In possibly our most competitive tournament yet, we had 40 of the Midlands best and brightest chess players compete across three sections. Thanks to Rade Musulin and Daniel Smith for assisting with direction and to the parents and coaches who support their chess players!
K-5 - 1st: Gibson Ward, 2nd: Will Edwards, 3rd: Henri Murthy, Jonathon Williams, and Conner Brown
1st Place Team K-5: Harbison West, 2nd Place Team K-5: Byrd and Lake Murray
K-8 - 1st: Dawson Coutsos, 2nd: William Nettles, 1st Place Team K-8: Chapin Intermediate
K-12 - 1st: Ravitej Guruvelli, 2nd: Gunateja Guruvelli, Paul Pena, Kenneth Jackson, and Alejandro Rivera
New individual prizes were claimed by...
Top Female: Olivia Watkins
Best Debut: Michael Kuckuka
Biggest Upset: Jonathon Williams (Over Calvin Smith for 387 points)
Youngest Participant: Blake Watkins
In the Adult section, James MacDougall claimed first with a perfect score. Michael Mayfield took second and Charles Stevenson and Truman Price shared third.
Thanks to all, and we hope to see you again on May 14th for the MSCL V at Pelion High School!
NM Sam Copeland
Strategery Chess & Games
On Saturday, February 27th 2016, young aspiring chess hopefuls from throughout the state converged on Charles Pinckney Elementary School for this year's SC State Scholastic Championship Tournament in Mt. Pleasant SC. 242 players, the most in the tournament history, brought their "A" games to compete for trophies, higher ratings, and the respect of their peers! After five rounds of play, Kevis Tsao's emerged the clear winner with a perfect 5.0 score in the high school section making him South Carolina State High School Scholastic Champion of 2016!!! Congratulations Kevis!!! Kevis will be representing our State in the Denker Tournament of High School Champions later this year. Congratulations also to Neha Dias!! Neha won both the top female trophy and 2016 Whatley Scholarship Award for Female Chess Exellence! Neha will also be representing our State in the 2016 National Girl’s Tournament of Champions! Connor Liu won the middle school section and will be attending the Barber Tournament of K8 Champions! Congratulations Connor!! Thank you parents, organizers, and staff for making this year's tournament such a great success!! Special thanks to the NM Sam Copeland (Strategery Chess & Games) and FM Mike Klein (chess.com/chesskid.com) for providing chess services, demonstrations, and training! Here are this year's winners..
2016 Trophy Winners...
HIGH SCHOOL SECTION: (1st) Kevis Tsao 5.0, (2nd) Caleb Hylkema 4.0, (3rd) Michael Burrell 4.0, (4th) Jonathan Tan 4.0, (5th) Alexander Mareno 4.0, (6th) Aiden Fujzulai 3.5, (7th) Paul Pena 3.5, (8th) Daniel Custer 3.5, (9th) Jericho Ho 3.0, (10th) Benjamin Wyant 3.0
Neha Dias 3.5 - Top Female
MIDDLE SCHOOL SECTION 6-8: (1st) Connor Liu 5.0, (2nd) Gunateja Guruvelli 5.0, (3rd) Joshua Vid Gataric 4.0, (4th) Raviteja Guruvelli 4.0, (5th) Sairam J. Ramesh 4.0, (6th) Aditya Dias 4.0, (7th) Daniel Sobel 4.0, (8th) Matthew Johnson 4.0, (9th) Sam Stalnaker 4.0, (10th) Braeden Reed 3.5
Rebekah Jensen 3.0 - Top Female
ELEMENTARY SECTION 4-5: (1st) Ahan Shi 5.0, (2nd) Alex Tabakian 5.0, (3rd) Pierson Tran 4.5, (4th) Sanjay Kum Ramesh 4.0, (5th) Jace Kraftchick 4.0, (6th) Henri Murthy 4.0, (7th) Brady Setser 4.0, (8th) James Sarasua 4.0, (9th) Whit Suber Jr 4.0, (10th) Paulo Hitopoules 4.0
Siena Boccabella 4.0 - Top Female
ELEMENTARY SECTION K-3: (1st) William Tabakian 5.0, (2nd) Robert Ale Hylton 5.0, (3rd) Allen Hong 4.0, (4th) Agustin Ma Rivero 4.0, (5th) Finn Hayes 4.0, (6th) Benja Williams Jr 4.0, (7th) Anderson Berger 4.0, (8th) Thomas Nguyen 3.5, (9th) Anika El Yamamoto 3.5, (10th) Tyler Kraftchick 3.5
Olivia Watkins 4.0 - Top Female
High School 9-12: (1st) D.W. Daniel High School, Clemson, SC 15.5pts.
