anyone in his way. In the end, nobody could stop him as he won the section with a perfect 4/4! For his fine performance Max earned first place and over 150 rating points! Nick Boer finished in 2nd with 3.5/4. Congratulations to everyone and we look forward to seeing you again at our June K-5

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Spring Quads

May 26th,

A wide range of players participated in our Spring Quads, ranging from the Grant Wang (approximately 1000) up to National Master Ian Harris. Even though Harris was by far the favorite, it would be no easy task to win the section as the super talented Jason Shi (already and expert at age 11) arrived at the last minute. In round one, Harris faced R.J. Arnold and soon sacrificed an exchange in order to get play. However, Arnold surprised Harris by defending very accurately and neutralizing his attack. Low on time, Arnold was not able to convert his advantage and let the game slip further allowing Harris to win the game at the last second. As fate would have it, Shi was nicked for a draw by Leo Bykhovsky in the second round and did not face Harris. In the final round, Harris defeated Bykhovsky to finish with 2.5/3 points. Shi rebounded with a nice win to tie for first!

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Friday Night Action

May 25th,

On Friday night, the Chess Club of Fairfield County hosted three highly competitive quads. The top quad featured four masters including Norwalkers Ian Harris, Daniel Lowinger and Arslan Otchiyev, as well as Dennis Prawira who returned after a year hiatus from competition. In the end it was Lowinger who triumphed, ending his recent skid by winning all three of his games!

The second and third quads were both blood baths. In quad two top seeded Melvin Patrick had a rough night, nearly losing all three games. This opened up the first place prize to the first person to seize it, however, 2nd seeded Noah Arthurs lost to Michael Morin in the second round. Arthurs recovered by beating Patrick in the final round, but not before Childs was his last two games to tie for first! Meanwhile, in the third quad, nobody made it through unscathed. David Kniffin, Richard Arnold and Lee Arthurs all traded points to finish tied for first with two points each!

Congratulations to all the winners! Don’t miss the action this week as our attendance continues to grow.

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Spring Quads

May 19th,

Six was the theme this week as almost a completely different group of players competed on Saturday. Once again Harris was the top seed, but this time he faced even tougher opposition. Despite some tough encounters, Harris once again managed to win all three games, and once again this result was overshadowed by someone else. R.J. Arnold has a spectacular result after losing in the first round to local high school talent Alexandra Wiener, he rebounded with a win against David Childs in the 2nd round and then drew with another high school talent Ethan Segall, who has been nearing the 2000 mark! For his efforts Arnold picked up 70 points!

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Friday Night Action

May 18th,

Six players competed in this week’s action tournament. The top seed was NM Ian Harris who, despite much resistance, still managed to win all of his games to secure 1st place. However, the most interesting moment was the game between regular Al Pinto and R.J. Arnold. Both players have been studying hard and going into the first round Arnold was the favorite on paper. However, Pinto put in the best performance of the night by defeating him and picking up over 60 rating points!

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Dream Team v. NECA USA Team

May 13th,

After suffering our first loss of the season, would the Dream Team be able to recover? At our last match against the NECA USA Team, the Dream Team turned out in force. Determined to win, the Dream Team won the match by a score of 14.5 – 5.5. Impressive 2/2 performances were put in by Zachary Filler, Bilal Memon, Benjamin Walker, Alex Mayo, Sean Thomas and Jason Wu!

With this win the Dream Team finishes a fantastic year, scoring 7 wins in 8 matches!

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Friday Night Action

May 11th,

Going into tonight’s action tournament, CCFC Director Melvin Patrick was the favorite on paper, but following close behind was new college graduate Garrett Browning. Joining them was the always dangerous David Kniffin and the determined Al Pinto. In round two Patrick fell to Kniffin, leaving Browning in the lead with 2/2. This put the pressure on Patrick who needed to win in order to tie for first. In the end, Patrick came through in the clutch, defeating Browning. This win ensured a tie with Browning and also allowed Kniffin to catch up to complete the three way tie! Congratulations to the winners!

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Spring Quads

May 5th,

Last Saturday Grandmaster Mikheil Kekelidze as well as newcomer Arslan Otchiyev joined our Spring Quads to make the strongest quad we have held to date. Demonstrating why he is a Grandmaster, Kekelidze was in form and won all three of his games to reach his new peak rating. Arslan Otchiyev and NM Ian Harris tied with 1.5 points each.


The second section was also quite strong with three players rated close to 2000. CCFC Director Melvin Patrick was close to a nice upset against Ethan Segall, but agreed to a draw just a few moves away from the win. The champion of this section was experienced expert Hanon Russell who won all three of his games! In 2nd place was Jason Shi.
Congratulations to all of the winners and we are looking forwards to the next Spring Quads!

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Friday Night Action

May 4th,

On Friday night, the CCFC hosted three highly competitive quads. In the top section were three masters Nelson Castaneda, Daniel Lowinger and Ian Harris, as well as the young talent Zachary Tanenbaum. Tanenbaum was attempting to qualify for the USA World Youth team, but needed to finish with 2.5/3 points in order to qualify. Tanenbaum defeated Lowinger, but ultimately was unable to score any more points against the much higher rated opposition. Castaneda won the section, but only by half a point over Harris.

In the second section, CCFC Director Melvin Patrick came into the tournament as the top seed, but had to face some dangerous competition. Patrick eventually tied for 1st with two points, but the story of the section was Noah Arthurs’ ability to regroup after a first round loss, to defeat Patrick in the final round and tie for 1st!


Finally, in the third section, the still provisionally rated R.J. Arnold won the section with 2.5/3 points, a clear point ahead of the field. This result was especially impressive since all four players were rated between 1300 – 1400 and he was the least experienced of the four!


Join us next week as our Friday Night Action tournaments continue to grow!

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Spring Quads

March 28th,

After a busy few weeks, our Spring Quads returned. Ten players competed in a quad and swiss sections. The quad featured two Connecticut National Masters Ian Harris, Oliver Chernin, as well as Class A players Quentin Mason and William Torres. Despite stiff resistance, Harris and Chernin made it through the first two rounds with victories. The final round showdown came down to the last seconds of an endgame when Chernin lost a piece and the victory went to Harris.


The swiss section was filled with fighting chess. CCFC Director Melvin Patrick was the only player to emerge with a perfect score after the first two rounds. Following close behind was rising star Matthew Chan with 1.5/2. Their final round match was intense. Chan won a pawn and maintained his advantage into the endgame. Patrick defended well but ultimately was not able to stop Chan from breaking through. With this win, Chan leapfrogged Patrick to win the tournament with 2.5/3! Patrick finished in a tie for 2nd with CCFC regular Hubert Herring.


Join us next week for another exciting day of matches!

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Friday Night Action

March 27th,

Our Friday night quads were action packed! The first quad featured three masters and CCFC Director Melvin Patrick. The favorites on paper were FM Nelson Castaneda and NM Daniel Lowinger. However, NM Ian Harris would have his say too and defeated everyone in the quad to win the section in a significant upset.


The second quad had CCFC veterans Al Pinto and Carl Scovens joined by RJ Arnold and Tyler Leite. This unpredictable section produced some exciting chess with both top seeds Scovens and Pinto losing their first two games! Finally, it was Arnold who emerged victorious after he converted a tense last round game against Leite.


Congratulations to all!

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K-5 Scholastic Championship

April 22nd,

Seventeen players participated in this month’s K-5 Scholastic Championships. In the 3 – 5 section it was rating favorite Alex Huggins who emerged victorious with a perfect 4/0 score. Huggins nearly had his winning chances dashed in the 2nd round when he managed to save the game at the last minute against Samantha Aiyathurai who ended up in clear 2nd place.


The K-2 section was hotly contested. Going into the final round CCFC Dream Team member Sean Thomas was the only player with a perfect 3/0 score. Thomas lost an epic battle against CCFC newcomer Maximillian Lu, allowing him to tie for 1st. This also allowed Ryan Roderick, fresh off a week of chess camp at the CCFC, the opportunity to catch the leaders and a share of 1st place.

Congratulations to all the winners!

 

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Friday Night Action

April 20th,

This Friday featured two sections. The first was a three game match between strong masters Nelson Castaneda and Daniel Lowinger. Castaneda travelled a long distance to play and Lowinger had just finished a long day of work, but both were determined to win at all costs! Castaneda won the first game. Lowinger nearly struck back in the second game but after a late inaccuracy had to settle for a draw. Castaneda brought home the victory by winning the final round!


The second section was a six player swiss. With many young and new players, it was anyone’s guess who would win. Would it be the top seeded Melvin Patrick, or the recently resurgent David Kniffin, or perhaps the unknown Richard Arnold? After two rounds Patrick was the only player with two points and he looked poised to take home the sole victory, but a final round loss to Noah Arthurs created a three way tie at the top between Patrick, Arthurs and Kniffin!

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Ivy College Chess Championship

April 14th and 15th,

Some of America’s top collegians set their books aside this weekend, traveling to Norwalk to do battle for campus pride in the first-ever Ivy College Chess Championship. Eight four-player teams against one another in four grueling rounds of play. At the end of the two-day competition, Columbia University stood alone at the top, having won all four of its matches. Dartmouth College, with two wins and a tie to its credit, took second place; while Yale and Princeton ended in a tie for third.


Yale’s team, anchored by International Grandmaster Robert Hess (the fourth-strongest player in the U.S.) and International Master Bogdan Vioreanu, was the clear favorite heading into the tournament. But Columbia’s well-balanced team featured three master-level players, with the dangerous Victor Shen playing the top board. Dartmouth College, which fielded not a single master- or expert-rated player, was the dark horse of the event.


The excitement began in the very first round, with Columbia sweeping Princeton’s B-team and Dartmouth upsetting Hess’s Yale squad. Columbia, Dartmouth, and Yale coasted to easy victories in the second round; but Columbia cemented its front-runner status by winning all four games against Dartmouth in Sunday morning’s third round.

Having won its first three matchups, Columbia entered the fourth round guaranteed at least a tie for first; however, their final round pitted them against Yale, meaning that Columbia’s top player Shen would be paired against GM Robert Hess--a mismatch theoretically favoring the Yale team. Meanwhile, Dartmouth’s match against a scrappy Princeton team ended in a tie, meaning that Yale needed a team victory to avoid being relegated to third place. But Shen and Hess battled fiercely. With clocks ticking down, Shen was able to wrest a small advantage from the seasoned grandmaster, and soon converted it to a win.

 

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Friday Night Action

April 13th,

This Friday’s action tournament was won by David Kniffin. Recently Kniffin has become more active on the chess circuit and demonstrated tonight that he is a force to be reckoned with. His rating has been improving with almost every tournament he plays. Even CCFC Director Melvin Patrick was unable to stop his rampage as Kniffin won all of his games!

 

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Friday Night Action

April 6th,

Last Friday eight players competed in two quads during our new Friday Night Action. Fide Master Nelson Castaneda, National Masters Daniel Lowinger and Ian Harris, as well as CCFC Director Melvin Patrick made up the top quad. In the second quad were junior talents Matthew Chan, Michael Morin, Henry Stratakis-Allen and CCFC regular Al Pinto. Many of the games were hard fought, but in the end, both top seeds Castaneda and Chan managed to pull through and win their sections! Join us next week for more action!

 

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GM Kekelidze Simul

April 6th,

Sixteen brave participants came to the club to challenge our very own Grandmaster Instructor Mikheil Kekelidze in a simultaneous exhibition. The players ranged widely in age and strength. Although the Grandmaster proceeded to defeat his opponents seemingly with ease, there were many that put up tough resistance and forced the simul to continue into the evening, tiring the GM. Finally, the effort paid off when CCFC student Henry Stratakis-Allen managed to draw! This would be the only point the challengers would manage to get and the simul ended in favor of GM Kekelidze by a score of 15.5 – 0.5. It was a truly fun and memorable event and we hope that you will join us next time!

 

Bughouse & Pizza

April 3rd,

Our April Bughouse & Pizza tournament drew five highly competitive teams. It was a round robin, so to every team would face each other at least once. Team “The Destroyers”, comprised of Dominick McConnell and Jack Von Riesemann, dominated the field and won the tournament! Don’t miss the action next month!

 

Spring Quads

March 31st,

There was much excitement in each of our three quads during our first Spring Quads last Saturday. In each section the winner scored a perfect 3/0 score, however, in each section the top seed failed to win! Quad 1 was won by NM Daniel Lowinger who defeated FM Leif Pressman in an exciting tactical finish in the final round. Quad 2 was won by CCFC Instructor David Childs who overcame a 300 points rating deficit to surpass CCFC Direct Melvin Patrick. Finally, Quad 3 was won by rising star Henry Stratakis-Allen whose hard work lately is clearly paying off!


Congratulations to all!

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Friday Night Action

March 30th,

Six players competed in only our second Friday Night Action. Heavy favorite Daniel Lowinger won the tournament with a perfect 3/3. The battle for second place was hotly contested. After a several month absence from the chess scene, David Kniffin returned and won his first two games. CCFC Director Melvin Patrick was only able to catch him after Kniffin lost in the final round to Lowinger. This created a tie for second place between Kniffin and Patrick with 2 points each.


Congratulations to the winners! We are looking forward to seeing everyone again next week!

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U1800 Class Championships

March 24th,

The competition at our first ever U1800 Class Championships was fierce. Along with several regulars of our quads, there were some relative unknowns, as well as a few up and coming juniors, leaving the stage set for many exciting encounters and upsets.


After the first three rounds it was Matthew Chan who was the only player left with a perfect score. Chan had started off in the middle of the pack, but showed much determination by defeating many of the top seeds in the tournament. Often players who start off on a hot streak are unable to maintain it, however, Chan showed that he was up to the task and won his remaining two games to win the tournament with a perfect 5/5 score! Chan also picked up an amazing 100 rating points! In second place with a solid performance was CCFC regular Leo Bykhovsky. Third place was a tie between Melvin Patrick and Hubert Herring.


Great finishes were put in by Michael Morin and Henry Stratakis-Allen who won the U1600 and U1400 respectively. Congratulations to all of the winners and we are looking forward to seeing everyone again soon!

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Friday Night Action

March 23rd,

Our first Friday Night Quads drew FM Nelson Castaneda and high school student Brian Bongiovanni to compete in a match against NM Ian Harris and CCFC Director Melvin Patrick respectively. The first match between Castaneda and Harris was a tense affair. Castaneda was looking to improve his recent streak against Harris, while Harris looked to hold get revenge for their previous encounters. Castaneda won the first game and got an early opening advantage in the second game. Just as it looked as though Harris was in over his head, he created a nice mating attack to go for the win. Castaneda defended well and the game ended in a draw. Finally, after a marathon 2nd round game, Castaneda won the third game quickly after the exhausted Harris made a mistake early in the opening.


The match between Patrick and Bongiovanni was also very interesting. Would the student be able to take on the former teacher in a head -to-head competition? Unfortunately for Bongiovanni, he still has work to do as Patrick was able win the first game after a complicated king and pawn endgame. Patrick showed no mercy and struck again in the second round. With that Patrick won the match with a perfect score!

Join us every Friday for more G/30 action!

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K-5 Scholastic Tournament

March 18th,

The K-5 tournament had a great turn out! The 3-5 Section of the tournament was very closely contested. Henry Collins, Daniel Greenbaum, and Samuel Forfang did astonishingly well, tying for first place with 3 points each! Henry Collins even had an amazing 200 point increase in his rating! Sean Thomas and Benjamin Filler tied for second place with 2.5 points. Meanwhile Ethan Xia and Dalton Brown tied for third place with 2.0 points.

The K-2 Section was also very dramatic! Elliot Greenbaum placed first with a perfect 4.0 score! Leo Koganov followed closely behind with a 3.0 taking second place. Then there was a four way tie for third place! In third place were Tyson Werner, Arushi Samal, Ethan Vayda, and Caleb Elliott who all had 2.0’s! FEveryone put a great fight! We expect good things to come from these players!

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Saturday Quads

March 17th,

Four close-knit sections meant that there would be many thrilling games and unpredictable results at this Saturday’s quads. The top section was won by Fide Master Nelson Castaneda who won all of his games! With this victory he has now won the last two tournaments at the club with a perfect 3/3 score. Can anyone stop him???

The second quad was won by second seeded David Steinberg, however it was youngster Julian Wang who stole the show by defeating expert Hanon Russell in the first round!


Another perfect performance was put in by Michael Morin in the third quad. Morin was never in any danger and finished a full 1.5 points ahead of his nearest rival.

Finally, the fourth quad was also extremely competitive with four players rated within 300 points of each other. This quad was decided in the final round in a showdown between top seeded Ellen Rosenfeld and the always dangerous Aidan Coimin. Coimin won the game to complete the third perfect score of the day and haul in a nice rating gain of over 100 points!

Congratulations to all of the winners and we are looking forward to another fun and competitive event next week!

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Dream Team v. SPARTA Chess Club

March 17th,

The CCFC’s Dream Team has posted some fantastic results in recent weeks, but we knew that our match with the Sparta (NJ) Chess Club would pose a serious challenge. Players from the Sparta CC have won many accolades in recent years, including several 2011 New Jersey state championships.


But despite Sparta’s depth and experience, we were optimistic about our chances--and we were not disappointed. The Dream Teamers struck first, outscoring Sparta 13-7 in the opening round. Bolstered by this confidence, the Dream Teamers redoubled their efforts, scoring an incredible 14.5-5.5 in the second round! A truly outstanding performance.

Indeed, nine of our players posted perfect 2.0 scores in the match, including:
• Julian Wang
• Michael Morin
• Victor Urvantsev
• Naren Krishnan
• Henry Strataki-Allen
• Dylan Young
• Dominick McConnell
• Aidan Coimin
• Leo Koganov

Next week’s matchup against a squad of high-school students might ordinarily make us nervous; but with wins like this at our back, it’s beginning to feel like there’s nothing the Dream Team can’t accomplish!

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Shark-Free CHAMPIONSHIP

March 11th,

This Sunday was our first ever Shark-Free CHAMPIONSHIP. Nineteen players participated. The top seeds going into the tournament were Carl Scovens and Al Pinto. However, there were many dark horses who would have their say before the tournament was over. There were many uncompromising games and surprise results. As it happened, talented junior Tyler Leite emerged victorious with a perfect 4/0 score! Congratulations to Tyler on a stellar result and crossing 1200!

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Winter Quads

March 8th,

As always there were many hard fought games at this week’s Thursday action tournament. Everything happened as expected and the tournament was won by top-seeded NM Daniel Lowinger. David Childs came closest to throwing the crosstable into chaos. Early in the opening Harris blundered a pawn to Childs which severely weakened his structure and king safety. Fortunately for Harris, he was able to complicate matters and won the game.

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Shark-Free Challenge

March 4th,

The Shark-Free Challenge involved four CCFC regulars. Rory Dougall, Ellen Rosenfield, Samuel Forfang, and Justin Jacob. In Round 1 Forfang won against Dougall while Rosenfeld also won against Jacob. The players put their best efforts through for Round 2, which ended up with Forfang and Rosenfeld winning yet another game. For Round 3, Dougall played against Jacob to decide 3rd and fourth place while Forfang faced off against Rosenfeld to determine first and second place. It ended with Jacob taking 4th place, Dougall placing 3rd, Rosenfeld making 2nd place, and Forfang making it to 1st place. Sam also crossed 900 and will surely now be looking to make the charge to 1000!

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Dream Team vs. NECA Greenwich Chess Club

March 4th,

By Jeff Peterson

You’d imagine that any room filled with 50 school-aged children would be flooded with noise and chaos. Yet for hours this particular room is quiet, the silence broken only by the occasional click of a chess clock.

This past Sunday, fifty children from across the region converged on the CCFC to participate in a team match: the CCFC’s “Dream Team” versus the stars of the National Educational Chess Association (NECA). The atmosphere was cordial, but with a touch of tension--the CCFC’s group is the upstart in this rivalry, and pride was on the line. Yet after all the moves were made and the results reported, the Dream Teamers emerged victorious, besting their opponents by a combined score of 25-17.

The lopsided score was a surprise to everyone, with the notable exception of Daniel Lowinger, a master-strength chess player who serves as the Dream Team’s coach. “We’ve been blessed with a talented group of kids, but it’s more than that. The members of our Dream Team have a real thirst for improvement, a willingness to work at it, and parents who support them. You won’t find a much better formula for excellence.”

With team members hailing from nearly every town in the county, many communities have cause for pride. Among the undefeated Dream Teamers were Westport’s Julian Wang, Zachary Filler, and Dominick McConnell; Stamford’s Neev Suryawanshi and Sean Thomas; New Canaan’s Andrew Gray; and Norwalk’s Bilal Memon.

The win against NECA marks the midway point in the Dream Team’s season, and Lowinger is optimistic about the matches to come. “There’s a lot of strong competition out there,” he says, “But this victory is a sign that we are the team to beat in Fairfield County. And I couldn’t be prouder.”

