Simmons ties for first in Empire State Open

Great news from Albany – one of our regulars, Bob Simmons, has just shared the news that he shared first place in the Under 2000 section of the Empire State Open!

You can see the standings here: https://chessevents.com/event/empirecity/2021/standings/u2000

I don’t have a full list of all Vassar participants, but I did notice Ernie Johnson and Peter Barkman played in the Open section: https://chessevents.com/event/empirecity/2021/standings/open

Nice to see OTB chess still going strong, and great to see Vassar folk making their mark. Congrats again to Bob!

Mark Courtney takes last event of 2021

Nine players attended the 12/6 Blitz event at Vassar, our last tournament of the year. Mark Courtney, taking inspiration from Magnus Carlsen’s domination in the World Championship, won the event with a perfect score – 8 wins, no draws and no losses. Alex Sinnot captured 2nd place, with 7 points and only losing to Mark. Rudy Van Dommele took 3rd (6 points), losing only to Mark and Alex.

See below for the crosstable, courtesy of Mark. Looking forward to see you all back at Vassar next year!

Last event of 2021 is tonight

Just a reminder that there will be an unrated Blitz event tonight, and it is the last event of the year. Unfortunately Ernie cannot make it tonight, but feel free to come and play – and even if Blitz is not your thing, there is no rule against informal chess at whatever time controls against whoever else shows up.

The next event is not until the end of January:

January 24,31 and Feb.7
Deep Freeze
3 Round G/75 d5
$5.00 EF

Trevor Brooks wins post DCC G/30

Some champions, once they reach the summit, rest on their laurels and let others pass them by. Others never take their foot off the gas and run over all who stand before them, over and over again. I cannot say what is in Trevor’s head, but his actions speak for him. After taking the Dutchess Chess Championship just a couple weeks ago, he did the same in the following 2 week 4 round G/30 event, going undefeated and taking first.

Peter Barkman won tiebreaks over Ernie Johnson and captured 2nd place with 3 points. Ernie, who was also performing TD duties, captured third.

Reminder that our last event of the year is the 12/6 G/5 Blitz. If you want to play OTB chess with the best players in the Mid-Hudson Valley in 2021, this is your last chance. And if Trevor decides not to play, you might even win!

Trevor Brooks is 2021 DCC Champ!

By all accounts a successful event, especially considering the situation we find ourselves in. Lots of new faces too, which is always wonderful to see.

After the dust had settled, three players ended up with the same score (Trevor Brooks, Alex Sinnott, Ron Sperber), and it was time to dust off the tiebreak rules. Trevor Brooks came out on top and now has a Dutchess County Chess Championship title (likely the first of many) to add to his portfolio.

Second place goes to club newcomer (but 2100+ Expert) Alex Sinnott – congrats Alex!

The class A prize goes to Ron Sperber. From his player page on USCF it appears that Ron took a 20 year hiatus from tournament play, returning earlier this year. But he certainly didn’t play like it – welcome back Ron! Just to show I do my homework, did you know that Ron tied for first (but just like in DCC lost on tiebreaks) in the Novice section of the National High School Championship in 1972?

The class B (and under) prize went to Bertrand Topczylko, who, while only listed on paper as a class E player, ended up with a better score than anyone else class B and below. I am not a psychic, but I predict Bertrand will soon be class B (say that five times fast). Congrats, Bertrand!

The results have not been posted to USCF yet as we are waiting on a player to send in his membership, but we will do so shortly. When it has been processed I’ll update Facebook with the full crosstable results.

Thanks everyone who played and helped to keep Vassar-Chadwick the most active club in the region, and the DCC the most prestigious event of the year. But chess is far from over in 2021, as the next two Mondays feature a four round G/30 event, for those exhausted from the long games. And for speed junkies, the last event of the year, December 6, will be blitz.

October Club Match 10/7

Reminder that our monthly online battle with neighboring clubs (Westchester, Rockland, Saratoga) is taking place this Thursday at 8pm on Lichess:
https://lichess.org/tournament/81VKwBbp

Another reminder that to join you have to be a member of our lichess club. To become a member, go to our page and click to Join. And provide your name and/or details so we know you are local and/or a current/former member (we are trying to keep it from being a free-for-all but actually relevant to Vassar-Chadwick). Club page: https://lichess.org/team/vassar-chadwick-chess-club


Simmons takes first tournament of 2021

You can never be sure how things will turn out after a long absence. Have players moved on during the pandemic, more used to playing online than in person? Will other pursuits grab their attention or have Monday nights just become not available? Some of those questions were answered at the conclusion of the first tournament of 2021 that ended on Monday.

Fifteen players – including some new faces! – made the trek to Vassar and played some real in person chess. With a long time control. For real rating points. What a great turnout!

Another surprising result – if only on paper – was the winner and how he did it – three wins, no losses, no draws. While coming in as the 5th seed by rating, Bob Simmons took no prisoners (or byes) and took down the 1 and 2 seed in the process. I hope the trophy for this one is made of real gold, because he deserves it. Perhaps this is a yin and yang thing, where the bad situations in life (being a Vikings fan) are balanced by the good. In any case, good job Bob!

Second place (and perhaps only because he took a bye in round 2) was Trevor Brooks, our young powerhouse who (if he doesn’t jet to Hollywood) might be the only one able to take down Ernie’s record of Dutchess County Chess Championships (coming soon btw!).

Booster prize goes to James Reap, a relative newcomer (joining us in 2019, before the troubles), but sports a healthy 1500 rating. After losing the first game to the top seed he recorded two wins to close it out.

Reminder that next Monday is unrated blitz, perfect for those who aren’t sure if paying USCF dues and rated tournament chess is right for you, or who are just used to playing very fast online. Note to those players, nothing beats the thrill of smashing a chess clock 30 times a minute during the end of an over the board blitz game. Online chess can’t compete with that.

After that is the premier event of the year, the Dutchess County Chess Championship! Five round event, G/90, this is the big one. Will Ernie add another jewel to his crown? Will Matan come back to defend his title? Or will Bob run undefeated through the gauntlet while wearing some gaudy purple Vikings uniform? Since we are not televised, there’s only one way to find out – join us!

OTB Schedule Posted for Fall/Winter 2021!!!

There are not enough exclamation points to express the good news for our club. After some hard work from our club president, Ernie Johnson, rooms have been secured at Vassar. Further hard work by Ernie has laid out our schedule for the year, starting in September.

Please check out our Event Schedule page for details – and start studying now for the Dutchess County Championship which will take place over October and November.

Our very own Renaissance man

Trevor Brooks is an accomplished chess player (an underrated 1982 USCF), actor (do you have an IMDB page?), and now published author. In the latest Chess Life Kids, Trevor has a 3 page article titled The Masked GrandMaster.

It is not about what Hikaru Nakamura wore last Halloween. It covers a game featuring an unnamed GM. In the course of the article he provides clues and details of the GM’s life, interspersed with the moves and commentary on the game.

Access to the magazine requires (as far as I can tell) membership in the USCF, as you need to log in to see it. Here is the link: https://new.uschess.org/chess-life-kids-magazine-issues

However, I plan to extract Trevor’s article and post it to our Facebook page. So check back soon!