Runner-up Pelion High School, Pelion, SC 12.0pts.
Middle School 6-8: (1st) R.C. Edwards Middle School, Clemson, SC 14.0pts
Runner-up Laing Middle School, Mt. Pleasant, SC 13.5pts.
Elementary School 4-5: (1st) Pinckney Elementary School, Mt. Pleasant, SC 17.0pts.
Runner-up Clemson Elementary School, Clemson, SC 16.5pts.
Primary School K-3: (1st) Pinckney Elementary School, Mt. Pleasant, SC 15.5pts.
Runner-up Porter-Guad School, Charleston, SC 13.5pts.
Photos Board 1 Games below
Twenty players contested the GSSM February Open in Hartsville on Feb. 20. Randy Mosteller of Elloree defended Board One against several stern challenges and won clear first at 4.5, yielding only a fifth-round draw to Jordan Anderson of Columbia. Mike Lafer of Florence and Tony Cato of Pageland shared second place at 4.0, each losing only to Randy. In addition to serving as chief TD, Jordan, a 2008 graduate of GSSM, finished in clear fourth place with 3.5.
Dr. Clyde Smith, S. C. Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics
Sixty-one talented young players turned out for the Midland Scholastic Chess League III tournament on Saturday, February 6th, 2016. The event, held at at North Trenholm Baptist Church in Columbia, once again broke new attendance records for the series!!! Congratulations to all of the students who participated and thanks to all the parents and coaches who support scholastic chess in Columbia! The top finishers are as follows...
1st Individual K-12 - Paul Daniel Pena
1st Individual K-8 - Daniel Sobel
1st Individual K-5 Messiah Cornelius
1st Team K-12 - Charles Pinckney Elementary and Pelion High School tied with CPE having the better tiebreak.
1st Team K-8 - Pleasant Hill Middle School
1st Team K-5 - Midlands STEM Institute.
Congratulations to McKenzie England, Jericho Ho, Omar Hamdan, Blake Lawson, Daniel Sobel, Kevin Reeves, Messiah Cornelius, Matty Ferrario, Katie Maldonado, and Taylor Hollis on being projected to gain more than 100 rating points! We hope to see you at the SC State Scholastic Championships on February 27th in Charleston, SC! Our next tournament will be April 9th at Ashland United Methodist Church; registration will be available this week!
Go Gamecocks!!! The University of South Carolina Chess Team will be traveling to Ohio to compete in this year's prestigious 2015 Pan American Intercollegiate Chess Championship (also known as the World series of college chess). The 6-round, 4 person team tournament will take place at the Sheraton Cleveland Airport hotel December 27th through 30th. The top four winning colleges will then move on to play in the President's Cup in March. Chess team members representing USC this year will be: 1. Benjamin Peter Caiello (2014 Scholastic State Champion), 2. Rade Robert Musulin (former Scholastic State Champion and graduate student), 3. Robert Richard Vandermolen (graduate student), and 4. Jaree Marenda Hudson (graduate student). USC's Chess Club President is Ameed Elqadi with Dr. Edsel Peña as Faculty Advisor. International Master Dr. Alexander Matros will likely act as consultant. Elijah Neumann will be attending and observing the event along with SCCA President David Grimaud. Special thanks to Precision Tune Auto Care for sponsoring this year's Gamecock team!!
Congratulations to the 50 talented chess players that came out to do battle in the Midlands Scholastic Chess League II. Congrats especially to the Charleston and Colleton contigent that turned up in force despite the long drive and performed excellently. Kenneth Jackson, Daniel Spicer, and Henri Murthy each went undefeated in the K-12, K-8, and K-5 sections respectively. In the team categories, Pelion High came back in force after an upset last tournament. They collected 10 of 12 points and easily won first place. Pleasant Hill Middle School and Harbison West Elementary claimed the K-8 and K-5 team sections.
In the "Old Kids" section, Andrew Spicer, Matthew Miller, and Ed Bowling each scored 2/3 and shared first place. That meant that the father/son team of Daniel and Andrew Spicer won 2 of the day's 4 sections.
