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May 20, 2001


Well, my last newsletter went out about one month ago.  Candidly, it feels like a year ago.  A lot has happened in the last month including the very successful CalChess State Scholastic Championships.  I wish I could write that it is over  and I can now relax.  Well, it isn’t quite over.  We have been working on the remainder of the paperwork for two weeks.  Having done this as a volunteer this year rather than by myself meant a lot lot more paperwork that needed to be sent to CalChess and a different charging system that we could not automate.  Oh, well—the rewards come with the seeing the happy kids and mostly happy parents.  I might note that I received more letters of thanks and compliments this year than in the six other years I organized the States and the Regionals.  Thank you all for participating and helping to make this such a great chess weekend—however, I would be remiss if I said that it went off without any hitches. 

There were a number and some that upset me for they should not have happened.  I do intend to delineate these for the CalChess Board with suggestions on how to try and avoid these mistakes in future years.  I do not want to be like a past organizer who either saw no problems or blamed them on others.  I can, at least write, that the problems pall when compared to the overwhelming success of the event with its 1300 + scholastic chess players.  To the best of my knowledge, this was the largest USCF rated event ever held in Northern California.  I might add that the players national  ratings are now posted at the US Chess Federation site:

Before  continuing with the CalChess Scholastic States I would like to promote my July 1, (Saturday) SCS Weibel Summer Scholastic Quads.  I realize that many of you do not have the time or care to read through my whole newsletter.  Since the SCS Weibel Quads are coming up in less then a month I though I would do a little plug right away. The Quads will be held at Weibel Elementary School at 45135 S. Grimmer Blvd., Fremont from 9:30 AM until 2 PM for new players and those rated under 1000.  For those over 1000 the three games they play should go no later then 3:30 PM.  I have held summer quads at Weibel for at least 10 years.  Admittedly, I have usually had two or three throughout the summer, but due to extended vacations on my part this summer—yes, mostly to recover from the CalChess Scholastic States—I am only holding one US Chess Federation rated tournament this summer.  As always, the winners of each quad (this can be one to four players) will win a trophy.  Anyone who fails to win a trophy will go home with a chess medal for their excellent participation.  Children will almost always play people in their grade and skill level.  You can learn more about the event and either register online or download an application from:

I am also directing the non-rated Hayward Library Scholastic Chess Tournament on July 15 (Saturday).  This event is free to all participants.  You need to call the Children’s Desk of the Hayward Library to register, (510) 881-7945.  Spaces are limited to the first registrations.  You can obtain a bit more information at

A full schedule of summer events can be found at:

Bela Evans, President of  Success Chess Schools has announced that there will be chess camps in San Jose (from June 26 through July 7) at Harker Middle School; in Fremont (July 10 through July 21) at Weibel Elementary School and in Saratoga (July 24 through August 4) at Argonaut School.  More information with online registration can be obtained from:

Academic Chess I am sure is offering camps this summer, but the link to their camps was not working when I tried it.  So if  you are interested in their camps go to  Perhaps you will have better luck than I did.

Berkeley Chess School has a full slate of camps listed. Go to

The Know Chess website lists their camps at

For those of you who are looking for an outstanding overnight chess camp experience for your children, I strongly recommend The Mountain Lake Chess Camp at Lake Arrowhead in Southern California between August 7 and 11. (  Parents can also attend.  The activities extend beyond chess, with swimming, archery, ping pong, arts and crafts and a climbing wall.


            Looking for a math camp this summer?  Look no further then Math Edge. The Cupertino location is at 7246 Sharon Drive, Suite P, San Jose (, (408)725-2680,  The Fremont location is at Fremont Location: 39812 Mission Blvd, Suite 208, Fremont
(510) 818-0546, MathEdge is an educational program focuses on the problem-solving skills that lead students  to success in both academics and the real world. It taps into intellectual curiosity and helps foster the mathematic potential of a child. More importantly, though, MathEdge gives students confidence and the skills to tackle any type of problem, academic or otherwise. Problem-solving is what math is all about… and as one discovers how to solve problems one previously thought were impossible, he/she would apply the same calm thought process to all of life's problems! 

The MathEdge people, who placed an Ad in the CalChess State Scholastic Program that failed to include the full information above, have told me they will provide a 10% discount for anyone who registers in their camp by June 9.  My understanding is they also provide some competitive chess training. 

            Speaking of Camps: Congratulations to Zila Deen who won the complimentary week at iD Tech Camps at the CalChess State Scholastic Championships.  iD Tech Camps provides weeklong, day and overnight, hands-on summer technology programs for ages 7-17 at 40 prestigious universities nationwide.  In California these include Stanford University, UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC Davis, UC San Diego and many others.  Using professional products, students design video games, create websites with Flash animation, film digital movies and program robots.  There's even a Surf & Tech program at UC Santa Cruz and Pepperdine University and a Sports & Tech program at Stanford University.  For more information, please visit or call 1-888-709-TECH (8324).

            Oh, and there is always Ohlone College for Kids Summer Enrichment Program:  I had to put in a little plug for my own campus.

            I failed to get this article by Ted Castro in my last newsletter.  A bit outdated, but not forgotten or ignored.

            A chess tournament jointly sponsored by GOLDEN GATE LIBRARY in Oakland (Golden Gate Knights) and Windsor East Bay Chess Academy (WEBCA) in cooperation with Emery High School was held last April 8, 2006 in
Emeryville. Interestingly, an impressive number of  players showed up despite its last minute announcement (couple of weeks before the tournament) in CALCHESS
and only by word-of-mouth in the community. A total of 25 players came out from schools in Fremont, Union City, Oakland, San Leandro and Walnut Creek. Although
the tournament is un-rated, it was also FREE.  Big trophies were given out in 3 Sections for 1st, 2nd, & 3rd place (K-6, 7-9, and 10-12). It was a 3-round swiss tournament (G/30) which was aptly directed by KAREN HILL (with the assistance of her kids LANDON & LANGSTON) and supervised by DON WATERS from the Golden Gate Library who made it possible for the place and the trophies! The location was so convenient (lots of  free parking and near the BART and other public
transportation) and the tournament hall could hold probably as big as 35-40 pairs easily. (For the curious ones, EMERYVILLE is between Berkeley and Oakland, landmark there is IKEA and  also home of  PIXAR.) Plans are being worked out for another tournament in the area, probably rated this time, with a very minimal fee, if not FREE again. Where else can you find that kind of tournament in the Bay Area?
Well, what made this possible is the dedication of the community to truly promote chess in the area especially for underprivileged kids. Those who could really play and love the game but doesn’t have the means to compete in other tournaments in the Bay Area. Picture the movie, “Knights of the South Bronx” with Ted Danson. That is exactly how it looks like. Hopefully we could get more sponsors and volunteers so
we could continue the project. Nevertheless, this tournament was actually named in
honor of Chuck Windsor (KAREN HILL’s father), who founded WEBCA: when Karen’s kids (Landon and Langston)were in 2nd grade, Chuck Windsor started a chess club at their school because he wanted them to keep playing chess; through word-of-mouth, people heard about the club and how chess was helping the kids in their schoolwork, and he eventually ended up teaching chess (as part of the academic curriculum) in 3 schools and running before-school/lunchtime/after-school chess
clubs at 11 schools in Oakland/San Leandro low-income areas for 9 years (totally volunteer!). Both Landon and Langston (his grandsons, now 12th and 10th grade,
respectively) played in the tournament and helped with the registration, computer-pairings, etc. (they've just gotten certified as club-level tournament directors).

            Thanks to Eric Hicks, Vice President of CalChess, restructuring of the website last year, NM Michael Aigner’s articles and Forum commentary and NM Eric Schiller’s  online edition of the CalChess Journal,  the moribund organization and its leadership have been vitalized.  While some feel that too much attention is now spent on scholastic chess compared to adult chess, I, obviously, am not complaining.  A lot has occurred in the scholastic community in the month of May with two national champions (Nicolas Nip, Primary School–K3 Champion & Rahul Desirazu—K5 Champion). and a sell-out State Championships (   Eric Schiller’s Spring 2006 CCJ should be posted any day now.  While there is still hope that CalChess will have made a few dollars on the States to print a snail mail copy, the online format can be downloaded in pdf.  At this writing, the CalChess Treasurer is still working on an income-expense report.  I would guesstimate a profit of around $6000—hopefully enough to help fund our Denker  and Polgar Championship representatives of  Daniel Schwarz and Louiza Livschitz, a down payment on next year’s site for the States and four issues of a printed CalChess Journal. By the way, if you haven’t already, you can view over 1000 photographs (free to download as well)  of the Championships from the links at

             For beginners they can review and build their skills at  Here Mark Shelton , in his mellowest relaxing voice calms the children into learning the basics of chess.  For the more advanced players, they can listen to the Bay Area Chess Yoda, Richard Shorman, explain chess tactics as an art, a philosophy and a path for life at  

NM Kerry Lawless, created Chess Dryad, to provide to our little community a history of  Northern California Chess.  For those who attend the CalChess State Scholastics on Sunday you might have notice the nice history display Kerry set-up.  .I, personally would nominate Kerry as the number one entry in his own Hall of  Fame (  Certainly, the CalChess Board, should move to officially name him the CalChess Historian, Ad Infinitum.

            When I retired as President of Success Chess last August, one of the first things FM Bela Evans, the new SCS President,  did was create a homework site that children with their special password could enter and do problems and have them graded as well as points enter on their school reward ranking sheets.  This made the password site that I had some of my instructors develop obsolete. It simply graded the homework and provided the correct answers but did not enter the results on the ranking sheets.  So you might as well get some us out of it.  Go to (you will need java activated in your browser) and simply type in one of the passwords found at   I am aware that in a a very few spots the problems do not really lend themselves to an answer.  These were scheduled to be correct, but the project was ended when the new site went up. 

            I would also like to recommend the extensive set of problems that can be done and analyzed at Eric Hicks’ Academic Chess site:  
I really like this page due to Eric’s having placed a graphic of me doing my exercises.

            Certainly, since most of our children just want to play chess, many of  the Bay Area Chess Clubs enjoy having them around—well, until they beat the adults.  Find a Club near you:

            And, if  all else fails there is chess online.  There are many good sites for kids to test their wares online.  Many of my students play for free at or at .

ENJOY THE SUMMER BREAK—I WILL!  Until the Fall, remember ,.  .  .  .  .

Alan M. Kirshner, Ph.D.

Any opinions expressed in this newsletter are those of the author and do not reflect the views of any organization, group or other persons.  I proudly stand alone.

If you no longer care to receive this newsletter, please press your reply button, type remove in the subject heading and send.  Better—if you know anyone who would like to receive my updates of the scholastic chess activities in Northern California, just forward me, or have them forward me, their e-mail address.

APRIL 2006


Entries for the CalChess Scholastic State Championships, May 19 - 21, are trickling in. I would love to write pouring in, but the entries do not pour until the week before the tournament. I do beg you to get them in as early as possible to help me avoid any errors that could occur due to overload in the days before the event. Based on present entries I am projecting a 400 player total in the four K-3 sections, 350 players in the three K-6 sections, 240 players in the two K-8 sections and 160 players in the two K-12 sections.

I would like to remind everyone that April 29 is the cut-off date for a guaranteed $99 room rate at the San Jose Hilton that is attached to the convention site with a short enclosed walkway that leads directly to our playing area. You may be able to get this rate after April 29 if they have rooms available. I want to reiterate a fact I provided before-CalChess will not be getting any financial kickback or favors from the hotel. I arranged the discounted rate for the benefit of those of you who are coming from out of the area or would just like to spend a relaxing weekend at the tournament without having to drive back and forth to your home. Please call (408) 287-2100 or (800) 345 6565 to make your reservation and be sure to mention the CalChess State Scholastics to get your discounted rate. I remind you that hotels usually do not need a deposit and when they do will refund it up to 24 hours before the check-in time.

We will have an extra special bonus at the States this year. The company who is making the trophies will be there to create special engraved plates for your child's trophy. This could include their name and/or if they tie for a place yet receive a trophy due to tiebreaks that has a lower place on it an engraved plate to replace the original. My understanding is that they will charge you $3 to do these on site. For more information on tie-breaks go to:

All first place winners will receive an extra little goodie from Pepsi Cola-one of our sponsors. Dr. Salman Azhar, who is the coach of the Granada School Chess Team, was able to obtain through a Pepsi affiliate, Dr. Pepper, a beautiful Mt. Bike for us to raffle off. I did this last year at the CalNorth Youth Chess Regionals. The raffle is free. More information about how to get a ticket and a picture of the bike is available at:

I have posted a lot of information at the website. I hope this information will help make you participation more relaxed and more fulfilling. 
You can download an application there in word document or PDF form or sign up online with a credit card. The other buttons lead you to

Current Entries (including Team Rooms), Information and Financial Aid, The CalChess Scholastic Tournament Regulations, The CalChess Scholastics Code of Conduct, US Chess Federation Scholastic Tournament Regulations, CalChess Scholastic Champions since 1986, Previous reports from me, Rating we will be using, Information on tie-breaks, Advertising in CalChess Scholastic Program.

I have tried to answer a fair number of the questions I have received at:

The questions I have responded to are:
We noticed that the dates are May 19 through 21. Do we have to be there all days?
I do not know which section to place my child in. Can you help?
Why do all the sections start with K?
Which U.S. Chess Federation rating will my child play under?
What does the $5 team discount on the application mean?
My child is not a member of any school team can s/he compete?
My child is home schooled; can s/he compete for a team?
How do I know that my child is registered?
Are there special rules that apply to this tournament?
Is Financial Aid Available?
When we arrive at the tournament site on May 20 what should we do?
What about the Awards Ceremony?
What are tiebreaks? Which will be used?

There will be a program that will be provided to all players. This year I will be happy to place any advertising you might desire in the program for a nominal fee in the hopes of offsetting the cost. You can advertise your chess tournament, your chess club, your business or just what many parents do in school event programs and yearbooks-wish your child good-luck.

We may still need a few good people to volunteer to help at the States. You might be able to join us on Saturday, Sunday or both days to help in the movement of players in and out of the halls, to staff tables for distributing information, to set up chess pieces & place pencils and reporting sheets on each board between rounds, to take result sheets to the computer operators or police the hallways, elevators and telephone to see that everything goes smoothly. If you are interested, please send me an e-mail at I will forward the information to Stephanie Blatt, the CalChess Volunteer Coordinator, who will better be able to access, our needs. We will have an information meeting-not mandatory-at the San Jose Convention Center (VIP Lounge) on Sunday, April 30 at 2 PM. The benefits of volunteering? Well, besides feeling the fulfillment received from your altruistic act we are providing a special logo shirt and the entry fee for your child will be returned after the event.

Once again I urge you to send in your applications as soon as possible to ease the load we will have in entering them in the computer. Go to to obtain an application or register online.

The spring schedule of scholastic tournaments has recently expanded. I would like to start this section promoting-pushing-the ChessKids! Kids Chess Club Quads in Camden (San Jose). I am directing and organizing this event on April 29 on behalf of Chess Kids! and the Success Chess School. I responded to Tony Pabon's (President of Chess Kids!) request to help with this event due to the continued lack of USCF rated quality kid's tournaments in San Jose. I presently have 80 entries. So it looks like this event will reach about 150 players. The advantage of quads with this many players is that I can place them in groups of four and match up their skill level and age to create a fairer competition. For information, applications and registration go to:

On the opposite side of the Bay we have the East Bay Chess Club Scholastic Swiss. East Bay, which the USCF selected as one of the top chess clubs in the country has been building a great reputation for running scholastic competitions. Look to for more information.

Pratap Chillakanti, whose two sons are once again contenders for the Elementary School Varsity Championship title, feels bad about having had to cancel the Silicon Valley Team Championships in March. He decided to offer this unique event again on May 6 and 7 in Union City. Sounds like a great location and I hope you help him pull it off.

Dr. Salman Azhar, a Professor at the University of San Francisco, and Jason Gurtovoy, a Freshman at USF and formerly of American High School's chess team-winner of the 2004 State Championships, decided to run another tournament on the Memorial Day weekend. They were a bit disappointed with the attendance at the San Francisco Classic on March 25, but far from discouraged. They wanted to try again and I suggested they move it to the USF campus in Cupertino due to the large number of players in that location. The event is the USF California Classic and the scholastic part will occur on May 25. There will be individual and team trophies:

I will provide information on what will be happening in the summer in my next newsletter, but meanwhile, you can look things up at the website.

Daniel Steiner  was inspired to write the following poem after the SCS Summer Weibel Quads,

Ballad of a Chess Tournament
By Daniel Steiner

'Twas the seventeenth of August,
A hot and sunny day.
I grabbed my chess set and took off,
A tournament to play.

The first two games went by real fast,
My opponents weren't hard.
They thought I didn't have a chance,
But I caught them off their guard.

The last guy was the hardest yet,
I'd lost to him before.
I thought I'd lose to him again,
But tried to even the score.

He took my Queen and both Rooks too,
I thought I was a goner.
But then he made a fatal slip,
And I received the honor.


The NTC Foundation had its Chesstival last weekend in San Diego as part of the US Championship. It was a fun event! Over 200 kids came from all over to compete in the GM simul, participate in art, competing in the Chesstival Scholastic (congratulations to Varun Krishnan, 8 year old with a 1380 rating that went up to 1480 after his 3-0 score and first place in the top quad), and other things. Danica Holmlund and her staff did an incredible job in making this event a "Can't Miss" in the future.

The Chesstival had loads of Arts and Crafts booths with chess themes. There was a woodworking group that offered the children an opportunity to build chess pieces. A few of the simuls were blindfold matches. GM Nick de Firmian took on three young players and IM Dmitry Schneider played the San Diego Padres Swinging Friar (I honestly don't know what or who that is-but he did strike out).

There has been talk over the years of a Chess Festival in the Bay Area. I know NM Jim Eade, as CalChess President many years ago, talk to me about doing one. I simply, as usual, was overloaded. I do think it is a great venture and would draw not 200 kids, but closer to a thousand, similar to New York. I hope someone out there reading this will venture into this arena.

Thanks to Duveneck's Alex Grossman's participation, due to his dual citizenship, in the Australian U10 National Championship, we may soon find out. NM Michael Aigner, through the Grossman's, is directing an Internet match on July 15 between the Northern California and Australian youths. There will be two sections with 12 players in each and two of the players in each division must be girls. One group will be under 12 and the other under 18. They will play two game/60 against the same individual-one as black and the other as white. The ICC (Internet Chess Club) will host the games. For more on this event and to read on the great success Alex had in Brisbane, go to

" The Great Pawn Hunter"-

I couldn't resist this website-not simply because the hunter was a cat, but because the first thing the author recommends to download is ChessBase Light, a free software program that can help analyze players games. I have all my intermediate players download this program from and annotate (comment on each move in their games-why they made them, what other moves they thought of and what might have been better). They are to do a similar analysis of their opponent's moves. Then they should run the chessbase analysis program and try to understand why the computer felt its moves were better.

You will also find at this site other recommended freeware and chess lessons.


DISCLAIMER: All opinions etc in this Newsletter are those of the author alone and do not reflect or represented those of any other organization or persons, whether living or dead. If you would like your name removed from the mailing list, please reply to this e-mail and place "PLEASE REMOVE" in the Subject line. If you would like to change or add an e-mail address, please send me that addition at

JANUARY 30, 2006


For All Those Interested in Northern California Scholastic Chess:

A few people have asked me when I would write my next CalNorth Youth Chess newsletter. I thank them for their interest in my scholastic chess information e-mail. I wrote this information sheet once a month. I guess, no longer holding an official position with CalChess or being on the Board and with the great information source with the new website, I haven't found the drive to write once a month. I produced a newsletter in the Fall and now I am writing one for the winter. I guess I am now quarterly.

The big news, as many of you are aware, is that I will once again be the organizer of the CalChess State Scholastic Championships-the 31st annual. Last year, due to CalChess politics, the States failed to obtain 400 players in contrast to the 1000 plus numbers of previous years. Of course, a major reason for this was the acceptance of the Board of their organizer placing the event on the same weekend as my CalNorth Youth Regionals. I drew over 900 players. This year we will have a unified event as I have volunteered to run the Championships under the sponsorship of CalChess. You can read my reports that were posted on the CalChess website: 
In summary: the 2006 CalChess State Scholastic Championships will take place on the weekend of May 19 through 21 in San Jose. On Friday evening we will hold the annual CalChess Scholastic Bughouse Championships at the San Jose Hilton. At 11 AM on Saturday the State Championships will begin at the San Jose Convention Center Exhibit Hall 3 at the main site. All Kindergarten through third grade(K-3) section competitions will take place only on Saturday. These include the Kindergarten, the Primary School Novice (unrated and under a 500 US Chess Federation rating), the Primary School Junior Varsity (under 800) and the Primary School Varsity (open Championship) divisions. For a more complete explanation of these divisions and how to select a section please read our Frequently Asked Questions at:
While the divisions for 4th grade and up also begin on Saturday at 11AM, they continue on Sunday. These sections are the Elementary School Novice (unrated or under 600 US Chess Federation rating), Elementary School Junior Varsity (under 900), the Elementary School Varsity (open Championship), Junior High School Junior Varsity(unrated and under 900), Junior High School Varsity (open Championship), High School Junior Varsity (unrated and under 1000) and High School Varsity (open Championship). For more information on the near 600 trophies for individuals and academic school teams and the numerous other awards plus an application or for registering online go to: From links at this page you can obtain information on financial aid and read the tournament regulations and our Code of Conduct. Any recommended changes in these regulations to be sent to the CalChess Board will be discussed at the Coaches, Parents and Spectators meeting on Sunday at 10 AM. Only scholastic coaches will vote on the recommended changes.
For many years, the North Stockton Rotary Club has organized the State Grade Level Championships. While this event does not draw the large numbers of the Spring CalChess States it did draw over 300 players on the weekend of December 3 & 4, 2005. The competition was excellent and players seemed to truly enjoy the event even though due to organizing problems they fell behind nearly 90 minutes on their schedule. Mission San Jose Elementary School of Fremont fielded very strong teams in all the K-6 grades winning first place in all the sections but second grade and tying with St. Marks of San Rafael in sixth grade. Weibel Elementary School, also of Fremont, won the second grade. The excellent competition was marred, sadly, by charges of cheating, bullying and rule violations. John McCumiskey, Chief Tournament Director, in his usual professional manner moved to resolve the disputes. I am happy to say that John, along with CalChess President Richard Koepcke, will be the Co-Chief TD's at the CalChess State Scholastics. They are also responsible for selecting all the tournament organizers and have promised me that all 11 section TD's will have current certifications. No TD's that are parents or coaches will be permitted in the sections where their children or their teams play.
The results of the Stockton CalNorth Youth Regional Grade Level are posted at
Ray Orwig, former CalChess Scholastic Chair, for the second year ran, in his usual tradition, a well-organized North Bay Girl's Championships. Results of the K-5 sections plus photographs can be viewed from the links at The 6-12 results were on different computer and I am still awaiting these. Ray's events are always organized for the benefit of the children and he will be holding his next Scholastic Quads on February 4 at St. Mark's in San Rafael. He also will hold quads on March 4th.
Scholastic quads seem to be fairly abundant these days with both the Mechanics Institute in San Francisco and the East Bay Chess Club running them monthly. You can go to the scholastic tournament page ( for more details. 
Every couple of months two Mission High School students, Ryan Ko and Darwin Fu, have been doing Swiss tournaments in Fremont at the Club Sport. The next one is scheduled for February 18. I am hoping to work with Tony Pabon and his non-profit scholastic chess organization to run a scholastic quads in San Jose at the end of April. If we can obtain a site, I will post it on both and at the sites.
As I wrote earlier, loads of information about scholastic chess is being posted at the site. You can go up there and read about how well some of our young players are doing at major events in the State and on the National level. I thank both Michael Aigner and Eric Hicks for these reports. Eric Schiller has also been doing a truly professional job providing the CalChess Journal Online every two months. The present issue and back issues can be found there. The CalChess Board hopes that in the near future they will once again be able to mail a hard copy to every member. 
Each month at my site,, I provide my personal Kudos to scholastic players that I believe deserve special praise that month for their accomplishments. The back Kudos are logged from a link at the site. 
Some exciting news came down the pipe recently-in this case for 2007. The USCF National Junior High School Championships (K-9) will be in Sacramento the weekend of March 30 through April 1, 2007. The last Nationals we had in Northern California was in 1994 at the San Jose Convention Center. Our teams and players did very well. I look forward to seeing players from all the grades up to ninth in this event. There is nothing like attending a National event, not even the CalChess States with its 1000 plus players. I took my boys when they were in Elementary School almost every year to Nationals all over the country and a few times in Junior High School and High School. We always had a great time and made loads of new friends. The trophies were just an extra bonus.
In each of my newsletters I try to direct you to some websites that could be helpful to the improvement of a child's chess. This quarter I would like to suggest two sites that I have found that provide chess resources. -- a great source for finding a scholastic website that might serve your needs. --for years various cities in Canada have been using chess within their mathematics curriculum. Ho Math and Chess has franchised this idea and set up a number of tutoring centers. While I have not checked it out, one is listed on the Peninsula here in Northern California.
I do want to continue to suggest that you visit the CalChess website to keep posted on what is occurring in Northern California- well as learning about the history of chess in Northern California at
All opinions in this newsletter are mine, Alan M. Kirshner, Ph.D. I, alone, select the information to present. My present role in scholastic chess is as the coach of the Weibel Elementary School Chess Team and the volunteer organizer of the 2006 CalChess State Scholastics. I left my post as CalChess Scholastic Chair and my CalChess Board seat three years ago. I left the presidency of Success Chess School as of August 1, 2005. I do, however, serve as a volunteer on the SCS CalNorth Youth Chess Scholarship Fund Committee that determines who will receive awards. CalNorth Youth Chess is simply a site I created when I left the CalChess Scholastic Chair position to distribute information that I felt was useful to the youth community in Northern California.
I am aware that a few of you no longer have children in chess and would care to remove your name from my mailing list. Please use the reply button and type in remove in the Subject line. I can only find an e-mail address to remove that is the exactly like the one to which you received this newsletter. I will also be happy to add any e-mail addresses to my mailing list for others who are interested.
Final note: I can only distribute this newsletter in batches under 1000 or Comcast cuts me off for sending spam. I, therefore, take about a week to get the newsletter to everyone on my mailing list.

Chess is Forever!
Alan M. Kirshner, Ph.D. 

OCTOBER 1, 2005

To All Those With an Interest in Northern California's Scholastic Chess & a Few Who are Not:

I hope some of you have missed my monthly newsletters. Now that I have semi-retired from my overload of chess activities to return to greater involvement with my college teaching activities, I decided to produce this missive less regularly. So, I a belated welcome back to school and to chess for the 2005-2006 season.

For those of you who are receiving this newsletter for the first time: For many years, I served as the Northern California Scholastic Chair and produced this newsletter in that capacity. When I left the post a few years ago, I decided to write my monthly information sheet under the auspices of my independent CalNorth Youth Chess organization. While CalNorth Youth Chess is under my direction with no affiliation with CalChess, Success Chess School or any other school, team or club, the CalNorth Youth Scholarship fund is held by Success Chess-more on this later. This newsletter is presently sent to about 4000 people. If you know someone who is interested in adding their name to my list, please have them forward their information to I am please to report that I have more additions to this newsletter after each mailing than I do removals. If you would like your e-mail address removed from my list, please reply to this e-mail with “remove” in the subject box and I will eliminate that address.

Many players, coaches and parents have asked me when CalChess(the Northern California State affiliate of the US Chess Federation) is scheduled to run their scholastic championships in 2006. Traditionally, they have announced their date by or during the summer. Problems, a few of which were outside the control of CalChess, prevented them from moving on this event. Last week, after a few members of the Board spoke with me, the CalChess Board voted to accept my offer to volunteer to do the event for them. For the first time, the CalChess State Scholastic Championships will be fund and directed through the CalChess organization. This, of course, will mean I will not do a CalNorth Youth Regional Competition in 2006.

When and where? Well, the hope is that I can find a location in the Bay Area that still has space in April or early May. Usually, sites are booked for over a year in advance. My task has been made more difficult by the politics in CalChess. I will not delve into this in the present newsletter. I guess what I am saying is that the site I locate may not be as convenient or as accommodating as in the past, but for those who know my events, I will promise my typical efficient, fair and exciting competition.

I am pleased to report that new life has been injected into CalChess. Most of it due to the new website. Loads and loads of Kudos to Eric Hicks, of Academic Chess fame, who has volunteered loads of his time and energy to create an interactive CalChess website. His beautiful baby allows immediate uploading of articles, information, pictures, tournament results etc. A CalChess Forum has generally allowed people to express their views on a myriad of chess and related issues. Sadly, as is usual with many forums, some individuals use the space more for ad homonym attacks, some direct and some disguised behind political jargon and euphemisms. In its formidable stage, Eric may have overstepped his bounds as moderator, but more recently he has realized how much people really are appreciative of the Forum and the site and allowed it to flow. I have promised Eric that I would, without hesitation, nominate the site to the Chess Journalist of America for the best State web offering in the nation-he just needs to remind me when those nominations are to be made.

Best of all, I no longer need to spend my time doing a number of tasks I did with my CalNorth Youth Chess website. NM Michael Aigner has picked up the compilation of the CalChess Top 100 children in their respective age groups. I have ceased doing my list and linked to the CalChess site. I no longer have to carry the results of various scholastic tournaments. I will, however, continue my posting of links to the tournament photographs for parents to download and my list of scholastic tournaments in the Bay Area-the full list is available at the CalChess site. If you haven't yet visited the new CalChess site, please take some time and do so:

CalChess, at its September General membership Meeting saw the election of some new, fresh and exciting blood to the Board-Robert Blatt and Salman Azhar. Last week, Elizabeth Shaughnessy announced her resignation as President, but not from the Board. She did not provide any reasons. Her statement is posted at the CalChess website. Eric Hicks, the Vice-President, will serve as interim president until the October 22 Board meeting. No one has officially expressed an interest in the post at this writing.

Primary, of course, are my :0) Weibel Fall Quads (Fremont), October 15 and November 19. To enter both at the discounted rate, you must submit your application by October 12. You can obtain an application or register online at
Current entries are posted at

On Sunday, the 16th, the East Bay Chess Club (voted the USCF Award as an outstanding chess club this year-sorry, I can't remember the exact title) will hold their scholastic quads. Information and an application is available at

The Sacramento Team Championships, open to all grades and areas, are on October 22. Applications can be found at
While we all dislike conflicting tournaments, sometimes they are inevitable. The father of Northern California scholastic chess and my mentor, Ray Orwig will begin his round of 2005-2006 quads starting on October 22 in San Rafael. I do not seem to have an application online, but I am sure you can get one from Ray at

Last year, two High School students, Ryan Ko and Darwin Fu, began a series of chess tournaments at Club Sport in Fremont. Ryan, I might add has been named a co-Scholastic Rep to the CalChess Board this year. They are continuing these events this season. Their first is on October 29. You can download an application from the link at or at

National Master Eric Schiller has been holding scholastic chess tournaments in Half Moon Bay for a number of years. His October Coastside event takes place on October 30. You can obtain information and an application for this one and others at:

The major event of the Fall is the CalNorth Regional Grade Level Championships in Stockton. This event has been run for many years as the California Grade Level and the CalChess Grade Level. Due to the previous CalChess administration, the North Stockton Rotary Club who has so generously donated its time and resources to make the event a success, were forced to change the name. I hope that the new spirit in CalChess will restore the title to this enduring competition. The dates are December 4 and 5 at the University of the Pacific. You can download an application at

I wish I had the space and time to report on all the success of our young players this summer. Three accomplishments stand out and deserve extra Kudos.
I gave my June Kudos to Weibel's Rohan Agarwal. Rohan arrived home from La Vegas and the National Open with a fat check for $2500 as the first place winner in the C section. To the best of my knowledge this is the second highest monetary win of any young player from Northern California. A few years ago, Steven Zierk of Blossom Hill Elementary School, returned from the U.S. Open with $5000. I believe he was in third grade at the time. Chess Life, the national magazine of the US Chess Federation, placed his photograph holding the check and wrote: “Rohan is a product of the famous Weibel School program and is coached by Richard Shorman. The National Open was his first tournament outside the Bay Area!
A fourth-generation player, Rohan was born in the Netherlands (his family is originally from New Delhi, India), came to the U.S. at 3, and learned chess at 4. He uses both ChessMaster 9000 and Fritz 8 to help improve his game and hopes to make master.”

The second is to seven year old Nicholas Nip. Here is what I wrote at the CalNorth Youth Chess site in September: “This month's Kudos go to seven year old Nicholas Nip of San Francisco. The Bay Area's newest chess prodigy tied for second in the C Division of the adult State Championships over Labor Day weekend. Nicholas started his studies with Academic Chess at St. Anne's School in the city. National Expert Eric Hicks, founder and President of Academic Chess, during one of his camps saw the love of chess in Nicholas' eyes and his desire to learn. Eric, at first, helped his Mom look for a coach, but then Eric decided along with his Estonian Chess Expert wife, Liina Vark, to become Nicholas' teacher and mentor. To quote Eric, 'I decided I liked this kid too much to give him up.'
Nicholas Nip enter the Labor Day Championship rated at 1369 and left with a 1526. Phew! I can think of no other young chess player from the Bay Area, and we have had some great ones, who came near that rating as a seven year old.
And, what does Nicholas want to achieve next? Well, according to his coach he would like to become the youngest ever U.S. Chess Master. I think he is on his way to achieve that noble goal.”

Last, but far from least, are my Kudos to Daniel Naroditsky. Daniel reached the numero uno spot on the USCF Top 100 Age 9 with an 1860 rating. He also placed fifth at the Youth World Championships in France this summer in what can only be described as horrible playing conditions. Daniel has won my Kudos many times before and I was please that the SCS CalNorth Youth Chess Scholarship Fund was able to provide him with more then $4000 in travel expenses.

Many people in the Bay Area have been looking to contribute funds to aid deserving chess students. An organization called the Kolty Foundation for Youth has non-profit status, but appears to be inactive. Vladimir Naroditsky approached me and suggested that SCS establish a scholarship fund as it does have 501 3 c non-profit status. Late last Spring, CalNorth Youth Chess along with Success Chess School opened a special scholarship account. A three person committee consisting of myself, FM Bela Evans and Hans Poschmann were appointed to oversee the fund and to determine scholarship awards. If you know anyone who would like to aid deserving young chess players who cannot afford the total cost of attending a major National or International scholastic chess competition, please inform them that they can contribute to this non-profit. Those who may need a few extra dollars (we do not have a lot left after funding Daniel's trip) to attend one of the major competitions can request some funding by writing me. I will provide more information.

All the chess schools, to my knowledge, in the Bay Area provide scholarships to needy students. The US Chess Federation will provide free memberships to any child on the school lunch program-I think they do have a limit of something like five per school. The US Chess Federation, through its Foundation, also provides up to five chess sets and boards to any school chess clubs. You can find out more about these programs at

Many colleges provide full and partial scholarships to chess players. You can find my list, albeit a bit outdated, at

Over the years, I do not think I have repeated any of the websites I recommended in my newsletters. This month I am strongly recommending with both my thumbs up high, As some of you know, Kerry Lawless produces this site to provide Northern California chess history. I have mentioned in the past all the photographs, articles and even the 24,000 chess database of games played in NorCal that is downloadable for free. I have also pointed you to the Magic Theater short chess instruction video's created by Mark Shelton. Well, Mark has updated and improved these to a level of near perfection. I have not seen anything on any website that compares to these instruction videos for beginners. And, the coup de grace of the Chess Dryad site-the new tapes of Richard Shorman, chess instructor extraordinaire, teaching his classes and expressing his philosophy.

Until my next newsletter-

Chess is Forever!

MAY 15, 2005

In This Issue:






Dr. Alan Kirshner announces he will retire from Success Chess School as of August 2005.

We decided to interview Dr. Kirshner for this issue.


Are you really retiring?

Dr. K

Yes! But, not from my work with scholastic chess.  I started teaching chess at Weibel Elementary School  in 1989 after my son Micah won the Primary School State Championship in first grade-a record that to the best of my knowledge still stands.  I will remain teaching chess at Weibel where I hope to see the school continue to win Regional and State Championships as it has done consistently since 1990.  

I might note that I am not retiring from my professorship at Ohlone College. 


Will you continue to run tournaments?

Dr. K

Yes, but not as frequently.


The rumor is that you are retiring in part because you swore not to get involved in CalChess politics while you were in a position that could easily be seen as a conflict of interest.  A few people have told me that you now can feel free to lash out at Elizabeth Shaughnessy, President of CalChess, who you referred to as a tsunami that has wrought destruction throughout Northern California.

Dr. K

LOL!  Let me first identify that my use of the tsunami analogy for Elizabeth was in the context of Richard Peterson’s attacks on her.  I do believe that she and her fellow disrupters on the Board need to step down and let adult chess leaders return CalChess to the respect it had in bygone years.   Secondly, I did say and still feel that people like Elizabeth and myself, who have a large financial interest in chess, should not serve on the CalChess Board, or if they do, they should at least abstain from voting on any scholastic issues that might be viewed even remotely as a conflict of interest.  I should have resigned from the Board in 2001 when it became apparent that almost anything I did was seen by some people as designed to financially benefit my fledgling Success Chess—organized the year before.  I finished out my term and did not seek re-election. 

Third, I do not intend to run for a CalChess Board seat ever again.  While Ray Orwig, former CalChess Scholastic Chair, has always been my mentor, I failed to learn one important lesson from him: to work for scholastics and stay away from the politics of CalChess.

Oh, and on a final note here—when have I ever kept my mouth shut and not lashed out at unfairness, injustices and other things that I thought were harmful to children.


As usual, you didn’t hold back. :0)  OK, so why are you retiring?

Dr. K

Success Chess School was a success far beyond my wildest dreams.  I started it in 2000 and this year SCS had 70 plus programs and 2500 students.  I found myself doing two full-time jobs—SCS and Ohlone College.  Candidly, while I might have had the energy to do this 25 years ago, I am nearly 70 and the tasks began to wear on me.  My health is great, but I am a bit of a hypochondriac and I want to be around for the day one of my three sons provides me with grandchildren.  I decided that I had to let one job go and I selected the CEO position of SCS.  I need to return to my academic pursuits and hassling my college students.  I did get a revision of my textbook done this month, but have not written any academic papers or attended any professional conferences in years.  This was my original calling and I intend to continue what I set out to do nearly 50 years ago.


Who will replace you as President of Success Chess School?

Dr. K

The members of  the SCS Board of Directors, at their meeting on April 16, selected, FIDE Master Bela Evans.  Bela has been with SCS for a few years now and I am absolutely convinced he will continue the great tradition of SCS and lift the program and scholastic chess to even greater heights. 


Do you foresee any major changes in SCS, practically or philosophically?

Dr. K

No, I do not.  Although, honestly, I have not discussed this with Bela.  I have faith that he will continue my mission, bringing his own personal touch.  I just feel that when someone else comes in as CEO of a corporation, s/he should be left to do things as s/he sees fit.  It is for this reason that I told Bela I would take absolutely no role in the workings of SCS or even sit on the Board.  The only change I can predict is that the office will finally move from my house and the computers will move from Macs to PC’s. :0)


What would you say were your achievements in the years you were President of Success Chess?

Dr. K

Wow, do you have space? Ok—so, no one ever referred to me as humble.  In short, just look around.  Wherever, you go you will see SCS programs and T-shirts.   Our top students are the top chess players in the Bay Area.  Granted, a few young players do better, but no program has the depth or breadth of ours.  But, more important, our parents tell us how thrilled they are with the translation of the way we approach critical thinking in chess to the academic classroom.  As an educator, I am proud of the fact that SCS provides a structured hands on approach to chess not simply recreational.  We have provided fun by raising standards through demanding creative critical thinking through the constant interaction of the children with our lessons , not simply cutesy games and/or dull watch the demo board lectures.  I am proud of this legacy as I am of raising the standards of children’s chess tournaments in the Bay Area.  What I have said here may anger a few of the talkers, but as always, to be a bit trite, the proof of the pudding is in the eating.


Thank you Dr.  Kirshner for everything and good luck in your retirement!

Dr. K

Thank you! And, I am glad to say, I will not return—but, I will be around.


California Northern Regional Scholastic Chess Championships, April 15-17, 2005

By Alan M. Kirshner, Ph.D.


            A big thank you to all 916 players and the phenomenal staff and tournament directors that made this event everything that was promised and more.  And, what a group of players, TD’s and volunteer staff I had.  The quality of the players made any title obtained—individual or team—truly meaningful.  The best of the best showed, as well as many players who simply wanted to participate in the largest Northern California scholastic event of 2005.  The players came in droves, far exceeding the 700 I had anticipated even though they knew this was not the official State championships. 

            Almost every actively licensed tournament director in Northern California helped to ensure the integrity of the competition.  Senior Director Hans Poschmann headed the floor staff and Senior Director Richard Koepcke ran the computer room aided by Assistant National Director John Mc Cumisky. I moved the High School and Junior High School Varsity sections into the Crowne Plaza Hotel. They graciously provided me an extra 6,000 square feet for a very minimal charge when I became aware that the 30,000 square feet I had contracted at the San Jose Convention Center next door would be a tight fit for the 900 plus players. Senior Director Allan Fifield arrived from Visalia to take charge of the hotel players in his usual efficient manner.  All of the aforementioned were ably assisted by a staff of 15 experienced  TD’s.