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Saturday Winter Quads

March 3rd,

Saturday's G30 featured a competitive 8-player Swiss. The eight players including Noah Arthurs, Hubert Herring, Melvin Patrick, Leo Bykhovsky, Lee Arthurs, Druha Karunakaran, Tyler Leite, and Matthew Chan. The games were interesting right from the start; Round 2 saw Noah Arthurs beat Bykhovsky, who was about 80 rating points higher! Then Chan and Leite also played against each other in a game which the severely underrated Leite emerged, victorious. Round 3 was the deciding factor in many of the player’s placements. In the end there was a tie for 2nd place Herring, Bykhovsky, and Patrick for 2nd place. Noah Arthurs was the victor for the night with a perfect 3/3 score! Congratulations to all!

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Friday Night Blitz

March 2nd,

This Friday the “house”, made up of NM Ian Harris and Melvin Patrick, was challenged by Expert Alex Eydelman and Julio Maldonado. Things were looking good for the challengers as Maldonado split his match with Harris. Meanwhile, Eydelman defeated Patrick twice, setting up a crucial last round showdown. Harris, a full point behind Eydelman needed to win both games in order to clinch 1st place. However, Eydelman is an extremely dangerous player and has scored well against Harris over the past few weeks. Harris rose to the occasion and managed to recover from his loss to Maldonado by winning both games against Eydelman and thus winning the tournament!

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Winter Quads

March 1st,

With four very experienced chess players playing in the Winter Quads, it’s no surprise that it was exciting. Leif Pressman, David Childs, Melvin Patrick, and Ian Harris fought to checkmate in these three rounds. In Round 1 Pressman took a quick point from Childs. Harris also won his match against Patrick setting the mood for the final round. In Round 3, Harris and Pressman played against each other in a grueling match. In a rare opening, Pressman blundered a pawn early, but Harris later returned the favor to head into an unclear ending. In the end, Harris made the final mistake allowing Pressman to emerge as the tournament victor! Congratulations to Leif Pressman!

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K-5 Scholastic Championships

February 26th,

As is now the norm, the K-5 Scholastic Championships continues to grow! This month nearly 30 students participated. The winner of the K-2 section was CCFC student Samuel Forfang who yielded only one draw to Dream Teamer Mikey Lau. There was an impressive tie for 2nd – 5th place. Mikey Lau, Sean Thomas, Benjamin Filler and Dalton Brown all finished with 3 points!


In the 3rd – 5th grade section, Brandon Wang impressed with a perfect score! Brandon defeated many strong players on his way to victory, including the always dangerous Leo Koganov and top seeded Henry Stratakis-Allen! This section also had a large tie for 2nd – 5th place between Henry Stratakis-Allen, Frank Drugge, Matthew Lutjen Weinstock, and Eric Stein.

Congratulation to all of the winners and we look forward to seeing you at our next K-5 Scholastic on March 18th!

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Saturday Winter Quads

February 25th,

Saturday Winter Quads at CCFC included 3 sections and 14 players! Section 1 was a Quad, in which Joshua Colas, Leif Pressman, Daniel Lowinger, and Sam Alex Barsky played. After some intense struggles that came down to the last seconds, New Yorker Joshua Colas, took first place with 2.5 points while Pressman followed close behind with a 2.0.

Section 2 involved Melvin Patrick, Guy Colas, Hubert Herring, Druha Karunakaran, Tom Dionne, and Leo Bykhovsky in a swiss. This section was so competitive that after the first two rounds, the two top seeds had not managed to score any points! Our very own, Melvin Patrick took first place honors with 3 points! Colas made second with 2 points! Having 4 closely rated players in the Quad for the 3rd section made the outcome very tight. Matthew Chan and David Childs tied for first place with 2.5 points! Congratulations to all!

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Dream Team vs. Westchester & SYF All Stars

February 25th,

The Dream Team bonded together to face two teams, Westchester Chess School and the Stamford Youth All-Stars on this Saturday! The 7 Stamford Youth All-Stars players struggled against the Dream Team. In the first round, Benjamin Walker, Jason Lessing, Matthew Weinstock, Sean Thomas, and Emilie Wasserman all won their games! 2 points were given to Stamford by Bevy Rutledge and Brett Lubliner’s check mates, making the score for the round 5-2. In round 2 Samuel Forfang and Brett Lubliner won their games for Stamford. Weinstock, Thomas, Aalok Bhattacharya, and Vrishak Duriseti gained 4 points for the Dream Team! Emilie Wasserman and John Ryan-Dowling drew giving both teams half a point. The Dream Team ended up winning against the Stamford Youth All-Stars 9.5-4.5.


Meanwhile, the other half of the Dream Team had their work cut out for them against the strong Westchester Chess School. In Round 1 Zachary Filler, Dominick McConnell, Bilal Memon, and Rhythm Satav won their games to give the Dream Team 4 points. However, Leo van Osdol, Ricky Major, Jack Gomez, and Karl Elmore won another 4 points for Westchester’s team! The tie from the first round put a lot of pressure on the second round and everyone gave it their all. Karl Elmore and Ricky Major both won their games, while Jake Seidman and Jack Gomez tied against Dream Teamers Cyrus Pearson and Benjamin Walker giving Westchester Chess school 3 points. Along with those two ties, Filler, McConnell, Memon, and Dalton Brown all won their games leaving the Dream Team with 5 points winning the round and the match against Westchester with a final score of 9-7! Well done everyone!

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Friday Night Blitz

February 24th,

Friday Blitz was an intense contest between NM Ian Harris and Expert Alex Eydelman for 1st place and between CCFC Director Melvin Patrick and Michael Morin for the U1800 prize. Besides some fireworks in the games, there were few surprises in the standings and Patrick defeated Morin twice to finish comfortably ahead of him. Meanwhile, Harris and Eydelman split their all-important showdown with two draws and tied for 1st place.

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Winter Quads

February 23rd,

It was a super competitive night at the Chess Club of Fairfield County as six players battled it out for top honors. With no less than three masters in the section, this would not be a cakewalk for anyone. However, Leif Pressman was up to the challenge and won all three of his games, defeating National Masters Daniel Lowinger and Ian Harris on his way to victory! Harris and Lowinger tied for 2nd place. Congratulations to Pressman on a fine performance!

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President's Day Scholastic

February 20th,

The Chess Club of Fairfield County's President's Day scholastic tournament was a huge success! 38 players participated in three highly competitive sections. Our middle section was particularly strong with four players (all members of our Dream Team) rated over 1400! In the end, Julian Wang and Neev Suryawanshi tied for 1st with 3 points each. Impressive performances were shown by Andrew Rogozinski and Bilal Memon who both made considerable rating gains!





In the grades 3 - 5 section, it was Henry Stratakis-Allen who was undefeated and claimed the first place prize. Close behind were Alex Huggins and Arushi Samal, both with 3 points. Tied for 4th - 5th were Matthew Lutjen Weinstock and Patrick O'Brien Jr!

Finally, in the K-2 section Brandon Wang proved to be unstoppable as he won all four games! Tied for 2nd - 4th were CCFC regulars Benjamin Filler, Dalton Brown and Justin Jacob. Just behind them tied for 5th place were Sean Thomas and Henry Collins.

Congratulations to all of the winners and thank you to everyone that came out and made the tournament a success!

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Shark-Free Challenge

February 19th,

Returning for battle at this week’s Shark-Free Championship were Ellen Rosenfeld, Patrick O’Brien Sr. and Patrick O’Brien Jr. The most anticipated showdown was between Rosenfeld and O’Brien Sr. As it happened, the rematch from the previous week took place in round 1. It was a marathon one hour battle and this time however, O’Brien had the final say! O’Brien then continued unbeaten to win the tournament with a perfect score!

 

Winter Quads

February 18th,

On Saturday, the CCFC was the scene of two sections of Quads in which ten players fought hard and well for each point.

In the first section, Nelson Castaneda emerged victorious with a perfect 3.0 after defeating National Masters Daniel Lowinger, Oliver Chernin and Ian Harris. Lowinger had to settle for second place after a draw against Chernin, and a victory over Harris. Chernin also managed a draw against Harris for third place leaving Harris to bring up the rear.

In Section 2, Sam Barsky emerged victorious with a perfect 3.0 after defeating Jeffrey Peterson, Brian Arpie, and Ethan Segall. Sharing second place were Segall and Arpie with 2 wins each to soothe their defeat by Barsky. Peterson managed a victory over Justin Blum and Blum, in turn, defeated Leo Bykhovsky to round out the day. Of note is the fact that both Arpie and Blum were unrated going into the day’s tournament and more than held their own. Well done, gentlemen!

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Friday Night Blitz

February 17th,

Tonight, regulars NM Ian Harris, Alex Eydelman and Melvin Patrick were joined by Norwalk native Raffaello Piccoli for another exciting night of blitz chess. On paper, Harris was the favorite, however Eydelman had defeated him twice the week before so he knew he would have his work cut out for him. This much anticipated face-off came in the second round. Harris won the first game but Eydelman struck back, winning the second game to level the score. This wasn’t quite the revenge that Harris had been looking for, but it was enough to give him good chances to win the tournament. Eydelman, Piccoli and Patrick all traded points. Patrick managed to score one point against both Piccoli and Eydelman. Although Piccoli out rated Eydelman by the slimmest of margins, he was unable to get the necessary point off of Harris and Eydelman won the U2100 prize. View the crosstable below for the final standings.

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Winter Quads

February 16th,



The CCFC Winter Quads were the scene of fierce competition as no one scored a perfect 3.0 and a higher rating was no guarantee of victory! In the first round, Ian Harris beat David Childs, Daniel Lowinger won against Noah Arthurs, and Kapil Chandran defeated Maurice Rosado. That set up the second round showdown between Harris and Lowinger, and Harris emerged victorious. Arthurs managed a draw against the higher rated Chandran and David Childs pulled out a victory against Rosado. In the final round Harris’ winning streak was ended as he drew against Chandran. Lowinger managed defeat Childs and Arthurs defeated Rosado. Stay tuned for results from the next Thursday Winter Quads.

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Shark-Free Challenge

February 12h,

Eight players competed in this weekend’s Shark-Free Challenge. Pre-tournament favorites included Evan Helman and Ellen Rosenfeld. However, as often it is the case, a new unrated player joined the field, throwing off anyone’s tournament predictions. This player was high-schooler Santiago Montoya, who has recently gotten back into chess and often spars with players at the club during Coffee Casual on Wednesday nights. It seems the practice has paid off, as Santiago won all three of his games to take sole first place! There was a three way tie for second between Evan Helman, Ellen Rosenfeld and Patrick O’Brien Jr. who was only playing in his second tournament at the CCFC. Patrick also finished ahead of his father who also played in the tournament! Overall it was a fun and memorable event and we hope to see everyone again soon!

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Saturday Winter Quads

February 11,

The return of our Winter Quads to Saturdays drew out some of the strongest local players. The top quad featured three masters and strong Expert Kapil Chandran, who no doubt will soon be in this category as well. Dan Lowinger, Ian Harris, and Oliver Chernin joined Kapil for the exciting three round showdown. After a miracle escape from Chernin in round 2, Lowinger recovered to take first place with a nearly perfect 2.5. Chandran put in a solid performance and finished in second place with 1.5. Harris and Chernin tied for third place with 1.

Meanwhile six players: Daniel Nussbaum, Ethan Segall, Matthew Chan, Alexandra Wiener, Raffaello Piccoli, and Maurice Rosado played in a Swiss. Rosado's recent streak ended against this tough field. Nussbaum won the section with 2.5 points, but it was Matthew Chan who stole the show. Chan went undefeated, drawing with both Nussbaum and Segall, and winning against Rosado to pick up over 40 points and cross the 1600 mark! Wow!

The club will be hosting another quads this Saturday. Join us!

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Friday Night Blitz

February 10th,

This Friday, our blitz regulars were joined by CT National Master Harris Appelman. Appelman has been inactive in tournament chess for quite some time, but don’t let that fool you. According to him, he has been playing blitz exclusively, even winning the CT Blitz Championship several times. Would he be able to prove his skills at the CCFC? Indeed he did, as he only gave up one draw to Expert Alex Eydelman and defeated NM Ian Harris twice to claim clear first! In second place was Eydelman who also had a good night, defeating Ian Harris twice as well! Join us next week to find out what excitement is in store!

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Thursday Winter Quads

February 9th,

Thursday's Winter Quads became heated as Melvin Patrick, Maurice Rosado, Carl Scovens, and Ian Harris played to win. With a large rating advantage over the rest of the field, it was no surprise that Harris ended up taking home first place with 3 points. Meanwhile Rosado surprised CCFC yet again with his playing. In only his second rated tournament ever, Rosado managed to defeat tournament veterans Patrick and Scovens to finish ahead of them with 2 points. What a great tournament! Don't miss it next week!

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Shark-Free Challenge

February 5th,

Newcomer Maurice Rosado gave the CCFC regulars a run for their money in the Shark-Free tournament on Sunday. Rory Dougall and Ellen Rosenfeld, two recurring opponents, faced off with each other, in a game which Rosenfeld emerged victorious! Two thumbs up go to Rosado, who was beaten only by Evan Helman in an extraordinary showdown and held his own! The tournament ended in a three way tie between Helman, Rosenfeld, and Rosado, each having two points. What a great tournament!

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Friday Night Blitz

February 3rd,

It would prove to be a very interesting night at the Chess Club last Friday! Six experienced and high rated players faced off in a glorious double round robin. The tournament started off with a bang when Arthur Xanthos (who recently returned to the chess scene) took out top seed Ian Harris by scoring 1.5/2. However, Harris was able to shake off this defeat and won all of his remaining games to take home the first prize! The U2100 prize went to Alex Eydelman and the U1800 went to Alexander Reis! Congratulations to all of the winners!

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Thursday Winter Quads

February 2nd

All was fun in games in the Winter Quads on 2/3, last Thursday. The four players, Melvin B. Patrick, David Childs, Alexander Reis, and Michael Morin were all very close in rating, making it a very entertaining event. Every game was hard fought. Our own Melvin Patrick was out of sorts and was not able to keep his top spot ont he table. Reis soon took home the victory after winning every game, including a nice win against Patrick in the final round!

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Dream Team v. NECA Greenwich CC

January 29t,

On Sunday our Dream Team had its 2nd match of the season against the NECA Greenwich Chess Club, coached by Alex Eydelman. Although the Dream Team held significant rating advantages on most boards, this talented group of students turned out to be quite a challenge for the Dream Team.

The Dream Team won the first round with a convincing 10-5 score. However the NECA players did not make it easy. Their board one Eric Wang downed our first board Zachary Filler who was rated almost 800 points higher than Eric! This was an unexpected and truly impressive result! Perhaps sensing weakness, the NECA team was out for blood in the 2nd round. This time the games were much closer. In the end thanks to the great effort put in by all of the Dream Teamers, we managed to win the 2nd round by a much closer score of 8-7! Congratulations to the Dream Team on their 2nd victory in a row!

The final score was 18-12.

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Shark-Free Challenge

January 29th,

Returning to the Shark-Free Challenge after a brief hiatus was Aidan Coimin. Coimin entered the tournament as the top seed, but regulars Ellen Rosenfeld and Rory Dougall were not going to make that easy, as they are always dangerous. As fate would have it Dougall and Rosenfeld faced off in the first round, with Rosenfeld emerging victorious.

Next Coimin faced off against Dougall and after a long battle, he was able to convert the game in his favor. Finally, in the last round Coimin faced Rosenfeld. The two had a very long and entertaining game which could have gone either way. Finally, Coimin managed to win and thus the tournament victory was his with a perfect 3/3 score!

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Friday Night Blitz

January 27th,

Eight participants battled it out for top honors on Friday’s blitz tournament. The field was strong as usual, with three highly experienced experts and one master making up the top half of the table. The bottom half was also competitive with four players ranging from 1100 – 1700. The excitement began in the first round with Jeff Peterson drawing twice with local Expert Raffaello Piccoli. In the 2nd round the top seeds all split while Alexander Reis and Melvin Patrick both won their matches with 2-0 scores. The game Reis Patrick in the following round had enormous implications for the winner of the U1800 prize. After two hard fought games, it was Reis who emerged with two points, almost guaranteeing him for the U1800 prize.

In the final round, Reis fell twice to Harris, giving Patrick a chance to catch up if he could manage to upset Piccoli. Patrick almost pulled off the impossible comeback by beating Piccoli in the first game. However, he was unable to win again in the second game. Congratulations to Reis for winning the U1800! Meanwhile, Ian Harris and Alex Eydelman tied for first with 7/8. To break the tie an impromptu two game blitz playoff was held to determine the absolute winner. Fueled by determination, Harris defeated Eydelman in back to back games. Congratulations to him and all the winners!

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Winter Quads

January 26th,

Nobody passed through unscathed in this week’s Winter Quads. Expert Kapil Chandran joined National Masters Daniel Lowinger and Ian Harris, as well as CCFC Director Melvin Patrick in what would turn out to be a thrilling quad. The Harris – Chandran round one match-up was intense! Black got a quick opening advantage but then missed a tactic which handed the advantage back to White. The game quickly became a mess of tactics. Although Black’s King was surrounded by a hoard of White pieces, Harris had trouble finding a straight-forward path to victory and almost allowed Chandran to escape. In the end he had to simplify to an endgame to bring in the full point.

Chandran recovered nicely in round two in his game against Lowinger. The two reached a complex endgame and in time trouble Lowinger missed the best continuation which allowed Chandran to get up an exchange in a pawn endgame. However, the position was deceptive and the win was not easy. Lowinger created complications and was able to hold onto the game in the end. Everything went according to plan in the final round. Congratulations to Daniel Lowinger!

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Shark-Free Challenge

January 22nd,

Shark-Free stalwarts Ellen Rosenfeld and Rory Dougall battled it out in a 3 round match. In game one youth prevailed as Rory demonstrated the power of a discovered attack winning Ellen's queen. But the tenacious Rosenfeld subdued the yougnster in the final two games.

2012 CCFC Club Championship

January 21st,

Our very own CCFC Instructor GM Mikheil Kekelidze is the 2012 CCFC Club Champion! Congratulations to him on his fine clear 1st place performance, topping a field that included 1 other GM, 2 IMs, and a host of masters, experts, and class A players! Finishing in joint 2-3 were GM Eugene Perelshteyn and Alexander Ostrovskiy.

Clear 1st place in the U1800 section went to CCFC regular Noah Arthurs who finished with an incredible perfect 5/5 score! Games coming soon!

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Friday Night Blitz

January 20th,

On the surface Friday's Blitz results were expected with all participants scoring in rating order. But a little peak under the surface reveals that occasionally a B player takes a bite out of a master. That's what happened when CCFC's club director Melvin Patrick and club manager Ian Harris squared off. Unfortunately for Patrick this was his last win of the night. For the second week in a row, young New York phenom Ben Gershenov took the gold. CCFC's Blitz ironman Oswaldo Fernandez took third.

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Winter Quads

January 19th,

In this edition of Thursday Action NM Daniel Lowinger proved to be too much for NM Ian Harris and Kapil Chandran cruising to 3-0. It is true that the only way to become a master is to beat masters. With this in mind, the teenaged Kapil is well on his way as he took down Harris. Melvin Patrick brought Kapil to the edge but Chandran escaped leaving Patrick winless.

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Shark-Free Challenge

January 15,


The afternoon Shark-Free Challenge was exciting as usual. There is always one dark horse who the players must be wary of. This week that player was Robbert van Batenburg who decided to play in his first rated tournament! Robbert is no newcomer to the game and was hoping to score well. Alas, regulars Rory Dougall and Ellen Rosenfeld had other ideas and both managed to defeat Robbert despite some tough struggles. This week fate sided with experience. Rosenfeld put in an impressive showing to win the tournament with a perfect score, defeating Dougall along the way!

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K-5 Scholastic Championships

January 15,



With the holiday weekend, it was anyone’s guess how many players would show up for this month’s K-5 Scholastic Championship. Despite many of our regulars being out of town, we still managed a respectable turnout of 18 young, enthusiastic chess players. As always there were many impressive games being played. Perhaps more impressive were the attitudes of the players themselves. Everyone demonstrated exceptional sportsmanship whether they won or lost. The K-2 and 3-5 sections were won by Dream Teamer Jason Lessing and Terrence McGrath respectively. Each put in an impressive performance and won all four of their games! Keep an eye on these two, as we expect great things from them in the future!

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Friday Night Blitz

January 13,

Top seed at this week’s Friday Blitz was incredibly strong as Alex Reis returned along with his friend NM Ben Gershenov who was visiting the club for the first time. Gershenov edged out NM Ian Harris for the top seed. As fate would have it, the two masters faced off in the first round. In the first game Gershenov held a strong advantage for most of the game. Harris put up strong resistance and was able to reach a theoretically drawn endgame, but with only a few seconds remaining on his clock. The first game went to Gershenov. The second game was the opposite as it was Harris who got an early advantage and then never let go. The match was level at 1-1.

