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  • Congratulations to all our Winners!! A record 249 players attended this year's SC Scholastic Championships held at the SC State Museum!! Left - playing hall Middle School Section; Center - Clemson Elementary - Elementary Champions!!; Right - State Champion Alex Byrnes battles Guneteja Guruvelli in the 5th and final round.
  • Congratulations SC Championship Tournament Winners!! Left - Playing hall at the new location - Wingate by Wyndham in Lexington SC; Center - Feeling exhilarated, NM Sam Copeland describes his tournament experience to SCCA President, David Grimaud; Right - Daniel Tanco proudly displays his 2nd Place Trophy in the Open Section!
  • Young South Carolina chess warriors battle it out over the boards at the Greenville Fall Scholastic Chess Tournament! - Eastlan Baptist Church, September 30, 2017
  • SC Wins Border Battle 2017! Left - Upstairs Tournament Playing Room - Charlotte Chess Center; Right - South Carolina Border Battle Team 2017!
  • Left - Greenville Spring Scholastic 2017; Center - Michael Burrell - 1st Place (K-12) w/ GCC President Gene Nix; Right - Daryl Dowty III - Runner-up (K-6)
  • Left - Tournament Hall; Center - Blitz Game; Right - Last year's blitz champion Dr. Edsel Pena (right) congratulates Ben Caeillo (new 2017 blitz champ!).

MSCL III Olympiad Results!

olympiadA record 82 South Carolina chess players competed in the MSCL III: Olympiad tournament hosted by Dent Middle School this Saturday! This was our largest and (in our opinion) most successful Strategery tournament so far. We were happy to see the extensive support for the Olympiad tournament, the only team tournament in South Carolina.

Crosstable (standings attached):
Facebook Album:

----- Olympiad Section -----

18 teams competed in the Olympiad section. Teams were composed of three players and competition was organized in matches between teams.

1st K-12: MSI HS (Eli Moore, Taylor Hollis, Erica Smith)

1st K-8: Hampton Park coming down from Greenville and achieving the only perfect score! (Bradon Schley, Jaden Connor, Zachary Taylor)
2nd K-8: Dent Silver (Jacob Stohl, Joseph Ravindran, Will Smith)

1st K-5: LMES (Miguel Shim, Brendan Song, Robert Shim)
2nd K-5: (Manith Bannenahally, Ashish Maddipatti, Aarush Jani)

Individual medals were awarded to those who achieved the best score on their "board" where the highest-rated player on a team played board one and so forth.

1st Board:
=1 - Jacob Stoll, Eli Moore
=3 - Laurence Zhang, Bradon Schley, Miguel Shim

2nd Board:
=1 - Helena Bajarias, Joseph Ravindran, Taylor Hollis, Sahil Agarwal

3rd Board:
=1 - Jaden Connor, Daniel Steffee, Gareth Young

----- Friends and Family -----

28 individuals competed in the Friends and Family section.

1st - Brennan Ravan who scored 4/4 and surged past 1300.
2nd - David Laboone who scored 3.5/4 playing in his first tournament in three decades!

=1st U1000 - Jason Huynh, Samuel Hartford, Daryl Dowty Jr.
=1st Unrated - Jay Shah, Megan Laboone

Puzzle Rush contest: Jacob Stoll achieved the best score (27) in our Puzzle Rush contest and won a $20 Amazon gift card.

Our immense thanks to Dent Middle School's chess team for their hard work in hosting this event and for graciously welcoming the opposing teams. 4 teams from Dent competed in the Olympiad section, their "silver" and "white" teams tied for first K-8 team.

Daniel Smith and Sam Copeland TDed the event and would like to express our appreciation to all for their patience and support. It helped immeasurably in making sure everything ran smoothly.

We will be back in spring with more tournaments, more after-school programs, and more chess! In the meantime, every Tuesday we have an online tournament on at 5 pm, and every Thursday from 6-7 we meet at the Saint Andrews Library for Kid's Hour.

Sam Copeland
Director - Strategery: Chess and Games, Facebook, Twitter


NM Mike Sailer Wins 2018 South Carolina State Championship!!

nm mike sailerSixty-three players competed in the three-section, five-round, 79th Annual South Carolina State Chess Championship over the weekend, Nov. 2-4.  Congratulations to NM Mike Sailer (SC) on winning this year's South Carolina State Championship Tournament!! Mike (right) brings a wealth of North Dakota chess accolades to the Palmetto State having been the North Dakota State Champion an incredible 17 times (various years) from 1990-2011. He is also a member of North Dakota's Chess Hall of Fame! Congratulations also to FM Jorge Leon Oquendo (2499) of Jacksonville, FL on winning the first-place prize in the Open Section with a dominant performance going undefeated after taking a first round bye. Other South Carolina section winners receiving first place trophies included Matthew Grant Johnson 5/5 (perfect score!) in the U1800 Section and Jacob Stoll 4/5 in the U1400 Section. The South Carolina Chess Association would like to thank all players, and spectators who helped make the tournament a success. Special thanks to Daniel Smith and Jordan Anderson for organizing and directing this year's event!

Here are this year's winners…
Open Section: 1st-4th - FM Jorge Leon Oquendo (FL) 4.5/5 pts.; NM Mike Sailer (SC) 4/5 pts. (T); Pradhyumna Kumar Kothapalli (NC) 3.5/5 pts; LM Klaus Pohl (SC) 3/5 pts. (T);
U2000: 1st-2nd (tbrk) - Douglas R. Holmes (SC) 2/5 pts.; Leon Cheng (FL) 2/5 pts.;

Amateur U1800: 1st- Matthew Grant Johnson (SC) 5/5 pts. (T); 2nd-4th (tbrk) Thomas Taylor (WA) 4/5 pts.; John Yates (SC) 4/5 pts. (T); Devon Andrew Stein (PA) 4/5 pts.;
U1600: 1st- Robert B. Webb III (SC) 3.5/5 pts.; 2nd-3rd (tbrk) - Eli Moore (SC) 3/5 pts.; Gilberto Padilla-Ortiz (SC) 3/5 pts.;

Booster U1400: 1st-4th (tbrk) Smayan Ammasani (NC) 4/5 pts.; Jacob Stoll (SC) 4/5 pts. (T); Billy Willis (SC) 4/5 pts. (T); Dr. Anil V. Yallapragada (SC) 4/5 pts.
U1200: 1st-2nd (tbrk) - Brennan Raven (SC) 2.5/5 pts.; Lalith Kaushik Challari (NC) 2.5/5 pts.;
U1000: 1st-2nd (tbrk) - Alexander Myrick (SC) 2.5/5 pts.; Dean Creech (SC) 2.5/5 pts.;

Top Seniors: Open Section - LM Klaus Pohl; Amateur U1800 Section - John Yates; Booster U1400 Section - Dean Creech



GM Elshan Moradiabadi goes Undefeated in SC Tour!

GRANDMASTER ELSHAN MORADIABADI of Durham, North Carolina, completed a four-day tour of South Carolina, winning 60 chess gamesGMElshanMoradiAbadi in four individual simultaneous exhibitions in this traditional, annual, state-wide tour to promote the State Chess Championship in S.C. this weekend (Nov. 2 - 4). Chauffeured by S.C. Chess Association President, David Grimaud, GM Moradiabadi tackled every simul with zeal, even picking up the pace in Columbia when he realized he might be the first tour master to finish with a perfect score.

