Upcoming Tournaments

A short update of three events in the near future.

First, on Saturday, May 6th, 2017, the Bennington Spring Open, offering 4 games [g/60 d/5] with an attractive $30 EF. This event will be directed by Sreenivas Alampalli, who has a reputation for excellence and calm which will be tested by the expected strong turnout for the significant guaranteed prizes [$1130] relative to such a low entry fee.

Second, on Saturday, May 13th, 2017 the Right Move has changed location for TRM 116 to the LaSalle School in Albany. As always, additional details about this great organization can be found at the Right Move website. A free event, as always.

Lastly, the weekend of May 19th – 21st, 2017, 25th annual New York State Open will be held in Lake George. This is usually directed by Steve Immit for Continental, another excellent arbiter for our area. As usual, this event offers the rare opportunity for a Senior section, allowing aging boomers a chance to enter into battle amongst themselves. Last year saw the tourney move out of the basement restaurant space, making this a fine alternative to the windowless halls that so frequently host events.

If you want there to be Over-the-Board chess, please find time to support these local events. Thank you.

AACC Officers & Championship 2016-17

At the Annual Meeting of the Albany Area Chess Club held October 5, Jeremy Berman was elected President, Walter Mockler was elected Vice-President, Paul Axel-Lute was re-elected Secretary, and Glen Perry was re-elected Treasurer.
The Club Championship will be played on Wednesdays, starting October 26th. Start time is 7:30 pm, and time control is game in 90 minutes with 5-second delay. If there are 17 or fewer players, it will be a single round-robin; with 18 or more players, there will be two sections, each playing a round-robin, with the top two finishers playing a final quad. Ties will be decided by two-game playoffs using the same time control (game in 90 minutes with 5-second delay). Playoff ties will be decided via Armageddon games.
The registration fee for the Club Championship is $40 regular, $30 scholastic, $10 of which is refunded to participants upon completion of all the player’s games. Participants in the Club Championship also become members of the Albany Area Chess Club for the current fiscal year. In order to register, payment must be received by Wednesday October 19th. Payment can be made at the club (Wednesday evenings starting at 7:30 pm) or directly to the TD (Glen Perry). For questions, or to arrange registration payments outside of club hours, please contact the TD at glenmperryATgmail.com.

Staunton Club Quick Chess Event Nov 13

Hopefully the details will show up in the usual places where such things are announced and publicized but here are the promised details

Staunton Club Quick Chess Event Nov 13

Quick Chess Tournament, USCF Quick Chess Rated, USCF membership required. Official rules apply. Quick Chess is touch move. For pairings we will use the higher of the Quick Chess or Regular Rating.

Prizes (based upon 15 entries) 1st $75, 2nd $30, 3rd $15, top under 1800 $20, under 1500 $20, under $1200/unrated $20

EF $20, (Staunton Club members $15)

Time limit: G/10 d3

Registration from 7:00PM to 7:45 PM

Rounds 8:00, 8:35, 9:10, 9:45 PM

Quick Chess Event for Nov 13 and Saratoga Staunton Club Championship starts Sept. 25

The Saratoga Staunton Chess Club will be holding a quick chess tournament on Sunday evening Nov 13. More details will soon be provided soon. I thought it would be good to let everyone know now along with this reminder about the start of our club championship.

There is still time for anyone who wants to play in the Saratoga Staunton Club Championship. It will most likely be a double round robin starting September 25, 2016. Games usually start at 7:30 so get there earlier than that if you want to enter the tournament. For more details, like the $16 entry fee and the location of the Saratoga Springs United Methodist Church, see the previous post http://www.enyca.org/home/2016/09/12/saratoga-staunton-chess-club-annual-meeting-and-club-championship-tournament/


An Embarrassment of Riches

This Saturday, September 17th, 2016, our Events page shows 3 concurrent events, two of which are USCF rated tournaments being held simultaneously 10 miles apart. Each event might be considered make or break for the directors of the events. If neither draws sufficient interest we might find ourselves back in the vacuum of local chess, where only club play is available to our local warriors. Both events will have fine direction, a reasonable entry fee, and a pro rated prize fund, since neither event is likely to draw the numbers hoped for due to competition between the tournaments.