The remaining games were fierce as experts Oswaldo Fernandez and Alex Eydelman, as well as Club Director Melvin Patrick and Alex Reis were eager to have their say. Indeed, there were many tough battles to come with both Harris and Gershenov getting upset multiple times. Patrick nicked Gershenov for a draw in round 4. Perhaps the most impressive result was by Reis who defeated Harris in an extremely unbalanced game and who also managed to draw with Gershenov in the final round. Harris also gave up a half point to Fernandez which gave Gershenov the overall win by the narrowest of margins!

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Winter Quads

January 12,

This week our Winter Quads turned into a Winter Match, with Al Pinto and Carl Scovens going head to head in three G/30 games. Scovens held a slight rating advantage over Pinto, but Pinto has been on the rise, with his rating recently crossing over the 1000 mark. It would turn out to be a long night as both players wanted desperately to win and each game came down to the last few minutes. Scovens won the first game in nice style, at least temporarily putting a stop to Pinto’s recent success.

In the second game Scovens struck again and was looking good to win the match 3-0. However, Pinto must be commended for his fighting spirit as he did not collapse as many players might in such circumstances and give Scovens the easy 3-0 that he was looking for. Instead Pinto arrived to the last game as if it was the first one and quickly took the upper hand and then proceeded to play with ruthless accuracy against Scovens who could not recover. Congratulations to both players on an excellent match!

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Shark-Free Challenge

January 78,

Six competitors took part in the Shark-Free Challenge this week. CCFC newcomer Grant Wang joined the field of regulars. Although rated just below 500 the other participants were wary of him, and reasonably so. Grant had only played two prior tournaments and more recently had some impressive results, defeating a 1700 at his last event just a couple of weeks prior. However, fate was not on his side today as he lost in the first round to Ellen Rosenfeld.

Rosenfeld then fell to middle-schooler Evan Helman in the second round. Going into the final round only Helman had a perfect score with CCFC Dream Teamer Matthew Lutjen Weinstock the only one left in his way. It was a tense battle as Helman won some material early on.

Weinstock put up great resistance, but Helman was able to successfully navigate the complications that arose and brought home the full point. With this win, Helman won clear first with 3/3, a point ahead of Rosenfeld and Wang who had staged an impressive comeback.

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January G/60 Open

January 7,

The penultimate event in our CCFC Championship Series lived up to its hype with 23 players representing a wide rating spread from newly minted "Sharks" and CCFC regulars Alan Pinto and Carl Scovens, all the way up to chess legend and International Master, Jay Bonin. The games were heated and intense, and contained many nasty surprises, causing friends to become rivals and feelings to run amok! Long-time friends and co-staff members NM Ian Harris and NM Harry Wheeler crossed swords in the final round in a high-drama battle to the death. One of Ian's final moves placed his knight en prise to no less than four enemy pieces in his blood-thirst for mate!

Lowinger-Pressman, in a battle for first on board 2 was equally tense. Leif had prepared deeply against Lowinger's pet Scandinavian system and secured a significant advantage not long after the opening. Then the miracles began: the sky opened, the waters gushed forth, and Lowinger, suffering on the clock and the board, seeking desperately for a draw, managed miraculously to find a path to victory and a perfect 3-0 to tie for first. On board 1, top-seed IM Jay Bonin faced CCFC newcomer NM Michael Thaler who played aggressively against Bonin's pet line in a strange Caro-modern-gurgenidze hybrid (beginning with 1...c6, 2...a6!?!?!?). Thaler maintained a space advantage throughout the game and converted in the end for a perfect 3-0 finish and a rating of over 2300. Near experts Ethan Segall, Nicolas Checa and (name) shared U2100, Kevin Zimmerman won clear 1st U1800, and Al Pinto won U1300. Congratulations to all participants.

With such an event as an omen, the Club Championship on the 21st promises to be a tournament for the ages. See you there!

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Friday Night Blitz

January 6,


The results for blitz tournaments are almost always highly unpredictable. Our Friday Blitz tournaments are no exception. The competition was night and nobody got through unscathed. CCFC Director Melvin Patrick continued with his good showings and scored two points against expert competition. Top seeded NM Ian Harris split points with both experts Alex Eydelman and Oswaldo Fernandez, allowing Eydelman to catch him for a tie for first with 4/6 points. We are looking forward to next week’s exciting night of blitz action!

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Winter Quads

January 5th,

This Thursday’s Winter Quads was filled with drama as CCFC instructors Ian Harris and David Childs participated in a quad with college student Garrett Browning and expert Alex Eydelman. The fireworks began as early as round one when Browning upset Eydelman in a fantastically complicated game! Browning next faced NM Ian Harris but mixed up his opening moves. This allowed Harris to seize material and the initiative early on and Browning was unable to recover.

In the final round Childs looked to get his first win of the tournament against Browning. Although down a piece he created some very threatening challenges for his opponent to figure out and nearly created a successful attack. However, Browning defended well and converted the win. Meanwhile, Harris was out for revenge against Eydelman after losing to him during their previous encounter. Eydelman managed to net a pawn after some opening complications but Harris was able to create some long term positional weaknesses which eventually cost Eydelman the game. Thus Harris squeaked by and won the tournament with 3/3!

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Shark-Free Challenge

January 1,

Five players competed in this weeks’ Shark-Free Challenge, our first tournament of the New year! The top seeds entering the tournament were Al Pinto and Evan Helman who both were looking to surpass the 1000 rating mark. Joining them were regulars Ellen Rosenfeld, Aidan Coimin and Aalok Bhattacharya who all were looking to put in strong performances. Everything was going as expected until the second round when Dream Teamer Bhattacharya defeated Coimin after the latter overlooked a forced checkmating sequence.

The clash of the titans between Pinto and Helman saw Pinto win an exchange early and then convert it into a win despite the enormous pressure that Helman put on Pinto’s king’s position. In the final round the two undefeated players (Pinto and Bhattacharya) faced off while Rosenfeld and Helman dueled for a chance at second place. In the end, the tournament favorites prevailed in both games. A special congratulations to Al Pinto for winning another tournament with a perfect score and crossing 1000 at a new all time high!

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Friday Night Blitz

December 30th,

Hanon Russell joined our blitz night regulars to make this blitz tournament one of our stronger ones to date with one master and three formidable experts. This meant that the battle for the U2100 prize was going to be intense. Expert Alex Eydelman lost both games in the first round to Ian Harris, allowing Russell to take an early lead. In the fourth round Russell and Eydelman split their match and going into the final round held scores of 5.5 and 5.0 respectively. Just behind was Oswaldo Fernandez with 4.0.

In the exciting finale Fernandez nearly pulled a remarkable comeback by defeating Russell 2-0 and jumping up to 6 points. Despite this strong finish, it was Eydelman that did just enough against CCFC Director Melvin Patrick to clinch the U2100 prize by half a point! Don’t miss the action next Friday!

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Winter Quads

Decmeber 29th,

The first edition of our Winter Quads saw eight people compete in two highly competitive quads. The top quad was won by our own NM Daniel Lowinger with a perfect 3/3 score. Local expert Alex Eydelman had a strong showing, defeating NM Ian Harris in a tough second round battle that came down to the last seconds. The second quad was also very competitive with three players ranked from 1400 – 1700. Things were going as expected until the top seeded Melvin Patrick fell to Garrett Browning in the final round. Thus Browning won the section, also with a perfect 3/3 score! Thanks to everyone who attended and we look forward to seeing you all again soon.

 

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AK Quads

December 27th,

Our good friend Abraham Kunin visited the chess club and directed a strong quad with two masters. Joining NMs Daniel Lowinger and Ian Harris were near expert Ethan Segall and Kunin himself! The tournament was a blood bath as Lowinger almost fell to Segall in the first round, only to save himself at the last minute. In the second round Harris and Lowinger battled to a draw, but the story of the tournament was Kunin’s upset victory over Segall! It was an exciting night of chess at the club and we are already looking forward to another visit from Abraham (hopefully in the near future)!

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Friday Night Blitz

December 23rd,

Friday Night Blitz was about as close as it can get. Things were not looking good for top-seeded NM Ian Harris after losing his very first game to the bottom-seeded CCFC Director Melvin Patrick. Harris also gave up a point to expert Oswaldo Fernandez. Meanwhile, Patrick followed up his upset of Harris to also upset expert Alex Eydelman, taking a point away from him! In the final round, Patrick completed his Hat-Trick and defeated Fernandez in their first game.

The final round was especially critical for Harris as Eydelman had built up one game lead. This made it necessary for Harris to win both games against him in order to claim clear first. This is no small task against an opponent of Eydelman’s calibur, but Harris was up to it and won both games to leap frog into the lead! Patrick and Eydelman ended up tied for 1st in the U2100. Congratulations to Patrick on a fine performance!

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Autumn Quads

December 22nd,

Over the last few weeks our Thursday night quads have been quite exciting! This week was also very strong with two masters and an expert at the top of the table and four players rated between 1400-1800, including Garrett Browning who came of out of a seven year retirement to do battle at the club. The favorite, CCFC Scholastic Director and NM Daniel Lowinger, fell in the second round to NM Ian Harris after Harris won a difficult endgame struggle. Going into the final round, Harris was tied with local expert Rafaello Piccoli. After a hard fought game that ended in a draw, Piccoli and Harris split the top honors with 2.5/3 each. Thank you to everyone that came out and we are looking forward to another successful night next week!

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Shark-Free Challenge

December 18th,

With so many cutthroat battles, who would ever expect this was a “Shark-Free” tournament? Draws in our weekly Shark-Free Challenge are usually far and few between and this week did not disappoint. Top seeded Carl Scovens came in as the heavy favorite with about 300 rating points between him and the next player. But by no means did this mean an easy victory, as Scovens found himself in trouble in two of his games. Ellen Rosenfeld was the closest to defeating him in the final round, but faltered at the end of the game giving Scovens the win! Thank you to everyone that came out for the tournament and we look forward to many more exciting Shark-Free Challenges in the New Year!

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K-5 Scholastic Championships

December 18th,

The December K-5 Championships drew 16 players divided into two sections. The competition in the K-2 section was fierce with nobody managing a perfect or undefeated score. The eventual winner of the section was Dream Teamer Dalton Brown! Dalton has been on fire lately, having won his section with a perfect 4-0 score at the previous week’s NECA tournament.


In competition was also stiff in the 3-5 section. In the final round Dream Teamers Dominick McConnell (3/3) and Bryan Weisz (2.5/3) faced off to determine the winner of the tournament. Bryan managed to win a piece out of the opening and looked well on the way to winning the tournament. However Dominick is a very resourceful player and he took advantage of Bryan’s uncastled King, mating him in the middle of the board! Congratulations to Dominick on a well-earned victory! Special mention should be given to Bryan who after coming so close to victory only to find himself being checkmated, immediately congratulated his opponent on playing a great game! Bryan demonstrated great maturity and sportsmanship that hopefully we all can learn from.

Congratulations to all of the winners! We are looking forward to seeing you all again very soon!

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December G/30 Open

December 17th,

With well over $400 in guaranteed prizes on the line, a very strong contingent of players descended on the club, including one grandmaster and two international masters. As a testament to the strength of this tournament, half of the tournament was filled with masters! Again this tournament was highly unpredictable as the top seeded GM Kekelidze drew in the first round against NM Oliver Chernin!

This gave the IMs a golden opportunity to take over the lead, and they did not hesitate. In the penultimate round they faced off with IM Bonin defeating IM Sarkar in a complex endgame. The final round saw GM Kekelidze and IM Bonin square-off for top honors. After entering what appeared to be an even endgame (if not better for the IM), Kekelidze proceeded to show masterful technique to win a multiple pawn endgame while he had a knight vs. a bishop! Congratulations to GM Mikheil Kekelidze on a fine performance and to everyone that won prizes and rating points!

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Friday Night Blitz

December 16th,

Trying to predict what will happen at our Friday Night Blitz events is nearly impossible. Alexander Reis returned, determined to score against CCFC regulars Ian Harris, Oswaldo Fernandez and Melvin Patrick, in what would turn out to be an exciting double round robin. Reis was rewarded with a first round win against Fernandez but then lost both to Harris in the second round. Patrick also managed to nick Fernandez for a point which set up a very climactic final round finish. Although it seemed that Harris was going to win the tournament comfortably, as he had yet to drop a point and had a two point lead over Fernandez, the U1800 prize was still up for grabs and it all hinged on the outcome of the rematch from last week between Patrick and Reis.

This time they started their match level and it was Reis who won the first game and then proceeded to win the second in convincing fashion to win the U1800 prize. Meanwhile there were fireworks on the top board when Fernandez dealt Harris a crushing defeat in the first game and followed up by winning a piece early on in the second. If Fernandez were to beat Harris in the second game then he would complete a remarkable comeback and tie for first! Unfortunately for him, Harris managed to reach a highly complicated endgame where his pawns proved to be too strong for the extra bishop held by his opponent and even managed to win! Thus ended another exciting edition of Friday Night Blitz!

Crosstable

 

Shark-Free Challenge

December 11th,

Today was one of the most exciting Shark-Free Challenges yet! Over the last two months, the tournament has been won almost exclusively by either Carl Scovens or Evan Helman. However, they have not had the chance to face each other yet. Only one could triumph this week. Who would continue their winning ways this week? Or would someone else rise to the top? This time they both entered the tournament along with four regulars and two relative newcomers who are always unpredictable and dangerous. It was anyone’s tournament for the taking!

As fate would have it, the highly anticipated match between Helman and Scovens occurred in the second round. After winning a piece in the middle game, it was Scovens who emerged victorious. Another tournament victory seemed almost assured for Scovens, whose actual rating is almost 1100, but not before CCFC regular Al Pinto had his say. In a very exciting and tense final round game Pinto got the best of Scovens to finish with 3/3 and clear first place, thus ending the Helman/Scovens domination of Shark-Free! Congratulations to Al for his well-earned first place finish!

Crosstable

 

 

Friday Night Blitz

December 9th,

Friday Night is Blitz Night at the Chess Club of Fairfield County. Playing in his first Friday blitz tournament at CCFC was Alexander Reis. He joined CCFC regulars Oswaldo Fernandez, Al Pinto, Melvin Patrick and Ian Harris. Having a nice rating advantage, Harris cruised to victory with little difficulty. With almost identical ratings, the U1800 prize was going to be hotly contested between Reis and Patrick. Reis managed to pick up a crucial win against Fernandez earlier in the tournament to put himself ahead of Patrick by a point. The final round was the Reis – Patrick showdown that would determine the winner of the U1800 prize. Patrick needed to win both games as Reis had a one point advantage going into the match. Patrick succeeded in winning the first game to level the score, but Reis struck back in the second game to clinch the victory! Congratulations to all of the winners and we look forward to another successful blitz tournament next Friday!

Crosstable

Autumn Quads

Decemeber 8th,

This Thursday CCFC’s Melvin Patrick and Ian Harris were joined by Alexander Reis and Al Pinto for an exciting quad. Although Harris was the heavy rating favorite, it was not smooth sailing. Most of the excitement took place in the second round when Harris almost fell to Reis and Pinto went for an all-out attack against Patrick! The Reis-Harris game was highly complex with Harris having the initiative for most of the game. However, entering time trouble Harris blundered, giving Reis the opportunity to win on the spot. Fortunately for Harris, Reis did not play the best move and instead played a move that allowed Harris to checkmate him!

In the game Pinto – Patrick, White sacrificed a piece in order to launch a fierce attack against the enemy King. However, Patrick defended well and gave back just enough material to survive. Once the threat to his King was over, Patrick was able to bring home the full point in the endgame. Thanks to everyone who participated! It was a very fun night with hard fought and exciting matches. Don’t miss next week’s tournament!

Crosstable

 

Shark-Free Challenge

December 4th,

The competition was stiff at this week's Shark-Free Challenge. The two top seeds, entering with 900 ratings, were Carl Scovens and Al Pinto. Their match took place in round two. After an interesting opening struggle, Scovens emerged up an exchange. Despite a later mistake, he was still able to convert the game into a win. After winning his last round game against Daniel Kleine, Scovens claimed sole 1st place! Next week should be another exciting affair. Don't miss it!

Crosstable

5th Annual Fairfield County Open

December 3rd,

This weekend’s 5th Annual Fairfield County Open brought us back to our roots. The tournament, which CCFC Director Melvin Patrick launched back in 2007, has grown from a local affair to become one of the strongest blitz tournaments in the Northeast, if not the country. As a measure of how far we’ve come, the inaugural tournament (see the crosstable here) attracted four players of master strength. The 2011 edition featured six GMs and three IMs, not to mention such CCFC stalwarts as FM Leif Pressman and NM Oliver Chernin.


Foreground: GM Robert Hess (W) vs. GM Mikheil Kekelidze (B) Background: GM Eugene Perelshteyn (W) vs. GM Ian Rogers (B)

The action was sharp from the outset, with visiting Australian GM Ian Rogers storming to a 4.0 lead after four rounds. This brash play seems to have fired up GMs Kudrin, Perelshteyn, and Stripunsky, who all posted wins in rounds 5 and 6 to pull ahead of Rogers.

The seventh and final round saw some real action. The duel on board 1 was anticlimactic, with Kudrin and Perelshteyn taking a “GM draw” and splitting the top prize. But the real drama was down below. GMs Kekelidze and Stripunsky, each of whom could have shared in first with a win, engaged in a furious battle; Stripunsky showed remarkable resilience in hanging onto a draw. But the real surprise came from our own Kapil Chandran, who defeated GM Robert Hess (rated #4 in the US!) to finish with 5.0/7 and a share of the prize money! And we would be remiss if we failed to mention the accomplishments of Dream Teamer Rohan Suryawanshi, who scored a stunning upset of Hanon Russell in the final round to take a piece of the U18 prize.


First round action in the main playing room.

But above and beyond the competitive element, it was a great afternoon at the club. We sent several participants home with free t-shirts and other prizes (such as a bag for “most supportive spouse,” awarded to GM Roger’s lovely wife Cathy). There was even a bit of a chuckle, as GMs Perelshteyn and Stripunsky originally headed over to our old haunt at the Norwalk Public Library.

Congratulations to all our winners, and our thanks to all our participants. We look forward to seeing you at our next Championship Series events!

Games

Crosstable

 

Shark-Free Challenge

November 27th,

What a tournament, what a tournament! CCFC Dream Teamer Matthew Weinstock, despite entering with the lowest rating in the event, stormed to the top with a perfect finish, defeating grizzled veterans Ellen Rosenfeld and Rory Dougall! Ever since our puzzle-creating competitions from summer camp, Matthew has devoted considerable time to creating mate puzzles and delivering checkmate. Not for nought (!), as his tireless quest for checkmate brought him dividends in the form of a perfect score in today's Shark-Free challenge. Congratulations, Matthew!

Crosstable

 

Autumn Quads

November 26th,

It was two tough sections for our Autumn Quads this Saturday. The top section was an All Master's Extravaganza, led by New Yorker Leif Pressman, who is nearing the 2400 mark! Congratulations to Leif on a perfect 3-0!! In section 2 it was the visitor from Maryland, Eric Mattelson, who stormed to the top with a perfect 3-0. In the crucial last-round match-up against Club Director Melvin Patrick, Eric played the Wing opening, 1.f4 and led a fearless attack with his king-side pawns to bring home the bacon. Congratulations to both winners on a fantastic event!

Crosstable

 

Friday Night Blitz

November 25th,

Tonight's blitz was another tense affair. Talented juniors Matthew Chan and Michael Morin competed against blitz veterans Melvin Patrick, Oswaldo Fernandez and Ian Harris. Things started off well for the veterans and going into the final round it looked as though everyone would finish as they were supposed to. But it was Matthew Chan who sensationally upset Patrick in the final round by winning both games! This allowed Matthew to leap frog over Patrick and win the top U1800 prize! Thank you to everyone who participated and we look forward to seeing you again soon!

 

Shark-Free Challenge

November 20th,

Four players competed in this week’s Shark-Free Challenge. The top seed, coming in with a rating just shy of 1000, was Carl Scovens. Joining him were regulars Dan Kleine and Rory Dougall. After a brief hiatus from chess, Kai Aronson also joined the field. In the end, nobody could stop Scovens who convincingly won all of his games to clinch first place. Scovens’ rating has now crossed the 1000 mark which will make him ineligible for the Shark-Free once the new rating list is published. Congratulations to Carl and thank you to everyone that played!

Crosstable

 

K-5 Scholastic Championship

November 20th,

With 21 players, the turnout at November’s K-5 Scholastic Championship bested October’s by one player! This tournament also bested last month’s in terms of fighting chess and spectacular results. There were several new faces in the K-2 section and they were all ready to do battle for the glory! Although there were many tremendous efforts by all, none could quite out do the unstoppable Jason Lessing who won all of his games to take clear first place by a full point! Things were not so clear in the 3-5 section. In the very first round top seed Terry McGrath fell to CCFC Dream Teamer Bryan Weisz. A sign of a good player is how they recover from defeat and Terry turned it around and won all of his remaining three games!

