This is a match where we in South Carolina compete as a team against our friendly rivals from the state of North Carolina. Border Battle started in 2008 consisted of matches between the 2008 state champions and the 2008 high school champions. In the past few years, a team element was added. Now a total of 28 participants take place in the Border Battle every year. If you live in North or South Carolina, please show your interest by offering to play in this friendly match! The tournament will be held at the Charlotte Chess Center & Scholastic Academy. Click here for more information!
Fifty-seven talented young players and 10 school teams turned out for the Midland Scholastic Chess League VI! The event, held at at Pelion HS on May 9th, made up the largest and toughest field we have had so far!! The upsets started early in round 1 with previous victors and many top seeds struggling against determined new faces. In the end, we had two perfect scores emerge from each section!
In the elementary section, Hris Choudhury came down from Charlotte and won all 4 games to claim 1st! 2nd and 3rd were taken by team-mates Messiah Cornelius and Eli Moore when they drew in the last round. Messiah had a tremendous tournament winning his first three games against higher seeded players! Midlands STEM Institute convincingly claimed the team prize with 10 points! In 2nd place was Heathwood Hall closely followed by Byrd Elementary in 3rd. Both Heathwood and Byrd were new teams who narrowly beat out previous 2nd place finishing teams Excelsior Academy and Hammond!
For middle school, Gunatej Guruvelli took 1st on tiebreaks over his brother Ravitej. Each scored an impressive 3/4 in the combined middle school and high school section. They also took home the team trophy for Lexington Middle School.
In high school, Ian Bell won his 4th MSCL tournament with a perfect 4/4! Simeon Radev, Joshua Goley, and Joseph Ault finished in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th on 3/4 behind Ian. Ian, Joshua, and Joseph are each graduating this year. Let's hope they stay in state, and we can add a college section next year!
Hammond and the hosting Pelion High School each scored 7 points with Hammond taking 1st place team narrowly on tiebreaks.
Finally, Michael Mayfield won the adult section with 3/4. Truman Price and Drew Plyler shared 2nd.
Meanwhile, we have summer camps (http://strategerycg.com/summer_camps.html), Tuesday Kid's Hour (http://strategerycg.com/kids_hour.html), and we are currently working hard to offer more after school programs next year (http://strategerycg.com/schools.html). If you are interested in a program for your school, please let us know!
GM Finegold kept everyone entertained Monday night by blending his sharp-witted humor with serious chess instruction. Everyone was kept guessing as he presented various puzzles to solve including "best move" positions from some of his favorite games. After the lecture, nine brave local participants (including one master and two expert players) played against GM Finegold in the Simul exhibition. Despite courageous efforts by all, none of the challengers managed to pull off the upset. Congratulations to Grandmaster Finegold on his 9-0 finish here in Columbia!! Thanks to everyone who came out and participated in the event!!! Also, special thanks also to North Trenholm Baptist Church and staff, NM Sam Copeland with Strategery Chess and Games, Daniel Smith - Pres. of the Columbia Chess Club, and NM Peter Giannatos of the Charlotte Chess Center for making this event possible!
Congratulations to Expert Wayne Christensen (right) on his over-powering domination of this year’s SC Senior Open! His 4-0 score left the second-to-fourth-place mob far behind at 2.5. South Carolinian James Brown contended for the Amateur section prize, but fell to Wayne Spon of North Carolina. Twenty particularly venerable gentlemen competed this year. Warmest thanks to Bob and Bea Mahan for organizing and directing the SC Senior Open these past two years, along with the other events in the southeastern senior circuit under the auspices of Chess for Seniors, which includes a circuit championship for events in Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Congratulations again to Wayne Christensen as he is now not only Senior Open Champion, but also reigning SC State Champion and this year's Snowstorm Special Champion!! Look for Wayne to be representing South Carolina in the Border Battle of Carolina Champions on May 30th and 31st at the Charlotte Chess Center!! Click here for the Senior Open crosstable.
