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

History 2016

CT State Blitz Championships
Congratulations to Ian Harris (2356) for winning the 2016 CT State Blitz Championship, hosted by the New Britain Chess Club (NBCC),
making him the only player in CT history to have now earned the prestigious honor of winning all three championship events (regular, quick, blitz) in the same year. Congratulations Master Harris!
Complete standings are in the RESULTS section of this site.

The 16/17 CT Scholastic Blitz State Championship was held at Kingswood Oxford school in West Hartford

Alex Lumelsky congratulates the High School section winner: Jithu Sajeevan from Bristol Central High School
Other winners: Middle School: Sam Lumelsky, Elementary: Jack Clayton
School winners: Simsbury High School, King Philip Middle School, Bugbee Elementary School

Click here to read a story by Bob Cyr on three CT chess organizers.

There are two active high school team chess leagues in the state.
Here a picture from today's match Glastonbury High School at Simsbury High School:

Result: 10 - 11 (OT)
For more info go to PLAY and LEAGUES on this site.


Results from the 5SS G/25 d5 National Chess Day event at Hall High School:
- Open: Evan Wood (4˝/5), Daniel Zhou (4), Suma Dendi (4)
- U-900 Niteesh Kalangi (4/5), Dhanush Kalangi (3)
- K5-U600: Owen Tait (4˝/5), Jordan Lefkowitz (4˝), Jack Clayton (4)
- K2: Subhang Prabhala (3/5), Adrian Paez (3)

Proposed Grand Prix Selection Format for Scholastic National Nominations by CCO was accepted by the CSCA board. The idea is to award the Denker, Barber and USGT (Girls) CT-nominations in a series of "Grand Prix" tournament. Details of the NNGP are here.

Click here for an article in the Hartford Courant about the new chess club in Stafford Springs.


Queen of Katwe
Is the Best Kind of Feel-Good Chess Story!
A new Disney film starring Lupita Nyong’o and David Oyelowo follows the rise of Phiona Mutesi, a poor girl from Uganda who becomes a chess prodigy. Currently in theaters near you.

New chess program at Hartford Public Library:
The Connecticut Chess Organization is starting a new chess program at Hartford Public Library, Albany Brach. They donated material and pledged $1000. Click here for press release.

8/24: from Bob Cyr, CSCA historian:
Continuing with my historical work for chess, I figured that I would share some of the founding dates of chess clubs in Connecticut. It appears that many chess clubs during the 19th century did not hold meetings as often and were not as structured as they were in the 20th century. I not sure how much farther that I can go back in time, but here are the dates that I found on Connecticut Chess library website. I would also like to make note that there were many matches between cities and towns and clubs during the late 19th century, where chess really started to expand.

  • Hartford Chess Club: November 30, 1858. In President Captain Luther Smith's acceptance speech, he said that he was very grateful for this honor, but he would have rather the membership chosen someone younger because of his "advanced age."
  • Waterbury and Bridgeport Chess Clubs: November 29, 1859
  • New Britain Chess Club: Jan 26, 1901
Now, the NBCC currently the club with the most continuous heritage and has been active longer than other clubs; but the founding of Hartford, Waterbury, and Bridgeport Chess Clubs actually occurred, based on recorded history, were formed forty years earlier than the NBCC, just before the Civil War. What I am noticing is that chess clubs, like the NBCC tended to lose membership during war times (WWI, WWII, etc.) because of the draft, etc.

This has been an incredible learning experience for me, and I am very glad to share this wonderful historical news about the history of Connecticut chess. More to come!

6/14 Former World Champion visits Connecticut

The 2012 Girls Under-10 World Champion, Priyanka Nutakki from India, visited NBCC for a G/1 d1 tournament.
Priyanka, now 13 years old, won the event convincingly.
Results: 1) Priyanka 30˝ 2) Nelson Castaneda 27˝ 3) Rick Bauer 23˝ 4) Joe Bihlmeyer 23 etc.

5/14/16 CT Scholastic Quick Championship in Farmington

Winners: High school: Max Holman, Middle School: Daniel Zhou, Elementary: Richard Zhu
For results see the RESULTS section of the site. Click here for more

5/6 - 5/8 Bugbee School (West Hartford) takes 13th place at the Nationals

Bugbee team from left to right: Caitlin Striff-Cave, Jake Lumelsky, Sam Lumelsky and Ethan Striff-Cave at the K-6 National Elementary Championship in Nashville TN (2260 participants)
here for more.