            Volunteers from all over California, about 30 people, most of whom had spent years working the State Championships, made the posting of pairings and results as well as the movement of the children fairly effortless. Stephanie Blatt and Phoebe Chen receive my enduring gratitude, not only for the phenomenal leadership of this very important element--the volunteers--of any major tournament, but for their willingness to join my staff again, having worked with me from 1995 until I ceased to do the major tournament in 2000. 

            I wish I could say all moved smoothly.  I had a few glitches which I know is inevitable in a tournament this size.  Some were pleasant like selling out all the youth and most of the adult T-shirts days before the tournament began.  As many of you know, I continued to promise that the Regionals would broadcast the games of many of the top players into the parents room on a 50 foot screen and across the internet.  Well, all in all,  I succeeded in keeping my promise thanks to the great knowledge and hard work of Doug Boyle, NM Kerry Lawless, Mark Shelton and FM Bela Evans.  However, we did lose the connection to the hotel.  Those games were recorded on the sensory boards and can be viewed and downloaded at along with most of the games from the top boards in all the varsity divisions.  The Convention Center did hit me with an unexpected expense.  They demand an exorbitant fee for setting up the connection and wanted me to pay $200 per computer that hooked up to their wireless internet.  Thanks to the continuous negotiations of Doug Boyle I got off for a much reduced price, still outrageous for something that should be free.  Finally, there was no charge for the computers in the Center that we provided the password to watch the games.

            I was also a bit disappointed that we could not get enough victims on Saturday night for the simultaneous play of our two International Masters,  Ricardo De Guzman and John Grefe, and our International Master in waiting, Dmitry Zilberstein.  John Grefe and Dmitry Zilberstein graciously bowed out.  IM De Guzman took on a crew of 17 players of all skills and ages.  By winning all the games he saved me the book prizes I had prepared to give for anyone who drew or defeated him.  I can at least write that my son Micah, as usual, made me proud, He  was the last man left standing.  He has this ability to provide that little extra reward for my efforts at running these momentous tournaments.  At the 2000 CalChess States, the last event I organized, he won the High School Division and, therefore, represented the Northern California State at the Denker, the tournament of all the state High School champions.

            Another regret I had this year, was that our tournament could not determine the Denker or the Polgar (a new all-state women’s championship) representatives.  The legal settlement between the CalChess President, Elizabeth Shaughnessy, and Richard Peterson, dictated that the CEA CalChess States become the sole tournament for the selection in 2005.  My regret was that those top High School players who had a shot at representing CalChess at those tournaments did attend the competing event.  Obviously, with their attendance in Oakland, it meant that the victories in that High School Championship were far from empty.

On to some very positive achievements that went forth without any glitches, hitches or regrets.   Parents and others really raved about our special presentations.  On Saturday, Dan Gertmenian (owner, Chess Prep) spoke on Parental Influence: How to Make Chess Fun for Your Child. NM Eric Schiller (author) on What Your Kids Need to Know About Chess.  Eric also brought a number of his best selling chess books with him and generously remained in the lobby to sign copies to any interested players and parents.  On Sunday, NM Art Wang demonstrated How to Use the Award Winning Chess Mentor Program to Improve your Child's Chess. Chess Mentor also donated free copies to our winners and announced that anyone at the tournament could download the demo from their site and if they wanted to purchase the program until the end of May it would be 35% off if they mentioned they had attended the Regionals. Dan Gertmenian did a second presentation on How NOT to Be a Chess Parent and SM David Pruess discussed with parents and children Why He Stayed With Chess After His Years as a Scholastic Player.            

The Dr. Pepper dirt bike was won by Darrell Cherf of Merced.  The Merced coaches brought 43 players and I was happy to see the strength of their program and their excitement at their victories.

            All the trophies and awards are listed in this edition and all the results, plus tons of photographs can be located at  I would like to at least highlight some of the top players and teams.  Winners received Chess Mentor programs or Saitek chess clocks or computers along with their trophies.  The Kindergarten Division drew 27 players and all received trophies with Julie Yeung, Robert Lee Chan, Amit Rao, Alice Bain tying for first place with 4 points out of a possible 5.  The Primary School Varsity Division (up to third grade) had 43 competitors and Samuel Bekker (1235) and Yian Liou (956) receiving 4.5 out of 5 points to be declared co-champions.  Weibel Elementary School came out on top of  7 other teams to be the California Northern Regional Primary School Champion.  I decided to adhere to the national policy of not having club team awards.  Northern California has never set a policy and a standard for what constitutes a club team or when a player can join.  This lack of a policy has caused many disputes and hard feelings over the years.

            The Primary School Junior Varsity Division was our largest—292 entries.  I decided to provide trophies for the top 20 non-rated players, but this came after four unrated players went undefeated (Sundeep Raj, Rachan Narala, Sriram Somasundaram, Tyler Ballesteros) with two rated players (Sophia Luo, 664, Leonardo Framba, 516).  Weibel Elementary School narrowly defeated Heather School for the first place team award in this division that sported some 60 teams.

            The Elementary School Varsity Division (up to sixth grade) drew some of the toughest competition.  The games were a marvel to observe.  Daniel Naroditsky (1715), fresh off of being the first Northern Cailfornian to win the Primary School Nationals since the days of Jordy Mont-Reynaud and Vinay Bhat (in the mid-1990’s), won a decisive victory going 6 and 0.  Daniel had decide to move up to the Elementary School Division from the Primary School to face the best Northern California had to offer.  He defeated John Boyle (1587), Steven Zierk (1508)—who gave him a run for his money being a rook up at one point, and Partha Vora (1575).  The California Northern Regional Team Championship went to Weibel Elementary School who defeated Harker by a half point and Warm Springs by a point.  This division had 96 player entries and about 25 teams.  By the way, keep on eye on Daniel to see if he can do what Jordy and Vinay did, become a Chess Master at ten and a half.  I am betting he will, if not sooner.

            The Elementary School Junior Varsity competition also was exceptionally large with 249 entries and about 60 teams.  I once again provided a whole set of extra trophies for the unrated players.  Three players tied with 6 and 0 scores: Alan Kaptanoglu (783) , Jonathan Tu (777), Abishek Akella (767).  The top team award went to Gomes Elementary School who out pointed Weibel by .5.  It was soon pointed out by every Weibel player present that Jonathan Tu of Gomes had just transferred there due to his parents move a short while back and was still taking his lessons at Weibel.  I told them to be happy to win three out of the four lower division awards. :0)

            A number of the Junior High School Varsity players (up to eighth grade) decided at the last moment to compete in the strong High School section.  This still left 52 entries and good competition.  Sreekar Jasthi (1548) won first with a score of 5.5 out of 6 points.  Redwood Middle School won decisively against 19 other teams. 

            The Junior High School Junior Varsity Division saw 77 entries with Michael Nelson (783) going undefeat for first place.  Marin County Day School tied with former CalChess State Champion Egan Junior High School of Sunnyvale for the first place team award.

            The High School Varsity Division (up through twelfth grade) had a number of former CalChess State Champions testing their mettle for this title.  Ramon Qiu (1769) narrowly defeated (5.5 to 5 points) Wesley Chen (1909) and Kevin Hwa (1608) to take home the Championship trophy.  This section had 52 registered in individual play with some 20 teams. Lynbrook High School went home with the California Northern Regional Team Champion title.

            The smallest section at the 2005 California Northern Regional Scholastic Chess Championships was the High School Junior Varsity Division with only 23 players.  Everyone took home a trophy, but Gregory Kushnir andAlex Fandrianto took home the big trophies after drawing each other.  Monache High School returned to Porterville with the first place team trophy.

            Once again I want to thank all of you who supported my endeavor to return to producing a class event in Northern California.  You are the people who made it possible.  And, what of next year?  Time will tell!

Chess is Forever!


PS:  Complete results and photographs can be seen from the links at:

AND ONE FINAL NOTE:  The Regionals has been rated and is posted at the US Chess Federation site.


This month's Kudos go to sixth grader John Boyle of Palo Alto.  John has placed either first or second in all the tournaments he has entered since starting his chess career three years ago at SCS Duveneck, Palo Alto. His current rating is 1609.  He placed second in the very tough Elementary School Varsity Division at the California Northern Regionals on April 16-17, losing only to the wunder kid, Daniel Naroditsky (1875), who received our previous Kudos.  On May 7-8, at the San Francisco Kid's Chess Championship John took first place by over a point and a half above the individual who topped the K-6 players at the CEA CalChess Scholastic States. John's coaches and his parents both report that he has an unreal passion for chess and devours chess books as if they were candy.  CONGRATS, JOHN!


A few tournaments and a few camps.  We, of course recommend our  SCS Weibel  Scholastic Chess Quads, June 25 and July 16 ( and our  Weibel Summer Camp headed by International Master John Grefe and three of our children’s and parent’s favorite instructors, Mark Shelton, David Donaldson and Kevin Batangan. (  But, to be fair, there are other events and camps and you can get more information on these from the material National Master Michael Aigner posts at:


Each month (or at least each newsletter) I try to provide you with some internet site that might help your children’s chess.  This month I would like to direct you to two new projects that provide internet play for our children.

National Master Joe Hanley, who came to promote his new endeavor at the Regionals, has created Chess4Children/Game Zone.  His brochure toots the security features of encrypted registration, hacker safe certification and FBI/SANS Internet Security tested.  If your children enjoy playing chess online or might like to start, go to  NM Joe Hanley even provides a live free lesson once a month.  He has taught chess to children for many years and more recently has been running scholastic chess tournaments.  A few weeks back he organized the successful Southern California State Scholastic Championships.  I think it is the first time that event has seen all the divisions run on the same days.  In the past, SOCAL has had each division on different weekends in different places. 

While I have no idea of how the security of the site created by Eric Hicks and Academic Chess is, I love the design and set-up.  Best of all it is free for the year and provides a few other goodies like video chess lessons, team tournaments and chess news from around the world.  You can try this one out at In fact, why not try them both out—hey that is double the chess and double the fun.

Enjoy your summer of chess and remember—

Chess is Forever!


FEBRUARY 24, 2005

To All Those Interested in Scholastic Chess in Northern California:
In this issue of my California Northern Youth Chess newsletter I would like to start out trying to answer some frequently asked questions about the Regional Scholastic Championships I am hosting at the San Jose Convention Center on April 15 through 17.
We noticed that the dates are April 15 through 17. Do we have to be there all days?
No! Friday, April 15 is a very optional day with Blitz (5 minute) and Bughouse (team) Chess. Most major tournaments offer these special events to provide those individuals who enjoy Blitz and Bughouse chess an opportunity to compete and win trophies. Entry to these events is free if you stay overnight at the Crowne Plaza (the host hotel) adjacent to the San Jose Convention Center. For other participants it is $10.
Students in grades four and up are expected to compete on both Saturday and Sunday. However, a half point bye-a game you do not show up for and is recorded as a draw-may be provided for any round if requested in advance of round number one. Players may also request zero point bye's for any other round. So if a player in grades four could not attend on Saturday, they could play on Sunday with a half point credited if asked in advance. Obviously it would be near impossible to obtain one of the 20 place trophies under this scenario.
Students in kindergarten through third grade play only on Saturday, April 16.
I do not know which section to place my child in. Can you help?
I can try! If your child is in kindergarten, s/he would normally play in the Kindergarten Division. If your child is in first grade through third grade-these grades are referred to as Primary--s/he has two possibilities: Primary Junior Varsity(unrated through 700) or Primary Varsity(open). If your first, second or third grade child has never competed in a United States Chess Federation tournament then s/he would be unrated and this would be the section of choice. If your first, second or third grade child has competed in US Chess Federations tournaments, but their rating is below 700 they probably should compete in this division. If your child is a USCF member, you can check their rating at
The Primary Varsity(open) section is mainly for experienced first, second or third grade players whose USCF ratings are above 700. However, since it is an open division, any kindergarten, first, second or third grade player, experienced or not, is welcome to enter this division.
The same basic information applies to the Elementary School sections. Elementary School is used in tournaments to refer to students attending fourth, fifth and sixth grade. So this is the division of choice for these students. Any unrated fourth, fifth or sixth grade student or one with a rating under 800 should register for the Elementary School Junior Varsity (unrated and under 800) section. Those players in fourth, fifth and sixth grades with rating above 800 would want to enter the Elementary School Varsity (open) section. Once again, this later division is open and that means that if a player unrated or under 800 who is in kindergarten through sixth grade wants to compete here, they are welcome.
The same principles can be applied to the Junior High School and High School divisions. If you have any other questions about which division of the California Northern Regional Scholastic Championships is correct or best for your child, please do not hesitate to call me at (510) 657-1586 or send e-mail to
Why do all the sections start with K?
We follow the national scholastic guidelines. These are designed to permit school teams to enter students from lower grades in upper division competition to aid their teams if they so wish. Candidly, this is not something that is done very often and many coaches discourage movement of players to a much higher division. However, for a few players this provides them with the opportunity to compete against experienced players that would provide them with better competition. We already have one third grade player who entered the Elementary School Varsity division as his rating and ability are equal, if not superior, to our top sixth grade competitors.
Is the California Northern Regional Scholastic Championships the State Championships?
No! This tournament is a Regional Championship that I introduced this year to provide our players with another chess filled tournament reminiscent of the pre-2001 CalChess States. My idea was to provide a very large chess tournament that had style, integrity and an affordable price similar to the ones organized by Ray Orwig until 1995 and myself until 2000. I, also, felt that by using modern technology, such as sensory boards that could send the games over the internet to home computers and also would project a few boards into the spectators room with commentary by our International Masters, other organizers would pick up the baton in the future.
We have heard that the California Northern Regional Scholastic Chess Championships in San Jose is occurring on the same weekend as the official CalChess State Scholastics. Is this true?
Yes, as of a couple of days ago. Here is what happened: In March, 2004, the CalChess Board of Directors awarded Richard Peterson the CalChess State Championships for March 11-13, 2005 to be held in Santa Clara. When I met with him a couple of months later to inform him of my decision to run another major event a month after his, Mr. Peterson informed me that he had switched the event to the exact same weekend and moved it to Oakland. He had not yet informed the CalChess Board of his action. Both of us were confronted with binding contracts. A number of members of the CalChess Board were furious at the unilateral location and date change. However, no action was taken until a number of months later when Richard Peterson, the CalChess Treasurer, in a personal dispute with the President of the Board, Elizabeth Shaughnessy, withdrew almost all the money and placed it into a holding account writing that he intended to return it to the membership because Board promises had not been fulfilled. The CalChess Board now moved to have the official CalChess States the weekend of May 6-8 in San Francisco under their own direction. This information was posted on their website. Lawsuits abounded! And, last week, from my viewpoint, Richard Peterson extorted CalChess to sign an agreement that recognized his event in return for the near $26,000 he held. I am sure there are other provisions in the agreement, but I have been told that there is a non-disclosure pact.
How can this be good for the children?
Obviously, it cannot be. However, further comments on my part on these ugly events would be unproductive. All I can do is offer a retro championship that will set new and higher standards for scholastic competition in Northern California.
How do we know which event to attend?
Two months before the California Northern Regionals, over 300 players are registered. Among these are the not only the best of the best, but many who will be experiencing a chess event with a 1000 players for the first time. The only two CalChess Scholastic Chairs in the last 20 years, Ray Orwig and Alan Kirshner, recommend the California Northern Regionals.
Most of the certified tournament directors have chosen to officiate at the California Northern Regional Scholastic Championships. The support staff contains almost all the parent volunteers who have helped at the States in previous years. I think the vote is in!
I am also pleased to write that the California Northern Regionals will offer only educational chess events for the parents and other spectators while the children play. This is something you should expect from a major scholastic chess tournament. During the day on Saturday and Sunday, while the children play, parents and others can attend a number of workshops and seminars. Among these will be National Expert Frisco del Rosario explaining how you can use his new book, A First Book of Morphy, to aid your children in improving their chess game. National Master Art Wang will provide a demonstration on the new version of Chess Mentor and explain why this inquiry engine has received critical acclaim throughout the world. National Master Eric Schiller, author of too many books to list here and coach of many of the Bay Area's top players, will talk with parents about chess education. National Master Jim Eade, author of two very popular books, Chess for Dummies and the Chess Players Bible, will provide some background into his extensive experiences in the chess world.
As mentioned previously, our International Masters Ricardo DeGuzman and John Grefe will comment on the living games projected on a massive screen in the spectators room. IM DeGuzman will also volunteer his time to analyze any players game at a table outside the tournament hall. On Saturday evening, IM De Guzman, IM Grefe and Senior Master Dmitry Zilberstein will play simuls against any adults or children who are feel they are up to the challenge. Prizes will be award to any participant who draws or defeats them. As an added incentive, any Crowne Plaza Hotel guest will have the ten dollar fee for the simul waved. The Crowne Plaza is offering a special $85 rate (up to 4 in a room) that includes all day parking. For guaranteed space please reserve before March 24 by calling 1-408-998-0400 and mention that you are with the CalNorth chess tournament.
What does the $5 team discount on the application mean?
The $5 discount per application is awarded only to those forms sent in by a school coach in packets of four or more. We have found that the coaches check the applications for errors in ratings and for proper sections and that saves our secretaries a lot of time and so the discount.
My child is not a member of any school team can s/he compete?
Definitely! Chess is an individual sport and teams only add another flavor to the competition.
My child is home schooled, can s/he compete for a team?
I am afraid not. However, as noted above, home school students can compete as individuals similar to the majority of the entrants.
How does one enter the California Northern Regional Scholastic Championships?
You can enter online using a credit card at You can download an application to mail or fax at
or you can download an application to mail or fax from
where you can also get more complete details about the California Northern Regional Scholastic Championships.
How do I know that my child is registered?
Entries are posted every few days at
The posting lists each players division, USCF rating, grade and school.
While there have been a fair number of scholastic tournaments since my previous newsletter, I would like to report on two of the most recent. The results of many of the other events, as well as these, along with hundreds of photographs can be found either at or
Ray Orwig with Lanette Chan-Gordon and Jeff Gordon ran the first Marin County Scholastic Championships. They had nearly 200 participants. Here is Jeff Gordon's report:
FEBRUARY 12, 2005 by Jeff Gordon
Our tournament went very well. It was a real pleasure working with Ray.
We had 193 kids attend the tournament. They came from 46 different schools from throughout Marin County. According to Ray, nothing like this has ever happened in Marin County before. This was the very first chess tournament for all but about two dozen of them! We had enough participants so that K's played only K's, 1st played only other 1st graders and so on up through 5th grade. 6th through 8th played in one combined section but trophies were awarded based on grade level placing. Trophies donated by Saint Mark's School were given out to the top three in each grade/section including all ties for third. There were two separate sections for rated players - under 850 and open. It was a beautiful sunny day and lots happy parents and kids at the end. The awards ceremony had originally been scheduled to start at 3 P.M. and it actually did start at 3:10. Not bad for our first time. Lanette was the MC and did a great job. There was a really wonderful ambience throughout the day. I overheard one parent describing the event as being like one big party. A reporter and photographer from our main local newspaper, the Marin Independent Journal, came and spent almost two hours at the event. Hopefully they'll publish a good article about it. I don't know if we want to have cross-tables published. I'll talk to Lanette about it. On a personal note, having now organized a tournament with 200 participants, I cannot even begin to imagine all the work you must have put in to run state tournaments with over 1,000 and to do it so well.
Some additional info. about the 1st Annual Marin County Scholastic Chess Championship: Ray, Lanette and I were the organizers and Ray was the chief TD. assisted by Dan Trimbaugh, who ran the rated sections. Gabe Gordon, Davis Xu and some of Ray's former students who are now in high school, functioned as assistant TD's on the floor. All of the participants received a very nice certificate of participation which was printed on parchment and included their individual names. Champions (1st place finishers in each of the sections) were as follows: Open Section: Puneeth Gadangi (Saint Mark's), Under 850 Max Saunders (Saint Mark's), K Julian Vasquez (Saint Mark's),1st Douglas Vetter (Saint Mark's), 2nd Brian Jakiemiec (Saint Mark's),3rd Ryan Louie (Marin Country Day), 4th Austin Schafer (Lynwood), 5th Duncan Brugler (Saint Mark's), 6th Ben Greenberg (Del Mar Middle), 7th Josh Phelps (Bolinas-Stinson), 8th Sam Rohrer (White ! Hill Jr. High).
The tournament was held on Saturday, February 12, 2005 at Saint Mark's School in San Rafael, California, and was open to any child who was a resident of Marin County or who attended a Marin County School.
The annual Young People's Tournament held on February 21 in Berkeley-I believe it is in its 32nd year-reached a record 159 players. Of these only 83 had pre-registered. The tournament, not surprisingly, failed to start on time. All the rounds were set back an hour, but ran fairly smoothly under the direction of director Mark Shelton with the able help of Senior Director Richard Koepcke, who ran the adult section. A few members of the UC Berkeley student government acted as directors in the tournament hall. While this has always been a fun event, the organizers never seem to have enough trophies for the masses that attend. This year, however, they did provide pins for each participant-a nice touch.
While the kindergarten through twelfth grade students played in one large section-often accounting for the munchkins competing against bruisers with beards-the organizers divided the trophies into K-6, 7-12 and special trophies for K, 1,2,3,4, 7, 8, 9 grades.
Daniel Naroditsky, a third grader with an unposted rating approaching 1800 who has been making a splash on the national chess scene, went undefeated. His five game win provided him with the well-deserved first place in the K-6 section. He was followed by three players with 4.5 points: John Boyle, Trevor Lowenthal, and Vivian Lo. Raymond Liu, with 4 points took home the 5th place trophy. The other trophy winners in K-6:
Kindergarten-Julie Yeung (1st), Jeffrey Ko (2nd) and Hann Osborne (3rd)
First Grade-Joshua Chan (1st), Jonathan Zhou (2nd) and Sophia Lou (3rd)
Second Grade-Yian Liou (1st), Vikram Ganesh (2nd) and Michael Meng (3rd)
Third Grade- FIRST ?? Kevin Zhu (2nd), Sandip Srinivas (3rd)
Fourth Grade-Rahul Desirazu (1st), Christopher Wu (2nd) and Jerry Chen (3rd)
In the 7-12 section, Henry Wong, an unrated player, also went undefeated and took home first. Alan Naroditsky, perhaps proving that good chess runs in the family, came in second, also without losing a game but having one draw. Travis Lee, had 4 out of 5 and won third. I wish I could report on the individual grade winners, but the results as posted on the CalChess website do not correspond with the pictures I have posted of the winners. I am awaiting a clarification.
While in the past I have directed you to web pages that I believed would help your children improve their chess, this month I am going to recommend my favorite sites to obtain chess equipment rapidly and at a verrrry reasonable price: &
Until my next issue-
Chess is Forever!
Alan M. Kirshner, Ph.D.
Success Chess School

NOVEMBER 24, 2004

My first note in this month's newsletter is to remind everyone that the premier chess tournament for the Fall is coming up on the weekend of December 4 and 5. The competition is the California Northern Scholastic Chess Grade Level at the University of the Pacific in Stockton. For those of you not familiar with a grade level chess tournament, the players only compete only with individuals in their own grade. This tournament has been run by the Northern Stockton Rotary Club for 9 years now. They have proven over the years that a tournament can be run for the children. Also, that chess tournaments aren't only about the size of the trophies or titles, but about the competition, the companionship and the enjoyment of the game. So if you haven't sent in your application too date, you can download one from I look forward to seeing you at the University of the Pacific.
My second topic will be my scholastic tournament reports. Since my last newsletter I ran two CalNorth Youth Quads at Weibel Elementary School in Fremont (October 24 & November 20). Both were very successful with a total of 436 players. The results and the usual load of photographs can be viewed at http://www. I am also happy to report that due to the interest and expertise of our Sensory Board Committee and especially Doug Boyle, Kerry Lawless and Mark Shelton, we were successful in recording the games played on the top quads and broadcasting at least one of the games to the parents with laptop computers outside the playing room. I now will purchase the software that will allow us to broadcast all our sensory game boards to those interested in watching them at the San Jose Convention Center at the California Northern Regional Scholastic Chess Championships on April 16 and 17. I might note that I already have 200 entries and the second round of discounts are available until January 1. You can obtain more information and register online at
Our teenage chess organizers once again produced excellent events. Jacob Green and Nazee Moghadam ran a CalChess Scholastic Halloween Championships on October 30, costumes and all. The tournament was held at the East Bay Chess Club in Berkeley. The K-3 division was won by Weibel's Michael Meng. He won four and drew his last round against his classmate Aamir Azhar. With Eric Lee Lin who tied for second place with four wins they brought back to the South Bay the Club Team trophy for Success Chess School.
The top three players (Kevin Garbe, Rahul Desirazu and Andrew Li) in the 4-6 grade section also came from the South Bay to carry home another first place Club Trophy for Success Chess. The first place winner, Kevin Garbe, from Argonaut in Saratoga, had a great tournament with 4.5 out of 5 points against some very tough opponents.
The South Bay can also be proud of their success in the 7-12 grade division. While Berkeley's Ahmad Moghadam tied for first place (4 points)with Fremont's ever rising star Jason Gurtovoy from American High School after losing to Jason in round three. Second place saw a tie between Fremont's Raymond Zhong (Thornton Jr. HS) and Andrew Lau (Hopkins Jr. HS) with 3.5 points. The complete results can be found at
Mission High Schools Ryan Ko and Darwin Fu organized their second Club Sport Scholastic Swiss Tournament in Fremont on November 6. Vignesh Palaniappan tied with Yian Liou with 4 points of 5 to take first in the K-3 grade section. Rahul Desirazu, Kevin Leong and Tau Jeng all tied with 4 points for first place in the 4-6 grade division. I gave Ryan Ko and Darwin Fu special Kudos this month on my website for their initiative and work in organizing US Chess Federation tournaments for their near peers. Complete results can be viewed at
A few South Bay players even ventured to Sacramento on November 6 for the Sacramento High School Chess Championships, but not to compete in the High School division. Gordon Su, who studies with Richard Shorman at Weibel, went undefeated in the K-3 section. Jerry Chen of SCS Dilworth(Cupertino) tied with Anna De Pello (Sacramento Chess School) with 4.5 points for first place in the 4-6 grade section. I am happy to see Anna back in action again. I think she and her brother have not competed in over a year. Nitya Bhaskar from Sutter Middle School took the 7-8 grade section with 5 points and Ted Belanoff, from down our way, went undefeated for first place in the High School Division. Obviously, the tournament was not limited to High School students from Sacramento. John Mc Cumisky, a seasoned tournament organizer, ran another great event. Complete results can be found at
CalNorth Youth Chess would also like to congratulate Matthew Ho, a High School Junior, who the USCF selected to represent the USA in the 16 year old division at the World Youth Championship in Crete on November 4-14. I believe Alexander Setzepfandt received a similar honor last year. It was watching some of the broadcast of the live games from that event in Greece at that time and that convinced me that we should do the same thing at the California Northern Regionals this year. Matthew did not fair exceptionally well, 61 out of 116 players, but when you examine the quality and experience of the competition he faced he can be proud of his results.
Two eleven year old Fremont girls head up all the California young ladies on the Under 13 Top Girl Players in the US. They are Vivian Lo (1366) in the 12th spot and Ankita Roy(1303) in the 20th spot. Ankita had a rough few months last year and her rating dropped a bit, but due to some improved playing this summer she is climbing back to the top. Fourteen year old Ewelina Krubnik (1706) continues to shine as the top under 16 girl player in Northern California. She is 18 on the list of the top 100 in the nation. While Elisha Garg (1830) and Jaime Brett (1748) have aged off the Girl's Under 16 list--these teenagers appear on the Top 100 Women in the United states. Elisha at 61 and Jaime at 77. Congrats!
If you haven't yet checked out the Scholastic Tournaments page at either or (the official site of CalChess, the Northern California affiliate of the US Chess Federation), the CalChess State Championship no longer conflicts with my California Northern Regional Scholastic Championships (April 16-17). The CalChess Board of Directors voted to remove the event from Richard Peterson and run it themselves. after he acted unilaterally to abuse his position as Treasurer of CalChess by confiscating their treasury. The official CalChess State Scholastic Championships, the 30th year of this event, will occur on the weekend of Mother's Day, May 7 & 8, 2005. The site is at the Herbst Pavilion, Fort Mason, San Francisco. I applaud the Board's action and invite you to read about their plans at Best of all players will now have two major events to attend in the Spring.  
Richard Peterson, the rogue* chess organizer presently living in Ridgecrest who arrived in California a few years ago from Arizona by way of Texas, has teamed up with Chris Torres, who resigned from Success Chess this summer, to create the Chess Education Association. This fledgling group in Northern California hopes to compete with the myriad of scholastic chess schools already in our area. And, they are not alone--We Teach Chess, has been created by a Mark Brown-I believe that is his name-to bring the game of King and Queens to our school age children. The four long-standing chess schools in the Bay Area are Success Chess, Academic Chess, Berkeley Chess and Know Chess!
somebody who is unscrupulous or dishonest, especially somebody who is nevertheless likable
somebody who is mischievously playful, especially a naughty child
acting independently and using unorthodox methods that often cause trouble
different and unwanted, and often dangerous or destructive
Encarta® World English Dictionary © 1999 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Developed for Microsoft by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.
Take your choice of definitions. :0)
My website of the month to recommend is While this site charges a small fee ($20) to get the most benefit from its resources they do offer 500 various chess training exercises. There is a free demo you can try on their home page.
Not for the faint of heart or those who do not like ugly. And, please do not read if you take chess and life seriously.
Many of you know that the President of CalChess, Elizabeth Shaughnessy, made a few unilateral decisions on eligibility requirements for holding office and voting (that she later reversed) in the Board elections at the Labor Day General Membership meeting. This caused Richard Peterson, CalChess Treasurer at the time, to switch the CalChess bank account into what he termed a holding account for the "legitimate" CalChess or to refund the money to the scholastic players who had been ripped off or to give it away as scholarships. The amount is somewhere around $26,000. He stated, as he did in a recent e-mail: "What value can there be to children of an adult organization that would coerce dues from children in order to play in the state scholastic championships when the adults exempt themselves from paying dues when playing in the adult state championship? It was simply exploitation." And, I can't disagree and I hope that CalChess is not foolish enough to try to force the players at their States in May to join their organization to try and recover the money Richard Peterson confiscated. 
By the way, I find RP's statement a bit hypocritical since he was the one who at the May 12, 1992 CalChess Board meeting, as the minutes reflect, made the motion to investigate doing just that. The Board, I believe unanimously, went along with the concept at its June meeting with the stipulation that it was to be a one year experiment in which the players at the States would not have to pay USCF dues. The next year the CalChess dues were placed on RP's application for the States despite the recommendation of the coaches that it not continue as the experiment was a failure. I could find no discussion or motion by the board to continue this action. And, RP, apparently in another unilateral action, even placed on the application a statement that implied that CalChess membership was only eleven months for those that were forced to join for the 2003 States. When questioned on this issue at the CalChess coaches meeting, Elizabeth Shaughnessy, then an ally of RP, said she knew nothing about it.
Ok, back to recent events-from various e-mails and conversations with CalChess Board members I learned that CalChess was at first trying to decide whether they would file criminal charges against RP, sue him or both. Apparently, they decided to sue him and ask for injunctive relief. A week or so back they filed two suits. One requesting that he cease using the name CalChess in his tournament. I haven't seen the suits so I am not sure of the exact wording.
I do know that RP is claiming that Elizabeth Shaughnessy recognized his contract to run a CalChess State Scholastics in April and that CalChess, under Elizabeth Shaughnessy's leadership, is trying to force a default in his contract with the Oakland Marriot to the tune of $55,800. He wrote to the Board's attorney, Neil Falconer-a long time member of CalChess and player in Northern California, that this would constitute "fraudulent reliance." I am not sure what that means or if I worded this correctly, but underlying the letter is an implied threat of a counter suit. Elizabeth Shaughnessy has finally wised up and not written anything on the CalChess website or in any e-mails to further give credence to RP's charges. 
In a recent e-mail, I identified to RP that I did not support his self-appointed role as savior of CalChess and did not see him as Mr. CalChess-hey, his e-mail still refers to Arizona State Chess Association-although I agreed with his assessment of Elizabeth Shaughnessy. I pointed out that Ray Orwig and myself the only scholastic chairs in Northern California in the last 20 years were supporting the Grade Level in Stockton on December 4 & 5 and not his non-rated Governor's Cup. I also reiterated our support for the Regionals on April 16 & 17. By the way, speaking for myself as I have not discussed it with Ray, I will support the CalChess Scholastic States in May as long as they do not require CalChess memberships. RP sent out another e-mail to his scholastic tournament mailing list stating: "Alan has to stop mentioning Ray Orwig in every paragraph. People are beginning to talk." If so, I know what they are saying-if the former scholastic chess chairs are informing us that the tournaments to attend are the Grade Level in Stockton on December 4 & 5 and the Regionals in San Jose on April 16 & 17, then we will listen to their recommendations and ignore any conflicting events. 
Another note-the reason CalChess members have not received their CalChess Journal in recent months is that they have no money-surprise surprise. NM Eric Schiller has agreed to produce an online copy. I will inform all when it is posted.
Richard Peterson in his last e-mail echoed statement I have made for a long time-that no person with large financial stakes in chess should be on the Board of Directors. Perhaps if Elizabeth Shaughnessy (Berkeley Chess School) would do the right thing and leave the Board-Eric Hicks (Academic Chess) has indicated he will leave when his term is up, Riley Hughes (Know Chess) has disappeared and may have been removed from the Board for absences-Richard Peterson would return the money. This would allow those individuals without large financial interests in scholastic chess to return CalChess to its original status as an organization that concerns itself mainly with adult chess and let the Little League chess community do its own thing.
Disclaimer: CalNorth Youth Chess is an affiliate of Success Chess and has no formal ties with any other organization. If you have received this newsletter in multiple copies, please excuse me as I have many mailing lists. I am presently working on consolidating them and when I complete that huge task, I think the problem of multiple copies and my inability at time to remove outdated e-mail addresses will be resolved.

OCTOBER 16, 2004

To All Those Interested in the Chess Musings in Northern California  (and a few not interested)!

DISCLAIMER:  Alan M. Kirshner, Ph.D., President of Success Chess School, distributes this newsletter to around 8000 e-mail addresses he has gleaned from his tournaments, schools and chess community lists.  Dr. Kirshner does not claim nor mean to imply that his school or CalNorth Youth Chess is supported by or endorsed by CalChess, the official affiliate of the US Chess Federation.  He writes these newsletters, as often as time permits, because he feels that the scholastic chess community in Northern California needs to know what is happening—biased or not.

I know that a few of you receiving this newsletter are on old mailing lists and no longer have an interest in scholastic chess.  I will remove your name from my files if you reply directly to this e-mail.  If you send me an e-mail requesting removal that is not a direct reply, I may not be able to locate your address.  As always, I welcome any additional readers—simply send me your current e-mail address.

Let me begin this month’s newsletter reminding you of our CalNorth Scholastic Quads at Weibel on Sunday, October 24.  Applications can be obtained or submitted online at  A late fee will be charged for applications sent after Thursday.  I post most tournaments in the Northern California region at  For a complete list of tournaments you can try  Be careful there, however, as the site generally does not differentiate between tournaments that are US Chess Federation rated and those that are not.

So I do not upset my friends who run tournaments, please note that there are also events being held on October 22 (Los Gatos Fun Action Chess-not USCF), October 23 (Sacramento Scholastic Team Championship), October 30 (CalChess Scholastic Halloween Swiss).  I do recommend these scholastic tournaments as well.  There are some upcoming tournaments that are open to youth players as well as adults.  I generally only list the scholastic events.  You can check out these mixed events at the CalChess website.

For a bit more self-serving news:  The California Northern Regional Scholastic Chess Championships, that is destined to be the premier scholastic event,   being held on April 16 and April 17 at the San Jose Convention Center, provides a substantial discount if you enter before November 1st.  The fee can be as low as $10 (see link below).  Of course, it is not just the fee alone that will assure the massive turn-out for this event.  In brief, here is the flyer sent to the schools:

RETRO = A return to the days when Northern California young people played together as one community.

 RETRO IN  PRICE = A return to an affordable event with entry  fees, hotel rooms and Team rooms rolled back to 1999 prices.

 RETRO IN STYLE = A return to a tournament with class that looks great  from the chess boards to the T-shirt logo.

RETRO IN INTEGRITY = A return to a Northern California championship that has a staff and directors who are trained and licensed to assure that computer operator and  floor personal will make decisions that adhere to the rules  and the highest standards of competition.

TO SET NEW STANDARDS = Sensory boards  will be used on the top boards that will send the games not only into the spectators  room via a large video screen but to the laptop computers of those who have  wireless connections.  Experts will provide analysis and commentary  on the games.  Special events from simultaneous games to training for chess  coaches, educators and parents will be provided.

RECOMMENDED = The  two individuals who could be called the parents of scholastic chess competition  in Northern California, Ray Orwig and Alan Kirshner, support this event as  do many other familiar names in Northern California chess who are listed as  the staff on the application:

The California Northern Scholastic Regionals  is sponsored by two of the top names in chess software and computers: Chess Mentor ( and Saitek Industries (  Winners of each section will receive, along with their trophies, a copy of the award winning Chess Mentor program and a Saitek Chess Clock II.  I will be announcing extras for the other place winners shortly.

Some individuals have inquired why two major scholastic events have been scheduled on the same weekend.  I will respond to this question in a later section of this newsletter that will be designed only for those interested in CalChess politics. My task here is to keep you posted on what I think is best for youth chess in Northern California.

One person that is best for youth chess in our region that the US Chess Federation designates a separate State is Frisco Del Rosario.  The San Jose Mercury News, on August 19, named Frisco “Teacher of the Week.” ( In early September, Frisco produced the first edition of the SCS Dragon Journal in the style of his National award winning California Chess Journal.  He had edited the very successful CCJ for a few years before a new regime at CalChess made him feel he could no longer continue.  In late September,  his “baby,” A First Book of Morphy reached the book sellers.  Frisco will be present at the CalNorth Youth Quads to autograph copies.

Another popular SCS instructor, Mark Shelton, has just produced some outstanding Flash movies on the site to assist  beginner’s to understand the basic skills of chess,  His “Magic Theater” explains everything from En Passant to Back Rank Mates. Each movie is about one minute in length and explains an aspect of a fundamental skill. Mark says that “beginning students and parents will find this very helpful in explaining some of the mysteries of chess.”  The direct link is:

I can take this opportunity to name Kerry Lawless’ Chess Dryad this month’s award winning site.  I believe I have mentioned in the past that National Master Lawless has been the chess historian of Northern California for over a decade.  He has collected more then 15,000 games played in our region and placed them, along with the help of teacher phenomenal Richard Shorman, in a downloadable database. Side note-NM Lawless is excited to be able to run the sensory boards at the CalNorth Youth Regionals so that he will have many more games “right from the horses mouth” for his website.  He has numerous photographs from our region’s past on his site and many more will soon be posted.  For the last couple of years, largely through the efforts of  Mark Shelton, Chess Dryad has added an educational component of chess games and strategies.

Thanks to long time tournament organizer Mike Goodall, I recently received a copy of a very insightful and extensive article called “Scholastics and the Soul of Chess,” published in July 2004 in the Oklahoma Chess Journal.  Tom Braunlich’s study starts out: “The debate about the nature of chess used to be whether it is a sport, an art, or a science.  Now a powerful new group has a different idea: chess is a tool.  An educational tool.”  He distinguishes between Junior Chess—designed to produce future chess players—and Scholastic Chess—organized to enhance a child’s education and perhaps make loads of money for a few entrepreneurs. He believes that mixing scholastic chess with adult aficionados of the game is leading to conflict and crisis in the chess community.  He says that having both adult chess and scholastic chess under the same organization, the US Chess Federation, would be like having Major League Baseball and Little League Baseball under one umbrella.  Among his recommendations is a devolution—two separate groups—one for adults and one for us educators. 

The article struck a note for me as I had just read an e-mail by Budd Setzepfandt the father of one of our top Junior players, Alex Setzepfandt.  He wrote:  “Correct me if I'm wrong on this Peterson/tournament thing. I think it's outrageous, along with the CalChess manifesto on scholastic chess. Finally, I guess the reason this gets to me is because Junior chess has fallen through the cracks. It's the Juniors that carry the tradition from  youth to adult.”  He went on to write: “I see policy being set that essentially degrades and insults the essence of real chess life, and gets in the way of or ignores those who are really investing a large part of their youth on serious and naturally competitive chess.”

Tom Braunlich, in his article, does support, as I do, adult chess organizations funding and promoting Junior chess players.  The adult organizations being the mentor of those young players destined to take the chess world by storm as adults and letting scholastic chess do its own thing in the guiding and developing the growth of young people’s critical thinking, sportsmanship and team spirit.

