Kasparov Chess Foundation Announces 2016 Individual and Team Regional Scholastic Championships

New York, NY, Jan. 22, 2016 — Kasparov Chess Foundation welcomes students from K – 12 grades to take part in its 2016 Scholastic Championships Series, spanning across major metropolitan areas of the nation. The Foundation is sponsoring these tournaments in association with local chess organizations in each region, including Maryland State Chess Association in the Mid-Atlantic, and Renaissance Knights Foundation in the Midwest.

The tournament schedules are as follows:

Feb. 6, Greater Mid-Atlantic Scholastic Chess Championships at the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute & Western High School, 1400 W. Cold Spring Lane, Baltimore, MD; eMail: tournaments@mdchess.com; visit: http://www.mdchess.com for more information.

Feb. 6, Greater Chicago Scholastic Chess Championships at the McCormick Place – West Building, 2301 South Drive, Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Chicago, IL. For further information, contact Renaissance Knights at david.heiser@renaissanceknights.oror via phone at (773) 844-0701. To register online, visit: http://rknights.org/registration/tournaments/greater-chicago-championships/.  Online Registration at https://campscui.active.com/orgs/RenaissanceKnights#/selectSessions/1088103

According to Kasparov Chess Foundation President, Michael Khodarkovsky, the tournaments are spread out throughout the country to make it accessible and affordable to all players and their families.  For details on each regional Championship, please see links above. Let the games begin!

About Kasparov Chess Foundation

Founded by World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov, KCF’s mission is to bring the many educational benefits of chess to children worldwide by providing a complete chess curriculum and enrichment programs. The Foundation promotes the study of chess as a cognitive learning tool in curricular classes and after-school programs for elementary, middle and high schools, both in the public and private school sectors. The not-for-profit educational organization also organizes tournaments and competitions on a local and national basis. For more information, please visit http://www.kasparovchessfoundation.org.

# # #

Biggest Turnout in History For Kasparov Chess Foundation’s Greater New York Scholastic Chess Championships

1,240+ K – 12 Students Across Greater NY Participated in This Year’s Tournament.

New York, NY, Jan. 11, 2016 — Kasparov Chess Foundation (KCF) held its 2016 Greater New York Scholastic Championships on Sat., Jan. 9th and Sun., Jan. 10th, at the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge. According to Chief Arbiter, David Hater, the tournament attracted 1,242 students from across the New York Metropolitan area, representing the biggest turnout in the tournament’s 50-year history.

Below is a list of Varsity individual and team winners. For the complete list of results, please visit our tournament web site at www.gnyscc.com.

Following are Varsity individual and team winners:

High School  

Individual: Ethan Li (5 1/2 out of 6)

Team: Stuyvesant (16 ½ points in a tiebreak over NEST)

Junior High

Individual:  Justin Chen (5-1 tiebreak over Akash Kumar, Ariun Rai, and Max Li)

Team:  IS 318 (17 ½ points)

Elementary

Individual: Davis Zong Jr.  (6-0)

Team:  NEST (18 ½ points)

Primary

Individual: Lucas Foerster-Yialamas (6-0)

Team:  Dalton (18 ½ points)

K1

Individual: Daniel Luo (6-0)

Team:  Dalton (14 ½ points)

IMG_4641_Garry_room_2

 

As an added treat for participants, the Foundation Chairman, Garry Kasparov was on hand to sign books, stand for pictures, and offer encouragement to the students.   To view more images, please visit www.kasparovchessfoundation.org.

About Kasparov Chess Foundation

Founded by World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov, KCF’s mission is to bring the many educational benefits of chess to children worldwide by providing a complete chess curriculum and enrichment programs. The Foundation promotes the study of chess as a cognitive learning tool in curricular classes and after-school programs for elementary, middle and high schools, both in the public and private school sectors. The not-for-profit educational organization also organizes tournaments and competitions on a local and national basis. For more information, please visit http://www.kasparovchessfoundation.org.