We were thrilled to have 44 talented players come out on April 4th for the Midlands Scholastic Chess League V. This was our third MSCL in a row with 44 attendees (our lucky number!). Despite our consistent attendance, we did have 10 first time USCF players in the tournament.This was probably our strongest MSCL ever. Many of the games were quite tense and there were multiple upsets in even the first round. Our compliments to all the participants on their play and sportsmanship.
Congratulations to Ethan Ellis and Sahil Singh (Sahil's first tournament) on perfect scores in K-5. For the second time in a row, Harbison West Elementary confidently claimed top K-5 team. First K-8 was taken by Paul Pena. Josh Goley eeked out a tough win against Marty Anderson with only two seconds on his clock to win first K-12 in his first MSCL tournament. Meanwhile Pelion High School fended off their toughest challenge yet from Lake Marion High School to claim top K-12 team. Pelion has won top K-12 team in every MSCL thus far! Finally, in the adult section, Midlands STEM Institute coach Truman Price won all three games. This was Truman's first tournament; he will acquire a towering provisional rating! Click here for photos, crosstables, and more.
Benjamin Caiello refused to be defeated on Saturday and repeats as South Carolina's State High School Champion for 2015!!! Congratulations Ben!!! Ben went a perfect 5.0 throughout all of his games despite inspired play by all of his opponents. Adam Blocker fought valiantly with the champ in round 1, followed by Simon Kubrynski in round 2, and Robert Melville in round 3. The biggest challenge remaining was the much anticipated 4th round rival match against Kevis Tsao, the 2013 SC State Scholastic Champion. The game was close as everyone anticipated but in the end, Ben was ahead on time which ended up giving him the win. Ian Bell tried to unseat Ben in the 5th and final round but was unsuccessful. With another State Championship in hand, Ben will be representing our State in the Denker Tournament of High School Champions later this year. Again, Congratulations Ben!!! Thanks for being a great champion for our State!! Congratulations also to Neha and Aditya Dias!!! Neha will represent our State at the USCF National Girl’s Invitational Tournament and Aditya at the Barber Tournament of K8 Champions!!!
2015 Trophy Winners...
HIGH SCHOOL SECTION: (1st) Benjamin Caiello 5.0, (2nd) Ian Bell 4.0, (3rd) Melville, Robert 4.0, (4th) Kevis Tsao 4.0, (5th) Alexander Moreno 4.0
HM - Simeon Radev 4.0, Daniel Custer 4.0
Neha Dias, 3.5 Top Female
MIDDLE SCHOOL SECTION 6-8: (1st) Aditya Dias 5.0, (2nd) Paul Pena 4.0, (3rd) Michael Burrell 4.0, (4th) Sam Stalnaker 4.0, (5th) Kevin Rogers 4.0
HM - Ravitej Guruvelli 4.0, Bohan Wang 4.0, Braeden Reed 4.0
Lefan Xuan, 2.5 - Top Female
ELEMENTARY SECTION 4-5: (1st) Brady Setser 5.0, (2nd) Connor Liu 5.0, (3rd) Pierson Tran 4.0, (4th) Jacob Lewis 4.0 (5th) Toby Cox 4.0, (6th) Luke Wassung 4.0, (7th) Walker Bauknight 4.0, (8th) Rowan Johnson 4.0, (9th) Jack Mcdougall III 4.0 (10th) Rahul Rangaraju 4.0
HM - Paulo Hitopoulos 4.0, Kevin Fan 3.5, Jace Kraftchick 3.5, Martin Oltmann 3.5, Merritt Taylor 3.5
Taylor Hollis 2.5 - Top Female
ELEMENTARY SECTION K-3: (1st) Robert Hylton 5.0, (2nd) Whit Suber, Jr. 4.5, (3rd) Benja Williams, Jr (4th) Eli Moore 4.0, (5th) Allen Hong 4.0,
HM - Henri Murthy, 4.0, Kenda Bloxom 3.5, Kabir Zaman 3.5, Luke Lasher 3.5, Kabir Zaman 3.5, Adam Kremer 3.5
Erika Oltmann 3.0 Female
William, Tabakian 4.0 - Top 2nd Gr
William Jones 3.5 - Top 1st Gr
Samuel Jones, 2.5 - Top K
High School 9-12 1st D.W. Daniel High School, Clemson, SC 15.0pts.