In a nutshell, what happened to CalChess in recent years, with the take-over by scholastic chess politicians, was the destruction of the spirit of  community that had existed when the two functioned independent of each other.     But, I promised you a separate section on politics, so I will stop my October general newsletter here and hope you will keep abreast of what our children are doing by reading the SCS Dragon,  and the postings at


Let me continue my thoughts as I began to muse about CalChess past and present.  When I first became heavily involved in scholastic chess in 1989 due to my son winning the Primary School State championship, the chair of scholastics was Ray Orwig, then and now chess coach at St. Marks School in San Rafael.  Ray also organized, at his school, each year the Northern California State Championships.  This was his bailiwick.  The CalChess Board left it to him and never tried to dictate any policy.  Rules and regulations for scholastics were made each year at a coaches meeting held during the first round of the Championships.  Ray respected the coaches and followed their wishes—I suspect a few times it was a struggle.  He also had the title of Scholastic Chair.  I am not sure how this was awarded, or if it even was voted on by CalChess.  I suspect it was.

After the 1994 State Championship, Ray who had done the job for 11 years, approached me and requested I take over for awhile.  I later learned from Jim Eade, then President of CalChess, that Ray had spoken with him before speaking to me and Jim suggested another prominent scholastic figure whom Ray rejected outright.  Jim went along, he reports, without hesitation, with Ray’s recommendation.  The CalChess Board voted me in and I was also elected to a seat on the Board.  While a few people on the Board at the time had lose ties to scholastic or Junior Chess, none of us had any monetary interest.  I think the only other members tied slightly to scholastic chess was Eric Schiller and Allan Fifield.

The question then was what to do about the 1995 State Championship.  Under Ray Orwig it had reached near 400 participants and had outgrown his school and the school I coached chess at—Weibel.  Tom Dorsch, the main adult chess organizer and whom some people still call Mr. CalChess, suggested we go book a hotel.  The tournament was a resounding success and soon outgrew the hotel space.  Around 1998 I was contacted by an icon of the Santa Clara community, who wanted to leave a legacy of chess in the valley his family had occupied since the 1850’s.  He convinced the Santa Clara Convention Center to rent Tom and myself  sufficient space at an unbelievable low price.  Note, I did not say CalChess.  The State Tournament was still an individual venture done without interference by a Board made up of individuals only interested in adult chess.  Decisions for scholastic chess continued to be made by the annual coaches meeting. 

Running the State Championship was beginning to take its toll on me especially with Tom Dorsch withdrawing from the partnership due to his position on the US Chess Federation Board.  I vowed to make the 25th anniversary tournament my last one—five years had been enough.  To run an efficient, effective tournament with integrity takes a full year’s commitment.  The 2000 tournament saw about 1100 entries and made a profit of  a few thousand dollars. 

I remained on as scholastic chair, but turned the tournament over to two individuals I thought would run the event in the same child oriented manner Ray and I did.  However, one of the partners feared a loss of money and from my perspective, and that of many others, cut corners so much that the tournament did not have the same flavor as in past years.  In fact, for the first time an ugly battle took place in the coaches meeting as to who was to run the discussion, the Scholastic Chair or the organizers of the event.  The CalChess board later resolved this by placing in their bylaw that the Scholastic Chair runs the annual coaches meeting.

The CalChess Board decided to take over the event and put the event out to bid.  Now, we began to see a turn over on the CalChess Board.  Individuals with major interest in scholastics began to maneuver their way on to the Board.  By this time, I had created Success Chess School, and realized my position on the Board was being seen as a conflict of interest.  I decided not to run again for the Board seat nor to serve as Scholastic Chair.  I announced that I held that anyone with a substantial financial interest in chess should not be on the Board even if the conflict is not real but perceived.  By substantial, I am not talking about teaching chess lessons or selling a few books.  Success Chess presently has 65 programs and around 45 contractors.  SCS is one of the smaller programs.

But, the vultures gathered.  They saw the control, money and power to be obtained through turning CalChess into a scholastic organization.  By cutting loads of corners, I figured the organizer of the CalChess States could not only make a few thousand dollars, but tens of thousands.  CalChess went one step better.  As an organization of adult chess players, CalChess never had any money—just enough to produce the Journal six times a year and give a dollar or two to send a few Junior players to a couple of National and International events.  The organization depended on volunteers.    However, there was money to be made off the backs of the kids.  CalChess moved to force the children attending the Scholastic States to be members ($13 a head or $17 for a family).  At first this was to be a one year experiment with a special waiver provided by the US Chess Federation to rate the games of new players at $1 rather then force them to join the USCF.  You can do the math-$13 x 1300 players. The writing was on the wall—once a tax, always a tax? 

The Scholastic Coaches at the annual meeting in 2003 voted to end the fee especially since it had not been required of adult players at their State Championship.  This vote was rejected—ignored—by the CalChess Board, now made up mostly of scholastic people.  Ray Orwig who returned to the role of Scholastic Chair, with perhaps the naïve belief that he could return scholastics chess in Northern California to looking out for the interests of children, resigned in 2004 feeling he had wasted too much of his precious time dealing with people whose actions belied their words of commitment to unity.

And, the money?  Volunteerism gave way to cronyism.  Board members hired their own and appeared to make allegiances with each other to control the Northern California world of scholastic chess tournaments.  The votes of the scholastic coaches was ignored—voted down.  Some Board members decided the scholastic coaches meeting held for near thirty years were irrelevant as they were dominated by non-representative coaches.  Gee, I guess the representative coaches want to force their players to pay $13 to join CalChess so they can get promises—6 issues of the CCJ – never received—discounts at scholastic tournaments—never received.  So some of these Board members spoke with forked tongue as they dominated the General Membership meeting to assure their election and even manipulated the bylaws by distributing incorrect information—yes, details forthcoming.  I might note that it appears that in the eyes of  some Board members the Scholastic Chair is an irrelevant position. This is one way to avoid conflict with their view of scholastics.   I may be wrong and they have appointed a new Scholastic Chair, but if so they have not announced this to the scholastic community.

The worst kind of politics took over.  The last three years saw the ugliest election campaign one can imagine.  I must say that at least in the last election a few adult chess organizers were returned to the Board and maybe we will see a change.  But, what happened at the last election in September is hard to repair and the President and Vice-President have large investments in scholastics.

I wonder how many people are still reading?  I hope a few, because now it gets interesting.  Sometime last year two of the primary scholastic Board members, Elizabeth Shaughnessy and Richard Peterson broke ranks.  I am not sure why.  I think in part it was because Elizabeth Shaughnessy, CalChess President, became embarrassed by the negative information she had been receiving about Richard Peterson’s efficiency in running the CalChess States.  I know that the CalChess Board received negative input about his failure to live up to the promises he made to the young organizers at their Scholastic Weekend.  Obviously, this is up to debate—what isn’t:

Ray Orwig and Alan Kirshner, the only two Northern California Scholastic Chairs in almost 20 years both  announced after last year’s States that they would never attend another tournament organized by Richard Peterson.  Ray Orwig decided to create a North Bay Girl’s Tournament (January 22) so others of like mind could attend a well-run event that looked after the interests of the players.  I announced I would organizer a major event as I did in the years before 2001.  I did not want to conflict with the CalChess States as that was a tournament that would be reaching its 30th year.  I did announce that Success Chess players would be encourage instead to attend the California Northern Regional Scholastic Chess Championships (April 15-17) at the San Jose Convention Center a month after the schedule CalChess State Scholastic Tournament.  Yes, I reiterate—the CalChess State Scholastic Tournament was to be held in March.  In his bid Mr. Peterson said that he had reserved space at the Santa Clara Convention Center and that he was in negotiation with the Westin in Santa Clara for a tournament room rate of $109.  The CalChess Board approved Richard Peterson’s bid to hold the States on March 11-13.  Side note—this was done before the problems of the March 20-21, 2004 States.  The Board approval was done in direct violation of the scholastic rules and regulations established by the CalChess Scholastic coaches at their annual meeting a few years ago.  These are posted online at the official CalChess website and read: 1.2 Bids for the Tournament should be presented to the CalChess Scholastic Chair as soon after the current year¹s Championships, but no later then the end of April, and the Scholastic Chair will make his recommendations for Board approval at the next CalChess Board after the submission deadline. If no bids are received, or none are acceptable to the Board, the process may be reopened.

As has been its practice, the scholastic clique on the Board ignored the wishes of the scholastic coaches who knew that no contract should be awarded until after they see what that organizer actually does.  To the best of my knowledge Ray Orwig, Scholastic Director at the time, was not asked to review the bids and asked for his input to the Board. 

At the Stockton CalChess Scholastic weekend at the beginning of May 2004, I asked Richard to meet with me as I wanted to tell him about my plans for an additional event.  I hate to admit it but we had lunch at Mac Donald. :0)  It was there I learned that he had unilaterally decided to move the State Championship from his contracted weekend to the same one I had signed with the San Jose Convention Center and the Crowne Plaza Hotel.  I was even more shocked that he had given up the Santa Clara site because of a few dollars extra (minimum from my view), to move it to Oakland.  The CalChess Board learned this information at a later date.

I also learned at that time that he intended to run something called the Governor’s Cup, a non-USCF rated event, the same weekend that the North Stockton Rotary Club had reserved for the CalChess Grade Level—December 4 & 5. We had heard rumors that Richard Peterson was working together with Elizabeth Shaughnessy to take over the CalChess Grade Level, a tournament run in Stockton for ten years, with Richard Peterson.  While there is no proof that Ms. Shaughnessy, CalChess President,  did conspire with Mr. Peterson, CalChess Treasurer, what we do know is that she left a long message on the answering machine of one of the North Stockton Rotary people demanding they change their tournament and ordered the CalChess Tournament site webmaster to remove it from the schedule after it had been posted for three weeks.  After some protest the tournament has been reposted under a different name.  But, the Governor’s cup, apparently non-USCF, still conflicts.

A question asked of me all the time—how can this conflict be allowed?  Well, there is a USCF & CalChess person called a Clearinghouse Chair that is suppose to prevent just these kind of conflicts.  I do not know if he talked with anyone at the time.  I do know he never talked with me about the conflict.  I understand that a new Clearinghouse Chair exists since August.  This is Michael Aigner.  I still await confirmation of his appointment through some—any—CalChess Board information. 

The story gets even better.  As the election for this year’s Board approached the rumors abounded. Political factions started plotting. And, then out of nowhere came this e-mail from CalChess Board President telling Richard Peterson that he was ineligible to run for a seat on the Board as he did not live in Northern California as proven by his zip code.  This ZIPGATE scandal moved to the historians & Tom Dorsch and Jim Eade, both former Presidents, argued that the zip codes used were not what created the boundary and that Ridgecrest where Richard Peterson lived had been carved out for Northern California.  This did not end the ZIPGATE scandal for now we read that certain voters were to be disenfranchised—so said the Prez.  Phew—where was the election committee when we needed it?  What now?—politics.  A question by Richard Peterson to all the e-mails he had in North Cal chess—where did certain checks get deposit?  Did this mean the President was sifting money for some war effort or was she just incompetent? Well, it was proven she did not deposit the money in her own account—I think. 

Oh, I thought I was immune to all this campaign mud because I was quiet & not running for office & not helping any candidate.  Surprise-surprise--I was accused by the Prez for leaking private/public CalChess e-mails to be posted on the internet.  My response: “… couldn't resist dragging me into your slime world with false charges and accusations.”

Well ZIPGATE continued—The President declared right before the September election that it is OK for Richard Peterson to run for office.  He decided not to show.  I was not at the meeting in San Francisco that a nice crowd from the open state championship showed or was dragged to the meeting and voted overwhelmingly to retain the current administration. 

The war did not end.  Richard Peterson declared CalChess to be dead and it appears that the old CalChess has been resurrected in Ridgecrest.  As Treasurer he was able to withdraw all the money and he said he placed it in a holding account for the students who were denied the benefits the old CalChess promised.  He said he will not work with the new CalChess--an entity—I hear papers have finally been filed with the state and federal government to make CalChess a non-profit—no one, and I repeat no one,--I have spoken with has seen copies of these papers.  Such a trusting Board! The old CalChess was an non-entity. They had no status—not a business, not an organization.  But, this non-entity, now in Ridgecrest has around $28,000 and the new entity CalChess has about $1500. 

Will the new CalChess support the old CalChess who has been “contracted” to run a state Championship that was to be on March 11-13, but is a new date, April 15-17?   Or will the new CalChess decide to declare there was no contract or it was null and void and decide to bid out a new States? – we would then have two CalChess States an old non-entity one and a new entity one.  Or, will the CalChess Board just decide to ignore everything and let the date not contracted and conflicting go with little support?  Why little support—it is hard to visualize any of the active members of the Northern California chess community willing to work with Richard Peterson when he single handedly decided he was the watchdog for all of them.  The individual who might have saved whatever hope Richard Peterson had for running some sort of organized tournament—Don Shennum, his Chief Tournament director—just notified everyone that because of family reasons he would no longer be directing any tournaments.  The CalChess situation is ugly, but most of all it is sad.  It is not my role to declare old (non-entity) or new (entity) alive or dead.  I can only hope, to return to my original theme (finally, I know), that CalChess will return to become an adult organization (in many ways) and leave scholastics alone—this means, those with a substantial vested interest in scholastics should get off a sinking ship so it may float again.  And, meanwhile what should you do?  Come and enjoy yourself at those tournaments that are RETRO: The NorCal Grade Level Championships (December 4-5) (, the North Bay Girl’s Scholastic Championships (contact and the California Northern Regional Scholastic Chess Championships  ( 


Alan M. Kirshner, Ph.D.


JUNE 2004 CalNorth Youth Chess Newsletter:









Most schools in Northern California are ending this week. I know many of you will be vacationing for a week or more this summer.  I do want to remind those of you who will be around to have fun in one or more of the chess activities.  Let me start with Saturday’s, June 19,  SCS Grand Prix #1 at Weibel Elementary School in Fremont (entry must be mailed by Wednesday, June 16).  There will be three tournaments that can provide Grand Prix points this summer.    Those players with the most points after the August 8th tournament will not only receive extra trophies, free tournament entries as well as the top prizes—a free year of chess instruction.  You can learn about all the SCS tournaments and some other Northern California events at  

There has been one major change in the summer’s Grand Prix program.  The August 8th event originally scheduled for Jung SuWon in Milpitas has been moved to Argonaut Elementary School in Saratoga.  The Jung SuWon Martial Art Studio closed its building in Milpitas this week forcing the change.

SCS is only one of the programs that has summer day camps in Northern California.  You can find one of the only all inclusive lists of local and national camps at:  One of our newest listings is for a Davis Summer Camp, Saturday, July 10, 2004 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., UC Davis campus – Wellman Hall, room 1. 

I recently received a communication from International Master Larry Evans.  He runs the only overnight camp in Northern California  I have had a number of students attend the program over the years and heard nothing but glowing reports.  He told me that he still has about eight spots left in his Mountain Lake Chess Camp:


Saturday, June 12, I spent at the first day of the CalChess Scholastic Weekend in Stockton.  This was a two day tournament organized by three teenage scholastic players:  Jacob Green, Kimberly Anonuevo and Nazee Moghadam. The turn-out was low.  This was to be expected as most chess programs have closed down until the Fall.  However, the trio still had loads of energy and are ready to do the event again in 2005.  They  talked about setting the Scholastic Weekend on the first Saturday and Sunday in March next year.  

The K-3 section did have some excellent competition with the 21 competitors.  One thing became obvious—many of our younger players are in need of longer time controls.  Granted we are used to most players this age completing their games in a couple of minutes, but we are seeing a small group of experienced players who are using up their 30 minutes.  A fair number of games were lost on time.  Kevin Garbe(1139) of SCS Argonaut, obtained a perfect score and took home a first place trophy.  Well, it started out as a six inch plaque, however after some discussion he received the 20 inch Club Team award.  Much to the surprise of our young organizers, the individual they depended on for the trophies made an ugly decision to provide everyone—from first place down, including non-place winners—with the same six inch plaque.  On the positive side—it was a good looking piece of plaster.

The 4-6 grade section had only 10 competitors—almost a round robin.  In this division, Nazee’s younger sister, Mahnoosh Moghadam(1073), tied for first with 4.5 points out of 5 with Frank Li (951).  Ted Belanoff (1268) of La Entrada went undefeated for first in the 8 person 7-8 section.

Kevin Davidson (unrated) surprised a strong contingent from the state Championship, American High School Team, to go 5.5 out of 6 for first place in the High School division.  For full results and photographs visit


The National Junior High School Chess Championships took place on May 7 through the 9 in Tuscon, Arizona.  Similar to the other scholastic nationals this year the Northern California participants were few in number.  I had told Stayton Chock that I felt that his Redwood Middle School Chess team had a great chance of duplicating the feat of Hopkins Junior High School in 1996.  Hopkins, led by Micah Fisher-Kirshner (1904), Joe Lonsdale (1668), Kevin Similar (1591) and Tov Fisher-Kirshner (1602), won the National Junior High School Championship in 1996—the only Northern California scholastic team to ever accomplish that feat in the Championship Division.  Redwood did obtain a fourth place (not a mean feat—39 teams competed) due to the great performances of David Chock (1823), Aaron Garg (1775), Tejas Mulye (1392) and JoJo Zhao (1292).

From Northern California: Derek Tan (1880) obtained a 13th place trophy and Samuel Shankland (1556) brought home a 15th place award. Personally, I think Samuel really did well considering he had the highest placing of any seventh grade player in the Championship section. David Chock (1823) did win an eighteenth place trophy and Aaron Garg(1775) took home a 21st place award. 

Next year’s Super Nationals will be held from April 8 through 10, 2005 in Nashville, TN.  This event will combine all the school nationals and pull in about 6000 players—insane? Yes, but fun!


I am returning!  There is a new old player in town. :0)  From 1995 through to 2000, I organized the State Championships.  I took over from Ray Orwig who ably and efficiently ran this tournament for eleven years.  He was my mentor.  I decided to step aside in 2000 (the 25th anniversary of the event) as it simply took too much of my time and energy.  I “quit” while I was ahead—everything went better than expected and my son, Micah, winning the High School Championship placed icing on the retirement cake.

The last few years I have become concerned over the direction of the CalChess State Scholastics.  I will not tire you with the details.  In February of this year the 2005 States were awarded to Richard Peterson again.  I understand his proposal listed March 11-13, 2005 as the dates for the event.  After this year’s event, I decided it was time to gather up my “old” staff and swing into play with renewed energy & hopefully efficiency.  Since the States, I thought, were scheduled for March 11-13 at Santa Clara, I decided to create a new major event—The California Northern Regional Scholastic Chess Championships.  I booked the San Jose Convention Center on April 15-17, a month after the States as not to interfere.  I wanted not only to return to the excitement of a major tournament where the only concern was the children and not the profit.  I also wanted to introduce a number of innovations.  A lot has taken place in technology since 2000 and tournaments throughout the world are providing the isolated spectators with a view of what is happening at the boards.  I think we can do the same—after all, this is Silicon Valley.  So, I ask you to mark April 15-17 on your calendars to attend the California Northern Regionals in San Jose.  Oh, and the States?  My conversation with Richard Peterson in Stockton yesterday, indicated that he had not booked Santa Clara for the bid date in his contract with CalChess.  It looks like he is also planning on doing his tournament in Oakland on April 15-17


A reliable source on the National Scholastic Council informs me that the USCF $13 scholastic dues w/o Chess Life will soon be $19 for every scholastic player under 15.  This fee will include six issues of Chess Life with a special scholastic insert.  I suggest that those concerned, and rightly so, about this change in the dues structure renew with a multi-year membership as soon as possible.

As a side note—our own Ryan Ko (I think he is in ninth grade), has been appointed to the USCF Publications Committee. One of his jobs is to research and survey why the USCF is losing scholastic interest in the teen years. He would like anyone with feedback about improvements to attract scholastic players to Chess Life, or possibly what might appear in the new scholastic section of Chess Life, to send him an email at


Go to

At this site the renowned chess author Bruce Pandolfini has a Question and Answer page titled: “Teach the Children Well.”


Any views expressed in this newsletter are solely the views of the author.  Any humor found in this newsletter is simply accidental.  Anyone wanting out of receiving this newsletter can do so by placing “Please Remove” in the heading of the e-mail you received and pressing the reply button.  Anyone wanting to add this newsletter to their heavy reading are welcome to send me their e-mail to join the other 8000 or so names on my list.

Once again—Enjoy your summer!

Chess is Forever,


Alan M. Kirshner, Ph.D.

SCS President

PS:  I am pleased to report that Riley Hughes of Know Chess! has dismissed without any agreement his lawsuit against Success Chess School that he file on May 20, 2003 claiming that I used “trade secrets and confidential information” to disrupt the relationship between  Riley Hughes and his employees, independent contractors and customers.  The money that has been spent on lawyers and court costs can now go to where it should have been used in the first place—to benefit the children and scholastic chess in Northern California.


Most schools in Northern California are ending this week. I know many of you will be vacationing for a week or more this summer.  I do want to remind those of you who will be around to have fun in one or more of the chess activities.  Let me start with Saturday’s, June 19,  SCS Grand Prix #1 at Weibel Elementary School in Fremont (entry must be mailed by Wednesday, June 16).  There will be three tournaments that can provide Grand Prix points this summer.    Those players with the most points after the August 8th tournament will not only receive extra trophies, free tournament entries as well as the top prizes—a free year of chess instruction.  You can learn about all the SCS tournaments and some other Northern California events at  

There has been one major change in the summer’s Grand Prix program.  The August 8th event originally scheduled for Jung SuWon in Milpitas has been moved to Argonaut Elementary School in Saratoga.  The Jung SuWon Martial Art Studio closed its building in Milpitas this week forcing the change.

SCS is only one of the programs that has summer day camps in Northern California.  You can find one of the only all inclusive lists of local and national camps at:  One of our newest listings is for a Davis Summer Camp, Saturday, July 10, 2004 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., UC Davis campus – Wellman Hall, room 1. 

I recently received a communication from International Master Larry Evans.  He runs the only overnight camp in Northern California  I have had a number of students attend the program over the years and heard nothing but glowing reports.  He told me that he still has about eight spots left in his Mountain Lake Chess Camp:


Saturday, June 12, I spent at the first day of the CalChess Scholastic Weekend in Stockton.  This was a two day tournament organized by three teenage scholastic players:  Jacob Green, Kimberly Anonuevo and Nazee Moghadam. The turn-out was low.  This was to be expected as most chess programs have closed down until the Fall.  However, the trio still had loads of energy and are ready to do the event again in 2005.  They  talked about setting the Scholastic Weekend on the first Saturday and Sunday in March next year.  

The K-3 section did have some excellent competition with the 21 competitors.  One thing became obvious—many of our younger players are in need of longer time controls.  Granted we are used to most players this age completing their games in a couple of minutes, but we are seeing a small group of experienced players who are using up their 30 minutes.  A fair number of games were lost on time.  Kevin Garbe(1139) of SCS Argonaut, obtained a perfect score and took home a first place trophy.  Well, it started out as a six inch plaque, however after some discussion he received the 20 inch Club Team award.  Much to the surprise of our young organizers, the individual they depended on for the trophies made an ugly decision to provide everyone—from first place down, including non-place winners—with the same six inch plaque.  On the positive side—it was a good looking piece of plaster.

The 4-6 grade section had only 10 competitors—almost a round robin.  In this division, Nazee’s younger sister, Mahnoosh Moghadam(1073), tied for first with 4.5 points out of 5 with Frank Li (951).  Ted Belanoff (1268) of La Entrada went undefeated for first in the 8 person 7-8 section.

Kevin Davidson (unrated) surprised a strong contingent from the state Championship, American High School Team, to go 5.5 out of 6 for first place in the High School division.  For full results and photographs visit


The National Junior High School Chess Championships took place on May 7 through the 9 in Tuscon, Arizona.  Similar to the other scholastic nationals this year the Northern California participants were few in number.  I had told Stayton Chock that I felt that his Redwood Middle School Chess team had a great chance of duplicating the feat of Hopkins Junior High School in 1996.  Hopkins, led by Micah Fisher-Kirshner (1904), Joe Lonsdale (1668), Kevin Similar (1591) and Tov Fisher-Kirshner (1602), won the National Junior High School Championship in 1996—the only Northern California scholastic team to ever accomplish that feat in the Championship Division.  Redwood did obtain a fourth place (not a mean feat—39 teams competed) due to the great performances of David Chock (1823), Aaron Garg (1775), Tejas Mulye (1392) and JoJo Zhao (1292).

From Northern California: Derek Tan (1880) obtained a 13th place trophy and Samuel Shankland (1556) brought home a 15th place award. Personally, I think Samuel really did well considering he had the highest placing of any seventh grade player in the Championship section. David Chock (1823) did win an eighteenth place trophy and Aaron Garg(1775) took home a 21st place award. 

Next year’s Super Nationals will be held from April 8 through 10, 2005 in Nashville, TN.  This event will combine all the school nationals and pull in about 6000 players—insane? Yes, but fun!


I am returning!  There is a new old player in town. :0)  From 1995 through to 2000, I organized the State Championships.  I took over from Ray Orwig who ably and efficiently ran this tournament for eleven years.  He was my mentor.  I decided to step aside in 2000 (the 25th anniversary of the event) as it simply took too much of my time and energy.  I “quit” while I was ahead—everything went better than expected and my son, Micah, winning the High School Championship placed icing on the retirement cake.

The last few years I have become concerned over the direction of the CalChess State Scholastics.  I will not tire you with the details.  In February of this year the 2005 States were awarded to Richard Peterson again.  I understand his proposal listed March 11-13, 2005 as the dates for the event.  After this year’s event, I decided it was time to gather up my “old” staff and swing into play with renewed energy & hopefully efficiency.  Since the States, I thought, were scheduled for March 11-13 at Santa Clara, I decided to create a new major event—The California Northern Regional Scholastic Chess Championships.  I booked the San Jose Convention Center on April 15-17, a month after the States as not to interfere.  I wanted not only to return to the excitement of a major tournament where the only concern was the children and not the profit.  I also wanted to introduce a number of innovations.  A lot has taken place in technology since 2000 and tournaments throughout the world are providing the isolated spectators with a view of what is happening at the boards.  I think we can do the same—after all, this is Silicon Valley.  So, I ask you to mark April 15-17 on your calendars to attend the California Northern Regionals in San Jose.  Oh, and the States?  My conversation with Richard Peterson in Stockton yesterday, indicated that he had not booked Santa Clara for the bid date in his contract with CalChess.  It looks like he is also planning on doing his tournament in Oakland on April 15-17


A reliable source on the National Scholastic Council informs me that the USCF $13 scholastic dues w/o Chess Life will soon be $19 for every scholastic player under 15.  This fee will include six issues of Chess Life with a special scholastic insert.  I suggest that those concerned, and rightly so, about this change in the dues structure renew with a multi-year membership as soon as possible.

As a side note—our own Ryan Ko (I think he is in ninth grade), has been appointed to the USCF Publications Committee. One of his jobs is to research and survey why the USCF is losing scholastic interest in the teen years. He would like anyone with feedback about improvements to attract scholastic players to Chess Life, or possibly what might appear in the new scholastic section of Chess Life, to send him an email at


Go to

At this site the renowned chess author Bruce Pandolfini has a Question and Answer page titled: “Teach the Children Well.”


Any views expressed in this newsletter are solely the views of the author.  Any humor found in this newsletter is simply accidental.  Anyone wanting out of receiving this newsletter can do so by placing “Please Remove” in the heading of the e-mail you received and pressing the reply button.  Anyone wanting to add this newsletter to their heavy reading are welcome to send me their e-mail to join the other 8000 or so names on my list.

Once again—Enjoy your summer!

Chess is Forever,


Alan M. Kirshner, Ph.D.

SCS President

PS:  I am pleased to report that Riley Hughes of Know Chess! has dismissed without any agreement his lawsuit against Success Chess School that he file on May 20, 2003. The suit claimed that I used “trade secrets and confidential information” to disrupt the relationship between  Riley Hughes and his employees, independent contractors and customers.  The money that has been spent on lawyers and court costs can now go to where it should have been used in the first place—to benefit the children and scholastic chess in Northern California

APRIL 15, 2004



My last information sheet to the Northern California scholastic chess community was a little over a month ago. Considering all the events that have transpired in that short time, it feels like a much longer time period. 
Our chess year usually culminates with the CalChess State Scholastic Championships in April. This year, due to the difficulty of booking the Santa Clara Convention Center, the organizer held it on March 20 and 21. The 29th year of this event drew the largest attendance ever-1433 players. This number of entries matches most Nationals. Perhaps, because of the size, the tournament was rife with problems. I am sure most of you reading this would prefer I spend most of my time on the positive outcomes and the success of our children.
On my website, where I try to provide information about scholastic chess in Northern California, I wrote:
This month's Kudos go to all those 1433 players who participated in the CalChess State Scholastic Championships on March 20 and 21. Special congratulations go to the individual and School Team Winners of the Championship Divisions (see for a complete list of past winners.):
Kindergarten Championship Jordan Ford
Primary Championship
Co-Champions: Gregory Young, Isaac Zhang, Daniel Naroditsky and Omar Wiseman (Omar Wiseman from Southern California cannot be listed as a a CalChess Champion as he does not live in Northern California.)
Team Champion: Blossom Hill (Los Gatos)
Elementary Championship Davis Xu
Team Champion: Gomes (Fremont)
Junior High School Championship Daichi Seigrist
Team Champion: Redwood Middle School(Saratoga)
High School Championship Benjamin Tejes
Team Champion: American High School (Fremont)
Winners of the other divisions are:
Primary Premier: Tiger Chanthasen, Long Thrinh, Nikola Gargov, Wesley Low, Madhu Venkataraman, Ted Xiao, Charlie Martell, Daniel Labunsky
Team Champion Forest Park (Fremont), 2004
Elementary Premier: Ray Hua Wu, John Miller, Anthony Fandrianto, Alex Golz, Venkat Iyer
Team Champion: Harker School (San Jose)
Junior High School Premier: Joshua Kramer
Team Champion St. John (Milpitas)
High School Premier: Nhan Khuu
Team Champion Edison High School (Los Altos ?)
This year the organizer, with the approval of the CalChess Board, added a second competition that was not a part of the States, The Koltanowski Non-Rated Championships. This tournament was suppose to be for players who were unrated and the tournament would not be US Chess Federation rated.
I have posted these results and the complete results of the State tournament at As many of you know, we have a number of professional photographers in our area who have been willing to share their pictures of the chess events with you for free. You can view and download the ones from the CalChess State Scholastics and many other tournaments in the Bay Area from the links at
A few other highlights of the event:
The organizer was very efficient in posting the entrants online and updated them on regular basis. At the championships, there was loads of room for the adults to sit and enjoy the tension of awaiting the results of their charges games. More team rooms were available this year. Not only was there a greater selection of food, including ethnic delights, but the cost was, for the first time, bearable. This year's T-shirts had a design that could be worn by almost all age groups, but they still failed to carry a design reflective of the CalChess State scholastic logo as had been requested after last year's event. Most individuals I spoke to liked the trophies better than last year. Each child received a token award for participating and once again, the organizer, provided beautiful plaques to those individuals who only lost one point. These players were also named members of a state team-a non-existent entity, but a nice touch. Notably missing were the medals or plaques given to the members of the top teams and the awards given to rating group or grade level participants. I noticed that there seemed to be a few more vendors this year showing their wares. I used to enjoy visiting the various booths at the chess nationals until the US Chess Federation decided to limit sales to its official store.
I am sure many of you who attended the competition could add to my list of positives and I am sure I will think of others as soon as I send off this newsletter.
Each year at the CalChess State Scholastics we have a coaches meeting after the first round starts. Any recommendations we vote on are sent to the CalChess governing board and they have the final say. I have not seen any minutes of this year's meeting so let me try and summarize what I can remember. Ray Orwig, then Scholastic Director, ran the meeting and used his towering presence and fine wit to control a room full of competitive chess coaches that at times did get contentious. 
Overwhelmingly the coaches voted to end the requirement for CalChess membership to attend the tournament-an extra $13 or $17 for a family. Last year, when it was introduced there were promises made that players would obtain a bi-monthly magazine and be able to get discounts at scholastic tournaments. Many coaches related that their players never received a CalChess Journal and, certainly, since none has been produced in the last eight months, this has not been a benefit. Also, no scholastic tournament directors that I know of are offering discounts for CalChess membership. A few coaches raised the question as to why the children had to join CalChess for their states and the adults did not. Some anger appeared over the statement on the tournament application that implied that CalChess membership ended in eleven months and not a year. Some coaches said that they informed their parents not to pay the illegal charge. A couple of people spoke about how in the past CalChess had been a volunteer organization and now, with the large amount of money being derived from the youth, this organization that has mainly served adults, is hiring people to do some of the tasks. We heard concerns of present and future patronage.
The assembled body discussed the new non-rated division. The vote favored continuing this section as the organizer insisted that players could only enter that tournament for one year. This was before we became aware that the organizer had failed to check and update the ratings of most of the entries. One parent searched the online database and found 20 rated players in the K-3 non-rated section alone. The lack of diligence on the part of the organizer contributed to a number of players and one team being disqualified in both the primary and elementary school premier divisions.
A motion to change the kindergarten section to a kindergarten plus first grade division failed. Almost all coaches present felt that it was worth maintaining a small kindergarten only section because of the slower maturation growth. This section would allow the Kindergartners a fun experience in a less competitive environment-a building year or two (pre-schoolers often participate in this section as well). 
Last year, during the last round the coaches and parents had a post mortum to discuss the positive and negatives of the tournament. Perhaps it was wise for the organizer not to hold one this year. We might never have gotten to the awards ceremony, although it likely would have been more fun to have not attended the disorganized presentations.
Rather then burden you with a list of further problems that marred this year's States, I invite those interested to write to me for more details or to attend the unofficial coaches and parents meeting that Ray Orwig and myself (both of us past State Scholastic Chairs) plan on having at the CalChess Grade Level Tournament in Stockton on May 1. We hope to meet after the first round gets underway.
On March 31, 2004, Ray Orwig sent the following e-mail to the CalChess Board:
"Last September I was asked by members of the CalChess board to be the Scholastic Chair. Many people I spoke with said they believed that I would be able to bring together some of the factions that were in conflict over scholastic issues. For the last 6 months I have been trying very hard to do just that. Sad to say, as this great game has expanded, so have a number of the challenges that we face. Listed below are some of the problems that will continue to plague us, unless we take a stand and remember that this is a GAME, and it is the KIDS that we serve.
*An old established club that never submitted a number of rating reports for a scholastic quad
*A floor TD at the State Tournament that did not know the rules and was verbally and physically abusive
*Excessive delays over the submission of rating reports- over the 7 day limit. *Parents who try to intimidate players as young as 8 years old, just so their child can win.
*People with such a deep distrust and anger toward each other that it clouds their judgment.
*People trying to take tournaments away from established sites for no reason that I can see other than wanting more control.
*The absurd taking of "sides" on any little issue, and the accusations, name calling, etc. that seems to go along with this practice. All of these issues, plus having to be referee for all these various disputes has been very draining and time consuming. It takes away from the teaching and coaching that I love so much. It is very discouraging to see all of this, and how much has changed since I was Chair nearly 10 years ago. It is because of these deep and divisive issues, and the unwillingness of people to come together, that I am resigning my position as Scholastic Chair- effective immediately. It is my greatest hope, as it was for the High Lama in the film "Lost Horizon", that all the negative forces out there will ruin themselves and each other. Then the game will once again belong to the children. Chessically---------Ray Orwig (former CalChess Scholastic Chair)"
As I said to Ray personally-"I really regret your decision. Thanks ever so much for trying to be fair and impartial despite the pressures some people applied. I know we both will continue to work tirelessly for the benefit of the children in Northern California." I added: "If in any way I have added to the pain that brought on your decision, I apologize."
So who is the new Scholastic Chair? I have no idea. I am out of the CalChess Board loop and since little information flows to the membership, I must rely on the tiny bits of information leaked to me from other sources. For example, I learned recently that two members of the CalChess Board have resigned-Jim Eade and Angela Hughes. I have not heard if they have been replaced. I also heard through the rumor mill that there is a new CalChess Journal online in pdf form at the official site ( While I have not received my hard copy too date, this is a start to bringing CalChess back to its original focus. I only wish the CCJ had included the minutes and actions of CalChess as communication with the membership is vital to a healthy and viable organization. Perhaps the CalChess President will, in the future, provide Eric Hicks, the new CCJ Editor with this information. I know he wants to do his best in his new post. In the same line of thought I also hope CalChess returns to the mission outlined in its bylaws rather than serving the interests of the few. The CalChess bylaws read: "To broaden and develop chess as art, recreation, and as a significant element of culture in Northern California. To cooperate with chess clubs, schools, the public and other groups throughout Northern California in chess instruction and in conduct of chess competitions and exhibitions of all types." While it is true that those who control the information control the power, I think that for the best interest of Northern California chess, that information and power need to be provided to all. We cannot afford to lose any more of the Ray Orwigs and the Jim Eades. More important Northern California must develop and maintain the future leaders like Daniel Schwarz, Jacob Green, Kimberly Anonuevo and Nazee Moghadam.
Various programs are now taking registrations for their summer camps. I fairly comprehensive list of local camps and links to national camps can be found at If I missed any camps that you know of, please inform me so I can include the links.
On May 1 and 2, 2004, as noted above, the North Stockton Rotary Club is once again hosting the CalChess State Grade Level Championships. This meet has always been one of my favorites because the hosts continue to run it as a service to young people. They never try to cut edges or exploit the participants to make a profit. So, please say thank you when you attend to Floyd Barnes and the North Stockton Rotary Club for running a tournament the "old fashion way."
On May 8, I will once again hold a tournament in the South Bay.  The SCS Los Gatos-Saratoga Quads, co-sponsored with the Los Gatos-Saratoga Education and recreation Center, will be at Argonaut Elementary School in Saratoga. Numerous parents have requested that I bring more regulation tournaments to the South Bay. I am trying to fulfill their requests, so please attend so I can be inspired to hold more tournaments in the area.
Jacob Green, Scholastic Representative and the amazing Stockton High School student, who continues to increase his chess activities-he sort of reminds me of a chess Spider-Man, will hold his 2004 Central California Adult & Scholastic Chess Congress on May 22 &23 as well as the CalChess Scholastic Weekend (along with associate scholastic representatives Kimberly Anonuevo and Nazee Moghadam) on June 12 & 13. 
For more information and applications for these events and other, please see Adult tournaments and youth tournaments can be found at, the official site of the CalChess organization. 
For the last few years the number of Northern California participants at the Scholastic Nationals has been microscopic. I wish I could write, that the few attending have done wonders, but that is not the case. However, as in past years we have had a few successes.
At Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 1911 players participated in the National Elementary Chess Championships from April 2 through 4. Ten came from Northern California. Our best showing was in the K-3 Championship Division where Daniel Naroditsky (2004 CalChess Primary School Co-Champion) and Hugo Kitano (tied for 2nd in the CalChess Elementary School Championship) tied for third with 6 points out of 7 a great finish in a division of 228 players. In this division Ojas Chinchwadkar had a very respectable positive score with 4 out of 7. Daryl Neubieser had a good result in the K-6 Championship Division winning 5 out of 7 and bringing home a trophy for tying for 23rd place. Partha Vora with 4 points in this division, although not happy with his result, had a strong positive score. Our best showing in the K-6 Championship Division was Jonathan Soo Hoo. He finished with the positive score of 4.5, but did not get to bring home a trophy. Craig Neubieser also had a positive score in the K-1 Championship with 4 points. Congrats to each of these competitors and all the other players who journeyed across the continent to compete in the 2004 National Elementary Championships.
In the National High School Championships (April 16-18) in Dallas we only have two entries from CalChess-Matthew Ho (2232) and Ankit Gupta (2058). At this writing the final results are not posted.
The Junior High School Nationals take place from May 7 through 9 in Tuscon. Perhaps we will see more entries there as Arizona is closer. Besides, Ray Orwig, every year, enjoys taking his St. Mark's Team to this event.
One of our top young players in Northern California, Daniel Schwarz, age 14, (USCF 1940) has begun coaching the new Tempkin Country Day School Chess Club. The club is named in honor of Dr. Alan Tempkin, who lost his long battle with cancer last year. I know that this nascent club brought a group of players to the States. If my memory holds, they had respectable results.
It is always great to see young players like Daniel Schwarz and Jacob Green grow up and give back to the chess community. Kudos!
The ID Tech Camps have been providing a number of free summer camp experience via lot at recent chess tournaments. They provide weeklong, day and overnight, technology camps for beginner to advanced learners, ages 7-17 at over 35 universities nationwide, including Stanford University, UC Berkeley, Santa Clara University, UC Santa Cruz, Dominican College, and St. Mary's College of Moraga. At Stanford University, students can take a Sports & Tech program where they spend half the day devoted to learning golf, tennis, or fencing, and the other half creating a website or producing a digital movie. You might want to try a week with them and then a week with a Mountain Lake Chess Camp, where you can study chess with IM Larry Evans, and swim, play baseball, volleyball, basketball and ride a 350 foot zipline. These activities should keep up your critical thinking and athletic skills this summer and prepare you for the 2004-2005 chess year loaded with knowledge and physical endurance. More information on the Mountain Lake Chess Camps can be found at and on the ID Tech Camps at
Looking for specific information to help your child, student or your play? Try out this site in the United Kingdom: Loads of goodies!
I send this CalNorth Youth Chess newsletter via e-mail to about 8,000 people. I have been trying to weed out non-working e-mails. People often change their e-mail addresses and the large number of bounced e-mails through Comcast a few months ago caused them to cease my mailings for three days. If you anticipate changing your e-mail or know of someone who has, please let me know so I can up date my list.
Each month, I request any of you who no longer want to receive this newsletter to let me know by replying directly to this e-mail and I will try to remove you from all my lists. I also request letting others know about this newsletter so they might care to be added to my mailing lists. I am happy to say that each month I get more additions than subtractions.
If you have any news or tournament reports, please forward them to me as well. They will appear in brief in an upcoming newsletter and in full on my website,
I take full responsibility for any erroneous information and views that appear in this newsletter. Please notify me if I goofed and I will print a retraction. For me to "retract" my views, however, will require loads of evidence and such is generally not forthcoming. :0) 
To be clear, I do not and this newsletter does not represent CalChess. Any similarities between persons presently living or dead in said organization are purely coincidental. Neither do I or this newsletter represent Success Chess School, a non-profit service organization where I serve as President. This newsletter is a task of fun and a service to the scholastic chess community. I began producing a newsletter years ago in my role as CalChess Scholastic Chair and decided to continue one as a private citizen. 
Thanks for your support!
Chess is forever,

FEBRUARY 22, 2004


I must, much to my regret, start out this month's newsletter with some very sad news. One of the foremost leaders of the Bay Area's scholastic community died on February 2 after a battle with a brain tumor and cancer. Chuck Windsor retired from his position as a hospital administer back East to be with his children and grandchildren. When his grandchildren started playing chess Chuck decided to work with them and the San Leandro-Oakland schools to bring the game to many young people. He organized the Windsor East Bay Chess Academy. He taught in twelve schools and touched the heart and soul of many young children in the last six years. I would be remiss if I failed to mention that during this Black History Month Chuck made his own history-he brought Grand Master Maurice Ashley to the Bay Area with his own resources to introduce a great role model for all young people. Chuck's memorial service will be held on Friday, March 5, 2004, at the CHAPEL OF THE CHIMES MORTUARY, located at 4499 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA. The family has established the Windsor East Bay Chess Academy Scholarship to aid high school students seek further education. The family asks that you contribute to the scholarship in lieu of flowers: Windsor East Bay Chess Academy, 11222 Lochard Street, Oakland, CA. 94605.
Kudos to 15 year old Jamie Brett for winning the Women's Region 11 Chess Championship. Region 11 covers most of the Far West. While I have not seen a list of past winners, I would venture a guess that she is the youngest to date to have won this title.
While a touch smaller than previous years, the tournament was still a success. Like any sporting event I saw the tears, the cheers of victory and a few Little League type Moms. All in all, the girl's had a great time playing chess and socializing with their new friends-this is what it is all about. The winners of the various divisions were:
IRENE SU-Kindergarten
VIVIAN LO-Fifth Grade
MELANIE OHME-7th & 8th Grade(undefeated) [I believe that although they played in these sections there were separate winners for each grade, but they are not listed here or on the 9-12 results-sorry to all those who deserve recognition for a job well done.]
KATE YAROPOLOVA-9th through 12th grade (undefeated)Full results and photographs can be viewed from the links at:
A number of other tournaments have occurred since my last newsletter. Not all of the results have been sent to myself or to CalChess. However, you can check out those that have been received at and/or
An organizing meeting of volunteers was held last week during the People's Tournament in Berkeley. Richard Peterson, the organizer, seems to be preparing well for the biggest event in California. The tournament should draw at least 1300 again this year. If your are interested in helping out in some capacity, contact Richard at
As most of you know, the kindergarten through third grade students play on Saturday, March 20 and those in the other divisions play both Saturday and Sunday. The event is held at the Santa Clara Convention Center, a location I was able to secure when I organized the States. 
For your information: Received entries are posted each Saturday on Richard Peterson's site : You can also reach it from a link from my This year you will also note that both the School and Club Teams are listed. As you can read on the application, if there are three or more players from the same school in a section, they cannot compete for a USCF registered Club Team. It does not matter if they participate in that school's chess club or for a club outside the school's program. Club Teams can be made up of individuals from many home schooled and students from schools that have two or less people competing in a division. After all the entries are in Mr. Peterson will create the school and club teams, so be sure to list both-you cannot be on a club team if you fail to list the academic school you attend.
"The four local schools on the coastside won honors as the top elementary and intermediate schools in the ChessBrain Guinness Record Man vs. Machines (<> contest that had 2070 computers from 56 countries participating. I'll have more details tomorrow (and the very interesting game!). I hope we can generate some useful local publicity from it.