# # #

 

Kasparov Chess Foundation Presents 50th Annual Greater New York Scholastic Team and Individual Chess Championships

Sat., Jan 9 – Sun., Jan. 10, 2016 at the New York Marriott Hotel At The Brooklyn Bridge

New York, NY, Dec. 28, 2015 — The Kasparov Chess Foundation is hosting and sponsoring the 2016 Greater New York Scholastic Team and Individual Chess Championships. America’s longest-running, rated scholastic chess tournament will take place on Sat. and Sun., Jan. 9th – 10th at New York Marriott Hotel at the Brooklyn Bridge, located at 333 Adams Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201 (about 5 minutes drive south of the Brooklyn Bridge, near Borough Hall), near subways: Jay Street Metrotech (A, C, F & R trains), Hoyt Street (2 & 3 trains), Borough Hall (4 & 5 trains) and Court Street (R train).

This year represents the tournament’s half-century anniversary and has been under the management of the Kasparov Chess Foundation since 2005. To honor this year’s achievement, former World Chess Champion and Foundation Chairman, Garry Kasparov, will be at the event both days, autographing books, taking pictures and offering his encouragement to the students.

The competition is divided into five 5 or 6-round Swiss-style tournaments with in all fourteen separate sections, over the two-day weekend event. All Championship sections, including K-1 Championship, will be over two days: 3 rounds on Saturday January 9 and 3 rounds on Sunday January 10! Championship section games start at 10 am, 1 pm and 4 pm both days. Awards ceremonies at about 6:30 pm Sunday (possibly earlier).

Non-Championship section rounds start at 10 am, 12 pm, 1:30 pm, 3 pm and 4:30 pm Saturday or Sunday. Awards ceremonies at about 6 pm. Championship section eligibility is not limited by rating. The other sections are limited as their names indicate. See here for more details about the rating based section eligibility rules.

Ideal for the beginner as well as top-rated competitive players. The non-Championship games are 30 minutes per player + 10-seconds delay per move. Championship games are 60 minutes per player + 10-seconds delay per move (non-delay clocks get no additional time.). The games are rated by the United States Chess Federation (USCF). The January 2016 USCF Rating List is used (but unofficial ratings at www.uschess.org are usually used if players would otherwise be unrated on the January 2016 official rating list).

Any number of players may participate from a school to help compete for team prizes (2 or more from the same school make a team), but at most the four top-scoring players from the school produce its team score. Players without school teams compete for individual prizes. Prizes are awarded to the top-scoring players and schools. You can win both team and individual prizes.

Online Registration is available at http://www.gnyscc.com/registration.html; $55 per player through Dec. 26, $65 after that through January 2nd (if you enter four or more players from the same school, on the same registration, a discount of $5 per player will be given), $75 per player through January 7th, but no team discount after January 4th. The on site fees are $85 per player (beginning the evening of Friday 8th until 8:30 am on the day of the tournament), and then $100 per player from 8:30-9:00 am.

For answers to any questions, please email us at chesscentr@gmail.com or call 347-201-CCNY (2269). Students are requested to bring clocks, while sets and boards will be supplied by Little House of Chess, http://www.littladehouseofchess.com.

The five tournaments follow:

K-1 CHAMPIONSHIP

2 sections, open to all born after 1/9/08 AND ALSO in grade 1/below: 1. Saturday and Sunday: K-1 Championship, open to all. Trophies to 12 top-scoring players and the top 3 Unrateds. Plaques are also awarded to the top 6 K or below (you can win both a plaque and trophy). 2. Saturday: K-1 Under 400, open to players rated Under 400 or Unrated. Trophies to the top 12 and the top 3 Unrateds.

PRIMARY CHAMPIONSHIP

3 separate sections, open to all born after 1/9/06 AND ALSO in grade 3/below: 1. Saturday and Sunday: Primary Championship, open to all. Trophies to the 12 top-scoring players and the top 3 Unrateds. 2. Saturday: Primary Under 1000, for players rated Under 1000 or Unrated. Trophies to top 12 and the top 3 Unrateds. 3. Saturday: Primary Under 500, open to all rated under 500 or Unrated. Trophies to the top 12 players and the top 3 Unrateds.