Congrats especially to Kenneth Jackson on breaking 1000. Although Pelion has won the team section many times, and has had many players share second previously, this is the first time a Pelion member has claimed an individual first. Congrats! ~NM Samuel Copeland
Twenty-one players assembled at the Governor's School for Science and Math (GSSM) in Hartsville on November 21 for the five-round GSSM November Open. Gil Holmes of Columbia earned clear first place, skillfully navigating some tricky endgames along the way to 5.0. Bob Halliday and GSSM junior Lam Nguyen, both of Columbia, shared second place at 4.0. Bob lost only to Gil, in one of those problematic endgames. Although an experienced player, Lam garnered the Best Unrated trophy for his superb performance in his first USCF tournament, losing only to Bob. The trophy for Biggest Upset went to Ben Yordy of Pelion, who downed Johnnie Trotter of Darlington despite a difference of 513 in ratings. Hank Koszarsky of Florence finished clear fourth at 3.5.
GSSM alum Jordan Anderson (c/o '08) of Columbia served as Chief Tournament Director, with GSSM senior Selen Berkman of Greenville as Assistant Tournament Director in her TD debut.
Dr. Clyde Smith, Physics Teacher
S. C. Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics
Congratulations to Ethan Ellis, Eli Moore and Daniel Sobel! 1st), Alex Hylton, and Daryl Dowty on their respective victories in the K-5, K-8, K-12, and Adult sections at the Midlands Scholastic Chess League I! Midlands STEM Institute took 1st place team honors in both K-5 and K-8 while Lake Marion High claimed their first team victory in K-12 over the hometown favorites Pelion High School! 45 players turned out for the four round event at Pelion High School including 14 first time USCF members! This was the first event in which we had enough middle school students to compose their own section. Thanks to all the players, coaches, parents, and PHS persons for supporting the event! We hope to see you at the MSCL II on Saturday, December 12th at North Trenholm Baptist Church.
Photos, crosstables, results list
Congratulations to Lifetime National Chess Master Klaus Pohl (R) on being named 2015 South Carolina State Champion!! Klaus, a thirteen
time SC State Champion and Original Life Master, finished the tournament with 4.0 pts. drawing in the fifth and final round against young talented Florida native Abhimany Banerjee. Abhimany came in first place overall with 4.5 points. This year's thirty player, three-section, five-round, championship event took place over the weekend Oct. 30-Nov. at the Hilton Garden Inn in Columbia, SC. New to this year’s tournament, Junior and Senior trophies were added to give players more chances to win. Also, handheld notation devices (provided by Strategery Chess and Games) were given out to various players so their moves could be uploaded and followed online via Chesstream. Thank you NM Sam Copeland for your expertise in setting this up! The South Carolina Chess Association would like to thank all players and spectators who helped make this year’s tournament a success! Special thanks to David Causey and Zach Darga for organizing and directing the event!
Congratulations again to all of our 2015 Winners!
OPEN SECTION: (1st) Abhimany Banerjee (FL) 4.5 pts.; (2nd) LM Klaus Pohl (SC) 4.0 pts.(T); (3rd) NM Samuel Copeland (SC) 3.5 pts.(T)
U2200: (5th-7th tie) CM Keith Eubanks (SC) 2.5 pts.(T); NM Wayne Christensen (SC) 2.5 pts.; Edsel Pena (SC) 2.5 pts.
U2000: (4th) Elijah Neumann (SC) 3.0 pts.
U1800: (1st) James Qu (SC) 4.0 pts. (JT); (2nd) John Yates (SC) 3.5 pts (T), (3rd) Clark Brown (GA) 3.5 pts. (4th) Mike Eberhardinger 3.0 pts. (NC)
(6th) John Roberts (SC) 2.0 pts.