The grandmaster’s toughest game, and the last game standing at the end of the tour, was against NM Mike Sailer who managed to gain an edge in the middle game as Black in the Slav Defense. GM Moradiabadi realized that he and NM Sailer were headed toward a drawn endgame. However, the GM was spurred on to play aggressively, taking some risks in the hope of finishing with his final and 60th win. In time pressure, NM Sailer missed a forced draw by perpetual check. The GM exchanged his queen for rook and bishop to set up a mating threat that won back the queen and brought the final resignation.

The GM admitted he had swindled a handful of such games during the tour after making blunders and losing material, showing the resiliency of this young, and ambitious GM.

The association would like to thank Precision Tune Auto Care, Roly Poly Sandwiches of Greenville, and Think Move Chess Academy for sponsoring this tour. Special thanks go to Cornel White of Charleston and friends for raising funds online to assist in the expense. Also, thanks goes to the other organizers and promoters that include, but aren’t limited, to the following: Rachel Hequembourg of Roly Poly; Gene Nix and the Greenville Chess Club; David Causey, Dennis Dawley, and the Charleston Chess Club; Daniel Smith and the Columbia Chess Club; David Acosta and Eli Neumann of Think Move Chess Academy. Last, but not least, thanks to NM Sam Copeland of Strategery Chess and Games, and Rod Franco of Richland Memorial Library-St. Andrews Branch for the best venue and setup of the tour.

29-Oct, Mon
Roly Poly Scholastic (Greenville)
30-Oct, Tue
Greenville Chess Club
31-Oct, Wed
Charleston Chess Club
1-Nov, Thu
Columbia Chess Club


GSSM October Open Results!

Two Columbians shone brightest as eighteen players fiercely contested the five-round GSSM October Open on October 27, 2018, in Hartsville. Eli Moore and Jordan Anderson shared first place at 4.5, battling to a nailbiter draw in their fourth round meeting. Yes, it was a rook and pawn endgame that wound up drawn! On tiebreakers, Eli took the first place trophy. Other trophy winners were GSSM senior Travis Pence of Fort Mill for Biggest Upset, earned at the expense of Myrtle Beach’s Cecil Clarkson (a 395-point difference), and GSSM junior Theo Pedapolu of Orangeburg for First Unrated. Travis and Theo were among the six players finishing tied for third with 3.0. The other four were GSSM senior Brian Torreon and three GSSM alums, now USC students: Brennan Ravan, Victor Ruan, and Jeffrey Russell. (Had there been a third-place trophy, Travis would have won it on tiebreaks.) Jordan, GSSM c/o 2008, was Chief TD, and Brennan Assistant TD.


Dr. Clyde Smith, Physics Teacher

S. C. Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics
401 Railroad Ave.
Hartsville, SC 29550
(843) 383-3937 (office)
e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Midlands Scholastic Chess League I - Roundup!

45 players competed in the Midlands Scholastic Chess League I on October 13! This was our largest season opener in the four years we have been offering tournaments, and we were excited to see intense (friendly) competition in all sections. This year we added several events to our tournament. First, we offered a Q and A on chess competition for parents and a later lesson/Q and A on the rules of chess.

nm sam copeland simul small During lunch, reigning SC champion Sam Copeland played a seven-board simul scoring seven wins against his young and aggressive opponents. Thanks to all who came out, and we look forward to seeing you next month for the MSCL II on Nov. 10. Let us know what lessons or activities you would like us to include next time!

K-5: 1st George Wang, 2nd Nandini Jonnalagadda, =3rd William Bao, Ryker Vallee, Bryan Zheng, Peter Wang
1st Team: Midway Elementary
K-8: 1st Jacob Stoll, = 2nd Alex Myrick, Aadi Agnihotri, Edmund Bajarias, Kevin Chapman, Taylor Hollis
1st Team: Lexington Middle School

Individual Prizes:
Youngest Participant - Arvin Gummenini
Best Debut - Ryker Vallee
Top Female - Taylor Hollis
Biggest Upset - Peter Wang

Upcoming Events:

Tuesdays @ 5 - ChessKid Tournaments
Thursdays @ 6 - Kid's Hour and Columbia Chess Club
October 27 - GSSM Open
November 2-4 - SC Championship
November 10 - MSCL II
December 8- MSCL III

Crosstable     Facebook Album

NM Sam Copeland
Director - Strategery: Chess and Games -, Facebook, Twitter


Greenville Fall Scholastic, October 6, 2018!

Seventy young future Masters met up for some pawn-promotions at Green Charter School in the Greenville Fall Scholastic chess MatthewJohnsonK12tournament Saturday, October 6. After five lively rounds, the respective leaders in tiebreak order were:

K-12 (10 players): Matthew Johnson, 5.0 (in photo with Gene Nix - right); Eric Shi & Eli Moore, 3.5; Nikolai Webb, Bradon Schley, & Sankar Jonnalagadda, 2.5
K-8 (13 players): Ford Duncan, 4.5; Aiden Costanzo, 4.0; Will Howard, 3.5; Jaden Conner, Kunal Bakre, Sai Kanha Kummari, & Zachary Taylor, 3.0
K-6 (24 players): Daryl Dowty III, Callum Leys, Aadi Agnihotri, Kavin Michael Raj & Spencer Burke, 4.0; David Safro, Aryaman Misra, Brijesh Abboy, Andrew Dou, Joshua Luo & Nandini Jonnalagadda, 3.0
(K-4 & K-2 played in one section)
K-4 (18 players): Vishnu Abboy, 4.5; Silas Hall, 4.0; Abhinav Ramireddy & Shlok Trivedi, 3.5; Antony Manavalan, Charlotte Leys & Vishwaksen Enugala, 3.0
K-2 (5 players): Ritika Sanghani, 4.0; Eli Howard, 3.5; Karan Michael Raj, 3.0; Sahaj Patel & Paul Manavalan, 2.5

Green Charter Elementary School took the team trophy with a score of 12.5-2.5 among their top three finishers, followed closely by Monarch Elementary School with 11.5.

Seventeen youngsters competed in their first regular rated tournament! Sixteen schools wer there, with Green Charter’s 16 contenders enjoying the home-field, Hampton Park Christian’s 11 close behind, and Monarch Elementary’s 8, Clemson Elementary’s 7, and Edwards Middle School’s 7 rounding out the leading participation levels!

Greenville Chess Club members, Think Move Chess Academy instructors, Green Charter School officials, and numerous enthusiastic chess parents volunteered to make this operation smoother than a King’s Gambit! These included Hernestina Nix with set up and check-in, Dean Creech as primary assistant TD, Will Brown and Ani Agnihotri as floor TDs, Arati Agnihotri & Neeta Dubey as score-keepers, Aidan Fejzulai as photographer, and David Acosta and Elijah Neumann with TMCA! Sara Hamby with Green Charter provided the venue. Life Master Klaus Pohl assisted with floor TD duties and game analysis. Thanks also to National TD Kevin Hyde for the loan of many chess sets! Finally, warmest thanks go to the parents and guardians who support and encourage their children in learning chess from an early age! Local TD Gene Nix organized and directed.