JUNIOR HIGH CHAMPIONSHIP

2 separate sections, open to all born after 1/9/00 and in grade 9/below: 1. Saturday and Sunday: Junior High Championship, open to all. Trophies to 12 top-scoring players and the top 3 Unrateds. 2. Saturday: Junior High Under 1000 for rated players under 1000 or Unrated. Trophies to the top 12 and the top 3 Unrateds. Plaques are also awarded to the top 2 in each grade 4 to 6.

ELEMENTARY CHAMPIONSHIP

4 sections, open to all born after 1/9/03 AND ALSO in grade 6/below: 1. Saturday and Sunday: Elementary Championship, open to all. Trophies to 12 top-scoring players and the top 3 Unrateds. 2. Sunday: Elementary Under 1400 for rated players under 1400 or Unrated. Trophies to the top 12 and the top 3 Unrateds. 3. Sunday: Elementary Under 1000 for rated players under 1000 or Unrated. Trophies for the top 12 players and the top 3 Unrateds. 3. Sunday: Elementary Under 600 for rated players under 600 or Unrated. Trophies for the top 12 players and the top 3 Unrateds.

HIGH SCHOOL CHAMPIONSHIP

3 sections, for players born after 1/9/96 and in grades K-12: 1. Saturday and Sunday: High School Championship, open to all. Trophies for the 12 top-scoring players and top 3 Unrateds. 2. Sunday: High School Under 1900, for Under 1900 rated players or Unrated. Trophies to the top 12 and top 3 Unrateds. 3. Sunday: High School Under 1200, for rated players Under 1200 or Unrated. Trophies to the top 12 and the top 3 Unrateds. Plaques are also awarded to the top 2 in each grade 7 to 9.

In every tournament, anyone scoring 4 or more in non-Championship sections, or 5 or more in Championship, who doesn’t win a trophy receives a medal instead! All sections also have trophies for the 6 top scoring teams. Even more prizes, including Mixed Doubles Bonus Prizes, can be won! Please check www.gnyscc.com for details.

About Kasparov Chess Foundation

Founded by World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov, KCF’s mission is to bring the many educational benefits of chess to children worldwide by providing a complete chess curriculum and enrichment programs. The Foundation promotes the study of chess as a cognitive learning tool in curricular classes and after-school programs for elementary, middle and high schools, both in the public and private school sectors. The not-for-profit educational organization also organizes tournaments and competitions on a local and national basis. For more information, please visit http://www.kasparovchessfoundation.org.

# # #

 

KCF Annual Gala: 30 year celebration of Kasparov’s triumph

banner01

The KCF is about Chess Education above all else

stage01

The stage is set for the annual KCF gala – and a special one this year!

It is hard to believe that already thirty years have passed since the historical triumph of Kasparov over Karpov in their 1985 World Championship match. The elegance of Garry’s last game, including one of the most talked about rook maneuvers in any Sicilian, has inspired young players for more than a generation. This week, at the Kasparov Chess Foundation annual gala, we had the opportunity to relive this triumph.

challenger02

challengers01

Young challengers warming up for the big game

Held at the heart of Manhattan, a lovely evening brought together celebrities, leaders of the world’s financial industry and philanthropists in celebration of an achievement that shaped chess to its core. The highlight of the gala was a 30-board simultaneous exhibition, which was given by Garry Kasparov himself.

After the opening stage was completed, and just as in a celebrity soccer game, Garry brought in three young debutants, passing on the torch to the new generation of chess champions: instead of getting a torch, they took over Garry’s positions on the simul. The three grandmasters come from the very prestigious and successful Young Stars program – a collaboration between the Kasparov Chess Foundation and the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis.

garry02

The man himself in action! Here he is greeting before the game a student from KCF’s program at Harlem Children’s Zone.