U1600: (5th) Gil Padilla Ortiz 2.5 pts (T), (7th) Gunatej Guruvelli 2.0 pts. (JT)
U1400: (1st) Venkata Guruvelli (SC) 4.0 pts.(T); (2nd) Paul Pena 3.5 pts. (SC) (JT); (3rd) Mike Mayfield (SC) 3.0 pts (T); (4th) Ravitej Guruvelli (SC) 2.5 pts. (JT) (5th) Lee Marinelli (SC) (ST)
U1000: (6th) Robert Webb III (SC) 3.0 pts. (JT)
Forty-four future chess masters, including seventeen competing in their first rated tournament, converged on Eastlan Baptist Church in Greenville last Saturday (Oct. 24) to open files, promote pawns, and hunt Kings in time-honored fashion in the latest installment of the Greenville Scholastic Open chess tournament! The leaders after five rounds were, in tie-break order,:
K-12: Michael Burrell & Aditya Dias (4.0), Aidan Fejzulai & Alex Moreno (3.5)
K-8: Toby Cox (5.0), Allen Hong (4.0), Isha Pattanaik (2.5)
K-6: Rahul Rangaraju (5.0), Suvan Pattanaik & James Sarasua (3.5)
K-4: Grisham Paimagam (5.0), Olivia Watkins & Elisha Venegas (3.0)
K-2: Parijat Majumdar (4.0), Daryl Dowty III (3.5), Caton Tsao (3.0)
(K-4 & K-2 were combined into a common section).
Special honorable mention goes to Matthew Peterson (2.5) and Blake Watkins (0.5), a couple of four-year-olds who both exceeded expectations in completing the five-game schedule! At age four, I thought pawns turned around and came back upon reaching the eighth rank.
In addition to the wonderfully supportive family members who teach their children to play chess and give their time to bring them to events, grateful thanks go to Mr. Will Brown, Ms. Marlana Burrell, Michael Burrell, Aidan Fejzulai, and Mr. Tim Rankin for setting up the playing hall Friday afternoon, and to Dr. Wayne Goddard, Life Master Klaus Pohl, Mr. Brown (again) and Mr. Rankin (again) for their enthusiastic and patient work as floor TDs, and to Mr. Drew Plyler for traveling from Columbia with clocks and for serving as the primary Assistant TD. Additionally, Mr. Kevin Hyde provided chess sets, and Mr. Wendell Burnett provided extra equipment, and many parents assisted in putting away the equipment, chairs and tables upon completion of round five. Precision Tune Auto Care, through the good offices of SCCA President David Grimaud, sponsored GSO 2015 in conjunction with the Greenville Chess Club. Local TD Gene Nix organized and directed.
Greenville Chess Club President
Fifty-six players competed in the four-section, five-round, Columbia Open Chess Tournament this weekend, Aug. 22-23 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Columbia! Congratulations NM Peter Suich of Morristown, TN on winning this year’s Columbia Open!! Peter finished with 4.0 points with his only loss coming in the second round to Kevin Seidler (CO). NM Randal Ferguson of Greenville SC placed second with 3.5 points. NM Emmanuel Carter (NC), Kevin Seidler (CO), Kevin Wang (GA), and Jonathan Tan (SC) split the third place prize in the Open Section - all four players finished with 3.0 pts.
In the U2000 Section, Sijing Wu (AL) won the first place prize with 5.0 pts.; Ernest E. Nix, Jr. (SC) won second place with 4.0 pts.; third place went to Daniel Andrzejewski, Jr. (NC) and Vignesh Sekar (GA) - both finishing with 3.5 pts.
In the U1600 Section, the first place prize went to Gunateja Guruvelli (SC) with 4.0 pts., Marty Anderson (SC) won the second place prize with 3.5 pts.; Victor Suich (TN), Zachary R. Darga (SC), Aditya N. Dias (SC), and Joshua Brandon Gambrell (SC) tied for third place with 3.0 pts. each.
In the U1200 Section, the first place prize went to Robert Alan Hylton (SC) with 4.5 pts.; second place went to Birney F. Blind (SC) and Richard Trela (SC) - both with 4.0 pts.;
The U1000 prize went to Harry E Stewart (GA) with 2.5 pts.
Congratulations to all our prize winners!! The South Carolina Chess Association and Columbia Chess club would like to thank all players and spectators who helped make the tournament a success. Special thanks to VP Daniel Smith for organizing and directing the event! Thanks also to Jordan Anderson (TD duties), Andrew Plyler(TD and DGT board), and NM Sam Copeland (online game support)! Special thanks again to all players and family members who chose to come out and spend their weekend with us here in Columbia! We hope you had a great time and would love to see you back again at this same location for the SC State Championships October 30th - November 1st!
