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




























News

(Email us to report chess news in and around Connecticut.)

-----------------------------
LATEST


CSCA Community Event -- Registration is Open!!!
Aug 10 - A Day with GM Aleksandr Lenderman, featuring OTB Arena, Lecture and Simul (Fairfield, CT), hosted by Sacred Heart University Chess and co-sponsored by Connecticut State Chess Association. See details and registration.

For tournaments and activities, please visit our Events Calendar

Chess News Wire -- July 2024

  • NM Derek Meredith wins the Senior Amateur Section at the 2024 World Open held in Philadelphia, PA, July 3-7. Top Connecticut result overall was by IM Kapil Chandran, who placed 45th out of 244 in the Open Section. See complete World Open results. One week earlier, Meredith finished tied for third in the U2100 Section of the Philadelphia Open, nearly winning the section. (7/8)


    NM Derek Meredith at the 2024 Connecticut Senior
    Championship


  • IM Maximillian Lu finished in 9-way tie for first in the Major Section at the Philadelphia Open. (7/1)

  • CSCA is moving regular news updates to our Facebook page due to ease of post. Although some reports will still be posted here on our website, members and visitors should join us on Facebook to get more immediate and broader scope news and updates, which may affect or interest the Connecticut chess community from within and without our state. Posts commenced last month and can be viewed here. (7/1)


-----------------------------

Chess News Wire -- June 2024

  • GM Hans Niemann, formerly of Connecticut, made the news on nearly consecutive days this month. On June 27, he won $30,000 at the Universal Chess Tour's Super GM Tournament in Texas, defeating Candidates participant GM Vidit Gujrathi of India. On June 30, Niemann withdrew from a $4 million buy-in event, which was then cancelled as a consequence of his departure. Based on Chess.com report, Niemann later took to X to voice his grievances with the organizer's contract. See full reports on our Facebook page. (6/30)

  • CSCA is WARNING members about the yellow "verification" postcard from US Chess (shown below). The postcard--and a mass US Chess email blast--is a third-party effort to collect US Chess member information with the cooperation of US Chess. It includes surprise sales solicitation of up to several hundred dollars and is not a US Chess verification effort. The mailings are, apparently, part of an "Oral History" project initiated by US Chess, but US Chess members who responded to the card and email have questioned its method and purpose. On Facebook, members reported solicitation up to or over $500 and, if purchase was not made, a disregard of their historical accounts by telephone representatives. Ongoing member discussion on this topic can be found on Facebook in the Members of the USCF group. (6/21)



  • Registration is open for the CSCA's SUMMER CLASH!!! July 13 at the Meriden Library. Given the outdoor temperatures this time of year, the event is moving indoors to the all-new Meriden Library Auditorium, which also hosted the 2023 New Haven County & Meriden City Championships on New Year's Eve. The CSCA thanks the Meriden Library for hosting the event and supporting the Connecticut chess community. (6/21)

  • Effective immediately, CSCA is increasing the events and activities entry discount for CSCA Premium and Family Premium Membership to 40%, previously at 25%. Starting with the SUMMER CLASH!!! tournament on July 13 at Meriden Library, CSCA Premium and Family Premium Members will save 40% on their entry fees. CSCA Premium Membership may be purchased here or via the "Join" link above. Premium members will be provided a new registration code with this change. (6/21)

  • CSCA Open Events June SuperBlitz Swiss, played today, set CSCA online monthly Swiss event record with 276 players, including over thirty title players and six Grandmasters. Fair play review is under way. (6/13)

  • NM Jordan Groff wins New Britain Chess Club's 2024 Strazdins Cup, a five-round game in 60 minutes event, with a perfect 5.0/5 score. Ian Wohlheiter won the U1600 section with 4.5/5. The event was played over several weeks, starting on May 7 and concluding June 11. NBCC/CSCA Historian and Local TD Robert Cyr directed the event. (6/12)

  • NM Jasmine Su finishes in seven-way tie for first at 2024 Susan Polgar Foundation Girls Invitational with a score of 5.0/6 on four wins and two draws. However, on tie breaks Jasmine placed sixth and fell just shy of the event tie break, which was designated for the top four on computer tie breaks. Kashvi Madhvani of Farmington and Sky Liu of Old Greenwich also participated in the event. Due to SPF's loss of their usual venue at Webster University for this year, the event was organized online. (6/2)

  • CSCA online summer prize events from June 4 through August 29 for free online play are posted on CSCA Open Events on Lichess.org and registering now and all summer long. More online events will be added soon. (6/1)

6/10/2024
NM Nathaniel Moor Wins CCA's Eastern Class Championships


NM Nathaniel Moor at 2023 CT Action Championship.

