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January-February 2009 Results and Events


           STAMPEDE at the Durham Academy Winter Scholastic!!           

Dateline:  Feb 28, 2009:  One hundred fifty-nine players herded into Durham Academy Lower School in a frantic last-minute preparation for the NC State Scholastic.  The event also included a closed non-scholastic section.  This was won by Adam Holmes with a perfect 3.0 score, earning him $150.00 cash.  FM Ron Simpson and Jeff Jones, who each took half point byes, tied for second with 2.5 points.  They split the $100.00 second prize. 

There were clear first place winners in each Scholastic Section, which indicates good pairing procedure by the tournament director.  The winners broken down by section were:  K-12 Under 1500:  1st:  Ivan Kuznetsov with 3.5, 2nd: Benjamin McDonald, Carl Ward, Dane Simon, and Jeffery Zhou with 3.0 each. K-12 Under 1000:  1st:  Zachary Hunter with 4.0, 2nd:  Austin Liu with 3.5 points.  K-5:  Akash Krishna with 4.0,  2nd Anish Kottu and Thomas Wang with 3.5 each.  K-3:  1st Robert Hellinga with 5.0, 2nd: Victor Zhao, Vincent Xia, Christopher Chaves, and Ian Layzer with 4.0 each.  K-1:  Felix Zhao with 5.0, 2nd:  Tony Feng, Kaylan Wang, and Kenan Balkas with 4.0 each.

The event was directed by Ben Jones, who certainly had his hands full!  Kudos to him and Durham Academy Chess Club for their great work in the chess community.  For a complete cross table, click HERE.


2008 Western NC High School Class Regional Draws 32 "Chessmen."

Dateline:  Feb 28, 2009:  Originally scheduled for December 6th of last year, this much anticipated annual event drew eight teams from across the region for both team and individual competition.

The top-finishing teams were:  West Caldwell was 1st overall and 1st 2AA with 11.5 points; Newton-Conover was 1st 2A with 11 points; Hibriten High School was 3rd overall and 2nd 2AA with 8.5 points; Alexander Central was first 4A with 7 points; Willow Brook Christian was 1st At Large with 7 team points; McDowell High School was 1st 4AA with 4.5 points, and Wilkes Central won 3rd 2AA with a total of 3.5 points.

The following individual players were first place finishers: 

Matt Embler (West Caldwell) was 1st overall and 1st 2AA with 4 points; Andew Simonsen (Willow Brook Christian) was 1st overall and 1st At Large with 4 points;  Jordan Joseph and Kyle Salvaterra (Newton) were 1st 2A with 3 points;  Arturo Suarez (Alexander Central) was first 4A with 3 points; Nick Joseph (Hickory HS) was 1st 3A with 3 points; and  Alex Acree (McDowell) was 1st 4AA with 2 points. 

A total of thirty-two participated with Randy Lovelace directing, and John Thomas assisting.  Check out the complete cross-table HERE.


FM Ron Simpson Refuses to Share his TACO!

Dateline:  Feb 21, 2009:  FM Ron Simpson (photo right) continued his dominance in Raleigh this Saturday, winning the Open Section of the TACO 48 for a fifth time in a row!  Can anyone interrupt his winning streak?  The field was not exactly a cake-walk, but included tough competitors like NM Maurice Dana, a fellow NC Invitational Invitee, and David Noden, a seasoned player who should not be underestimated.  Noden proved his mettle by securing a draw with NM Dana in round two.  Leonardo Sotaridona, who recently moved to the area from Colorado also managed a bit of an upset by drawing NM Dana. 

Our NC Champion prevailed at the end of the day at 4-0, winning $135 for first place and 120 NC Grand Prix points.  Whoosh!  Nothing but net!  FM Simpson has proven time and again that he is a fearless competitor who doesn't mind laying it on the line for a Saturday Swiss.  Leonardo Sotaridona and Paul King tied for second with 2.5 each, winning $35 and 40 NC Grand Prix points for their efforts.  Allan Jiang, Connor Labean, and Larry Williams split the class prize and took home $15.00 apiece.  .

Joshua Taylor cleaned up in the Advanced section with a perfect 4-0 score, and earned a cool $100 for his  performance.   Emil Mayev took clear second with a 3-1 score, pocketing $50.  David Murray sailed through the Intermediate Section, finishing with a 4-0 score and $100 cash.  William Lefew took second in the section and won $50 for his effort.
Twenty-six players participated for a total of $550 in cash prizes and NC Grand Prix points to boot.  For a complete cross table, click HEREPhoto by Victor Beaman, who directed the event.   


Cupid, draw back your bishop!  NM Chris Mabe wins Valentine's Quark

NM Chris Mabe "broke some hearts" this Saturday as he went 3-0 to earn clear first at the Quark X.  Second place ended up in a three way tie, with NM Leland Fuerstman, David Stamper, and Joshua Turner splitting the remaining spoils.  Seven players participated. 