This amazing comeback was enough for him to tie for first with Alex Huggins. Alex had been showing good form and never lost a game. He gave up only two hard fought draws. Special mention should also be given to Bryan Weisz and Leo Koganov who also had great performances and finished just half a point away from also tying for first place! Thanks to everyone who came and congratulations to the winners! We hope to see you all for the December K-5 Championship!

Crosstable

 

November G/30 Open

November 19th,

The first event in our 2011-12 Club Championship series was a competition for the ages! With 22 grizzled veterans including a GM, IM and several others over 2000, the fight was fierce for top honors. In the end, distinguishing themselves with perfect 4-0 scores (!!) were Scholastic Director Daniel Lowinger, who defeated GM Kekelidze on his way to the top, and IM Jay Bonin, who won to-order against the mighty Leif Pressman in a crucial last round match-up.

But the blood wasn't just spilled at the top: the fight for the numerous class prizes was just as ferocious. Junior superstar Jason Shi took home clear 1st U2100 with 3/4, losing only to Bonin. Emerging from chess hibernation, former CCFC regular competitor Noah Arthurs finished with 2/4 to take the full $80 for U1700. Our very own Brian Bongiovanni had a phenomenal event as well, finishing with 2/4 as well and taking his share of the prize money for the U1300 prize. Congratulations to all the participants and we can't wait to see you at our next event!

Crosstable

 

Shark-Free Challenge

November 13th,

The excitement at CCFC continued Sunday with our Shark-Free Challenge. Again, 7 competitors arrived to do battle. Among them were the three Lessing brothers who were thirsty for chess victims. After a several month hiatus from chess, Carl Scovens joined the tournament and came in as the top seed by more than a 200 point margin. Looking like the clear favorite to win the tournament, Carl stumbled in round two against Ellen Rosenfeld who was then alone at the top of the table with a perfect 2/2 score. She then faced off against the most experience Lessing brother, Jason.

Rosenfeld built up a large advantage but Jason never gave up and managed to pull off a last ditch checkmate! This gave Gabe Salvi (who was only participating in his 2nd CCFC tournament) an opportunity to win the tournament if he were to win his game! And win he did! Congratulations to Gabe for a clear first place victory! Thank you to everyone who played and we look forward to another exciting affair next week!

Crosstable

 

Autumn Quads

November 12th,

What a day of thrilling chess it was!! 7 players, including junior super-talents Michael Ainsworth, who at 13 years old is rated 2065 and is the 20th highest-ranked 13 year old in the US, and Jason Shi, age 11, rating 1989 (national rank by age, 8th and by State, #1!), descended upon CCFC with the aim of producing some fighting, thrilling chess and taking down the house! And take down the house they did, as Michael and Jason tied for 1st in the top quad with 2/3, both nicking house master Ian Harris, fresh off an undefeated, 1st place team finish at the CCA Team Tournament in Stamford - Ainsworth with a win and Jason with a draw. Not to be outdone for tension-creating chess, Quad #2 produced the same result spread with a tie between CCFC member Michael Morin and CCFC staff member David Childs, who once again showed his stuff! Rating favorite Aman Karunakaran, a bit rusty with his chess, managed a respectable 1.5/3 and bottom-ranked Carl Scovens put in a great effort to draw first-place finisher Michael in a fantastic game.

Crosstable

Thanks to all the participants and we look forward to seeing you Thursday and/or next Saturday for the first in our CCFC Championship Series. The pre-registration list continues to grow with a beautiful and competitive rating spread from near 1000 to GM. With $460 in guaranteed prizes including numerous class prizes, you'll not want to miss it !!

 

Friday Night Blitz

November 11th,

It was a rough night for the home team during our weekly blitz tournament. Top seed NM Ian Harris gave up one point to each competitor in the double round robin. This allowed Expert Alex Eydelman to clinch 1st place by a full two points! This is the second week in a row that Alex has won the tournament! Can anyone stop him? Congratulations to Alex! Don’t miss the action every Friday night!

Crosstable


Shark-Free Challenge

November 6th,

Another Shark-Free Challenge brought many new players to the Chess Club of Fairfield County, some of whom were playing in their very first tournament. Only a few were CCFC veterans. Based on experience and ratings, Al Pinto and Ellen Rosenfeld were the tournament favorites going into the tournament. Manu Ponnala was also rated close to 900 but was a relative unknown. Pinto and Rosenfeld met in the second round. As always it was a titanic struggle, but this time is was Rosenfeld who triumphed!

Rosenfeld won her final round as well to guarantee herself first place! However, Dream Teamer Benjamin Walker also had an excellent tournament, winning all three games and defeating Manu Ponnala in a critical final round matchup. The Shark-Free Challenge continues to grow and we hope you will join us next week for yet another Challenge!

 

GM Kekelidze Simul

November 6th,

Today International Grandmaster Mikheil Kekelidze played a simultaneous exhibition against 11 challengers. The challengers ranged from unrated through 1700. Despite many heroic efforts and many long battles, the GM calmly traversed the room and defeated each player. As the field whittled down, Kekelidze arrived faster and faster to each board and the pressure continuously mounted on the remaining contenders.

Once the last game finished the GM had successfully demolished the field with a perfect 11-0 score! The simul was a lot of fun for everyone. If you were not able to make it this time, make sure you check our emails and website as GM Kekelidze may be visiting the club more often. His next appearance will be at our November G/30 Open where you could play him one on one!

 

Autumn Quads

November 5th,

Today's quad was an exciting affair as twin dangers Childs and Chernin stormed the barricades here at CCFC. While Childs couldn't put a dent in the 2200 opposition, he left his mark with his highest-rated win to-date, against Club Director Melvin Patrick. Congratulations, David! After dispatching of his lower-rated opposition, Chernin, known for his deep preparation, once again essayed the quirky and hostile Alekhine's defense against Scholastic Director Daniel Lowinger.

In their last game, Lowinger sacrificed pawns and pieces for a full-out assault on the king, but Chernin defended with cyborg-like precision, and the game ultimately concluded in a draw. Today Lowinger was the first to deviate, steering the game to positional waters where he finally overcame Chernin's heroic defense. Our Autumn quads are proving quite the excitement: don't miss it every Thursday and Saturday!

Crosstable

 

Friday Night Blitz

November 4th,

Despite the busy chess weekend, our Friday Night Blitz tournament went on without a hitch. It was Expert Alex Eydelman who triumphed in the end. Eydelman barely edged out Expert Hanon Russell who had conceded an important draw against CCFC Director Melvin Patrick.

One of the best results of the night was had by Patrick, who even though he was out-rated by 300 points in each match against expert level players, managed to nick each for at least a half point or more. Thank you to everyone who participated! Once again it was a great night of fun and fighting chess!

Crosstable

 

Autumn Quads

November 3rd,

Those of you who are content to check the crosstables don't know the kinds of games you're missing here at the CCFC! It was another high-drama event but this time all the rating favorites came through unscathed. Al the fearless put the screws to us all but ultimately the numbers didn't lie.

Mr. Patrick had a very dangerous looking attack brewing against yours truly but was hit with a counter-attacking shot like a bolt from the blue and had to resign. Follow all our Club members this weekend as they do battle in the new team tournament in Stamford. Currently ranked 1st for all teams is CROOKS AND ROOKS led by our very own Ian Harris! Watch out Stamford!

Bughouse & Pizza

November 1st,

On Tuesday night our Bughouse & Pizza tournament returned. The competition was stiff as this was the first time that the participants would be getting rated! That’s right! Anyone who participates in one of our bughouse tournaments will now receive their own bughouse ratings and will be able to track their progress on our website! The winners of our most recent even were Jack Von Riesemann and Henry Stratakis-Allen.

Currently Jack stands at the top of the bughouse table. Can anyone dethrone him??? Bughouse & Pizza will recur on the first Tuesday of every month. Don’t miss the next one!

Bughouse Leaderboard

 

Shark-Free Challenge

October 30th,

Six players competed in the Shark-Free Challenge this week. Relative tournament newcomers Patrick O’Brien Sr. and Jr. as well as Gabriel Salvi joined the field of battle hardened CCFC veterans. On paper, Ellen Rosenfeld and Gabe were the tournament favorites. But, as we all know, nothing can be taken for granted in the Shark-Free Challenge. Rosenfeld started off strong, winning her first two games but then faltered in the final round against Dream Team member Matthew Lutjen-Weinstock.

Matthew had also won his first two games and therefore won the tournament outright with a perfect 3/0 score! This was an impressive finish for Matthew who started off in the middle of the pack and ended up gaining over 200 points! Thank you to everyone who participated. We hope you all had a great time and we look forward to seeing you again in the future.

Crosstable

 

Halloween Party

October 29th,

Mother Nature seemed determined to prevent our Halloween party from happening. However, despite the weather we did not lose power and the party went on as planned! Although the storm did hurt our turnout, those that did come had a great time with candy, games, music and more candy!

Congratulations to Jack Von Riesemann and Julian Wang who were the winners of the costume/dance competition! We hope everyone enjoyed the party and we definitely plan to have it again next year with far less snow!

 

Friday Night Blitz

October 28th,

This was a wild one! Al Pinto fearlessly entered the fray and did battle with CCFC Instructor and NM Ian Harris, Expert Oswaldo Fernandez, and CCFC Director Melvin Patrick. With only four players it seemed that some of the excitement from previous weeks would be missing, but those worries subsided in the first round when Patrick upset Harris in the very first game of the night!

This gave Fernandez the lead until he also lost to Patrick! This gave Harris the opportunity to win the tournament if he were to beat Fernandez in both games in the final round. However, Fernandez had winning aspirations of his own and defeated Harris in the first game. Harris won the second which ended the tournament in a three way tie for first!

Crosstable

 

Shark-Free Challenge

October 23rd,

The Shark-Free Challenge is as unpredictable as ever. Joining regulars Al Pinto, Ellen Rosenfeld, and Rory Dougall was the young, yet very strong, Sadie Edelman, as well as a mysterious newcomer Jorge Galeano. When rating favorite Pinto went down to Galeano in the first round it was apparent that a shark was loose! Would anyone else be able to stop him? Despite strong efforts by Rosenfeld and Edelman, he would not be stopped and so Galeano won his first ever competitive tournament! Congratulations to Jorge and thank you to everyone who participated. We look forward to another exciting event next week!

Crosstable

 

K-5 Scholastic Championship

October 23rd,

This month’s K-5 Scholastic Championship was the largest to date with many new faces gracing the tournament hall, some for their first tournament ever. The tournament was also the longest since the kids made very good use of their time. Each round there were several games that were fought down to the last seconds. The competition was fierce in both the K-2 and 3-5 sections.

CCFC regulars Sam Forfang and Henry Stratakis-Allen finished in 1st place in the K-2 and 3-5 respectively. Both of them managed to score perfect 4-0 scores, an even more incredible feat when you consider the number of players in each section. Watch out for these two players as clearly they have bright futures in the chess world. Thanks to all who participated and we look forward to seeing you again soon! If you missed the action this month, don’t miss it next month! Our next K-5 Scholastic Championship will be on November 20th.

Crosstables

 

Shark-Free Challenge

October 16th,

Three extremely competitive players took part in this week's Shark-Free Challenge. Even on paper it was hard to determine who the favorite wa, as all three were very closely rated. Al Pinto returned after a brief tournament absence and it was clear that he was out for blood. Ellen Rosenfeld arrived no doubt hoping to avenge her previous losses to Evan Helman. Helman also joined the field at the last minute, surely hoping to conclude his charge toward 1000 over the last few weeks.

All the games were hard fought with Helman getting into deep trouble against Rosenfeld, but managed to hold out and win in the end. In the second round Pinto defeated Rosenfeld to set up a last round showdown between him and Helman. The last round was an intense battle in which both players found some clever resources. However, it was Helman who once again had the last word as he was able to convert his endgame advantage.

Thanks to everyone that participated and we look forward to seeing you all again next week!

Crosstable

 

Saturday Swiss

October 15th,

The announcement of a "mystery Grandmaster" participating in our Saturday Action brought out the restless-locals-over-2000-club, as house masters Daniel Lowinger and Ian Harris were joined by Hanon Russell and Mike Finneran for a 6-person swiss with an average rating of roughly 2000 !! Top seeds GM Mikheil Kekelidze and CCFC Scholastic Director Daniel Lowinger came through the first 2 rounds unscathed but were not destined to meet this time as Kekelidze had a bye in the final round. Lucky Lowinger, as he will henceforth be known, was thereby able to chalk up a perfect 3-0 and finish in clear first, ahead of GM Kekelidze!

Unsatisfied with this turn of events, a blitz match was arranged between tournament "winner" Lowinger and GM Kekelidze to settle the question of who was truly the deserving champion! While the match bore no official weight on the result of the tournament, and only those who were here to spectate can know the exact details of how the games went down, let us simply say that they bear out the validity of Lowinger's new eponym, "Lucky Lowinger" - i.e., lucky that Kekelidze was unable to participate in the final round!

That said, a great tournament for all and we thank all of our participants including CCFC Director Melvin Patrick and CCFC member David Childs, who once again displayed admirable grit and determination by entering this top-heavy event and giving it his all. This kind of dedication always merits mention and encouragement as it is truly the ego-less path to direct improvement. Thank you everyone, and we look forward to seeing you all very soon!

Crosstable

 

Friday Night Blitz

October 14th,

This week’s blitz was remarkable because of the many new faces. Dave Russo and Johnny Recinos visited the club for the first time and bravely entered the field not knowing what dangers lay ahead. This week also marked the return of Zachary and his father Rich Tanenbaum. The rest of the field was rounded out by some of our regulars, including CCFC instructor NM Ian Harris, experts Alex Eydelman and Oswaldo Fernandez, as well as CCFC Director Melvin Patrick. One would expect the regular weekly blitz participants to crush the new unsuspecting guests, but there were some unexpected spectacular results.

Zachary Tanenbaum put in an impressive performance. He won his first three games, hit a minor speed bump with a loss to Eydelman, before recovering with another win against Patrick. Next up for Zachary was the top seeded Harris who held a tenuous half point lead over him. After Harris blundered his queen early on in the game, Zachary proceeded to play accurately for the entire game until in time pressure he let up on the pressure for one move which allowed Harris to play a surprising forced mating sequence. Clearly there is a bright future for this youngster who came close to winning the tournament against CCFC’s seasoned veterans.

Another inspiring story was that of Dave Russo who lost his first two games but then had a remarkable streak, defeating both Fernandez and up-and-coming star Zachary Tanenbaum. This effort was enough to clinch a tie for the U1800 prize with Patrick. However, Russo was not satisfied! At the end of the tournament he demanded an impromptu blitz playoff to determine the absolute winner. Patrick is not one to turn down a challenge and he duly accepted the offer. The playoff was a tense struggle for much of the game until Patrick managed to capitalize on a few inaccuracies by Russo and won the game.

It was an exciting night as usual at the Chess Club of Fairfield County and we welcome you to join us for another thrilling affair next week!

Crosstable

 

Saturday Quads

October 8th,

Of the players that joined today’s tournament, it was Rohan Suryawanshi who everyone had their eye on. This talented junior is only 7 years old and yet has a rating of approximately 1500, which places him tenth in the nation for children his age! The two 1700’s in the field must have been nervous since Rohan is still improving! In the first round Rohan faced CCFC Instructor and NM Ian Harris but was unable to cause him any problems and quickly lost. The match between CCFC Director Melvin Patrick and Ryan young was an exciting affair as Young managed to win a piece in some middle game complications, only to sacrifice it back to reach what appeared to be an easily winning endgame. However, Patrick is resourceful and put up stiff resistance until Young got into time trouble and eventually let the game slip away.

In the following round Rohan faced off against Young. Young managed to win a queen for a rook and knight and although Rohan put up stiff resistance, he ultimately succumbed to Young’s material advantage. Rohan’s last chance for a nice upset came in the last round against Patrick. The game seemed even throughout the opening and middle game until Rohan managed to win a pawn and make it to the endgame where the extra passed pawn was more than enough to claim victory! Thanks to all who participated and made this tournament an exciting battle to the very end!

Crosstable

 

Friday Night Blitz

October 7th,

Friday’s blitz tournament was another tense affair. In the very first round NM Ian Harris almost lost both games to expert Oswaldo Fernandez. After losing the first game to one of Oswaldo’s signature attacking games, both players found their kings under heavy fire in the second game. With complications multiplying and time dwindling, it was Fernandez that succumbed to the pressure first allowing Harris even the score.

All of the other matches went as would be expected and Harris managed to rebound to win first place. Winning the top U2100 was Expert Alex Eydelman and winning the U1800 was CCFC Director Melvin Patrick. Thanks to everyone who played and we hope to see you again next week!

Crosstable

 

Shark-Free Challenge

October 2nd,

This week’s Shark-Free was another nail-biter. Three regular Shark-Free attendees (Rory Dougall, Evan Helman, and Ellen Rosenfeld) were joined by the Lessing brothers. Both brothers bravely entered the Shark-Free for the first time, a step up from our K-5 Scholastic Championships which they had previously participated in. The tournament reached a climax when Ellen Rosenfeld and Evan Helman met in the second round. Evan had triumphed in a previous match but this time Rosenfeld came back prepared. The game was an intense battle which saw the advantage sway back and forth several times.

Evan eventually managed to win a rook, but instead of giving up Rosenfeld fought on and found some nice resources in the endgame. Despite being down a rook she managed to get two very dangerous passed pawns but in mutual time trouble she couldn’t find the best way to save the endgame and Helman was once again victorious. Evan has been on a roll lately with his rating crossing the 900 mark at this most recent tournament. Can anyone stop him???

Crosstable

 

Saturday Quads

October 1st,

Many new faces and many old marked this Saturday's action quads at the Chess Club of Fairfield County. Among others, CCFC welcomed CT home-grown superstar Daniel Rozovsky to the Club for his first visit. Daniel is the #1 ranked 15-year old in CT and 5th for his age nationally! For his first appearance at the Club he chalked up a tie for first place in the very challenging top quad, comprised of 3 masters and another junior super-talent: Michael Ainsworth, age: 13, top 50 player for his age nationally with a rating well over 2000. In the battle of old v. young, the juniors came away the victors, both of them defeating yours truly in deserving fashion (see below). Only CCFC Instructor NM Ian Harris could make an argument for age and experience, pulling out wins against both juniors to tie for first.

Quad 2 was another very tense affair. The rating favorites were CCFC members Hubert Herring and Zachary Filler. Also participating were CCFC member Michael Morin and staff member David Childs, who once again showed that underdog status means nothing when faced with hard work and determination! Since joining our staff David has committed himself to upping his game and has bravely entered our quads despite nearly always finding himself out-rated by many hundreds of points. Studying hard and playing the toughest competition is not the path to take for easy results and rapid ego boosts, but it is the path for meaningful improvement and today David showed the fruits of his labors with a superb 2/3 performance that put him in a 3-way tie for first place along with Hubert and Zachary.

Congratulations to all our participants and we look forward to seeing everyone again next time!! The action continues every Thursday and Saturday, don't miss it !!

View Games

Crosstable

 

Friday Night Blitz

September 30th,

This week two youngsters, Dylan Young and Michael Morin, joined three CCFC Friday Blitz veterans looking for a taste of victory. However it was not to be as the veterans more than held their own, with CCFC instructor NM Ian Harris taking first place overall. The U2100 and U1800 prizes went to Oswaldo Fernandez and Melvin Patrick respectively.

With no major upsets, the tournament finished much the way it looked like at the beginning, in rating order. Thanks to all those who participated and congratulations to the winners. We look forward to seeing everyone again soon!

Crosstable

 

Thursday Night Action

September 29th,

Last night's 6-player Swiss heralded the return of "Mighty Mike K", alias: Mike Koganov. With his modest ways, Mighty Mike sometimes flies under the radar, but only until it's time to hand out the prizes! It's at that moment that you'll notice his lengthy stride as he steps to the front to collect his winnings! All kidding aside, Mr. Koganov is a fierce and dangerous competitor with a 2-0 perfect record against yours truly. Last night he took a deserved 1st place with a perfect 3-0 score. Our game was a tense affair until I blundered my knight, after which Mike mercilessly converted his advantage with near-surgical precision. We await his return with baited breath!

Thanks to all our participants, including CCFC junior talents Brian Bongiovanni and Mike Morin; Thursday evening quads are no cakewalk affairs and we commend these players on their grit and determination to improve. It is only by steeling oneself in the furnace of the toughest competition that one can ascend the heights, and these junior talents tread the proper path with gusto. We can't wait to see everyone next week, same time same place!

Crosstable

 

Shark-Free Challenge

September 25th,

Evan Helman was the conquering hero of the Shark-Free Challenge this week. Evan scored a perfect 3/3, recovering from his final round loss at last week’s shark free. Evan managed to defeat Sharon Grace, James Grace and in the last round his strongest threat Ellen Rosenfeld. He managed to avoid facing Rory Dougall, who missed the first round, but could well become a force to be reckoned with at our Shark-Free Challenges. Every week seems to be a different winner, so stay tuned for next week to see if someone can establish him/herself as the one to beat!