We all watched a similar calamity occur this spring when the Bill Little Memorial was concurrent with the Right Move tournament at the State Library. I recall everyone bemoaning this conflict, and promising that nothing like this would happen again. Less than half of a year has passed and we find ourselves facing the same issue.

While the ENYCA events page can show redundancies once it is too late to resolve them, the absence of successful communication amongst promoters of chess events is the root cause. Right Move publishes their calendar for the year months in advance. It would help greatly if our other promoters would discuss amongst themselves prior to choosing dates. I am hoping this can occur in future, if it is not already too late to save everyone, or anyone.

Saratoga Staunton Chess Club – Annual Meeting and 2016 Club Championship Tournament

We are getting started a little bit earlier this year.  I suppose I should figure out how to edit the entry for the club at http://www.enyca.org/home/clubs/

The Saratoga Staunton Club’s annual meeting will be held Sunday September  18, 2016 at 7:30 PM. The championship is scheduled to start, one week later, on September 25. Combined membership/entry fee is $16. The club meets at the Saratoga Springs United Methodist Church, 175 Fifth Av. Saratoga Springs, NY. New members are welcome and encouraged.

Notes on the tournament: Most likely it will be a double round robin, depending on entries.  The past few years it has been a small tournament, and while I haven’t checked what the ratings of all the players were I would guess the average rating has been around 1900 the past few years. Also, it is run semi-informally, allowing for players to reschedule games as needed to accommodate the players. Most players have rescheduled games in the past. The length of the tournament will be determined by the entries and how many games have to be rescheduled. It is a great way to play one rated game a week.

There is no need to attend the annual meeting to play in the tournament, in the past entries have even been accepted after the tournament has started.

At the meeting, in addition to the details for the Club Championship Tournament we will also be discussing the possibility of the club hosting other events, such as a scholastic tournament, or one night blitz or quickchess tournaments.

Make The Right Move 2015-16 School Year At a Glance


Make The Right Move, in association with the ENYCA, has been offering opportunities for kids of all ages and levels of ability to enjoy chess, learning, and competition. This article gives a summary of the 2015-16 school year activities.


Chess Tent at Madison Avenue Fair

2015-16 School Year has been a great success with more than 1700 total participants and 35+ schools participating, with 16+ tournaments organized in the Capital District area. The first tournament of the year started at the Albany Academy on October 10, 2015 and ended with the last tournament of the year on June 4, 2016 at LaSalle.

National Chess Day Tournament at Albany Academy

Make the Right Move reached a major milestone during this school year with our 100th tournament being celebrated on January 16, 2016 at the Albany High School. Over this year, there was an increase in number of scholastic players participating and number of tournaments held, and has been regarded as a great place to learn chess, and most importantly, have fun.

Cake from Right Move 100th Tournament Celebration

Following the organization’s tradition, the chess year ends with a grand picnic on Wednesday June 22, 2016 at the Christian Brothers Academy. At this picnic various schools and individuals were recognized for theirs efforts. Also, Coach of the year award to Mr. David Sterner and Hall of Fame award to Dr. Sreenivas Alampalli will be presented.  Below are details related to top schools and individuals honored for their achievements during this school year.


During the 2015-2016 School year, more than 35 schools participated in the Right Move Tournaments. Below are the top 10 schools with highest total points.

top schools

All team scores are posted here. Consistent attendance at all tournaments with many players (at least four) is a key to be on the above list.

Right Move Tournament at La Salle


Right Move congratulates Karthik Narayan, 2015-16 Scholastic Player of the Year. Top Scholastic Players and Scholastic Player of the Year Award are based on “Top ten scores” in the tournaments hosted by the Right Move with both rated and unrated sections. Thus, TRM 96 through TRM 108, MLK 2016 Tournament in Kingston and Miller 2016 Tournament were used in calculating these scores. Right Move also congratulates Mr. William Matters with 35.5 points for his high score in the Adults Section. All individual scores are posted here.

TOP Scholastic Players

top players

Right Move presents its Coach of the Year Award to Mr. David Sterner. Mr. Sterner has been coaching and promoting chess at Albany High School. He has worked with AHS for the past three years on a volunteer basis. He provides weekly lessons, reviews games, attends tournaments, and has been a mentor and positive role model for AHS students. Mr. Sterner is an accomplished local chess player and knows a great deal about the history of the game. He is able to teach in a way that inspires beginners and motivates more advanced players. Congratulations Mr. Sterner.