The Valentine's Day event was held at the Mint Hill Public Library, a quiet and comfortable location convenient to many restaurants.  Be sure to check for details of the next Quark at www.charlottechess.com.   

For a complete cross table, click HERE.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    NM Chris Mabe

Photo courtesy NM Leland Fuerstman


Chess Politics Run Amuck

NM Leland Fuerstman has been an important part of North Carolina chess for over thirty five years.  However, a recent post on his message board has left some (including me) wondering how we arrived at a place where all manner of civility has gone out the window.  Is this in the best interest of chess?  I don't think so.

It is perfectly legitimate to question the competence of a leader, but it can be done is a respectful way.  Comparing Gary Newsom to a Nazi goes beyond hyperbole, and is an unseemly way to address grievances real or imagined.      I also find it inappropriate to question someone's integrity without evidence.  This appears to be one point of the said message, to imply that the NC Invitational selection process has been manipulated for personal gain. 

I am closer to this process than most, one might say on the "front lines."  Mistakes have been made, but I have seen no evidence to suggest that either Victor Beaman or Gary Newsom deserve to have their good intentions questioned.  On the contrary, I have seen in Gary a willingness to step aside to avoid controversy.  If Gary Newsom plays in the NC Invitational, it will be the result of specifically meeting the qualifications, and nothing more.

This statement has been posted with the prior approval of President Beaman and Vice-President Newsom, but they neither approved the content beforehand, nor edited it in any way.  So this is one man's opinion.


Tom Hales, editor.


Daniel Su Triumphs at the Wake County Scholastic Championship

Dateline Feb 7:  Daniel Su battled his way through six rounds of scholastic contenders to win the K-8 Championship at the 2009 Wake County Scholastic Championship.  He was undefeated with 5.5 of 6.0 possible points.  Second place went to Sam Ferguson with 5.0.  Benjamin McDonald dominated a smaller 9-12 Section, scoring a perfect 6.0.  Mark Larus earned second with 3.5 points.  For a complete cross table, click HERE.


Michael Gmeiner goes 4-0 to win the K-12 Section in Winston Salem

Dateline Feb 7:  The Winston Salem Scholastic Chess Winter VII drew a robust turnout of 47 players, who were divided into three large sections for some tough chess competition.  In the K-12 Section, Michael Gmeiner cruised through with a perfect 4-0.  Rounding the bend in second place were Milan Shah, Joshua Caviness, Michael Cho, and Matthew Gorton with 3-0 each.

The K-8 Section also finished with a clear winner as Aidan Burdick dominated the field at 4-0.  Close on his heels was Ryan White, who was undefeated with 3.5 points.  Tennessee's David Simonsen crossed the border and took no prisoners to win the K-5 Section with 4-0.  Second place honors were shared by South Carolina's Roger Wilson and Lakelle Brown, who finished with three points each..

For a complete cross table, click HERE.


FM Andrey Chumachenko and Klaus Pohl tie for 1st at the Snowstorm Special

Not content to rest on his Land of the Sky laurels, FM Andrey Chumachenko plowed through the competition to score an impressive 4.5 of 5.0 in the 35th Snowstorm Special.  His single draw was with 13 time South Carolina Champion Klaus Pohl; it was a slugfest that lasted 77 moves.  For more coverage of this event (including the slugfest!), visit the South Carolina Chess Association's website and Charleston Chess Club's website.  For a complete USCF cross table, click HERE.


NC Champion FM Ron Simpson rules at The Asheboro Open 42                        

FM Ron Simpson took no prisoners Saturday, cutting a 3-0 swath through the Championship Section to capture clear 1st place and win $148.00 in cool cash!  Our NC Champion also took a double scoop of NC Grand Prix points estimated at 120 for his effort.  Sliding in for second were two great Champions in their own rights:  2007 NC Champion NM Chris Mabe and 2008 Scholastic Champion Jonathon McNeill tied for 2nd place at 2.0 each.  This was a superb day of chess for North Carolina!  (FM Simpson is pictured to the right) 

In the Candidates Section, veteran Stephen Styers of Greensboro shared 1st place with scholastic sharp-shooter Seth Taylor-Brill, earning each $107.50.  Styers will receive an estimated 72 NC Grand Prix points for his effort, while Taylor-Brill will have the opportunity to redeem the same points as a scholastic participant.  (For further details on scholastic participation in the NC Grand Prix, see "NC Grand Prix Details." 

The Club Section was dominated by scholastic wonder Shouri Gottiparthi, who jumped 143 rating points and won first prize of $148.00 cash.  Gottiparthi also earned the opportunity to redeem his estimated 72 NC Grand Prix points.  Second place was a three way split between father and son Greg Ellis and Charles Ellis, and newcomer Cheryl "Cherie" Braden with two points each.

Thirty four players participated, with total prizes of $750.00 @ $250.00 per section.  For a complete cross table of the event, CLICK HERE.  Look for more coverage including games and photos soon on Asheboro's web site.