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Saturday Quads

September 24th,

Saturday’s quad was another exciting tournament to say the least! Strong youngster Michael Ainsworth and the fearless Al Pinto, came to challenge two CCFC masters Ian Harris and Daniel Lowinger. Although the final results paint a picture of smooth victory for the masters, it was anything but. Michael Ainsworth put up stiff resistance and even came close to winning both games. Against Harris he was up four pawns but in time trouble was unable to fend off Harris’ last ditch attack. In the following round against Lowinger he came very close to claiming the full point. Again, time was not on Ainsworth’s side and Lowinger was able to complicate matters and pull off a miraculous win.

Going into the final round nobody could catch Harris or Lowinger who were both two points ahead of the field. It would have been easy for them to make a quick draw and call it a night, but that would not have been true to their style. The game was the opposite, an extremely exciting draw (Stay tuned for CT High School Champion Michael Finneran’s article on exciting draws) with many twists and turns. Out of the opening Lowinger achieved a nice advantage. However, at the critical moment, Lowinger missed a clearly winning move and handed the advantage back over to Harris. Harris then squandered his advantage and in time trouble the complex ending eventually ended with K v K and with both players less than 10 seconds.

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Thursday Night Action

September 22nd,

It was an auspicious ushering in of Autumn for Scholastic Director Daniel Lowinger who for the second consecutive tournament reached a new rating high by winning the event with a perfect score. Erstwhile upsetter Brian Bongiovanni, c. 1250, may have come closest to defeating Lowinger when he played a dozen or so sharp moves of Scotch theory from a position he had never seen before. Keep your eyes on that one! In round 2 it was CT junior superstar Michael Finneran who took the bat to Daniel, playing extremely aggressively against Lowinger's pet 3...Qd8 Scandinavian.

Nevertheless an oversight around the 20th move caused resignation and it was left to house master Harris to stop the surge. Speaking of Michael, he is a mere hop, skip and jump away from that magical rating number, 2200. With his round 1 win over Harris he will pick up rating points for almost his 5th consecutive tournament. We at CCFC all wish him the best in his quest for Master!In the final round Lowinger proved well-prepared in the opening variation played, earning a perceptible advantage by the 10th move and converting cleanly.

Thanks to all our participants and watch out for our monthly Quad pass, coming soon!! Play all the quads your heart desires for the insanely low price of $60/month ($100/month for non-members), a savings of up to $140 monthly !!!! No more excuses folks - we expect attendance at these events to grow!

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Shark-Free Challenge

September 18th,

Directly following the K-5 Championships was the Shark-Free Challenge. With the return of CCFC regulars Ellen Rosenfeld and Eileen Stack Moreno, as well as some more advanced youngsters, the tournament looked to be one of the fiercest yet. All of the players were closely rated so there was no clear rating leader. With no pre-tournament favorite, it was anyone’s guess who would emerge victorious.

In the end it was Dylan Young who won with a perfect score after narrowly edging out Evan Helman in a tough final round game. Thank you to everyone for making this tournament another great success and we hope to see everyone again next week.

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K-5 Scholastic Championship

September 18th,

It was a busy weekend at the Chess Club of Fairfield County with three tournaments crammed into one weekend. On Sunday morning it was the youngsters’ turn to battle it out. In one of the most unpredictable and exciting editions of our monthly K-5 Championships, it was Vincent Xu who showed he has what it takes to win it all.

Vincent won all four games and gained over 200 points! Another surging talent, Jason Lessing, performed extremely well, only losing one game to the eventual tournament winner. Jason took home top honors in the K-2 section! Thank you to everyone and congratulations to this month’s winners!

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CASH SHOWDOWN

September 18th,

With 8 players and an average Elo over 2050, September 2011's Cash Showdown promised to be action-packed ! Of the 8 players, 4 were masters, one was a high-expert and our lowest-rated participant was nearly 1700 ! The drama kicked into high gear as early as Round 2 with Master-Master match-ups !

Top seed FM Nelson Castaneda

House Master Ian Harris fell to Castaneda in an endgame where Ian had K+3pawns+N vs. K+4pawns. In theory it should have been a fairly straightforward win for Mr. Harris, but...time-pressure, nerves and the high stakes colluded to drop Ian's flag right at the moment when he had secured a theoretical draw. Not to be outdone for Most Shocking Result, the very next round produced an incredible reversal of fortunes with Castaneda's flag falling to Leif Pressman. This time it was Castaneda who was up a full piece but Leif managed to muddy the waters move after move until, once again in a theoretically drawn position, Castaneda's flag fell.

CCFC Directors Daniel Lowinger and Melvin Patrick face off in rd. 1

With so many masters there was bound to be an upset and this time it came at the hands of CCFC regular Hubert Herring who held Harris to a draw in the final round and secured himself a class prize. Congratulations, Hubert ! Club Director Melvin Patrick made a clean sweep of the class players bringing his rating to a new high and netting himself the U2000 prize. Congratulations, Melvin ! Tied for first place were Leif Pressman (who will now be rated nearly 2400 !) and yours truly who also managed a new rating high of 2316. Thanks to everyone for a great tournament full of exciting chess. The action continues every month - don't miss it !!

See GAMES here

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Bughouse & Pizza

September 13th,

Four teams competed at this week’s bughouse tournament. As usual there were many unusual team names, but this week was particularly bizarre with names such as “Intense Insects” and “Ninja Cranes”. The teams were very closely matched as no one went undefeated. Two teams, Intense Insects and Ninja Cranes, finished with 5/6 points which necessitated a tie-breaker match.

When the smoke had cleared it was team Ninja Cranes who took home the gold! After that all the players settled into the kitchen for some well deserved pizza and then finished off the night with some casual play. Bughouse & Pizza will be on Wednesdays at 5:30 from now on. Don’t miss the action!

 

GM Mikhail Kekelidze Lecture

September 10th,

Saturday at the club was a busy day as we hosted a Grandmaster lecture along with our usual events. GM Mikhail Kekelidze visited and gave a fascinating hour and a half lecture on the games of Botvinnik (per the request of some of our members). The lecture was held in our downstairs lounge which provided a nice private atmosphere for discussion.

GM Kekelidze (2nd from left) with VIP guests

Look for more opportunities to hear from the knowledgeable GM on our website as he will be returning soon!

 

Friday Night Blitz

September 9th,

Once again we had a strong showing for our weekly blitz tournament. NM Ian Harris again came in as the top seed but this time could not hold off the swarms of strong experts eyeing the top spot. Harris stumbled against the uncompromising Oswaldo Fernandez. Although Fernandez is at his floor he still can beat anyone at anytime and has been winning the U2100 prize consistently. The tournament reached a climactic conclusion as going into the final round, no less than four players were within striking distance of 1st place.

In the end it was a tie for 1st between Harris (who recovered from his loss) and strong expert Mikhail Koganov. U2100 honors when to experts Alex Eydelman and Fernandez. Finally, the U1800 prize went to Melvin Patrick who put in a solid showing by defeating Randy Shane and Matthew Chan. Congratulations to everyone and we look forward to seeing you next week!

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Shark-Free Challenge

September 4th,

Today's Shark-Free welcomed tournament newcomer sensation George Babanis, who took clear first with a perfect 3/0 score! Congratulations to him on his very impressive entrance into competitive chess! Tied for second place were top-seed Al Pinto and Wendy Cummings, who rebounded from her first round loss to George with an impressive victory over recent champion Marcella Agerholm in round 2. Rounding out the field were tough customers Rory Dougall and Aalok Bhattacharya. Congratulations to all the winners and participants and we look forward to seeing everyone next Sunday!!

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Saturday Quads

September 3rd,

As CCFC staff members settled down to catch their breath after the morning's Bughouse Club Championships, whom other than the hungry FIDE Master Nelson Castaneda, ranked 6th in CT, walked through the door looking to take down the locals.

Well the surprise wasn't all one way as the CCFC stood its ground, handing Castaneda a respectable 2nd place as home-grown NM Ian Harris took top honors, holding Castaneda to a draw and defeating yours truly (who also managed to nick a draw from the top seed). The action picks up again this Thursday night at 7 pm. Don't miss it !

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2011 Bughouse Club Championships

September 3rd,

CCFC's first Bughouse Club Championships was a roaring success and tremendous fun for the 6 teams that competed. Topping the K-12 section, the "Burgundy Buggers", comprised of CCFC member Kurt Rubin and Aman Karunakaran. Why burgundy? Why, for their matching burgundy outfits, of course! The rest of the teams competed in the K-6 section; here we had the "Teenie Tiny Titans" in 4th. These two newcomers to the game showed a lot of spunk and have a bright buggin' future. Tied for third were the "Bro and Sis Shuffle" and the "Chess Masters". It just goes to show that being a chess master won't guarantee you anything in Bughouse!

Coming in a close second, the "Bug Boys", who ultimately yielded first place to none other than the "Soul Demons". Well, it's tough to take down Soul Demons, that's all I'll say on that score. Congratulations to all our participants, all of whom earned medals, trophies and/or gift certificates! As Fall comes 'round the corner look no further than CCFC for a host of fun activities ahead! We can't wait to see you!!

 

Friday Night Blitz

September 4th,

Friday was a night of nail biting finishes. Each place was hotly contested and nobody won a more than a half point. Despite the absence of NM Daniel Lowinger from this week’s blitz tournament, the field was one of our strongest ever with two masters and three strong experts competing for the top two prizes. Top seed NM Ian Harris put in a solid performance and managed to win the tournament despite being nicked for points from both NM Josh Colas and Expert Alex Eydelman. In the end he finished a fraction of a point ahead of near master Mikhail Koganov.

Our new U2100 prize went to expert Oswaldo Fernandez. His draw against Koganov was crucial to his success as it allowed him to win the prize by a mere half point over Eydelman. Three players competed for the U1800 prize and the final result was as close as it gets. CCFC Director Melvin Patrick looked on track to secure a resounding victory after defeating NM Josh Colas in the first round! However, it was Josh’s father Guy Colas who managed to catch Patrick securing a tie for the U1800 prize.

Congratulations to all of the winners and we hope to see everyone at next week’s blitz for some more exciting action!

Crosstable

 

Thursday Night Action

September 1st,

Ever heard of a 1000-rated player defeating a 2000-rated player!?!? Here at CCFC dreams are made or broken every Thursday! You don't want to miss the surprise and drama every Thursday night at 7pm! CCFC member Brian Bongiovanni, who's dedicated himself to chess improvement of late, defeated near-expert Ethan Segall. Another example that anyone can do it and hard work pays off! Congratulations, Brian!!

In the end it was a tie for 1st place between CCFC Masters Daniel Lowinger and Ian Harris who drew their individual game (only their 10th in 41 tournament games) and managed to fend off the hungry class players. A special welcome back to CCFC member David Kniffin, who returned from vacation to shake off the rust with a nice victory over CCFC member and tough tournament player David Childs. David K drew the proverbial short straw pairings-wise as in spite of the 2 other class players he managed to be paired with both NM Daniel Lowinger and A-Player Ethan Segall. We hope to see everyone again next Thursday!

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Bughouse & Pizza

August 30t,

Bughouse and Pizza was another fun night for the kids!! Don't miss the agony and the ecstacy every Tuesday evening at 7, FREE for members, only $10 for non-members. Bring your friends and receive an extra helping of pizza for yourself and your friend!!

CASH SHOWDOWN

August 27th,

I thought it might be only Me, Myself and Irene at the chess tournament today (that movie seemed indeed to be the only alternative to weather coverage I could find prior to the start of the event), yet I was happily mistaken as 6 weather-worn warriors came to do battle at the board. On this day, August the 27th of the year 2011, let it be noted for the record, that 6 chess-playing diehards did pledge that should they be destined to perish, it would be together, playing the game they love at the incomparable Chess Club of Fairfield County!

Yours truly managed another 3/3 1st place finish, chalking up 15 consecutive wins for the past 5 tournaments. Perhaps this should put International Master Justin Sarkar on alert as my last rated losses have been to him. We're ready for your return, Mr. Sarkar! As for the games themselves, the results never tell the full story and those of you who missed this great event in favor of securing the safety of your persons and those you love did miss some exceptional fighting chess. Mr. Patrick's sole upset against CCFC veteran Leo Bykhovsky was a fight to the finish with Mr. Patrick going down to his final second before delivering checkmate in what finally panned out to a K+Q v. K+N ending. Childs-Harris was another thriller as the pair entered a materially even, and quite possibly theoretically even, K+P ending despite the greater than 1000 point rating difference between the two!! Here it was a question of tempi and Mr. Childs lacked just one at the final moment to give Mr. Harris the win. Lowinger-Bykhovsky was another nail-biter with Leo seeming to have the significant upper-hand in an ending when a tactic fell from the sky putting Lowinger firmly in command.

All joking aside, we sincerely hope that all of our members and those who participate in our events remain safe through the storm and we look forward to seeing everyone back at the club soon !!

Crosstable

 

Thursday Night Action

August 25th,

This was a very special tournament as CCFC Director Dan Lowinger was to play his 300th game as a Master, thereby earning him the final "Life Master" title and establishing him with a 2200 floor. As usual the competition was stiff and stern with the quad's average rating well over 2000 and the players eager to see Mr. Lowinger "test" the existence of his floor by bringing him to it! Alas it was not to be as Mr. Lowinger went 3/3 for a perfect 1st place finish.

NM Dan Lowinger vs Ethan Segall

Special mention must be made of class-A CCFC regular Ethan Segall who defeated CCFC Instructor and National Master Ian Harris to bring his rating to the brink of 2000, capping off a week begun in the low 19s. Ethan has been improving significantly of late and we expect to see him make that quantum leap into the Expert class any day now (perhaps at this weekend's Cash Showdown!). Don't miss the excitement every Thursday and Saturday and don't miss this weekend's once-a-month Cash Showdown coming up this Saturday! Register online now!

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Shark-Free Challenge

August 21s,

CCFC’s weekly Shark-Free Challenge is becoming our most hotly contested event. Before the tournament the club has a relaxing and friendly atmosphere, however once the games start, any thought of friendship is quickly forgotten and cutthroat battles commence. Walking through the room you can feel the tension. The room is so quiet, you can practically hear the hearts thumping and the wheels in the player’s heads turning. Nobody made it through completely unscathed. This week’s champion was the recently resurgent Marcella Agerholm. Marcella did not fold under the pressure and went undefeated (2.5/3) to capture first place, a full point ahead of the competition!

After the last round finished, hearts started beating normally, brains were able to relax and the players returned to their regular selves again. Congratulations to Marcella on a well earned victory!

Crosstable

 

K-5 Scholastic Championships

August 21st,

This month’s K-5 Scholastic Championships was another exciting affair with several returning players as well as several players participating in their very first tournament. The results were as unpredictable as ever with the newbies faring well against their relatively experienced counterparts. In the K-2 section, despite all of the odds, it was Sam Forfang who clinched first place with 3/4.

Not only was this Sam’s first tournament, but he also had to face TWO players from the 3-5 section. His only loss came to the overall winner Elliot Greenbaum. Greenbaum also had an impressive performance, taking home top honors by getting a perfect 4/4 score in the 3-5 section! Congratulations to all of the winners! We look forward to seeing everyone at next month’s scholastic tournament!

Crosstable

 

Saturday Quads

August 20th,

Today's Quad produced a classic Masters v. Class-players battle with grizzled veterans CCFC regular Leo Bykhovsky, 1750, and Club Director Melvin Patrick, 1651, taking on CCFC Masters Scholastic Director Daniel Lowinger and Ian Harris. Today the rating algorithm held firm to its promise, delivering wins to both masters against their class player opposition. There's no better place for consistently high-quality competition to raise the level of your game than the CCFC! We can't wait to see everyone for our next installment of action chess this Thursday evening!

Crosstable

 

Thursday Night Action


August 18th,

It was the usual story here at the CCFC community - two of our members met for the first time and discovered they shared a host of mutual acquaintances. CCFC regular David Childs made a splash, finishing with 1.5/3 despite a pre-tournament rating of 1176 that placed him 500 points below the next highest rated participant !! David has been working hard on his chess lately and is proving that hard work pays! Yours truly managed a little luck taking 2/2 from slightly to significantly worse positions against B and A class players Aman Karunakaran and Ethan Segall, the latter game finishing in a mad time scramble and complex rook ending. Druha Karunakaran and Ethan Segall tied for second place with 2/3 each. Don't miss the action next week, same time same place!!

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Shark-Free Challenge

August 14th,

Do you want to make new friends and have the experience of playing in a friendly and fun chess tournament all at once? Then Shark-Free is for you !! Once again our tournament created many new friendships as players hung around afterward to chat and analyze and share contact info. The man with the target on his back, CCFC member Al Pinto, had his back pressed to the wall twice but showed admirable grit and determination to come away with 1.5/2 from his second and third round games combined. Already rated over 900, he's looking to get his shark fins soon. The finale against recently resurgent Marcella Agerholm was one for the ages: with mere seconds remaining on his clock, Al managed to land checkmate just a couple moves after his time had elapsed. By keeping the pressure on in the mad time scramble, Al successfully finished the job before Marcella could catch her breath enough to make the time claim, thereby winning fairly and squarely.

Marcella, to her tremendous credit, had created a maelstrom on the board after going down a knight early. By pushing her pawns and bringing her rook to the second rank, Marcella was able to create grave threats against Al's king, threats that ultimately led her to recoup her knight while Al thrust a passed pawn down the board on the other end, desperately trying to avoid mate and the loss of his knight at the same time. You had to see it ! Thankfully this event recurs every Sunday, same time same place, so stop on by and you won't miss a beat. Special thanks to all our participants, including the Teitell pair of father and son who showed admirable courage by emerging from retirement to play in their first tournament together against such stiff opposition, and CCFC staff Eileen Moreno and Ellen Rosenfeld who battled to a fierce draw in the final round. Eileen's tournament games seem to show a pattern of coming-from-behind as she drew with Ellen and defeated Rich Teitell both from worse positions. Keep your eye on her !!

We can't wait to see everyone next week !

Crosstable

 

Friday Blitz

August 12th,

Our most senior member, Oswaldo Fernandez, is still packing the punches. After reclining by the TV for an hour before the tournament, Oswaldo came out grim-faced and determined. Conceding only to House Masters Ian Harris and yours truly, Oswaldo wiped the field clean to finish with 7/9, good for clear 3rd place, 1.5 points ahead of fellow CT expert Alex Eydelman. The U1800 section was hotly contested; in the end, top seed Randall Shane had to concede by a 1/2 point to Guy Colas who won clear U1800 with 4.5. Congratulations to Guy for another well-deserved victory!

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Thursday Night Action

August 11th,

Thursday action was a thriller !!!!! The US Chess Federation's penultimate class of players, the "Experts", came in full force, from Connecticut and beyond, with pitchforks and knives, to assail CCFC and capture gold at this Thursday's tournament! They came for the battle-hardened and weary Masters - yours truly and Mr. Ian Harris, fresh-faced after a day of camp - and they came for the prizes, $50 for first, $50 for second! In the end their presence was felt as all 3 experts found themselves clumped together in a tense tie for 2nd place. Special congratulations to the Bryant brothers from NY who both managed to snag a full point from CCFC Instructor and National Master Ian Harris.

Scholastic Director Daniel Lowinger, finding himself besieged on all sides by hungry experts, yet managed to defend the house by rejuvenating an old favorite, the 3...Qd8 Scandinavian opening (1. e4 d5 2. ed Qd5 3. Nc3 Qd8?!) to win both black games against the brothers Bryant. With one shot at the white pieces against local expert Alex Eydelman, Lowinger went for the guttural with a gutsy novelty pawn sacrifice as early as move 9! White's advantage balanced on a precipice when Lowinger neglected development principles with Bc4 (rather than bring the final piece into play with Rhe1), but in the end his aggressive play paid off and the danger of the black king in the center proved his demise. See the full game, with annotations, here!

Thanks to all participants and we look forward, as always, to many more exciting games in the future!

Crosstable

 

Shark-Free Challenge

August 7th,

This week’s Shark-Free Challenge was a six player swiss, with three adults and three children participating. There were many hard fought and entertaining games. The top seeds, Sadie Edelman and Matthew Hochberg, met in the final round. It was a titanic struggle but in the end it was Hochberg who emerged victorious. Congratulations to Matthew for winning his first Shark-Free Challenge with a perfect 3/3 score and gaining over 60 points! Thanks to everyone that played and we hope to see you next week!

 

Crosstable

 

Friday Blitz

August 5th,

Twelve players descended upon the club last Friday to try to claim one of the guaranteed $100 prizes for themselves. The games were many tnese games that came down to the final seconds with results that could have gone either way. In the end NM Daniel Lowinger was able to survive long enough to finish at the top of the table. Guy Colas also had a strong showing and received the $100 top U1800 prize! Congratulations to the winners and thank you to everyone for participating in yet another fun and successful blitz night at CCFC!