Sandeep Alampalli, Right Move President, with Coach of the Year Mr. David Sterner with Dr. Laurie Miroff, Right Move Vice President, in the background.

Right Move presents its Hall of Fame Award to Dr. Sreenivas Alampalli in recognition for his past and continued commitment and efforts to the success of the Right Move. Sreenivas was the President of Right Move during 2011 – 2013. He is a USCF certified senior tournament director and instrumental in organizing the Right Move tournaments.

Dr. Sreenivas Alampalli with Albany Academy team during an award ceremony.

2015-16 School Year Tournament Sponsors
Right Move thanks schools for hosting tournaments. It is not possible to organize these tournaments without schools and their teachers taking the lead. We also thank all sponsors of the 2015-16 school year tournaments. Their generous contributions make these scholastic tournaments possible. If interested in sponsoring one of the upcoming tournaments, please contact us at moc.l1495722609iamg@1495722609ssehc1495722609evomt1495722609hgir1495722609

Officers and Tournament Directors
Numerous volunteers make the Right Move chess tournaments possible and we thank all their efforts during the year. Nothing is possible without the dedication, direction and hard work of Brother John McManus, Executive Director of Right Move and all our appreciation goes to him for his dedicated service. We also thank all officers and tournament directors that worked hard to successfully plan and organize these events.
2015-16 School Year officers
President: Sandeep Alampalli
Vice president: Dr. Liz Gialanella
Secretary: Dr. Laurie Miroff
Treasurer: Santhosh Abraham
Tournament Directors: John McManus, Dr. Sreenivas Alampalli, Sandeep Alampalli, and Santhosh Abraham

2016-2017 School Year

Get the up-to-date information, tentative 2016-17 schedule, and
registration details at www.chestrm.org

Officers for the 2016-2017 School Year
President: Sandeep Alampalli
Vice president: Dr. Laurie Miroff
Secretary: Santhosh Abraham
Treasurer: Mahadevan Balasubramaniam

Right Move hopes you can join us for the 2016-2017 year.

By: Sandeep Alampalli, President, Right Move

“Till memory shall be no more.”

Philidor played two blindfold games simultaneously in 1783. This feat of human memory was touted as one of the greatest skills of memory ever displayed. “…it is a phenomenon in the history of man, so should be hoarded among the best samples of human memory, till memory shall be no more.”

Who then could so easily forget March 26th of 2015 when our local chess community was struck by the news of “Passing of a Chess Warrior“?

Bill Little looks over the flock.

So as to not forget, our collective memory of Bill Little is being retained at the Bill Little Memorial Chess Tournament taking place in less than two weeks. Many cultures, sub cultures, and individuals have their own unique ways of dealing with loss and preserving the memory of those who once lived among us. Chess players in this case seem to find a healthy way to engage their denial, anger, bargaining and yes, grief, in part, by playing chess.

Bill Little watches over the Chess.

Parmenidies made the case that “nihil fit ex nihilo”, Latin for “Nothing comes of nothing.” But in the case of Bill Little, who lives with us no more, we do have something. A person we have joining in on April 2nd at the Bill Little Memorial is Patrick Chi. This young man has submitted a number of games and other worthy materials for soon to be published articles.

Open u2300 1-3 Chi
Patrick Chi smiles at the NYS Championship.

If you din’t ever get to play Bill Little, it is your loss. If you don’t try to get a game in with Patrick before he goes off to College, that too will be an unfortunate loss.

How Deep? Sandeep…

All of us wonder from time to time about the meaning of life, the universe and everything. Science fiction fans regale us with the story of how a super computer the size of a small city, named Deep Thought eventually arrived at THE answer. It took eons of profound calculation, but the ultimate truth turned out to be the prophetic number 42. And so the much older and wiser head scratching human race had to go back to the drawing board and propose a better question. Lesson learned, that while we might arrive at a final answer to some conundrum, it is the questions we ask along the way that often prove most important.


In the not so science fiction world of global commerce, International Business Machine invented Deep Blue, a highly specialized super computer to defeat world champion chess player Garry Kasparov.  The take away from that victory of machine over wo/man, is that the best computer could overcome human-kind’s elite champion in a highly specialized and complex task.