Denker, Barber, NGTOC, and NSTOC 2018

Each year, the Denker, Barber, and NGTOC tournaments take place at the same time and place of the US Open (July 28-31, Marriot West, Middleton WI). This year, for the first time ever, an additional tournament was added to this prestigious trio of events - welcome the National Senior Tournament of Champions! The newly formed NSTOC featured 42 participants each carefully selected by their state’s US Chess Association affiliate. All participants had to be at least 50+ years of age. Congratulations to South Carolina’s first entry into the NSTOC, NM Klaus Pohl of Greenville, SC!!  NM Pohl finished 3.5/6 and 18th (of 42) overall. He also won “Top Senior Prize (+75)”!!  David Grimaud served as head of US Chess’s National Senior Committee and helped organize the new event. Read more..

South Carolina Denker, Barber, NGTOC representatives this year in Middleton, WI were: Alexander Moreno, Benjamin Webb, and Lefan Xuan. Congratulations to all these fine players!! Alexander finished 27th in the Denker Tournament of HS Champions with a final score of 3.0/6. He also had the honor of singing our National Anthem at the Opening Ceremonies!! Benjamin Webb finished 34th with a final score of 2.5/6 in the Barber K-8 Tournament of Champions while Lefan Xuan finished with 1.5/6 (41st) in the National Girl’s Tournament of Champions. As a team, SC finished 34th with 7.0/18.

Individual Standings (PDF) : Denker | Barber | NGTOC | NSTOC
SC Team Standings


Greenville Spring Scholastic, May 5, 2018 - Results!

Seventy-nine young Pawn-promoters gaggled up for some King-hunting at Green Charter School in the Greenville Spring Scholastic chess tournament Saturday, May 5. After five intense rounds, the respective leaders in tiebreak order were:
  K-12 (8 players): Alexander Moreno, 5.0; Ahan Shi, 4.0; Allen Hong, Eric Shi, Shreeshiva Raja & William Howard, 3.0. (Note: K-12 & K-8 were combined in one section)
  K-8 (8 players):  Bradon Schley, 4.0; Ford Duncan, Aayush Verma & Sydney Burke, 2.0; Sumukh Paspuleti & Payton Springer, 1.0.
  K-6 (24 players):  Ruideng Zhong, 4.5; Callum Leys & Andrew Cai, 4.0; Daryl Dowty III & Kevin Chapman, 3.5; James Sun, Jaden Conner, Zachary Alper,
                          Kunal Bakre, Brijesh Abboy & James Robinson, 3.0.
  K-4 (20 players):  Shivani Raja, Sankar Jonnalagadda & Aadi Agnihotri, 4.0; Vishnu Abboy, 3.5; Ankit Patibandla, Joshua Luo, Shlok Trivedi, Eliana Schley,
                           William Ngo, Batuhan Tarhan & Silas Hall, 3.0.
  K-2 (19 players): Charlotte Leys, Eliott Howard, Abhinav Ramireddy & Nandini Jonnalagadda, 4.0; Vishwaksen Enugala, Sahaj Patel, Karan Michael Raj,
                          Paul Manavalan & Adalyn Schley, 3.0
Twenty-nine youngsters competed in their first regular rated tournament! Twenty-two schools represented, with Green Charter’s 17 contenders enjoying the home-field, and Clemson Elementary’s 17 matching that, along with nine from Hampton Park Christian School, seven from Monarch ES, and five home-schoolers, along with many others.
Greenville Chess Club members, Think Move Chess Academy instructors, SC Chess Association representatives, Green Charter School officials, and numerous enthusiastic chess parents volunteered to make this a smooth operation! These included Hernestina Nix with set up and check-in, Andrew Plyler as primary assistant TD, Aidan Fejzulai as floor TD and photographer, Ani Agnihotri & Bhavin Sanghani as assistant floor TDs,  Arati Agnihotri & Sarma Robinson with score-keeping and trophy repair, David Grimaud & David Acosta with TMCA, and Elijah Neumann with online pre-registration! Sara Hamby with Green Charter provided the venue and arranged for on-site dining. Thanks also to National TD Kevin Hyde for the loan of many chess sets! Finally, warmest thanks go to the parents and guardians who support and encourage their children in learning chess from an early age! Local TD Gene Nix organized and directed.  




Midlands Scholastic Chess League VI: Graduation - Results!

Thirty-six enterprising young players turned out for the MSCL VI: Graduation on April 28th, competing for themselves and their schools in our final tournament of the 2018 scholastic chess season. It's been incredibly exciting to see these players grow and learn as young chess players throughout the 2017-18 year, many playing their first tournaments and just getting into tournament chess and some establishing themselves as the best players of their age group in the state and the country.

Here are this month's prize winners:

Primary Section
=1st Individual - Ruien Lyu, Cameron Wheeler, William Bao
=4th - Bryan Zheng, Zarif Ula
1st Team - Midway Elementary

Elementary Section
1st Individual - Daryl Dowty
2nd - Manith Bannenahally
=3rd - Dakshinesh Kumar, Alesha Dzikowski, Robert Leonardi, Gavin Lee, Leandra Dawson
1st Team - East Point Academy
2nd - Center for Knowledge
3rd - Harbison West Elementary

Middle School Section
=1st Individual - Eli Moore, Jacob Stoll
3 - Ethan Maldonado
=4th - Kevin Chapman, Henri Murthy, Will Smith, Joseph Ravindran, Benjamin Sloop
=1st Team - Dent, Midlands STEM Institute

High School Section
1st Individual - Ilan Falcon
2 - Matthew Robinson
3 - Rollins Cattrell
4 - Mequil Waller
1st Team - Spartanburg High School

Crosstables  Photos-Facebook


SC Chess Festival 2018 Results! April 14-15

Twenty-six of South Carolina's quickest thinkers competed in Rapid, Blitz, and Bughouse chess tournaments this weekend at the SC Chess Festival held at the Hilton Garden Inn in Columbia. This year's festival crowned four new champions...

Congratulations to James MacDougall (2018 SC Rapid Champion), Sam Copeland (2018 SC Blitz Champion), Pradhyumna Kothapalli and Klaus Pohl (Bughouse Champions)! James MacDougall scored 7.5/9 in the rapid championship to score an undefeated clear first. Klaus Pohl and reigning SC high school champion Alex Byrne shared second with 7/9. Sam Copeland was clear fourth place and newly minted Dr. Rade Musulin was fifth place. Eli Moore and Andrew Bouman shared first U1600 and George Harrison Jr. and Stephen Lentz shared first U1200. Pradhyumna Kothapalli and Sam Copeland scored 14/18 to win the blitz section with Copeland gaining the SC blitz champion title as Kothapalli is an NC resident. Randal Ferguson finished in clear third. Rade Musulin finished clear fourth, and Alex Byrne finished clear fifth. Eli Moore and Daniel Smith shared first U1600 while Jacob Stoll was clear first U1200. After a playoff, Klaus Pohl and Pradhyumna Kothapalli won the bughouse championship ahead of Sam Copeland and Vincent Mahoney-Harvey and James Macdougall and Brandon Jordan after all scored 4/5. Alex Byrne and Eli Moore won the U18 bughouse trophy.

Special thanks to NM Sam Copeland (Strategery Chess & Games) and VP Daniel M. Smith for organizing and directing this year's event!

Crosstables: Blitz / Rapid
Photos Facebook


The King's Gambit! Final round game analysis from the SC State Scholastic Championships

NM Sam Copeland expertly analyzes the final round game of the SC State Scholastic Championship Tournament (HS section). This game was between newcomer (and eventual 1st place winner) Alex Byrne and Teja Guruvelli. Both players gave it their all in a game that opened with the King's Gambit Accepted - an exciting reminder of the Romantic era of chess!