On June 7-9, the Continental Chess Association held its Eastern Class Championships at the Bradley International Sheraton Hotel. 200 players, including sixty-nine form Connecticut, took part. Connecticut's NM Nathaniel Moor won the Open Section with a 4.0/5 score. "I would say my performance came from striving to be consistent," commented Moor, "an important skill Iíve honed more recently, and this tournament rewarded that hard work. After winning my final round against Uwakwe, it was huge feeling of relief and accomplishment. This is my first CCA tournament that Iíve won outright. I want to thank my coach, GM Alex Onishcuk, who has brought my chess to the next level in the past year." Meanwhile, IM Maximillian Lu, NM Jasmine Su and Michael Uwakwe tied for fourth in the Open. Other Connecticut top results were: Karim Naba won Class A. Owen Anantra tied for second in Class B. John Twombley won second in Class C. And Tanuj Maheshkumar tied for second in Class E. Complete final results from this event can be found at CCA's chessevents.com.

6/1/2024
US Chess SafePlay Deadline Decertifies Over 1,700 Tournament Directors

At midnight tonight, between 1,700 and 1,800 Tournament Directors, or about 65% nationally, are scheduled to lose their certifications. In August 2023, in response to claims that members of US Chess management and the Executive Board (EB) ignored female player complaints of sexual assault and harassment by an offending male player-coach and an offending male player, including several accounts published in the Wall Street Journal, on Lichess.org and Chess.com platforms, and directly on social media, the EB imposed a mandatory SafePlay training policy, which requires all Tournament Directors, and only Tournament Directors, regardless of level of certification or engagement, to undergo a mandatory training on sexual assault and harassment.
The policy was imposed specifically in response to claims that (1) a St. Louis Chess Club coach and master player hired by US Chess for a female US Chess Olympiad team was known by US Chess to have assaulted female players, and (2) a player assaulted a female event attendee in an event hotel parking lot. The EB expelled the first offender and eventually the second, upon additional allegations. Though in the second case, an appeal, the first of its kind, of the EB decision will be brought by the offender to the Delegates at the 2024 Annual Meeting this August.
Before applying the training policy to TDs, the EB performed an independent law firm investigation and review, which cleared the EB, US Chess management and their predecessors of any wrongdoing. The investigation report was never published.
Meanwhile, what appears to have been missed in EB policymaking is that TDs were neither accused of misconduct nor can realistically be expected to prevent its occurrence at tournaments, as the subject bad acts are unlikely to take place on the competition floor. Regardless, US Chess imposed the training along with an annual refresher, all costs to be absorbed by the TDs.
More importantly, TDs who underwent the training report its near complete lack of relevance to the functions of directors and the purpose of the policy. The training appears geared toward coaches and event attendees, rather than referees.
The certification suspensions include 25% of National and Senior TDs, just over 50% of Local TDs and a whopping 75% of Club directors, who are the greater majority or two-thirds of all directors. From some TD conversations and posts on social media, TDs appear to be content with opposing the policy and not maintaining their certification beyond June 1.
By issuing the mandate after the 2023 Annual Meeting and setting its deadline ahead of the 2024 Annual Meeting, the EB unilaterally legislated in avoidance of Delegate input and review of the policy. The Board of Delegates, which is the legislative Board of US Chess pursuant to the Articles of Incorporation, is not able to govern outside the Annual Meeting, unless called to Special Meeting between Annual Meetings by the EB.
Last month, New Hampshire Delegate Hal Terrie filed a motion with US Chess for the Board of Delegates to limit the training policy only to TDs employed by US Chess. The motion is presently under aggressive debate in the US Chess Forums section of the federation's website, and extends to several important parallel issues in US Chess governance.
Connecticut TDs can contact the CSCA with their input on the training mandate for potential inclusion in the Connecticut Delegates' presentation at the 2024 US Chess Annual Meeting. At the September New England Chess Association (NECA) meeting, the CSCA, via President and Delegate Alexander Lumelsky, along with the vast majority of the NECA Board, voted in favor of Terrie's initiative to amend or repeal the EB training mandate.

6/1/2024
Praharsh Varada is 2024 Musicant Champion; Jackson Joyce is 2024 Yazgoor Champion


Praharsh Varada (left) and Jackson Joyce holding the Memorial
Musicant and Yazgoor trophies.


On June 1 at the Norwalk Public Library, the Connecticut State Chess Association held the 28th Annual Musicant-Yazgoor Memorial Tournament. The event is a fundraiser for the Norwalk Knight Library Chess Program, which the CSCA has co-sponsored with the library since 2022. It was formerly organized by long time library volunteer and CSCA Hall of Famer Local TD Christopher Potts of Norwalk. The program averaged over 60 registrations and filled all seats in all but its very first session in fall 2022, when it registered two players shy of full. RedBandit Chess' Founder and Senior TD NM Ian Harris has served as program instructor and volunteer TD since June 2022. Twenty-one players took part in this year's memorial tournament, and Praharsh Varada of Newington, who won the Yazgoor Top U1200 Prize last year, won the event and the Musicant Open title. Jackson Joyce of Ossining, New York won the 2024 Yazgoor Prize. See Rating Report. Standings and award reports coming soon.

