Don Schulz

It has been reported by Al Lawrence that former USCF president Don Schulz has passed away from complications due to the awful COVID virus.

He was also a member of the Chadwick chess club, the precursor to our current incarnation, and he wrote a book, Chess Don, that had numerous references to the club and his time here.

No additional details are available at this time; updates may be posted to our Facebook page.

Matan’s Virtual Chess Class on April 6th

With everyone (except essential workers) asked to self-quarantine and stay at home as much as possible, our weekly club meeting has been suspended. But one of the benefits of chess (compared to other social activities) is the ability to enjoy the game online. From playing, tactics training, learning openings and viewing the games of the masters, there is a whole world of chess to experience from the comfort of your home.

Our resident NM, Matan Prilleltensky, has graciously offered to provide club members with their own virtual chess class. He recently competed in an IM norm tournament at the Marshall club and would like to go over these games – this promises to have high instructional value, to get into the thought process of a Master level player.

The plan is to offer this virtual class on Monday April 6th at 7pm (same time that our club would meet). He will use Zoom, a web-based video meeting tool that has free access to join (so it will not cost anything for you). Because he would like to have a manageable audience (at least for this first class), it will be limited to current Vassar-Chadwick members. If you are interested, please send a message to the club page on Facebook, providing your email address. When the time approaches, Matan will send the Zoom meeting link to your email. Then all you need to do is make some popcorn, sit back, and enjoy a Master class – and don’t be afraid to ask questions!

If this is successful and well-received, we might have more of these sessions in the future. So if you can make it, I think it would be well worth your time.

DCC Warm Up Results

UPDATE! I got my hands on the Courtney – Johnson game, see below…

Remember long ago when we felt safe to leave our homes? Let’s take a journey back to that time, oh about 5 days ago, when the 3 round (G/75) Swiss acting as the warm-up to the now suspended Dutchess County Championship, was just wrapping up.

The top board in that final round featured two Experts, the current DCC Champ Mark Courtney, and the perennial DCC Champion Ernie Johnson. I would pay good money to get the score-sheet for that game (hint, hint), but all I know is the end result…

Here is the game in PGN format:

[Event "DCC Warm Up"]
[Site "Poughkeepsie NY"]
[Date "03.09.2020"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Courtney,Mark"]
[Black "Johnson,Ernie "]
[Result "0-1"]
1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 Qa5 4. d4 Nf6
5. Nf3 Bf5 6. Bc4 c6 7. Qe2 e6 8. Bd2 Bb4
9. O-O-O O-O 10. Bb3 Nbd7 11. h3 Nd5 12. Nxd5 cxd5
13. Nh4 Bxd2+ 14. Rxd2 Bg6 15. Nxg6 hxg6 16. h4 Qd8
17. c3 Re8 18. f4 f5 19. h5 g5 20. g4 Nf6
21. gxf5 exf5 22. Qd3 Ne4 23. Rg2 g4 24. Kb1 Kh7
25. Qb5 Qd6 26. Qxb7 Rab8 27. Qxd5 Qxd5 28. Bxd5 Nxc3+
29. Ka1 Nxd5 30. Rc2 Re4 31. Rc6 Rbe8 32. a3 Re1+
33. Rxe1 Rxe1+

The final moves are missing, but at that point Black has a large advantage. Interesting game. I encourage you to copy/paste the PGN into an online tool, such as lichess and turn on Stockfish to analyze it as you work through the moves.

Ernie captured first place, with 3 wins and a perfect score. Congrats, and hopefully the club will be able to resume tournaments (including DCC) before too long.

Click HERE for the full crosstable results.

Grand Prix Standings so far

V-C Grand PrixWinsDrawsLossesTOTAL
Courtney, Mark192465
Johnson, Ernie1321053
Jafary, Darius64834
Reap, James511532
Fisher, Craig 61727
Marvullo, Thomas52625
Evans, Ken62224
Simmons, Robert A60523
Mendez, Mike43321
Barkman, Peter60220
Brooks, Trevor51118
Prilleltensky, Matt51017
Haoula, Ayman30312
Topaloglu, Rasit11510
Ray, Barbara20410
Oracz, J.J.2119
Guse, Mike0168
Colleluori, Keith1138
Wright, David0157
Eschel, Adam1047
VanDommele2006
Landsman, Tyler1036
O’Connor, Mike0146
Stenger, Harold1025
Hussey, Ed0033

A USATE game from Simmons

Bob Simmons has shared his first round game. It was a draw, but as Black against an opponent that was rated 230 points higher. In the final position Black has the advantage (he can win the d-pawn due to tactics), but as Bob’s team had already lost the round might as well take the points you can get and save up for round 2.