Game Analysis: The King's Gambit - Alex Byrne vs Teja Guruvelli Teja Guruvelli 


Midlands Scholastic Chess League V: Brilliancies - Results!

On Saturday, March 24th, the top seeds defended their pride in the Midlands Scholastic Chess League V tournament held at North Trenholm Baptist Church!
Congratulations to all of these fierce competitors on an exciting slate of games!

The addition of a brilliancy prize convinced many to record their games for the first time, resulting in much improved play :)

Middle School:
=1st Individual - Jacob Stoll, Kevin Chapman
=3rd - Jacob Kinard, Daniel Sobel
5th - Thomas Hydorn

1st Team - St. John Neumann

The best game prize went to Jacob Stoll for his queen sac!

Elementary School:
1st Individual - Daryl Dowty
2nd - Jonathan Wei
3rd - William Bao
4th - Dakshinesh Kumar
=5th - Andrew Qiao, Ben Jones

The best game prize was awarded to Daryl Dowty and William Bao for their third round draw.

Primary School:
1st Individual - Ethan Kinard

Midlands Scholastic Chess League V: Brilliancies
2nd - Bryan Zheng
=3rd - Ruien Lyu, Arvin Gummenini
5th - Alan Amal

1st Team - East Point Academy
2nd - Midway Elementary

The brilliancy prize was awarded to Ruien Lyu for his first-round game.

Photos Facebook


SC Scholastic Championships 2018 Results!! Congratulations Alex Byrne!!!

alexbyrne state champThe South Carolina Chess Association held its largest, ever, Scholastic State Championship on Saturday, March 3rd, at the South Carolina State Museum.  The vision to play at the the museum was that of Sam Copland and Strategery, who organized and promoted the event, yielding the highest attendance ever at 249 competitors. 

We extend our sincerest apologies to the High School participants for whom the announcements of final placements were delayed due to a computer malfunction.

Thank you parents and SCSM staff for making this year's tournament such a great success!!!

Special thanks to those volunteers that helped, including: 

Tournament Directors, Daniel Smith and David Causey, in the back office, who managed the pairings. Floor Directors Stu Chagrin and Rade Musulin who managed the Elementary/Middle School Sections.
Mark Webb who assisted with the Elementary/Middle School Sections. Miller Copeland and her crew at the registration desk, including Elizabeth Smith, Susan Key, and Maureen Grimaud.
Maureen Grimaud and her crew at the results desk, including Olga Volkova and Arati Agnihotri. Tournament Directors, Drew Plyler and Clyde Smith, who managed the High School Section.
John who policed the results of the High School Section.
Any others we may have missed.

Congratulations to all our 2018 Champions!!

The Winners are...

*High School*

1 - Alex Byrne (R) (9th grade champion and Denker Representative)
=2 - Michael Burrell (11th grade champion), Alex Moreno (12th grade champion)
=4 - Harsha Srijay, Gunateja Guruvelli (10th grade champion), Brennan Ravan, Victor Ruan, Eli Moore, Richard Sandvoss
=10 - Michael Lucas, Simeon Radev, Christopher Chen, Christopher Shells

Top Female and NGIT Representative - Lefan Xuan
Tori Whatley G.R.I.T. Award Winner and Polgar Invitational Representative - Alexis Williams

1st Team - SC Governor's School of Science and Mathematics
2 - Midlands STEM Institute
=3 - DW Daniel, Hammond

*Middle School*

=1 - Benjamin Webb (Barber Representative), Matthew Johnson, (8th grade champion)

=3 - Connor Liu, Ahan Shi (6th grade champion), Jacob Stoll (7th grade champion), Alex Tabakian, Henri Murthy (6th grade champion), Shreeshiva Raja (6th grade champion), Bradon Schley (7th grade champion), Ethan Ellis (6th grade champion), Helena Bajarias (7th grade champion, top female)

1st Team - RC Edwards
2 - Laing
3 - Dent

*Elementary School*

=1 - Allen Hong (5th grade champion), Caton Tsao (4th grade champion
3 - Eric Shi
=4 William Tabakian, Nikolai Webb, Daniel Hartford, Shafin Ula, Vish Jonnalagadda, Anna Zou (top female), Alesha Dzikowski, William Berger, Jonathan Wei, Mark Newland

1st Team - Clemson Elementary
2 - Green Charter
=3 Charles Pinckney, Hampton Park

*Primary School*

1 - William Howard (3rd grade champion)
2 - Cameron Wheeler
=3 - Aadi Agnihotri (1st grade champion), Bryan Zheng (2nd grade champion), Vishnu Abboy, Eli Howard (1st grade champion), Callum Leys (kindergarten champion)
=8 - Luke Wilson, Nand Jonnalagadda, Zachary Teachman, Hudson Haley

1st Team - Tega Cay
2 - Charles Pinckney
=3 - Conway, East Point Academy



Photos FB


Midlands Scholastic Chess League IV: Championship Training - Results!

Despite a seemingly omnipresent flu 46 healthy chess players took part in the Midlands Scholastic Chess League IV event held Saturday, January 27th at Ashland United Methodist Church in Columbia. Congrats to all of these participants on their creative play and excellent sportsmanship. Particularly exciting were the many teams that elected to play this event, and noticeable was the strength of the middle school section. We encourage everyone to watch the Facebook Live broadcast of the finish of the game between Jacob Stohl and Ahan Shi: an exciting game! Our next tournament is ... the 2017-18 South Carolina K-12 Championship! We highly encourage ALL of SC's juniors to join us for this thrilling tournament in Columbia, SC at the State Museum:

Our MSCL IV Champions are...

1st Individual K-3: Ethan Kinard
=2nd: Kaia Hartford, and Amit Gupta-Kagan
4th: Bode Hartford

1st Team K-3: Conway Waldorf Co-op

1st Individual K-5: Daniel Hartford
=2nd: Shafin Ula, Alesha Dzikowski, George Wang
5th: William Bao

1st Team K-3: Harbison West Elementary
2nd: Conway Waldorf Co-op
3rd: Midlands STEM Institute

1st Individual K-8: Jacob Stohl and Ahan Shi
=3rd: Kevin Chapman, Robert Patrick Wilmott
=5th: Thomas Hydorn, Taylor Hollis, Mehul Bellukutty, Michael Lucas, Andrew Farmer

1st Team K-8: RC Edwards
2nd: Dent
3rd: Midlands STEM Institute

1st Individual K-12: Matthew Robinson
=2nd: Liam Kelley, Jozn Donaldson
4: Owen Naylor
=5th: Timothy Manly, Alonzo Carpenter, Andrew Hancock

1st Team K-12: Woodruff
2nd: Palmetto Academy

1st Individual Adult: Warren Sampson
=2nd: Sam Frier, Jennifer Bailey, Sam Hartford

Crosstable  Photos on Facebook

NM Sam Copeland
Strategery Chess and Games


GSSM January Open Results!

Two of its representatives held the Columbia Chess Club’s banner high at the GSSM January Open in Hartsville on January 13, 2018.  Robert Halliday earned clear first place with 5.0, with Eli Moore clear second at 4.0, losing only to Halliday in a tough struggle.  As Halliday subsequently put it, “Yes, indeed, I did earn this money!”  Jordan Anderson, Cecil Clarkson, Brennan Ravan, James Balmediano and Jeffrey Russell finished tied for third with 3.0 in the fourteen-player field.  Anderson, also of Columbia, directed the tournament, assisted by Ravan.