Runner-up Pelion High School, Pelion, SC 12.5pts.
Middle School 6-8 1st Cario Middle School, Mt. Pleasant, SC 13.5pts.
Runner-up R.C. Edwards Middle School, Clemson, SC 11.5pts.
Elementary School 4-5 1st Pinckney Elementary School, Mt. Pleasant, SC 16.5pts.
Runner-up Clemson Elementary School, Clemson, SC 16.0pts.
Primary School K-3 1st Pinckney Elementary School, Mt. Pleasant, SC 13.5pts.
Runner-up Buist Academy, Mt. Pleasant, SC 11.5pts.
Charles Pinckney Elementary School in Mt. Pleasant, SC was loaded with excitement Saturday, Feb. 28th as 217 of the brightest young chess minds in the State gathered together to wage war over the board for 5 rounds. This was clearly the largest number of participants we have ever had for a State Scholastic Championship Tournament!! In between rounds, the kids were treated to expert chess analysis from NM Sam Copeland as well as being introduced to the latest software and video offerings from IM Mike Klein, Dir. of Content for Chess.com. Mr. Klein and his staff had laptops set up so the kids could try out the chesskid.com site (the scholastic extension site of Chess.com). Thank you Mr. Klein and staff for taking the time to visit our tournament!!! Please come back to see us!!! Clothing vendor "Fine Designs Sportwear" was there as well providing shirts and pullover jackets with loads of colors and chess slogans. Chick-fil-a worked tirelessly Saturday as well to make sure we all had a great lunch!! Thank you guys!! All in all, we had a fantastic day of chess that won't soon be forgotten! Thanks everyone!!!
Saturday, February 21st was a fantastic day of chess in Columbia as forty-four talented young players competed for prizes at the Midlands Scholastic Chess League IV tournament!! The tournament series, currently held at Trenholm Rd. Baptist Church, continues to attract more scholastic chess players and is becoming quite popular! Special thanks to NM Sam Copeland and the Strategery Chess group for hosting the event!! Congratulations Ian Bell, Paul Pena, and Henri Murthy on their individual victories in high, middle, and elementary sections!!! Team congratulations went to Pelion High, Camden Military, and Harbison West Elementary!!! Please see the Strategery Chess & Games facebook page for photos, complete story, and more.
On Saturday, January 31, 2015, the Charleston Chess Club hosted the 10th annual Patrick Hart Memorial Scholastic at Pinckney Elementary in Mt. Pleasant, SC. With 69 players attending, this was the largest scholastic chess tournament ever held in Charleston in recent years. Robert Hylton took 1st in the K-12 division with 3.5 points while Paul Pena and Walker Bauknight both earned a full 4 points to win the K-8 and K-5 divisions respectively. The K-3 division ended in computer tie break with Shiv Mehta and William Barnes both earning 3.5, drawing each other in round 3. Shiv Mehta won the 1st place trophy on a tiebreak.
On January 17, seventeen players contested the five-round January Open at the Governor's School for Science and Math (GSSM) in Hartsville. Chris Lebrecque of Irmo won clear first place with 4.5, his record blemished only by a last-round draw with Stephen Morales of Wilmington. GSSM alum Jordan Anderson of Columbia and Tony Cato of Pageland shared second place with 4.0. Jordan was chief TD for the day, assisted by fellow GSSM alum Carl Garris of Chapin. The top unrated player in the field was Blaise Haddock of Florence, his three points including a first-round victory over Tony.