Chess News Wire -- May 2024

  • CSCA Open Events team on Lichess completed May with an average of about 250 players in Arena events and 150 in Swiss. The team continues to grow beyond 16,000 members and is within the top five active teams on the platform. (5/31)

  • Chess Club of Fairfield County website goes offline. CCFC discontinued formal function as far back as April 2023, due to ownership dispute following the death of long-time owner/founder, Melvin Patrick. Mr. Patrick's son, Carl Scovens, was last to run the club, which may still engage in some chess activities without formal operation. (5/20)

  • CSCA finalized the recipients of the 2024 Honors of the Connecticut Chess Community. In all, thirteen 2023 contributors--individuals and organizations--will be honored as part of the award proceedings at the May 19 Hall of Fame Action Championship & Induction at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield. Complete list of Honorees. (5/14)

  • CSCA will induct NTD and former CSCA President Frederick Townsend, FM Richard Bauer, NM Edward McHugh, III, NM Jasmine Su and IM Maximillian Lu into the Connecticut Chess Hall of Fame on May 19 at the Connecticut Hall of Fame Action Championship & Induction at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield. (5/14)

  • 1,167 participated at the U.S. Chess National Middle School Championship in Atlanta, Georgia, May 10-12, a small decline in attendance from the prior year. However, only three Connecticut players participate at the event: Seann Dubrovsky of Greenwich, who finished 82nd in the Championship section and Connecticut's top result, and Aaron Krayn and Sophie Rohrs, who both participated in the U1700 Section. (5/13)

  • 26 players participated at the Way of the Board May 5 Tournament in Ridgefield. Alexander Zemon won the U800 section, and Slok Mishra won the U400 section. Andrei Zakharyashchau won the unrated section. (5/8)


    Alex Zemon and Slok Mishra at Way of the Board on May 5.

  • CSCA Open Events team on Lichess.org surpasses 16,000 members following the May Rapid8 Swiss on May 2. The team retained membership growth without a major tournament in April. Meanwhile, CSCA opened a new Unlimited team for larger prize tournaments. The first Unlimited event is planned for this Saturday, May 11 at 11 AM. (5/6)

5/20/2024
FM Zachary Tanenbaum is 2024 Action Champion, as CSCA Inducts Five Titans of Connecticut Chess


Hall of Fame Action Championship mid-Round 1 at SHU's Theas Abbey.

On May 19, the CSCA held the second annual Hall of Fame Action Championship and Induction. The tournament is a G/30+3 event, which seeks to draw top players to honor the Hall of Fame Inductees and the Connecticut Chess community with strong competitive play. This year nine Masters and total sixty-one players took part. New York's NM Charles Hua won the event, and Connecticut's FM Zachary Tanenbaum finished second, winning the title of 2024 Connecticut Action Champion, Zach's third Connecticut title of 2024. See Final Standings, Rating Report and Prize Awards. The event was co-organized by the CSCA with Sacred Heart University Chess. CSCA thanks Paul Rychlik and Bill Sweeney for all of their support since 2022, as well as in organizing this event.


FM Richard "Rick" Bauer accepting his Hall of Fame plaque
from CSCA President Alexander Lumelsky at the 2024 Hall of
Fame induction ceremony.


During the tournament lunch break, the CSCA held the Hall of Fame Inductions and 2023 Community Awards ceremonies. The 2024 Hall of Fame Inductees were five of the greatest individuals in Connecticut chess history:

  • NTD Frederick Townsend - CSCA President at various times from 1970s through 2001, US Chess Vice President, National Tournament Director, founder of Connecticut's First Scholastic Chess League
  • FM Richard Bauer - record 8-time Connecticut Champion (1983, 1984, 1988, 1989, 1992, 1994(c), 2000, 2001), 2-time Connecticut Blitz Champion (1992(t), 1993(t))
  • NM Edward McHugh, III - record 10-time Connecticut Blitz Champion (1994, 1995, 1996, 2001(t), 2004, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2018), 2-time State Champion (2003, 2017), 2-time Quick Champion (1996(t), 2015), and record 14 State titles all time
  • IM Maximilian Lu - Youngest National Master in US history at age 9 (2015), International Master as scholastic player (2022, FM 2017, CM 2015), 7-time National Scholastic Champion, 3-time Pan American Youth Champion, 2-time Connecticut High School Champion (2023, 2024) and 2-time Denker Representative (2023, 2024), 2nd place Denker (2023), 2-time Barber Representative (2016, 2020), President, Greenwich HS Chess Club, 2020-2024, 2-time High School Champions (2023, 2024)
  • NM Jasmine Su - Connecticut Open Champion (2023), first and only female Connecticut Champion, Two-time Connecticut Women's Champion (2020, 2023), 2-time Middle School Champion and Barber Representative (2023, 2024), Barber Winner in 3-way tie (3rd on tie break)
"We wanted to honor these five titans of Connecticut Chess as a small and exclusive induction group," commented CSCA President Alexander Lumelsky. "As the second class, they are the first to be approved by the Awards Committee, the CSCA Board and other Hall of Famers." The Hall of Fame page will be available soon, to read all about the unbelievable accomplishments of these greats and last year's inaugural Inductees, as well. The CSCA thanks Historian Robert Cyr in continuing his effort to support and organize the Hall of Fame with other CSCA contributors.