Dr. Clyde Smith, Physics Teacher
S. C. Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics


9th Annual South Carolina Senior Open, December 16-17, 2017

Nineteen venerable gentlemen from South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, and Virginia converged on the Hampton Inn at I-385 in Greenville, SC, to resolve the matter of senior dominance at the chess board in South Carolina!

Accelerated pairings left only two perfect 2-0 scores going into the Sunday rounds, setting the pieces for a Master-level showdown in the final round between leader Life Master Peter Bereolos of Tennessee, and South Carolina legend Life Master Klaus Pohl. The Tennessee Master finally prevailed for the tournament win, while Daniel Quigley won a ratings upset over past NC Senior Champion Michael Kliber two boards down to take the SC Senior Championship trophy and title, and to share second & third places with Dr. Clark Brown of Georgia!

The U1600 leaders finished with a five-way tie at 2-2, with Michael Meekins taking the SC U1600 Senior trophy, which award was established on-site and which object is on order for delivery forthwith! The contending field included also from South Carolina John Haymond (returning to competition this year after a too long break), Lee Marinelli and Dean Creech; and from North Carolina Michael Matson, Joseph Quinlan, Wayne Spon, Bruce Roth, Debs Pedigo, Mike Eberhardinger, and Harold Zeltner; and Ray Downs from Alabama; and Steven Boshears from Georgia, and from Virginia was Rob Mahan, a fellow organizer of Senior tournaments!

South Carolina Senior Champion Daniel Quigley will receive an invitation and a stipend to compete in the Tournament of Senior State Champions next July in Madison, Wisconsin, alongside the US Open, to include a half-off entry into the US Open itself afterward. The development of this new event derives from SCCA President David Grimaud’s work as the US Chess Senior Committee President!

Warmest thanks go to the staff of the Hampton Inn for their responsive service, and to Business Manager Ms. Jessica Dillard for her close management of guest room matters.  Special thanks go to Mr.  Grimaud and Precision Tune Auto Care for their generous sponsorship of this and other SC tournaments, and to some unnamed, anonymous, and undisclosed donors who added funds to augment the U1600 prizes, to include an Under-1600 SC trophy!.  Local TD Gene Nix organized and officiated.

Gene Nix
Greenville Chess Club President

Crosstables    Photos


Midlands Scholastic Chess League III Olympiad! Results!

Our first ever true team tournament, the MSCL Olympiad, was our largest tournament thus far! 69 players from all over the state of South Carolina participated, many braving snow to make the trip. The event was held Saturday, Dec. 9th at Heathwood Hall in Columbia.

15 teams of 3 players (plus alternates) organized by school participated in the Olympiad section.

Here are our champions:

1st Elementary School Team: Midway;
2nd: Harbison West; =3rd: Center for Knowledge, Clemson

1st Middle School Team: RC Edwards; =2nd: Dent, St. John Neumann, Crayton

=1st Board One: Jacob Stoll, Ben Sloop
=3rd: Shafin Ula, George Wang, Toby Cox, Tripp Cohn

1st Board Two: Andy Yang
2nd: Matty Ferrario
=3rd: Mason Brissy, Joseph Ravindran
5th: Claire Boland

=1st Board Three: Henry Turner, Anna Zou
=3rd: Brendan Hitchcock, Andrew Hancock, Noah Graves

In the Friends and Family section, we had 19 players. Daryl Dowty the elder won all 4 games to claim first place and $50. In a big tie for second were Warren Sampson, Will Tabakian, Jay Nelson, and Daryl Dowty the younger. Each received $20 and Will, Jay, and Daryl claimed the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place junior trophies respectively.

Crosstables     Photos on Facebook

NM Sam Copeland
Strategery Chess and Games


Midlands Scholastic Chess League II: David Vs. Goliath - Results!

On Saturday, November 11th, 53 of South Carolina's finest young chess players joined us for the Midlands Scholastic Chess League II: David Vs. Goliath. Congratulations to all of the competitors, all of whom demonstrated great spirit and sportsmanship. We were excited to welcome 9 first-time tournament players to this edition of the MSCL; all performed admirably and several took home medals! The biggest hit of the tournament was the giant chessboard we provided which always had a crowd of players between games! Our next tournament, the MSCL III will be an Olympiad format for teams. We highly encourage early registration so we can plan logistically and so teams can begin to form. We have currently discounted registration by one whole dollar! Sign up now and help us out while saving yourself a buck. MSCL III Registration Page

Our "Davids" who defeated higher-rated Goliaths were Jennifer Bailey, Warren Sampson, Ben Sloop, Calvin Smith, Grace Bajarias, Kameron Belk, Samantha Wilmott, Ethan Maldonado, Kevin Reeves, and Zarif Ula.

Primary: 1st Aadi Agnihotri, 2nd Abigail Huang, =3rd Jacob Gowan, Keiko Tanaka, Darren Lane
Elementary: 1st Shafin Ula, =2nd Dakshinesh Kumar, Hudson Haley, Leandra Dawson, Olivia Docteur: 1st Team Harbison West, 2nd Tega Cay, 3rd Midlands STEM
Middle: 1st Helena Bajarias, =2nd Ethan Ellis, Kevin Chapman, Edmund Bajarias, Messiah Cornelius, Taylor Hollis: 1st Team Midlands STEM, 2nd Lexington, =3rd Chapin Intermediate, RC Edwards
High: 1st Henri Murthy, =2nd Eli Moore, Jon Del Rio, 4th Jacob Stohl, =5th Christopher Shells, Gabe de Veringer, Tyler Sim: 1st Team Columbia High
Adult: 1st Warren Sampson, 2nd Jennifer Bailey, 3rd Sam Frier

Crosstables Photos on Facebook

NM Sam Copeland
Strategery Chess and Games


NM Sam Copeland Wins 2017 South Carolina State Championship!

Fifty-eight pNM Sam Copelandlayers from six different states competed in this year's three-section, five-round, 78th Annual South Carolina State Chess Championship over the weekend (Oct. 14-15) at the Wingate by Wyndam in Lexington SC. Congratulations to NM Sam Copeland!!! After an early disappointing first round lost, National Master Copeland rallied to win his next four games thereby claiming the SC State Championship Title for 2017!!! In his 5th and final round, NM Copeland played the Evan's Gambit (accepted) and found great success after an especially powerful move 16. Ne5! His opponent resigned shortly thereafter. It was a fitting end to a comeback story and one that will be remembered for quite some time (see this game below). Other South Carolina section winners receiving first place trophies included Harsha Srijay (4.0/5), winner of the U1900 Section, and Robert Webb (4.5/5), winner of the U1500 Section. The South Carolina Chess Association would like to thank all players, and spectators who helped make the tournament a success. Special thanks to Daniel Smith, David Grimaud, and David Causey for organizing and directing this year's event! Pictures and more to follow.

Crosstables | Facebook

Congratulations to all of our 2017 Winners!!


(1st) NM Sam Copeland (SC) 4.5/5 pts.(T); (2nd-tie) Jeremy Mandelkern (FL) 3.5/5 pts., Daniel Tanco (SC) 3.5/5 pts.(T); (3rd) Erik Zhao 3.0/5

U2100: (2nd-tie) (FL) Jackie Liu, (SC) Keith Eubanks, (NC) Michael Kliber, (GA) Drew Justice, (GA) Samarth Bellayaru (all with 2.5/5 pts.)

