From the Pig's Pen

edition 17 * September 25th, 2014

Fall came a little early with a nip in the air this past weekend, but that didn’t mean the competition for chess glory has cooled down. 106 players filled tournament halls in Durham and Charlotte over the weekend seeking higher ratings among the victory spoils.

NM Craig Jones organized the 85th edition of the Durham Academy Master Treks. Expert Alexander Villafuerte won the Open Division with a perfect three point score. Garret Allen won the Booster Division also with a three point effort. Stanley Fontaine is starting to round into form and showed it by winning the Candidates Division with 2½.

In the scholastic/novice divisions Steven Kohl won Division A. Krishna Pallavalli won Division B. Muktsa Dharmapurikar won Division C. Megan Tarpey won Division E. The only section split was Division D where Noah Triplett and Ilaman Annagurbanov won a fiercely contested section with 3½ ot of 5 each.

Venkat Shanmugavadivel served as chief TD of Master Trek LXXXV.


Meanwhile the Charlotte Chess Center hosted Reverse Angle XLI which welcomed 41 participants. Keith Eubanks won the Open Division by scoring two wins and a draw. Curtis Ianni topped the Under 1800 Division with three wins. Debs Pedigo fought off his challengers to win the Under 1400 Division with 2½. Sahith Tanuboddi and Sathvik Avulapati each rode 2½ point performances to share the Under 1100 crown.

NM Peter Giannatos serves as chief TD of Reverse Angle XLI.



The Carolina Cobras were edged again in US Chess League play. This time the New Jersey Knockouts threw two Grandmasters at the Cobras. IM Kassa Korley was up to the challenge and upset GM Alexander Stripunsky on board one.


FM Andrey Chumachenko fell victim to GM Joel Benjamin’s tactical barrage on board two. IM Jonathan Schroer took a seat on board three and got an early advantage against teenage IM Alexander Katz, but the youngster was able to hold the draw. NM Joshua Mu made his season debut for the Cobras, but couldn’t quite shake off the rust against another youngster in expert Ethan Klein.

The loss leaves the Cobras at 1-4 on the season, but only one game behind the Baltimore Kingfishers for the third playoff spot in the south division. The Cobras will next play Wednesday October 1st at the Triangle Chess Center as they try to gain a measure of revenge against the Atlanta Kings who defeated the Cobras to open the season.


A few more players took a step up the ladder this week with new peak ratings.

Player                                       .

Achievement   .


Garret Allen


Master Trek LXXXV

Keshav Kumar


Reverse Angle XLI

Krishna Pallavalli


Master Trek LXXXV

Best Regards,

Jeff “Pig” Jones