The New Britain Chess Club is currently postponing indoor play until
notice. Online club play is resumed. The club is tentatively reopening indoor play in early 2021.
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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
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
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
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
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
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
literally grew up with my chess family and learned from Arkadijs Strazdins, the NBCC's all-time greatest contributor, about life and
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
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
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
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
The second person who I am remembering is Edmund Valauskas. Known fondly as Eddie by his chess friends, he joined our club in the
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
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
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
the organization in the late 1940s. Bill, like Eddie, was involved in club management. He was our club president for one year in the
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
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
Our organization is blessed to have
leaders and a strong membership base to support our club operations. We are also blessed to have a great venue at the Armenian Church
Holy Resurrection, where we hold our indoor operations.
It is with profound sadness that I pass along a message from FM Nelson Castaneda about the passing of former honorary New Britain
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,
“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,
country’s second grandmaster. His highest chess rating was 2540, which he achieved in July 1994, and he was ranked fourteenth
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
While in Connecticut, Gildardo gave a few simultaneous chess exhibitions at the University of Connecticut Chess Club and at the NBCC.
played in a few NBCC team matches with the Springfield, MA, Chess Club. According to the Connecticut State Chess Association records,
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
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
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
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