 

Thursday Night Action

August 4th

The Thursday Action G/30 tournaments at the Chess Club of Fairfield County have become increasingly challenging. This week there were five players within 300 points of each other. They were joined by Brian Bongiovanni who was gunning for the bigger fish and hoping for a repeat of his performance the previous week. He came extremely close to defeating CCFC newcomer Nowell Sheinwald who was rated almost 900 points higher!!! If this is a sign of things to come, watch out! Top honors went to CCFC newcomer Ted Belanoff (California) who swept the field!

Thursday Night Action

 

Bughouse & Pizza!

August 3rd,

This Tuesday's Bughouse was a VERY close affair, not just for top team honors but for our sportsmanship award as well !! Everyone showed incredible sportsmanship - thanking opponents for the game, showing composure when losing, even notable decorum at the pizza line !! Ultimately the Killer Whales led by CCFC regulars Jack Von Riesemann and Dylan Young edged out the Troll Slayers (Matthew Chan, Victor Urvantsev) for top team by a single point and one they earned in the final round against the second-place team. As was pointed out during the event, the Slayers' professionalism and experience with respect to trolls was not transferable enough when it came to the important task of whale-slaying!

Shark-Free Challenge

August 1st,

This Sunday's Shark-Free was a nail-biter to the end with last week's champ, Henry Stratakis-Allen, battling tough foe Aidan Coimin for top honors. In the end their game concluded in a draw, leaving them tied for first, half a point ahead of second-place finishers Ellen Rosenfeld and Rocco Franklyn. Rocco came with his brother Matthew and friend Ricardo Fortuna from Long Island to scope out the class of the competition here in CT and were not disappointed; with 3 of 4 CCFC regulars sporting the CCFC clothing line (T-shirts on sale in the gift shop, polos available for special order !!) the Long Islanders knew from the outset that they were in for a tough first tournament. That said, they performed admirably and we commend them and hope to see much more of them in the future!

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Saturday Quads

July 30th,

You're never quite sure what you'll get at CCFC, but you're sure that whatever you get it's the highest quality. Spontaneously discarding the Quad format at the behest of all present, CCFC instituted two 3-game matches - prominent International Master Justin Sarkar faced Scholastic Director Daniel Lowinger while Danbury A-player Noel Scheinwald matched minds with Club Director Melvin Patrick. The House collapsed in flames this day with both mini-matches ending with the same dismal 2.5-.5 score against the House.

As usual, the 3 possible results (win, loss and draw) conceal the closeness and excitement of the games; game 1 of the Sarkar-Lowinger match was a thrill to witness with Sarkar shocking his opponent and spectators alike winning a Q+K vs. R+B+N ending by masterfully setting his passed pawns in motion whilst safeguarding his king, all with 2 seconds remaining on his clock to Mr. Lowinger's 2+ minutes!!

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Friday Blitz

July 29th,

Friday's Blitz is like a box of chocolates, you never kow what you're going to get. The top section went pretty much according to plan with CCFC's Scholastic Director NM Daniel Lowinger tying for first with CCFC Instructor NM Ian Harris. The always dangerous experts Oswaldo Fernandez and Alex Eydelman fought valiantly but fell short.

The U1800 prize was hotly contested. Further evidence that kids' ratings cannot be trusted! Matthew Chan won 3 out of four games against the Karunakaran brothers despite being a 400 point underdog. This catapulted him to split the prize with CCFC Club Director Melvin Patrick who had to recover after being nicked by Victor Urvantsev. Guy Colas and Patrick seemed relieved to be facing each other in the final round...finally an opponent that can drive a car!

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Thursday Action!

July 28th,

Thursday's Quads produced one of our strongest Quads to date with 2350 rated NY Master Leif Pressman jumping into the mix to celebrate his birthday! In spite of the excellent karma and being the rating favorite, Leif had to settle for joint second with 1.5/3 as CCFC Instructor and NM Ian Harris was having his way with everyone, crossing the finish with a perfect 3-0 to take the tournament and a whopping 28 rating points!

Our second Quad was headed by CCFC Club Director Melvin Patrick. In spite of an over 600 rating point difference (!!!!!!!), CCFC member Brian Bongiovanni managed to finish in a joint 3-way tie for first along with another CCFC regular, Aman Karunakaran. The man-with-a-target-on-his-back during our Sunday afternoon Shark-Frees, Mr. Al Pinto finished according to rating expectations, but his games say more: with just a couple minutes left on his clock, Mr. Pinto pressed 1600-rated Aman in a better endgame to the brink of flagging and defeat but Aman was able to keep his cool and take home the full point. One can surmise that this result and the way it was achieved has left a lasting imprint on Mr. Pinto, one that will propel him to many future successes!

Crosstable

 

Bughouse & Pizza!

July 26th,

Seven teams participated in this week’s Bughouse & Pizza event! There were many formidable teams and many other teams with stand-out names, including Karunakaran Krisis, Fire Bulldogs and Happy Hens among others. In the end, it was team “Soul Crushers” who emerged undefeated to take first place. However, since the team was composed of CCFC’s Melvin Patrick and Ian Harris, they were ineligible for our new prizes! Trophies were awarded to the runners up, “Happy Hens”, which was composed of NM Daniel Lowinger and Henry Stratakis-Allen. Congratulations on a great performance!

A special award for best sportsmanship was given out to Jack Von Riesemann for demonstrating exceptional sportsmanship throughout the event! Will Jack be able to keep up his exemplary behavior? Who will win next week?

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Shark-Free Challenge

July 24th,

This week’s Shark-Free Challenge had six players compete for the top spot. Most of whom are regulars of our weekly U1000 tournament. The one newcomer, Henry Stratakis-Allen, was playing in it for the first time showed that he is a force to be reckoned with. Perhaps because of his training at our previous week’s chess camp or perhaps it was his sheer determination, he beat everyone in his path (adults included). Henry won the first prize and his rating crashed through the often elusive 1000 mark. Congratulations to Henry for a stellar performance!

Crosstable

 

G/30 Quads

July 23rd,

Saturday’s Quads was a close-knit affair filled with CCFC regulars. The games were hard fought and exciting. The only major upset was Alex Eydelman’s draw in the second round with top seed NM Dan Lowinger. This allowed NM Oliver Chernin the opportunity to win the tournament. Going into the last round he was half a point ahead of Lowinger who was in a must win situation. From the outset of the game he aggressively attacked Chernin, even sacrificing a piece to get to his king. However, Chernin played well, parrying his threats with incredible accuracy. Despite massive complications, the game ended in a draw giving Chernin the win! Congratulations to him and thanks for everyone who participated!

Crosstable

 

Friday Night Blitz

July 22nd,

Friday’s guaranteed $100 1st prize blitz tournament was one of our strongest so far with National Masters Josh Colas and Leif Pressman (the new tournament favorite) joining Ian Harris and Daniel Lowinger at the top of the section. Such competition along with the hefty prize fund was sure to bring out the fighting spirit in the players and they did not disappoint. Nobody managed to make it through the second round unscathed. Pressman split his two game match with Josh Colas while Lowinger split with Harris leaving all the top seeds tied with 3 points each.

In round three Pressman faced off against Lowinger and despite both players pushing to the very final seconds of the game, neither player was able to win and the match was split 1-1. Meanwhile Harris defeated Colas twice to take a precarious one point lead over the rest of the field (Pressman, Lowinger and Melvin Patrick were all tied with 4 points). In the final round tournament leader Harris (5/6) faced Pressman (4/6). Pressman duly won the first game as white to level the score. Harris struck back in the second game, mating Pressman after a fierce kingside attack, to emerge as the clear winner with 6 points.

Congratulations are also in order for CCFC Director Melvin Patrick who finished tied for 2nd place!! See the crosstable below.

Friday Night Blitz

 

Thursday Night Quads

July 21st,

This week's quads proved that anything can happen in action chess and ratings are just numbers! Upsets abounded as CCFC regular Joel Wald topped Ethan Segall, rated a near 200 points above. Yet this was not the greatest upset of the night as Ethan, in his turn, delivered a belated birthday present to CCFC Director Daniel Lowinger with a crushing blow of his own to win the game and tie for first place in a thrilling finale!! Don't miss the excitement every Thursday night !!

Crosstable

Bughouse & Pizza

July 19th,

The only weekly bughouse tournament in the world returned again with 6 teams competing for top honors! Experienced bug veterans Jack Von Riesemann and Kai Aronson gave house team Red and Black a run for their money, losing only in the thrilling finale after winning all but one of their other matches!! As always, a fantastic time was had by all as the spirit of friendship and fun prevailed over frequent laughter and delicious pizza. See everyone again next week !!

Shark-Free Challenge

July 17th,

Our Shark-Free's are unique and beautiful tournaments truly showing that over the chessboard, all differences of age and background fall away as everyone comes together over a shared passion. This week's Shark-Free featured 2 children, a teenager and an adult! Tyrell Staples took top honors in his first tournament at our new club! Although Tyrell is no stranger to our events, this was his first tournament in the new building and his first CCFC tournament where he had to compete against adults! A special congratulations to Rory Dougall as well, a new member and participant in our camps who bravely entered Shark-Free as his first tournament!! Although he played relatively grizzled veterans, he produced commendable fighting chess and the experience will no doubt pay big dividends for his chess in the future!! Congratulations also to Jack Von Riesemann who braved his first Shark-Free, and Ellen Rosenfeld who came in clear second place.

Crosstable

K-5 Scholastic Championship

July 17th,

This month's K-5 Scholastic saw the triumphant return of the McGraths as both Terrence and Olivia won first place in their respective sections! Congratulations to the McGraths on this phenomenal achievement!! Also tying for first in the K-3 section was CCFC regular Aalok Bhattacharya whose hard-earned experience from playing in last Sunday afternoon's Shark-Free paid off!! All of our participants showed the wonderful sportsmanship and camaraderie that characterizes all of our K-5 tournaments and I'd like to congratulate all of them specially for this and urge the parents to deliver my congratulations to their children.

Crosstable

 

CASH SHOWDOWN

July 16th,

This month's Cash Showdown was a Grand Slam for the home team as CCFC Directors Melvin Patrick and Daniel Lowinger joined CCFC Instructor Ian Harris in a 3-way tie for first place! Special congratulations to Melvin whose pre-tournament rating of 1591 was the second-lowest in this extremely strong event. Besting 3 of 4 higher rated players, including high expert Alex Eydelman, Melvin gained a whopping 118 rating points to tie with 2 masters for 1st place!! Such an accomplishment is rare to say the least, and frankly this writer cannot remember another such instance in his twenty plus years of tournament experience. U2200 went to strong experts Alex Eydelman and Mikhail Koganov who beat Daniel Lowinger with a shocking middle-game combination. Also picking up class prizes were Michael Bogaty (top U2000) and Mathew Chan (top U1600).

 

Friday Night Blitz

July 15th,

The strongest blitz tournament in Connecticut continued this Friday with strong players from all over the rating spectrum. They came for the U1800 guaranteed $100 prize, and they came for 1st place! Leading the charge was the Colas team of father and son, both dangerous chess killers! In the end it was Guy Colas who walked away with the U1800 prize and a clean $100 while Josh had to settle for third place as top honors went to CCFC Director Daniel Lowinger.

 

Thursday Night Action

July 14th,

This Thursday produced a 6 players Swiss, perfect for the A-C class player as 4 of the 6 players fell in this rating range. The outliers were chess master Daniel Lowinger, who won the event, and CCFC regular David Childs with a pre-tournament rating of 1166. David has been focusing more attention on his chess lately and we commend him for entering this challenging tournament. Although losing can be discouraging, it is only through challenging yourself by playing stronger players that you will improve, and indeed David's determination paid off as he nicked a draw from CCFC Director Melvin Patrick. Many fighting games took place with Joel Wald taking clear second place, his only loss to the winner.

Bughouse & Pizza

July 12th,

16 buggers showed up for Tuesday's popular Bughouse and Pizza competition including a couple ringers: Team Segall, consisting of 1900 rated Ethan Segall and Michael Bogaty tied with house team Red and Gray to split top honors.

The picture says it all: Tuesday nights CCFC is the place to be for fun, food and friends!

 

Shark-Free Challenge

July 10th,

The man with the target on his back for our Sunday Shark-Free this week was Mr. Al Pinto, whose pre-tournament rating of 929 could look quite intimidating to the other players, two of whom sported u500 ratings. And indeed, Mr. Pinto more than met rating expectations with a perfect score including a nice win over Ms. Ellen Rosenfeld whose pre-tournament rating of 883 promised that the match would be an exciting one. Nevertheless it was Al's round 2 opponent, Jake Seidman, who gave Al the biggest run for his money in a highly dramatic game! Jake created several surprising mating threats despite his material deficit and would have gotten the point had it not been for Al's exceedingly cautious play. Finally, a special mention to our fourth place finisher, Aalok Bhattacharya, a regular of our monthly Scholastic K-5 tournaments who showed wonderfully commendable courage and determination by entering our Shark-Free challenge. We encourage all scholastic players to follow his example !!

Saturday Quads

July 9th,

Saturday's Quad was a competitive affair for our class B players as they faced 3 of their own and chess master Daniel Lowinger who emerged in first. In clear second with 1.5/3 was Hubert Herring whose only loss was to Daniel, drawing with CCFC regular Joel Wald and defeating Melvin Patrick. Congratulations on a nice performance, Hubert!

Friday Night Blitz

July 8th,

Friday’s blitz tournament had a small yet competitive field of CCFC regulars. Ian Harris cruised to victory with a perfect 10/10. The U1800 prize went to club Director Melvin Patrick! Patrick is on an impressive winning streak, having won or tied for first in the U1800 for the last four weeks in a row! How long will this streak continue? Is there anyone that can stop him?

Crosstable

Thursday Action

July 7th,

Thursday was a busy night for chess players at the CCFC with many tough pairings. Eight players competed in our G/30 Action tournament. It was a night of few upsets until the final round when Ian Harris managed to grind down top seed Daniel Lowinger in a complex endgame to take first place. Second place was split between Lowinger, Ethan Segall, and Joel Wald. Thanks to everyone that participated and congratulations to the winners!

Crosstable

Bughouse & Pizza!

July 5th,

Our first edition of Bughouse & Pizza was a great success! Teams were formed, bughouse was played, and pizza was consumed! In all, six teams competed in a double round robin for the first prize of $100. “The Masters of Disasters” went unbeaten to take 1st place! See pictures and crosstable below.

Crosstable

Friday Night Blitz

July 1st,

Three masters and one expert competed for the top spot at this week’s blitz tournament. NM Daniel Lowinger emerged unscathed to win with a perfect score (7/7). The U1800 prize was hotly contested with many hard fought games. Even after an unexpected upset from CCFC regular Aidan Coimin, Melvin Patrick was able to rebound and clinch the top spot! Congratulations to the winners and thanks to everyone that participated!

Crosstable

 

K-5 Scholastic Championships

June 26th,

The Chess Club of Fairfield County’s June installment of our K-5 Scholastic Championship series saw ten children with a wide variety of ages and strengths competing for the top prizes. In the 3-5 division, the top seed Jack Grills put in a solid performance and won all of his games to clinch first place! In the K-2 division it was Henry Collins, who despite having to compete against some strong 3rd – 5th graders, finished with an impressive score of 2.5/4 and won clear 1st in the K-2 division! Congratulations to the winners and thanks to all of the participants for putting on a great display of exciting chess and exceptional sportsmanship!

Crosstable

 

Shark-Free Challenge

June 26th,

This week’s Shark-Free Challenge saw three newcomers make their debut into the world of tournament chess along with a strong contingent of regular Shark-Free participants. It was anyone’s guess who would ultimately end up being crowned the Shark-Free champion. Many tough and unpredictable battles were waged. Rating favorites Ellen Rosenfeld and Al Pinto both put in solid performances, but it was newbie Joey Greenspan who was the only participant to escape with a perfect 3/3 score! Thanks to everyone that participated and we look forward to seeing you at our next Shark-Free Challenge!

Crosstable

 

5th CASH SHOWDOWN

June 18,

Although 5th installment of our monthly CASH SHOWDOWN saw a smaller than usual field, the high degree of competitiveness was hardly diminished. All of the games were hard fought and most of them came down to the last few minutes of play. In the end, it was the youngest competitor and third seeded, Jason Shi, who took top honors. Congratulations to Jason who is now within a hair's distance from crossing 2000!

5th Cash Showdown

Hubert Herring (L) vs. Melvin Patrick (R) with Hanon Russell vs. Daniel Lowinger in the background.

CCFC regular Hanon Russell also had an impressive performance. Coming into the tournament as second seed, he went undefeated drawing with NM Daniel Lowinger and the eventual tournament winner Jason Shi in a complex endgame. Mr. Russell had his endgame against Jason Shi analyzed by German GM Karsten Muller! Click Here to see the insightful commentary!

5th Cash Showdown

Leo Bykhovsky (L) vs. Michael-David Mangini (R)

Zachary Filler and Melvin Patrick also had stellar performances gaining 56 and 63 points respectively. Zachary continues his meteoric rise and is close to breaking 1700 after being a touch over 1400 just one month ago! Congratulations to all and we look forward to more fighting chess at our next CASH SHOWDOWN!

Crosstable

 

Friday Night Blitz

June 10,

Blitz

With $200 in prizes up for grabs, this week's blitz tournament was one of the most competitive yet (See crosstable below)! After the dust settled, it was Ian Harris who took 1st place honors by winning every game! The battle for the top spot U1800 was an intense struggle that was not decided until the final seconds of the last round. Kevin Zimmerman had been leading the race for most of the tournament but faltered in the final round. This allowed CCFC Director Melvin Patrick to catch him and split the prize. Congratulations to both!

Crosstable

 

Fairfield County Masters & Class Championships

June 4,

Fairfield County Masters

The 2011 Fairfield County Masters and Class Championships more than lived up to its reputation as the strongest tournament in Connecticut. No fewer than 20 titled players took part in the tourney, allowing for an 18-player top section featuring a Who’s Who of the top levels of American tournament chess. Among the competitors was three-time US champion GM Joel Benjamin, three-time US women’s champion IM Irina Krush, GM Tamaz Gelashvili (who recently stormed through the Philadelphia Open), along with many other players of note.

GM Benjamin

GM Benjamin was generous enough to share some of his games!

The play in the top section was sharp from the outset, and produced only three draws over the course of five rounds. When the smoke cleared, GM Benjamin stood in sole possession of the lead with a score of 4.5/5; GM Gelashvili was the only player able to tag Benjamin for some points, dueling to a draw in the final round. Gelashvili shared second place with IM Jan Van De Mortel, each posting a score of 4/5. Our Scholastic Director Dan Lowinger acquitted himself well against such stellar competition, posting a worthy 3/5.

GM Gelashvili & IM Krush

The class section saw similarly spirited action; and with 31 players registered, the mood in the packed Main Tournament Hall was tense. Sam Barsky split top honors with CCFC regular Alex Eydelman, drawing with one another in the final round to finish 4.5/5. Vladimir Polyakin and David Apelo rounded out the top of the section with 4/5--though each of these players’ sole loss was to Sam Barsky!

Fairfield County Masters

It was a truly memorable tournament, and an experience we hope will be repeated for years to come. We thank all of our competitors for their spirit and sportsmanship!

Crosstable

 

G/60 Quads

March 6th

Ian Harris was the star of the weekend--after a tense battle for supremacy in Saturday’s G/30, he was in prime form for Sunday’s G/60. His efforts translated into a perfect 3/3 score, with William Graif and Nicholas Checa tying for second in the six-player Swiss. A well-fought effort from all our players!

G/30 Quads

March 5th

Saturday’s Quad was a tense affair, with several strong players competing for top honors. The final outcome depended on a tense last-round match between CCFC stalwart Ian Harris and rising national star Josh Colas. In the end, Ian took a full point from Josh to claim first place. Congratulations to all our competitors!

Thursday Night Action!

March 3rd

Thursday’s Quad was noteworthy in that it featured a very tight ratings grouping--all four players ended the night within about 200 points of each other. But Josh Blanchfield was the standout in the group, taking 2.5 points out of a possible three. We also offer a warm welcome to Daisuke O, who participated in his first rated tournament. We hope to see you all at future CCFC events!

3-5 Scholastic Championships

February 27th

Ten young players tested their mettle in our monthly grade 3-5 Scholastic section. After some furious action, Bilal Memon found himself at the top, with a perfect 4/4 performance! We’d also like to acknowledge Matt Becker, Joshua Ronai, and Luke Teitell, each of whom played in his first rated tournament. Thanks to all our competitors, and we hope to see you next month!

Crosstable

G/60 Quads

February 27th

With seven players competing, this Sunday’s G/60 was run as a Swiss, and a tightly packed one at that: six of the seven were rated in a 400-point band from 1868 to 2268. The tournament standout was Jeff Lawrence, whose 2.5/3 performance included wins over Ian Harris and Alanna Katz, and a draw against Ethan Segall--all three of whom out-rate Lawrence! Congratulations on a memorable tournament!