Special thanks to NM Sam Copeland, the Strategery Chess Group, and all participants for making the Midlands Scholastic Chess League II tournament a big success! Thirty-one players attended the event held at Jewish Community Center in Columbia on Saturday, November 8th.the
Ian Bell, Gunatej Guruvelli, and Alex Hylton won their respective high school, middle school, and elementary school sections. Ian Bell and Alex Hylton each achieved perfect 4/4 scores while Gunatej Guruvelli achieved 3/4 playing in a larger merged high school and middle school section. His only loss was to Ian Bell. Ravitej Guruvelli, Austin Setser, and Paul Daniel Pena also finished with excellent 3/4 scores in the middle school section. Gunatej's victory on tiebreaks was well deserved as he played on board 1 all four rounds, and he only lost in the last round against the high school victor, Ian Bell. Pelion High and Lexington Middle won team prizes.
Another fine result was turned in in the adult section by Senor Joey Dean who also coaches the Pelion High team. He managed to win all three of his games, and he added over 100 points to his provisional rating to clear 1500! Thanks to all who came out and supported the event! Next month, MSCL III will be held at Pelion High School on December 6th. Hope to see you there!
Forty-four players competed in the three-section, five-round, 75th Annual South Carolina State Chess Championship over the weekend, Oct. 3-5. In the final round of the tournament, Wayne Christensen drew Eugene Nix and walked away from the chessboard with the extra half (.5) point he needed to separate himself from the rest of the field. Wayne finished the tournament with a total of 4.5 points making him our new South Carolina State Chess Champion for 2014!! Congratulations Wayne!! Other South Carolina section winners receiving first place trophies included Chris Labrecque, winner of the U1800 Section, and Ian Bell, winner of the U1400 Section. Both players finished with 4.0 points. The South Carolina Chess Association would like to thank all players, and spectators who helped make the tournament a success. Special thanks to David Causey for organizing and directing the event!
Congratulations to all of our 2014 Winners!
OPEN SECTION: (1st) Wayne Christensen (SC) 4.5 pts.(T); (2nd) NM Samuel Copeland (SC) 4.0 pts.; Benjamin Caiello (SC) 4.0 pts.(T)
U2200: Keith Eubanks (SC) 3.0 pts.
U2000: (tie) Lawrence Pagtama (NV) 3.0 pts.; Ernest E. Nix, Jr.(SC) 3.0 pts.; Naman Kumar (FL) 3.0 pts.
U1800: (1st): Chris Labrecque (SC) 4.0 pts. (T), (2nd-4th) John Yates (SC) 3.5 pts.; (2nd-4th) Ravi Chokkalingam (SC) 3.5 pts.;
(2nd-4th;U1600) Zoltan Szekely (MD) 3.5 pts.; Adam Elsharkawi (GA) 3.5 pts.
U1400: (1st): Ian Bell (SC) 4.0 pts.(T), (2nd) Venkata Guruvelli (SC) 3.5 pts.(T)
U1200: Birney F. Blind (SC) 3.5 pts.
U1000: Ravi Shashwat (SC) 3.0 pts.
2014 SC Championships 6 Round(s)
U2200 prizes went to the following players (all with 2.5 pts.): Ben Caiello (SC), Leo Rabulan (SC), Keith Eubanks (SC), Dr. Edsel Pena (SC), and Kapish Potula (GA).
In the U2000 Section, Adam Shaw (GA) came in first place with 4.5 pts.; Tim Rankin (SC) and Joseph Rochester (SC) came in second - both had 3.5 pts. each.U1800 prizes went to Bob Halliday (SC), James Dill (NC), Mike Eberhardinger (NC) and John Yates (SC). All four players finished with 3.0 pts. each.
In the U1600 Section, the first place prize went to Mia Lopez (NC) with 4.5 pts.; second place prizes went to Gunatej Guruvelli (SC) and Richard Watts (SC) - both with 3.0 pts. each.
The U1400 prize went to Leonid Matros (PA) with 2.5 points.
In the U1200 Section, first went to Rares Cristian (GA) with 4.5 points; second went to Ian Bell (SC) with 4.0 points, third went to Venkat Guruvelli (SC) and Ravitej Guruvelli (SC) both with 3.0 points.