Attack of the Quad Squads at Mountain Island Tournament 

A total of 74 players competed in the rated section of the Mountain Island Elementary Invitational Jan. 31 in Charlotte. Players were divided into four-player quads for three rounds of play.

Winning their quads outright were: Steve Wang, Cameron Chandler, Mark Biernacki, Samuel Kio, Christopher Pfuhl, Jake Young, Auburn Beckham, Carlos Roca, Jessie Hall, Mikel Smalle and Will Disser.

Tying for first in their quads were: Andrew Whitlock and Nathan Tong; Charlie Yang and William Farmer; Justin Farmer and Madelyn Mattucci; Ethan Lin and Daniel Whitlock; Shehrzad McNaughton, Gatlin Parrett and Luke Davis; Michael Gray, Michael Little and Steven Schultz; Bradley Hlebak and Greg Disser. Check out the crosstable.


GM Ivanov Scores Second Straight Land of the Sky Win

Right at 200 players participated in the Land of the Sky Jan. 23-25 in Asheville. In the Open Section,  GM Alexander Ivanov of Massachusetts posted a 4.5/5.0 score to grab his second straight tournament title. FM Andrey Chumachenko was the top N.C. player at 4.0/5.0. In the Amateur Section, Mike Williams made a return to tournament play with a perfect 5-0 score to take first place.

In the Booster Section, Brian Moore posted a 4.5/5.0 score to take sole first place. In the Under 1200 Section, Brian Newsom and Christopher Tavernier both went 4.5/5.0 to share the top spot. Check out the crosstable.


FM Simpson Goes 4-0 To Grab TACO Title

FM Ronald Simpson continued his dominance in the TACO by winning once again Jan. 17 in Raleigh. Simpson finished with a 4-0 score to take the top spot in the tournament and $130 for his efforts. There was a four-way tie for second: NM Craig Jones, David High, Allan Jiang, and Bradley Marts with 2.5/4.0 each splitting the $65 second prize. In the Advanced Section, Victor Beaman took first place with a 3.5/4.0 score. He won $110 for his performance. Salil Saxena was second. In the Intermediate Section, Ralph Hunt, Ivan Kuznetsov, and Ray Proctor all finished with a 3.0/4.0 score and won $55 each. A total of 29 players participated in the tournament. Check out the crosstable.


NM Agner Claims Top Spot In Durham

NM Carlito Agner (who’s played most of his chess in Michigan) posted a 3-0 score to grab first place in the adult/scholastic section of the Durham Academy Master Trek 15 Jan. 10 in Durham. Other sections were based on ratings. In the A Section, Ivan Kuznetsov went 3-0 for first place.

In the B Section, Edwin Lin went 3-0 for the top spot. In the C Section, Iyin Battle Arkady Bilenkin went 2.5/3.0 to share first place. In the D Section, Christopher Alan Chaves went a perfect 5-0 for first place. A total of 41 players participated. Check out the crosstable.


Kottu, Riedel and Xi Share Top Spot At K-5 Championship

A total of 48 players competed over 6 rounds at the Wake County K-5 Scholastic Championship Jan. 10 in Raleigh. Anish Kottu, Karen Riedel and Andrew Xi all finished with 5.0/5.0 scores to share first place. Check out the crosstable.


FM Chumachenko, McCartney Share Top Spot At Reverse Angle

FM Andrey Chumachenko and Patrick McCartney rolled off three straight wins to share the Top Section of the Reverse Angle 12 at UNC Charlotte Jan. 10. In the Under 1800 Section, Tom Hales and Gil Holmes posted a 2.5/3.0 score to share the top spot. In the Under 1400 Section, Chad Moody and Juan Luis Vargas both went 3-0 to share first place. In the Under 1100 Section, Mark Biernacki and Derek Chen went 2.5/3.0 to tie for first. A total of 57 players participated. Check out the crosstable.


Matt Embler Shines Bright At Pawndemonium

A total of 90 players participated in the 20th Annual Pawndemonium Jan. 3 in Asheville. In the K-12 Section, Matt Embler reeled off five straight wins to grab first place. In the K-8 Section, Christopher Borges also posted a 5-0 score for first place. In the K-5 Section, David Simonsen of Tennessee posted a 5-1 score for the top spot. In the K-3 Section, Mason Grant Fox of South Carolina went 5.5/6.0 for first place. Check out the crosstable.


FM Chumachenko Goes 3-0 To Grab First Asheboro Open of 2009

A total of 44 players kicked off the New Year at the Asheboro Open 41 Jan. 3, with a total prize fund of $900. In the Championship Section, FM Andrey Chumachenko went a perfect 3-0 to grab first place. NM Craig Jones was second at 2.5/3.0 

In the Candidates Section, Mike Eberhardinger took first at 3-0, with Ambrous Jacobs clear second at 2.5/3.0. In the Club Section Kevin Bell Chen and Indira Puri were both 2.5/3.0 to share the top spot. Check out the crosstable.



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