The school district will likely take the lead in bringing this to the attention of the Governor and Mr. Riordan. I'll be concentrating on local papers and, if possible, some TV coverage. It is always hard with a Friday event, not made easier because the official results of the schools competition won't be released until tomorrow. It seems from the posted results that Farallone View (Montara) was the top elementary school, and Cunha Intermediate (Half Moon Bay) the top intermediate school. Our other two elementary schools (El Granada, Hatch) seem to be second and third, but some team names may not be transparent. They were initially identified as the first and second place schools, until I pointed out that FV was also an elementary school. I'll keep you all informed of the results once confirmed.

Cunha would have been higher, but the software didn't support Windows 95, so several machines went unused. This is a nice story angle, maybe someone will be inspired to donate things to upgrade them."
CALCHESS POLITICS (You can skip this part if you do not care to read my commentaries :0)
We have received assurances in writing from the US Chess Federation that they will rate the other sections of the CalChess State Scholastic Championships even if USCF membership is not required for the unrated section. However, my other concerns remain-I do not believe that a state championship tournament should have a non-rated section. I believe that requiring CalChess membership to compete in the tournament is outrageous especially since the CalChess Board to the best of my knowledge has not made membership mandatory for the individuals that compete in the open CalChess State Championship on the Labor day weekend. We now have a CalChess Board that is living off the money of our youth and tragically that Board is made up of a majority of individuals primarily from the scholastic community.
My sources inform me that Richard Peterson has been awarded the CalChess State Scholastic Championship for 2005. However, his bid for a six year contract was denied. Floyd Barnes along with the North Stockton Rotary did place a bid as well. Floyd has run the California Grade Level for a number of years. A reliable source informs me that his bid was denied because the Board felt he lacked the experience to run a tournament as large as our States and they were not sure Stockton would draw the large numbers we obtain in Santa Clara. I did not see the Stockton bid but I did hear it was to be at the Fairgrounds and there was a section that budgeted $2500 for portapotties-not something that I would have liked to vote on.
I have been told that Elizabeth Shaughnessy, CalChess President, has decided to run for the US Chess Federation's Policy Board. It is hard to believe that anyone would want to be on that Board. Their reputation is for loads of infighting and dirty behind the back politics. Too each their own! I wish her godspeed.
This month I think I will only recommend an article posted online at the Homeschool World website--Shouldn't Your Children's Curriculum Include Chess? By Richard Driggers. I think the title speaks for itself.
Any comments or statements appearing in this newsletter are the responsibility of Alan Kirshner and do not reflect the opinion of the Board of Directors or the Contractors who work with Success Chess Schools.
If you would prefer not to continuing receiving this newsletter, please press the reply button and place remove in the subject area. I cannot remove the address if the e-mail comes from a different location or if you received it through one of the three Northern California list servers.
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Chess is Forever!



I hope everyone had a joyous holiday season and a Happy New Year!

With every January 1 we say goodbye to the old and welcome in the new. I say goodbye, albeit, regretfully, to my position as CalChess Scholastic Chair. After eight years in this post, I felt it was time to become plain chess citizen Alan. I am lucky in those years to have presided over an immense growth of youth chess in Northern California. I cannot take credit for all of this growth, as many factors were involved. Yet, I am proud of my success in being able to create a cohesive United States Chess Federation scholastic chess community here. This development is best exemplified during my tenure by the growth of our CalChess Scholastic State Championships from about 400 to nearly 1300 players. I will not take your time to state all of the old I am leaving behind. As I said once before, just look around you. I am sure the New Year will build on what was accomplished during my eight years just as I stood on the shoulders of the giant Ray Orwig, the previous CalChess Scholastic Chair (11 years). Sadly, of course, there are always those naysayers, jealous individuals and followers of the dark side who see only the few weeds among the multitude of flowers and they will continue to do some damage to scholastic chess in the New Year, but, youth chess will continue to grow in a positive light despite this “Little League Syndrome” and profiteers--as, I might add, have all youth sports.
Leaving with my position of Scholastic Chair is my website that I created in my post to keep the chess community appraised of what was occurring in youth chess in Northern California— As I informed those on my mailing list four or five months ago, I had received numerous requests to maintain my site to provide the in depth and current information about scholastic chess lacking from other sources. I, at that time, announced that I wanted to avoid any confusion with my new position as citizen Alan with my former official position as Scholastic Chair, so I decided to retire the website. I did, at first, offer the site to the new Scholastic Chair, Ray Orwig. He felt he was not able to continue the site. So, I am now announcing that the address will cease working after January 31. You can continue to receive the official scholastic information from, the organ of the Northern California Chess Association, the approved affiliate of the United States Chess Federation. However, and this is a big however, you can obtain, due to the requests of so many of you, an alternative unofficial personal source of information on scholastic chess in Northern California from will, until January 31, maintain a jump page that will take you to I hope you will bookmark this address, while saying goodbye to an old favorite, and you will develop a new favorite in the upcoming years,
My new site will maintain many of your old favorites, the Top 100 Age Player Lists for Northern California, photographs and results from recent tournaments, back issues of newsletters, upcoming tournaments with easy to locate information, frequently asked questions and monthly (I hope) Kudos to young CalNorth players who have accomplished something special in chess. Of course, I will need your help in providing this information. So please send your news to or If you have another e-mail for me, do not fret, they all reach me at the same place and at the same time.
And, how does differ from I produced a totally new look and logo for the site so there would be no confusion with my old official site. The site has absolute no affiliation with CalChess or any other organization. However, Success Chess School, a non-profit organization, does sponsor the site. As President of SCS, this does allow me, at times, to present an editorial approach to the material and comments in its pages as well as my monthly newsletters.
With CalChessScholastics and my former newsletter, I felt obligated to present information in an objective manner. Granted, there are always those who interpret what they read or hear through their own bias. While I am aware from numerous studies I encountered during my research on my chapter on the media for my book, In the Course of Human Events, of people reading what they want into statements by those they support or oppose, it is still bothersome. I am no longer burdened in the New Year by the restraint of speaking for an organization. I am free to be me—a plain chess citizen. I can continue to be objective and, when, I feel the need, to editorialize.
I would now like to promote a new tournament: SCS Leap Year Scholastic Elementary School Swiss Sectional, February 29 (Sunday), San Leando Marina Community Center. This competition, obviously, can only be held once every four years. I placed it on the agenda after a few parents asked why I did not hold more Swiss style events. As many of you know, most of the tournaments I run are Quads. So, let me take a few paragraphs to explain the difference and the reason I prefer to hold Quads.
Quads are competitions where four individuals of nearly the same US Chess Federation (USCF) ranking or unrated (never been in a USCF tournament or have not yet obtained a posted national rating—received after 4 official games) only play each other. The winner of this table of four obtains the trophy. Of course, if there is a tie for first each winner obtains a trophy. In a Swiss style tournament all the players in a section are placed together. Let us say that the section is Kindergarten through Third Grade. The players are ranked by their ratings with the highest USCF players at the top and non-rated at the bottom. Then the section is split in half. The top half play the bottom half. Example if the top ranked player is 1500 and the section was split in half at 800, the 1500 player would play the 800. If the second rated player was 1450 and below the 800 was a 750, the 1450 would ply the 750 and so on in round one. Obviously, it is expected that the top rated should win the games in round one. However, there are always a few upsets and this bodes well for increasing the ratings of lower ranked players who are victorious.
In round two and subsequent rounds, the players are paired by winner against winner and loser versus loser—also based on ratings and the winners split in half as well as the losers. So someone who won three after round three should play someone else who won three. Ok, that works fine if four people won three (rating examples-1450, 1320, 850, unrated). If the colors are correct—you should not have to play the same color three times in a row and should be provided a different color in each round (black or white, of course:-) if possible—the 1450 would play the 850 and the 1320 the unrated. If there are only 3 with 3 wins then the number two person could play the next highest ranked player in the next score group depending on color. Individuals should not play the same person twice.
Now why don’t I run a lot of Swiss style tournaments. In Quads, while at the beginning there is a bit of chaos setting people in near equitable groups, once they are underway, things go very smoothly. Only three games are played and the event gets over fast with winner(s) determined immediately and loads of winners.
The Swiss style events do not have much chaos at the beginning and there is no need to check in—pairings are posted and people can arrive fifteen minutes before and get seated. In Quads we cannot pair without a check-in so we know who is there and then we can pair. This can mean, in a large event, an hour wait between check-in and playing.
Swiss events depend on computers and that means qualified operators. Swiss events also mean getting accurate results between rounds to know who to pair—it is not a round robin as in Quads. In a Quad if someone forgets to report a result, we can get it at a later time. If this happen in a Swiss it can delay the pairings until we get an accurate result or skewer the pairings and the results.
Since SCS almost always has over 200 young players at its tournaments, running a Swiss can be lengthy and expensive. To get accurate result in a section, this usually means a minimum of five rounds. Even then it may mean tie-breaks (a means of dividing trophies based not just upon the players score, but how well the opponents did).
In many Swiss style tournaments there are a set number of trophies for each section. Let’s say first through tenth. If after five rounds one person obtains 5 points that individual obtain first, but if 4 people get 4 points then tie-breaks are used to determine second through fifth. Yet, if however the next 15 players get three wins, we go sixth through tenth, but what happens at eleventh through twentieth. Generally, those players lose out. This happened to one of my sons at Nationals on year. He tied for 13th place and trophies went to 25th place. His tie-breaks placed him at 26th and he did not receive an award. When I started running tournaments I decided to give trophies for everyone who ties at the last trophy award position.
Now, to the expense part—since there are more rounds in a large Swiss, the rental fee for facility use is considerably more. Unless the organizer runs shorter rounds. This, of course, is unfair to those players who are used to longer time controls. Short time controls would prevent the USCF from rating the tournament at full points. An aside—I need to warn those of you interested in obtain national ratings that not all tournaments are sanctioned by the USCF. At the CalNorth Youth Chess site I do list those tournaments that are not USCF rated. The site does not and some of the applications are a bit deceptive. So I think you need to be sure when selecting a tournament if you will be rated. Do not get me wrong, many of the non-rated tournaments are quite excellent. I always tell my students that the Coastside Tournaments are worth attending despite not being USCF rated. Eric Schiller, the organizer, is an International Arbitrator, and I feel confident that chess rules will be followed.
To run a large Swiss it is necessary to have more tournament directors. The trophies are also a bit more expensive as it is common to have significantly larger awards than in Quads.
The positive: Well, for the winners, larger trophies. If the computers do not malfunction the tournament will run a lot smoother. Players obtain an opportunity to learn from higher rated players and test their ability against the more experienced. And, in most youth Swiss tournaments the players compete only against people in their own grade. In Quads, the player can be paced against individuals many grades above them due to their ratings. The positive is why all Success Chess programs have half of their hour and fifteen minutes set for Swiss style tournaments adhering to all USCF rules—one round a week.
So why a SCS Leap Year Scholastic Swiss Sectional? Free space! For the last few years the San Leandro Recreation Department has sponsored the Alameda County High School and Junior High (Middle) School Championships. I have volunteered my time to organize and run this event. In return, they have provided me the use of most of the Marina Center. This reduces the cost substantially.
The SCS Leap Year tournament will have a K-1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 grade sections. There will be ten place awards in each of these grades and trophies for all ties at tenth place. Every participant not receiving a trophy will obtain a chess medal. First place winners (including ties) will take home the triple weighted chess set and special board they played on in the last round.
The reason that I have not included a seventh through twelfth grade division is due to the Alameda competition on the same day. Any individual attending an Alameda County High School, Junior High School or Middle School can play for $5. There are junior varsity and varsity sections The only negative, in my mind, is that it is not USCF rated. The positive is that winners receive the title of Alameda High School or Junior High School Champion.
You can obtain more information on both these February 29 competitions as well as the ability to register online at
While I am on chess competitions let me remind all the parents of young women chess players that the Sojourner Truth Chess Tournament for Girls Only is scheduled for January 24 (Saturday) in Menlo Park. You can obtain more information and an application from:
The largest and perhaps arguably the most important tournament in Northern California every year is the CalChess State Scholastic Championships. They are being held a bit earlier this year: March 20 & 21. The site will once again be the Santa Clara Convention Center. You can download a pdf information packet and an application from
I am concerned about two changes in the tournament this year and the continuation of an experiment that should have been sunset. Let me start with the later. Last year, for the first time, the CalChess Board required CalChess membership (scholastic = $13) for entry into the tournament. An agreement had been worked out with the US Chess Federation that our State Championship would be rated even if all competitors were not USCF members. Non-USCF members would be nationally rated for $1. The USCF requires all members of a tournament to be USCF members if they are to provide a national rating for participants.
At the CalChess Scholastic Coaches meeting at the CalChess Grade Level in May of 2003, those present voted to recommend to the CalChess Board that for 2004 CalChess membership not be required. When I presented this to the Board at the end of my tenure as CalChess Scholastic Chair they tabled the action until September when a new Board and a new Scholastic Chair would be involved in the decision. The new Scholastic Chair, Ray Orwig, also believes that the extra $13 for CalChess membership should not be a requirement for the competition. However, the CalChess Board voted to continue this fee. This translates to an entry cost of $68 for most High Students if they are not members of CalChess and the USCF ($30 entry fee + $25 USCF + $13 CalChess). For those under 15 years of ages the cost for non-CalChess and non-USCF members would be $56.
Let me go on to the more serious change to the CalChess Scholastic Rules that are posted on the website. The CalChess Board authorized under the prompting of the organizer Richard Peterson an Unrated Section that WILL NOT REQUIRE USCF membership and WILL NOT BE RATED after the tournament. I might mention that nowhere on the application is the information provided that these sections will not be USCF rated. The CalChess Scholastic Rules state the USCF membership is required for all sections. But, the most dangerous consequence of this CalChess Board decision is that the USCF could now refuse to rate any of the sections of the tournament. As I said before, USCF rules require that USCF membership MUST be required for all entries into a tournament. Of all people, Richard Peterson, the organizer, should be aware of this requirement. Last year at his CEA National Grade Level in Hayward he promised that the tournament would be USCF rated for USCF members. The USCF refused because USCF membership was not required for all participants! I may be the naysayer here, but this action scares me because of past actions taken by the USCF towards tournaments organized by Richard Peterson. Please let me note—I am not attempting to disparage Richard Peterson. I consider him a friend and respect his support and organizing activities for scholastic chess. I just think these actions are wrong headed.
Last, and maybe least, there will not be a $5 discount for each individual entry sent in with a Team this year. While Mr. Peterson believes it makes no sense to have this discount my experience proved otherwise. I found when I ran the tournament a number of years back that the discount meant that the Team coaches organized the entries and made my task in entering the Teams in the correct sections a lot easier. Best, of all, it meant that I received the entries a lot earlier. As I said above, compared to the potential consequences of the other two policies, this change is minor.
I have expressed my concerns and opposition to these policies to CalChess Board President, Elizabeth Shaughnessy as well as Richard Peterson, CalChess Board Treasurer and the CalChess State Championships organizer, but to no avail. If you are concerned about the actions of Ms. Shaughnessy’s Board especially in respect to the rating of the tournament, I urge you to write to President Shaughnessy ( and express your views. Since the applications have just been posted, I believe (hope) there is still time to have the Board and/or the organizer listen to reason and act with caution for the sake of the players at States. Eight of the ten members of the present Board have very close ties to the scholastic community and I believe that most of them would work on behalf of the scholastic community. I would also hope that if a vote is taken the vote be open and circulated to all of the chess community. Too date, the minutes of recent Board meetings and e-mail votes have not been provided to us.
On a more pleasant note: I wrote the following on my CalNorth Youth Chess site:
This month's Kudos go to SCS Carden's Fourth Grade chess maven Partha Vora. He has just defeated his first Grand Master. At the National Grade Level Championships in Chicago, December 12-14, he defeated GM Alexandra Kosteniuk who resigned after move 32 in a simultaneous game. She played against 40 individuals and Partha won the 1st prize--a $500 Balmain Swiss wrist-watch. You can read about his accomplishment at WGM Kosteniuk's website,
As a side note-Partha won a 14th place trophy in the 4th grade section out of 233 players.
On Saturday, January 10, I stopped in at the second annual Mission Peak Cub and Boy Scout Chess Tournament in Fremont. Forty-seven players competed. Each participant received a beautifully designed patch. Since they had an uneven number the organizer Jim Edens allowed a young girl from Gomes Elementary School to participate. At this writing I do not have the results, but as soon as I receive them I will post them on my photograph and result page.
As those of you who wade through my newsletter know, each month I try to provide you with a chess website that you might enjoy as well as find educational. With the major scholastic tournament in January, at least from my perspective, being the Sojourner Truth Girls Chess Tournament I thought it might be apropos to suggest a website dedicated to women in chess.
Chess is Forever!
Each month I receive an equal amount of requests to remove an e-mail address from my mailing list as well as requests to add names to my list. I try to accommodate both. My big problem is trying to keep up with changes in e-mail addresses. If you know someone who once received my scholastic newsletter and no longer does and would like to get it again, please have them send me their address. I apologize again to those of you who receive more than one copy. I do have a number of mailing lists that I combine to send out this missive as well as three List Servers. I wish I could weed the list, but the various groups serve different purposes.

Success Chess Newsletter
December 2003

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!
Success Chess continues to expand by word of mouth. We will open 4 schools in January and we have one starting tomorrow. That brings our total to 65. I am not sure what our new numbers are as I need to add them up, but, I have feeling we are about 2500. While other chess schools advertise in local newspaper, call schools or fax them information, we believe the best contact is made by parents who are pleased with what we are accomplishing that they inform their friends at other schools.
Things seem to be running smoothly as we settled in and people got used to our unique approach to teaching chess. A few children dropped out, very few. This is to be expected. As I used to tell my student teachers at the university, “you can’t please everyone. If you please every student you are likely doing something wrong. Just follow your curriculum and your subject objectives with all students in mind.” The positive feedback I have been getting and the results of those students who have been attending tournaments has been outstanding.
Speaking of tournaments, next Saturday (December 6) we are at Weibel in Fremont. This is always our premier tournament of the year. Your children are welcome to play even if they are not on the Team. We do our best to place individuals with others that are of the same experience and age. Even if you do not think you child is ready or interested un competition, you might want to stop by just for our special holiday store. National Chess and Games will be here from Southern California with a full line of chess equipment and chess books. You can download an application or sign-up online from:
SCS is proud to have the largest percentage of girls learning in our programs. Each January we have sent the largest contingent of girls to the Sojourner Truth Girl’s Competitions. The girl’s play by grade level only. The tournament is in Menlo Park and will be on January 24 for grades k through 6. You can download information and an application from:
The larger SCS becomes the more difficult it is to do some of the simple things I did when I taught at one or two schools. I have over the years provided a service to the parents by offering a few chess items at near cost. Early distribution has become a problem in a society that wants things yesterday. This is a service I will be cutting for new schools and next year. I will still keep a few items in stock for those who request them. T-shirts are something special. They provide the children with a sense of belonging. All the equipment and all the T-shirts except for Los Gatos-Saratoga schools have been delivered. I had requested that the Los Gatos-Saratoga Recreation Department have parents fill out the SCS special form so I could order the free shirts. Only half the people did. I will be ordering these shirts shortly, but candidly, unless I received a form, I will not have many extra shirts.
The extra credit homework for the Club members has been started. I believe I am at number 6 for my two schools. There are three levels that need a password to get to online. We usually suggest that the level the student uses coincides with his year in an SCS program. However, instructors, knowing more about your child’s ability, can recommend a different level. SCS instructors will only allow a child to do one level and only one homework a week. They get the new password when they return the results from the previous homework.
Team members are required to do homework. That is a condition parents agreed to and the children, I hope, to be on the Team. Most of the time this work is self-actuated. Some Team instructors provide homework. I sent this information to a few of the schools earlier this Fall: “To Team members: The homework sheet that parents sign provides you with a vast number of ideas for doing the required work--albeit, not with specifics. I would like to reiterate that playing a chess game, either with a person or a computer, is not homework. However, it can be turned into homework by placing it in a database and adding comments on the moves made during the game. You can download in pdf format information on how to accomplish this from
-- this is a sheet I provide my own Team students. If you are looking for resource material to use, please return to my newsletter that your children brought home the first day of chess. If you misplaced it, you can download a copy from
More detailed resources can be gleaned from our website:

This page includes CD's & learning programs.”
Team parents are aware that if I child forgets his homework or doesn’t complete it, s/he will be suspended. Obviously, we understand that emergencies occur and similar to any school assignment we expect that you call us or write us a note. If the child leaves the paper in his book bag, please fax it immediately to our office (510) 659-0358. If your child forgets to bring home the sheet you are to sign, you can simply place the information on a blank paper or download a pdf form from:
A question that always seems to come up after the New Year is: “When does the second semester start?” Our program, if you recall from your application forms, is a year long—until beginning of June in most cases. We break the year into two semester tuition payments for those that did not pay for the full year. A second billing will go to parents in the mail at the end of January at most schools—depends upon when the school started chess. We do not have a break—except when school is not in sessions and at most schools when there are minimum days.
If you did not obtain the course curriculum for your child’s program, you can download it from:
Please share this newsletter with individuals who mention that they did not receive this e-mail. They can download it from

Chess is forever!
Alan M. Kirshner, Ph.D.
SCS President

November 17, 2003

The holidays are rapidly approaching. Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday and I am looking forward to it this year as well. Scholastic chess is booming in Northern California and that is something for which we can all give thanks.
This coming Sunday, November 23, I am holding my pre-Thanksgiving tournament at the Marina Community Center in San Leandro. Because of the great turn-out last yea,r the San Leandro Recreation department has turned over all but one room to me to provide us with all the space we need. I hated having to place a limit on the Los Gatos-Saratoga Scholastic Chess Quads.. I had reached our maximum of 124 over a week before the closing deadline. (Results and photographs are available at:
You can obtain information about the San Leandro scholastic tournament at:
Secure online registration is available at:
Applications must be submitted by Thursday night, November 20 as there is no late registration.
As always, I post an updated entry list from a link at :
As I indicated in my last newsletter, I will soon be retiring the CalChess Scholastic site now that I am no longer the CalChess Scholastic Chair. My new site will be a venture of Success Chess that will include information about our chess program, our Math Olympiad and general information about scholastic activities, including chess in the Northern California area. I expect this to be off the ground in January as I am presently working on a new look for the Success Chess School website. For a short while will be a jump site to and hopefully in a month or so those interested in keeping up with the news and information I present will have the new site bookmarked in their favorites list.
The Weibel Fall Quads, held this year on Saturday December 6, has been the largest chess tournament in Northern California outside of the CalChess State Scholastic Championships. Two years ago we reached a high of 440 players. While I doubt we will again see that number we could match the 350 we obtained last year. One of the things that seems to attract people to this tournament is the Holiday Bazaar. Once again Jay Blem from National Chess and Games of Southern California will transport his store to the Weibel campus for players and visitors to peruse the numerous chess items and books at great holiday prices.
Information on the Weibel Fall Quads is available at
Registration online is at:
I would also like to recommend the Coastside Scholastic Tournament on December 7, Sunday, even though it is not US Chess Federation rated. NM Eric Schiller informs me that if they do not get a fair attendance this month, they may have to cancel the remaining competitions for 2004. This would be a tragedy as this area of Half Moon Bay is a new and beautiful venue for chess tournaments. Information can be located at:
The last scholastic tournament for 2003 that I have listed is the St. Mark’s Quads (San Rafael)on Saturday, December 13. Ray Orwig, our new CalChess Scholastic Chair is organizing this event. I have not received an electronic application or a link for an application too date, but you can contact Ray at
Another December holiday activity that you might be interest in is a special chess camp for experienced scholastic players sponsored by the Los Gatos-Saratoga Community Education and Recreation. The program will be six days, December 22, 23, 24, 29, 30 & 31 from 10 AM to Noon for $120. (123 E. Main Street, Los Gatos, 408-354-8700).
I would like to congratulate 15 year old Matthew Ho for obtaining 6 points & tying for fourth place with this years open State Champion SM Dmitry Zilberstein in the Ralston Memorial hosted by the Mechanics Institute. This was an International Master norm competition—7.5 points out of 11 was necessary to obtain a norm and this was accomplished by SM Vladimir Mezentsev . While Matthew came in as the lowest rated, he firmly established his National Master status and I believe will soon be following in the footsteps of another young Northern California scholastic player who obtained his final norm for IM at the Mechanics Institute, Vinay Bhat.
Looking for a good list of materials/books for the scholastic player. Richard Shorman, Northern California’s best known chess instructor, and Henry Vinerts (USCF Expert) prepared such a list according various levels of skill a few years ago. You can check it out at
I have just heard from NM Robert Snyder that Random House will soon be releasing a sequel to his best seller—Chess For Juniors. Look for Unbeatable Chess Lessons for Juniors at all bookstores soon.
If you were not aware, the US Chess Federation post on its website all the tournaments they rate (albeit, a month or so after they receive them). I can tell you from experience that the date they say they received the tournament for rating is generally two to three weeks after I send it to their offices. I realize mail can be slow to upstate New York, but I think it slows down in the Federations bureaucracy. In any case, you can search out the information at:
This issue’s recommended website: Duff’s Place-
The site has loads of interesting material, including Tips For Parents of Young Chessplayers. One of the sections—“Is 5 years Old too Young to Learn Chess?”
Once again, have a great holiday season and a Happy New Year!
As always I will add people or remove people from this newsletter list. Simply reply to this e-mail and make your request. More important, please keep me posted on what is happening so I can keep others informed.
Chess is forever,
SCS President

October 5, 2003
To the Scholastic Chess Community in Northern California:
This will be my first information sheet in my capacity as a scholastic chess tournament organizer and President of Success Chess Schools. Most of you know that I decided not to request another appointment to the post of CalChess Scholastic Chair after 8 years serving in this capacity. In my final newsletter as CalChess Scholastic Chair, I stated that I did not believe any individual with a substantial financial interest in chess should hold this post. Despite the fact that Success Chess School is a non-profit corporation and I, basically, volunteer my time, there have been scandalous rumors spread about my activities and even a lawsuit filed. Since, I am one of the few not running for governor of California, I have difficulty understanding this kind of animosity.
However, I am happy to report that Elizabeth Shaughnessy, the new president of CalChess, our state affiliate for the United States Chess Federation, has taken my council and appointed Ray Orwig, my first choice, to the post. Ray, as some of you know, coaches the St. Mark’s chess team in San Rafael. More important, he is the father of scholastic chess in Northern California. He served as Scholastic Chair for eleven years before he expressed need for a break and turned the job over to me. Much to my surprise and delight, he has agreed to return to the post. I know scholastic chess is once again in great hands. You can keep in touch with Ray at
I did offer to turn the website over to Ray, but he declined my offer. This is the site, separate from my, I have used as CalChess Scholastic Chair to keep our community informed of everything from the scholastic tournaments to the North Cal players on the Top 100 age lists in the United States. While, I will cut back on those pages that I believe are no longer my role, I will keep you posted as to Northern California scholastic tournaments as I think most of you are used to going to this site to obtain detailed information rather than to I will also continue to place links to photographs and tournament results even though a few of this will duplicate what will be done at In time, when I have time, I will phase out CalChess Scholastics & jump you to a new site under preparation, This site will not only provide you with chess information, but keep you posted on another venture of Success Chess in our pursuit of academic excellence—the Math Olympiad.
At this time I would like to remind you of a few of the upcoming scholastic chess tournaments:
October 12, 2003 (Sunday)
CalChess Fall Scholastic Quads #1, San Leandro, Info: Alan M. Kirshner, Ph.D., 1-510-657-1586,

The deadline for the mailing of applications for this first CalChess Scholastic Quads and receiving the discount for both is Thursday. You can download a form or submit it on line from
Entries as of Thursday are posted at:
This event has always been popular and is located at a very pleasing site that is convenient to the North and South Bay communities.
October 18, 2003 (Saturday)
John Easterling Memorial Scholastic Quads, Info: Ray Orwig, E-Mail:
John Easterling was a contributing force behind scholastic chess in Northern California and specifically in Richmond where he graciously and altruistically worked with under privileged children. Ray has made this tournament an annual event since his death and contributed the proceeds to a scholarship on his behalf.
October 25, 2003 (Saturday)
Sacramento Scholastic Team Championship, Info: John McCumiskey E-Mail:
An application is available for downloading at:
This event is designed for four individuals from any school or club team to compete: K-12 Open, K-6 Open & K-6 under 750.
The final event I would like to recommend in this newsletter is :
November 2, 2003 (Sunday)
Los Gatos-Saratoga Recreation's Scholastic Quads, Los Gatos, Info: Alan M. Kirshner, Ph.D., 1-510-657-1586, E-mail: LIMITED TO 124 PLAYERS
The application is available at: you can read, this tournament is limited, due to the size of the facilities, to 124 players. Space is still available, but applications are arriving daily.
This is a new location for a USCF rated tournament and if we succeed here the Los Gatos-Saratoga Recreation Department indicated they would locate us a much bigger facility at our next outing. I look forward to this opportunity to serve another constituency with our US Chess Federation rated scholastic events.
I would like to continue with my information sheets that will be sent periodically my practice of recommending some chess sites:
If you have not yet gone to, I really think you shouldn’t miss this opportunity. This site produced by NM Kerry Lawless with the help of Mark Shelton documents the history of chess in Northern California since the 19th century. The site has loads of photographs, about 15,000 games played in Northern California since 1899 that you can download and annotated games useful for scholastic players—some done by the best known teacher of chess in Northern California, Richard Shorman.
I also promised Eric Hicks, owner of Academic Chess, that I would give his site a plug once I was no longer in my position as Scholastic Chair. I did not believe it was ethical to recommend one of the many commercial scholastic chess sites in Northern California. Personally, I love the art work and design of his site at More important, the site is loaded with chess information, history, games and tactical problems.
Let me deviate at bit from chess sites and follow through on something I had mentioned earlier—the Math Olympics. The national site for this organization is: If you are interest in more information about bringing a Math Olympic team training program to your school, please contact our NorCalScholastic Director, Dr. Edward Ratner,
In closing this information sheet let me remind you that many of you appear on more than one of my e-mail lists and, therefore, receive more then one copy of this letter. While this information sheet is sent to about 10000 addresses, many are duplicates. I apologize for this, but if I remove you from a specific list you will likely not receive information about your children’s chess school. However, if you believe you received this info sheet in error or no longer care to receive information about chess from me, please reply to this e-mail and request to be removed. It is important you reply directly to this e-mail as I weed by hand and if you send it from another address or with a different case, I may not be able to locate the e-mail address. Oh, and if you receive the information through one of the Northern California chess list-servers, I cannot remove you from those. This must be done through your own initiative.
Thanks for allowing me to keep you posted on select scholastic chess activities in Northern California.
Remember—Chess is forever,
Alan M. Kirshner, Ph.D.
President of Success Chess School

August 9, 2003

Welcome Dear Scholastic Chess Enthusiasts:

I hope you all are enjoying the waning days of summer. Fairly soon the school bells will be ringing again. I begin instruction at my college on August 18. I am always excited to return to a new crop of students, but not until September. :0)


I start out this newsletter with a bit of regret. This will be my last official newsletter as the CalChess Scholastic Chair. The operative word is official. I have occupied this post since 1995. A little over three and a half years ago I turned my volunteer work at Weibel Elementary School into a business, Success Chess School. Last year, I incorporated SCS in California as a non-profit. A few people, for reasons of their own, have taken pot shots at me and made some fairly nasty accusations that I have been using my official post to promote Success Chess. While, I believe their comments are self-serving and completely false, I have come to the conclusion that it is wrong for anyone—myself included—to hold a position in CalChess which could be interpreted as causing a conflict of interest. I have requested that Tom Dorsch, President of CalChess, not appoint anyone with a fair size financial stake in chess and ask the CalChess Board not to ratify any nomination of a person who does have a chess business. I have put forth a number of names of individuals who I believe would do a credible job as Scholastic Chair and who do not earn a major portion of their income from chess.

I know it is often customary for retiring people to list their accomplishments. I do not intend to provide any such list—as an old adage goes—"if you want to know the results, look around you."

As I implied above—I will not be leaving scholastic chess. I will continue to be an organizer of tournaments, a volunteer to various chess events, run the non-profit as long as the Board of Directors keep me on and continue to inform the scholastic chess community of what is happening through a periodic newsletter from Alan M. Kirshner, Ph.D., President of Success Chess, and my website, As always, anyone on this mailing list is welcome to reply and request removal of an e-mail address. Of course, the reverse is also true—all are welcome to add your e-mail address to my list to obtain information, tinted or not, about scholastic chess in Northern California.


Success! Just take a look at the results posted at

I think my favorite tournaments are those sponsored by libraries that are free to the players. On May 30th, Dennis Myers and Billy Chow ran a successful Atherton Library Tournament. Jeremy Chow took first (2nd grade). As many of you know Jeremy is one of my favorite players due to a sad photograph of him I took in while he was in Kindergarten that won me the National Chess Journalisms photograph of the year award. Bryce Aebi (5th) took second and Steven Purcell (7th) took third.

On July 19, the Hayward Library continued its 30 + years of tradition in sponsoring a chess tournament. Next year, they will institute one at a branch library. This year the tournament drew 121 players. And as usual, Richard Shorman, the well-known chess instructor and photographer, was present to take photographs. As he took them, free prints were distributed to the players and copies posted in a collage on the wall under the results. The K-1 section was won by Gordon Su, who I understand may be joining Mr. Shorman’s class at Weibel next year. Christopher wu won the 2-3 division. He is already in Mr. Shorman’s class at Weibel. Arthur Jeng took first in 4-5 (another Shorman student?) Sreekar Jasthi, a newcomer from the Valley took first in the 6-7 group. Since this division was in the afternoon, Arthur Jeng joined it and tied for second. Not a bad day for this young man. Ryan Ko, another Shorman student at Weibel took first in the 8-9 grade section. And, Owen Lin, a former Shorman student from Wisdom Chess Club won the 10-12 grade section. No, the vast majority of students at the tournament did not take lessons from Richard Shorman. Perhaps, his students do so well because they know he will take photographs of them. (full results and loads of photographs at

Tomorrow, I am holding the last of my three summer grand prix events. The tournament reached its maximum number—180--and was closed. The other quads reached 220 as we had more space available at Weibel. However, I do not think the closing of registration will impact the leaders—presently, eight people are in the running to win the large trophies and a full year of free tournaments or membership in one of SCS’s 58 programs in the Bay Area: Varun Behl, Leslie Chan, Brian Chung, Andrew Hsu, Ryan McSwain, Raji Srikant, Fredinand Uribe and Jack Yu. Running a close second and only five points out are Rahul Desirazu, Darwin Guan, Ryan Ko, Sumit Roy. Obviously, there will be more then one champion and the runner’s up will all get a certificate entitling them to enter any two SCS tournaments gratis. I do not think that any of these individuals will agree to draws to create ties for first in their quads. In the last tournament we had two quads with all firsts—each player had 1 1/2 points. How will you learn who the winners were?—well, as usual, results will be posted at

NEXT SATURDAY (August 16): Count down for registration for one of the most dynamic tournaments this summer. The trophies will out shine all of last year’s tournaments. There will even be school team trophies by grade. So bring your school friends to the LAS LOMITAS SCHOLASTIC SWISS SECTIONAL at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center in Menlo Park. You can register online at This is a grade level tournament. You play only children in your own grade (exception for 6 through 8 grade) that you are going in to—the grade you and they will be in the Fall.


For those interested in traveling a bit further—San Luis Obispo—Dennis Steele has created a West Coast Scholastic Chess Championship on Saturday, August 16. They have not sent me much information on it, but I was able to gather some from the internet and found the application at

I am not sure when they set the date, but it appeared on the CalChess calendar long after the Las Lomitas Swiss was posted. That is too bad as I am sure more players from Northern Cal would have headed south if there were not the conflict.

Dennis and a number of other educators have established a non-profit in San Luis Obispo called Student Chess. The president is a Carol Milburn, an educator at Paso Robles High School. Her mother, Dr. Florence Caylor, who ran chess tournaments for 23 years in San Luis Obispo County. Student Chess looks like a very worthy endeavor and I wish them a load of luck. Check out their website at


I have just completed the update of the Northern California players on the national top 100 scholastic players in their respective age groups. I am saddened to report that a name that has always topped or been near the top of the listings is gone—International Master Vinay Bhat is now 19. Hard to fathom. I have watched him play since he was seven or eight years old. Most of us predicted his success and have been awaiting his candidacy as a Grand Master—he has two out of three norms. We felt he would be the first from the Bay Area to be awarded GM status in many years and certainly one of the youngest. But, not only is he now 19, his family has moved to Washington and although he attends Cal, he is listed on the Washington State list. Can you see my tears?

