There will be a meeting of the BLCC on Friday April 4 from 5:30pm till 8:30pm in room 209. I will try to have the coffee ready on time this week. The second USCF rated G/75 d5 match game between Brad Thomas and Mathew Clowes will be played tonight. Last Friday, there was a rated match game being played between Steadroy Lloyd and Drew Serres which Drew won, but due to distractions in the room, Drew decided that he couldn’t take a rated win and this was acceptable by Steadroy so it will not be rated. I will not be playing rated matches, but will continue to play casual games because I need to be available for club management. If you have a chess clock, please bring it because that is the one thing we are lacking. There are several things happening this week in local chess that I am going to cover.
This Sunday, April 6, an Elementary School tournament is being held for students who attend school in the State of Delaware. The tournament is being held at JCC, 101 Garden of Eden Road, Wilmington DE 19803. The entry fee is $20 and late entries are allowed up till 11:45am, but try to get there 20 minutes earlier if you haven’t preregistered. Registered players should arrive at 12:00 pm. Play begins promptly at 12:30 pm. There will be an awards ceremony is at 5:30 pm. Unfinished games will be adjudicated after about 55 minutes by Dave Gertler. This is not a USCF tournament and does not strictly follow USCF rules or requirements. No chess clocks are used/required. You do not have to be a USCF member to participate and the tournament is open to students of all abilities. Dave Gertler is the tournament director. The tournament is being held in four divisions, Lower Elementary (grades 3 and below), Elementary (grades 5 and below), Middle School (grades 8 and below), and High School (grades 12 and below). For more information, please contact Katie Glazier at (302) 478-5660 x205 or KatieGlazier@siegeljcc.org. Dave Nettleton (our under age 17 BLCC club champion) as well as our many elementary school members would probably do well here and would enjoy it independent of the result. I may try to attend the event as a spectator especially if I know BLCC kids will be there.
The Pitman Chess Club is starting a championship warm-up tournament tonight at 7:30pm. I have decided to participate in it since I intend to try to win their club championship this year. Those who are interested in a ride to the event may contact me. The entry fee is $10. The transportation is free. USCF membership is required. Time control is G90 d5. The playing conditions are excellent. The Pitman Chess Club requires that people who want to play in their May Club Championship, must have competed in two club tournaments prior to the event. I tied for 1st in their season opener last Summer but I still need to participate in this event to qualify. The downside is that we have an incredibly strong chess club that has USCF rated games every Thursday at 7:30pm in Delaware. That club is the Newark Chess Club (meets in Bear). I am going to have to postpone my return to the Newark Club a bit longer. We may be playing matches with these clubs in the future. Last year, Jeremiah Williams who is the long time member and champion of the Pitman Club also won the Woodbury Chess Club Championship. Geoffrey Herman was the Woodbury Champion. These clubs are rivals and having the Pitman Club guy holding the Woodbury Club Championship is @#$% for Woodbury. Herman still plays as 1st board for Woodbury at the US Team and other events. Williams plays 1st board for Pitman.
The Woodbury Chess Club has finished round 4 in its 7 round club championship. This Tuesday is an open free Pizza night (yep a break in the middle of the tournament). It will be an early night and I will be bringing our Delaware State Champion Drew Serres with me to visit them (and any BLCC people who are interested). Currently James Church is in the middle of the pack with 2 points. There were 41 USCF ranked players participating in the event this year including several experts. This past Tuesday, Justin Samuels asked to use my clock for his game with Herman because he prefers paddles over buttons on clocks and he forgot to bring his clock. My opponent Jeremiah Williams had his clock and the black pieces so since I wouldn’t be using my clock I let Justin use it. Herman arrived late, got in time trouble, and lost his game against Samuels. I also won against Williams. Since Justin and I are now tied for 1st, I will probably be playing him with my clock in round 5. This is also why I decided to go for the Pitman Club tournament over going to the local Newark Club which would be my normal preference. I’m sure the Newark guys will understand. The Newark Club is run by John Anderson who is also BLCC.
Drew Serres is pictured with his trophy and chess set on the front page of “New Castle County Crossroads” section of the Delaware newspaper “The News Journal” today. Yes I picked up some extra copies! The headline reads Chess champ exceeds his expectations. The half page interview with reporter Rob Kalesse is worth the read.
Our founding member, Lowell Basset has formed a chess club in Louisiana. He continues to participate in chess events down there. He wrote about such an event that occurred on 3/22/2014. He wrote: “Bill, I met GM Susan Polgar and played in a sixteen person simul. No surprise that she beat everyone. She was very kind and took time to pose for pics and graciously signed everything anyone put in front of her. Congrats with the club. It sounds so wonderful and I wish I could be there to play and learn more. Please tell everyone hi for me.” I have attached his photo with International Grandmaster Susan Polgar.
Last Friday we had 23 people attend. Welcome new member Scott LaPorte.
I hope to you at the BLCC Friday evening.
We will be having our BLCC meeting from 5:30pm – 8:30pm in room 209. We will have cake to celebrate our new Delaware State Champion Drew Serres.
The Delaware State Championship was a greater success than anticipated. The National Grand Prix standing of the tournament and personal connections in PA, MD, and NJ helped bring in a lot of out of state players including International Master Justin Sarkar. The News Journal will be posting an article about the event. The News journal article says:
Drew Serres is the new Delaware State Chess Champion. The Delaware State Chess Championship took place on February 22-23 2014. Drew finished with 4 wins and only one loss. His wins included former Delaware State Champion and Life Master Charles Bouzoukis. The tournament was won by International Master Justin Sarkar with 4 wins and a draw. There were a total of 44 USCF ranked players in the tournament from DE, NJ, PA, and MD. Drew Serres is a USCF certified District Chess Coach – level II (advanced). Drew coaches at the Kuumba Academy and is working with the Delaware State Chess Association (DSCA) to rejuvenate scholastic chess in DE. He frequently plays on Friday nights at the Brandywine Library Chess Club and was a team member on the Brandywine Knights at the US Team Championship last week.
Club member Steadroy Lloyd had a strong tournament but was 1/2 point short of winning a prize. Drew Serres was the best in Delaware and tied for 2nd/3rd with Dr. Darrin Berkley (the guy I beat last year in the final round). In the lower section (U1600), George Jones and Stephen Meyer tied for 3rd. Both were members of the Woodbury NJ Chess Club which had a strong turnout at the Delaware State Championship. Once again Gregory Kopay won the U1000 title with a perfect 5 losses because he was the only one in his section. James Church finished broke even in the U1600 section with 2.5 points in 5 rounds. Also participating in the upper section of the tournament were club members Brad Thomas, Darrel Smith, and myself.
Hope to celebrate our new Delaware State Champion Drew Serres with all of you tonight.