Senior Open Section Winner - Keith Eubanks 2.5/5 pts.


(1st place-tie): (NC) Prad Kothapalli 4.0/5 pts., (SC) Harsha Srijay (T) 4.0/5 pts., (3rd place - tie) (NC) Advaith Karthik 3.5/5 pts.; (SC) Benjamin Webb (T) 3.5/5 points.

U1700:(2nd place-tie) (SC) Eli Davis Moore 3.0/5 pts.; (SC) Rashad Ishmael 3.0/5 pts.

Senior U1900 Section Winner - (SC) John Yates (T) 3.0/5 pts.


(1st) (SC) Robert B Webb III (T) 4.5/5 pts.; (2nd) (SC) Zach Walsh (T) 4.0/5 pts.

(3rd-tie) (SC) Mike Meekins, (SC) Andrew Bouman, (SC) John Roberts, (MD) Kyle Schaff - all with 3.5/5 pts each.


MSCL I Kicks Off Midlands 2017-18 Season

The Midlands Scholastic Chess League started Saturday (October 7th) with 43 players turning out to hone their chess skills in friendly competition. In a tournament dedicated to newcomers, 10 players tried their hand at their first tournaments This year, we added a primary section for the first time. Many young players tried this section for the first time, demonstrating impressive mastery of chess for their young years .In all of the higher sections, some of the most impressive results were turned in by players playing up in higher sections! Particularly impressive was 7-year-old Smayan Ammasani's 2nd place finish in the K-8 section!

K-3: 1st Ethan Kinard, 2nd Anthony Zou (Midway), 3rd Henry Barbas, 4th Peter Wang (Midway), 5th Somya Jain - 1st Team Midway
K-5: 1st Daryl Dowty Jr., George Wang (Midway), Samvrtha Shanbhogue (MSI), 4th Alisha Dzikowski, Anna Zou (Midway) - 1st Team Midway, 2nd Team MSI
K-8: 1st Jacob Stoll (Dent), 2nd Smayan Ammasani, 3rd Taylor Hollis (MSI), Jacob Kinard, Kevin Chapman (CIS) - 1st Team MSI, 2nd Team Dent, 3rd Team Lexington Middle
K-12: 1st Eli Moore, 2nd Will Tabakian, Alex Tabakian, William Poole, Jon Del Rio
Adult: Daryl Dowty won with 3.5/4

Crosstables    Photos on Facebook

NM Sam Copeland
Strategery Chess and Games


GSSM September Open Results! Three trophies, three Govies!

Three trophies were awarded at the five-round GSSM September Open in Hartsville on September 30, and Govies (GSSM students) won them all, although Govies comprised only about half of the field.  First place went to Richard Sandvoss on tie-breaks over GSSM alum Jordan Anderson of Columbia (c/o '08).  Each ended the day with 4.5 points of the possible five, having fought to a draw in round three.  The trophy for biggest upset went to Victor Ruan, who upended Brennan Ravan although Brennan entered the day rated considerably higher.  The trophy for first unrated was earned by Brian Torreon, with 3.0 points on the day.


Dr. Clyde Smith, Physics Teacher
S. C. Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics


Greenville Fall Scholastic 2017 Results!

Sixty-four young King-hunters met for intense struggles at Eastlan Baptist Church in the Greenville Fall Scholastic chess tournament, held September 30. After five rounds, the respective leaders were, in tiebreak order:

K-12: Eli Moore, 4.0; Aidan Fejzulai, 3.5; Eric Shi, 3.5
K-8:  Jacob Stoll, 5.0; Simon Collins, 4.0; Aayush Verma, 3.5
K-6:  Nikolai Webb, 5.0; Shreeshiva Raja, 4.0; Kevin Chapman, 4.0
K-4:  Srihaasa Karyampudi, 5.0; Weishang Bi, 4.0; Daniel Leon-Osorio, Vishnusankar Jonnalagadda, William Ngo, Shivani Raja, 3.0
K-2: Samvrtha Shanbhogue, 5.0; Karan Michael Raj, 3.0; Sahaj Patel, 2.5

Twenty-nine youngsters competed in their first or second rated tournament!  Green Charter School and Edwards MS were represented by 11 players each, and Clemson Elementary with 10.  Woodruff HS, Sterling School, Lexington HS, Langston Charter, Hillcrest MS, Riverside HS, New Covenant, Chapin Intermediate, St Paul’s, Pelham Road ES, Brushy Creek ES, Monarch ES, Spartanburg Prep, Midlands Institute, Bob Jones HS, New Covenant, Hillcrest MS, Dent MS, Chapin Intermediate, and various home schools were all well represented.

Greenville Chess Club members acted as floor TDs: Dean Creech, Dr. Wayne Goddard, Life Master Klaus Pohl, Will Brown, and Tim Rankin.  Strong-back help with set-up and take-down came from Mark Webb, Klaus Pohl, Dr. Goddard, and many others. Special thanks to the staff of Eastlan Baptist Church for their kind attention to the venue and for their support of numerous chess events, to Kevin Hyde for the use of the chess sets, and to Clemson ES Chess Club for additional chess clocks.  The enthusiastic surge of chess in local elementary schools owes largely to the promotional efforts of Mr. Doug Peterson and to the Think-Move chess initiative of Peter Giannatos and David Grimaud.  Precision Tune Auto Care and David Grimaud, CEO, sponsored GSS’17 – thank you!  Finally, thanks go to the parents and guardians who support and encourage their children in learning chess from an early age! Local TD Gene Nix organized and directed.

Gene Nix
Greenville Chess Club President



South Carolina Wins 2017 Border Battle!!

The annual battle for border supremacy between North and South Carolina concluded Sunday with Team SC winning the overall match by a final score of 39.5 - 29.5!! This year's event, held at the Charlotte Chess Center & Scholastic Academy (Aug. 19-20), featured three new sections (High School, State Championship, and "C ALT"). The additional "C" section was added to accommodate the growing number of interested players rated between 1400-1599 USCF. In the State Championship section, (SC Champ) Ben Caiello (2145) played four rounds against (NC) NM Tianqi Wang (2383) - both players finished with 2/4 pts. In the High School Section, Michael Burrell (SC Scholastic Champ) scored 2.5/4 points. In the Expert section, Elijah Neumann finished with 3/4 pts. In section C, Eli Moore finished with 3/4 pts. In section "C ALT", Matthew Grant Johnson had the only perfect score - 4/4 pts! This was an exciting, competitive, and fun event that is growing in popularity! Congratulations again to all our fine players!! Special thanks to NM Peter Gianattos and the Charlotte Chess Center for hosting again this year! Thank you parents for making the trip to Charlotte and supporting chess in South Carolina!! See crosstables for more scores. 



Team SC Results - Denker, Barber, National Girls Tournament of Champions

Congratulations to our three SC representatives, Michael Burrell (SC Scholastic Champ 2017), Benjamin Webb, and Olivia Watkins for their courageous performances in the prestigious Denker/Barber/NGTOC Chess Tournaments held at the Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel in Norfolk Virginia July 29th - August 1st!! It takes talent, huge effort, and great family support to arrive at this level and these kids represented us well!! Special thanks also to all those who contributed financially to help make the trip to Norfolk possible and to all the players, and families of players for their steadfast support of chess in South Carolina!!