Allen Mo of New Britain won first place, and $240, of the first chess tournament held at the new chess center in Coventry Connecticut. Mo scored two wins and a draw in the three-round tournament. Mo's draw was with Chess Master Rick Bauer of Wolcott in round two. Bauer ended up in the three-way tie (each won $30) for second place with Chess Expert Mark Bourque of Stafford Springs and Andrew Colwell. Six chess players were from the New Britain Chess Club. We wish to thank this chess club very much for supporting our event. Jashwanth Balaji, age 8, ties for first place of the second section with Kevin Zimmerman of Hartford. Each won $100. The tournament introduced USCF-rated chess to three new players. The time control was switched to G/60 d10 by full agreement by all the players. In all, two dozen people were in attendance and enjoyed hamburgers and hot dogs at lunchtime. We also sincerely thank Elizabeth and Rob of the new chess center. Thanks to Kevin Zimmerman for volunteering to be the grill cook. Thanks to volunteers Mark Denihan and Rob Roy for playing 10-minute chess with our junior players between their rounds. Mark also donated to the beverage bar. Andrew Colwell donated some snacks. Daniel Wolk donated a box of books that belonged to his father; Elliot Wolk, a UConn math professor and well-known chessplayer 1950's thru 1990's. Dr Wolk passed away a year ago at age 95. Rick Bauer, many-time Connecticut State Chess Champion, donated a box of his books to our new chess center. A giant Peace Lily houseplant was delivered with "from Gary on your opening day" on the tag. This new plant is beautiful with three white blooms. We really love the gift. Gary did not reveal his last name, so I am not sure who Gary is ? Anybody want to guess ?

4/10 West Hartford Scholastic Tournament Update
On Saturday, April 9, NBCC Vice President Norman Burtness held the inaugural West Hartford Scholastic Chess Championship at William H. Hall High School in West Hartford. It gives me great pleasure to inform you that this tournament was a resounding success, with seventy-one young men and ladies from the region competing. Norman, who is a physics instructor and a chess director at this school, spent a tremendous amount of time and energy advertising this tournament. I assisted Norman by making the pairings for and supervising the K-8 Under 900 Section, which drew an incredible thirty-seven players, while Norman managed the upper sections.

One of the reasons for the success of this tournament was the very low advanced entry free of $20, which included a pizza lunch with chips, ice cream, and beverages. On site registrations were only $10 more, which was still an incredible deal. Another reason for this tournament's success was the effort on the part of Alexander Lumelsky, whose amazing contributions for promoting this event through his numerous contacts in the scholastic chess community aided in boosting the turnout to higher-than-expected levels. In addition, there were a few parents who assisted Norman and me as floor directors. They made certain that all of the students were sitting at the right table prior to the start of each round and that any of their questions, or those asked by the parents, were timely answered. Suffice it to say, this tournament was directed with extreme efficiency, with the event starting only about ten minutes late but ending exactly on time. We started late because of the overflow of last-minute registrations, which is always a good problem. I do also want to thank CSCA President Jim Celone and Rob Roy for helping out with promoting this event on their respective chess websites.

In the eighteen years that I have been involved in directing chess tournaments, I have never seen so many of the participants, and even the parents, commend the director for the extraordinary work that he did in organizing an event. Norman did a phenomenal job with all aspects of coordinating this fun event, and his efforts definitely paid off! I eagerly look forward to working on other scholastic projects with Norman, whose significant contributions have been instrumental in enriching the lives of the today's inspiring superstar chess players.