The U1000 prize went to Paul Pena (SC) and Henri Murthy (SC) both with 3.0 points each.
The South Carolina Chess Association thanks all that made this tournament a success: all those players that participated, especially those from other cities and states that had to stay overnight away from home; those that came to cheerlead and watch the event; those TDs (Tournament Directors) and organizers that worked tirelessly to see the event was conducted in an orderly and fair fashion. Daniel Smith and Jordan Anderson were TDs for the event. Lendel Robinson and Drew Plyler assisted where needed.
The Denker tournament, named after US Chess icon Arnold Denker, is by invitation only. This year, Ben Caiello was selected to represent South Carolina after a hard fought victory over last year's scholastic winner, Kevin Tsao. Ben is currently ranked 1st among scholastic players and 5th among all USCF registered players in the state. Congratulations Ben! Benjamin Caiello finished the 2014 Denker Tournament of National High School Champions in Orlando, Florida with the highest score (4.0) ever received by a representative of South Carolina! Read more on the 2014 Scholastic Chess Championship by clicking here.
Click on the three dots area to select and view the games Ben played during the 2014 Denker tournament by using the chess board below. Click here to view the Crosstables
Congratulations to Tim Rankin on his 3-0 first place finish at Saturdays Porter Evette Memorial tournament at Orchard Lake campground near Saluda, NC! Other Greenville Chess Club members participating: Life Master Klaus Pohl, Gene Nix, Dr. Ehab Khalil, his young son Joseph Khalil, and Wendell Burnett. Great showing in memory of our old friend!
Congratulations Tori! Tori is heading to St. Louis, Missouri in August where she’s been accepted to study at Webster University and be a part of their number #1 ranked, Division 1, College Chess Team. She is also receiving a $14,000 per year scholarship from the Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence (SPICE) program. This is an exciting time for Tori and her family! Click here to read the entire article from the Edgefield Daily.
In 2008, Tori Whatley became the first girl to ever represent the Palmetto State in the prestigious, Susan Polgar Girls' Invitational tournament. Over the next five years, she earned her way to the event four more times, the only exception being 2009, when Kristen Snowdeal finished 1/2 game ahead of her. Tori, along with New Mexico's, Rebecca Deland, hold the distinction of being the only two girls in the United States to have appeared at five Polgar Invitationals. Tori has decided to forego competing for the title of official representative to the 2014 Susan Polgar Girls' Invitational, and has chosen to return to the event on a special alumni invitation. Doing so creates the opportunity for the South Carolina Chess Association to name another girl as their "official" representative. "It's going to be great sharing this wonderful and memorable experience with another girl from our state" , noted Tori. The top finishing girl (preferably from the high school section) will have her choice of attending the USCF National Girls' Invitational or the Susan Polgar Girls' Invitational. The SCCA provides a $350 stipend to attend the USCF event while Webster University provides free room and board for the state's official representative to the Polgar event.
This year's SC Open Chess Tournament, sponsored by the Greenville Chess Club and organized by Carolina Chess Initiative, was held over Memorial Day weekend (May 23 - 25) at the Hilton Garden Inn in Greenville. The tournament was held in three sections (Open, U1800, U1400) alongside an individual scholastic tournament (two sections) for a total of 131 participants.
The Open Section of this year's tournament ended in a 4-way tie for first place between FM Peter Bereolos (TN), Daniel Cremisi (NC), LM Chris Mabe (NC), and Brian Tarhon (GA) all with 4.0 points each out of five rounds. FM Peter Bereolos won the tie break order to become 2014 S.C. Open Champion along with co-champions Daniel Cremisi (NC), LM Chris Mabe (NC), and Brian Tarhon (GA).
Maxwell Feng (GA) tied with Robert J. Hydzik (TN) for first place in the U1800 Section (both with 4.5 points each). Stephen Anhow Liu (GA), Nikolai Astrov (NC), Ashley Thomas (GA), Akash Kamath (SC) all tied for first place with 4.0 points each in the U1400 Section.
