2016 US Amateur Team East: amazingly inexplicable

Greetings, everybody. As usual, I thought I’d say a bit about the Schenectady Chess Club’s representation at the annual US Amateur Team East tournament in Parsippany, New Jersey over Presidents’ Day weekend. This year’s experience was rather different from our usual story, so I’m a little puzzled about how to describe it. But perhaps something will come to me if I just jump in.

We assembled two teams for the club this year:

Schenectady Amazing Inexplicables

  1. Philip Sells (C)
  2. Patrick Pagano
  3. John Phillips
  4. Richard Chu


Schenectady Awesome Upstarts

  1. Zachary Calderon
  2. Martha Samadashvili
  3. Sandeep Alampalli
  4. Herman Calderon (C)

Curiously, the Amazing Inexplicables consisted entirely of garden-variety club members who were all simultaneously playing in the annual club championship this year, while the Awesome Upstarts’ lineup had no such members at all (though it did contain the current holder of the Schenectady club championship, that being Zachary).

This post will concentrate on the Amazing Inexplicables’ journey through the tournament, as I have very little information on how things went for the Awesome Upstarts. If you’ve read my posts about past editions of this event, you know how much I like to recap things round by round in considerable detail, but this year I only have that kind of information as it pertains to my own team. There was also a team representing the Albany Area Chess Club – hopefully they’ll chime in at some point with their tale.

Continue reading “2016 US Amateur Team East: amazingly inexplicable”

Scholastic G/20 tournament at Schenectady CC

Hello again, all,

I’ve split this announcement off from my previous post about news from the Schenectady Chess Club. It works better as a separate item.

The Schenectady Chess Club intends to hold one or more scholastic tournaments in the near future, which would consist of one game per week (bearing in mind that the club meets on Thursday evenings) at a time control of Game/20 for four rounds, for example. Each of these games would occur starting at 6:45 pm on the evenings in question and would be finished a little before the championship tournament games are set to begin (7:45 pm). This way, the two tournaments would never interfere with each other and there would be no disruption of the main event.

We plan to announce and canvass for interest in this event at the first Right Move event of the season on October 10th. Of course, interested parents will be able to contact the club’s officers as well. Our hope is that we can give the area’s young players additional chances to play competitively and help to involve them in the larger chess scene in the area. I should have a few more details to share about this activity soon.

2015-2016 Schenectady Chess Club Championship to commence

(along with some research on chess clock rules and regulations)

Hello, everyone,

News! The Schenectady Chess Club will be beginning its annual championship for the 2015-2016 season on Thursday, October 8, 2015 at 7:45 pm at the usual place, the Niskayuna Community Center, 2682 Aqueduct Rd., Niskayuna, NY 12309. (Curious that sometimes one sees this place called by various names: Niskayuna Community Center on Facebook, Niskayuna Senior Center on the town’s website… it’s all the same place.)

Format will be, as is typical for us, one or two round-robin sections depending on number of entrants; if two sections, then the top three finishers from each qualify to a final round-robin.

Now I’ll ask you to bear with me as I explain the time control. At the club’s annual business meeting, we decided to try something a little different this year — game in 75 minutes with 30-second increment (NOT, repeat NOT, delay). This would be abbreviated as “G/75 inc/30” in a TLA announcement. The reason I’ve been taking a little while with this post is that I’ve been spending some time researching exactly how this is supposed to work — we at the Schenectady Chess Club have never tried such a time control before, so there may be a bit of a learning curve. We voted for this time control in order to mitigate some of the ugly time scrambles that happen in so many of our local games. It will obviously still be possible to win or lose on time, but if that should happen, it may now feel a little less unjust than it otherwise might.

Please select ‘Continue reading’ to see more. For those planning to participate in this year’s tournament, you’ll find discussion of some rules that we’ll all need to be aware of, including how to set your clock properly for this time control. Some other club news follows.

Continue reading “2015-2016 Schenectady Chess Club Championship to commence”

CDCL 2015: a biased, partisan point of view

Happy Independence Day, everyone!

It looks like it’s time for me to explain the story of the Schenectady A team in this year’s Capital District League, as rumor has it that the league season has concluded. Our team’s progress through the season wasn’t fully documented here before, so being the team captain, I thought I’d present our story for your entertainment. Some of the below will be redundant with posts from previous weeks, but I decided I’d cover it anyway in context.

Continue reading “CDCL 2015: a biased, partisan point of view”

135th NYS Championship – U2100 slice of life

Good day, everyone,

It’s been in my mind to try a first-hand blog entry about the recent New York State Championship. Mr. Little already covered young Miss Samadashvili’s exploits there on Thursday last, so I thought I’d contribute before the weekend breathes its last. That young lady and I were playing in the same section at the tournament (Under 2100), but unfortunately our paths failed to cross; so I’ll have to write about something else. I’m going to pick out a few interesting moments from my own escapades over those three days of the event.

I have neither the time to analyze these games to the very last drop nor the inclination to just watch a computer spit out variations–computers do not “play chess”, they merely crunch numbers–though I do use an engine here and there. If your Rybka or Stockfish or what have you pokes a few holes in my analysis as you read through, that’s fine. Think of it as me telling you a story, if you like–an all-too-human story, perhaps. Continue reading “135th NYS Championship – U2100 slice of life”

RPI Summer Chess events

Hello, folks,

In case you aren’t aware, Brother John McManus of the Make the Right Move Foundation (see http://www.chesstrm.org/), together with the folks at the RPI Chess Club, has arranged for another series of small summer one-day tournaments on the campus of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY. These are similar to those held last summer with the purpose of raising some funds to support the Right Move tournaments held during the school year in the Capital Region. Continue reading “RPI Summer Chess events”

Quick News: Deepak Aaron 2012 New York State Scholastic Champion!

Good morning, world! I happened to be at the state Scholastic Championships in Saratoga Springs over the weekend of March 3rd & 4th just past, and even though I wasn’t there as a reporter in any real sense, it occurred to me just now that I could spread some news of interest to the Eastern New York area. It was a tough tournament all around. It seemed as if every section had at least a couple of unexpectedly strong players Continue reading “Quick News: Deepak Aaron 2012 New York State Scholastic Champion!”