Crosstables: Denker  Barber  NGTOC


Midlands Scholastic Chess League VI Results!

An impressive cadre of 53 players from all around the state played Sat. May 13th, 2017 in the Midlands Scholastic Chess League VI to wrap up the spring semester. Congratulations to Harsha Srijay and Alex Tabakian, David Dye, and Daryl Dowty and Smayan Ammasani on winning the K-12, K-8, and K-5 sections respectively. Our team champions were Scholar's Academy, Laing Middle School, and Lake Murray Elementary School. Thanks to all who came out and we hope to see you again in fall!

Crosstables  Photos - FB Strategery


Greenville Spring Scholastic 2017 Results!

Seventy-six future Masters met for friendly battle at Eastlan Baptist Church in the first Greenville Spring Scholastic, held April 22.  After five rounds, the respective leaders in each section were,

K-12: Michael Burrell, 4.5; Ahan Shi, 4.0; Gunateja Guruvelli & Toby Cox, 3.0
K-8:   Jacob Schley, 4.5; Simon Collins, 4.0; Bradon Schley, 3.5
K-6:   Jay Bhatt, 5.0; Daryl Dowty III, 4.0; Shreeshiva Raja & Kevin Chapman, 3.5
K-4:   Joshua Nielson & Ruideng Zhong, 4.5; Mo Zheng & Reid Holtzclaw, 4.0
K-2:   Smayan Ammasani, 5.0; Srihaasa Karyampudi, 4.0; Maddox Daniels & Silas Hall, 3.0

Thirty-three youngsters competed in their first rated tournament, with Green Charter School appearing in force with 18 players, and Clemson Elementary with 13.  Sterling School, Lexington HS, Edwards MS, Charleston Catholic, Midlands, Hampton Park Christian, Langston Charter, Hillcrest MS, Riverside MS, Barringer Academic Center, New Covenant, Chapin Intermediate, St Paul’s, St. Mary’s, St. John’s, Shannon Forest Christian, Pelham Road ES, Metrolina Regional, Byrd ES, Hampton Park Charter, Sara Collins ES, and various home schools were all well represented.

Greenville Chess Club members acted as floor TDs: Life Master Klaus Pohl, Will Brown, Dean Creech, Dr. Wayne Goddard, and Petar Jotev.  Strong-back help with set-up and take-down came from Klaus Pohl, Dr. Goddard, Wendell Burnett, Marlana Burrell, Michael Burrell, David & Rachel & Toby Cox and others.  Administrative support and traffic direction came from Ms. Nesha Dias. Special thanks go to the staff of Eastlan Baptist Church for their kind attention to the venue and for their support of numerous chess events, to Kevin Hyde for the use of the chess sets, and to Derek Wilmott for providing additional chess clocks.  The enthusiastic surge of chess in local elementary schools is owes largely to the promotional efforts of Mr. Doug Peterson. Precision Tune Auto Care and David Grimaud, CEO, sponsored GSS’17 – thank you!  Finally, thanks go to the parents and guardians who support and encourage their children in learning chess from a early age! Local TD Gene Nix organized and directed.

Crosstables      Photos


Midland's Scholastic Chess League V Results!

The MSCL V was probably our strongest scholastic tournament thus far by average rating. Many of the twenty two players competing were previous tournament victors. This month we held a bughouse tournament after the tournament and had 9 teams compete including several parent/child teams that were really fun to watch! Our bughouse champions were Ben Yordy and Charlie Allemond. Our individual victors were Will Tabakian, Alex Tabakian, and Charlie Allemond in K-5, K-8, and K-12 respectively. The winning teams in K-5 and K-8 were Harbison West Elemantary and Midlands STEM Institute. Thanks to Pelion High School for hosting and for all the many times they have hosted!

Crosstables     Photos FB


Midlands Girls' Tournament Results!

19 talented young South Carolina players from Columbia, Aiken, and Clemson competed in the Midlands Girls' Chess Tournament held at North Trenholm Baptist Church on Saturday, March 18th, 2017. It is one of our favorite tournaments of the year. There was great competition this year with many players and four teams. About 1/3 of the players were playing in their first tournament. The winners this year are Alesha Dzikowski (1st K-5) and Olivia Watkins and Haylee Hollis (=2nd K-5), Taylor Hollis (1st K-8 and the only perfect score) and Erica Smith (2nd K-8) and Lydia Tillman (1st K-12). The winning team was Midlands Stem Institute followed by Byrd Elementary and the Knights of the Square Table in second and third. Congratulations to all of the competitors, and thanks to Susan Key for assistance with the event!

Photos      Strategery Chess & Games fb


Lefan Xuan Wins The "Tori", the SCCA's Newest Award!

Lefan Xuan of D.W. Daniel High School in Central, S.C. was beaming when presented the South Carolina Chess Association's newest honor, the Hannah "Tori" Whatley G.R.I.T. Award, at the S. C. Scholastic Chess Championships that were held Saturday, February 25th, in Mount Pleasant, S.C.  Lefan battled in the male dominated high school field and finished the tournament as the highest scoring female in that section.  In so doing, she has earned the right to participate in the Susan Polgar Girl's Invitational as the Palmetto State's official representative.  The event will be held at Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri.  Each year, over 3000 girls nationwide, set their sights on one of the 52 special invitations offered by Grandmaster Polgar.  "It is a daunting task... See entire article


Midlands Scholastic Chess League IV - Results!

66 of South Carolina's young chess players competed in the Midlands Scholastic Chess League IV on Saturday, February 4th. Gregory Post won the K-12 section with 3.5 points. Taylor Hollis, Henri Murthy, and Jacob Stoll each got 3 points in the K-8 section, and Jacob Kinard and Calvin Smith each got a perfect score in the K-5 section with Jacob winning a tiebreak game. Pelion High, Midlands STEM, and Harbison West won the K-12, K-8, and K-5 team sections respectively. Thanks to all of these players for their fighting chess and good sportsmanship which kept the spectators riveted!

Crosstables       Strategery Photos on Facebook


12th Annual Patrick D. Hart Memorial Scholastic Results!

The 12th Annual Patrick D. Hart Memorial Scholastic took place January 21st, 2017 at the Church of the Holy Cross in Daniel Island, SC. Congratulations to K-12 winners Matthew Johnson and David Dye Jr. (first runner-up)! Both players finished with 3.5/4 pts. Matthew Johnson won the 1st place trophy on tiebreak. Eli Moore came in 3rd place with 3.0/4 pts. In K-8, 1st place went to Matthew Stewart with a perfect 4.0/4 score! Devin Dietrich and Hudson Seifert won 2nd and 3rd respectively with Devin winning 2nd place on tiebreak. Both players finished with 3.0/4 pts. K-5 and K-3 sections were combined. Daniel Hartford came in 1st place in K-5 with a perfect 4.0/4 score! Lula Robyn Galvan came in 2nd place with 3.0/4 pts., Matthew Doty came in 3rd place with 2.0/4 pts. In K-3, Jessica Smith came in 1st place with 1.5/4 pts., Vera Galvan came in 2nd place with 1.0/4 pts., Penelope Galvan came in 3rd place with 0.5/4 pts. Congratulations to all the winners!!



GSSM January Open Results!

