New Britain Chess Club since January 26, 1901

The New Britain Chess Club is the largest and most historic chess organization in Connecticut.
We meet every Tuesday at the Armenian Church of the Holy Resurrection, 1910 Stanley Street, New Britain, CT 06053.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. (6:15 p.m. when there are training classes).
Club activities begin at 7 p.m.
The first few visits are free, so come check us out!
Equipment is provided.

The New Britain Chess Club is currently postponing indoor play until further notice. Online club play is resumed. The club is tentatively reopening indoor play in early 2021.

WebEx Lecture link - 6:30pm Tuesdays
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Weekly News
Weekly News February 16, 2021 Weekly News January 31, 2021 Archived News for older news

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Dear family and friends: I hope that this message finds you and your family well during this coronavirus pandemic. It appears that the virus is subsiding a little, which is wonderful news, but there are still too many people who are hospitalized and who are dying from this insidious disease.

Speaking of family, today would have marked my father's, Reginald “Reggie” Cyr, eighty-fourth birthday. I miss him much these days, but I know that he is looking down on me from heaven, wishing my mother and me well. I am doing very well these days, having just started a new senior accounting job at Sunrise Accounting and Taxation, LLC, a local CPA firm in the southern section of Hartford, CT.

It was my father who introduced me to the New Britain Chess Club back in 1987. I was a young lad then, only nine-years old. Yes, a skinny red- haired kid. My father taught me chess and brought me to the club for over a decade, until his health began to take a turn in the early 2000s. He still played chess online, and we would play an occasional over-the-board game. Even in his later years, my father had a very impressive record against me. He found such joy and pleasure beating me up on the chess board. Ha! But I got my revenge at times. My dad loved playing the Queen's Gambit and no doubt would have enjoyed watching this series on Netflix.

It was my father who I sincerely thank for getting me involved in one of the greatest chess organizations in the United States of America. I literally grew up with my chess family and learned from Arkadijs Strazdins, the NBCC's all-time greatest contributor, about life and about how to be a strong leader, which I was later in the club's history when I volunteered as the club's librarian, tournament director, vice president, and now, club historian.

I truly love all of the members of the NBCC. You are my family. You ALWAYS will be my family in addition to my blood relatives. I will never forget the nice things that some of the members have done for me through the years.

May God bless you during these difficult and challenging times. Let us continue to pray for our elected officials in our country. And may you and your family be safe and well. It has been my life's honor to have known you.

With warmest and kindest regards,

Your friend Bob


There are three former club members who were greatly involved in our organization who have passed away in the last five years. These gentlemen were also very close to me personally, having been very instrumental in the development of my life’s philosophies and values. I take this moment to reflect on their time in our thriving organization and to reflect on their legacies.

The first person who I am remembering is Peter Galazan. Peter joined the club around 1970. During his nearly forty years as a member, he competed in countless tournaments and events. Peter was a class C chess player for most of his life. At the age of eighty-eight, he decided to retire from the club and the game. Peter was a man of integrity and compassion. He deeply cared about all of his chess friends and was a steadfast supporter of the club. He particularly enjoyed competing in the club’s sectioned tournaments. Let us take this moment to reflect on this life of this legendary man. May Peter rest in peace for all eternity.

The second person who I am remembering is Edmund Valauskas. Known fondly as Eddie by his chess friends, he joined our club in the late 1960s. He, like Peter, relished participating in the club’s tournaments, particularly the annual New Britain Summer Open Chess Championship. He was an amateur player who greatly took pride in the club, having served as a tournament director alongside Arkadijs Strazdins. He retired from chess around the same time as Peter. Eddie also had a wonderful time with his chess buddies at their homes on the weekends. Eddie was a pleasant gentleman. Let us take this moment to reflect on the life of this legendary man. May Edmund rest in peace for all eternity.

The final person who I am remembering is William “Bill” Dworski. Bill was one of the longest-standing members in club history, having joined the organization in the late 1940s. Bill, like Eddie, was involved in club management. He was our club president for one year in the 1950s. Bill, like Eddie and Peter, was an active chess player for over six decades, retiring from the game when Peter and Eddie did. Bill was a very strong class chess player, nearly competing in class A for decades. He was a soft spoken and kind man. Let us take this moment to reflect on the life of this legendary man. May William rest in peace for all eternity.


On Tuesday, January 26, 2021, the club celebrated its 120th anniversary of its founding on January 26, 1901. To commemorate this special day, FM Richard Bauer reviewed a game from the Arkadijs Strazdins archives (Latvian Gambit) and a game from the late Gildardo Garcia. In honor of Mr. Strazdins, the club held a special thematic Latvian Gambit tournament after Bauer's lectures. Bauer won the thematic tournament. Our organization is blessed to have steadfast leaders and a strong membership base to support our club operations. We are also blessed to have a great venue at the Armenian Church of the Holy Resurrection, where we hold our indoor operations.


March 9, 1954 - January 15, 2021

It is with profound sadness that I pass along a message from FM Nelson Castaneda about the passing of former honorary New Britain Chess Club member Gildardo Garcia. Mr. Garcia left this world on the morning of January 15 in the city of Medellin, Colombia, after a long battle with the coronavirus. He is survived by his wife, Marta Rendon, and his daughters, Vanessa and Melissa. He died at the young age of 66.

Gildardo was one of the most pleasant chess players to grace our community during the early 2000s. According to Professor Castaneda, the GM “shared many good moments of chess with some members of our community.”

The GM had quite an impressive chess resume. First and foremost, he was one of the highest-ranked chess players in Colombia, becoming, in 2008, the country’s second grandmaster. His highest chess rating was 2540, which he achieved in July 1994, and he was ranked fourteenth in Colombia at the time of his death. Early in his chess career, in 1974, he won the inaugural Pan American Junior Chess Championship. Next, he won the 1989 World Open Chess Championship. Mr. Garcia also won the Colombian Chess Championship ten times and played for the Olympiads for Colombia in 2006.

While in Connecticut, Gildardo gave a few simultaneous chess exhibitions at the University of Connecticut Chess Club and at the NBCC. He also played in a few NBCC team matches with the Springfield, MA, Chess Club. According to the Connecticut State Chess Association records, Mr. Garcia took home first place in the 2009 Connecticut State Open Chess Championship.

I, like those who knew the GM well, had very fond memories of him. He was a caring man who exhibited kindness to all of his chess friends. His last days on this earth were a struggle, but his fighting spirit was strong until the end.

On behalf of the entire NBCC and Connecticut chess community, let us take this time to reflect on the wonderful legacy and life of one of the greatest chess legends in our state’s history. Let us pray for peace for Mr. Garcia’s family as they deal with their loss, and may GM Gildardo Garcia rest in peace for all eternity.


Jithu Sajeevan, a marketing student at the University of Connecticut and a full-time DIG chess coach, recently attained the level of USCF expert, with his recent win in a quad (January) at the Fairfield County Chess Club. He is a bright young man, and we extend congratulations to him for his amazing achievement.