All of the winners below received beautiful crystallized, glow-in-the-dark trophies, and all of the participants received pawn key chains. For the complete crosstable, please visit

K-12 Open Section:
1st Place: Eric Hilhorst
2nd Place: Benjamin Foxman
3rd Place: Evan Daniel Wood

K-8 Under 900 Section
1st Place: Hari Patchigolla
2nd Place: Samuel Hol Foxman
3rd Place: Lucas Bran Kollen

K-5 Under 600 Section
1st Place: Caitl Striff-Cave
2nd Place: Jack Kenn Clayton
3rd Place: Joshua Schumacher
Top K-2: Deven Godha

With warm regards,
Bob Cyr
CSCA Historian

4/2: CT Scholastic Blitz Championships

Farmington Public Library

Andrew Rogozinski from Greenwich (picture above) won the High School section of the 2016 CT Scholastic Blitz Championship with a perfect 14/14 score.
Nithin Joshy won Middle School, Sam Lumelsky Elementary School.
here for more.

3/19: CT State Championships
Congratulations to Ian Harris for winning the 2016 CT State Championship, hosted by the New Britain Chess Club (NBCC).
Yoon-Young Kim finished 2nd on tie-breaks ahead of Hans Nieman.
In the Candidates section, Andrew Colwell took 1st place. Gaetano Bompastore finished 2nd on tie-breaks ahead of Jack Kochansky.
Many thanks to the Chess Club of Fairfield County for their hospitality in allowing us to use their facilities.
Complete standings are in the RESULTS section of this site.

2/28: CT Scholastic State Championships

Two Rivers Magnet School in East Hartford
The TD, IM Jan van de Mortel, in the background.

159 participants
Winners: K-12: Zachary Tanenbaum, K-8: Vincent Xu, K-6: Samuel Lumelsky, K-3: Mateus Zalewski, K-1: Averey Ku, Barber: Maximillian Lu. For details click here. See also RESULTS section of this site.

2/16: Parisippany, New Jersey - February 16

Chess Club of Fairfield County team led by Daniel Copper wins Top Connecticut title at the 46th - 2016 World/U.S. Amateur Team East Chess Ch Championship - going 4-2. Congratulations!

After the annual three-day exhilaring USATE competition, one of the largest chess events in America and one of the largest team events in sports history, where new friendships were formed and where old friendships were rekindled, the CCFC team - Trumps Manuever: Send Capture - earned the prestigious title of Top Connecticut Team by one-half point over the historic chess club team of New Britain - Trumposky Attack: We Win, You Lose - who, like the CCFC team, played exceptionally well throughout the tournament. The NBCC team stormed the competition early on, bringing their A game to the table every round. Because of their exceptional performance, this team (comprised of Danny Pascetta, Mike Pascetta, Norman Burtness, and Bob Cyr) played in played in the grand ballroom in all rounds, including behind the ropes in Round 4 - (Board 8!).

I am very pleased that our wonderful community fielded four teams this year, including the UConn Chess team led by USCF NM Alex Fikiet, who r recruited players from his college club to give them excellent real-world experiences to compete with players of all levels. The fourth Connecticut team, who I am not quite familiar w with, was the AQR Chess Team, who also did well. Overall, I am proud to see that the Connecticut chess community continues to be so vibrant.

The NBCC has been very proud to have held the glorious honor of Top Connecticut Team for nine consecutive years (2007-2015) at USATE. You m might recall that, in 2010, our club fielded six teams - almost a USATE record! This year, unfortunately, because of scheduling conflicts and difficulties forming more NBCC t teams, our organization regrettably was unable to send only one team to USATE. There were other players from our organization who did play on other teams, though, including the Jenner Gambit: King-to-Queen Four? team, with legendary masters - FM Nelson Castaneda, USCF NM James Nitz, and FM Richard Bauer, who won four matches. NBCC President USCF NM Derek M Meredith played on a team with prominent chess book author, Hanon Russell. In total, there were between twenty to twenty-five Connecticut participants at USATE 2016.

The organizers, tournament directors, and volunteers do a surperb with all aspects of coordinating this impressive event. Mr. E. Steven Doyle and his exceptionally devoted, hard- working crew do a phenomal job to make everyone feel at home. I hope that next year, more players from across Connecticut can get to feel the rich experience at USATE - a event like none other in the annals of this historic game.