Chess News Wire -- April 2024

  • About 1,560 players participated in the US Chess Elementary Nationals, held April 26-28 in Columbus, Ohio. This is a twenty-five percent decline in attendance from 2023 in Baltimore, Maryland, and a thirty percent decline from this event's pre-COVID average. Only six Connecticut players participated. Connecticut's 2024 Barber Alternate and former Connecticut Elementary Champion, Kushagra Bhargava, finished in 18th place in the K-6 Championship section with a score of 5.0/7 for Connecticut's best result. (4/29)

  • Registration is open for the 28th Annual Musicant Yazgoor Memorial Tournament on June 1 at Norwalk Library. Top players' names from this heritage scholastic tournament will be engraved on the historic Musicant and Yazgoor trophies, located at the library. (4/28)

  • Registration is open for the 2024 Hall of Fame Action Championship on May 19 at Sacred Heart University. 2024 Hall of Fame inductions and chess community awards will take place at the event. (4/28)

  • April CSCA tournaments and activities push CSCA membership over the 1,500 mark. The current total of 1,514 members is a new all-time CSCA membership record. (4/28)

  • NBCC will hold a memorial blitz chess event for former Club President Joe Mansigian on April 30 during the regular Tuesday club meeting. Joe passed away last week. (4/25)
  • New Milford Library to hold unrated tournament on June 8. The event will be attended by Town Mayor Pete Bass. (4/25)
  • Milford Chess Academy, a new chess organization, will host GM Ben Feingold for lecture and simultaneous exhibition on June 23. (4/24)



  • China's GM Tan Zhongyi (left) wins the 2024 FIDE Women's Candidates Tournament, leading the competition field most of the way. She will face reigning World Champion and fellow countryman GM Ju Wenjun in the 2025 Women's World Championship. FIDE has yet to schedule the event. (4/22)

  • Former NBCC President Joseph Mansigian passed away on April 12. A well-respected NBCC regular, who held several leadership positions at the club over the years, was club President from 2003 to 2010 and the architect of the annual NBCC Oktoberfest Open Chess Tournament in celebration of the club's German heritage. He was seventy-seven years old. See Robert Cyr's Eulogy for Joe. (4/18)
  • IM Maximillian Lu places eighth at National High School Championship, held in Baltimore, Maryland on April 5-7. Ten Connecticut players took part in the event. (4/10)
  • Former CM Zachary Tanenbaum of Greenwich is a new Connecticut FIDE Master as of January 2024. FM Tanenbaum reached the required rating mark in October 2023 at the Marshall Chess Club. He will be participating in all three Connecticut Speed events this Saturday at Eastern Connecticut State University. (4/4)
  • Eight Masters register for Connecticut Speed Championships. CSCA is extending registration to allow same day entries 30 minutes ahead of each event. (4/4)
  • 34 players attended the Way of the Board March 17 tournament in Ridgefield. Vincenzo Cusato won the U1200 section, which was open to all ages. Jayden Gonsalves won the U800 section. Finally, following an epic four-way tie for first in the U400 section between PJ Fabbri, Duy Tran, Rayan Mathivanan and Maya Jussa, two rounds of tiebreaks decided the trophies to PJ and Duy. (4/4)


    Players mid-competition at the March 17 WOB Tournament in Ridgefield.

  • CSCA postpones late April events. The Connecticut Open and Hartmayer Memorial will not be played this spring. Hopeful collegiate venues were unable to obtain university space commitments ahead of the end of the 2023-24 academic year. Both events are likely to move to the CSCA's fall 2024 schedule. Regardless, the Connecticut Grade Championships on April 13 at Brunswick School, the Women's Championship on April 14 at Wesleyan and the Hall of Fame Action Championship on May 19 at Sacred Heart will all proceed as scheduled. (4/3)
  • 67 Connecticut players participate at Foxwoods Open, which drew a total of 456 players nationally and internationally. Connecticut prize winners were Ryan Young (U2200), Max Ingargiola (U2200), Jacob Laplant (U2000), Matthew Gerdon (U1800), Cody Wu (U1800), Jack Qian (U1600), Praharsh Varada (U1600), Shritan Vijay (U1600), Callum Young (U1600), Leroy Chang (U1400), Eric Ren (U1100), Rylan Chang (U1100), Wilson Estrella (U1100), Andy Wang (U1100) and Jesse Thomas (U1100). Ren also won the U1100 section, and Qian finished tied for first in the U1600. The top Connecticut finish in the Open section was by NM Jasmine Su, who finished 32nd with a score of 2-1-4, taking two byes on day 1 of the event. (4/2)