I made another observation while updating the Top 100 lists. In the "Girls Under Age 16" division of the 17 California girls listed, 12 were from the California-North State (CalChess). Congrats to the young women and all the instructors and coaches who are inspiring girls to not only play chess, but to excel at the sport.


Last month I mentioned that we now had three scholastic representatives working with the CalChess Board of Directors: Jacob Green, Nazee Moghadam and Kimberly Anonuevo. All three teenagers have been tournament directors and they are getting together tomorrow to plan a tournament of their own—a CalChess Scholastic weekend, on April24 & 25, 2004 in Stockton. Now, this is what I call the future generation of chess that is the here and now. It is because of young people like these three thatI feel the need to carry on this newsletter in an unofficial capacity so you will be able to learn about what the chess youth of Northern California are accomplishing.

And, hot of the press: I recently received an e-mail from the Dad of one of our very young and up and coming chess players, Alex Grossman. Alex, as a citizen of the British Commonwealth through his mother’s side, was able to compete in the British Junior Championships last month. He placed 14 out of 44 in the 8 and under division and was second in the 7 and under. Alex comes from a strong line of chess players—his grandfather and great grandfather were competitive players. His father recently came across a game Alex’s great grandfather played in the famous Marshall chess club archives in New York. My memory may fail me here as it has been awhile since I spoke with him at our chess camp, but I think the game was played in the 1920’s. No, I cannot recall against whom, nor the winner. In any case, we will be looking forward to some of Alex’s games appearing in archives some day.

Since I mentioned my chess camp above, let me write that I understand all the camps this summer have gone very well. I will look forward to a new and improved lot of scholastic players in the Fall. I do want to apologize to Dan Gertmenian (AKA, Mr. G). His e-mail to me listing his Chess Prep Camps got lost in limbo with the switch from Attbi to Comcast. I did list his August camps (August 11 – 15, August 18 – 22, August 25 – 29) in his Sunnyvale headquarters. Parents who I have spoken with have given his dedication and instruction raving reviews. You can obtain more information at

CHESS AND MATHthis month’s website of interest

"Did you know that the game of chess is being taught to over 100,000 Canadian youngsters this year as part of their regular math program beginning in grade 2? It is being used to develop problem-solving skills and concentration. Most youngsters using this program are scoring better on their math exams. Learning through play is always the most effective and painless way to improve oneself."

Head to and learn what is happening in Montreal.

Well, that’s it folks! Enjoy what remains of your summer and as always—

Chess is forever!


Alan M. Kirshner, Ph.D.

Lame Duck CalChess Scholastic Chair


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June 8, 2003




This is one of those months with so many things to report on that I am not sure where to begin. With school getting out soon, I think I’ll begin by wishing everyone an enjoyable chess filled summer whether in California or wherever you vacation.


I hope many of you take advantage of the numerous camps that the various programs are offering. My Scholastic Chair website has a comprehensive list of these summer programs: My favorite is the camp International Master Larry Evans is offering at Capital Mountain, east of Sacramento, June 23-27. This is a sleep over chess camp that offers diverse traditional camp activities. I am very impressed by the quality of full-time instructors that some of the camps offer. Boris Kreiman, International Grand Master elect who resides in New York, will be full-time at a couple of Success Chess Camps along with FIDE Masters Dmitry Zilberstein and Bela Evans. Berkeley Chess School has Chess Olympic Gold Medalist and FIDE Master Sam Collins listed for a couple of their camps and National Master Roger Poehlmann a popular Bay Area Instructor will run camps in Danville and Walnut Creek. Know Chess will also have a few impressive guests at their camps with National Master Mike Arne and International Master Guillermo Rey listed. Hey, and for those who want to just learn how to play or improve their chess, you can rest assured the rest of the staff at these camps and those of Academic Chess can do the job in a fun and relaxed atmosphere.


As always you can view tournament information and download applications from my Scholastic Chair website:
Coming this month:
June 21, 2003(Saturday)
St. Albans Scholastic, Info: John McCumiskey, (916) 428-5532, E-Mail:
June 21, 2003 (Saturday)
Mechanics' Institute Childrens' Quads, San Francisco, Info: Anthony Corrales,
June 28, 2003 (Saturday)
SCS-Weibel Summer Quads GRAND PRIX #1, Info: Alan M. Kirshner, Ph.D., E-Mail:

I have decided to turn all the SCS Quads this summer into a Grand Prix. I will award points for the winners and the 10 individuals who receive the most points during the summer will receive larger trophies. The first place winner(s) will also receive either a free membership to any of the 50 SCS Schools or a year’s free entries into the SCS tournaments. The other place winners will receive free entries into any two SCS tournaments in the upcoming year. The Grand Prix concept has been used in adult tournaments for a long while. I am unaware of its previous use in scholastics, but I am sure one of our chess historians will inform me of any scholastic Grand prix history.

The CalChess Scholastic website also lists a number of places that will have weekly USCF rated tournaments during the summer. One of those is the Academic Chess Black Knights campus. Academic Chess has rented the Blackford Campus, which many of you know either as the site of the MPJCDS Sectionals I have organized or as a former San Jose continuation school. They have turned a part of the site into a full-time chess campus.


The US Chess Federation designates CalChess as the governing body of chess in Northern California. The Board of Directors consists of ten individuals. A few years ago, I recommended that the Board create an ex-officio member: a Scholastic Representative from among our young players. This position became part of our bylaws. Last year’s representative was Robert Chan who will be off to Northwestern University in the Fall. This year I nominated High School Junior Jacob Green (, who almost single handedly brought scholastic chess back to life in Stockton. He was elected unanimously to the post. Because we had two other top candidates the Board voted without opposition to create two other ex-officio members as Associate Scholastic Representatives. With Jacob, they will attend Board meetings and be able to introduce ideas and motions and speak on issues, but not have a vote. The Board authorized me, as Scholastic Director, to provide tasks for the Associate Scholastic Representatives. I asked, Kimberly Anonuevo, the top Northern California girl player in the Under 13 category, who because of her success in chess, her functioning as a TD and teaching chess classes was, recently honored by the Mayor of Milpitas at a City Council Meeting, to become a roving reporter for scholastic chess. Kimberly has been writing articles on scholastic chess and her experiences for a number of years. Many of these have been published at the Northern California history website: She accepted this mission. If you have any information you would like her to include in her columns for the CalChess Scholastic website or the CalChess Journal, you can write to her at: The second Associate Scholastic Representative was offered to Nazee Moghadam, another individual ranked among the young woman national and who has worked as a TD at a number of tournaments. I suggested she contact players in various parts of Northern California to obtain their input on what we can do to improve scholastic chess. At this writing I have not received confirmation that she will accept the post.

The Board also voted unanimously to raise the stipend award to our representative to the Denker Championship to $300. It had been $200. The Denker Championship is the national high school competition among the representatives of the 51 states (Northern Cal is a separate state according to the USCF). The tournament is held in conjunction with the US Open each summer and this year will be in Los Angeles. I really enjoyed the Denker experience in 2000 when I accompanied my son Micah to St. Paul to compete. This year, we had a tie for first place in the High School division of our States—the first time since 1990. Our rules state that a playoff between the champions--in this case Monty Peckham and Adam Lischinsky—must occur in the week following the States. Adam decided to allow Monty to go uncontested. We are all hoping that Monty can return the crown to CalChess. We have not had a winner of the Denker since Alan Stein in 1991.


We have had two national USCF tournaments since my last newsletter: The National Junior High School (K-9) Championships and The National Elementary (K-6) Championships. Once again I must report that the turnout from both Northern and Southern California was miniscule. Even last year in Portland few players from Northern California showed and only a few schools. Weibel Elementary School took a fourth place in the Championship Division last year showing that our programs can be competitive. David Chock, of Argonaut/Redwood, took a sixth in the same section indentifying that our players are competitive on the National Level. This year, the Elementary School Championships were held in Nashville, Tennessee from May 9th through the 11th. Of the 2400 players only eleven came from the Bay Area. In the K-6 Championship, our State Champion, Aviv Adler, did trophy in 19th place with 5 out of 7. In the K-3 Championship, both Hugo Kitano and Mukund Chillakanti obtained 5.5 out of 7 to place 16th and 20th respectively. In the K-1 Championship, Shriyas Misra, won 5 out of 7 to obtain a 24th place trophy. The highest placing went to Rasta Musick in the K-3 Under 800 section. He came away with 6 out of 7 to win 6th place. Rumor has it that his parents are already organizing a team to attend next year’s Nationals from Harker School—an up and coming program in San Jose that in its first year took one first and three place finishes in the school divisions at our State Championships.

Kissimmee, Florida (yup, that is the name) hosted the National Junior High Championships on April 25-27. Kimberly Anonuevo and Derek Tan both tied for 18th with 5 out of 7 wins in the Championship Division. Ray Orwig’s St. Mark’s Team, which attends the Junior High Nationals most years, took home a sixth place trophy in the Under 1250 section. The star of their team was Zach Williams who placed 17th . There were 14 entries from Northern California with 11 of them coming from St. Marks in San Rafael.

Another nationals, of a sort, the CEA Grand Nationals, were held in Orange County on May 16, 17 & 18. Of the some 270 + players the majority came from Southern California. Not surprisingly, the Southern California players won the top awards. However, Northern California’s Hugo Kitano was able to win the Primary School (K-3) Championships. Steven Hao, of Portal in Cupertino, and Vignesh Palaniappan, of Leitch in Fremont, who have been battling it out for first places all year in Northern California both won 5 in the K-1 to tie for fifth place. I did not see the team placings listed at the CEA-Chess Logic site.


The big event in North Cal during May was the CalChess State Grade Level. The North Stockton Rotary Club has organized the California Grade Level every other year for a number of years now. I had woked out a program where the tournament would switch between the North and South Cal chess states. However, last year we mutually agreed that we could no longer coordinate the tournaments so each state will have its own Grade Level each year.

I had thought our tournament would be larger then the 270 that registered, but I suspect the May 3rd and 4th dates were too close to our 1320 player CalChess State Scholastics. Floyd Barnes this year’s organizer from the North Stockton Rotary went all out, as usual to produce a fun event at Delta College. John McCumisky, a Senior Tournament Director from Sacramento was the chief TD. Despite a few glitches that delayed a couple of rounds things went fairly smoothly.

The results of the tournament and loads of photographs are linked from Hemang Jangle, this year’s Kindergarten State Champion from Mission San Jose Elementary School in Fremont, won this title as well. Ardenwood Elementary School, from Fremont, won the first place kindergarten school team award—there are no club team trophies at the grade level.

Steven Hao, of Portal in Cupertino, won the first grade title and led his school to victory. In the second grade, Hugo Kitano, of San Francisco, after participating in a blitz playoff for won the first place trophy against the other two champions: Michael Cosley and Andrew Li. Andrew’s points aided his school, Ardenwood in Fremont, to bring home their second first place trophy.

The third grade competition saw Kevin Leong, from Weibel in Fremont) go undefeated and his team tied for first with Challenger-Ardenwood, the State Champions in the K-3 section of the States. In fourth grade, Saveen Sahni, of Ardenwood in Fremont, took home first, and St. Mark’s of San Rafael was the number one team. Fifth grade also had a blitz playoff for the first place trophy between Trevor Showalter and Vinzent Davies with Trevor coming out on top. The team trophy went to Gomes of Fremont. Nothing could have made me happier. When I accepted the principal’s invitation to start a chess program there three years ago, I told him that I would bring home a State championship within a few years. The principal, Phillip Bold, had been my eldest son’s GATE instructor when he attended Mission San Jose Elementary School back in the 1980’s. Well, Mr. Bold, decided to retire this year ;0( and Gomes kept placing behind Weibel (the school where I started chess with my two youngest boys) at the States. Only three players showed from Gomes of their eight strong fifth graders. However, they pulled it off and we were all proud to present Principal Bold with a first place State Championship trophy as I had promised.

Be Hey, of Albany, won first in the sixth grade section aiding Albany middle School to go home with the school trophy. Tyler Wilkens, the seventh grade strong man from Davis (1548) who shocked an amazingly powerful Junior High Championship section at the States tying with chess Expert Nicolas Yap (2044), took home an uncontested first in Stockton. The State Championship Horner Junior High School of Fremont took home another first place trophy a;though tied with Redwood of Saratoga. Horner Junior High School had upset Hopkins Junior High School (seven time state champions) in April. Hopkins used to be the feeder school from Weibel and because of a boundary change, Horner is now the Junior High School Weibel students attend. Hopkins could only manager a fourth in Stockton.

Ramon YuSu Qio won the eighth grade section with St. Marks School from San Rafael easily winning the championship. Wesley Chen won the ninth grade division with Mission San Jose High School of Fremont brining home the school trophy. Christopher Wihlidal was the tenth grade victor with no team trophy awarded. Benjamin Tejes won the combined 11th and 12th grade section, again with no team trophy awarded.

Once again, I would like to thank the North Stockton Rotary Club for their continued support of chess and I will look forward to their 2004 tournament.


From Bob Fergusen’s Spring Scholastic Update (
“This Web site is not fancy, and some of the graphics do not render well on my machine. But it offers a huge volume of chess knowledge on one site. This Website was created and is maintained by Dr. David Regis. This is a page for people interested in teaching and learning about chess. With nearly half a million visitors, you can tell this is a popular site.

This site has a variety of lessons for beginner, intermediate, and advanced players …
* Openings
* Middlegame
* Strategy
* Tactics
* Endgame”


Last month I reported that at the CalChess Coaches Meeting at the States it was decided that the USCF rule providing preference for digital clocks with time delay would not be followed at the CalChess State Scholastic Championships. This is not a violation of the rule if the organizer announces the information before the tournament begins and posts the information in visible sites at the competition. However, the decision does not mean that tournament directors cannot in a claim of “insufficient losing chances” place a time delay digital clock at the board. As Richard Koepke, Senior TD wrote me: “You need a fairly experienced TD to apply this rule correctly, and it requires for a judgment call on the TDs part as to what constitutes a truly dead drawn position. If the TD ends up monitoring for progress (one of the options in the rule), there is also a judgment call as
to whether or not the side with the time advantage is actually making an honest
attempt to win the game ( and also that he is improving his position during the
attempt ).” Knowing this, the assembled coaches at the States, did not eliminate the possibility of placing a time delay digital clock at a board where a claim “of insufficient losing chances” occurs. Basically, “insufficient losing chances” means that an individual cannot lose on time if there is very little doubt that s/he would lose no matter how much time was left in the game. The game is declared a draw.

Looking forward to seeing you at some of this summer’s chess activities.


Alan M. Kirshner, Ph.D.
CalChess Scholastic Chair

DISCLAIMER: I am solely responsible for the information presented in this newsletter. The choices as to what to write and any errors are mine alone. If I goofed, I will be happy to correct the mistake in my next issue. Any information you have can be sent to me at I will try to place it in the July CalChess Scholastic Newsletter. This newsletter goes to about 8000 people. If you know someone who would like to be added to my mailing lists, please send me the e-mail address. Anyone who no longer cares to receive this newsletter will have the name removed as soon as I receive notification. Sometimes I miss removing an address as many names appear in a number of address books. I apologize and will continue to search my database to clear it of any unwanted listings. Oh, and if you receive multiple copies of this e-mail, it is because your name appears in a variety of databases.



CalChess State Grade Level
CalChess State Scholastic Championships
Bids for 2004 States
CalChess Coaches Meeting
CalChess State Championships
April Tournament Reports/Results
May's Recommended Site
Summer Scholastic Chess Programs/Camps
Newsletter Recipients

 CalChess State Grade Level

I feel like one of those magazines that place a date on its cover two months early. However, I wanted to send out this newsletter before the CalChess State Grade Level Tournament next weekend (May 3 & 4). The North Stockton Rotary Club has gone all out to make this competition spectacular. Over the years the event has been well run with loads of awards at every grade. This year the entries are sparse. I think it may be because it is so close to the CalChess State Scholastics that drew 1320 entries on April 12 & 13. I would hate to see so many beautiful individual and team awards and California championship titles go unclaimed or obtained with minimal competition. If you do not have an application, you can download one from The current entries are also linked from that site. Entries are due by May 1.

CalChess State Scholastic Championships

Large numbers of you reading this newsletter attended the largest chess championship ever held in Northern California.  Just handling 1300 + players is a success for Mr. Richard Peterson, the organizer. The full results were posted right after the tournament at Hundreds of photographs of the event can be viewed and download from We are really lucky to have such a dedicated group of professional photographers willing to volunteer their time to promote scholastic chess.

I am sure that the CalChess Journal will have a full report of the activities. Since all participants at this year's Scholastic States had to join CalChess, they will receive the next issue. The CCJ editor, Frisco del Rosario, has always done an excellent job covering scholastics. I am sure most players will appreciate the CalChess membership when they receive their CCJ and get their CalChess discounts to chess tournaments. A number of members of the CalChess Board, however, will be moving to eliminate that charge next year. A number of schools and chess programs did not attend this year due to the increase in the cost.

Bids for 2004 States

Bids for the 2004, 29th Annual, CalChess State Scholastic Championships are due soon. If you are interested in placing a bid and would like to know what you have to present, let me know and I will be happy to send you details. After the bids are submitted the CalChess Scholastic Committee will present their choice to the CalChess Board who will make the final decision.

CalChess Coaches Meeting

At the CalChess Scholastic Coaches meeting on Saturday, a motion was passed to permit multi-year bids with the provision that the CalChess Board could re-evaluate the contract each year. A few other motions were presented at this meeting.  About 35 people attended the meeting and most voted (3 opposed, 8 abstentions) to change last year's decision to follow the USCF clock rule that give preference to digital clocks with time delays. The preferred clock at CalChess Scholastic events will be analog clocks unless both players agree to use a time delay digital clock. Black will continue to have the choice of the analog clock.

The age requirements listed in the CalChess Regulations ( for our Grade Level (Stockton next week) will be changed to correspond to those for the State Scholastics. A motion to combine the Kindergarten section with the first grade for next year went down to defeat. My request to ask the CalChess Board of Directors to approve a $2000 college scholarship for the winner of the High School section also lost.

CalChess State Championships

I will soon be updating the list of CalChess State Champions in the open divisions and the winners of the other sections. Our regulations, copied from the USCF rules, indicate that only the winners of the open division can claim the title of State Champion. All other winners are champions of their sections. Also, to be our State Champion the player must live in Northern California. Remember, the US Chess Federation has declared that Northern California is a separate state from Southern California. In the K-3 Primary School Championship Division we had a three way tie for first place, but only Harsha Nukala lives in Northern California and becomes the lone State Champion. We also had a three way tie for first place in the High School Championship division, but one player was from Chess for Juniors in Colorado--so, our High School State Champions are Monty Peckham and Adam Lischinsky. I did not remember when the last time was that we had multi-champions in the High School section so I just went to and checked. It was 1990. The tie creates another dilemma-who will be the CalChess representative to the prestigious Denker Tournament of High School Champions to be held this summer.  Well, we covered this possibility in our Regulations. A playoff between the winners will be held on a Saturday after the tournament using the same time controls as the original competition. Don Shennum, the Chief TD of the States, will supervise the match.  I will report in my next newsletter the outcome of the playoff.

April Tournament Reports/Results

Reports that I have received from a few other April tournaments (2003 Calaveras County Chess Championships, April 5, 2003 and Coastside #8, April 5, 2003) are posted at the CalChess Scholastic Results page.

May's Recommended Site

This month's recommended internet site: Chess Kids Academy ( What is offered there-well in the words posted on the home page: "Interactive chess lessons, quizzes, games and puzzles for kids,

Play chess against the computer, FREE online chess books for kids - download and print, Everything YOUR school needs to run a chess club, A unique chess site for kids, teachers and parents."

Summer Scholastic Chess Programs/Camps

Before I leave for this month (well, for May) let me remind you that there is an extensive list of summer programs, classes and camps in Northern California and links to national camps at:

Newsletter Recipients

As I report each month-this newsletter is sent to thousands of players, parents and others interested in scholastic chess in Northern California. I even have a fair number of Southern California e-mail addresses on my list. Many of you will receive more then one copy of this e-mail. For this I apologize, but I have multiple lists and names are often repeated.  This is more likely now as I am converting the e-mail addresses from all of the participants from this year's States. I have not completed this process yet and only about 25% of the players are presently listed. I wanted to get this e-mail out to remind as many as possible about the CalChess State Grade Level next weekend. Please get those registrations in! In any case, if anyone is no longer interested in receiving information about scholastic chess in Northern California, please reply to this e-mail and request I remove you from my list(s). And, more important, if you know someone who is not receiving my missives and would like to be added to my mailing, please forward an address.

In the love of scholastic chess,


Alan M. Kirshner, Ph.D.
CalChess Scholastic Chair



OK, so it isn t April 1 yet & this isn t an April Fool s joke. I am simply sending out my April CalChess Scholastic Newsletter a few days early. I promised a couple of tournament directors that I would publicize their competitions next weekend. This will be the last warm-up for the State Championships on April 12 and April 13. So here is the information:
Calaveras County Chess Championship, San Andreas, Jacob Green, Info: Jacob
An application is available at:
San Andreas is near Stockton and the tournament is sponsored by the North Stockton Rotary Club, the same group that is doing the CalChess Grade Level on May 4 & 5.
I received this note from Scot McBrian, another of the organizers:
I have received the trophies and medals for the tournament. They look pretty good... I have 100 medals and one trophy for each grade level. . . . Extra medals also allow avoiding tiebreaks... thus many more awards are given. . . . My wife has consented to do the hot dogs with proceeds to go to the Calaveras High School chess program... A hot dog, soda (or water) and small bag of chips will sell for $2.00. She will also sell candy bars.
Looking at my crystal ball it looks like we'll see around 50 or 60 players but it could move to over 100...
It looks like this will be a great beginning to an ongoing annual tournament in the foothills...
Yours in chess,
The 8th Coastside Club Scholastic, Half Moon Bay, Naomi Hirayasu,
Naomi Hirayasu with National Master Eric Schiller have been putting on Coastside Tournaments almost monthly this year. I have been told by people in Menlo Park and Palo Alto that it is convenient to get to from their area. While they are not USCF rated, the turn-out has been very respectable and the competition good.
More information and a great map can be viewed at:

The present number of entries is 800. We are well on the way to reaching the 1500 anticipated. Exciting. Sounds large & compared to the USCF Nationals 10 years ago it is, but chess is exploding all over the country. The Texas State Championships last month had 1800 players. Granted, they are one State according to the US Chess Federation and the USCF divides California into a Northern State and Southern State. Actually, a lot of us living here in the North do the same. :0)
Discounted Team applications 4 or more sent together for a $5 discount per player must be sent by April 3. Regular entries ($30) are must be postmarked by April 4. After April 4, the entry fee jumps to $50. Please remember that this year all contestants must be CalChess members. CalChess membership is not the same as US Chess Federation membership. You can check to see if you are a CalChess member at This list, however, only list members up to February 10, 2003. I am not sure why a current list is not posted, but I do understand that the organizer, Richard Peterson, has one and people will be called to inform them that they are not members. As stated on the application individual membership in CalChess is $13 and family is $17 (please list all the children and the adults only adults have voting rights). With the family membership you only get one magazine. I realize that Frisco del Rosario, the editor, does such a great job that each member of the family would want their own copy, but I am sure you can share.
The entries for the State Championship are current and can be found at:
I have also linked them from my site:
As always, copies of applications for all the tournaments that are sent to me are also available there. This, of course, includes one for the 2003 CalChess State Scholastic Championships our 28th year.

The High School Nationals over the years has had the smallest attendance of any of the school events. A respectable number turned up in Columbus, Ohio last week 1375. A non-respectable number appeared from California. Seven from the North Cal State and eight from the South Cal State. California has never had a large number of players attend this event, but I do not recall such poor results. The Team of seven from Berkeley High School finished 29th. The highest position was Simion Kreimer from BHS at 45th in a championship field of 263. He managed a respectable 5 wins out of 7 games. Where are the Jordy Mont-Reynaud s, the Vinay Bhat s, the Jennie Frenklakh s, the Micah Fisher-Kirshner s from a few year s back that always seemed to finish in the trophies. Well, we still have the quality players in Northern California and I hope I will have better news to report from the Junior High School and Elementary Nationals.

>In the 7-12 division, American High School's (Fremont) Varun Behl and
>Erik Friedlander (PAL), tied with 4.5 points and they both elected to
>have a blitz playoff for the first place trophy. Varun won it.
There was no blitz playoff; both Varun Behl and myself declined, and he
won based on his opponent's summed scores being higher then my own.
Thank you,
Erik Friedlander
Sorry, Erik! Year s ago, when the upper age for the Young People s was 13, my two youngest boys had to face each other in the blitz. Tov, the youngest had the highest tie-breaks. Micah, 15 months his senior, was also undefeated, and refused to give up the opportunity to win the much larger trophy via the blitz. Micah won it and Tov still claims the #1 trophy as his. :0)

March was a very active month for the young players in Northern California. The largest of the 7 events was the 250 person MPJCDS Swiss Scholastic Sectional held in San Jose on March 23. The morning rain failed to damper the enthusiasm and excellent chess play. I have posted all the results and numerous links to photographs at for all the tournaments where directors forwarded me information. In swiss style tournaments(where every one in a division get paired based on ratings and results each round), it is easy to post a cross-table of every round. Quads (where four people contest each other in a round robin) are not done by computer and, therefore, you will generally only see a table of winners.
This reminds me, a number of people have complained that they could not find a complete listing of the results of the Sojourner Truth Tournament for Girl s only, winners. The cross-tables (full results) have been posted, along with hundreds of photographs, from links at the page within a few days of the event.
While hundreds of photographs are available from the above link for free downloading, you can also find a select group of photographs gleaned from these pages at
The site is the official site of the Northern California affiliate of the US Chess Federation. This site is very informative for adult activities in the North California and does cover some scholastic activities. The site, of choice, for scholastic information, remain the one I produce as CalChess Scholastic Chair:
I do want to take this opportunity to present Kudos to the group of photographers who spend their time at the scholastic tournament taking pictures of your children playing chess. Most of these photographers have had professional experience or are presently paid professionals and can capture moments when parents are not present. As you know, parents are often excluded from the playing area. Despite the talent of these photographers, they do not charge you to download their photographs. This is very uncommon in other parts of the nation where a small fee is requested for any downloads. So when you get a chance, and a space exists for comments on their site, thank them profusely for their volunteer work.

I returned from Dallas, last weekend, just in time to get some sleep so I could set-up the MPJCDS Swiss Sectionals. I was attending the Advisory Board Meeting of the University of Texas, Dallas chess program. For almost two years, I have been on this Board with the Bay Area s Jim Eade chess master, former CalChess President, former member of the USCF Board of Directors, former representative from the US to FIDE (the international chess governing body) and, presently a member of the Board of the US Chess Trust a non-profit that helps promote chess in the schools, especially in lower income areas. I mention Jim here in large part for what he has done for chess but alsao because he identified on our trip back that a previous CalChess Journal mentioned my serving on the Board and not him. :0)
Jim was also a presenter at the UT, Dallas Chess Fest II. He gave a paper on the History of The Mechanics Institute in San Francisco, the oldest continuously existing Chess club in the United States. I learned a lot.
If you have never visited The Mechanic Institute, I recommend you make it a priority outing. They are at 57 Post Street in San Francisco. Their website is at:
When I just went to their site to obtain the correct address, I noticed that they are hosting some quads on April 19 and May 31. I was a bit surprised to see this, but I have requested information previously about their scholastic activities and failed to receive much. Regardless, going to one of those quads might be a chance to go back in chess history and make some yourself.
I believe I have mentioned before that the University of Texas at Dallas offers numerous chess scholarships every year. They, along with The University of Maryland, Baltimore, are the premier college chess teams in the US. However, 21 other schools also provide some form of scholarship or financial aid designed exclusively for chess players. You can check out the full list of college chess financial incentives at:
I am now announcing for the first time it just came to me that CalChess provide a chess scholarship for the winner of the High School section of our State Championship. I will place this on the agenda of the coaches meeting that will be held at the States at 10:30 AM on April 12 (all are welcome) and if approved, it would go to the CalChess Board of Directors. In this manner, we could add California to the list of 14 States with college chess scholarships.

Ten Tips to Winning Chess by International Grandmaster Arthur Bisguier, 5-time U.S. Open Champion and Instructor at the Castle Chess Camp

If you have any items you would like discussed at the CalChess coaches meeting mentioned above, please forward them to me at

Please use the same e-mail address to forward any tournament information: schedules, results, reports, photographs. I would also love to publish any stories you have on your players or for players, anything you would like to say about your coach positive, please.

Again, my apology if you receive more then one copy of this newsletter. I use multiple chess mailing lists. Since the newsletter reach over 6000 addresses, I am sure a few of you are no longer interested in receiving chess information. Please replay with the same e-mail you received this at and request I remove you from my mailing list.

If you have friends or acquaintances who would like to receive this information, have them forward their e-mail address.

Previous issues of the CalChess Scholastic Newsletter can be found at
Last year s (2002-2003)issues are also available at
Good Luck @ the CalChess State Scholastic Championship and if you see me looking relaxed, say hello it happens once in awhile. :0)
Joining your love of chess,

March 1, 2003
In this issue

Welcome to March and this month's CalChess Scholastic Newsletter. I started the month enjoying a day with Grand Master Maurice Ashley, the first African-American to become first an International Master and now a Grand Master. Chuck Windsor once again brought him to the Bar Area from New York to celebrate Black History Month. Chuck, a 75 year old retired hospital administrator who began teaching chess in the schools in the East Bay about six years ago, dreamed of bringing GM Ashley here as a role model for all our young chess players. He made contact with him three years ago and Chuck conceived of a Chess Fest to be held at the Peoplesoft Center at the Oakland Zoo. 
The first year GM Ashley came he played one blindfold game against a youth team in the morning and a 20 person simul in the afternoon. Last year, he took on three youth chess teams, The Berkeley Chess School, The Windsor East Bay Chess Club and The Success Chess Schools. He again was blindfolded and the three teams of five players with full vision each faded fast. The Windsor East Bay Chess Club lasted the longest. In the simul, he broke his perfect record with a draw against then fifth grader, Aviv Adler, one of the BCS team players. 
Today, he repeated his blindfold victories. This year, The Berkeley Chess School lasted the longest. BCS was ready to put the GM to the test, adding to their team a senior in High School, Simion Kreimer (1839). The captain of their team was Junior High wiz Daichi Siegrist (1838). The additional players Aviv Adler (1494), Aaron Wilkowski (1530), Phil Jouriles (1518) gave the group additional depth. Within a few moves the BCS team was up the exchange-they won a rook for a bishop. However, the blindfolded GM continue to push his pawns and pieces down their throats and pulled off his third win of the day.
I have placed photographs of the event and copies of the three games at the web site that I officially produce as the CalChess Scholastic chair ( Just a reminder, that I try to publish links to all the photographs and the full tournament cross tables when they are sent or when I collect them from the various scholastic organizers. 
As long as I have mentioned my scholastic site, let me note that I gave up the post of CalChess webmaster to Elizabeth Shaughnessey. She worked with a professional web designer to produce a new look for the site. I think you will like it. The CalChess webpages will provide you information about the activities of our Northern California affiliate of the US Chess Federation.
Returning to GM Maurice Ashley-on Thursday he appeared at Contra Costa Community College to kick off with Chuck Windsor the start of a collegiate Chess Club. Over 100 people showed up and he played 22 individuals in a simul, winning 21 and drawing only one game. The GM told me how impressed he was that the President and Vice-President of the college not only made an appearance, but stayed around a good part of the afternoon. 

LAST MONTH I FORGOT TO MENTION THE SOJOURNER TRUTH TOURNAMENT FOR GIRLS. SHAME ON ME! I must admit that this was personally embarrassing as girls from my program really collected a lot of hardware. The complete cross tables and loads of photographs are available at There were slightly less players this year, but if the Washington players had come down again, the number would have been the same as or slightly greater than last year. Richard Peterson took it over at the last minute when Doug Shaker, who originated the tournament four years ago, had to step aside. A number of people who had promised to help Richard, failed to show. But, others stepped up and volunteered their time. So kudos to Richard and to his volunteers--things went very well. 

February boomed with tournaments. The President's Weekend saw hundreds of children playing chess, first at the Chess Education Association's Grade Level in Hayward (237 players) and the 30th plus year of the Young People's Tournament I Berkeley (110 players). At Berkeley, Arun Gomatam, a sixth grader from Miller Middle School in Cupertino, had the only perfect 5-0 of the day. His Mom called me the other day to tell me had to stop going to our chess program because he is on the basketball team. I am constantly amazed at all the things today's children do. The other Elementary School winners:
2nd:Rolland Wu, 4.5 points
3rd-10th(all received trophies), 4 points
Hayk Manvelan
Govind Ramnarayan
Andrew Yun
Teddy Stenmark
Titus Van Hook
Mahnoosh Moghadam
Trevor Showalter
1st K: Soren O'Connell, 2.5
2nd K: Toby Osborne, 2
1st 1st Grd:Adutya Srinivasan, 3
2nd 1st Grd: Satchel Genobaga, 2
1st 2nd Grd: Hugo Kitano,3
2nd 2nd Grd:Gregory Young, 3
1st 3rd Grd: Mukun Chilikanti,3
2nd 3rd Grd: Daryl Neubeiser, 3
1st 4th Grd: Tatsuro Yamamura, 4
2nd 4th Grd: John Boyle, 3.5
In the 7-12 division, American High School's (Fremont) Varun Behl and Erik Friedlander (PAL), tied with 4.5 points and they both elected to have a blitz playoff for the first place trophy. Varun won it. However, at the Alameda County High School Championships (February 23) he wasn't as lucky. He tied Timothy Ma (Fremont's Mission High School) for first and lost the bigger trophy on tie breaks. Chess Expert, Frisco Del Rosario, who was mentoring players from his old High School, Tennyson in Hayward, and I were flabbergasted when we had to go down to the fifth tie-break before we had a winner. Neither of us in all our years of chess could remember that happening. Because of Varun and a few of Richard Shorman's students at American High School, their five man team tied the eleven person squad from Berkeley High School for the Team award. Arkajit Dey (SCS Newark) and Clayton Chan (Chinese Christian School) tied for first place in the Alameda County Middle School Championship. Castro Valley's Cesar Chavez Middle School beat out Hayward's Canyon Middle school for first place in that division. Once again, photographs and complete results to all these events are available at the above site.
From Jacob Green in Stockton:
Marshall Middle School & the Stockton Chess Club sponsored the 2nd annual SUSD K-8 Chess Championships which was held on February 15, 2003. Last years event attracted about 100 but we only got 85-90 entries this time. Event started off an hour late, which was the latest I have ever started an event and thats because two flyers were sent out to the school district both with different times. But yet we ended the event an hour and a half early which made me happy. Not that many problems occured during the event, and it ran smoothly. During the lunch period I played a 30 man simul lost 1 and won 29, and boy was the scholastic who beat me happy :-). The Stockton Record was there as well and took pictures of the event and interviewed several players. An article was in today's RECORD (2/16), and hopefully if I have time I can e-mail it to you. I would like to than my tournament directing staff for helping me, ! they were Jesse Green, Joanne Green, Joey Green, Nee Lee, Paul Fortes, Franklin Ferrer, & Fedy Ferrer. No doubt scholastic chess is growing here in Stockton. Results of the event are;
K-3 Awards:
1st Place: Jose Cuevas
2nd Place: Benjamin Buth
3rd Place: Enrique Gamoba
Team Awards (K-3):
1st Place: Harrison Stockton Elementary; as well as continual plaque
2nd Place: Julia Morgan Elementary
3rd Place: Garfield Elementary
Top ten in section 4-6 received awards
Phillip Cardova won the play-off for first place
Team Awards (4-6):
1st Place: Hazleton Elementary; as well as continual plaque
2nd Place: King Elementary
3rd Place: Rio Calaveras
Top ten in section 7-8 received individual trophies
Team Awards (7-8):
1st Place: Marshall Middle School; as well as continual plaque
2nd Place: Webster Middle School
3rd Place: Hamilton Middle School
I will be doing the 5th Annual CHS Scholastic Championships March 9, 2003. Then we head onto the Central California Chess Congress, March 29 and 30.
(The complete results are available at
Results + some photographs from the Coastside Scholastic held on February 1st at Farallone View Elementary School, Montara, CA are available at While I have the unofficial results from the March 1st Coastside tournament, I am awaiting the official results. I do suspect they will also be posted shortly at this site. National Master Eric Schiller along with Naomi Hirayasu have established a near monthly series of these non-USCF tournaments that are designed for beginners in the game of chess. They are now working out their summer schedule and I will post these as soon as I receive them at along with applications.
Results of the Hawthorne Royal Knights Winter Chess Classic (February 22) can be found
Results of the Sacramento Scholastic Chess Championship(also held on February 22) are at
Just a reminder to all tournament organizers to please send your scholastic tournament announcements and results to me so I can post them on the CalChess Scholastic site. Scholastic tournament dates continue to be through the CalChess Scholastic Chair in order that I can be sure that no conflicts in events occur. 

Next Saturday, March 8, is the Gomes Quads in Fremont. Applications must be postmarked by Tuesday, March 4. You can download applications or submit one via the internet using your credit card from the links at You can also check the status of your entry at the same internet address. I did not place a limit on this event this year, but I cannot take late entries. The nice part of these large quad events is that I can divide the players much more fairly by age and experience. I have been able to obtain new 2003 trophies for all the first place winners and special 2003 medals for everyone else.
Coming up as well:
March 8, 2003 (Saturday)
Great Western Scholastic, Reedley, Info: Allan Fifield,
March 15, 2003 (Saturday)
St. Marks Scholastic Quads #5, San Rafael, Info: Ray Orwig,
March 22, 2003 (Saturday)
Know Chess! Woodland Chess Tournament, Portola Valley, Info: Josh Bowman at (510) 572-1793 or email
March 22, 2003 (Saturday)
Davis Scholastic Championship, Info: John McCumiskey, (916) 428-5532, E-Mail:
March 23, 2003 (Sunday)
MPJCDS Scholastic Swiss Sectional, San Jose, Info: Alan M. Kirshner,
March 29, 2003 (Saturday)
Stockton Beginners Scholastic Championships, Jacob Green, info:
March 29-30, 2003 (Saturday & Sunday)
Stockton Scholastic Championships, Stockton, Jacob Green, info:
March 29 - 30 2003 (Saturday & Sunday)
Western States Championship, Bakersfield, David Huff, 4201 Mesa Marin Drive, Bakersfield 93306, 661-631-5870, Info:

All of these tournaments will; be great preparation for the CalChess State Scholastic Championships. The registrations for this event that we believe will pull 1500 players will be posted at http://www, There is a posting at that site from February 19. I am sure a new one will be available soon in a more readable fashion that will include School Teams and Club Teams. Please remember that if you submit your applications to your school or club coach to send in with three others there is a $5 discount. This also gives the coach or school director the opportunity to check to see if you are registering in the correct division and are a member of CalChess. Both of these issues need clarification.
When you register you should list both your school and your USCF club (if you have one). The rules state that if there are two or more members of your school that are attending the competition IN YOUR SECTION you must be a member of that SCHOOL TEAM. No if's and's or but's-even if the other students of your school do not play together. You cannot be on a Club Team if you don't list your school-this enables your coach and the tournament organizer to be sure that no coach is recruiting from School Teams either intentionally or unknowingly. To have a Club Team compete, that Club must be a registered USCF affiliate. Home School students cannot compete as a school only as a USCF Club Team or if they live within the boundaries of a school and the school district permits participation on athletic teams, they can join a school chess team.
CalChess membership is required for all players this year. The cost is $13 individually or $17 for a family-parents and all the children. This means that with the $5 discount if you give it to your coach, your cost will be $25 + $13 = $38 or $43 sent in individually. Of course, a few people are members of CalChess-very few. If you have been a member you would have received a card in the mail saying you were a CalChess member and you would be getting the CalChess Journal every two months. This is not-I repeat-not, US Chess Federation membership. To check if you are a CalChess member, go to All current members are listed there.
New players do not have to join the US Chess Federation (unless in the past they had joined). They will be rated by the US Chess federation, but they must pay a dollar more on their entry fee. Many of you getting this newsletter are USCF members because your e-mail addresses have come from tournament lists and USCF membership has been required for most other tournaments-but not CalChess membership. Although, a few scholastic directors do give discounted entry fees for CalChess members-all should.
Parents have expressed some confusion as to titles. Primary School means kindergarten through third grade. Elementary School basically applies to 4th through 6th grade. Unrated means the player has not received a posted US Chess Federation rating-you can check this out at: Premier is open to those whose USCF ratings are below the stated number for the grades. Championship is open to anyone, but the vast majority of players will be experienced and above the listed rating for the Premier for the specific grades.
Blitz is 5 minute chess. Bughouse is team chess & the kids know it better than we do. These are special events offered on Friday night. Confusing-what can I say-I hope I have helped a little.