On Saturday, January 14, twenty-nine players competed in the five-round GSSM January Open on the campus of the Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics in Hartsville. When the proverbial dust settled, three players shared the top spot with hard-earned 4.0 scores: Ian Haigler of Wingate, NC, Jordan Anderson of Columbia, and GSSM senior Jeffrey Russell of York. Jeffrey had entered play as the fourteenth seed; this was his second rated tournament, Ian's 897th, and Jordan's 90th. Jordan, a GSSM alum, served as Chief TD, ably assisted by GSSM junior Brennan Ravan of Columbia.


Dr. Clyde Smith, Physics Teacher
S. C. Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics


Congratulations NM Sam Copeland and Benjamin Caiello, 2016 Columbia Open Co-Champions!!!

National Master Sam Copeland and Benjamin Caiello (L-R in photo) were named Co-Champions in the 2016 Columbia Open Ben Samchess tournament held November 19th-20th at the Hilton Garden Inn in Columbia SC. Sam and Ben scored 4.0 points each - splitting this year's top prize! Congratulations also to LM Klaus Pohl! Klaus came in third with a final score of 3.5 points. In the fifth and final round, Klaus played Sam in a grueling game that lasted over 4.5 hours w/100+ moves! You can see this game in PGN format below.

Congrats to all!!!! Here are your 2016 Columbia Open winners:  

Open Section:  
NM Sam Copeland and Ben Caiello Co-Champions (4.0 pts)
3rd LM Klaus Pohl (3.5 pts)

U2200 (3-way tie) Daniel Tanco (3.0 pts), Neil Deshpande (3.0 pts), Vignesh Sekar (3.0 pts)

U2000 Section: 1st - Gene Nix (3.0 pts) Congrats!!
2nd - (4-way tie) Douglas Holmes (2.5 pts), Jayavel Kumaresan (2.5 pts), Xiaodong Jin (2.5 pts), Benjamin Webb (2.5 pts)

U1600 Section:
1st - Gary Morrow with (4.5 pts)
2nd - (tie) Mike Boone (3.5 pts), John Neiffer (3.5 pts)
U1400 prize: (tie) David Dye (3.0 pts), Mike Mayfield (3.0 pts)

U1200 Section:
1st - Raviteja Guruvelli (3.0 pts)
2nd - Alex Tabakian  (2.5 pts)
U1000 Prize: (tie) William Tabakian (2.0 pts), Henry Murthy (2.0 pts)

There were a total of 38 players in three sections in this year's event.  

We would like to thank each and everyone who came either to play or support family members playing in this year's event! Your attendance was greatly appreciated and we would love to see everyone back again next year!  Special thanks SCCA Vice Pres. Daniel Smith for directing and coordinating this year's event! Thanks also to Andrew Plyler for providing DGT Board & web support. Thank you Gene Nix for always being there and supporting us! This event was sponsored in part by Precision Tune Auto Care!

Crosstables    Photos


Midlands Scholastic Chess League I - Results!

Over forty players attended this year's first Midlands Scholastic Chess League event held at North Trenholm Baptist Church in Columbia, October 22nd. 2016's first event of the year was a real nailbiter with several exciting finishes occurring in key last round games. Paul Pena eeked out a thrilling win against Eli Moore to win the K-12 section while dozens of spectators gathered. Meanwhile both the K-8 and K-5 sections saw last round upsets as Henri Murthy upset top seed Daniel Sobel to take first in K-8 while Ethan Harder did the same to top seed Daryl Dowty in the K-5.

In the team sections, Pelion High claimed K-12, MSI claimed K-8, and CIS leapfrogged MSI in the last round to take top honors in K-5.

Here are the full results. Thanks to all for coming out! Our next tournament is November 12th at Pelion High School! We hope to see you there :) Registration is already open at

Adult: 1st is Daryl Dowty, 2nd is Eli Moore
K-12: 1st inidividual is Paul Pena; =2nd is Jonathan Shaw, Ben Yordy, and Charlie Allemond; 1st team is Pelion High School

K-8: 1st individual is Henri Murthy; =2nd is Messiah Cornelius, Katie Maldonado, Daniel Sobel, Trey Fletcher, and Jacob Stoll 1st team is Midlands STEM Institute, 2nd is CIS, 3rd is Timmerman

K-5: 1st individual is Ethan Harder; 2nd is Hayden Thorpe; =3rd is Ben Sloop, Daryl Dowty, Michael Lucas, and Kevin Chapman; 1st team is Chapin Intermediate School, 2nd is MSI, 3rd is HWES

Top Female is Taylor Hollis
Best Debut is Hayden Thorpe
Biggest Upset is Ethan Harder
Youngest Participant is Connor Brandes
Top Female Team is Midlands STEM Institute

Strategery Chess & Games on Facebook      Crosstables


Midlands Girl's Tournament Results! May 28th

Olivia Watkins scored 3.5/4, achieving the highest score in the Midlands Girls' Tournament and claiming first place K-5! Neha Dias, SC's highest rated female, scored 3.0/4 and claimed top K-12 honors. The sensation of the event was Olivia Watkins catching Neha in a trap when Neha captured a hanging piece, but allowed mate in two. Full awards are as follows.

1st K-12: Neha Dias | 2nd K-12: McKenzie England
1st K-8: Delany Ratcliff | 2nd K-8: Lillian Redmond
1st K-5: Olivia Watkins | 2nd K-5: Ally Gordon

1st Place Team: Byrd Elementary
2nd Place Team: Knights of the Square Table

Eight players played in the event including two first time USCF players. To our knowledge, this is the most girls that have played in a single tournament in Columbia outside of the SC state scholastic championships. That is, of course, both encouraging and a call to action

After the event, Neha Dias played six players in a clock simul. She won all six games. The last to succumb was Olivia Watkins as the specter of a bishop and knight mate hovered in the air.

We look forward to hosting the event again next year. Thanks enormously to Nisha Dias for representing the USCF Women's Committee and to Maureen Grimaud for help in promoting the event!

NM Sam Copeland - Strategery Chess & Games

Crosstables   Photos


8th Annual South Carolina Senior Open Results! May 14-15

Twenty-five elder fighters from South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee converged on the Hilton Garden Inn hotel in Greenville, SC, to resolve the matter of senior dominance at the chess board. Accelerated pairings left only four perfect scores going into the Sunday rounds, and after sitting next to each other on boards one and two all weekend, Masters Klaus Pohl and Randal Ferguson settled the question in round four in an exciting duel that kept the TD studying tie-break scenarios until Klaus took over the position. So, Life Master Klaus Pohl took first place with 4-0; Expert Mike Anderson was second with 3.5 points; Gary Newsom and Ralph Lombard shared third-fourth with 3 points; National TD Kevin Hyde’s 3-1 took top honors for the Under-1600 prize, and Harold Zeltner won second Under-1600 with two points. We had some new faces, so to speak, with Father Jeffrey Kendall of Round O, SC, and Joe Page of Morrisville, NC, playing in their first rated tournament - welcome to the fray!. Special thanks to Kevin Hyde for sharing his expertise on several finer points of tournament direction. Local TD Gene Nix officiated.

Gene Nix
Greenville Chess Club President

Photos    Crosstables


Midlands Scholastic Chess League IV Results!

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

Photos from Facebook        Crosstable


Midlands Scholastic Chess League III Results! Highest Attendance in League Series!

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!

Photos from Facebook     Crosstables