4/22/2024
India's GM Gukesh D Wins 2024 Candidates Tournament


Gukesh at the Board in Toronto. Photo courtesy FIDE/Michal Walusza

India's GM Gukesh D, born Dommaraju Gukesh, wins 2024 FIDE Candidates Tournament and will be the next World Champion Challenger. At only age 17, Gukesh is the youngest World Champion Challenger in history. Candidates 2024 was held April 3-23 in Toronto, Canada. American participants GM Hikaru Nakamura and GM Fabiano Caruana finished the event tied for second and just a half point behind first. The Championship match between Gukesh and current Champion China's GM Ding Liren is anticipated to take place later this year. FIDE has yet to announce the dates and location of the event.

4/14/2024
WIM Natasha Morales Santos is 2024 Connecticut Women's Champion


WIM Natasha Morales Santos at the Women's
Championship


On April 14, the CSCA held the Connecticut Women's Championship at Wesleyan University. The event was postponed from March to April due to severe weather. WIM Natasha Morales Santos, who recently moved to Connecticut from Puerto Rico, won the event with a perfect score. Mridhulaa Rajagopal of Avon placed second. And Elle Cirillo of Glastonbury finished third. Connecticut is one of only a few states, and the only in the Northeast, to offer an all-women's state title event. See Rating Report.

4/13/2024
Brunswick School Hosts 2023-24 Connecticut Grade Championships

On April 13, the National Scholastic Chess Foundation held the 2023-24 Connecticut Scholastic Grade Championships at the Brunswick School in Greenwich, Connecticut. 138 players took part. The Grade Champions were as follows:

  • K: Ethan Ing (Whitby School)
  • 1st: Maxim Rowland (Rye Country Day School)
  • 2nd: Ryland Chang (Calvin Leete Elementary)
  • 3rd: Leroy Chang (Calvin Leete Elementary)
  • 4th: Krystian Tkaczewski Jr. (St. Thomas & St. Timothy)
  • 5th: Leopold Cartellieri (Brunswick School)
  • 6th: Kushagra Bhargava (Hillcrest Middle)
  • 7th: Seann Dubrovsky (Whitby School)
  • 8th: Nadav Munro Hartman (Mansfield Middle)
  • 9th: Jack Aronian (St. Luke's School)
  • 10th: Miles Gillott (Brunswick School)
  • 11th: Vedanta Bhargava (Trumbull High)
Team titles were awarded to Trumbull High (9-12), Brunswick School (6-8 and K-1), Long Ridge Elementary (4-5) and Calvin Leete Elementary (2-3). The competition was directed by Senior TD Polly Wright, assisted by NM Benjamin Gershenov. NSCF and CSCA thank Sarah Pribyl, the Brunswick Faculty Chess Coordinator, for co-organizing and facilitating the event. CSCA also thanks NSCF's FM Sunil Weeramantry and Robert McLellan for organizing the Grade Championships for the third consecutive year. See Rating Report.

4/7/2024
GM Maxim Dlugy wins 2024 Connecticut Speed and Bullet Championships;
FM Zachary Tanenbaum wins Quick and Blitz Championships



GM Maxim Dlugy at the 2024 Speed Championships.

On April 6, the 2024 Connecticut Speed Championships--a combination of the Quick, Blitz and Bullet Championships--returned to Eastern Connecticut State University for the second consecutive year. Forty-seven players took part in the event, including GM Maxim Dlugy, GM Sergey Kudrin, IM Jan Van de Mortel and new Connecticut FIDE Master and former Speed Champion, Zachary Tanenbaum. Also participating were Connecticut Champions Kushagra Bhargava, Lacey Wang, NM Mikhail Koganov and NM Mark Dedona. The event featured a $4,000 Prize, which was distributed among fifteen top participants. GM Dlugy won the overall Speed and Bullet titles. FM Tanenbaum won the Quick and Blitz events, finishing second in the overall competition. Michael Uwakwe, one of Connecticut's top non-title players, finished third overall. GM Kudrin won the Senior title. Lacey Wang won the Female and Elementary titles. Kushagra Bhargava took the Middle School title. And David Mashkov captured the High School title. The event was organized and directed by CSCA President Alexander Lumelsky with assistance from ECSU Chess Club's President Timothy Jacques and Director Joshua Ramirez, and Hall High School's (West Hartford) Jake Lumelsky. See Combined Final Standings, Quick and Blitz Rating Reports, and the complete photo collage on our Facebook Page.