The three promising players took ten boards each, taking the position where Garry left off. Kayden Troff, former World Champion u-14, had significant challenges on his boards, as more than a couple of masters were in his section, but he was able to dispatch them with sound positional play.

troff01

Kayden putting on the finishing touches on his game

Sam Sevian, also a former World Champion but in the u-12 category, took advantage of many of the mistakes that the players had made in the opening against Garry.

sevian01

Sam showed he is a ruthless attacker – just like Garry!

Grandmaster Jeffery Xiong, from Texas and silver medalist in the u-10 World Championships back in 2010, was far less patient than his fellow prodigies. He tore apart the competition, and even had time to kibitz on the other two grandmasters while they finished their games. Sam and Jeffery are the highest rated grandmasters under the age of 16 in the World.

xiong01

Jeffery was the first one to finish his ten games

youngstars

The Young Stars showed their class and finished off what Garry started. Each participant of the simultaneous exhibition received the set they played on with Kasparov’s autograph on the chess board. Memorabilia for life!

The final part of the gala was a cozy and intimate dinner on one of the top floors with the stunning view on New York’s landmarks, such as the Chrysler and Empire State buildings. It was attended by Garry’s family, close friends and KCF supporters. Garry showed a video with clips from his match in 1985 and explained his feelings and his preparation, certainly a unique insight on what was going on through his mind thirty years ago, when he became the youngest World Champion in history – a record not broken yet.

kasparov01

Garry’s emotional words truly moved us, like a time machine, to that match back in 1985

movieclip01

The banner from the 1985 match

garry04

The winner: Garry Kasparov

clip03

A young Kasparov focusing!

michael01

Another first-class event in Manhattan organized by KCF’s President,Michael Khodarkovsky

It was truly an honor and a pleasure to have taken part in such a special event. I consider myself very lucky, for it is rather ironic that this touching celebration for an iconic figure like Garry Kasparov, who brought so much pride and glory to Soviet and Russian Chess, took place in New York, and not in Moscow!

Photo credits to Derick Bryant, Daryl Stith and Garry Kasparov’s archive.

Inaugural Greater California Scholastic

by Jerry Yee

193 kids participated in Glendale, California on the weekend of August 15-16 in the Inaugural 2015 Greater California Scholastic Championships. The event was sponsored by the Kasparov Chess Foundation and organized by two of Southern California’s most prominent and successful chess education programs, Beyond Chess and the American Chess Academy (ACA). Beyond Chess and ACA have enjoyed the most competitive scholastic chess rivalry in the area for several years now, dominating at California’s annual Super States event every year.  FB_IMG_1440187140389_resized

In March, it was Beyond Chess co-founder IM Sarah Lu who approached ACA’s Armen Ambartsoumian and Jerry Yee about teaming up and organizing a big summer youth event. The three agreed there was a void in the summer the last few years and that it was worth considering. Soon after their meeting, Ambartsoumian contacted KCF President Michael Khodarkovsky about sponsoring the inaugural event. It would be the first west coast scholastic event sponsored by the Kasparov Chess Foundation.

FB_IMG_1440187121738_resized

FB_IMG_1440187129087_resized

Trophies for the winners

The event was the result of several months of planning with concerns about the event possibly conflicting with the vacations of many local chess families in the month of August. The two day event’s good turnout put those concerns to rest and further illustrated that scholastic chess in the Southern California area continues to thrive, even in the summer!

