From the Pig's Pen

edition 16 * September 18th, 2014

The range of Chess events expanded these week as tournaments were held from Hendersonville to Henderson. We start off out west as 22 people successfully eluded their doctors (at least for one day)  in the Apples in Hendersonville event. Claude Corbett won the “Pomaceous” division by scoring 2½ out of 3. Frederick Olmstead was perfect in the “Inflorescence” division. Grant Haldeman scored three wins in the “Epicuticular Wax” division. NM Neal Harris was picked to be the chief tournament director of this “gala” that would’ve made Granny Smith proud.


Heading east we stopped over at the Asheboro Mall where 21 participants gathered for the Asheboro Open. FM Robin Cunningham, NM Patrick Sciacca, and Aaron Balleisen all split first place in the open division with 2½ out of 3. The Candidates division saw Philip Billings and Venkat Shanmugavadivel. each go 3+0=0- to share the section title.


Philip Billings (left) shows off his winnings from the Asheboro Open, which was directed by Tom Hales (right).


The Henderson Vance Chess Chess held it’s In house club tournament this past Saturday as well. Gordan Ray won the Open Division for this event with 3 out of 3. Cliff High won the quicker Under 1000 division with 4½ out of 5. Rudy Abate directed the tournament which drew 18 participants.


The young’n’s got in on the fun on Sunday where 60 kids converged on the Triangle Math and Science Academy for the TMSA Challenge III run by Venkat Shanmugavadivel. A strong Division I was won by James Dill, Alex Chen, and Kevin Xi who scored 2½ out of 3 each. Division II was conquered by Ethat he win three straight wins. Forrest Liu scored a victory in Division III with 4½ out of 5 points. Ojas Patwardhan and Jay Yadav each recorded five point tallies in Divisions IV and V respectively.



The Carolina Cobras lost another close match this past Wednesday falling to the Miami Sharks by a slim 2½-1½ margin. FM Andrey Chumachenko, who was added to the Cobras roster this week, scored a draw on board two against FM Marcel Martinez. Aaron Balleisen also made his U.S. Chess League deubt, but came up just a bit short against NM Carlos Andretta. IM Kassa Korley put up a valiant fight against rock-solid GM Julio Becerra in a very entertaining game that is a strong candidate for game of the week.

The highlight of the night was the performance turned in by NM Kevin Mo on board three. Kevin built a blistering attack and an exchange sacrifice netted him three pawns as compensation against NM Tony Arencia. NM Craig Jones commented in the skittles room that the pawn were “like ants at a picnic.” Those ants ended up ruining Arencibia’s picnic when one of them queened forcing his resignation.

NM Kevin Mo.jpg

The Cobras are now 1-3 on the season and will play the New Jersey Knockouts next week who feature GMs Alexander Stripunsky and GM Joel Benjamin. Games may be viewed live on both and the Internet Chess Club or in person at the Triangle Chess Center. Matches start at 7PM next Tuesday.


Only one player gets the spotlight this week for reaching a new rating level.

Player                                       .

Achievement   .


Ethan He


TMSA Challenge III

I would like to thank Venkat Shanmugavadivel and Philip Billings for their contributions to this week’s article.

Best Regards,

Jeff “Pig” Jones