[Event “USATE 2020”]
[Site “?”]
[Date “????.??.??”]
[Round “1”]
[White “Sokolovsky, Eugene “]
[Black “Simmons, Robert”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[WhiteELO “2077”]
[BlackELO “1848”]

  1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 c6 5. e3 Be7 6. b3 Nbd7 7. Bd3 O-O 8. O-O b6 9. Bb2 Bb7 10. Qe2 Rc8 11. Rfd1 Qc7 12. Rac1 Qb8 13. e4 dxe4 14. Nxe4 Nxe4 15. Bxe4 Nf6 16. Bb1 Rfd8 17. Ng5 Qf4 18. Nh3 Qh4 19. f3 Bd6 20. Be4 g5 21. d5 Nxe4 22. Qxe4 Qxe4 23. fxe4 1/2-1/2

White’s last mistake was 22. Qxe4; the computer prefers dxe6 first, but that is a hard move for a human to make – in in-between move to grab a pawn while down a piece.

Vassar-Chadwick at USATE

Why is Valentine’s Day the most important holiday for a chess player? Because it means it is USATE time again!

This year our club fielded two teams (members listed in board order):

Vassar-Chadwick AAAA, consisting of Robert Sulman, Mark Courtney, Al Lawrence, and Dr. Craig Fisher

Vassar-Chadwick Earth Wind and Skewer (this wins the unofficial best Vassar-Chadwick themed name), consisting of Ernie Johnson, Peter Barkman, Bob Simmons, and Darius Jafary

Team AAAA had an average rating of 2023 and finished with 3 points, while EWaS had an average rating of 1838 and finished with 4 points. It appears AAAA did not play the last round; anyone who has played in USATE well understands the pull of home after 5 long and stressful rounds packed into 3 long days.

At the individual level, team AAAA: Sulman and Fisher ended with 3.5 points, Courtney had 3 and Lawrence ended with 2.5.

Team EWaS: Johnson, Barkman and Jafary all had 3 points, while the star of the team, Simmons, ended with 5 points! If only the Vikings were as good as their biggest fan…

Final Wall Chart HERE

USCF Rating Crosstable HERE

Those who were there, please share your games. So far I have one game from Ernie, but what a game it is – a last round draw against IM Eugene Meyer!

[Event “USATE 2020”]
[Date “2020.2.17”]
[Round “6”]
[White “Johnson, Ernest”]
[Black “Meyer, Eugene”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.g3 O-O 5.Bg2 d6 6.e4 Nbd7 7.Nge2 a6 8.O-O Rb8 9.a4 c6 10.b4 a5 11.b5 c5 12.dxc5 Nxc5 13.Be3 Nfd7 14.Qc2 Ne5 15.Rad1 Qe8 16.Nd5 f5 17.f4 Ng4 18.Bxc5 dxc5 19.h3 Nf6 20.Nc7 Qf7 21.e5 Ne4 22.Kh2

Club Champion Strikes Again

Eleven players competed in the Deep Freeze Swiss, held over 3 Mondays – a three round, G/60 + 5/sec delay tournament. Ernie Johnson was the TD.

With three class A players and two Experts, it was a strong field, and the winner was the pre-tournament favorite (rating-wise), Mark Courtney, with 2.5 points. Mark was held to a draw in the first round by consistently improving JJ Oracz, who also defeated Ayman Haoula in the final round to take 2nd place with 2 points. Also with 2 points (but who did not play in the last round, as TD duties come first) was Ernie Johnson.

Full USCF crosstable is HERE.

Van the man in Unrated Blitz

Jan 20th featured an unrated blitz event at the club, where the pressure of holding on to precious rating points could be set aside, if only for one night. Nine players participated, with Mark Courtney helping to run the event.

In the end, Rudy Van Dommele (no rated blitz rating!) took clear first, with 7 out of 8. Tied for second were Archie Dore (2066 rated blitz) and Eric Hosboll (1870 rated blitz), with 5 points, followed by a tie for third with Mark Courtney and Robert Fanshel with 4.5 points.