The summer chess camp schedule is shaping up. I am amazed how many people are setting their schedules for the summer now. I can only provide you with those programs that have been confirmed. I am sure there are others and I urge those who are holding chess programs during the summer to let me know.
The only overnight chess camp in Northern California is Mountain Lake. Run by International Master Larry Evans it will be held at Capital Mountain east of Sacramento from June 23 through the 27. IM Evans holds two other overnight camps in California: LaJolla and Camp Arrowhead, east of Los Angeles. You can get more information at or writing Students of mine who have attend this camp have nothing but praise for their experiences in chess and loads of other indoor and outdoor activities.
Berkeley Chess School, that has held chess camps in various places in Northern California for years now, has confirmed camps at their Berkeley site (June 23-July 18th Mondays through Fridays from 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m) and . Walnut Creek (June 23 thru July 11th from 9:00 a.m. - noon) This program is for students currently in grades K through 8. More information is available at
Success Chess Schools in previous years only held chess courses during the summer, but has announced that it will run a string of camps in various South Bay locations. In Fremont at Weibel Elementary School, SCS will offer three levels of training from June 23 through July 11 (9 AM to noon). In Saratoga, at Saratoga School, in conjunction with the Los Gatos-Saratoga Recreation and Education Department, SCS will run three levels of chess camps from July 21 through Aug 15 (2 to 5 PM). SCS will be holding USCF rated and non-rated drop-in tournaments during those same four weeks in Saratoga on Friday nights (7 to 9 PM). In Menlo Park, at La Entrada School, SCS will also have three different sections of classes from July 7-25 (9 AM-noon).
Success Chess Schools will continue their program at Little Genius Chinese School in Cupertino during the summer (on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from June 16 through August 1, 2:30 to 3:15 PM). SCS Instructors are also teaching, through Deanza's Summer Enrichment Program at Collins and Meyerholz in Cupertino from June 23 through July 18 (8:30 AM until 12:45 PM). More information on these SCS camps and programs can be found at

We already have full schedule of scholastic chess tournaments for this summer and more to come, I am sure. Here is what is listed at the CalChess Scholastic tournament site:
June 21, 2003(Saturday)
St. Albans Scholastic, Info: John McCumiskey, (916) 428-5532, E-Mail:
June 28, 2003 (Saturday)
SCS-Weibel Summer Quads #1, Info: Alan M. Kirshner, Ph.D., E-Mail:
July 19, 2003 (Saturday)
Hayward Library Scholastic Swiss, Free! Hayward, Info: Richard Osarias (510-881-7945) or at the Children's Info Desk.*
July 26, 2003 (Saturday)
SCS-Weibel Summer Quads #2, Info: Alan M. Kirshner, Ph.D., E-Mail:
August 2, 2003(Saturday)
Sacramento Summer Scholastic, Info: John McCumiskey, (916) 428-5532, E-Mail:
August 10, 2003 (Sunday)
SCS-Jung SuWon Summer Quads, Milpitas, Info: Chris Torres, (510)938-1310, E-Mail: LIMITED TO 160 PLAYERS
August 16, 2003 (Saturday)
Las Lomitas Scholastic Swiss Sectional and School Team Competition, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, Menlo Park, Info: Alan M. Kirshner, Ph.D., E-mail: LIMITED TO 150 PLAYERS
I will post others as I receive the information. As I wrote earlier, Coastside in the Half Moon Bay area are planning a series of non-USCF rated tournaments for the summer. There is also the four Friday Saratoga tournaments. Jung SuWon will continue their weekly Saturday afternoon tournaments in Milpitas. 

Phew, I thought I would never complete all the information I wanted to share with you for March. I know most of you skim read or skipped most of the items. Perhaps, some one more skilled in html can inform me how to set up links to jump to sections of an e-mail letter as I can with my postings online. 
You are receiving this because of some involvement in children's chess. With thousands of names on the mailing list, I am sure a few of you want to have me remove your address. If you reply from the exact same address I sent this to, I should be able to remove you from my list(s). 
In the past few months, I have actually received more requests to be added to the mailing list than requests to be removed. Thank you for sharing the information with others. I am always happier to add names then to remove people from my list.
Enjoy March and good luck at the State Scholastic Championships.
Alan M. Kirshner, Ph.D.
CalChess Scholastic Chair--

February 2, 2003
Happy New Year to those of you celebrating the beginning of the Year of the Ram. We have an exciting scholastic chess schedule for the first part of this year. As most of you know who receive this Northern California scholastic chess newsletter, the information and applications are available at I am happy that other coaches and program instructors are keeping their students informed. However, this is the only site that is continuously updated and does not discriminate as to which flyers to post.
February 8, San Rafael, St. Marks Quads Ray Orwig, the coach of St. Marks, is the grandfather of scholastic chess in Northern California. Granted, he is 20 years younger than I am, but without his energy in the 1970 s and 1980 s I wouldn t be running tournaments. More important, I wouldn t know how to be efficient. Well, Ray has a new facility a multi-purpose room something he has missed in recent years. He is trying to build the number of players at his quads now that he has space, so download an application from the CalChess Scholastic site and spend a few hours at a great tournament with your children.
February 15-16, Hayward, CEA National Grade Level In 1989, at one of Ray s summer tournaments I met a gentleman named Richard Peterson with his 9 year old son (rated 1900) and his 7 year old daughter (rated around 1500). He liked Ray s tournaments so much he would fly his kids in from Texas to compete. Later he moved to Arizona and continued to bring his children to Ray s tournaments, including the North Cal State Championships. David Peterson, who I think may still hold the record for the most national scholastics championship titles usually walked away with the big trophy. He could not, however, claim the title as that was, and is, reserved for someone who lives in Northern California.
Richard Peterson now lives in Northern California and loves running tournaments here. A few years ago, he and a number of other scholastic leaders, concerned about the direction of the US Chess Federation, created a splinter group called the Chess Education Association. The fledgling group does run a number of tournaments and has brought their National Grade Level to Hayward. While the CEA has their own rating system, they do send in the games between US Chess Federation members for their national rating. While the numbers and the competition, candidly, will not be as trying as a USCF national, there will be some outstanding national caliber players attending.
February 17, 2003, Berkeley, Young People s Tournament For thirty plus years this has been the premier tournament during the early winter and has traditionally been held on the president s weekend. Don Shennum, who ran the Young People s during the years my boys competed, has returned from the mid-west with his wife, child and a half (another on the way?) to restore its reputation. Don is another very efficient chess organizer and expert player who interacts beautifully with children. I have watched him teach some of my Weibel students years ago and I am happy he is back in the scholastic arena. I strongly recommend that young players attend the Young People s.
February 22, 2003, Sacramento, Sacramento Scholastic Championship John Mc Cumiskey, who has been the moving force behind the resurgence of scholastic chess in Sacramento, is the directing this event. John s events have been so popular that many players come from as far away as Biggs (near Chico) and Fremont to attend. I must admit that I knew John would be a driven to achieve when I learned he was getting his degree in History (same as mine :0).
February 22, 2003, Visalia, Vera Blunt Elementary School Scholastic This tournament is near Fresno. Granted, not too many players from the Bay area will head down there, but Allan Fifield, former Chief Tournament Director for the CalChess State Scholastics has seen his competitions grow from a handful to over 100 players in recent years. Much of the success is likely due to all the experience he has developed running youth tournaments.
February 23, 2003, San Leandro, Alameda County High School and Middle School/Junior High School Championships Yours truly has run this event for the last four years. The competition is closed to students who attend a Jr. HS or HS. The competition also has team awards. The price is ridiculously cheap--$5 entry fee. The San Leandro Recreation Department continues to subsidize this event. The only drawback is that it is not USCF rated. This year Hans Poschmann, well known chess enthusiast in the Bay Area, will run a full day adult action chess tournament at the same location. You can obtain information from him at I am hoping that the CalChess website will in the very near future place his application on their clearinghouse page.
March 1, 2003, Half Moon Bay, Coastside Club Scholastic Naomi Hirayasu, with the help of International Arbitrator Eric Schiller, has proven that non-USCF rated tournaments can draw large crowds. Eric believes that early ratings discourage children from playing chess and low early ratings are difficult to overcome. He holds that children should begin their foray into USCF rated tournaments when they have a playing strength over 1000. He uses his own rating system for the hundred plus children who now attend these near monthly tournaments.
March 8, 2003, Fremont, Gomes Scholastic Quads - Once again, the Gomes Quads similar to the Weibel Quads is well on its way to another massive event with players from all parts of the state and all programs. This year, I was able to obtain extra rooms so that I will not have to place a 220 player limit on the tournament. I hope to see all the old faces and many new ones at this first of my SCS competitions of the new year.
Ankita Roy, the first girl to share the K-3 State Championship title while she was in second grade and repeat in third grade, smiled beautifully behind chess pieces in a Fremont Argus, February 2, story titled, Fremont Fourth-Grader Excels as Chess Queen. When asked why she liked chess she said: "I like chess because it's a quiet game and I get to think a lot," she said: "I like chess because it's a quiet game and I get to think a lot. Ankita s father told the Argus reporter that he moved into the Weibel Elementary School area when she was in kindergarten because he wanted his daughter to be in the best chess program available. Sujay Roy, Ankita s father, was a chess champion in his youth.
Another young woman has made unreal progress in the past year, Elisha Garg. The fifteen year old Elisha who last February was rated 1257 ended 2002 with a 1697. Her coach Stayton Chock says that a lot of the growth has come from her entering adult tournaments and showing them how a queen reigns. Well, the last part of the statement was mine.
A few other Saratoga Chess players had a great year as well. Elisha s brother, Aaron Garg, an 11 year old 6th grader at Redwood Middle School in Saratoga, won sole 1st place and $350 for the adult C-section at the CalChess Championships in San Francisco September 1-2. Aaron also was tied for 1st place and won $262.50 for the adult B-section at the Jim Hurt Memorial in San Francisco November
29-December 1.
Marvin Shu, a 12 year old 7th grader at Redwood Middle School in Saratoga, won $85 for being the top-C player at the 32nd Carroll Capps Memorial at the Mechanics Institute tournament November 8-10.
This month, I recommend David Hayes Chess beginner s site:
Another interesting site, not because of the material on the web, but because of some of the programs and books they offer at a reasonable rate is:
From Jacob Green in Stockton:
Stockton Chess Club, & John Marshall Middle School sponsored the first annual SUSD Winter Quads chess tournament on December 14th, it was a big success. We started off the event with about 10 late entries, and only started 15 minutes late! And we ended earlier then we expected as well. We had a total of 26 Quads, as well as one swiss. During our lunch period, Anthony Nguyen played a 17 man simul and won all of the games, Jacob Green played a 16 man simul and won all if his games, & Franklin Ferrer played a 8 man simul BUT was upseted by Sean Woolfolk who was the only one to defeat him :-). I would like to thank all the tournament staff to helped me at this event, Lud Willams,Susan Hye, Scot Mc Brian, Jesse & Joanne Green, Kristen Rodriguez, Rosemarie Salvador, Nee Lee, and Rolly Alvarado. I would also like to thank John Marshall Middle School for sponsoring the event as well. In January and February I will be doing a total of 3 events, then March 29th--30th 2003 will be the Central California Chess Congress. Here are the Quad winners from December 14th's event.
QUAD 1: Franklin Ferrer
QUAD 2: Fredy Ferrer & Vincent Rubianes
QUAD 3: Henry Casil
QUAD 4: Marcus Jones
QUAD 5: Floyd Ferrer
QUAD 6: Brendan Chan
QUAD 7: Nicholas Rubianes
QUAD 8: Morgan Crowl
QUAD 9: Balerio Reyes
QUAD 10: Philip Cordova
QUAD 11: Andrew Islas, Jimmy Vo, & Jermiah Parker
QUAD 12: Paulo Pausanos
QUAD 13: Orlando Martinez
QUAD 14: Alexander Filotti
QUAD 15: Jamal Moore, & Jose Cuevas
QUAD 16: Maximo Alvarado
QUAD 17: Roman Fernandez
QUAD 18: Peter Lee
QUAD 19: Lor Yang
QUAD 20: Simon Navarro, & Wilson Buth
QUAD 21: Jacob Bartlett
QUAD 22: Alexis Oliva
QUAD 23: James Morales
QUAD 24: Steven Lewis
QUAD 25: Colt Prigmore
QUAD 26: Share Otwel -Stockton Chess Club
From Naomi Hirayasu, Coastside Chess Club Meet in Montara.
Coastside Scholastics #5
Farallone View School, Montara
December 21, 2002
Final Standings
Place Name Grade Club Score

1-2 Macario, Kevin 3 Nixon Elementary 5
Lim, Andrew 3 St. Raymond School 5
3-6 Wang, Jerry 4 Westlake, Santa Cruz 4.5
Atlas, Joseph 3 Nixon Elementary 4.5
Ormond, Rhys 5 Hatch Elementary 4.5
Terry, Max 8 Cunha Intermediate 4.5
7-15 Galijan, Ross 9 HMB High 4
Steiner, Daniel 5 North Star Academy 4
Chow, Nathaniel 6 La Entrada 4
Ko, Gilbert 5 Nixon Elementary 4
Wright, Mike 6 Cunha Intermediate 4
Rojas, Joe 9 Gilroy 4
Greene, Sammy 4 Addison Elementary 4
Srinivas, Sanjay 3 Fox Elementary 4
Oku, James 9 HMB High 4
16-22 Chow, Jeremy 2 Los Lomitas 3.5
Mertz, Matthew 4 Nixon Elementary 3.5
Zhang, Brian 4 Nixon Elementary 3.5
Bien, Christopher 5 Nixon Elementary 3.5
Zouboulakis, Socrates 5 Encinal School 3.5
Jaffe, Anna 2 Barron Park Elementary 3.5
Solgaard, Nikolai 3 Nixon Elementary 3.5
23-43 Barnes, Max 3 Encinal School 3
Lavrentjer, John 6 CSD Fremont 3
Cha, Christopher 5 Los Altos Christian School 3
Edwards, David 6 Cunha Intermediate 3
Reidy, Eoin 5 Hatch Elementary 3
Schiller, Erik 5 Hatch Elementary 3
Lin, Tom 2 Hoover Elementary 3
Fair, Tyler 3 Los Lomitas 3
Hughes, Paul 7 Ternan Middle School 3
Edwards, John 6 Cunha Intermediate 3
Chen, Tiffany 5 Juana Briones Elementary 3
Taylor, Jacob 5 Oak Knoll School 3
Mohan, Vasanth 4 Fox Elementary 3
Harrison, John 8 Charles Armstrong 3
Atlas, Ben 1 Nixon Elementary 3
Lee, Allen 3 Daveneck School 3
Du, Alex 1 Addison Elementary 3
Chandra, Arjun 5 Challenger School 3
Sloves, Griffin 1 Montessori Fremont 3
Ko, Jasper 2 Nixon Elementary 3
Lee, Kevin 3 Daveneck School 3
44-55 Kruglikov, Aaron 4 North Star Academy 2.5
Carthy, Jimmy 3 Clifford Elementary 2.5
Lim, Kasey 4 St. Joseph's School 2.5
Jay, Nimeshika 7 Thomas Russell 2.5
Hurwitz, Noan 2 Ohlone Palo Alto 2.5
Cohen, Ethan 2 Addison Elementary 2.5
Garbe, Kevin 2 Argonaut Elementary School 2.5
Srivastava, Shiven 2 Woodland School 2.5
Anker, Zachary 7 home school 2.5
Min, Andrew 1 Walter Hays 2.5
Zach, Maya 2 Escondido Elementary 2.5
Strom, Kyle 2 Farallone View 2.5
56-75 Bacon, Jason 3 Farallone View 2
Bennett, Joseph 4 Barron Park Elementary 2
Jangle, Hemang 0 Mission San Jose Elementary 2
Kao, Wesley 5 Central Elementary 2
Edwards, Robert 6 Cunha Intermediate 2
Brody, Nic 4 Oak Knoll School 2
Jaffe, Jack 0 Barron Park Elementary 2
Cha, Joshua 3 Christian School, Los Altos 2
Fan, Henry 5 Challenger School 2
Tracy-Cohen, Victor 3 El Carmelo School 2
Newmann, Dominic 5 Sea Crest 2
Yu, James 3 Nixon Elementary 2
Li, Andrew 1 Ardenwood Elementary 2
Lam, Jessica 6 Ralston Middle School 2
Wang, Oliver 2 Hoover Elementary 2
Zach, Omer 5 Escondido Elementary 2
Lam, Rachel 5 Central Elementary 2
Srinivas, Sandip 1 Fox Elementary 2
Yu, Stanley 5 Nixon Elementary 2
Iyengar, Anushka 7 Girls Middle School, Mt. View 2
76-80 Molinari, Dominic 5 Clifford Elementary 1.5
McGaw, Bryce 5 Farallone View 1.5
Perkins, Evan 2 Los Lomitas 1.5
Nash, Jonathan 3 Oak Knoll School 1.5
Chandra, Jaya 3 Challenger School 1.5
81-90 Garner, Andrew 5 Clifford Elementary 1
Strom, Kayla 5 Farallone View 1
Batstone, Jesse 2 Farallone View 1
Kruglikov, Gabriel 2 Orion Elementary 1
Campbell, Jackson 3 Northen Sean Academe 1
Cohen, Adam 5 Hatch Elementary 1
Galijan, Laura 4 Hatch Elementary 1
Dill, Ryan 5 Farallone View 1
Sin, Paul 2 Los Lomitas 1
Spielman-Sun, Max 2 Los Lomitas 1
91-94 Srivastava, Meghna 0 Woodland School 0.5
Duncan, Andrew 4 Farallone View 0.5
Evans, Mark 1 Laurel School 0.5
Fagan, Alex 3 Walter Hayes, Palo Alto 0.5

From Jacob Green, Stockton again:
5th Annual SUSD Middle & High School Championships Tournament Report

Stockton Unified, North Stockton Rotary, and the Stockton Chess Club sponsored the 5th Annual SUSD Middle & High School Championships which was hosted at Weber Technical Institute January 25, 2003. Tours were given of the school by the Weber Business club. The event started off to a great start, there were around 20 late entries and we started about 20 minutes late. Round 1 brought a huge mess, we had nearly 30 no shows, after round 1 we withdrew them all. Another chaotic part was at the beginning of round 2 as everyone was ready to begin a scholastic came up to me, and requested a half-point bye for the round L. I had to begin round 2, so I backed up to the first round on Swis-Sys re-paired so he could get his bye, not one of my favorite moments at the tournament. The last problem of the day was at the beginning of round 4, Swis-Sys put me in round 3. So it appeared that all of the original round 3 results were deleted. I started to go insane after that J, but I fixed the problem so I wouldn t get a headache. All in all the tournament went well, we had nearly 70 entries excluding all the no-shows. I would like to thank the tournament staff of Tyler Barnard, Cyril Yadao, Scot McBrian, Joanne Green, Susan Hye, and Lud Williams. Also I would like to thank Weber Tech for hosting us, and a special thanks to Stockton Unified, North Stockton Rotary, and the Stockton Chess Club for sponsoring the event. I have three more scholastic events coming up before the <>Central California Chess Congress, I will be doing the 1st annual Calaveras County chess championships then we arrive at the CalChess state championships. Here were the results of the event.
Jacob A Green

7th Grade:
1st Place: Floyd Pagente Ferrer
2nd Place: Morgan Crowl
3rd Place: Brendan Chan, Judd Manuel, & Somala Vann
Team Awards :
1st Place: Hamilton Middle School
2nd Place: Marshall Middle School
8th Grade:
1st Place: Alejandro Martinez
2nd Place: Ky Nguyen, Buinny Khaew, & Daniel Wentzell
3rd Place: Simon Navarro
Team Awards:
1st Place: Marshall Middle School
2nd Place: Webster Middle School
9th Grade:
1st Place: Fredy Ferrer
2nd Place: Edgar Gama, Jesus Estrada, & Alexis Oliva
3rd Place: Jesus Perez
Team Award:
1st Place" Stagg High School
10th Grade:
1st Place: Henry Tran
2nd Place: Ken-Ken DeVera, & Christopher Wihlidal
3rd Place: Arthur Serros, & Matt Wilson
Team Award:
Edison High School
11th Grade:
1st Place: Franklin Ferrer
2nd Place: Paul Fortes, & Philip DeVera
3rd Place: Saeed Mohammad, & Sokan Khaew
Team Award:
Edison High School
12th Grade:
1st Place: Brian Morrison
2nd Place: Rolly Alvarado, Leon Sales, & Chau Mau
3rd Place: John G., Steven T, Steven La Rue, Narin Voeum, & Jacob Patterson
Team Award:
Children's Home of Stockton
From John McCumiskey, Sacramento
Event Name: Sacramento High School Championship Date(s): November 9, 2002
Sponsoring Affiliate: Sacramento Chess Club
Tournament Organizer: John McCumiskey Phone #: 916-428-5532 (hm)
Tournament Director(s): John McCumiskey Phone #: 916-557-7053 (wk)
Playing Site (include city): Foothill Farms Junior High, Sacramento, CA Prizes: Trophies
Tournament Format (Swiss-Quad-RR; # of Rds) : 5 round swiss Attendance: 81
Grades K-3
1st Place: Mukund Chillakanti, 5-0 -- Challenger
2nd Place: Hugo Kitano, 4-1 San Francisco Day School
3rd Place: Remy Lehrfeld, 4-1 Cowan Fundamental School
4th Place: Christopher Gardias, 3.5-1.5 Cesar Chavez Elementary
5th Place: Kartik Chillakanti, 3.5-1.5 Challenger
6th Place: Jordan Ford, 3-2 Sacramento Chess School
7th Place: Anna DePello, 3-2 Sacramento Chess School
8th Place: Sreyas Misra, 3-2 Challenger
1st Place Team: Challenger, 11.5 points
2nd Place Team: Sacramento Chess School, 10 points
3rd Place Team: St. Alban s Day School, 6 points
Grades 4-6
1st Place: Lauren deTerra, 5-0 North Davis Elementary
2nd Place: Caitlin Stanton, 4-1 St. Mark s
3rd Place: Geoff Huang, 4-1
4th Place: Scott Peck, 3.5-1.5 Biggs Elementary
5th Place: Louis DePello, 3.5-1.5 Sacramento Chess School
6th Place: Brandon Smith, 3.5-1.5 Chico Christian
7th Place: Sapphire Ratner, 3-2 -- Challenger
8th Place: Crystal Ramos, 3-2 Biggs Elementary
1st Place Team: Biggs Elementary, 12.5 points
2nd Place Team: Chico Christian, 10 points
3rd Place Team: Cowan Fundamental School, 6 points
Grades 7-8
1st Place: Daniel Schwarz, 5-0 Arden Middle School
2nd Place: Matt Zavortink, 4-1 Holmes Junior High
3rd Place: Anyon Harrington, 4-1 Esparto Chess Club
4th Place: Evan Eyster, 3.5-1.5 Arden Middle School
5th Place: Clayton Arnold, 3-2 -- Biggs Middle School
1st Place Team: Arden Middle School, 14 points
2nd Place Team: Biggs Middle School, 11.5 points
3rd Place Team: Foothill Farms Junior High, 4.5 points
Grades 9-12
1st Place: Erin Harrington, 5-0 Esparto Chess Club
2nd Place: Emmanuel Garcia, 3.5-1.5 Biggs High School
3rd Place: Will M Dayton, 3.5-1.5 Nevada Union
4th Place: Joe Paquin, 3-2 Nevada Union
5th Place: Chris Saeturn, 2.5-2.5 Biggs High School
1st Place Team: Biggs High School, 10 points
Girls Finish 1st and 2nd at Sacramento High School Championship
By John McCumiskey
Veterans Day weekend saw the battles over the chess board at the Sacramento High School Championship. Eighty-one players turned out for the event at Foothill Farms Junior High School.
Mukund Chillakanti of Challenger School won the Grades K-3 section with 5 points and led his school to the team trophy, scoring 11.5 points.
For the first time in Sacramento scholastic chess, a girl not only won a section, but girls, North Davis Elementary s Lauren deTerra and St. Marks Caitlin Stanton, finished in first and second places respectively in the grades 4-6 section. Their final standing was determined by their encounter in the last round. Biggs Elementary won the team title with 12.5 points.
Reigning K-8 State Champion Daniel Schwarz continued his Sacramento Scholastic dominance with a perfect score of 5-0 in the Grades 7-8 section. Daniel s team, Arden Middle School, took the team prize with a score of 14 points.
Esparto Chess Club s Erin Harrington took a clear first place by 1.5 points in the 9-12 Section. Biggs High School won the team trophy with 10 points.
My thanks to Foothill Farms Junior High s Ed Lloyd for acquiring the playing site for the event, Steve Bickford and Charles Coleman for their tournament directing assistance, and to trophy-mom Clair Stetson. To check out the Sacramento Scholastic schedule, please visit next month, I remain yours in scholastic chess,
Alan M. Kirshner, Ph.D.
CalChess Scholastic ChairThis report is sent to over 5000 scholastic chess players, parents and friends of youth chess in Northern California. If you believe you have received this in error and/or would prefer not to have your name on my mailing list, please reply directly to this e-mail with the word remove in the subject heading. If your e-mail address is different in any way that it was sent, I may not be able to locate it in my database.

December 1, 2002
In this issue:

To those who have an interest in scholastic chess in Northern California + a few that don’t:

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and will have a wonderful holiday season while taking time to play loads of chess.


I have decided to add a little something to my newsletter that has traditionally covered events in Northern California (CalChess): information each month (or whenever I find the time to produce this newsletter) of sites on the web that can help you learn chess. For those students in my Success Chess School programs, these webpages can be examined to fulfill the weekly requirement of two hours homework for the team or extra credit homework for the club. Let me start this month with Here you will find everything from how to do algebraic notation to chess stories and puzzles. Manus Patrick Fealy created and maintains this site.


The Weibel Scholastic Quads in December have had over 300 players for the last few years. On December 7 (Saturday), the tradition will continue. Presently, 280 players are registered. The trophies will have an American flag theme to remember the horror of Pearl Harbor (12/7/1941), the worst sneak attack on American soil until September 11, 2001. On a more pleasant note: a holiday bazaar will again occur. Jay Blem from National Chess and Games will bring his wares up from Southern California for even non-tournament participants to purchase. I can guarantee that you won’t match his selection of chess goods and books or his prices anywhere in Northern California. If you have not registered for the Weibel Scholastic Quads, this is a reminder that applications must be postmarked by Tuesday, December 3. There are no late entries. This was made necessary by the 70 people who lined up last year to pay the late fee and delayed the start of the tournament. However, this year to accommodate those individuals who aren’t sure they want to or can play until the last week, I have added credit card entries that can be faxed to (510) 657-1586 or submitted online from the link at the bottom of the page at

Ray Orwig has a beautiful new facility for his St. Marks Scholastic Quads. He will host his third tournament of the year on December 14 in San Rafael. I do not remember Ray holding as many tournaments in a year since the days ten + years ago that my boys would travel to Marin to participate. He is the father of the efficient scholastic quads in the Bay Area. He has placed a 120 player limit on his tournaments. You can download an application from the link at
I would like to take this opportunity to mention that all scholastic tournaments that I have been informed about are posted immediately at the above link. I also post all applications sent to me for posting without discrimination. And, while I encourage players to attend US Chess Federation Tournaments to obtain national ratings and test their ability against the strongest possible opponents, I think playing chess in any environment that does not deviate far from the standard rules is beneficial.

Naomi Hirayasu, with the aid of International Arbiter and National Master Eric Schiller have been running non-USCF tournaments in Half Moon Bay. Their last outing (results below) drew 69 players. I have heard nothing but good things about these matches designed for beginners. You can obtain further information about their next venture on December 21 (Coastside Club Scholastics) at

Applications are also downloadable at the above site for one of the few all girls events in the United States: Sojourner Truth Chess Tournament on the weekend of January 11 and 12. Doug Shaker started this tradition three years ago and he has passed the mantle to Richard Peterson, a nationally known organizer. The tournament will be held at the same site–the Menlo Park Recreation Center.

A full calendar exists for tournaments in the Spring, and by now you know where to look. :0)


The Mechanics Institutes Alexander Setzepfandt (rated 2041 and number 2 on the Under 12 USCF age rating list) just returned from the World Youth Championship held on the island of Crete. He received 7 points from his 11 games–a great result in any international competition. His Dad, Budd, wrote :" This has been an extraordinary tournament, extremely well-done and well-run by the Greeks. Even with a 3-hour delay of the first round(Americans would kill because of that), the tournament has been pleasant, without all the bickering I'm accustomed to (relief!). The playing site is triple A excellent in my opinion. Waking up to a view of the Aegean Sea in a California-like sunlight is something I will not forget for a long time." You can get a feel for the venue at the official site: Pictures by Alexander’s Dad are posted at I do need to warn you that you can get a fair number of pop-up ads at the latter depending on your internet host.

Success Chess’ Kimberly Anonuevo (rated 1503), the top under 13 girl (she is 12) in chess in Northern California just obtained her tournament directors certificate. Chess, the history site for Northern California Chess, features her annotation of her defeat against National Master Gabriel Sanchez on its first page this month. Kimberly played the game in simul held on November 16 at the SCS-Jung SuWon Saturday tournaments and simuls. Kimberly has a number of articles plublished at this site, as well, including her reaction to playing boys in tournaments.

Success Chess’ Robert Chan (rated 1989), who is a High School Senior and usually directs the advanced sections of the SCS tournaments, has just been awarded his Senior Tournament Director ranking. He is one of only five active Senior TD’s in Northern California. Robert is applying to college at MIT, Harvard, Stanford and Emory. My personal hope is he selects Stanford so he can remain in the area. Robert started chess in third grade in my Ohlone College for Kid’s summer program and continued for a number of years as a home-schooled player in Weibel Chess.


From Eric Schiller
Coastside Scholastics #4
Half Moon Bay, November 2, 2002
Hosted by Coastside Chess Club
Organized by Naomi Hirayasu assisted by Georgia Wright
Directed by Eric Schiller assisted by Greg Edwards, Mike Reidy, Bob
Ormond, Ben Laufer

Total players: 69
Schools represented: 20
Individual Standings
1. Ben Sklaroff 5
2. Griffin Sloves 5
3. Elliott Sanborn 5
4. Brian Peltz 4
5. Mike Wright 4
6. Hussain Raza 4
7. Daniel Steiner 4
8. Forrest Jensen 4
9. Kevin Macario 4
10. Brian Zhang 4
11. Galen Jones 4
12. Joseph Atlas 4
Top scores by grade
7th Grade: Hussein Raza (4)
6th Grade: Mike Wright and Forrest Jensen (4)
5th Grade: Ben Sklaroff & Elliot Sanborn (5)
4th Grade: Brian Zhang & Galen Jones (4)
3rd Grade: Kevin Macario (4)
2nd Grade: Tom Lin (3.5)
1st Grade: Griffin Sloves (5)
Kindergarten: Ethan O'Brien (1.5)
Top Teams (4 boards, maximum 20 points)
Addison Elementary 17
Nixon Elementary 15.5
Cunha Intermediate 12.5
Los Lomitas 11
Hoover Elementary 10.5

From Alan Kirshner
CalChess Scholastic Quads #2, November 17, San Leandro.
Two hundred and fifty-two players registered for this event. Only 230 played. Apparently, a fair number of our chess players are also soccer players. Rain the previous weekend caused the cancellation of the end year soccer tournaments and so they were re-scheduled for the same time as my quads. As usual, last minute withdrawals are provided credit for another SCS competition.

This year, I had the whole Marina Recreation Center, minus two rooms that are reserved for Senior Citizens in the afternoon. I must admit it was nice to have lots of playing space and I even opened the tournament registration from the original limit of 220 to 255. As most people who attend SCS tournaments know, they generally run very smoothly with loads of signage, and this one was no exception. I usually, find something I would like to improve, but I honestly cannot think of anything. I just hope the 300+ Weibel Scholastic Quads go as efficiently.

I would like to thank all the children who played, the parents and the friends who delivered them and the myriad of helpers. My special kudos go out to those individuals whose children are not in SCS programs and who volunteered their services for all the players. They, at least, are not influenced by any petty actions taken by directors of other chess programs. This is what children’s chess should be about: to see the children’s skills improve, to be sure that they have fun and to get the best possible competition. The competition at the CalChess Scholastic Quads proved to be solid based on how few 3 point wins occurred and how many trophies I had to provide for all the ties for first place.

Winners of Quad
#1 Igor Garbouz (1407) 2.5
#2 Kevin Hwa (1349) 2, Robert Connick (1377) 2
#3 Greg Bodwin (1261) 2
#4 Luiz Uribr (1296) 2, Edward Wu (1332) 2
#5 Arun Gomatam (1193) 2.5
#6 (5 person swiss) Gene Vityugov (1205) 2.5, Kenneth Law (1213) 2.5
#7 Justin Wang (1186) 3
#8 Vivian Lo (1161) 2, Tatsuro Yamamura (1160) 2
#9 Larry Zhong (1155) 2, Vincent Sheu (1148) 2, Mark Kokish (1136) 2
#10 Alexander Lee (1122) 2.5
#11 Darwin Fu (1228) 3
#12 Mike Philben (1116) 3
#13Ahir Bala (1090) 2, Tejas Mulye (1080) 2
#14 Vincent Banh (1065) 3
#15 Clayton Chan (1058) 2.5
#16 Peter Chien (1050) 2.5
#17 Adam Prewett (1044) 2, Saveen Sahni (1006) 2, Archit Sheth-Shah (1006) 2
#18 Aaditya Sekar (1026) 2, Anirudh (1004) 2
#19 no quad
#20 no quad
#21 Ayush Kumar (991) 2, Timothy Liao (965) 2, Bryan Tsang (959) 2
#22 Albert Lin (959) 2, Ryan McGee (956) 2
#23 Rebecca Wong (948) 2.5, Vir Choksi (945) 2.5
#24 Brandon L. Chen (935) 3
#25 Alison Wu (909) 2.5
#26 Surag Sheth (905) 3
#27 Narayan Subramanian (802) 3
#28 Geoffrey Chen (856) 2.5
#29 Alex Golding (835) 2.5
#30 Nikhil Saxena (851) 2, Nathan Ho (841) 2
#31 Teddy Hanson (823) 2, Suraj Kedarisetty (821) 2
#32 Jonathan Chiou (814) 2.5
#33 Sloan Damon (801) 2
#34 Ian Prouix (788) 3
#35 (5 person swiss) Tyler Fair (765) 2.5, Edwin Wang (757) 2, Justin Wong (708) 2
#36 Kunal Puri (770) 3
#37 Tiffanie Lo (636) 3
#38 Nitin Gomatam (630) 3
#39 Erika Ho (690) 2, Julian Quick (677) 2
#40 Ankur Kumar (592) 2.5
#41 Naeha Lakshmanan (547) 3
#42 Matt Nass (516) 3
#43 Arjun Aletty (477) 3
#44 Gauav Gaitonde (307) 3
#45 Allan Ko (417) 3
#46 Max Elisman (Unrated) 2.5
#47 David Wu (Unr)_3
#48 Aaron Lin (Unr) 3
#49 Tan Vincent (Unr) 3
#50 Michael Vu (Unr) 2.5, Derek Zhou (Unr) 2.5
#51 Alvin Lee (Unr) 3
#52 Kevin Chen (Unr) 3
#53 Timothy Chou (unr) 2, David Ding (unr) 2
#54 Michael Xu (Unr) 3
#55 Andrew Li (unr) 3
#56 Eric Campbell (unr) 2.5
#57 Sandip Srinivas (unr) 3
#58 Vignesh Palaniappan (unr) 3
#59 Nicholas Yuk (607/8) 3


1. We are always lucky to have many SCS photographers who are willing to share their tournament pictures online (myself, Richard Shorman, Hans Poschmann, John Tu, Mark Shelton). You can download copies for free. Go to

2. You can read past issues of my scholastic chess newsletter at

3. I am always willing to provide coverage of any North Cal scholastic event or scholastic player. Please send the information to me at

4. The next issue will be in January–so have a Happy New Year.

5.If you want to be removed from my mailing list, please reply with a "REMOVE" in the subject area.

With scholastic chess in my heart,

November 7, 2002
To all friends of scholastic chess in Northern California:

Let me start with a short report of the MPJCDS Scholastic Swiss Sectional(November 3): GREAT TOURNAMENT! Almost 200 players competed at a new venue in San Jose--the former Blackford High School. There was loads of space for the players and plentiful open space for children to run around. You can see all the results but the High School--I haven't put them up yet--at John Tu's photographs have been posted all week and mine should be up this weekend from the link at

I am amazed how many scholastic players are joining CalChess and taking advantage of the discount provided at the tournaments. Joining CalChess early will off set the cost of attending this year's State championships in Santa Clara (April 12 & 13). The application for the States is ready and will be posted soon.

I also have a copy of the Sojourner Truth Tournament for Girls. Richard Peterson, who is running the States, will run it in the same location (San Mateo) as in previous years on January 11 & 12. I am having it translated from Publisher so I can post the application and distribute it to the 100's of girls in my SCS program.

Richard Peterson is also organizing a Chess Education Association National Grade Level in Hayward on February 15 & 16. Applications will also be linked from my page as are the tournaments below.

Coming up:
November 9, 2002
Sacramento High School Championship (actually open to all grade levels), Info: John McCumiskey, (916) 428-5532, E-Mail:

November 16, 2002 (Saturday)

St. Marks Scholastic Quads #2`, San Rafael, Info: Ray Orwig,

November 16, 2002 (Saturday)

Manchester Elementary, Fresno, Info: Allan Fifield,

November 17, 2002 (Sunday)

CalChess Scholastic Quads #2, San Leandro, Info: Alan M. Kirshner,

Current Entries as of Nov 7 = 224 (I have requested more space & can open it to another 35 players) :0)

December 7, 2002 (Saturday)

Weibel Fall Scholastic Quads, Fremont, Info: Alan M. Kirshner,

I will continue the Holiday Bazaar, that has been so popular for the last two years, at the Weibel Quads on December 7. National Chess and Games from Lucerne, California will once again highlight the day.

I encourage you to attend these tournaments. Come and see for yourself what great competition is and what chess is all about. 

One note: The March 8 Quads has been moved to Gomes Elementary School which is also in Fremont.

A new USCF dues structure:
From Richard Peterson--Thought I would fill everyone in on the new dues structure.

Adults are now $49 with $4 rebate.
Youth memberships are $25 with $2 rebate.

Schoolmates has gone bye-bye.

Scholastic has two classes.
Class 1 has six issues of Chess Life, costs $19, and has $2 rebate.
Class 2 has one annual issue of Chess Life and costs $13 with $1 rebate.

Some results from recent events:
Quad #1- Davis Xu (1280) 2.5
#2- Robert Connick (1345) 2.5
#3- Vinnie Davies (1174) 2.5
#4- Jules Kleinbrodt (1129) 2
#5- Fatima Uribe (1068) 3
#6- Kartik Chillakanti (1009) 3
#7- Caitlin Stanton (946) 2.5
Brian Shuel (925) 2.5
#8- Hugo Kitano (892) 3
#9- Stephen Cunningham-Bryant (906) 2.5
Will Lukach (906) 2.5
#10- Michael Perlstein (769) 2
Brendan Neal (712) 2
#11- Will Scott (689) 3
#12- Sreyas Misra (unrated) 2.5
#13- Evan Frost (unrated) 3

Thanks very much.

Chessically-----------Ray Orwig

2002 Sacramento Scholastic Team Tournament
by John P McCumiskey

Cowan Fundamental School hosted the 2002 Sacramento Scholastic Team Tournament on October 19. This swiss system team event was styled after the US Amateur and Olympiad team tournaments. Eighteen teams participated in the event.

During the spring of 2002, the Sacramento Chess Club conducted a limited size test team tournament to determine the viability of the event. With its success, the event was opened up to all grade levels in six sections. While the event was successful, some further refining will be done before the next Sacramento Scholastic Team Tournament in October 2003. 

My thanks go to Cowan Fundamental School Chess Coordinator Andy Parnas for his efforts in obtaining the site, tournament director Bob Baker, and “Trophy Mom” Claire Stetson for their work at the tournament. For complete standings or to check out future events of the Sacramento Chess Club, go to and check out the Weekend Events Info page.