The venue was Glendale’s iconic Maple Park Community Center, a beautiful modern two story building with a basketball gym that can accommodate up to 275 chess players if needed. There is also a spacious cafeteria for families to enjoy their lunch. The building is surrounded by playgrounds and grass fields, an ideal setting for a scholastic chess tournament. ACA has been organizing chess tournaments at Maple Park since 2011.

jenniferleewinnderk6u900

Armen Ambartsoumian with Jennifer Lee, winner of K-6 u900
A challenge for this event was having more than one time control so that it could also accommodate higher rated players who prefer more time on their clocks. The solution? The two K-12 sections had 6 rounds with a time control of game in 60 and the three JV sections had 5 rounds with a time control of game in 30 in a double Swiss format. This allowed for the tournament and award ceremony to conclude after 5 rounds for the three JV sections just before the start of round 6 for the two K-12 sections. The plan looked good on paper at least…

spencermorganwinnerk3u600

Jerry Lee and Armen Ambartsoumian with Spencer Morgan K-3 u600

The event ran smoothly in Day 1, but experienced two unforeseen power outages due to a local electrical transformer exploding in the neighborhood on a very warm Day 2. In the middle of the second power outage, the JV final standings were calculated manually and the JV award ceremony took place in the basketball gym’s sweltering heat in what felt like sauna like conditions at 230pm in the afternoon. The second outage lasted for most of the final 3 hours of the event. When power and air conditioning was finally restored around 5pm, round 6 was concluding. It was time for the K-12 award ceremony to begin as things concluded in a festive, happier atmosphere and a much cooler gymnasium!

vendantshahk12u1500

Armen with Vendant Shahk, winner K-12 u1500

The event’s chief TD was yours truly and even with my extensive experience, many thanks have to go to WGM Tatev Abrahamyan and IM Sarah Lu for their efforts in dealing with the manual calculation of pairings and standings during the power outages. Special thanks also go out to KCF President Michael Khodarkovsky for approving the sponsorship of this event. The Kasparov Chess Foundation’s continuing support of scholastic events like this throughout the country help give children in the U.S. the opportunity to compete in chess tournaments with larger turnouts.

While there may have been some bumps along the way, it was still a great and very memorable summer weekend of competitive scholastic chess in Los Angeles and the organizers are already looking forward to this event again in the summer of 2016!

Kasparov Chess Foundation Announces Inaugural 2015 Greater California Scholastic Championships

New York, NY, Aug. 5, 2015 — Kasparov Chess Foundation is proud to announce the first Greater California Scholastic Championships, to take place on Aug. 15 – 16, 2015, at the Maple Park Community Center, 800 E. Maple Street, Glendale, CA.  The Greater California event joins KCF’s Regional Scholastic Championship Series, including Greater Chicago, Greater Mid-Atlantic, and Greater New York tournaments.

The Foundation is sponsoring its first West Coast tournament in association with American Chess Academy and Beyond Chess.  The Greater California Scholastic Championships welcomes students from K – 12 grades, in public, private, and home school.  The tournament is broken up into two sections, as follows:

K – 12 Section: 6 Rounds, G/60

Saturday, Aug. 15, 2015: 10am, 12:30pm, 3:00pm

Sunday, Aug. 16, 2015: 10am, 12:30pm, 3:00pm, 5:15pm (Trophy Ceremony)

JV Section: 5 Double Rounds, G/30

Saturday, Aug. 15, 2015: 10am, 12:30pm, 3:00pm

Sunday, Aug. 16, 2015: 10am, 12:30pm, 3:00pm (Trophy Ceremony)

Fee:  $60 by Aug. 5th, $75 thereafter.  Make checks payable to American Chess Academy, and mail to “ACA” 411 N. Jackson St., Apt. 101, Glendale, CA 91206.

Contact: Armen americanchessacademy@gmail.com; email: artmik@charter.net; Phone: (818) 640-5974.

Prizes: 60 Trophies will be handed out, along with a $2,000 gift card prize fund.

Flier:  To view our flier, please click on this link – http://bit.ly/1W27Aaq

About Kasparov Chess Foundation

Founded by World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov, KCF’s mission is to bring the many educational benefits of chess to children worldwide by providing a complete chess curriculum and enrichment programs. The Foundation promotes the study of chess as a cognitive learning tool in curricular classes and after-school programs for elementary, middle and high schools, both in the public and private school sectors. The not-for-profit educational organization also organizes tournaments and competitions on a local and national basis. For more information, please visit http://www.kasparovchessfoundation.org.