ChessKids with Sandeep

Now that we are collectively bested by machines in our chess endeavors, we can say to ourselves and the machines: “Your good at chess, better than me, but how good is your Kung-Fu?” Are your tactics and positional notions as good as Sandeep Alampalli is at debate? Could a computer or even a super computer draw a National Master in chess AND win first place in the NY State History Competition like Sandeep did? Can silicon based artificial intelligence also gain a Black Belt, attend Youth Court and remain the teenage President of Make the Right Move for two years? Can any hardware or software combination boast that it also serves as a regional Secretary of the American Society for Nondestructive Testing (ASNT)?

Brother John 2015

The simple answer to the questions above is not 42, but NO. Sorry DeepMind, you may well be Google’s AI victory of software over humans in the game of GO, but you only do one thing really well. Sandeep Alampalli does many things exceptionally.


Here is a game in which Sandeep, a growing and thriving student at Albany Academies, invested much thought facing Simon Yelsky, a National Master in the 4th round of the Parsippany, NJ World Amateur Team Championship. Can you follow his depth of thought?

Chess Table at Albany Academies

Deep thought in NJ
Deep thought in NJ





MARTHA 1/2 GM 1/2

Grand Master Aleksandr Lenderman rated 2700+ faced WFM Martha Samadashvili rated 2000+ this 2016 at the Greater New Haven Winter Chess Tournament in Connecticut. In a remarkable game involving cunning, deep strategy and the tenacity of youth, Martha held her own against the NY GM to make a draw.

A week later, Martha faced a handful of students in a simultaneous chess exhibition to defeat all.

jan and feb 2016 martha simil 009jan and feb 2016 martha simil 003 (2)

The following interview was conducted after Martha’s simul by Robert Lupone, a Tony Award Nominated actor and Artistic Director.

Bob Lupone              Martha Chess Pix

Robert: Martha you are student at AAG, 6th grade. You are new at the school this year. How do you like your new school?

Martha: I like the Albany Academies very much. The kids here are smart and everyone is very nice. And the school really supports you in your achievements.

Robert: Do you have a favorite class?

Martha: I like all my teachers but I like History best as a subject. Learning about the past is so interesting. And I like Geography too. I won the GEOBee (Geographic Bee) this year and I might go to Middle School States. The GEOBee is a competition between all the schools in the state. I won the Middle School competition and became the School champion for our School and then I had to take a qualifying exam and if I pass I will go to the state championship.

Robert: You travel nationally and internationally for chess tournaments. Can you tell us where you have gone in the past few months?

Martha: I was in Greece in October. I was playing at the World Youth Championship and I tied for 4th place out of about 120 kids.

Robert: Wow, congratulations.

Martha: Thank you

Robert: You must spend a lot of time playing chess and analyzing chess games to improve your own playing. Can you tell us a bit about your routine? What does an average day look like for you?

Martha: I spend a lot of time on chess when I come home from school. First, when I come home from school I do my homework, and then after that I just do chess. I take lessons from a strong Grand Master, George Kacheishvili. He lives in New York City. So we either travel, on Sundays, to where he is, or we do lessons by Skype.

Robert: So, when you say you play chess after homework, how many hours of homework and of chess do you put in each day?

Martha: So after homework I play chess or study chess for probably 3 hours.

Robert: That is a lot of time. And as you get older you will be getting more homework. Do you ever end up going to bed at 1 in the morning because of all the work you do?

Martha: No not really. Well maybe sometimes.

Robert: Do you ever play your mom? Your dad?

Martha: Yes, sometimes my dad.

Robert: Does he ever get mad when you beat him at chess?

Martha: No, well, he does get upset a bit.

Robert: When did you decide to make chess such a big part of your life?

Martha: When I was seven, my Grandmother came from Georgia to the US and she decided to teach me to play chess. And at first she beat me easily but then she says she got the feeling that I really wasn’t playing as she would have expected that I was doing something special. So when I was 8 year old I was already going to the local chess tournaments organized by Make the Right Move. The first tournament I went to I won all my 4 games. I also used to go to the chess club at my old school and I would easily beat the teachers. And then we hired an International Master, Parmen Gelazonia, to be my coach. He helped me get from beginner to expert level in chess.

Robert: How long did that take?

Martha: About 3 years.

Robert: Do you have favorite players?