Grades K-3 U600 (team average)
1st Place: Cowan Fundamental School #4
Bd 1 Remy Lehrfeld
Bd 2 Ian Foley
Bd 3 Riley Vest
Bd 4 Luke Severance
2nd Place: St. Albans Day School #1
Bd 1 Robert Amato
Bd 2 Thor Kamphefner
Bd 3 Nicholas Huey
Bd 4 Christopher Rotas

1st Place Board 1: Remy Lehrfeld, Cowan Fundamental School #4
1st Place Board 2: Thor Kamphefner, St. Albans Day School #1
1st Place Board 3: Nicholas Huey, St. Albans Day School #1
1st Place Board 4: Christopher Rotas, St. Albans Day School #1

Grades K-3 Open
1st Place: Sacramento Chess School #1
Bd 1 Anna DePello
Bd 2 Dawson A Hall
Bd 3 Jordan Ford
Bd 4 Jennifer Ford
2nd Place: Cowan Fundamental School #5
Bd 1 Matt Peck
Bd 2 Samuel Zapata
Bd 3 Heather S Daniels
Bd 4 Nicholas Tolbert

1st Place Board 1: Anna DePello, Sacramento Chess School #1
1st Place Board 2: Dawson Hall, Sacramento Chess School #1
1st Place Board 3: Jordan Ford, Sacramento Chess School #1
1st Place Board 4: Jennifer Ford, Sacramento Chess School #1

Grades 4-6 U750 (team average)
1st Place: Biggs Elementary #1
Bd 1 Scott Peck
Bd 2 Kyle Bissell
Bd 3 Noel Gomez
Bd 4 Arthur Lindberg
2nd Place: Cowan Fundamental School #3
Bd 1 Kelly Bercier
Bd 2 Nicholas Cabral
Bd 3 Raquel Zapata
Bd 4 Devin Boyd

3rd Place: Cowan Fundamental School #2
Bd 1 Melissa Cartwright
Bd 2 Lydia Shepherd
Bd 3 Jacob Tolbert
Bd 4 Hunter Stetson

1st Place Board 1: Scott Peck, Biggs Elementary #1
1st Place Board 2: Kyle Bissell, Biggs Elementary #1
1st Place Board 3: Jacob Tolbert, Cowan Fundamental School #2
1st Place Board 4: Arthur Lindbert, Biggs Elementary #1

Grades 4-6 Open
1st Place: Sacramento Chess School #2
Bd 1 Jacob Hall
Bd 2 Geoff Huang
Bd 3 Louis De Pello
Bd 4 Christopher Inferrera
2nd Place: Valley Oak-North Davis Elementary
Bd 1 Graham McDaniel
Bd 2 Lauren de Terra
Bd 3 Trevor Lowenthal
Bd 4 Jeremy Lowenthal
3rd Place: Saratoga Kings
Bd 1 Arun Gomatam
Bd 2 Kenneth Law
Bd 3 Archit Sheth-Shah
Bd 4 Narayan Subramanian

1st Place Board 1: Jacob Hall, Sacramento Chess School #2
1st Place Board 2: Geoff Huang, Sacramento Chess School #2
1st Place Board 3: Trevor Lowenthal, Oak Valley-North Davis Elementary
1st Place Board 4: Jeremy Lowenthal, Oak Valley-North Davis Elementary

Grades 7-8
1st Place: Biggs Middle School
Bd 1 Clayton Arnold
Bd 2 Johnny Terry
Bd 3 Andrew Gomez
Bd 4 Derik Bannister
2nd Place: Arcade Middle School
Bd 1 Kevin Mani
Bd 2 Drew Shumway
Bd 3 Shawn Mani
Bd 4 Byron Brown

3rd Place: Your Move
Bd 1 Niles Tanner
Bd 2 Kyle Baxter
Bd 3 Gary Nelson
Bd 4 Adam Brownfield

1st Place Board 1: Daniel Schwarz, Arden Middle School Team A
1st Place Board 2: Johnny Terry, Biggs Middle School
1st Place Board 3: Andrew Gomez, Biggs Middle School
1st Place Board 4: Byron Brown, Arcade Middle School

Grades 9-12
1st Place: Biggs High School
Bd 1 Miles Mabrey
Bd 2 Chris Saeturn
Bd 3 Emmanuel Garcia
Bd 4 Samantha Steadman

1st Place Board 1: Miles Mabrey, Biggs High School
1st Place Board 2: Chris Saeturn, Biggs High School
1st Place Board 3: Emmanuel Garcia, Biggs High School
1st Place Board 4: Samantha Steadman, Biggs High School

Yours in scholastic chess,
If you need to be removed from my mailing list, please reply and request removal.

October 24, 2002
REMINDER: The MPJCDS Swiss Sectional Chess Championships is on Sunday, November 3 in San Jose. A swiss sectional is a bit different from the quad competition many of you are used to. Children who win play winners & children who loser play another loser. Win two, play someone who won two etc. The sectional element is that it is set up in school grade level groups. The pairings (who you play) are posted before each round. The first game starts at 9:15 AM sharp.
If you must miss one of the five rounds due to a soccer game or another commitment you can request a half-point bye for that round--meaning rather then getting a loss, you are recorded a draw and can play the rest of your games.

Registration is light for a Success Chess US Chess Federation Tournament. There is plenty of space to enter to win the much larger trophies--but not to large. :0)

Regular registration ends on Wednesday. October 30. There is a late registration the morning of the tournament, but the cost is double and the player must miss the first round. So please get your applications in soon. You can download one or submit it on line from

Present entries are posted from the link at the page.

One further note--The High School registration is almost non-existent--two. So if you are in High School, come on down to San Jose and take home a pretty trophy.


September 15, 2002
To the players, parents and friends of scholastic chess in Northern California:

I hope you all had an enjoyable and productive summer. I know that most of the chess programs at the schools has either begun or will begin in the next few weeks. I also hope you are all ready for a very active program of scholastic chess in Northern California this Fall.

Fall Tournaments
Remember you can always check an up to date tournament schedule at While I may fall behind getting things posted on other parts of my site, the tournament schedule is updated almost weekly. Most of the listings have links to information and applications you can download. You can also check out the open/adult schedule at the official CalChess website: This page is generally updated monthly. Warning: the host for these pages is doing some house cleaning and you might have a little trouble loading them in the next few days. It is not your machine, the url (address) or the sites.

Here is a preview of the Fall Schedule:
Oct 5 Coastside (Half Moon Bay)--not USCF, Oct 13 CalChess Scholastic Quads (San Leandro), Oct 19 St. Mark's Quads (San Rafael), Nov 2 Coastside (Half moon Bay)--not USCF, Nov 3 MPJCDS Sectional Swiss Style (K-1, K-2, 4-6, 7-8, 9-12 in San Jose), Nov 9, Sacramento High School (open to all grades), Nov 16 St. Mark's Quads (San Rafael), Nov 17 CalChess Scholastic Quads (San Leandro), Dec 7 Weibel Scholastic Quads + Holiday Bazaar (Fremont), Dec 14 St. Mark's Quads (San Rafael)

Weekly Events
Every Thursday night in Burlingame, Friday night in Berkeley and Saturday afternoon in Milpitas there are rated scholastic games. Check out the information at CalChess Scholastics.

This year, you may recall, the CalChess State Scholastic Championships return to Santa Clara on April 12 & 13. Be prepared for 1500 players.

This Year
I am very excited that the California Grade Level is now the CalChess Grade Level (May 3 & 4). I am working with Floyd Barnes, the organizer, the North Stockton Rotary and Delta College to turn it into the second largest tournament in California this year with over 500 participants. I think this competition, with its new stable site, will soon reach 1000 + players as well.

I also have some inside information that the Chess Education Association is seriously considering bringing its National Grade Level to San Jose in February. The rumor is it will be go sponsored with a San Jose School District. I'll keep you posted.

Another goal I have for this year is to create an elementary school team league competition. I would like to invite all coaches who would like to meet in a league where school teams of five players compete head to head with both black and white in game 45. Send an e-mail to me at if you are interested. We already have a few large competitions where areas or club teams compete up to 60 boards. I know I am looking forward to the South Bay versus Fremont match later in the year that Jon Frankle from Blossom Hill is organizing.

Top 100
Many CalChess Scholastic players continue to appear on the bi-monthly USCF Top 100 in their age group and Top 100 Girls under 13 & under 16. You can view these accomplished young players at

CalChess Journal
The CalChess Journal under the excellent editorship of Frisco del Rosario won a number of National Awards at the 2002 Chess Journalists of America convention.
The CCJ earned honorable mentions in two separate categories for best
magazine, open and under 1000 circulation. Georgia Chess won the top
prize in both categories.

Dr. Alan Kirshner won the prize for Best Photograph for his picture
of Jeremy Chow (July 2001 issue).

Ed Bogas won the award for Best Cartoon for his cartoon about opening
preparation (July 2001).

Frisco Del Rosario won the honor in the Best Analysis (Other)
category for his piece about Capablanca-Corzo, eighth match game,
1901 (Sept. 2001).

You can receive this magazine bi-monthly by joining CalChess. As a member of CalChess you can receive discounts at a number of scholastic tournaments. Besides, Editor Del Rosario is himself an instructor in a scholastic program five days a week which might explain the excellent coverage he awards youth chess in Northern California.

Tournament Reports:
From John Mc Cumiskey:
Event Name: Sacramento Summer Scholastic Date(s): 8/3/2002

Sponsoring Affiliate: Sacramento Chess Club

Tournament Organizer: John McCumiskey Phone #: (916) 428-5532 (hm)
(916) 557-7053 (wk)

Tournament Director(s): John McCumiskey, Chuck Coleman, Michael Aigner & Bob Baker

Playing Site (include city): Ethel Hart Senior Center, Sacramento, CA

Tournament Format (Swiss-Quad-RR; # of Rds) : 5 round swiss Attendance 106

(In case of a tie, final placing was determined by standard USCF tie-breaks)

1. Grades K-3
1st Place:
Dawson Hall, Sacramento Chess School, 4.5 points
2nd Place: Mukund Chillakanti, Challenger, 4.5 points
3rd Place: Albert Wu, Argonaut, 4.0 points
4th Place: Jordan Ford, Sacramento Chess School, 4.0 points
5th Place: Matthias Wilken, Davis Scholastic Chess, 4.0 points
6th Place: Anna DePello, Sacramento Chess School, 3.5 points
7th Place: Kartik Chillakanti, Challenger, 3.5 points
8th Place: Trevor Lowenthal, North Davis Elementary, 3.0 points
9th Place: Manuel Guerrero, Davis Scholastic Chess, 3.0 points
10th Place: Hugo Kitano, San Francisco Day School, 3.0 points
1st Place Team: Challenger, 14.0 points
2nd Place Team: Sacramento Chess School, 14.0 points
3rd Place Team: Davis Scholastic Chess, 12.5 points

2. Grades 4-6
1st Place:
Travis Lee, Sacramento Chess School, 5.0 points
2nd Place: Lauren deTerra, North Davis Elementary, 5.0 points
3rd Place: Jacob Hall, Sacramento Chess School, 5.0 points
4th Place: Dominic Garcia, Biggs Elementary, 4.0 points
5th Place: Rohan Sathe, Blue Hills Elementary, 4.0 points
6th Place: Taylor Fenters, Henley Elementary, 4.0 points
7th Place: Aaron S Brown, St. Albans, 4.0 points
8th Place: Louis DePello, Sacramento Chess School, 4.0 points
9th Place: Rebecca Chao, North Davis Elementary, 4.0 points
10th Place: Brandon Brown, Cowan Fundamental School, 4.0 points
1st Place Team: North Davis Elementary, 14.5 points
2nd Place Team: Sacramento Chess School, 14.0 points
3rd Place Team: Biggs Elementary, 13.5 points

3. Grades 7-8
1st Place:
Daniel Schwarz, Arden Middle School, 4.5 points
2nd Place: Anyon Harrington, Esparto Chess Club, 4.0 points
3rd Place: Nicholas Rubianes, Commodore Skills Center Stockton, 4.0 points
4th Place: Keith Schwarz, Arden Middle School, 4.0 points
5th Place: Kevin Mani, Arcade Middle School, 4.0 points
1st Place Team: Arden Middle School, 13.0 points
2nd Place Team: Biggs Middle School, 11.5 points
3rd Place Team: Arcade Middle School, 8.0 points

4. Grades 9-12
1st Place:
Vincent Rubianes, Stagg High School, 5.0 points
2nd Place: Miles Mabray, Biggs High School, 4.0 points
3rd Place: Michael Philben, Parsons Junior High, 3.0 points
4th Place: Andrew Gutierrez, Biggs High School, 3.0 points
5th Place: Rene Stanley, Biggs High School, 2.5 points
1st Place Team: Biggs High School, 11.5 points

Representatives from Klamath Falls (Oregon), Reno, Biggs, Redding, the San Franciso Bay area, and the Sacramento/Stockton area converged on Sacramento's Ethel Hart Senior Center on August 3rd for the Sacramento Summer Scholastic. The mild summer day allowed the 106 players, their parents and coaches, to enjoy the park outside the playing hall when not competing.

The smallest section was Grades 9-12. In five hard-fought games, Stagg High School's Nicholas Rubianes took home the first place trophy with a perfect score of 5.0. Biggs High School took the team trophy with 11.5 points.

Arden Middle School's brothers Daniel and Keith Schwarz waged a back-and-forth battle in the fifth round in the Grades 7-8 Section. A win by Keith would result in a four-way tie for first place. At the finish, the game was drawn giving Daniel, the current K-8 State Champion, 4.5 points and the first place trophy. Arden Middle School won the team competition with 13.0 points.

Grades 4-6 had 39 players duking it out for prizes. In the end, there was a three-way tie for first at 5.0 points between Lauren deTerra from North Davis Elementary, Jacob Hall, and Travis Lee, both from the Sacramento Chess School. On tie-breaks, Lee took the first place trophy, with deTerra and Hall in second and third respectively. The team competition was fought just as hard, the difference between first and second, and second and third was only one-half point. North Davis Elementary earned the first place trophy with 14.5 points followed by the Sacramento Chess School and Biggs Elementary.

There were 36 competitors in the Grades K-3 section with Dawson Hall and Mukund Chillakanti only giving up a draw to each other in round 4 other to tie for first place. Hall won the first place trophy on tie-breaks. In the team event, Challenger and the Sacramento Chess School tied for first place with 14 points. Challenger gained the first place trophy on tie-breaks.

Jordan Ford of the Sacramento Chess School was the surprise story of the event. At age 4, Jordan scored 4.0 points in the K-3 section to finish in fourth place and gaining an estimated rating of 982. In one game, Jordan took advantage of an opponent's mistake by sacrificing his queen to force a back rank mate. According to Jordan's father, Cuzear, he wants to play chess and really enjoys the game.

The Sacramento Chess Club would like to thank Ethel Hart Senior Center Director Merry Geil for allowing us to use the facility for the event. I would like to give additional thanks to fellow directors Michael Aigner, Bob Baker, Chuck Coleman, and volunteers Jerry and Joseph Schwarz for their work at the event. For full crosstables of the tournament and information on future events the Sacramento Chess Club will be hosting, check out the weekend events information at

SCS Summer Quads

This summer's Weibel Quads became the Success Chess School Quads when Weibel Elementary School had to cancel the use of their facilities in July and August due to a new roof being installed. I did get the hold the first set of Quads at Weibel--294 entries. The closing of Weibel also meant that the Berkeley Chess School Camp and the SCS Classes had to be moved. I was able to obtain Gomes Elementary school for the July Quads (221 entries), the BCS Camp and the SCS classes thanks to Mr. Philip Bold, the Principal of Gomes school. The third quad had to be held at Jung SuWon a martial arts studio in Milpitas that houses a special SCS program on Saturdays. Because of the lack of parking and space for the children to play, this tournament was limited to 120 players. The tournament started with a martial arts exhibition. A barbecue topped off a great day. Many people commented on how relaxed I was at this "small" tournament.

The full results can be viewed in the CalChess Journal online:

Information Needed
Please keep me posted on scholastic events in Northern California via e-mail to

Alan Kirshner

If you no longer wish to be on my mailing list, please type remove in the Subject area. I will try to locate, as best as I can your name on the various lists and delete it from the file. This is a one person job and I lack a certain sophistication on maintain e-mail lists.

July 15, 2002
Hi friends of scholastic chess,
This is your "monthly" Northern California (CalChess) Scholastic newsletter. Yes, it has been exactly one month since I mail my news of children's actives and accomplishments in the 93200 through the 95000+ zip codes that the US Chess Federation designates as a separate State. Candidly, this newsletter has been more bi-monthly during the late Fall and Winter.

In this issue:

Well, let me begin with the good news:  The SCS Summer Scholastic Quads at Gomes Elementary School in Fremont on Saturday, July 20 have been full for three weeks.. The bad news: The SCS Summer Scholastic Quads at Gomes Elementary School in Fremont on Saturday, July 20 have been full for three weeks. I did open the enrollment from 220 to 235 to cover no shows. I just hope I do not have to play airline and buy off over booked "passengers" when all show.

I really hate to have number limits on the tournaments, but it is difficult to locate a facility that can handle the 300 to 400 players we usually get. Not all schools are as understanding or forgiving as Weibel. As I reported previously,the Fremont Unified School District withdrew our permit for the last two summer competitions when the school district passed its bond and this meant a summer replacing the roofs on the buildings.

I did not have space on the application for directions, so for those who are registered and haven't been to Gomes her are some:
FROM 880-Get off at Stevenson Blvd, go east to Mission Blvd, make a right on Mission until Las Palmas Ave and make a right onto Las Palmas, go to Lemos and make a right. Gomes is on the corner of Las Palmas and Lemos. 
FROM 680-Take Mission Blvd Exit and get off heading North-East (there are two Mission Blvd exits if you are going north on 680-it is the second Mission Blvd. exit, if going south it is the first Mission Blvd exit), turn left on Las Palmas Ave, and go to Lemos and make a right.. Gomes is on the corner of Las Palmas and Lemos. 

Please remember that if you do not arrive before 9:30 AM, even if registered, your child may not be placed in a correct quad, you may not get to play and worse you will have to put up with a nasty Dr. Kirshner who has no time or patience to listen to your reasons as he is trying to get the Quads done so the children and parents who arrived on time can get to play on time.


I just learned that a super young man, International Master Vinay Bhat earned his first GM Norm in China. I understand this momentous beginning occurred in China at the seaside resort Qingdao between July 3 and 8. He scored 5 points out of 9 at this tournament that included many prestigious players. Vinay graduated Lynbrook High School in Cupertino last month. He will attend UC Berkeley this fall, deciding not to follow his brother to Harvard. Vinay became a US Master (2200+) at age 10 1/2 & a two years ago became the youngest International Master in the US. Vinay is a humble young man who impressed all the parents and children at John Muir Elementary School when he was gracious enough to tell them a bit about his career at an SCS kick off night on September 11 After listening to him, most of us felt a lot better and more positive about life. You can learn more about Vinay from the information I have placed at my website:

Just a little aside away from chess--about the same time I learned about Vinay's taking the first giant step towards his GM title, I received another momentous call. A former powerlifting student and training partner of mine, who left California about 12 years ago to return to his native New Jersey, called me from the US Nationals back on Chicago. He broke the world powerlifting record in the 220 pound weight class. He bench pressed 575 pounds. I am happy to report that he has never used steroids or any other strength enhancing drugs. I started the drug testing for powerlifters in California in 1981, continuing until 1991. I organized State and National meets and had Joe(his name) tested many times with urine and polygraph exams. And, I do not support drug-testing for chess--another aside. :0)

I gave up promoting weightlifting tournaments for chess when I hit the late 50's. It is a lot easier setting up a chess tournament than a powerlifting competition. Besides, 300 pound lifters are a lot more intense when they bomb out than 3 foot kids. The positive--the 300 pound lifter seldom had his parents at a meet to scream at the tournament directors.

OK, so now you know the dark side of my force--probably more than you cared about. But, weightlifting did get me started in chess. Back in the early 1960's while working my way through graduate school, I ran a gym in Manhattan (New York). Not even chess is as boring as weightlifting--so, while searching for the next potential Arnold Schwatznegger (really Steve Reeves in those days)--I played chess in the gym. I graduated to the New York coffee shops, but that was as far as this patzer got. Like many of you, it was really my children who showed me what real competitive chess was about.  


Looks like a great season of chess. The CalChess Scholastic Tournament Calendar is posted at This posting includes non-US Chess Federation events like the Alameda County High School & Junior High Championships (Feb. 23, 2003) and the dates for the Nationals. If you are interest in adult tournaments, and children are permitted to play in them, you can check them out at the official site: -- just push the link at the play button. When directors send me applications/entry forms, I will link them from these pages.

Looks like we will have another big scholastic on the Fall as well on the Palo Alto area. The Mid-Peninsula Jewish Community Day School (MPJCDS) was thrilled about having near 200 players show to its first event (it filled up at least three weeks before their May 12 Quads) that they have tentatively booked November 3 and March 23 for an encore performance. We certainly will be trying to locate a site in Cupertino for a kid's tournament.

I am impressed by the effort Lloyd Barnes and his North Stockton Rotary Club have put into getting ready for the return of the CalChess Grade Level to Northern California. The application for this May 3 & 4, 2003 championship is already posted. I love the new logo. John McCumiskey, who continues to increase the number of scholastic players in the Sacramento area with his many tournaments, will be Chief Tournament Director. I am sure Jacob Green, the young energetic chess promoter in Stockton, will have his Knights playing and helping at this event.

The premier event--the CalChess State Scholastic Championships--will return to the Santa Clara Convention Center on April 12 & 13, 2003. Yes, as I think I said last month, we expect 1500 players under the able organization of Richard Peterson. One major major change--passed without opposition at the last CalChess Board Meeting (not the scholastic committee--but yours truly and the Scholastic Youth Rep (ROBERT CHAN) voted for the measure as did the former Scholastic Youth Rep (KRIS MAC LENNAN) who was promoted to a full Board Member for this meeting due to the absence of a Board member) :
While the States will be USCF rated for all players, USCF membership will not be required.  However (and this is a big, however), CalChess membership WILL be required to compete. OK--now comes the fun part--trying to explain this change.

First, let me state that up until two years ago, State USCF affiliates like CalChess received a portion (albeit, small) of the membership fees paid to the USCF. This stopped with the continuing USCF financial crisis that some attribute to lousy management and Board decisions.

Second, about 25% of the individuals who compete at the States join the USCF at that time and never enter another meet all year. While, the Chess Mates magazine is good--that is about the only benefit their membership brings. Our State organization has been unable to fund chess programs for the disadvantage, provide chess scholarships, donate chess equipment to schools or fund our elite players in their quest for national and international recognition.

Jim Eade, former CalChess President and a USCF Board member who is presently a USCF Representative to the international chess federation (FIDE) and on the Board of the US Chess Trust, spoke with the new Executive Director of the USCF. Based on a delegate motion last year and on verbal agreement, it seems we have permission to have the USCF rate our CalChess members who are not USCF members at the states only for a nominal fee. Meanwhile, the $13 CalChess fee that will be substituted for the $13 USCF fee (if under 15) will go to our organization to benefit all of chess in Northern California. This will certainly mean an extend format and more issues of the award winning CalChess Journal. And, hopefully a few bucks as an honorarium to the one individual who graciously volunteers his life to produce the Journal without a staff--Frisco del Rosario.

Let me repeat--in case there was any misunderstanding--all games played at the CalChess State Scholastics in April 2003 will be rated under US Chess Federation auspices as they have in the past.

Yes, some people will have to pay double fees as USCF membership will continue to be required for all other tournaments. Many already do join both groups. They know the benefit of dual membership. They receive an award winning CalChess magazine and get discounts at tournaments. In fact, for most of these individuals, especially when they have a family membership, they easily cover the cost of the CalChess membership, if they attend a few tournaments. I, as many other organizers, provide discounts for my scholastic tournaments.

My advice, as long as you will have to become a member of CalChess for the States, join now. The application for the CalChess Scholastic Quads is on the website. You can join with that entry and immediately take your first discount. :0)

Oh, and if you have any questions you can direct them to Tom Dorsch, CalChess President ( Want more information? Have concerns? The annual CalChess Board Election meeting will be held in conjunction with the adult CalChess state Championships on August 31 at 3 PM. The meeting will be at Golden Gateway Holiday Inn, Van Ness at Pine San Francisco. This will be your chance to vote on new By-Laws for CalChess (the proposed copy will go to all present members of CalChess via snail mail) & be sure that the 5 Board members elected (5 remain for another year--I am one of those with a protected seat) will use the new funding to truly benefit chess in Northern California.


This has been a long--and, perhaps winded newsletter--so let me simply inform you that the results of recent chess quads will be in the July/August CalChess Journal. The issue is ready for mailing to members, but non-members can download the color copy in pdf form at: Yes, it is there right now and a good portion of the 28 pages covers scholastic events from Sacramento to Monterey Bay. I love Richard Shorman's color photograph of Weibel's Ankita Roy in this issue. Ankita, the first person to win the Primary School Championship two years in a row (and the first girl ever) recently had a write up in the prestigious and widely circulated, India West.

Please remember that you might see yourself online if you attend one of our scholastic chess tournaments, whether or not you are playing. We have a number of excellent photographers--a few who have won awards and even been paid for their work--taking "chess" photographs. These individuals (Richard Shorman, John Tu, Kevin Batangan, Mark Shelton, Hans Poschmann and yours truly) usually place the photographs online so you can enjoy them and download any you want without a charge.(

From the Peninsula:
The Fox School Chess Club Championship in Belmont concluded 5/10/02. Congratulations goes to the new school champion, Alice Adelman, who went 4-0 to take first place. Sanjay Srinivas, 3-0, took 2nd place and Alexandra Tataru, 2.5-1.5, took 3rd.

In the Booster Division Denis Verbov won first place, 4-0. 2nd place went to Ryan Fong, 2.5-1.5, and Livia Wyss (2-2) took 3rd on tiebreaks.

The Atherton Library Quads concluded 5/13/02. Congratulations go to the following winners of the quads: Nathaniel Chow, Eric Soderstrom, Nick Felt, Allison Felt, Max Nuyen, and Adrianna Mendez. A special thanks goes to the Friends of the Atherton Library who fund this event.


June 16, 2002
Scholastic Chess in Northern California
To all interested--and a few not interested-- individuals:

Yesterday, I attended the Second Annual Chess Fest. Chuck Windsor, who volunteers his time to organize chess programs in 12 schools in the East Bay, brought the charismatic Grand Master Maurice Ashley to Oakland again. This year, GM Ashley played three strong chess teams from Berkeley, Fremont and Oakland blindfolded. The teams of five players, despite having vision, failed to even challenger the blindfolded Grand Master from New York. First, Fremont folded and a few minutes later Berkeley fell apart. Oakland lasted a bit longer, but soon succumbed to the might of America's most personable chess celebrity.

The same fate soon befell the 28 individuals who won the raffle to confront a non-blindfolded Maurice Ashley in a simo. Fifth grader, Aviv Adler, part of the Berkeley Chess Team that lost earlier in the day, was the lone exception. He outfoxed the GM with a rook give-away leading to a stalemate. Aviv broke the GM's perfect two year win record with this draw and will have bragging rights for many years to come.

Photos from the event can be viewed from the site.


Summer vacation is almost here (for some it is already) and I wanted to remind you of the summer chess activities in Northern California. Next week is the first of three Success Chess School Quads. On June 22(Saturday), Weibel Elementary School will host this event without placing a limit on the number of entries. After this Wednesday the registration fee does double, however. A limit of 225 has been placed on the SCS Quads on July 20(Saturday). The Jung SuWon site of the last SCS Quad on August 11 has filled. I had no choice due to space limitations and parking. If you are registered for the August 11 Quads, please get there a bit earlier to find parking.

Berkeley Chess School will hold its summer quads on June 29 (Saturday). July 21(Sunday) and August 17(Saturday) will see quads in Modesto. Full swiss style tournaments will also be available this summer. The Hayward Library Swiss (no cost) will be on July 6 (Saturday). On August 3(Saturday), John McCumiskey, is running a tournament in Sacramento. There is also a large scholastic section at the San Luis Obispo Championships.

Further information and applications for downloading are available at


We are lucky to have many Chess Summer Camps and programs in Northern California this summer. We even have individuals from out of State bringing their programs to benefit our students. I have posted those programs I have been informed about at:


I do try and provide kudos to individual scholastic players when I receive information about special accomplishments. Kimberly Anonuevo, an eleven year old with a present rating of 1416, received a special commendation for her chess success from the Mayor of Milpitas during a City Council meeting recently. Kimberly's rating is rapidly catching Northern California's top under 13 girl, twelve year old Ewelina Krubnik (1645). Perhaps in the near future one of these young women will rival the fame achieved by Jennie Frenklakh, who in 1997 while still in High School, received her National Master's Certificate.

Kimberly has written a number of article/essays about her tournament chess experiences that can be read at If you are not familiar with the Chess Dryad site, it provides, among other things, a history of chess in Northern California--with photographs. Among the great resources at this site that National Master Kerry Lawless developed with the aid of Mark Shelton is a data base , ready for downloading, of nearly 15,000 games played in Northern California going back to 1896. Among these are hundreds of games of the scholastic superstars of years gone by.


Loads of crowded scholastic tournaments from the CalChess State Championships (April 6-7)to the Mid-Peninsula Jewish Communty Day School Quads (May 12). You can read reports on these successful tournaments in the CalChess Journal at and read the results with loads of photographs from the links at

I do have a few reports from other organizers that have not been published in either source:

2002 Davis Scholastic Chess Championship Final Standings
Date: Sat, 4 May 2002
# Name Rtng Post Team Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5 Total 1 Graham Mc Daniel 1249 1246 North Davis Elementary W34 W21 W16 W5 D2 4.5 2 Anna DePello 945 977 Sacramento Chess School W12 W6 W31 W4 D1 4.5 3 Muku Chillakanti 1004 1034 Success Chess School W36 W14 W18 D9 W19 4.5 4 Matthias Wilken 897 914 Cesar Chavez Elementary W17 W13 W8 L2 W9 4.0 5 Dawson A Hall 896 912 Sacramento Chess School W20 W15 W33 L1 W11 4.0 6 Ian Proulx 658 678 Las Lomitas W44 L2 W24 W32 W17 4.0 7 Patrick S Dibble 876 858 La Mesa W24 L11 W36 W22 W13 4.0 8 Vikram A Kudva 833 833 Sacramento Chess School W50 W32 L4 W31 W12 4.0 9 Trevor Lowenthal 860 861 North Davis Elementary W40 W22 W11 D3 L4 3.5 10 Isaac Zhang unr. 759 Davis Grace Valley Christian Academy W28 L33 W34 D15 W27 3.5 11 Alexander Torrecampo 522 579 Cesar Chavez Elementary W35 W7 L9 W16 L5 3.0 12 Scott Panek 317 379 North Davis Elementary L2 W51 W21 W18 L8 3.0 13 Matthew Yee 502 556 North Davis Elementary W39 L4 W29 W23 L7 3.0 14 Ricky A Bunch 680 682 North Davis Elementary W26 L3 D25 W20 D15 3.0 15 Sam Brown 603 622 Cesar Chavez Elementary W52 L5 W26 D10 D14 3.0 16 Kart Chillakanti 845 829 Success Chess School W29 W42 L1 L11 W34 3.0 17 Crystal Ramos 285 341 Biggs Elementary School L4 W35 W43 W33 L6 3.0 18 Lauren Espeseth 793 767 Las Lomitas W49 W25 L3 L12 W31 3.0 19 Yonah Biers-Ariel 1179 1126 Cesar Chavez Elementary L31 W38 W27 W30 L3 3.0 20 William Schultz 284 349 Las Lomitas L5 W48 W28 L14 W33 3.0 21 Manuel Guerrero 732 719 Cesar Chavez Elementary W45 L1 L12 W46 W32 3.0 22 Ashley Pugh 519 530 Cesar Chavez Elementary W46 L9 W37 L7 W35 3.0 23 Henry Anker 853 809 Cesar Chavez Elementary L32 W50 W52 L13 W25 3.0 24 Joshua Guerrero 264 300 Cesar Chavez Elementary L7 W43 L6 W37 D28 2.5 25 Jesus Lozano unr. 633 Biggs Elementary School W48 L18 D14 W38 L23 2.5 26 Seth Mealer unr. 520 Biggs Elementary School L14 W39 L15 D45 W42 2.5 27 Jake Carlson 540 551 Biggs Elementary School D38 W47 L19 W41 L10 2.5 28 Toshi Smallwood 633 585 North Davis Elementary L10 W49 L20 W47 D24 2.5 29 Alex Greer unr. 518 Las Lomitas L16 W44 L13 D42 W41 2.5 30 Hunter Stetson 475 475 Cowan Fundamental School D41 D37 W46 L19 H--- 2.5 31 Adity Srinivasan 330 382 Challenger W19 W41 L2 L8 L18 2.0 32 Davis Dias unr. 663 Biggs Elementary School W23 L8 W42 L6 L21 2.0 33 Christoper Gardias 777 722 Cesar Chavez Elementary W43 W10 L5 L17 L20 2.0 34 Jacob Muller 444 454 Cesar Chavez Elementary L1 W45 L10 W48 L16 2.0 35 Chris Chinn unr. 332 North Davis Elementary L11 L17 W50 W36 L22 2.0 36 Nilesh Haile 410 401 Cesar Chavez Elementary L3 W52 L7 L35 W46 2.0 37 Ben A Young unr. 224 North Davis Elementary D47 D30 L22 L24 W51 2.0 38 Kimia Nader unr. 503 North Davis Elementary D27 L19 W47 L25 H--- 2.0 39 Aidan Prien 491 456 Cesar Chavez Elementary L13 L26 L41 W52 W50 2.0 40 Jem Orgun 223 204 Cesar Chavez Elementary L9 L46 L48 B--- W44 2.0 41 Spencer Park 564 512 North Davis Elementary D30 L31 W39 L27 L29 1.5 42 Isaac Yee 641 592 North Davis Elementary W51 L16 L32 D29 L26 1.5 43 Eric Bai unr. 205 North Davis Elementary L33 L24 L17 W49 D47 1.5 44 Derek Dimond unr. 233 North Davis Elementary L6 L29 W49 H--- L40 1.5 45 William M Young unr. 364 North Davis Elementary L21 L34 W51 D26 F--- 1.5 46 Cedric Duffy unr. 231 North Davis Elementary L22 W40 L30 L21 L36 1.0 47 Noelle Jamari unr. 165 Cesar Chavez Elementary D37 L27 L38 L28 D43 1.0 48 Nicolay Hald unr. 164 North Davis Elementary L25 L20 W40 L34 F--- 1.0 49 Margaret Gilbreath unr. 100 Cesar Chavez Elementary L18 L28 L44 L43 W52 1.0 50 Priya Kudva unr. 178 Sacramento Chess School L8 L23 L35 D51 L39 0.5 51 Katharine Gardias unr. 100 Cesar Chavez Elementary L42 L12 L45 D50 L37 0.5 52 Jake Martinez unr. 134 North Davis Elementary L15 L36 L23 L39 L49 0.0 Post rating calculated by Swis-Sys.

Graham McDaniel won a three-way playoff.

1st Place Team: North Davis Elementary, 14 points 2nd Place Team: Cesar Chavez Elementary, 13 points (on tie-breaks) 3rd Place Team: Sacramento Chess School, 13 points

# Name Rtng Post Team Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5 Total 1 Tyler K Wilken 1466 1488 Cesar Chavez Elementary W31 W11 W13 W3 W2 5.0 2 Matt Zavortink 1327 1330 Synergy W25 W19 W7 W6 L1 4.0 3 Davis Xu 1279 1293 Lynwood Elementary School W42 W14 W15 L1 W4 4.0 4 Jacob F Hall 1281 1280 Sacramento Chess School W53 W24 W17 W5 L3 4.0 5 Benjami Kermoyan 1118 1119 North Davis Elementary W40 W26 W35 L4 W14 4.0 6 Louis De Pello 1124 1130 SAC W57 W18 W34 L2 W22 4.0 7 Travis F Lee 953 967 PONY W39 W45 L2 W35 W16 4.0 8 Rebecca Y Chao 879 882 North Davis Elementary L52 W32 W37 W23 W17 4.0 9 Devin A Abbott 1105 1089 LAFAY W37 L34 W44 W21 W18 4.0 10 Jerry Luo 1003 994 North Davis Elementary W23 L35 W52 W34 W20 4.0 11 Clayton Arnold 849 861 Biggs Elementary School W55 L1 W39 D29 W28 3.5 12 Israel Garcia 760 785 Biggs Elementary School W56 L13 D28 W44 W30 3.5 13 Jeremy Lowenthal 1028 1014 North Davis Elementary W16 W12 L1 L14 W29 3.0 14 Brandon Brown 785 827 Cowan Fundamental School W29 L3 W27 W13 L5 3.0 15 Andrew Daniels 912 896 Cowan Fundamental School W27 W21 L3 L16 W35 3.0 16 Brendon YuPonce 532 590 Biggs Elementary School L13 W51 W19 W15 L7 3.0 17 Dominic Garcia 922 916 Biggs Elementary School W54 W41 L4 W22 L8 3.0 18 Andrew Gomez 828 837 Biggs Elementary School W28 L6 W55 W36 L9 3.0 19 Lauren deTerra 792 795 North Davis Elementary W20 L2 L16 W38 W37 3.0 20 Shelena McEdward unr. 850 Biggs Elementary School L19 W42 W41 W24 L10 3.0 21 Johnny R Terry 714 730 Biggs Elementary School W46 L15 W25 L9 W36 3.0 22 Jeremiah Yee 755 777 North Davis Elementary W48 W36 W30 L17 L6 3.0 23 Adam Evans 530 577 Biggs Elementary School L10 W50 W53 L8 W34 3.0 24 Niles Tanner 847 841 Cowan Fundamental School W49 L4 W38 L20 W40 3.0 25 Brian Cullinan 589 603 North Davis Elementary L2 W47 L21 W52 W43 3.0 26 Zach Ralston 737 734 Biggs Elementary School W33 L5 L36 W54 W39 3.0 27 Travis Cook 506 554 Biggs Elementary School L15 W54 L14 W41 W44 3.0 28 Matthew Chang unr. 714 Pacific Academy L18 W31 D12 W48 L11 2.5 29 Elliot Rogers unr. 794 Cesar Chavez Elementary L14 W40 W45 D11 L13 2.5 30 Matthew Healey 839 811 Cowan Fundamental School W47 H--- L22 W32 L12 2.5 31 Tyler Nichols 614 610 Biggs Elementary School L1 L28 W56 D33 W46 2.5 32 Selso Acosta unr. 675 Biggs Elementary School D44 L8 W42 L30 W54 2.5 33 Jacquelline Arvin unr. 566 Cesar Chavez Elementary L26 L38 W47 D31 W49 2.5 34 Courtney Yong 791 784 Pacific Academy W43 W9 L6 L10 L23 2.0 35 Jenelle Pinion 628 651 Biggs Elementary School W50 W10 L5 L7 L15 2.0 36 Linh Thien Tran unr. 635 Pacific Academy W38 L22 W26 L18 L21 2.0 37 Greg Garcia 545 556 Biggs Elementary School L9 W56 L8 W53 L19 2.0 38 Kyle Bissell 542 564 Biggs Elementary School L36 W33 L24 L19 W53 2.0 39 Todd E Shumway 525 538 Cowan Fundamental School L7 W58 L11 W45 L26 2.0 40 Derik Bannister 563 561 Biggs Elementary School L5 L29 W50 W55 L24 2.0 41 Nico Pisciotta 634 608 North Davis Elementary W58 L17 L20 L27 W48 2.0 42 Brian T Rice 578 585 Cowan Fundamental School L3 L20 L32 W57 W52 2.0 43 Miles Weatherup unr. 421 Biggs Elementary School L34 D57 D46 W56 L25 2.0 44 James Chinn 650 622 North Davis Elementary D32 W52 L9 L12 L27 1.5 45 Todd Sanderson 746 689 Biggs Elementary School W51 L7 L29 L39 D50 1.5 46 John Miller unr. 367 North Davis Elementary L21 D48 D43 D49 L31 1.5 47 Stephanie Ramos unr. 389 Biggs Elementary School L30 L25 L33 D51 W57 1.5 48 Ryan VanGilder unr. 427 Biggs Elementary School L22 D46 W57 L28 L41 1.5 49 Emily Honan 405 396 Biggs Elementary School L24 L53 W51 D46 L33 1.5 50 David Rey unr. 359 North Davis Elementary L35 L23 L40 W58 D45 1.5 51 Sebastian Gomez unr. 323 Cesar Chavez Elementary L45 L16 L49 D47 W55 1.5 52 Spencer Reynolds 407 413 Biggs Elementary School W8 L44 L10 L25 L42 1.0 53 Nicolas Cabral 579 534 Cowan Funamental School L4 W49 L23 L37 L38 1.0 54 Daniel Hansen 430 408 North Davis Elementary L17 L27 W58 L26 L32 1.0 55 Devin Boyd 200 184 COWAN L11 B--- L18 L40 L51 1.0 56 Michael Tsujimoto unr. 246 PA L12 L37 L31 L43 W58 1.0 57 Colin Mc Daniel 576 506 North Davis Elementary L6 D43 L48 L42 L47 0.5 58 Tyler Wright unr. 28 Biggs Elementary School L41 L39 L54 L50 L56 0.0
Post rating calculated by Swis-Sys.