#  #  #

KCF Africa qualifiers for Las Vegas

The third and final KCF Africa sponsored Millionaire Chess satellite tournament concluded in Johannesburg, South Africa on Sunday 20th July. The series of African satellite tournaments came about as a result of a unique collaboration between the Kasparov Chess Foundation Africa and Millionaire Chess and has had a massive impact as a development initiative on the African continent.

More than 500 players from 14 separate African federations participated between the 3 tournaments that made up the series. The winners of each leg qualified for the main event which will take place in Las Vegas from 12 of October 2015!

1st Satellite Tournament – Nairobi, Kenya

It all started at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre in Nairobi, Kenya where the inaugural event was comfortably won by FM Harold Wanyama from Uganda!

Harold recorded an impressive total of 7.5 / 8 and eventually ended a full 1.5 points clear of the field. Lawrence Kagambi, Mowlid Ahmed, Joseph Atwoli and Kenneth Omolo all tied for second but a long way back on 6 / 8.

The Nairobi tournament saw nearly 200 players participating across the various events which included a junior section and an open section played in parallel with the main event.

kcafrica01

Amy Lee of Millionaire Chess (centre) attended this event and is flanked here by Githinji Hinga (Chairman of Chess Kenya), Graham Jurgensen (Executive Director of Kasparov Chess Foundation Africa), Satish Deshpande (Tournament Director), and FM Harold Wanyama (Overall Winner) in the press conference post the event. Photo by Kim Bhari

2nd Satellite Tournament – Lagos, Nigeria

The second event was held in Lagos, Nigeria and this produced the first playoff in the series.

No one would have picked unrated Oluwadurotimi Lapite as one of the pre-tournament favourites but he played the event of his life to force a play-off with experience IM Bunmi Olape.

The first playoff game was drawn, but the second was decided when Lapite was flagged in an otherwise equal position. This handed his opponent the hard earned trip to Las Vegas.

The Lagos tournament saw almost 150 players participating across the various events and also earned first ratings for no less than 19 previously unrated players.

kcafrica02kcafrica03

IA Obinna Ogbonnaya laying down the rules before the Lagos playoffs between Oluwadurotimi Lapite and eventual winner IM Bunmi Olape

3rd Satellite Tournament – Johannesburg, South Africa

The third satellite event produced a sensational 3 way play-off which was ultimately won by IM Providence Oatlhotse from Botswana. Providence overcame IM Johannes Mabusela (South Africa) and IM Chitumbo Mwali (Zambia) in a tense play-off which required both rapid and then blitz matches to break the tie.

The South African tournament was held at Monte Casino which is part of the Tsogo Sun Group and the high class venue produced a fitting finale to a highly successful series. The full series was a truly African affair and ultimately had players from South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Malawi, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Ghana, Cote d Ivoire, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia participating in at least one of the events.

kcafrica04

kcafrica05

The playing facilities at Monte Casino in Johannesburg were excellent and were complimented by all participants. Photos by Reint Dykema

The South African event also recorded a major milestone for African chess when the top 27 boards were carried live on Chess24.com. This gave many of the participants their first opportunity to play with DGT electronic boards streaming the games live and this experience will no doubt stand them in good stead for future international events.

kcafrica06

Action was followed by over 3500 unique viewers at https://chess24.com/en/watch/live-tournaments/tsogo-sun-2015

The eyes of the African continent will now no doubt be on the three champions in October as they take on the likes of GM Hikaru Nakamura, GM Fabiano Curuana and GM Wesley So in Las Vegas.

With more than $40,000 on offer for rating category winners in the main event, the three victors have earned themselves a shot at a major pay-day if they play well in the main tournament. We wish them all the best of luck and will be following with interest.