Martha: I like the World Champion Magnus Carlson. I also like former World Champions Garry Kasparov, Anatoly Karpov. I like the way they play and their style. I like the way they attack and how all their pieces are in harmony. I just love their games.

Robert: Has it been important to you to watch women chess players be successful?

Martha: I look at women chess players as role models, because they were once girls like me. So I want to be like them. And some of them are really good. They sometimes beat the men world champions. (Kosteniuk v. Carlsen)

Robert: Do you think there is a difference in how men and women play chess?

Martha: No. Chess is a game of equal rights. If your idea is a good one then it will win on the board. It doesn’t matter if you are a man or a woman.

Robert: How would you encourage someone who feels they are not good enough to be a chess player?

Martha: First of all to become a good chess player you need someone who guides you or coaches you. A good coach is someone who puts their time into you and teaches you everything he knows, the basics first and then little by little more complicated things. He should give homework weekly.

Robert: Does your coach give you homework?

Martha: Yes, he gives me homework every week. He explains chess strategy or positions and then he assigns something like looking at certain games between masters or playing certain positions from these games.

Robert: Do you play video-games?

Martha: No, I don’t play video-games.

Robert: Is Chess better than video-games?

Martha: I think so.

Robert: What is something chess teaches you that you think is an important skill?

Martha: With chess you really have to concentrate because if you lose your concentration you might make a bad move or miss something. People sometimes say that video-games also help you to concentrate but I think that with chess you have to be more unique and you have to find strategic solutions so it is a more thinking process than video games. It teaches you a better thinking process. I think that is valuable because it can help you with a lot of other things in life. Like when you take tests in school it is very valuable.

Robert: I am curious about the competitiveness of chess and how you handle it. For example, what do you do when you lose? How do you deal with that?

Martha: My coach teaches me not to get too upset about losing a game. You should just try to clear your mind, get a drink of water and try to stay calm and not dwell on the game you just lost. Because if you do chances are it will affect your playing in the next game and you won’t play as well. He also tells parents not to ask your child “why did you make that mistake?’  “What happened in your game?”. He tells parents to just ask the kid “did you learn something?”. And then you can go forward with a positive mindset.

Robert: That is very good advice. Is there any advice you can give to kids who want to try out chess but aren’t sure it’s the thing for them?

Martha: I would like everyone to try to play chess because it might help them in learning strategic thinking and concentration. They don’t have to be good but I think they should try it.

Robert: If each day was twice as long as it is what would you do with the added time?

(Here Martha pauses a bit and sits back in her seat)

Martha: I have to say…I wouldn’t study any more chess….. It gets a bit overwhelming. I would do other subjects like piano. I am really good at piano; I am currently at level 5 of 6. So piano is like my second main thing.

Robert: So do you also practice piano every day?

Martha: Yes, for one hour only.

Robert: So you do your homework for 2 hours a day, chess for 3 and piano for 1 hour? Wow. Your parents are too hard on you. You should talk to them.

(Here Martha gives a wry smile and the interviewer gets the impression she quite likes the way things are.)

Martha: Ok.

Robert: So what are you playing on the piano?

Martha: I am playing pieces by Chopin and Beethoven right now and some of the other great classics. I have an evaluation in March and I need to play two complicated pieces so I have to practice a lot.

Robert: When I was playing an instrument as a kid I went to these state assessments where you would get graded on your playing….

Martha: NYSSMA?

Robert: Yes, that’s it. Do you go to those?

Martha: Yes I do.

Robert: Does chess have the same kind of structure? A place you go to for an exam?

Martha: No not really. There is the US Chess Federation that gives you a rating based on your performance in tournaments. So you go to tournaments and play other people to get a rating.

Robert: So how often do you go to tournaments?

Martha: I go to a minimum of two tournaments a month. This month there aren’t that many tournaments so I am only playing in two in February. I went to one this past Sunday.

Robert: So you have to travel to them sometimes?

Martha: Yes, a lot of the time.

Robert: Well Martha, You work very hard at homework, chess and piano and you also have to travel to tournaments several times a month. And some of those tournaments are international ones as well. I am quite impressed. Thank you for taking the time to come and play our chess club. We really appreciate and enjoy having you here.

Martha: Thank you for having me.

jan and feb 2016 martha simil 012