Chess News Wire -- March 2024

  • CSCA opens registration for the long-awaited 2024 Speed Championships on April 6 at Eastern Connecticut State University. Among other modifications, the event features a $4,000 prize fund--a sixty percent increase over the prior year--and expanded prize and registration formats. The beautiful Tipton Room at ECSU is once again host venue, thanks to the efforts of the university's Chess Club President Timothy Jacques. (3/24)


    ECSU Betty Tipton Room, 2023 Speed Championships

  • The spring registration for the Norwalk Knight Library Program is now full. The waitlist is open. This is the fifth consecutive time that Knights registration closes early. (3/23)
  • Women's Championship POSTPONED due to inclement weather forecast for March 23. New date will be announced early next week. (3/22)
  • 2024 Women's Championship opens registration. Event features include $40 entry credit for new USCF members, a $200 increase in prize fund and a free unrated section for non-USCF members, which includes a $50 prize. Host venue is Wesleyan University. (3/13)
  • CSCA membership reaches new peak at 1,438 members through March 2. (3/4)
  • CSCA weekly online events averaged 250 players in February. (3/4)

3/20/2024
Troop 67 Montville and CSCA Partner for Second Akela Classic


Akela Classic ready for Round 5 at Lyme-Old Lyme High School.

On March 17 at Lyme-Old Lyme Region 18 High School in Old Lyme, Boys Scouts Troop 67 Montville hosted their second regional scholastic tournament, the Second Akela Classic, a grade-based competition held in three sections: Grades K-2, 3-5 and 6-12. Forty players participated in the event, maintaining its status as the largest all-unrated tournament in the state. Following the out-of-state departure of a key volunteer, the Troop partnered with the CSCA, to assist with event administration. Troop Leader Scott Fagan took on the role of chief event organizer and led a team of Troop parent volunteers in assembling the tournament, while CSCA provided promotion and directing assistance. The Troop and CSCA would like to thank all of this year's volunteers for making the event a wonderful player and parent experience. Additional gratitude is expressed to Troop and CSCA volunteer Esteban Ramirez for his devotion in creating and helping to continue this important regional competition for the players and the Connecticut chess community. See event standings for final results.

3/3/2024
Greenwich High, Brunswick School, Bugbee-Braeburn Elementary and West Hartford Schools Are Scholastic Team Champions


Scholastic Team Championships return to Manchester High School.

On March 2, the 2024 Connecticut Scholastic Team Championships were held at Manchester High School for the second consecutive year, thanks to MHS Teacher, Chess Club Coach and CSCA Board Member Parag Joshi and the members of the MHS Chess Club and Team. The team-based event format, which was introduced and separated from the individual Scholastic Championships for the first time in 2023, provides schools a Swiss System competition, strictly based on team results. The format also relieves organizers and coaches from the frequently difficult effort of forming fixed roster teams. In all, 76 players and 15 teams, as well as about twenty individual competitors, participated in the event. Greenwich High School won the High School section, just a half point ahead of Brunswick School (Greenwich) and 1.5 points ahead of third place Cardinal Kung Academy (Stamford). In the Middle School section, Brunswick School edged out Mansfield Middle School to take the title, while Timothy Edwards Middle School (South Windsor) placed third. Meanwhile, Bugbee-Braeburn Elementary (West Hartford) combined team finished the event with a strong final round to win the Elementary title, with fellow West Hartford Norfeldt-Morley Combined and Duffy Elementary finishing second and third. West Hartford Schools also won the Primary title with a combined team of four district players from four district elementary schools. The event was directed by Senior TD NM Ian Harris and Hall High School's (West Hartford) Jake Lumelsky. See Rating Report.

2/26/2024
NM Mikhail Koganov Wins 2024 Senior Championship and Connecticut Irwin Nomination; Lisa Smith is Connecticut's First 65 and over Champion.


NM Derek Meredith and NM Mikhail Koganov in their decisive Round 4
match at the 2024 Senior Championship at Wesleyan.


On February 24, the 2024 Connecticut Senior Championship was held at Wesleyan University's Exley Science Center for the third consecutive year. Wesleyan Chess Club's Collin Holson and Theo Bussinger made an extra effort to assist in the event's organization. This year, thirteen seniors--players age 50 and over--took part in the event, including big names like the reigning three-time Champion GM Sergey Kudrin, former Champion NM Mikhail Koganov and West Hartford's NM Derek Meredith. Unlike in prior two years, however, this time the event did not finish in rating order and many surprises would transpire. GM Kudrin played two draws in the first three rounds, falling out of contention, and never reaching the decisive fourth round with second seeded, NM Koganov. Instead, NM Meredith took a commanding lead over the entire field with two wins and a third-round draw with Kudrin. In the fourth round, Meredith took an early controlling lead against Koganov and seemed on his way to his first Senior Title when he unexpectedly erred in the closing moments while short on time. As a result, NM Mikhail Koganov finished first, winning his second Senior Title and Irwin Nomination. GM Sergey Kudrin and Durham's Joseph Bihlmeyer finished tied for second, with Kudrin receiving Irwin Alternate Nomination status on tie breaks. Meanwhile, West Simsbury's Lisa Smith played an exceptionally strong fourth round match with South Glastonbury's Michael Pascetta, to win Connecticut's first 65+ Senior Title and also the Top U1800 placement. HCC's owner/founder Rod Groff won the Top U1400 prize, and Mansfield's Gary Kanaby won the Top U1000 prize. The event was organized and directed together with the Collegiate Championship by CSCA President Alexander Lumelsky with assistance from Ocean State Chess Association's Matthew Freeman and Hall High School's (West Hartford) Jake Lumelsky. See Final Standings and Rating Report.