Final standings for all 3 events:

Kenya: http://www.chess-results.com/tnr171512.aspx?lan=1&art=1&rd=8&turdet=YES&flag=30&wi=984

Nigeria: http://www.chess-results.com/tnr176975.aspx?lan=1&art=1&rd=9&wi=821

South Africa: http://www.chess-results.com/tnr179449.aspx?lan=1&art=1&rd=9&wi=821

Games from all 3 events

South Africa: http://www.chess-results.com/PartieSuche.aspx?lan=1&id=50023&tnr=179449&art=3

Nigeria: http://ratings.fide.com/view_games.phtml?event=116380

Kenya: http://www.chess-results.com/PartieSuche.aspx?lan=1&id=50023&tnr=171512&art=3

Videos from all 3 events

Nigeria: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTzz8zIg4Iw

Kenya: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGnAwyE3ImE

South Africa: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Tsogo+Sun+Millionaire+Chess+

About the author:

Graham Jurgensen is the Executive Director of the Kasparov Chess Foundation Africa. He is a qualified Chartered Accountant by profession and held senior financial positions in South Africa before joining the Kasparov Chess Foundation in a full time capacity in June 2014.

He is a Candidate Master level player and an FIDE International Organiser who currently works with numerous African chess federations, helping them run and manage their major local events. He is actively driving the rollout of the MiniChess program in Africa and also assisting national chess federations to embed business models which help them generate sustainable income from their local chess activities.

kcafrica09 kcafrica08 kcafrica07

FM Harold Wanyama (UGA) IM Olape Bunmi (NIG) IM Providence Oatlhotse (BOT) – our representatives in Las Vegas!

Ashritha Eswaran Pan-American u20 Champion

 

By Dejan Bojkov – grandmaster and coach of Ashritha Eswaran

During the Pan American Championships last year in Paraguay we met a lot of nice people and one of them invited us to come to the next edition in El Salvador. Alvaro tempted us with a lot of things. I am sure Ashritha liked the idea of a WIM title and WGM norm. I, on the other had was thinking about the amazing seafood and the coffee in El Salvador…

Jokes aside, on 13. July we flew to El Salvador, where the capital city San Salvador was hosting the Pan American championships for boys and girls U20. The tournament began on 16. July and thus we had some time to fill holes in Ashritha’s opening repertoire and to do a little bit of tourism.

After the successful US-Championship at the end of June Ashritha started the event as rating favorite. I was a bit worried about her new status as I feel it is psychologically easier not having to defend the top spot.

The tournament, however, turned out to be quite a success. After winning in round one, Ashritha played badly in game two, but survived. She then won four games in a row and emerged as clear leader.

Practically, she could have secured victory two rounds before the end of the tournament had she not blown her enormous advantage against Danitza Maccarini Vazquez in round seven. But Ashritha got infected by her opponent’s time trouble, played too fast and spoiled her position. But in the last two rounds Ashritha scored 1.5/2 and still won the title.

ashrithadanitza01

Ashritha and Danitza after the prize giving ceremony

ashrita04

Danitza Maccarini Vazquez made 7.0/9 and deservedly won silver. The bronze medal went to Miriam Parkhurst from Mexico.

Final Standings

Rk. Name FED Rtg Pts.
1 Eswaran Ashritha USA 2095 7.5
2 WIM Vazquez Maccarini Danitza PUR 1948 7.0
3 WFM Parkhurst Casas Miriam MEX 1869 6.0
4 Librelato Kathie Goulart BRA 1842 6.0
5 WFM Gutierrez Espinosa Karen CUB 2078 5.5
6 WIM Granados Diaz Maria Esther NCA 1838 5.5
7 Herrera Marjorie ESA 1555 5.5
8 WIM Jorquera Cabello Valentina CHI 2005 5.0
9 WCM Garcia Alcira ESA 1725 5.0
10 WCM De Leon Stephanie ESA 1654 5.0
11 WCM Ortez Andrea ESA 1671 5.0
12 Cosme Contreras Trilce PER 1755 4.5
13 Ramirez Gonzalez Maria Jose CRC 1736 4.5
14 Castro Venus Sabrina ESA 1556 4.5
15 Cruz Lima Kimberly Esmeralda GUA 1718 4.0
16 Guardado Flores Diana Beatriz ESA 1683 4.0
17 Natareno Elvia GUA 1675 4.0
18 Palacios Celina ESA 1617 4.0
19 Santos Judith ESA 1550 4.0
20 Villalobos Alejandra ESA 1622 3.5
21 Garcia Angie ESA 0 3.0
22 Canas Belen Alexandra ESA 0 2.0
23 Palencia Berenice ESA 0 2.0
24 Martinez Hazel Rebeca ESA 0 1.0