With best regards,

Robert Cyr
CSCA Chess Historian


2016 Greater New Haven Winter Open Trophy Winners.
For details check Results


CT State Girls Championship in Farmington.
- individual: K-6 Beatrice Low, 6-8 Sadie Edelman, 7-8 Jade Logan, 9-12 Samantha Aiyathurai,
- schools: K-6 Bugbee School West Hartford, 7-8 Avon Middle School, 9-12 Simsbury High School.
Beatrice, as overall winner, qualified for the National Girls Tournament (NGTOC).
For details go here, for pictures here

Today, UCONN committed to sponsor the 2016 CT State Scholastic Championship in East Hartford with $14,000 in scholarships. See the amended flyer is the EVENTS section of this site for details.

Best Video in Hamden will screen "Pawn Sacrifice" Monday, January 18, 7 PM as part of an Oscar Race series. 1842 Whitney Avenue. 203-287- 9286. Movie is about the Bobby Fischer/Boris Spassky match in Iceland, staring Tobey Maguire, Liev Schreiber, and Peter Skasgaard. Great film. Make your move!

1/8/2016 from Derek Meredith:
A gathering in memory of Tom "Herr Director" Hartmayer will be held tomorrow at 1 P.M. at 162 Mimosa Circle, in Ridgefield, the home of his brother John. All those who would like to attend are welcome to come at this time.
He was one of the most generous people I've ever met, both with his time and his money. He leaves no children, but a large chess "family" n nevertheless. Please pass this on to anyone you think would like to attend.

Thomas Hartmayer
Connecticut and UConn chess advocate and legend extraordinaire

Dear friends of the chess community throughout Connecticut and New England and beyond:

It is with a sad and somber heart to inform you about the sudden passing of Connecticut chess advocate, legend, and dear friend, Thomas “Tom” Hartmayer. Tom left this world on January 1, 2016, at the age of sixty-four.

For over forty years, Tom was integrally involved as a steadfast and staunch supporter, tournament director, organizer, and coordinator of adult and scholastic chess tournaments in Connecticut, especially at the University of Connecticut Chess Club, where he was the chief TD for decades. His vital role in these capacities significantly enriched the game for players of all ages and levels throughout our community for generations. He really loved the game and displayed his passion for it by being a mentor and coach to many scholastic chess players in our community.

Mr. Hartmayer was a close friend of the New Britain Chess Club. He frequently competed in matches with our club and attended the annual New Britain Summer Open Chess Championships and the annual NBCC Christmas parties, where I had the pleasure of chatting with him about Connecticut chess history just a few weeks ago.

Known warm-heartedly as “Herr Direktor” by many in the chess community, Mr. Hartmayer was also a very close friend of the New Britain Chess Club family since the early 1970s. Tom frequently competed in matches between the UConn CC and ours, played as a teammate with NBCC members, and often attended NBCC tournaments and the annual NBCC Christmas party, where many had the pleasure of chatting with him about chess just a few weeks ago.

On a state-wide level, Tom served on the Connecticut State Chess Association Board of Directors for years and worked feverishly and tirelessly as a strong advocate and ambassador for chess in our state, promoting the game in every way possible. He also possessed an incredible wealth of knowledge about the rich and diversity history of Connecticut chess, and he would often share the amazing stories that shaped and defined Connecticut chess from the 1970s to today.

Tom was a very gracious person to every chess player, and he was always welcoming to everyone in the UConn Chess Club family. Tom had a very amiable personality and disposition, a delicious sense of humor, and such zeal for life. He truly was a wonderful man all-around, and it was a privilege and an honor to have known him.

Rest-in-peace, Tom. You have touched the lives of many, and you will be greatly missed.

Robert Cyr
CSCA Historian

1/4/2016 from Mark Bourque, Information for those who wish to attend Tom's service:
There will be no calling hours, and the funeral service will be held in Storrs CT, on the Uconn Campus at St Thomas Aquinas Chapel, 46 North Eagleville Road, Storrs, CT.

Burial will be at 3:00 PM at the Swedish Cemetery, 82 Fairway Drive, Portland, CT.
Arrangements are being handled by Potter Funeral Home, 456 Jackson Street, Willimantic, CT (860/423-2211) on Friday at 10:00 am.

The obituary will be listed online at, but there will be no printed copy. The online obituary should be out on Wednesday. Please notify anyone you may think of who would like to attend the service. There is no wake. Please notify anyone you may think of who would like to attend the service, as Tom had many more friends that are not on list which was taken from various emails.