2/26/2024
SHU Dominates 2024 Collegiate Championship, Wins 1st in Open, U1600 and Team


Sacred Heart's NM Mark Dedona facing teammate Brent McCreesh in the
final round of the 2024 Collegiate Championship.


On February 24, the 2024 Connecticut Collegiate Championship was held at Wesleyan University's Exley Science Center for the third consecutive year. Sacred Heart University's Chess Team participated in force and dominated the event from start to finish. Team captain, NM Mark Dedona, won the Open section with a perfect 4.0/4 score. Four players--SHU's Brent McCreesh, Hall High School's Ryan Zheng, Farmington High School's David Mashkov and West Side Elementary's (Nassau, NY) Jin Ma--tied for second. In the U1600, SHU's Joseph Cyr finished first with a perfect score, Yale University's Abhisar Mittal finished second, and a three-way tie for third included SHU's Mark Khalil, John Wallace Middle's (Newington) Praharsh Varada and Wesleyan's Amit Piryatinsky. Hopkinton High School's (MA) Matthew Beauvais won the U1800 prize in the Open section. Meanwhile, SHU's Treyden Medonis won the U1200 prize, and SHU's Jonathan Elliott won the U800 prize in the U1600 section. SHU also won the team competition, limited to the U1600 section, by a four-point margin. Wesleyan University finished second, and newcomers James Hillhouse High School (New Haven) finished third. In total, thirty-three collegiate and grade 6 to 12 scholastic players, who are invited to participate, took part in the event with SHU and host Wesleyan University fielding the largest teams. See Final Standings and Rating Report.

Chess News Wire -- February 2024

  • CSCA partners with Montville Boys Scouts Troop for the Akela Chess Classic. The unrated scholastic fundraiser will be held at Lyme-Old Lyme High School on March 17. It is intended to introduce children at all school levels to chess competition, as well as support annual troop activities. (2/28)
  • Greenwich High School wins 2023-24 FCICL. GHS finished the season with a perfect 11-0 record, closely followed by 10-1 Brunswick School (Greenwich). The 11-week team competition came to a close last week with its traditional over-the-board individual competition, in which Nishant Jain of GHS and Sebastian Lopez of Trumbull High shared the title. (2/26)



  • Nine all-Connecticut teams and seventeen partial-Connecticut teams participated at the 2024 US Amateur Team East on February 17-19 in Parsippany, New Jersey. The top Connecticut prize went to "We Got Out of Perpetual Belicheck", the team of FM Richard Bauer, NM Derek Meredith, Douglas Fiske and Joseph Bihlmeyer, who finished with 4.0/6 team points and in 55th place of 330 total teams. Carnegie Melon A, which included Connecticut's NM Dennis Fan Li on Board 2, was the highest placing partial-Connecticut team, finishing in twelfth place. (2/20)


    NBCC members at USATE24. Left to right, back: Robert Cyr, FM Richard
    Bauer, Douglas Fiske, John Nitz and NM James Nitz; middle: Joseph
    Bihlmeyer, Michael Pascetta and Norman Burtness; front: Krystian
    Tkaczewski, Jr.


  • CSCA Lunar Year Lightning Arena draws 1,900 players. India's GM Diptayan Ghosh won the event. This latest major competition propelled CSCA's Open Events team into the Top 20 on Lichess.org with over 13,500 members. (2/18)
  • 35 adults and children took part in the Way of the Board Open in Ridgefield. Grady Pompa won the U1200 section, Uladzislau Zakharyashchau won the U800 section, and Enoh Moguel won U400 section. The club's next event will be on March 17. (2/17)


    First Way of the Board Open held February 17 for kids and adults in the club's new tournament space.

  • CSCA raises Collegiate and Senior prize funds by 33%, adds a 65+ Champion title. Both events take place February 24 at Wesleyan University and are now open for registration! (2/14)
  • CSCA reschedules Connecticut Speed Championships to April 6. Registration will open soon. (2/1)

Chess News Wire -- January 2024

  • CSCA averaged over 300 players in weekly online prize events in January on Lichess.org. (1/24)
  • Norwalk Library chess program gets winter session started with another full registration. (1/18)
  • Connecticut College repeats as small school champion at Pan Am Collegiate. (1/10)
  • CSCA ended 2023 with over 1,300 members. The 1,000 members goal was reached following October 21-22 over-the-board and online competition weekend. CSCA programs and online chess activity expedited membership growth beyond expectations. Membership more than doubled in 2023. (1/2)

1/22/2024
Lilianna Gao Wins 2024 Girls Championship; Connecticut to Set US Chess Invitationals Record


Gao sisters, Isabella (left) and Lilianna, playing one another in the third
round at Greenwich Academy.