Crosstable

G/30 Quads

Febraury 26th

Eight players competed in two quads this Saturday. Quad 1 came down to the wire, with Alex Eydelman drawing Laurence Price in the final round to eke out the overall win. Quad 2 belonged to Justin Cooper, whose last-round win over a higher-rated opponent helped deliver a significant ratings boost. Thanks very much to all our competitors!

Crosstable

Thursday Night Action

February 24th

Six players competed in our inaugural Thursday Night Action, a weekly G/30 event. Leading the pack with an impressive performance was Ethan Segall, who not only racked up a perfect 3/3 score, but took down USCF Master Ian Harris in the process! Congratulations to Ethan for his win, and thanks to all who participated!

Crosstable

K-2 Scholastic Championships

February 20th

Sunday's K-2 Scholastic tournament brought together ten eager participants, who gave us an exciting four rounds of action! Leading the pack was Bryan Weisz, who scored three wins and a draw. In second place was Henry Collins, who also notched up three wins to finish 3.0/4, his only loss coming against the tournament leader. Congratulations to our winner!

We'd also like to make special mention of the four players competing in their first rated tournament: William Berger, Hagen Feeney, Apollo Katsiris, and Olivia Feeney. We enjoyed your games, and hope you enjoyed the competition!

Crosstable

G/30 Quads

February 19th

It was a quiet weekend at the CCFC, with many of our regular competitors dueling at the Amateur Team East tournament in New Jersey. Nevertheless, four intrepid players--ranging from 2248-rated veteran Oliver Chernin to rising young player Patrick Stots, rated 1381--battled it out in a very interesting Quad. Chernin ran the table, going 3/3 and taking the top prize. Congratulations, and thanks to all our competitors!

Crosstable

G/60 Quads

February 13

The four players who arrived for our Sunday G/60 tournament made up a very competitive quad. Ian Harris had the best of it, going three for three, with Alexander Crump upsetting Nathan Gotman to take possession of second place. Thanks to all our competitors!

Crosstable

CASH SHOWDOWN

February 12

Our inaugural Cash Showdown generated a great deal of interest—15 players arrived to stake their claim to the numerous class prizes. Daniel Lowinger fought his way through a tough top section to take overall first place with a 4/4 performance, which once again raised his rating to a new personal best. Section 2 was all about Druha Karunakaran, who went four for four against very solid opposition, and in the process gained a cool 100 rating points! Thanks to all our participants for making this a very memorable tournament.

Crosstable

1st Tuesday Classic

February 8

This Tuesday night, the CCFC wrapped up its first Tuesday Classic—a four-round, long-time-control tournament held on four successive Tuesday nights. Daniel Lowinger continued his winning ways with a 3.5/4 performance, surrendering his only draw to Ian Harris, who tied Dan Cooper for second place.

Crosstable

G/30 Quads

January 30

This Sunday’s G/30 drew an unusually strong field—three of the six were master strength. With two of his three wins coming against USCF masters Oliver Chernin and Ian Harris, it certainly appears that tournament winner Daniel Lowinger has 2300 in his sights. Thanks to all for an exciting tournament!

Crosstable

3-5 Scholastic Championships

January 30

We launched our Scholastic tournament series last week with a K-2 section; this week, the third- through fifth-graders had their turn. Evan Helman battled his way to first place, racking up 3.5 points out of a possible four. Helman’s streak of three wins was stopped in the final round by the second-place finisher, Benjamin Schussheim, who seized a draw from Helman. Congratulations should also be extended to Adam Julio and Parker Connelly, who each finished with 2.0/4 in their first rated tournaments! Thanks to all our competitors, and we hope to see you again at future Scholastic events.

3-5 Scholastic

G/60 Quads

January 29

Seven players battled for supremacy in this installment of our weekly G/60 series. Ian Harris, pushing ever farther beyond 2200, took top honors with a 3/3 performance. Michael Ainsworth and Richard Takasumi tied for second place with two points apiece. Thanks to all our competitors!

Crosstable

G/30 Quads

January 23

Our Sunday G/30 tournament was the scene of some furious action. Quad 1, stacked with master-level talent, was swept by Ian Harris, who saw his
rating shoot to a new personal best of 2223. Alex Eydelman and Dan
Cooper slugged it out in Quad 2, with Eydelman scoring a full point in
the final round to clinch the section. Melvin Patrick's recent
tournament tear was stopped by a draw against Christian Baccay in Quad
3, but Patrick's 2.5/3 was s8trong enough to carry the day. Thanks to all
our participants!

Crosstable

CCFC's 1st K-2 Scholastic

January 23

The CCFC held its first scholastic event on Sunday, and we were happy to
welcome five young competitors for this K-2 Swiss. First place belonged
to Rishabh Vuthamaraju, who saw his rating skyrocket after going
3-for-3! We'd also like to welcome Siddharth Siva Kumar, who scored 1.5
out of 4 in his first USCF-rated tournament. Thanks to all our rising
chess stars, and we look forward to seeing you at our next scholastic
event.

Crosstable

G/60 Quads

January 22

A late start did not dampen the enthusiasm of our participants in this Saturday G/60. Dan Lowinger took top honors in Quad 1 with an undefeated performance, while Druha Karunakaran tied with his brother Aman atop the seven-player Swiss section. Thanks to all our participants!

Crosstable

Friday Night Blitz!

January 21

This Friday's G/5 blitz tourney featured one of our strongest fields to date, with five of our eight competitors rated 1900 or above. The convenient size allowed us to run the tournament as a double round robin, a format that provided for a lot of fireworks. Leading the pack was our own Daniel Lowinger, who scored a perfect 14 points despite a strong challenge from rising young star Josh Colas. Melvin Patrick scored the upsets of the night, beating 1980-rated Tom Little and managing a draw against a surging Dan Cooper. Thanks to all our competitors, and we hope to see you again next Friday!

Crosstable

G/30 Quads

January 16

With the winter weather finally beginning to moderate, our Sunday G/30 tournament drew a very healthy 14 participants and more than its share of drama. Harry Wheeler topped Quad 1 with a score of 2.5/3, bringing his rating to a new personal best of 2270. Nicolas Checa and our own Melvin Patrick tied at the top of Quad 2 with 2.5 points apiece—moreover, both attained new rating highs, with Patrick finally cracking through the 1700 barrier. Finally, Aman Karunakaran seized the win in Quad 3 in a tough battle, edging out the surging Patrick Stots. Thanks to all our participants!

Crosstable

G/60 Quads

January 15

The winter weather put a damper on turnout for this installment of the CCFC G/60 series, but fortune is a funny thing—the seven players who did arrive formed a very competitive Swiss. Congratulations to winner Steven Weinstein, whose 2.5/3 performance netted him a whopping 75 rating points. Thanks to all our participants!

Crosstable

Chess Club of Fairfield County vs. New Britain Chess Club

January 9

Perhaps it was the urge to take a shot at the new kid on the block, or maybe it was a hunger for some real competition. Whatever the reason, CCFC tournament regular Derek Meredith challenged our club to a rated match against his crew, the long-established New Britain Chess Club (NBCC). We weren’t about to back down.

New Britain captain Rick Bauer and CCFC helmsman Dan Lowinger agreed on simple conditions: the match would take place on our turf, each player would take one white and one black with pairings based on rating, and finally, the loser had to rate the tournament and pay the rating fee.

With the CCFC’s average rating at 2096 versus an NBCC average of 2013, there was no question this was going to be a tight contest. The CCFC, with the black pieces, stormed through the first round, with seven wins and a draw giving us a 7.5-4.5 advantage. But this only served to put some serious steel in our opposition, recalling to mind Admiral Yamamoto’s famous (but probably apocryphal) quote: “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.”

After a short break--during which several players checked in on the NFL playoffs on the TV in our downstairs lounge area--the round 2 counterattack began. The NBCC took five wins and three draws, winning the round 6.5-5.5. Very close indeed, but not close enough--the CCFC emerged triumphant, with a score of 13-11 in our favor. It was definitely too close for our comfort, as the result was in doubt until the very last game: Had James Nitz pulled out a last-minute win over the CCFC’s Harry Wheeler, New Britain would have tied the match!

But in every losing effort, there can be found moments of individual glory. Most notable in this regard was Martin Garcia who, despite his USCF rating of 2033, scored back to back wins against Benjamin Katz (2141) and Ian Harris (2200). Also worthy of mention are Daniel Pascetta (1886), who took a draw from rising star Kapil Chandran (2113); and Gert Hilhorst (1839), who took a full point from Oswaldo Fernandez (2014) in the second round.

Regardless of the outcome, we were honored to welcome the NBCC players to our new home, and we certainly hope they enjoyed themselves. Indeed, we were extremely gratified when one player remarked that he had died and gone to chess heaven. Creating a warm and welcoming home for all chess players has been our goal from the beginning, and the goodwill exchanged between our two clubs suggests that the effort is bearing fruit. Thanks very much to our stalwart competitors, and we look forward to many rematches!

Crosstable

 

G/30 Quads

January 8

While the winter weather did its best to make things difficult, 12 hardy souls arrived to compete in our weekly Saturday tournament. Masters Dan Lowinger and Ian Harris drew against each other in the final game to tie at the top of Quad 1, while Melvin Patrick blasted his way through Quad 2 with a perfect 3/3 score. In Quad 3, Aman Karunakaran also notched up a perfect score, vaulting his rating to a new personal best. Thanks to all the participants!

Crosstable

CCFC G/30 Quads

January 2

This G/30 Quad was actually the CCFC’s second tournament of the New Year’s weekend, and several players returned refreshed after the previous day’s action--special thanks to Ian Harris, Koji Takasumi, Richard Takasumi, William Carron, and Carl Scovens for their loyalty and fighting spirit!

Daniel Lowinger found himself in good company at the top of the six-player master section, sharing first place with Michael Ainsworth. Quad 2 saw CCFC stalwart Leo Bykhovsky storm to the top with 2.5/3, while Patrick Stots engineered a perfect 3/3 storm of his own to blow away the competition in Quad 3. Carl Scovens, perhaps brooding over the previous day’s three-way tie, put together a fantastic 2.5/3 performance to take sole possession of first in Quad 4.

Crosstable

 

CCFC G/60 Quads

January 1, 2011

The CCFC began 2011 with a well-attended G/60, filling four full quads from master to scholastic strength. Dan Lowinger once again took top honors in the master quad; but while he was undefeated, he was held to a draw by Tony Blum, who took second in the section. Our other director, Melvin Patrick, topped Quad 2, edging out the surging Druha Karunakaran. Perhaps, though, the term “surging” should be saved for Kurt Rubin, whose perfect performance in Quad 3 gained him nearly 50 rating points. In the end, however, no group could hold a candle to the drama of Quad 4, where Carl Scovens, Alan Pinto, and Narendran Krishnan battled to a three-way tie.

Crosstable

 

CCFC Blitz

The CCFC concluded 2010 with a flurry of activity, hosting its first blitz tournament on Thursday, December 30th. Ten players participated in the nine-round, single-round-robin event, and the time control of G/5 (with no delay) made for several gripping finishes.

Blitz Chess Tournament

Top honors belonged to the CCFC’s own Dan Lowinger, who posted a perfect 9/9 score against very strong opposition. Sebastian Botta claimed the U1800 prize with an admirable 5/9.

Blitz Chess Tournament

Congratulations to our winners, and our thanks to all our participants! We look forward so many such exciting events in the months to come.

Crosstable

 

CCFC Pre-Grand Opening Quads

By Jeff Peterson

On December 19th, the CCFC held its very first tournament at its new Norwalk facility, and we’re proud to announce that this “shakedown” event was a rousing success. Sixteen participants took part, ranging from talented youngsters to master strength.

Chess Tournament

The master quad was dominated by our own Daniel Lowinger, who reeled off three wins against extremely tough opposition. In section two, Dan Cooper posted his own three-game sweep, looking as if he’s making a serious run toward an Expert rating. Both achieved personal rating bests. Quad 3 was the nail biter, with three of the four players scoring 2/3. Finally, our congratulations to section 4 winner William Carron, who posted a perfect 3.0 score in his first USCF event!

Chess Tournament

The CCFC would like to thank all of our participants for making this a truly memorable tournament. We look forward to seeing you all again during our busy 2011 tournament season.

Crosstable

 

CCFC Quads

After nearly a month without a CCFC adult tournament, the stage was set for an incredibly competitive affair as 6 players rated over 2000 (placing them in the top 5% in the nation) and 3 over 2200 showed up to duke it out, leading to a 6-player swiss at the top. While I was more than a tad lucky to tie for 3rd with 1.5/3, it was CCFC regular, the ever-dangerous Oliver Chernin, and CCFC not-so-regular-but-definitely-dangerous Harrison Wheeler who shared top honors with 2.5/3. Congratulations to them! 8 more players formed 2 quads with newcomer Alanna Katz topping Quad 1 with a perfect 3-0! Alanna wondered before the event if she was in form - well, she certainly was! In Quad 2 it was the young Julian Wang with 2.5/3 who took top honors, completing a set of weekend tournaments that saw a phenomenal rating rise from the 1100s to the 1300s! Congratulations to him!

Crosstable

K-8 Scholastic Championships

After months of preparation and anticipation, November 7th finally arrived and with it CCFC's inaugural scholastic event: the Fairfield County K-8 Chess Championships! Held at Tracey Elementary School in Norwalk, the event drew 90 participants and was our largest tournament to date, drawing kids from as close as Norwalk and as far as Rhode Island! All in all, teams and individuals competed in 5 sections. See the results below! Congratulations to all of our school and individual winners, and to everyone who took part for making this a memorable event full of good competition and good sportsmanship. If you thought this event was fun, hold your breath for our next one which will take place in our very own dedicated chess facility! We can't wait to see you there!!

Rated Section Results


Unrated Section Results

 

 

FCC Quads

Another ultra competitive set of quads characterized our 10/31 event. In section 1, it was Ian and myself who prevailed with 2.5/3, but the story of the tournament was the incredible performance of Druha Karunakaran who took Quad 2 for a perfect score of 3/0 despite entering as the lowest rated entrant! His incredible performance catapulted him from the low 1500s to the mid-1600s. Keep your eye on this one, folks! Finally, our 3rd quad was a very close affair with CCFC dangerous regular Rajendra Krishnan prevailing with 2.5/3. Congratulations to everyone!

FCC Swiss

Deviating from the normal routine, FCC's 10/24 G60 Quads was turned into an 8 person Swiss. I'm tempted to say this was all home grown strategy, since Derek Meredith's usual MO (He comes from New Britain, he sees the puny experts and masters of Norwalk, and he conquers) was finally stopped - scratch that - slowed, by FCC regular and celebrity (see pictures and news of him on our accolades page!) Aman Karunakaran! Worry not, however, as Derek bounced back to once again come tied for first with 2.5/3. Yours truly, after entering with a bye, managed 2/2 with a couple of scrappy affairs (against Aman and Ian, respectively) to complete the tie.

Read Aman's insightful comments on his game here!

Sunday G/30 Quads

CCFC Quads

It was another tough day at FCC with two challenging quads. In Quad 2, Leo Bykhovsky continued the Bykhovsky legacy at FCC with a tremendous 3-0. Hubert Herring, at 1764, was bumped into Quad 1 facing 3 chess masters! Though his result went the way predicted by rating, we commend him for his courage and fine play.

CCFC Quads

CCFC Quads

Quad 1 was won in fine style by Oliver Chernin with 2.5/3, defeating yours truly (Daniel Lowinger) in the critical last round game to capture clear 1st.

See his games here!

 

2010 Ryan Park Human Chess

Giant Chess Game

The 2010 Ryan Park Human Chess Game, held October 10th, drew a large crowd of people to a very exciting event. This was the first time that such an event has taken place in in Norwalk. The event was sponsored by the John M. Glover Agency and Friends of Ryan Park. The playing field was very diverse in almost every way imaginable, including the participants' knowledge of how to play the game of chess. Despite one young pawn missing at the beginning of the game, (Perhaps hoping to have time to get a treat from the ice cream truck before the game) he was quickly ushered back onto the board and the match began!

Giant Chess Game

Famous boxers Tarvis and Travis Simms announced the moves for each side. Thanks to the flawless organizing skills of local chess teacher and match referee Christopher Potts, the rest of the game went off without a hitch!

Chris Potts

Although the players followed a script during the game which showed them where to go, many of them were quite knowledgeable about how to play, as NM Daniel Lowinger and myself would soon find out!

Giant Chess Game

Once the human chess game had concluded many of the players ventured over for the "Master Challenge". Lowinger and I took on all comers, with anyone taking a point from us getting a medal. After what seemed like several hours and many games, with a few close calls, we remained undefeated.

Master Challenge

The challenge continued until the sun went down. If you missed the event, never fear, for it is likely that this will become an annual tradition! I am certainly looking forward to 2011's edition of a human chess game and next year's "Master Challenge"!

Local media Coverage

 

Sunday G/30 Quads

In spite of extremely short notice (less than a week!), 10 fierce fighters descended upon Norwalk's police station to do battle. The story of the tournament must be newcomer Ben Gershenov who, although ranked 3rd with a 2100+ rating, finished with a perfect 3-0 score to take clear first. Congratulations to him !! Yours truly was taken out of contention in a highly complex struggle with Ian Harris. While I hate losing, I take consolation from the creative tribute Ian paid to recently deceased Chess legend Bent Larsen; Ian played Larsen's opening, 1. b3, and the game was probably out of theory by the 4th move. I soon took over the initiative, but in true Larsen style, Ian defended tenaciously and creatively and took home the full point. I think Bent would have been proud.

View Games Here

Crosstable

Bughouse Tournament

Bughouse Tournament

FCC's first bughouse tournament produced four highly competitive teams. Once the smoke cleared, three of them had tied for first! See the crosstable here.

Special thanks to Koji Takasumi for providing pizza for everyone!

Congratulations to Melvin Patrick who won the following spontaneous blitz tournament with a perfect 8-0 score!!

 

Sunday G/60 Quads

FCC Quads

Our G/60 Quads produced some close contests and telling drama, as usual. 16 players comprised the field in 4 quads: in Quad 4, emerging victorious after his hiatus in Latin America (what secret strategies did they teach him there?!) was FCC regular Frank Rivera, who also took his rating over the 1k mark. Congratulations to him! In Quad 3 it was the absolutely terrifying Druha Karunakaran, who has taken his rating from 1200 to 1500 in a single month!!!! Sibling rivalries abound at FCC, but this one must take the cake: immediately after Druha's younger brother Aman made his appearance on our Congratulations page for his stellar performance at the Bradley Open, Druha has been on an absolute tear with, as mentioned, 300 rating points from his last 5 events. Druha finished with a perfect 3-0. Congratulations to him on his exceptional feats of late!

FCC Quads

In Quad 2 it was the Bykhovsky brothers seeking to continue their rampage...with success! This time it was younger brother Andrew who defeated his brother and took the quad with a perfect 3-0, though it should be mentioned that FCC regular Hubert Herring stepped in at clear 2nd with 2/3! Finally in Quad 1 it was a battle of hungry upstarts vs. grizzled veterans as high A-players (and high schoolers) Max Steinberg and Avery Chen took on expert Hanon Russell and yours truly. The tension began early in Quad 1 with Max clipping me for a draw with a beautiful tactic to save a difficult position (see below). Hanon powered to a 2-0 start setting up a decisive battle for first in the last round with me having to win "to order" with black.

View Games

Crosstable

2010 Fairfield County Open!

22 players participated in this year’s FCC edition of Summer Speed!
Of the 22, two were active top International Grandmasters, one was one of the strongest International Masters in the nation, and nine(!) were rated over 2000 (an achievement in the top 5% of competitive chess players nationwide). As FCC regular, all-around friendly guy and class A player Al Lasser remarked as he pulled up his seat to begin our game: “I’ve certainly got my money’s worth!” Indeed, Fairfield County Chess’ speed tournament is quickly becoming the strongest speed tournament in the nation!

Fairfield County Open

Part of the excitement of speed chess is that anything can happen! With no increment added to the original ten minutes, even top players show their nerves. As early as round 2 Fairfield County Chess instructor Ian Harris had top seeded GM Alexander Stripunsky on the ropes. Down an entire rook and pawn with no appreciable time advantage or other compensation, GM Stripunsky was forced to sweat but ultimately showed his incredible toughness and resolve, holding on and distracting Ian with consistent tactical shots to bring home the full point. National Life Master, Fairfield County Chess regular and frequent titled player killer Oliver Chernin -- who ultimately finished clear 3rd: Congratulations to him!! -- took down nationally renowned International Master Robert Hungaski in a deeply prepared line that the two had discussed previously (formerly with Hungaski the victor). As the triumphant Chernin remarked with a bit of a wry grin after the game: “Never repeat an opening variation against me!” I, for one, will be heeding this advice! See the game below!