In the boys’ section two young gentlemen dominated the field but in the end Kevin Cori Quispe had a better tie-break than Andrew Tang of the USA and won gold for Peru. Thanks to Brian Sebas Escalante the bronze medal also went to Peru.

Ashritha’s last three tournaments were a real success for us. She first won the USA G20 title, then shared 1. place at the Pan Am G18 in Colombia, and now became clear first at the Pan Am in El Salvador becoming a WIM and making a WGM norm on the way.

After these tournaments Ashritha’s FIDE rating is close to the 2200 mark and we do not intend to stop. But we know we need to work harder if we want to succeed.

Last, but not least: the coffee was indeed fantastic, and the sea-food…I am not sure if there is an appropriate word to describe it.

ashrita02

 

Coach Dejan Bojkov, Ashrita and her mom in an archaeological site

 

ashrita03   

Doing some souvenir shopping!

You can read the entire article, see more pictures at the website www.chessbase.com

 

Guam International Open 2015

by Peter Long

11759541_870902389660859_1764431179_n-450x338

The Guam International Open Chess Championship was held at the Guam Reef Hotel from 17-23 July 2015 and was made possible primarily due to sponsorship from the Kasparov Chess Foundation Asia-Pacific and Prospero “Butch” Pichay Jr. from the National Chess Federation of the Philippines.

IMG-20150721-WA0006-450x253

Given the distance of the largest Island in Micronesia in the Pacific it was understandably difficult for many foreign participants to make their way to Guam but this year there were for the first time ever, also two grandmasters, top seeded many times Zonal champion Laylo Darwin together with the legendary first Asian grandmaster Eugene Torre, whose list of honors read like a history book!

asiapacific02

In the Guam International Open 2015 there were twenty three players from six countries contesting for the top prizes, but it was no surprise that Torre and Laylo simply ran away with the event, only dropping half a point in their personal encounter and already the winners with two rounds to go.

The records will show however it was the Torre over Laylo through the tie-breaks, and that in third place, one and a half points behind, was Guam’s own Enofre Efren D Manuel who only lost to the two grandmasters.

asiapacific01

For the officials from Guam Chess, it was also a golden opportunity to learn and draw from the vast experience of ASEAN Chess Confederation President Ignatius Leong especially in relation to operation and expansion of the Guam Chess Learning Centre – the brainchild of former Guam Chess President Leon Ryan – that was set up last year in partnership with the Kasparov Chess Foundation Asia-Pacific.

torre01

GM Eugenio Torre giving a simultaneous exhibition

Final Top results:

Rk. Name FED Rtg Pts.
1 GM Torre Eugenio PHI 2458 8.5
2 GM Laylo Darwin PHI 2480 8.5
3 Manuel Enofre Efren D. GUM 1940 7.0
4 Mafnas Peter GUM 0 6.0
5 FM Leong Ignatius SIN 1948 5.0
6 Szekely Olga GUM 0 5.0
7 Cabunagan Tito PLW 1817 4.5
8 McFarland Malcolm GUM 0 4.5
9 Soriano Rudolph P. GUM 1807 4.5
10 Szekely Zoltan GUM 0 4.5

You can read more about the tournament, including many more pictures, at our sister website www.chessasiapacific.com or directly at the tournament report.

Asia Pacific launches new website

The Kasparov Chess Foundation – Asia Pacific, headed by KCFAP President Ignatius Leong, has launched a new website! Their content director is Peter Long. Check out the new website here:

www.chessasiapacific.com