Columbia Open Winner NM Peter Suich (Right)
See Board 1 Games below
Congratulations to our three SC representatives, Benjamin Caiello, Aditya Dias, and Neha Dias for their spirited performances in the distinguished Denker/Barber/NGI Chess Tournaments held at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix AZ August 1-4!! Ben finished the Denker Tournament with 2/6 points highlighted by a draw against Christopher Yang (2276) of Pennsylvania! Neha finished with 3/6 points in the National Girls' Invitational Tournament and had a nice 3rd round draw against Denna Alter of CO rated 1757! She continued playing in the US Open where she exceeded all expectations by scoring three big wins defeating Kevin Chen (1955) of NJ, Bob Wheat (1700) of NV, and Julia O'Neil (1800) of TX thereby finishing 3.5/6 and increasing her USCF rating by 189 points to 1621!!! Aditya Dias finished with 1.5/6 in the Barber with his best game coming in the 5th round where he managed a draw against higher rated Vidu Godage of KY (1555). Like Neha, Aditya also continued playing in the US Open finishing 1.5/6 and grabbing a hard fought draw from Edward Collins (1845) of CA in the 3rd round! We are all really proud of the heart and effort these kids have shown playing so far away from home on such a big stage!!! Many of these games and more are expertly annotated on NM Sam Copeland's chess blog (links below).
Congratulations Maureen Grimaud!! Maureen was elected to co-chair the National Women’s Committee showing that South Carolina women are making an impact!!!
Thank you all players, Caeillo and Dias families, and SCCA President David Grimaud for your steadfast support of SC Chess and representing the State of South Carolina!! Thank you David Whatley for aiding Neha with your generous financial contribution!! Special thanks to NM Sam Copeland for working diligently throughout the week to provide us annotated games of the events for everyone to learn from and enjoy - both young and old!! Also, thank you Ben for your many game comments and contributions!!
With perfect weather and state pride on the line, chess players from SC travelled to the impressive Charlotte Chess Center & Scholastic Academy on Saturday May 30th for their 2-day four round annual rivalry match against NC. Despite being a slight underdog, the SC squad was motivated early after taking the first round lead 7/5. NC players then turned the tables and never looked back. NC claimed all three of the remaining rounds (7.5/4.5, 7/5, 7/5) thereby clenching the title with the final score NC 26.5 - SC 21.5. In the Championship section, (NC) NM Chris Mabe (2281) managed to get a big win over (SC) Wayne Christensen (2110) in the first round. Chris then managed to hold Wayne to draws in the remaining three rounds giving Chris the clear one point win. Congratulations NC players on winning the Border Battle Challenge for 2015!! Congratulations Mike Boone of Greenwood SC for going undefeated (4.0) in C class!!! Special thanks to SC players David Gongre and Paul Pena for playing on such short notice!! Thank you NM Peter Giannotos and the CCCSA for hosting the event!!! Thanks again to SCCA President David Grimaud, VP Daniel Smith, and to all players making the trip and supporting chess in the Carolinas!!!
Championship: (NC) NM Chris Mabe (2.5), Expert: (NC) Jonathan McNeil (3.5), Class A: (NC) Bobby Waddell (2.5), Class B: (SC) Brandon Alverson (2.5)/ (NC) Vishnu Vanapalli (2.5), Class C: (SC) Mike Boone (4.0), Class D: (NC) Sathvik Chatta (3.5), Class E: (NC) Triyakshari Venkataraja (3.0)
Young Cameron Chandler of North Carolina had the sort of weekend every A-player dreams of but few achieve, in mowing down a swath of Masters and Experts en passant to a clear first place finish with 4.5 points in the 2015 South Carolina Open, May 22-24! 106 contenders from seven states gathered at the Hilton Garden Inn in Greenville, under the superb organization and alert supervision of the Carolinas Chess Initiative, led by Walter High and Gary Newsom who were ably assisted by their brides Karen and Jana.
Matt Mayhew of Tennessee took clear first in the U1800 with 4.5, and hometown guy Alex Moreno of Greenville shared first-second with Harold Zeltner of North Carolina in the U1400 section with four points. In Saturday’s Scholastic tournament, Allen Hong of South Carolina won the Kings group with four of four points, while Parijat Majumdar of North Carolina led the Knights section with three points of four.
Among the notable efforts from South Carolinians were Master Randal Ferguson’s and Professor Edsel Pena’s four points in the Open, sharing second through sixth places, and Aidan Fejzulai’s three points in the U1800 section. Joshua Gambrell claimed clear third with 3.5 in the U1400 group. Congratulations!
Thanks again to the Carolinas Chess Initiative, Walter High and Gary Newsom, for bringing this outstanding event to Greenville!
Click here for Crosstable
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.
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.