Fairfield County Open

Ultimately it all ended in a tie for first between our two Alexander Grandmasters: Alexander Lenderman and Alexander Stripunsky who took home $400 apiece. Congratulations to them! Clear third place, worth a nice $200 went, as mentioned, went to Oliver Chernin! Trophies were also awarded to our top scholastic participants. The results for these were as follows: 1st, Avery Chen, 2nd, Zachary Tanenbaun (who nearly achieved a stalemate against IM Hungaski!), 3rd, Richie Takasumi, 4th, Kurt Rubin, and 5th, Druha Karunakaran. Class prizes went to Avery Chen for the U2000, Leo Bykhovsky and Zachary Tanenbaum for the U1800 and Richie Takasumi and Koji Takasume for the U1600/UNR.

As for yours truly, I anticipated a sluggish event, predicting this publicly at Friday night’s Barnes and Noble meeting, and did not disappoint! Although I managed to play to rating expectations (defeating all lower rated opponents), the wins were scrappy affairs and I not infrequently blundered outright. As for my games against the Grandmasters, well, I managed to recreate enough of them for you to judge for yourselves.

Click Here to see games with analysis.

Crosstable

 

Brain Games 2010

With Thanks from Fairfield County Chess to the Weston Public Library and Friends of the Weston Public Library, in particular our liaison Mary Welsch-Lehmann for hosting the event!

Brain Games

On August 21, 2010, intrigued by the challenge, novelty, serene location and virtually unlimited free pizza, children from all corners of Connecticut put down their toys, video games and summer reading and flocked to the Weston public library to participate in Fairfield County Chess’ first scholastic chess tournament of the summer, the “Brain Games” challenge! The children came in all shapes and sizes - experienced chess tournament veterans up to 16 years old and 7 year old household champions looking to test their skills for the first time in the wider chess world. They came from as close as Weston and as far as Monroe and Trumbull; in total 10 Connecticut towns were represented.

Of the 42 participants, 15 walked away with trophies but everyone left with a smile as the staff of Fairfield County Chess ensured that every participant was a winner by focusing the children’s attention on the mission of chess as described in our mission statement: to have fun, to meet new friends, and, well, to eat pizza!

Scholastic Chess Tournament


To maximize the quality of the challenge, participants were divided into 3 categories: an unrated section (primarily for first-timers), a K-5 rated section and a 6-12 rated section. Rated sections were officially recognized by the United States Chess Federation and count toward each child’s national standing. At the end of a taxing day of mental gymnastics (the first round began at 10:30 am and the last round concluded near 4 pm) the silhouette of 6 champions could be made out as the smoke cleared: in the unrated section, 1st and 2nd (on tie breaks) went to Will Carron of Southport and Dalton Yu of Trumbull, both with a perfect 4-0 score; in the K-5 rated it was Daniel Lu of Stamford and Henry Stratakis-Allen of Westport who split the top two prizes with 3/4; finally, in the 6-12 rated section it was Druha Karunakaran of Norwalk and Patrick Stots of Stamford who split the top two prizes with a near perfect 3.5/4. A hearty congratulations to everyone! Click below for crosstables.

Rated Section

Unrated Section

 

FCC August Workshops!

Chess Camp

Fairfield County Chess kids were back with a vengeance in August as we pursued possibly our most complex theme yet: the sacrifice of material and the coordinated initiative. For a better understanding of our focus, the annotated consultation game below is worth a thousand words: borrowing a highly controversial position from the riveting encounter Kasparov-Andersson 1981, our two teams of students produced FCC’s most dramatic consultation game to date!

Check it out here!

 

New Britain Summer Open

A harrowing journey to the hinterlands of...New Britain!

On what proved to be a bright, sunny and beautiful weekend in early August, two courageous representatives of Fairfield County Chess took the leap of faith into the unknown, shunning a comfortable, convenient and competitive CCA tournament in Stamford, CT to journey an hour northward into the great unknown territory with the pugnacious name...New Britain! In all honesty, were it not for the endearing request of the incredibly friendly and warm gentleman Mr. Derek Meredith, a regular (and regular winner!) at FCC events and a high-ranking officer of the New Britain club, Ian and yours truly would not have braved the venture. But Derek promised not only a unique format focused on friendly and respectful chess (10 second increments, trophies instead of cash prizes) but a free lunch to boot! And did he ever deliver on his promise! The tournament was wonderful in just about every way you can ask of a tournament. The location was serene (we played on a golf course!), the participants (all 70 or so of them!) were friendly and sociable, and the organization was superb. Add to that the fact that both Ian and myself played 4 competitive games (see below) despite coming in ranked #2 and #5 respectively, and you can understand our satisfaction. And, despite the fact that both Ian and I scored a respectable 3.5/4, it was not enough to win as clear first place went to the recently resurgent NM Rick Bauer, a New Britain regular. Our hearty congratulations to him on a superb performance!!

See the games Here!

Match with Norwalk Seniors!

The Norwalk Senior Center can boast a hale group of chess players as Mr. Patrick and yours truly found out upon accepting our invitation to a mini-match at their regular Thursday meeting (visit our Meetings page to see details). In addition to playing vigorous chess these gentlemen are warm, welcoming and engaging to the core! Don't be surprised if they turn up across the board from you at an FCC event. They'll coax you with their charisma, but when the game starts, watch out!

Below is a sample of the games we played there. As you'll see, things did not go as smoothly for us as we anticipated !

See the games Here!

Saturday G/60 Quads

FCC Quads

FCC’s Saturday Quads was what you’d expect at FCC: we had a national master, a national scholastic star, and some serious drama!

The Bykhovsky brothers were back for more after their joint rampage in our previous event (see our recap of the U1500 swiss). Little brother Andrew made good on the Bykhovsky promise by winning his quad clear first with a perfect score (!), but older brother Leo was stopped in his tracks by the onslaught of Guy Colas who, although rated the lowest in his quad went for a perfect 3-0!!! What a feat!!! Congratulations to him!!!

FCC Quads


Perhaps he has been learning a few tricks from his incredible son Josh, who is one of the highest ranked juniors in the country! But for Mr. Derek Meredith, who seems to win at FCC events with consistent ease, Josh might very well have won clear first in the quad as he defeated yours truly and Mr. Potts for a score of 2/3. In our individual encounter he employed a brilliant “scorched earth” strategy to send me to my doom (see the game with annotations below).

We encourage everyone who comes to our events to submit their games (with or without annotations) for publication on the website. We’re proud of the chess we play at FCC and want to share it with you!

View Games

 

FCC Camps 2010

FCC ran two weeks of chess camp this summer. The focus of the camps was to examine specific complex strategical topics that require sustained attention. The camps ran Monday-Friday the weeks of June 4th and June 11th. We may be running another week in August - keep checking our website for updates!

Each week the students played a “consultation” game. The students were divided into two teams headed by Ian and myself, and consulted with the members of their team to determine moves. The result was a game that took many hours of dialogue and deep thinking to complete. See the games with annotations below for yourselves. You’re sure to be impressed!

Consultation Game Analysis

Match: Meriden vs. FCC

It all started with an enigmatic e-mail from Meriden chess club leader Bryant Keith: a cohort of hardcore chess amateurs, outside the reach of USCF land and law, was challenging the premier chess club in the tri-state to a match! Although none of its players has participated in a USCF tournament, the Meriden club was confident of respectable results against our top line-up of tournament seasoned veterans and talented juniors. Although those of us at FCC doubted the likelihood of a group of provincial, recluse chess geniuses, the possibility of chess history being made never escaped us: would this alien group of chess players produce new strategies and tactics never before seen in the professional chess arena? Would they pull off the impossible and defeat a group of nationally ranked tournament players?

Chess Match


There is a legend that during the 1927 World Championship match between Alexander Alekhine and Jose Raul Casablanca a hooded stranger approached the hotel where the two players were staying with an incredible claim: he had solved the game of chess and could defeat any player in 10 moves. Naturally he was scorned by both Alekhine and Capablanca at first but after prolonged insistence he was finally granted admission to Capablanca’s room for a game. He promptly defeated Capablanca in 10 moves, as advertised. The pieces were reset, and the feat was performed again. After several such games, Capablanca took him to Alekhine’s room to see if the solution would work against Alekhine’s play, which it did. What were the players to do? Such a discovery, if widely known, would end all public intrigue for chess forever after! Well, the only thing to do: they killed the stranger!

Back to our match with Meriden: you can be confident that we had no intention to kill anyone (especially as our match was held in a police station!). We did, however, post strong results in our first few rounds (averaging 1 defeat, 1 draw, and 6 wins). In spite of the results, many of the games were closer than they first appeared. My first opponent, after blundering early in our official game, took me deep into an endgame in our second, unofficial one. Click Here to view the game.

After 3 rounds the score stood strongly in favor of FCC and we suggested to finish the afternoon with some blitz. The Meriden group strongly favored playing the final round - they were out for blood! Incredibly, they finished with an even score in this round, taking down 1850 level and strong FCC regular Daniel Cooper with a nice double threat! One of these threats was checkmate: needless to say, Cooper did not prioritize the right threat! In any event, the Meriden group certainly earned our complete respect, both as players and people. They were friendly and classy, and we sincerely hope to see them at some future FCC events!

Crosstable

FCC Players

Rd 1

Rd 2

Rd3

Rd4

Total

1

Lowinger, D

W 1

W 2

W 3

W 4

4

2

Harris, I

W 2

W 3

W 4

W 1

4

3

Potts, C

W 3

W 4

W 1

W 2

4

4

Cooper, D

W 4

W 1

W 2

L 3

3

5

Botta, S

W 5

W 6

W 7

W 8

4

6

Patrick, M

L 6

L 7

W 8

L 5

1

7

Karunakaran, D

D 7

W 8

W 5

L 6

2.5

8

Karunakaran, A

W 8

W 5

L 6

L 7

2

Meriden Players

Rd 1

Rd 2

Rd 3

Rd4

Total

1

Bergquist, P

L 1

L 4

L 3

L 2

0

2

Golden, T

L 2

L 1

L 4

L 3

0

3

Beleger, N

L 3

L 2

L 1

W 4

1

4

Kelly, S

L 4

L 3

L 2

L 1

0

5

Keith, B

L 5

L 8

L 7

W 6

1

6

Glowasky, M

W 6

L 5

W 8

W 7

3

7

Hettrick, C

D 7

W 6

L 5

W 8

2.5

8

Belenger, N

L 8

L 7

L 6

L 5

0

Final Score

Meriden 7.5 - FCC 24.5

FCC U1500 Swiss

The field was small but, as usual for FCC events, extremely competitive. Once again the top seeds were given a run for their money by the underdogs, and once again it came down to the top seeds in the end for all the glory. As the two undefeated K’s – George K and Jacob K – came down to their last minute each in a position featuring the imbalance of Knight vs. Bishop that we had studied all week, the queenside pawns that generated most of the tension in the game were finally swapped and the two agreed a draw: joint first place. Congratulations to both of them.

Games from the Tournament!

FCC Over 1600 Swiss

This was a strange one! Despite the $200 guaranteed first prize in the Masters section, only one master showed up, and that was yours truly! Perhaps this was not a good day for chess masters, or perhaps the word was not thoroughly disseminated (if something about the format dissuaded you, please e-mail me so we can amend it for next time!); whatever the cause, we ended up with an extremely strong 6 person swiss – average rating, close to 2000.

Ranked 1st at 2207 was yours truly, but would I be able to fend off the hungry experts who had come for my title? Coming in 2nd ranked was Ian Harris who recently earned his Masters title and was obviously hungry to get it back. A win against me would certainly take him most if not all of the way there. Ranked third was FCC regular Expert Alex Eydelman. Rounding out the field were Henry Sobo, Ethan Segall and Alexandra Wiener.

My tournament began with a frightening nail biter. Having just engaged Dr. Sobo in a calm medical discussion that led to my resolving to possibly make him the overseer of my health, he proceeded in the very first round to gravely endanger that health by taking me into a wild Q+R+Ps vs. Q+R+Ps endgame where he had an extra pawn (!) and in which we each had just a couple minutes left. With just seconds left on the clock for both of us Henry bravely (and correctly – his position was objectively winning) turned down my draw offer and marched his king into nearly the center of the board to try to escape my queen and rook checks. Fortunately an oversight on his part gave me two extra minutes and, though I ran those minutes down to just 4 seconds, Henry was ultimately the one to overstep the time mark in a position up several pawns but in which he had to use his 5 second delay time to repair a piece he had knocked over. I left the game quivering uncontrollably and will be sure to mention this blood-pressure-increasing episode if and when I check into Dr. Sobo’s office!

The favorites on boards 2 and 3 also made it through unscathed leading to a #1 v. #2 match up with me having the White pieces against Ian Harris. Now, Ian and I have played nearly 200 games against each other, most of them blitz games occurring in the past few months over the ICC. Most of our blitz games in which I play white begin with 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6. Having set Ian up so nicely to believe that I unfailingly enter this line with White, I confidently unpacked my old favorite opening, the Vienna! (1. e4 e5 2. Nc3!?). This strategy seemed to work well as Ian had used 10 of his 30 minutes by move 5. On his 6th move Ian played his favorite …f5 move and the attack was underway. See the game here!

As Eydelman also won against Henry I was destined to play my third hungry expert in a row for all the glory. Now, Eydelman and I have also played many, many games – most of them tournament games – and in the past few months I have been using the Scandinavian (1. e4 d5!?) to try and blunt his aggressive intentions. This has worked reasonably well for me, but I notice that each time we play Alex’s opening moves improve bit by bit. Having played this opening against him probably about 4-5 times by now, I was no longer interested to see what his latest improvement might be – just in case it was the one that put the nail in my coffin! So I trotted out 1.e4 e5!?! and as I haven’t played this move in a tournament since I was approximately 9 years old, I quickly found myself in uncharted (for me) territory in a Ruy in which white plays an early d4. Now, although the sometimes cynical Daniel Cooper (more on him later as mention of him deserves a special digression) wryly commented that my game was a “Grandmaster draw”, it was in fact no such thing since, although the game concluded with an accepted draw offer on move 13, I had used 1/3 of my total time by then and had already turned down Alex’s draw offer – albeit on the move before (move 12).

So the tournament ended with Alex Eydelman and myself in a joint tie for first. Congratulations to Alex for pulling ahead as a (slight) underdog!
Now, regarding that digression: Daniel Cooper, one of FCC’s first regular tournament directors, and the referent of the “DC” part of “AKDC” tournaments, is back in town after a year studying law in Scotland! As is typical and characteristic of him, Dan Cooper came by our tournament with one intention only: to be as helpful as possible. Since we had 6 already, Dan generously decided not to enter and spent the entire day spectating, kibitzing, analyzing, sharing lunch, and playing blitz. A special guy.

A special thank you also to Dr. Sobo for submitting his round 3 game. Please submit your games so we can share what happens at FCC with chess fans and those who aren’t able to make it!

Crosstable

 

FCC U1600 Championship

FCC’s U1600 Championship 2010 featured an extremely strong group of players. Topping the rankings was FCC regular Leo Bykhovsky, whose official rating fell just shy of 1600 despite recent tournaments placing him well over the mark. He would be a tough leader to topple. Coming in second on the rankings was Zachary Filler, a star of a nationally competitive scholastic team and a tremendous talent whose rating has shot up like a rocket. Trailing him by a bit was regular FCC tournament section winner Steven Weinstein. Dark horse Andrew Bykhovsky, Leo’s brother, was also in attendance. After upsetting local talent and FCC afternoon camp student Terrence McGrath in round 1, would he find his way to the leader board? A special thank you to Rajendra Krishnan for entering round 1 to even out the field.

With 1 round to go it was going to be a showdown between our number 1 and 2 ranked players. Despite a setback loss to Steven Weinstein in round 2, Zachary clawed his way back to give himself a shot at a tie for first place with a White pairing against Leo in the final round. Steven Weinstein faced off against Leo’s brother, Andrew, who had only lost one game, to Leo! A thrilling finale!
In the end it was the Bykhovsky brothers taking clear 1st and 2nd. Congratulations to them!! Steven Weinstein took 3rd on tiebreaks, having had the toughest opposition playing both Bykhovsky brothers and 2nd ranked Zachary Filler. A well deserved 3rd place!

Hope to see you all in the future and please submit your games for publication on the website!!

Crosstable

2010 Masters & Class Championship

2010 Masters

2010 Masters IM Hungaski

The May 2010 Masters won’t soon be forgotten. The tournament site (the Norwalk Public Library) lost power. The library staff was forced to evacuate the building before the start of the first round. An organizer’s nightmare.

2010 Masters Karunakaran

But chess players are a hearty bunch. They came from all over to play chess and would not be denied. At the suggestion of one our favorites Derek Meredith, we investigated the availability of the community room at the Norwalk police station, one of the sites that we use for our quads. The room was available but the police did not know if it was reserved later in the day. We took a chance and 42 of the 50+ players trekked across town…and they played happily ever after.

2010 Masters GM Paragua

Once again the masters section was stacked. Despite the fact the some of our regulars (GMs Lenderman, Stripunsky, Kacheishvili, and Kudrin) were at the US Championships, the field sparkled with chess luminaries.

2010 Masters GM Ibragimov

 

The class section was chock-full of piranha including 10 experts.

Masters

1st - NM Leif Pressman, GM Ildar Ibragimov, IM Robert Hungaski - $333 each

2010 Masters Peterson

Class

1st – Evan Rabin, Tony Blum, Ian Harris - $233 each

U2000 – Avery Chen - $100

U1800 – Joseph Mansigian, Leo Bykhovsky - $50 each

U1600 – Jeffrey Peterson - $100

 

Crosstable

 

2009 Masters & Class Championship

2009 Masters

The strength of the competition was unbelievable. The masters section included 4 GM’s, 1 IM, and 1 FM. The average rating in the section was 2421.

The class section was also formidable including 11 experts and an average rating of a whopping 1845. A special congratulations to Zakhar Maymin for recording an impressive perfect score.

2009 Masters

Masters

1st – GM Ildar Ibragimov, GM Giorgi Kacheishvili, GM Alex Stripunsky, IM Robert Hungaski - $250 each
Class Championships

1st - Zakhar Maymin - $400

2nd - Ian Harris, Joshua Colas, Daniel Lowinger – $100 each

U2000 – Nathan Gotman, Michael Finneran, Alan Lasser - $33

U1800 - Michael Ainsworth - $100

U1600 – Kurt Rubin, Ryan Young – $50 each

Crosstable

 

 

 

CROSSTABLES

2011

Friday Night Blitz
Winter Quads
AK Quads
Shark-Free Challenge
K-5 Scholastic Championship
December Open
Friday Night Blitz
Shark-Free Challenge
Friday Night Blitz
Autumn Quads
Shark-Free Challenge
Fairfield County Open
Shark-Free Challenge
Autumn Quads
Shark-Free Challenge
K-5 Scholastic Championship
November G/30 Open
Shark-Free Challenge
Autumn Quads
Friday Night Blitz
Autumn Quads
Shark-Free Challenge
K-5 Scholastic Championship
Shark-Free Challenge
Saturday Swiss
Friday Night Blitz
Saturday Quads
Friday Night Blitz
Shark-Free Challenge
Saturday Quads
Friday Night Blitz
Thursday Night Action
Shark-Free Challenge
Saturday Quads
Thursday Night Action
Shark-Free Challenge
K-5 Scholastic Champs
CASH SHOWDOWN
Friday Night Blitz
Shark-Free Challenge
Saturday Quads
Friday Night Blitz
Thursday Night Action
CASH SHOWDOWN
Thursday Night Action
Shark-Free Challenge
K-5 Scholastic Champs
Saturday Quads
Thursday Night Action
Shark-Free Challenge
Friday Blitz
Thursday Night Action
Shark-Free Challenge
Thursday Night Action
Shark-Free Challenge
Saturday Quads
Friday Blitz
Thursday Action
Bughouse & Pizza
Shark-Free Challenge
G/30 Quads
Friday Night Blitz
Thursday Action
Friday Night Blitz
K-5 Scholastic Champs
Shark-Free Challenge
5th CASH SHOWDOWN
Shark Free Challenge
Fairfield County Masters
Tuesday Classic!
Shark Free Challenge
K-5 Scholastic Champs
Thursday Action
CASH SHOWDOWN
G/30 Quads
Thursday Action
G/30 Quads
Tuesday Classic
CASH SHOWDOWN
G/60 Quads
G/30 Quads
G/5 Blitz
K-5 Scholastic Champs
G/30 Quads
G/60 Quads
G/30 Quads
Thursday Action
Tuesday Classic
G/60 Quads
G/30 Quads
G/10 Blitz
Thursday Action
G/60 Quads
CASH SHOWDOWN
Thursday Action
G/60 Quads
K-2 Scholastic Champs
G/30 Quads
Thursday Action
Tuesday Classic
G/60 Quads
G/30 Quads
Thursday Action
G/60 Quads
3-5 Scholastic
G/30 Quads
Thursday Action
K-2 Scholastic
G/30 Quads
G/60 Quads
CASH SHOWDOWN
1st Tuesday Classic
G/30 Quads
3-5 Scholastic
G/60 Quads
G/30 Quads
K-2 Scholastic
G/60 Quads
Friday Night Blitz!
G/30 Quads
G/60 Quads
CCFC vs. NBCC
G/30 Quads
G/30 Quads
G/60 Quads

 

 
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