Connecticut State Chess Association
a 501(c)(7) nonprofit corporation


James Nitz Wins 2007 CT Blitz Championship

Dec 18 - 23 players participated in the 2007 Connecticut State Open Blitz Championship held on Saturday, December 15 at the Church of Christ in Manchester. The event was directed by Robert Kozlowski. Robert was assisted by tournament directors Richard Chang and Marcus Komons. There were two sections, an OPEN and an U1600, in this 10 double round Swiss System tournament. After over six hours of competition, and plenty of Pepe's Pizza, James Nitz of Plantsville won the 2007 State Blitz Championship title in a tie-break match(best two out of three blitz games) against Dennis Prawira of Oakville. Winning the U1600 section, holding a commanding lead throughout the tournament, was Julio Echevarria of Hartford. Congratulations to James, Dennis and Julio for there fine efforts, and best of luck to them at the 2008 CT Championships, Mar 8 & 9, at Yale University!

Yale ties Harvard 2.5-2.5

Nov 24 - The Yale and Harvard chess teams reignited their rivalry with their latest duel ending in a 2.5-2.5 tie. Yale hosted the Crimson to a 5-board, G/60 match on Friday the 16th, the evening before ‘The Game’ between the schools’ football teams. The Yale team, comprised of Sophomore Kurt Schneider, Junior Pasha Kamyshev, and Seniors David Lyons, Sam Kahn and Dave Wang, battled a younger but higher rated Harvard squad. Yale Captain Dave Wang pulled out a draw from a rook and pawn endgame on the top board to secure the result. Boards 2 and 3 also drew, while white won on boards 4 and 5 for Yale and Harvard respectively. The match marked the fourth time the two teams have played going back to last year’s Game match- up, which Harvard narrowly won 3-2. Yale struck back, however, beating Harvard in January en route to capturing the Ivy championship title. The teams may face-off again in December at the Pan-American Intercollegiate Championships, where the teams drew a closely fought match last year. Yale will host the 2008 CT State Championships at Payne Whitney Gym. For the first time, Top CT College Champion Individual and Team trophies will be awarded.

Jason Xu Wins UCONN $14,000 Scholarship Tournament

Nov 11 - Jason Xu of Essex Jct., VT took 1st place and the $2000 4 year renewable scholarship in the 2nd edition of the UCONN School of Engineering $14,000 Scholarship Tournament October 27th-28th, 2007. Mr. Xu accomplished this feat despite being involved in a minor car accident on the way to the tournament and being forced to take a 1/2 point bye for the 1st round. He then reeled off 4 consecutive wins, including hard fought games against the second and third place finishers. 2nd place finisher Haotian Zheng of Newtown, CT scored 4 -1 to take the $1000 4 year renewable scholarship, while Johnson Pau of Tenafly, NJ scored 3.5 - 1.5 to take 3rd and the $500 4 year renewable scholarship.The other top finishers were Kostyantyn Mazur of Teaneck, NJ 4th, Treva Ayton of New Rochelle, NY 5th, and Bob Scalise of New Britain, CT 6th. In the Middle School Open Alex "Buzz Saw" Fikiet of Storrs, CT zipped through the field with a perfect 5 - 0 score. Finishing close behind in 2nd overall and Top 7th Grade was Leonid Stolov of New Haven, while Ryan Zentner took 3rd overall and Top 6th Grade. Zach Rankin and Daniel Parsons took 2nd 6th and 7th Grade honors respectively. Results may be viewed at: 200710289341 The UCONN SOE would like to thank everyone involved for their support and cooperation in running this event.

GM Kudrin and FM Curdo Tie in UCONN September Grand Prix

Nov 4 - GM Sergei Kudrin and FM John Curdo both scored 3 - 0 to share 1st - 2nd and $550 to take top honors in the UCONN September Grand Prix on September 30th. Doug Fiske and Alex Fikiet each scored 1.5 -1.5 to split Top U - 2000 and $40. Mike Pascetta and Kevin Berry also scored 1.5 - 1.5 to take Top U - 1800 and Top - 1600 honors respectively and $40 each. Tim Grover, making a valiant effort, took the Top U - 1400 prize and $40. In the UCONN SOE September Scholastic on the same day Dave Gaston took 1st while Daniel Torrey and Mike Casey took 2nd and 3rd respectively in the high school section. Daniel Pascetta scored a perfect 5 - 0 to take 1st in the K - 8 section. Zach Rankin followed close behind at 4 - 1 to take 2nd.