Scholastic Tournament Trophy Winners:
Kings Section (U1000) -1st Alex Hylton (SC) 4.0, 2nd Tommy Pan (SC) 3.5, 3rd Joseph Ault (SC) 3.0, 4th Jeremy Williams (SC) 3.0, 5th Lukas Kolmel (NC) 3.0.
Knights Section (U600) -1st Eduar Murrillo (SC) 3.0, 2nd Anika Potluri (SC) 3.0, 3rd Jeremiah Liu (SC) 3.0, 4th Nikhel Krishna (SC) 3.0, 5th Jamaal Jacobs (SC) 3.0.
The South Carolina Chess Association would like to thank both the Greenville Chess Club and the Carolina Chess Initiative for hosting and organizing the event.
Boy Scouts Troop 9 hosted their second annual Chess Merit Badge Tournament January 18 at United Methodist Church in Greenville, following a morning of lessons presented by Scout Masters Chuck Small and Jeff McDermott. Twenty-four Scouts earned their merit badges and took home new sets, with a heavily weighted set awarded as first prize to Ben Wyatt, who went 4-0, followed closely by Manuel Unda with 3.5 points. Both winners, along with Ben's brother Sam Wyatt (3 points) are USCF members who competed in October's Greenville Scholastic Open. Greenville Chess Club President Gene Nix directed the tournament, which progressed smoothly largely due to the enthusiastic assistance of GCC members Joseph and Shannon Rochester, who collected results, reset the tables, and resolved various triple-check situations and answered technical questions. Dr. John McCrary, past USCF President, helped to develop the chess merit badge program. Warmest thanks to the Boy Scouts for including chess in their character-building program, and thereby encouraging the growth of the game with the next generation of leaders, and for inviting the Greenville Chess Club to assist!
President, Greenville Chess Club
Fourteen players competed in the five-round GSSM January Open in Hartsville on January 18. James MacDougall of West Columbia and Ian Morton of Florence shared first place with scores of 4.5, having drawn in a titanic third-round battle. Three players shared third place with three wins: Randy Mosteller of Ellloree, John Sullivan of Florence, and Nicholas Thomas of Central. GSSM junior John McElvenny earned recognition for the biggest upset, upending Brandon Alverson of Clemson despite a ratings difference of 823 points.
Dr. Clyde Smith,
S.C. Governor's School of Science and Mathematics
Lake Murray Elementary School hosted a five round G15 non-rated chess tournament on Saturday, Jan. 25th. This marked the second year in a row that LMES has worked alongside the SCCA in order to generate interest in chess by providing students with both classroom and tournament experience. The event, held in the school cafeteria, was considered a major success by everyone involved with over 60 students from LMES and neighboring schools participating - a threefold increase over last year's attendance. Parents and students were treated to short chess related films in the Dockside Theatre while waiting between rounds. Jessica Jones, AGP Elementary School teacher and LMES Chess Club leader presided over the event while SCCA Vice President Daniel Smith handed out the awards. Diligent Tournament Directors included Greenville Chess Club President Gene Nix, SCCA Vice President Daniel Smith, George Boykin, and David Gongre. Parent volunteer John Swieringa helped as well. Students also had an opportunity to meet two State Champions; Gene Nix Co-State Champion 2012, and reigning State Champion IM Alexander Matros. It's always great to see young happy faces and the school was loaded with them Saturday. I helped provide computer services - greatly aided by Daniel Smith. Thank you Principal Thompson and staff for you steadfast support. Thank you Rachael Ham of ColaDaily.com for your nice very article. Read Rachael's Article here.
Top Individual Trophies:
1. Seth Bailey 5.0 pts
2. Issac Smith 5.0 pts
3. Matthew Ployhart 4.0 pts
Top Grade Winners:
5th Grade: Everett Newbry
4th Grade: Ryan Moser
3rd Grade: Gibson Ward
Chess Set Drawing Winner: Cole Thornsberry