On January 20, the 2024 Connecticut Girls Championship was held at Greenwich Academy. This was the second consecutive year the event is held at GA. Connecticut's Lilianna Gao won the event with a perfect 4.0/4 score. Sister Isabella Gao won second with a score of 3.0/4, and Connecticut's Sky Liu finished in third with 2.0/4. In the U800 Section, Arya Raguram won first place. Seventeen girls in all played in the event, down from 2023 but well above the Girls Championship's annual average. With a new Girls Champion crowned, Connecticut will set a US Chess Invitational record this summer as the only state in event history with three of four female scholastic Invitees. See Final Standings, Rating Report and Awards Summary.

1/8/2024
IM Max Lu, NM Jasmine Su, Lacey Wang, Alan Su and Max Rowland Win 2024 Connecticut Scholastic Championships


Kushagra Bhargava (left) and NM Jasmine Su playing their tie break
match. Background: Assistant TD Jake Lumelsky (left) and SHU
Chess Team and event co-organizer, Paul Rychlik. Additional event
photos are available here.


On January 6 at Sacred Heart University, 105 players participated in the 2024 Connecticut Scholastic Championships. IM Maximillian Lu will return to the US Chess Denker Invitational for the second consecutive year as the Connecticut High School Champion. Likewise, NM Jasmine Su will return to the US Chess Barber Invitational for the second consecutive year as the Connecticut Middle School Champion. Meanwhile, the 2023 Connecticut Girls Champion, Lacey Wang, will return to the Invitationals as the Rockefeller Invitational Nominee and 2024 Connecticut Elementary School Champion. All three finished the Championships with perfect 4.0/4 scores, and Jasmine even survived an Armageddon tie break with two-time Connecticut Rockefeller Nominee and Elementary School Champion, Kushagra Bhargava, who also finished perfect after classical games, to win their grade level titles. Jasmine's brother Alan Su won the Primary School section with a perfect score, and Connecticut's Maxim Rowland won the K-1. The event was directed by Senior TD NM Ian Harris with assistance from Ismael Pagan and Jake Lumelsky. Games from the top high school boards were also broadcast over DGT and the CSCA website and can be reviewed here. See Final Standings, Rating Report and Awards Summary.

1/3/2024
GM Alexander Ivanov Wins Inaugural New Haven County & Meriden City Championships

On December 30, 2023, the CSCA held the inaugural New Haven regional, the New Haven County & Meriden City Championships, at Meriden Public Library's new event hall. A total of fifty-nine players took part in the event from unrated beginners to famed Grand Masters. Massachusetts' GM Alexander Ivanov won first place on tie breaks following a four-way tie at the top of the Open section, which included Stamford's GM Sergey Kudrin, New Jersey's IM Ian Dudley and Ludlowe High School's (Fairfield) Max Ingargiola. This is GM Ivanov's third consecutive Connecticut regional title. In the U1800, Wallace Middle School's (Newington) Praharsh Varada finished with a perfect 4.0/4 to take first place. Meriden's John Pasco, Windham High School's Robbie Jay, St. Thomas and St. Timothy's School's (West Hartford) Krystian Tkaczewski, Jr. and New Haven's Tomas Gordon finished in a four-way tie for second. Ridgefield's Aaron Piao won the U1200 section with Westport's Harrison Solomon finishing second and North Carolina's Bryan Waltman finishing third. Bugbee Elementary's (West Hartford) Brian Dai won the U700 section with New London's John Ulett finishing second and Orange's Krystal Tang finishing third. Meriden's Daniel Farias won the Not Rated section with Manchester's Adam Zukowski and Orange's Diana Isaacs placing second and third, respectively. The tournament was held in support of the CSCA's library program and initiative at the Meriden Library. The event was organized and directed by CSCA President Alexander Lumelsky with assistance from Bridgeport's Ismael Pagan and West Hartford's Samuel Lumelsky. See Final Standings and Rating Report .

1/2/2024
CSCA's Bullet to the New Year Arena Sets CSCA Event Record with 2,400 Participants

On December 30, 2023, while over-the-board chess was played at the New Haven County & Meriden City Championships, the CSCA simultaneously hosted and managed a major Arena tournament in its Open Events Team on Lichess.org. A CSCA record 2,399 players joined the event for G/1+0 competition from 11 AM to 2 PM. The event also featured a streamers' competition. Indonesia's IM Yoseph Taher won the tournament by a narrow margin over Russia's FM Dmitry Tsoi. Meanwhile, Spain's GM David Larino won the streamers' contest. The Open Events Team rose to the Top 25 teams on Lichess.org, exceeding 11,000 members worldwide.


Click here for 2023 news archive or visit our History Section for prior years.