GM Ildar Ibragimov Wins 2007 Greater New Haven Fall Open

Nov 4 - GM Ildar Ibragimov (2672) bested a record turnout of chess players to take clear first at the Greater New Haven Fall Open. 150 chessplayers participated in the event held Saturday, Nov. 3. First Place U1600 went to Mike Mauriello(1475), First Place U1200 went to Roy Beavers(1153), First Place U1000 went to Davon Chen (868) and First Place U800 went to Andrew Su (723). CBS News sent a film crew to cover the event, which will be broadcast nationally on their news show 48 Hours. Don't miss it! Check Full Results under Results Section of this website or see

Nelson Castaneda Wins 1st NBCC Arkadijs Strazdins Cup

Jun 2 - The 1st Arkadijs Strazdins Cup chess tournament ended last Tuesday, May 29 at the New Britain Chess Club. The winner of the tournament was FIDE Master Nelson Castaneda. At the club next Tuesday June 5, Marcus and I will present Nelson with the “Strazdins Cup”, a 2 foot high, beautifully engraved trophy!! Nelson won four of his games and drew against FIDE Master Richard Bauer in the final round. As champion, Nelson will also be awarded $100. Tying for share of second place are the following players: Martin Garcia Richard Bauer Daniel Rozovsky Martin, Richard, and Daniel earned 4 points and will each receive $60. The TOP U1700 prize goes to Michael Pascetta and Jozef Madej, each scoring 2.5 points. They each will receive $8.75. The TOP U1400 prize goes to Roy Beavers and Michael Cebrik, each scoring 2 points. They each will receive $17.50. The biggest upset in the tournament was Roy Beavers victory over Andy Strazdins in Round 3, a 342 point rating difference!! Roy will receive $15 for this biggest upset.

Mike Smith Wins 2007 UCONN Championship

Apr 18 - Mike Smith of Preston, CT has won the 2007 UCONN CC Championship Grand Prix, scoring 3.5 - 0.5. Mr. Smith was tied for the lead with Ayman Karsou of Groton at 2.5 - 0.5 heading into the last round. Unfortunately for Mr. Karsou, he ran into Charles Daly, who held him to a well played draw and second place. Mr. Smith received $200 for his fine performance and first place finish, while Mr. Karsou took clear second and $100. Mr. Daly with 2.5 - 0.5 took Top U -1800 honors and $35. Top U - 1600, Top U - 1400 and $35 each were garnered by Ken Montenegro, 2.0 - 2.0, and Roland Rossano, 1.0 - 3.0 respectively. Derek Meredith won the UCONN March Blitz Tournament at the UCONN CC Open House March 15th. Mr. Meredith scored 15 - 5 to secure 1st place. Close behind at 14.5 - 5.5 was the veteran Mark Bourque and at 14 - 6 was Yogesh Raghunathan. Other upcoming events: Scotignello Memorial, starts June 7th UCONN Summer Grand Prix starts July 12th UCONN August Scholastic Open August 19th UCONN Grand Prix Swiss August 19th UCONN September Scholastic Open September 30th UCONN Grand Prix Swiss September 30th UCONN SOE $14,000 Scholarship Tournament October 27 - 28

GM Sergey Kudrin 2007 CT State Champion!

Apr 17 - The 2007 CT Chess Championships was a success for the CSCA, and for CT Chess! GM Susan Polgar featured us on her blog. Susan Polgar Blog Channel 8 Action News, the New Haven Register, the Yale Daily News, the Yale Bulletin & Calendar, and the Yale Alumni Magazine gave us coverage. Photos of scholastic chess players are available online. 600 people were in attendance. Everyone has a great time! Businesses on Broadway and the Mariott Hotel were pleased with our guest's patronage. Letters from the Mayor of New Haven, the President of Yale, and the CT Governor were very supportive of our mission to "Promote Chess in CT." Participants received a commemorative Yale Chess Set, a T-Shirt, a Program, and chess medal. Yale was extremely pleased with our organization and purpose and is looking forward to hosting the tournament again next year. Highlights from 2007 CT Chess Championships: GM Sergey Kudrin is 2007 CT State Champion West Haven High School Wins 10th State Championship Team Title! Michael-David Mangini from Hopkins School is CT Representative to Denker National Tournament of High School Champions Catalina Estrada from Central High School in Bridgeport is CT Representative to Polgar National Tournament for Girls For full results, photo, and selected games, see Results Section of this website. For more details on these events go to CT Events