1st Place Team: North Davis Elementary, 15 points
2nd Place Team: Biggs Elementary, 13 points 3rd Place Team: Cowan Fundamental School, 11.5 points

# Name Rtng Post Team Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5 Total 1 Daniel Schwarz 1793 1796 Arden Middle School W19 W7 W4 W2 W8 5.0 2 Daniel H Hartley 1283 1302 W13 W11 W3 L1 W9 4.0 3 Keith Schwarz 1126 1134 Arden Middle School W23 W5 L2 W13 W7 4.0 4 Anyon Harrington 1087 1112 Esparto Chess Club W22 W17 L1 W18 W10 4.0 5 Austin G Gold 748 786 Joseph Kerr Middle School W21 L3 W22 D6 W15 3.5 6 Emmanuel Garcia 1135 1111 Biggs Middle School W24 W12 L9 D5 W19 3.5 7 Kyle Hui 1024 1040 Success Chess School W18 L1 W15 W9 L3 3.0 8 Samantha Steadman 937 949 Biggs Middle School L10 W21 W16 W14 L1 3.0 9 Brian T Page 1060 1070 Arden Middle School W25 W10 W6 L7 L2 3.0 10 Manolis Rozakis unr. 1043 Rio Linda Junior High W8 L9 W17 W12 L4 3.0 11 Chris Bannister 903 900 Biggs Middle School X--- L2 L14 W16 W18 3.0 12 Evan W Eyster 853 864 Arden Middle School W14 L6 W20 L10 B--- 3.0 13 Drew M Shumway 634 650 Arcade Middle School L2 B--- W24 L3 W23 3.0 14 Pavel Zamoshnikov unr. 927 Rio Linda Junior High L12 W25 W11 L8 W17 3.0 15 Christopher Mendieta 776 767 Biggs Middle School D16 W19 L7 W23 L5 2.5 16 Garrett Chin unr. 700 Pacific Academy D15 W22 L8 L11 W21 2.5 17 Sylvia Gutierrez 882 855 Biggs Middle School W20 L4 L10 B--- L14 2.0 18 Ryan Maffetone unr. 708 Arden Middle School L7 W24 W21 L4 L11 2.0 19 Byron A Brown 700 693 Arcade Middle School L1 L15 B--- W22 L6 2.0 20 Amos Onn unr. 541 Emerson Junior High L17 W23 L12 L21 W24 2.0 21 Jeff Presnell unr. 432 Rio Linda Junior High L5 L8 L18 W20 L16 1.0 22 David Olivares unr. 520 Rio Linda Junior High L4 L16 L5 L19 W25 1.0 23 Hasmik Matsoyan unr. 492 Rio Linda Junior High L3 L20 W25 L15 L13 1.0 24 Dennis Turner unr. 460 Rio Linda Junior High L6 L18 L13 W25 L20 1.0 25 Eddie Salas unr. 265 Esparto Chess Club L9 L14 L23 L24 L22 0.0 26 Alex Borodaev unr. 0 Rio Linda Junior High F--- U--- U--- U--- U--- 0.0 Post rating calculated by Swis-Sys.

1st Place Team: Arden Middle School, 15 points 2nd Place Team: Biggs Middle School, 12 points 3rd Place Team: Rio Linda Junior High, 8 points

# Name Rtng Post Team Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5 Total 1 John C Van 1142 1182 Luther Burbank W13 W8 W6 W2 D3 4.5 2 Kao L Saeteurn 1109 1131 Luther Burbank W15 W4 W7 L1 W6 4.0 3 Vincent P Ng 1067 1074 Balboa High School W11 W5 W12 L6 D1 3.5 4 John Gonzalez Cohen 886 881 Emerson Junior High W16 L2 W15 D5 W7 3.5 5 Sean D Solis 255 329 Franklin High School X--- L3 W14 D4 W12 3.5 6 William Terry 1279 1245 Biggs High School W14 W12 L1 W3 L2 3.0 7 Dimitrios Rozakis unr. 820 Rio Linda High School W10 W13 L2 W11 L4 3.0 8 Alvin Ma 887 867 Balboa High School W9 L1 L11 W13 W14 3.0 9 Tonio A Lopez unr. 666 Franklin High School L8 D10 D16 W15 W11 3.0 10 Julie Hong 737 715 Balboa High School L7 D9 W17 L12 B--- 2.5 11 Yang Her 495 522 Luther Burbank L3 W16 W8 L7 L9 2.0 12 Mohammad Mukhtar 918 883 Luther Burbank W17 L6 L3 W10 L5 2.0 13 Mirian Lau 477 478 Balboa High School L1 L7 B--- L8 W17 2.0 14 Simon S Kuang 589 561 Luther Burbank L6 W17 L5 B--- L8 2.0 15 Karen Lee 465 452 Balboa High School L2 B--- L4 L9 D16 1.5 16 Wilson Wong unr. 414 Balboa High School L4 L11 D9 D17 D15 1.5 17 Vickie Peng unr. 293 Balboa High School L12 L14 L10 D16 L13 0.5 18 Christian Duvair 968 968 Davis High School F--- U--- U--- U--- U--- 0.0 Post rating calculated by Swis-Sys.

1st Place Team: Luther Burbank, 12.5 points 2nd Place Team: Balboa High School, 11 points 3rd Place Team: Franklin High School, 6.5 points

Stockton Unified School District, Marshall Middle School, and Stockton Chess Club sponsored the 2002 first annual SUSD Grade Level Chess Championships. The beginning went by smoothly, we had 9 late entries and started ten minutes late. At Lunch time Stockton Chess Club's own Franklin Ferrer (USCF, 1395), and Anthony Nguyen (USCF 1755) played a 26 man simul and won all games congratulations to them. I would like to thank all the people who helped me make this possible, Lud Williams the organizer, assisting directors Anthony Nguyen, Franklin Ferrer, Paul Fortes, Philip DeVera, Joanne Green, Scot McBrian, and our "runner" Jesse Green, as well as Mrs. Chan who helped with making the certificate looking great. We expect the next SUSD Grade Level Championships to be in February of 2003, and during that we will promote the California Grade Level which will be May 3rd, and 4th 2003 in Stockton. The top ten in each section received trophies, top three teams received trophies, and everyone received a participation certificate. Anyways here were the results,

In section K-3, Patrick Dibble all the way from Montery took first place team La Mesa, Linda Li took second from Rainbow Family, Steven Hao took third from Rainbow Family, Victor Shen took fourth place from Rainbow Family, Peter Tang took fifth from John Muir, Zachary Stroup took sixth from Garfield Elementary, Iris Almazan took eight from Hazelton, Jamal Moore took ninth from Garfield Elementary, Miguel Coyt took tenth from Harrison Stockton Elementary.

Rainbow Family School Received the first Place Team Trophy Harrison Stockton Elementary Received the second Place Team Trophy, as well as Progressive Plaque (SUSD ONLY) Garfield Elementary Received the third Place Team Trophy

In section 4-6, the only perfect score Floyd Ferrer took first place from San Joaquin, Nicholas Rubianes took second place from Commodore Skills Center Stockton, Sharon Hao took third from Rainbow Family, Adrian Lai took fourth from Hazelton, Ran Cheng took fifth from Rainbow Family, Dominic Pozzo took sixth from Hazelton, Sharen Fu took seventh from Rainbow Family, Mark Rea took eight from Hazelton, Brendan Chan took ninth from Hazelton, and Somala Vann took tenth from King Elementary.

Hazelton Received the first Place Team Trophy as well as Progressive Plaque Rio Calaveras Received the second Place Team Trophy King Elementary Received the third Place Team Trophy

In section 7-8, Fredy Ferrer won the three way play-off for first from Marshall Middle School, Vincent Rubianes took second from Commodore Skills Center Stockton, Alejandro Martinez took third from Marshall Middle School, Alexis Oliva took fourth from Commodore Skills Center Stockton, Maximo Alvarado took fifth from Marshall Middle School, Daniel Damen took sixth from Sierra Middle School, Lor Yang took seventh from Webster Middle School, Ky Nguyen took eight from Webster Middle School, Anthony Moreno took ninth from Commodore Skills Center Stockton, and Edgar Gama took tenth from Fremont Middle School

Marshall Middle School Received the first Place Team Trophy as well as Progressive Plaque Commodore Skills Center Stockton Received the second Place Team Trophy Webster Middle School Received the third Place Team Trophy

I'll see you at the SCS Summer Quads

Our second Coastside Scholastics attracted 18 participants, and we are planning further activities during the summer, including a scholastic event the weekend before Labor Day (probably a 1-day event).

Eric Schiller
Moss Beach, CA

Hatch Elemantary, Half Moon Bay

June 7, 2002


Place Name Rtg Club Score

1-2 Patigler, Erich Cunha 4   
Patigler, Alex Cunha 4   
3-6 Cohen, Adam Hatch 3.5 
Wright, Mike FV 3.5 
Schiller, Erik Hatch 3.5 
Bruno, John Hatch 3.5 
7 Newmann, Dominic Sea Crest 3   
8-10 Bartz, Elliot Sea Crest 2.5 
Li, Victor Hatch 2.5 
Galijan, Laura Hatch 2.5 
11-12 Ormond, Rhys Hatch 2   
Moberg, Karl Cunha 2   
13-15 Wolk, Zachary FV 1.5 
Joswiak, Kyle Sea Crest 1.5 
Reidy, Eoin Hatch 1.5 
16-18 Duncan, Andrew FV 1   
Dill, Ryan FV 1   
Harkin, Gerard FV 1   

Cross Table

No Name Club Total 1 2 3 4 5 

1 Patigler, Erich Cunha 4 7:W 5:W 3:W 8:W 2:L
2 Patigler, Alex Cunha 4 14:W 11:W 4:W 3:L 1:W
3 Cohen, Adam Hatch 3.5 13:W 12:W 1:L 2:W 4:D
4 Wright, Mike FV 3.5 15:W 9:W 2:L 7:W 3:D
5 Schiller, Erik Hatch 3.5 8:W 1:L 6:D 17:W 12:W
6 Bruno, John Hatch 3.5 11:L 17:W 5:D 9:W 10:W
7 Newmann, Dominic Sea Crest 3 1:L 16:W 12:W 4:L 11:W
8 Bartz, Elliot Sea Crest 2.5 5:L 10:W 11:W 1:L 9:D
9 Li, Victor Hatch 2.5 16:W 4:L 18:W 6:L 8:D
10 Galijan, Laura Hatch 2.5 17:D 8:L 13:W 16:W 6:L
11 Ormond, Rhys Hatch 2 6:W 2:L 8:L 18:W 7:L
12 Moberg, Karl Cunha 2 18:W 3:L 7:L 13:W 5:L
13 Wolk, Zachary FV 1.5 3:L 14:W 10:L 12:L 15:D
14 Joswiak, Kyle Sea Crest 1.5 2:L 13:L 17:D 15:L 16:W
15 Reidy, Eoin Hatch 1.5 4:L 18:L 16:L 14:W 13:D
16 Duncan, Andrew FV 1 9:L 7:L 15:W 10:L 14:L
17 Dill, Ryan FV 1 10:D 6:L 14:D 5:L 0:
18 Harkin, Gerard FV 1 12:L 15:W 9:L 11:L 0:

Club Standings (Top 3 scores)

Place Name Score

1 HATCH 11.5  
2 CUNHA 10  
4 FV 6     

Estimated Ratings (Local)

No Name Loc Club Score Rprfm

1. Moberg, Karl 900 Cunha 2.0/5 528
2. Patigler, Alex 900 Cunha 4.0/5 900
3. Patigler, Erich 800 Cunha 4.0/5 900
4. Bruno, John 700 Hatch 3.5/5 669
5. Wright, Mike 700 FV 3.5/5 749
6. Bartz, Elliot 600 Sea Crest 2.5/5 560
7. Cohen, Adam 600 Hatch 3.5/5 929
8. Dill, Ryan 600 FV 1.0/4 407
9. Duncan, Andrew 600 FV 1.0/5 280
10. Harkin, Gerard 600 FV 1.0/4 407
11. Joswiak, Kyle 600 Sea Crest 1.5/5 511
12. Newmann, Dominic 600 Sea Crest 3.0/5 792
13. Ormond, Rhys 600 Hatch 2.0/5 608
14. Reidy, Eoin 600 Hatch 1.5/5 471
15. Schiller, Erik 600 Hatch 3.5/5 869
16. Wolk, Zachary 600 FV 1.5/5 491
17. Galijan, Laura 500 Hatch 2.5/5 620
18. Li, Victor 300 Hatch 2.5/5 640


Keep current on CalChess scholastic events at

and for all other CalChess activities at

Oh, and for those anticipating the 2003 CalChess State Scholastic Championships. They are returning to the Santa Clara Convention Center on April 12 & 13, 2003. I anticipate that the organizer Richard Peterson ( will have an application with full information ready for posting on the net shortly.

One application that is almost ready for posting--a few minor changes needed to be made--is for the May 3 & 4, 2003 CalChess Grade Level in Stockton. This tournament will no longer be an all state championship between the USCF Chess States of Northern and Southern California. Because of our inability to coordinate the event with Southern California & with the blessing of their organization's Chair, who was at our States, we will now have a CalChess State Grade Level every year. We previously had alternated each year between the North and the South.


Let me know what is happening in your part of Northern California by e-mailing me at

I am responsible for any information or misinformation provided in this newsletter or on my CalChess Scholastic website. If you have any corrections or additions, please forward them to me at the above e-mail.

I again apologize for anyone who receives this newsletter more then once. I have a number of mailing lists and some names repeat.

I will unhappily remove anyone from the mailing list (s) if you will simply reply to my e-mail with a REMOVE typed in the Subject part of the heading. Oh, and another apology--I may have accidently restored some names I removed previously when I synchronized my mailing list with a back-up edition. If this occurred I beg your patience and will remove you again & promise to avoid that mistake in the future.

Alan M. Kirshner, Ph.D.
Scholastic Chess Chair
CalChess, The Official Northern California affiliate of the United States Chess Federation

March 22, 2002
Hi chess players and friends and relatives of chess players and anyone else who might get this newsletter,

Once again I have a fair number of scholastic chess events to report about. Let me start, however, with reminding everyone that the premier event in Northern California, The CalChess State Scholastic Championships, will soon be here. Even though this year it will be in Monterey (April 6 & 7), it looks like the tournament will once again top 1000. Richard Peterson, the organizer, said that he had about 500 entries already. He told me that if he recalls correctly, that number is more than he had two weeks before the National Elementary Championship he ran a few years ago and that one topped 2000. I explained to him that the folks in Northern California are just more excited to get their entries in early. The host hotel, the Doubletree, is sold out. The doomsayers will have to look for something else negative to worry about. If you still need an application form you can download one from the link at
Entries are posted at Scroll down the page to locate the link to the most recent update.

I just received this e-mail from Richard Peterson:

We have confirmed reservations for

Berkeley Chess School,
Success Chess School,
Argonaut (SCS),
St Marks,

We still have available

8 teams rooms of approximately 700 square feet. The cost is $350 per room.
2 team rooms of approximately 550 square feet. The cost is $300 per room.

Reservations will be taken on a first come, first serve basis.

You can reach Richard at

I believe I mentioned in an earlier newsletter that the CalChess State scholastics will likely return to Santa Clara in the last week of March 2003. I have just learned that it looks good for the California Grade Level Chess Championships will be in Stockton the first week of May in 2003. I'll keep you posted.

Well, as long as I started with things to come let me remind people that the USCF National Elementary Championships are on the West Coast this year. This is the first time since 1994 (I think that was the year) when they were in San Jose. I know that a number of schools will be sending players to Portland, Oregon on April 25-28. This will be my first Nationals without one of my boys, so I hope I can carry a team trophy home instead of one of their individual awards.

For the first time Success Chess is holding a chess tournament in Palo Alto on May 12 in conjunction with the Mid-Peninsula Jewish Community Day School. We will have to limit this tournament to 200 players based on the space available at the Jewish Community Center. The application just went up at and we already have 50 entries.

SCS Jung SuWon--martial art chess? Well, it looks like the 10,000 square foot studio in Milpitas will be turned over to chess starting April 9. A beginner's course on Tuesday afternoon, a club on Thursday afternoon and A team on Saturday afternoon. The Team is the most interesting concept. They will get instruction for 40 minutes and then there will be a five week USCF rated tournament following the instruction. The final five weeks will be given over to simuls by Masters and special lectures. The tournaments and the special events will be open for anyone for a daily or full tournament fee. The Spring program will be 10 weeks and a special summer program is in the works. If you are interested in learning more about this program--especially the rated tournaments, call Matthew at Jung SuWon--(408) 263-5425. The CalChess Scholastic liaison to the program will be Chris Torres. You can e-mail him at

Back to the history of March. The chess month started on March 3 with a head to head match between The Berkeley Chess School and The Success Chess School. This was the eighth annual competition. In previous years, the matches were between BCS and Weibel Elementary School. Because of the dramatic increase in the number of player in both programs, Elizabeth Shaughnessy, the Directress of BCS, suggested that from now on we have an A, B & C team each with 20 players. We would only count the result of the A Team in our overall standings--4 for Weibel (SCS) and 3 (for Berkeley). As usual, the A Team results were very close and could have bounced either way, but SCS held on to its lead after half time (each player confronts his opponent as both black and while for game in 45) and pulled out the victory 21 1/2 to 18 1/2. SCS now leads the annual match 5 to 3. The Berkeley Chess' B & C Teams were no match for the SCS players and the results were quite lopsided. You can view the results at

The BCS-SCS competition was held at the San Leandro Marina Recreation Center ( about an equal distance for both groups) at the same time as the Alameda County High School and Junior High School Championships. The new Alameda County High School Champions is Kris Mac Lennan from Skyline High School. San and David Petty of Berkeley High School tied for second place. Berkeley High School win the Team Championship with Tennyson High School taking second. In the High School Junior Varsity section, Reginald Viray won with Tsai-Yu Lam, Hai Yu, Bhuvan Vemireaddy and Decontee Bility tying for second. Berkeley High School won again and Tennyson again took second. In the Junior High School/Middle School championships, Igor Garbouz of Bernard White Middle School in Union City is this years champion with Allen Tu of St. Josephs second and Ali Abid third. Cesar Chavez Middle school won the team championship.

From Dennis Myers:
Here's a first for the Atherton Library... Congratulations to Jeremy Chow and Canaan Lindner who represented the Atherton Library Chess for Fun Club at the CEA Scholastic Grade Level championships in Bakersfield, CA on February 2 & 3. Jeremy and Canaan, both 1st graders, earned trophies by taking 2nd and 3rd place, respectively. In addition, they took first place in the Club division for 1st grade and earned a first ever trophy for the library.

Kudos also go to Canaan who took 5th place in the Blitz tournament and Nathaniel Chow (Jeremy's brother) who took 8th place in the 5th grade division.

From John McCumiskey:

Here's a tournament report for the January 19th tournament. Between this and getting my house remodeled, it's amazing I have been able to do anything over the last 5 weeks!

Frisco, I tried to get a game from Daniel Schwarz where he underpromoted to mate, but was not successful.

John McCumiskey

2002 Sacramento Elementary Championship & January High School Scholastic by John P McCumiskey

San Juan Unified School District‚s Cowan Fundamental School hosted the 2002 Sacramento Elementary Championship and January High School Scholastic. The 189 player turnout broke the previous Sacramento record of 171 players at the 2001 version of this event. Three more participants would have filled all the available seats in the tournament hallSmaybe next year!

In the 56 player Grades K-3 section, North Davis Elementary‚s Graham McDaniel defeated Chadbourne‚s Tau Jeng in the last round giving him a perfect 5.0 score.
North Davis Elementary won the team event with 14.5 points.

The Grades 4-6 section finished in a four-way tie for first place between Tyler Wilken of Cesar Chavez Elementary, Trevor Showalter of Sheehy, and Philip and Aviv Adler of the Berkeley Chess School, all finishing with 4.5 points. Wilken won the 1st place trophy in the playoff. The first place team in the 75 player section was won by North Davis Elementary with 14.5 points.

Arden Middle School‚s Daniel Schwarz swept the 29 player Grades 7&#64979;8 section with a perfect score of 5. Arden Middle School also won the team trophy with 14.5 points.

Erin Harrington, Esparto Chess Club, defeated 5 of the top 10 finishers in the Grades 9-12 section, which had 29 players. Sacramento Luther Burbank High School scored 14 points to win the team tournament.

The Sacramento Chess Club and I would like to thank Cowan Fundamental School s Chess Coach Andy Parnas for wanting to host the tournament, Cowan Fundamental School Principals Sandy Schiffhauer, and Christine Anderson for allowing us to use the school, and parent Deb Rice for coordinating the food and drink concessions at the tournament. Additional thanks go out to tournament staff John Barnard, Steve Bickford, Chuck Coleman, Cain and Debbie Garrett, and Jerry Schwarz. We look forward to needing to use additional rooms at Cowan next year! PRIZE WINNERS
Grades K-3

1st Place: Graham McDaniel, 5.0
2nd Place: Hayk Manvelyan, 4.5
3rd Place: Mukund Chillakanti, 4.5
4th Place: Dawson A Hall, 4.0
5th Place: Christopher Gardias, 4.0
6th Place: Tau Jeng, 4.0
7th Place: Matthias Wilken, 4.0
8th Place: Ning Jeng, 4.0
9th Place: Riley Brian, 4.0
10th Place: Patrick S Dibble, 3.5
11th Place: Kartik Chillakanti, 3.5
12th Place: Trevor Lowenthal, 3.5
13th Place: Remy Lehrfeld, 3.0
14th Place: Anna DePello, 3.0
15th Place: Henry Anker, 3.0

1st Place Team: North Davis Elementary, 14.5 points 2nd Place Team: Cesar Chavez Elementary, 13.5 points 3rd Place Team: Cowan Fundamental School, 11.5 points

Grades 4-6

1st Place: Tyler K Wilken, 4.5 (won 1st Place trophy in a playoff) 2nd Place: Philip Jouriles, 4.5
3rd Place : Trevor Showalter, 4.5
4th Place: Aviv Adler, 4.5
5th Place: Mahnoosh Moghadam, 4.0
6th Place: Jeremiah Yee, 4.0
7th Place: Benjamin Kermoyan, 4.0
8th Place: Aaron S Brown, 4.0
9th Place: Jacob F Hall, 4.0
10th Place: Dominic Garcia, 4.0
11th Place: Nicholas Rubianes, 4.0
12th Place: Andrew Gomez, 4.0
13th Place: Lauren deTerra, 4.0
14th Place: Arnold Clayton, 4.0
15th Place: Rebecca Y Chao, 3.5

1st Place Team: North Davis Elementary, 15.5 points 2nd Place Team: Biggs Elementary, 15 points 3rd Place Team: Berkeley Chess School, 13 points

Grades 7-8

1st Place: Daniel Schwarz, 5.0
2nd Place: Nazee A Moghadam, 4.0
3rd Place: Ahmad A Moghadam, 4.0
4th Place: David Rivera, 4.0
5th Place: Tyler K Woodruff, 4.0
6th Place: Anyon Harrington, 3.5
7th Place: Keith Schwarz, 3.5
8th Place: Brian Page, 3.0
9th Place: Vincent Rubianes, 3.0
10th Place: Shiloh Rainwater, 3.0

1st Place Team: Arden Middle School, 14.5 points 2nd Place Team: Commodore Skills Center Stockton, 11.5 points 3rd Place Team: Arcade Middle School, 10 points

Grades 9-12
1st Place: Erin Harrington, 5.0
2nd Place: Kao Saeteurn, 4.0
3rd Place: William Terry, 4.0
4th Place: Kou Vang, 4.0
5th Place: Jacob Green, 43.5
6th Place: Stephan Goupille, 3.5
7th Place: Peter D Pascoal, 3.0
8th Place: Tyler J Barnard, 3.0
9th Place: Tova Vang, 3.0
10th Place: Veysa S Kruth, 3.0

1st Place Team: Luther Burbank, 14 points 2nd Place Team: Delta Knights, 9 points
3rd Place Team: Nevada Union, 7 points

From Allan Fifield:
Farmersville Chess for Kids 01/26/02
Farmersville JHS

Open Section (28 Players)
1st Michael Edes (Porterville) 5-0
Best Team: La Joya Middle (Visalia)

4th-6th Grade Section (85 Players)
1st Trevor Showalter (Merced) 5-0
1st Aaron Fong (Visalia) 5-0
Best Team: Crestwood Elementary (Visalia)

K-3rd Section (47 players)
1st Neeckaun Irani (Fresno) 5-0
Best Team: Manchester GATE (Fresno)

Tournament Staff: Allan FiField, Wendell Shepherd, Louis Spate, Stephen Ho

Crestwood Chess for Kids 02/23 Visalia

Open Section (27 Players)
1st Michael Edes (Porterville) 5-0
Best Team: La Joya Middle (Visalia)

4th-6th Grade Section (71 Players)
1st Chris Warmerdam (Visalia) 5-0
Best Team: Manchester GATE (Fresno)

K-3rd Section (46 players)
1st Aaron Bergthold (Reedley) 5-0
Best Team: Manchester GATE (Fresno)

Tournament Staff: Allan FiField, Ellen Dahlenburg, Louis Spate, John Missirlian

Chess for Kids at Great Western Elementary (Reedley) 03/16/2002 To:

Open (7th-12th) Section

1st Stephen Ho (5-0) Monache HS, Porterville 2nd Michael Edes (4-1) Granite Hills, Porterville 3rd Christian Bergthold (3.5-1.5) Riverdale Middle, Reedley

1st Team - La Joya Middle School, Visalia (10.5 pts) 2nd Team - Granite High School, Porterville (10 pts)

4th-6th Section

1st-2nd Aaron Fong (5-0) Crestwood Elementary, Visalia 1st-2nd Corey Bergthold (5-0) Washington Elementary, Reedley 3rd Brian Ritschel (4-0) Washington Elementary, Reedley

1st Team - Crestwood Elementary, Visalia (21 pts) 2nd Team - Washington Elementary, Reedley (19 pts) 3rd Team - Sheridan Elementary, Orange Cove (15 pts)

K-3rd Section

1st Christopher Missilrian (5-0) Manchester GATE, Fresno 2nd McKinley Gilmore (4.5-0.5) Great Western, Reedley 3rd A.J. Ringer (4-1) Manchester GATE, Fresno

1st Team - Great Western, Reedley (17 pts) 2nd Team - Washington Elementary, Reedley (15 pts) 3rd Team - Forkner Elementary, Fresno (14.5)

Tournament staff: Allan Fifield, Louis Spate, John Missilrian, John Simonian and Lori Esau

From Jacob Green--the dynamic teenager in Stockton:
Just wanted to inform you about what Stockton is doing. Today I just finished directing the 4th Annual Children's Home of Stockton Scholastic Tournament. Here are the results, and a cross-table you can open in Swis-Sys. We had 39 scholastics playing in this event. The TD staff was Nanette Trujillo, Scot C McBrian, Jesse Green, Susan Hye, and Lud Williams. This was a Middle School-High School Championship. During the simul we had Michael Fitzgerald come down and play a simul. And the next Stockton Event will be March 23rd, Stockton Grade Level

7th Grade

1st Place- Floyd Ferrer

2nd Place- Jim Her

3rd Place- Henry Casil

8th Grade

1st Place- Miguel Moreano

2nd Place- Jonah Salerno

3rd Place- Michael Brienzo

9th Grade

1st Place- Christopher Wihlidal

2nd Place- Houng Ho

2nd Place- Joey Green

2nd Place- Henry Tran

3rd Place- Larry Wong

10th Grade

1st Place- Philip DeVera

1st Place- Paul Fortes

2nd Place- Louie Coludo

2nd Place- Jose Quintero

3rd Place- Steven Tricias

11th Grade

1st Place- Sean Solis

2nd Place- Oliver Kong

2nd Place- Jeremal Nitura

2nd Place- Jacob Patterson

3rd Place- Jesus Soto

12th Grade

1st Place- Mario Ramos

2nd Place- Hunter Schick

3rd Place- Henry Zhang

7th Grade

1st Place Marshall Middle School

2nd Place Hamilton Middle School

8th Grade

1st Place Hamilton Middle School

2nd Place Marshall Middle School

9th Grade

1st Place Stagg High School

2nd Place Edison High School

10th Grade

1st Place Edison High School

2nd Place Children's Home

11th Grade

1st Place Franklin High

2nd Place Children's Home

12th Grade

1st Place Edison High School

2nd Place Children's Home

I am sure I will have a full report on the March 23rd Grade Level in Stockton in my next newsletter. Meanwhile, keep playing and keep the reports coming.

Once again, if you are receiving this newsletter in error, have ceased to be associated with scholastic chess or simply are tied of my verbiage, you can request that I remove you from my mailing list(s). Simply type "remove" in the subject area and hit the reply button.

February 18, 2002
To the faithful players, friends, parents, teachers, coaches, interested parties & not so interested parties of scholastic chess in Northern California:

I just returned from the Berkeley Young People's Tournament. Another record breaking year with 147 players in three sections. Thanks to directors Hans Poschmann & Toby Kahn, who took over at the last minute, things ran fairly smoothly.

Photographs and results from the Young People's Tournament should be posted and/or linked from the CalChess Scholastics( site sometime this week. Four photographers who love showing off their work & providing the pictures to you free were shooting away: Richard Shorman, John Tu, Mark Shelton & yours truly.


Mark Shelton is the webmaster for NM Kerry Lawless' Chess Dryad. If you haven't checked out that site, it is a real treat. Kerry is the unofficial historian of chess in Northern California. I for one am happy to appoint him the official historian.

Kerry and Mark have also posted stories and information on a number of scholastic players. Kimberly Anonuevo's (6th grader & a Success Chess raising star who keeps moving up the Girl's top 50 in the U.S. under 13 list) commentary about her feelings when playing at last year's Nationals are a must.

If you have Chess Base you might want to download the CalChess games database. Kerry has collected, with the help of Richard Shorman, about 15,000 games played in Northern California. They are free.

A number of people there reminded me that I "owed them a newsletter." Let me start with stating that I have had to close the March 16 Gomes Quads. I hit my maximum 160 players three weeks ago. As I said on my application, I was not about to try and hold another 432 person quads as I did at Weibel in December. Gomes Elementary School is a new site and I didn't want to panic the custodians or the administration. I hope I will not have to limit any of the numbers for tournaments after this one, but after 70 late entries at Weibel, I have decided that I will no longer accept late entries. I hate to do this as I want every child who wants to play to have that opportunity, but I simply cannot relax if I cannot get a tournament started on time. I always wondered what it must be like to have a type B personality.

If you haven't recently looked at the scholastic tournament site, please do. You will see that you can keep yourself busy at chess tournaments through to December.
I have added a link to Southern California Scholastic Tournaments on this page.

I do have a few results from some tournaments since my last newsletter:

From Ray Orwig & The St. Mark's Quads in San Rafael

Here are the winners from our 2/9 Quad. This is the first one in our new gym. Next year we plan to advertise in Chess Life/School Mates and get some decent turnouts. We had a total of 56 players this time.

Quad #1- Ryan Dooley (1244) 2 1/2

Quad #2- Robert Connick (1188) 2

Quad #3- Dylan Porter (1086) 3

Quad #4- Alex Boodrookas (1042) 3

Quad #5- Mary Fatima Uribe (963) 2 1/2

Quad #6- Caitlin Stanton (934) 3

Quad #7- Anna Hauswirth (894) 2 1/2

Quad #8- Stephen Cunningham-Bryant (824) 2 1/2

Quad #9- Bradley Rehder (749) 2 1/2

Quad #10- Will Lukach (741) 3

Quad #11- Courtney Yong (619) 3

Quad #12- Sean Terry (unrated) 3

Quad #13- J D Mandarich (unrated) 2 1/2

Quad #14- Yonah Biers-Ariel (unrated) 2 1/2


From Stayton Chock and his Argonaut Team

Sorry for not responding earlier....I'm still sleepy after going to bed at 2pm.
Just came back from Dallas and the National Grade Level. David Chock came in 11th place and got an "honorable mention" trophy for 6th grade. He beat Anthony Conyers from Phoenix (1657) and drew with another 1670 or so player and loss to Alan Amici (~1878)...very good tournament for him. Redwood got 3rd place for
K-6 Blitz. Argonaut got 4th place for K-6 Blitz. Julianne Freeman won first place in K-6
Blitz U1200 class trophy. Argonaut got 4th place for 5th grade main tournament and
4 players got plaques. Jason Chang won 3rd place U1000 for 5th grade. Aaron,
Jason, and Brian won 4 out of 6. David won 4 1/2.

From Alan Fifield

La Joya Middle Chess for Kids 12/08/ Visalia Open Section (20 Players)
1st John Daniel Bryant (5th grade Bakersfield) 5-0 Best Team: La Joya Middle

4th-6th Grade Section (93 Players)
1st Chris Warmerdam (Visalia) 5-0
1st Brian Ritschel (Reedley) 5-0
1st Joshua Roberts (Fresno) 5-0
Best Team: Crestwood Elementary (Visalia)

K-3rd Section (49 players)
1st Neeckaun Irani (Fresno) 5-0
1st Aaron Bergthold (Reedley) 5-0
Best Team: Manchester GATE (Fresno)

Tournament Staff: Allan FiField, Darren Russell, Wendell Shepherd, Louis Spate

From Dennis Myers

Fox School of Belmont concluded its quad tournament on December 10, 2001. 30 kids participated. This year's tournament was especially interesting since Fox School lost most its top players to the 6th grade last year, who had dominated the past two years. This gave many of the new and younger players an opportunity to shine in the spotlight for the first time. This year's Quads winners were:

Division A: Polgar section - Nathan Lee (2-1); Cramling section - Christine Tataru (3-0); Anand section - Akash Desai (2-1); and Kramnik section - Matthew Kim (3-0)

Division B: Benjamin section - Ryan Fong and Denis Verbov (2-1); Ashley section - Sandip Srinivas and Livia Wyss (2-1); and Christiansen section - Natasha Lipikind (2-1). The Christiansen section was possibly the most interesting or excruciating to observe for a chess teacher. This foursome were all newcomers to chess so their games, where mates in one, hung Queens, and illegal moves abounded, were a wealth of instructional material, joy, and some headaches.

Ist place winners received trophies and all participants received chess medals. A special thanks goes to the parents, Etsuko Adelman, Lauren Bradford, and Joan Dentler, who kept the kids as quiet as humanly possible during the tournament :). The tournament was directed by Dennis Myers.


I don't know if you noticed, but the US Chess Federation has been double rating many recent tournaments. They are giving the players both a regular rating and a quick rating. I am not sure why. I understand it is to move along the Quick Chess Ratings list. Quick Chess is suppose to be under 30 minutes. In fact, tournaments are suppose to announce on their applications if they are quick chess, so be sure to check this when you select a tournament to play. Quick Chess ratings do not count in the overall standings for the Top 100 lists.

Top 100 lists--don't get me started. The USCF just made more work for me. In the Fall the extended the Top 50 list to the Top 100 list and in January they decided to create Top 100 lists by every age group instead of the two year lists they had previously. I have followed suit for Northern California--
OK, so I have kept the Top 50 title. The posting is the Top 100. If I missed you, I apologize. Remember the USCF classifies California as two States--Northern Cal & Southern Cal-- and then lists everyone on the lists as California. I have to remember who lives in the Northern State (CalChess). So if I left a name off the list just send an e-mail to and I will make the correction ASAP.


The applications for the CalChess State Scholastics on April 6 & 7 are floating around. If you haven't obtained one yet, go to

You can also obtain it at

However, I like the one I put up better :0)

New for 2002 - CALCHESS ALL STATE TEAM - In all Championship Divisions, individuals who win all their games or lose no more then one point will be named to the Cal Chess All State team and will receive a specially engraved All-State plaque in addition to their other awards.

All participants who fail to win a trophy will also receive a plaque.

I had predicted a drop from the near 1300 last year to about 850 this year because of the move to Monterey. Well, if the parents I have spoken to are any barometer, the Championship will top 1000 again.

I hope everyone enjoyed their President's Day. Our college was even off on Friday--I am almost cleared my desk. So you can now send me any information for next month's newsletter.

PS: If you have received this newsletter in error or would like to be removed from my list(s), please type remove in the Subject area & hit your reply button. I will try & locate you in the database and take you out. Once again forgive me if you have received multiple copies of this newsletter as I do have a number of different mailing lists.

December 1, 2001

To all interested players, parents and friends of scholastic chess in Northern California:

Since December is a holiday season, let me wish everyone a joyous and happy month. I know this will be difficult for all us subscribers to @home. I am lucky to have kept my previous dial-up connection. Since I use a MAC I wouldn't even have been able to get online free with NetZero. If you do know someone who uses @home, perhaps you could share this information with them--and, there is a lot this month.

A reminder that next Saturday are the Weibel Scholastic Quads in Fremont. Last year, we were surprised with 330 players. Sixty of these signed up late on Saturday. This year we are prepared for any number, but pretty please with sugar on top, send in your entries before Wednesday. You can download an application form from

As I indicated in my previous newsletter, National Chess Equipment will have be selling all kinds of chess paraphernalia in the Weibel Library. Kathleen Mac Lennan will have her booth with Chess Mom and Chess Dad goodies as well. So, even if your child is not playing, you are welcome to stop by and get a few extra presents for the holidays.

The Big Ones

This week I placed online the applications for two of Northern California's biggest events: our state championships (April 6 & 7)and the Sojourner Truth Girl's Tournament (January 12).

You will find the CalChess State Scholastic Championships application at:
There are two major new highlights this year:
1) All players in the Championship sections who win all their games or who score 4 of 5 (K-3) or 5 of 6 (K-12) will be named to an All CalChess State Team and receive a special plaque for their accomplishment.
2) Five K-5 Team trophies have been added to each of the K-6 divisions. A few schools in the Bay area have been at an unfair advantage against the K-6 schools in the K-6 sections. This is an attempt to bring a bit of parity for these schools in the championships. Obviously, we will never please everyone because of the different school structures and home schooling. We do try to follow the guidelines created for the National Scholastic Championships. Modifications in these can be made at the CalChess coaches meeting (held at our States) & if passed will go into effect the next year.

Sojourner Truth Chess for Girls

The Sojourner Truth director, Doug Shaker, has provided a few innovations: on Sunday there will be a girl's bughouse and blitz tournament. It is free to entrants. He expects to provide trophies that are left over from the main competition. HA! They way the tournament has grown in recent years, I doubt there will be any left-over awards. I hope Doug is prepared for 200 girls this year. You can obtain info and an application at:
The Doug does have an early registration deadline of December 31 at which time the entry fee jumps. So try to get your entries in early. He will give refunds up until January 11.

Gomes Scholastic Quads with a section for Parents & Friends of Players

While on the subject of tournaments, I want to mention that I received favorable support for my question on whether there would be interest in adding a parent division to an upcoming scholastic quads. In fact, no one said no, but one person asked what would be the awards. Well, I have done it. On March 16 (Saturday), at Gomes Elementary School in Fremont (I originally had hoped to hold it in Cupertino, but it didn't come to pass), I will hold the Gomes Scholastic Quads with a special section for parents and friends of the players. I haven't created an application yet, but I envision the cost for parents of players at $5, $7 for friends of players and $10 for anyone who wants to participate in a USCF rated section. Of course, USCF membership must be required in the rated division. I will set a 30 minute per player time limit for the non-rated and 45 minutes for the rated. The non-rated will allow the parents & friends to finish at the same time as the under 1000 quads. The rated will finish at the same time as the over 1000 quads. I will have a section on the application for skill level if not USCF rated. Now, the awards. Danged if I know. I guess I should ask the parent who inquired what he wants. Likely, a trophy and/or a book. Any thoughts?

The application will be ready soon and you will be able to download it from,html
This is the site for all tournaments. Yes, the is still working--but that is a jump site that includes advertising. It simply takes you to my new domain.

A bit of news from others:

From National Master, International Arbitrator and prolific chess writer, Eric Schiller:
For your records, I'm now teaching at 3 schools:

Farallone View (Montara)
Hatch School (Half Moon Bay)
Cunha Intermediate (Half Moon Bay)

And in another unrelated project I'm building a complete chess curriculum for use in schools with online access. I hope (subject to funding) that it will be ready for the next school year. Over 300 topics, organized to fit various time periods and age levels.

From Allan Fifield down Visalia way on theManchester Gate Chess for Kids Tournament on 11/17/01:
Open Section (17 Players)
1st Benjamin Tejes (Turlock)5.0
Best Team: Turlock High School

4th-6th Grade Section (76 Players)
1st Logan Kado (Nipomo) 5-0
1st Aaron Fong (Visalia) 5-0
Best Team: Crestwood Elementary (Visalia)

K-3rd Section (32 players)
1st Elijah Martinez (Fresno) 5-0
Best Team: Manchester GATE (Fresno)

Tournament Staff: Allan FiField, Bonnie Yost, Wendell Shepherd, Louis Spate & John Jason Mora

Allan & Bonnie Yost have really built scholastic chess in the southern part of the CalChess State (for those that aren't aware--California is two states according to the US Chess Federation. Our state goes from the 95*** zips to 93*** --basically the Fresno area. I know I will get in trouble for that simp[licity--so sorry to all you 93*** people). Kudos on your numbers.

My hero in Sacramento for restoring scholastic chess in Sacramento is John McCumiskey. Here is his report on his very successful 2001 Sacramento High School Championship and November Elementary Scholastic:

Foothill Farms Junior High School hosted the 2001 Sacramento High School Championship and November Elementary Scholastic on November 10, 2001. The tournament had 133 participants from 25 different schools and clubs across Northern California. All four sections were hard fought and produced a clear winner.

In the K-3 Grade Section, number one rated Graham McDaniel of North Davis Elementary defeated his top three contenders to win the section. North Davis Elementary won the team prize.

In the 4-6 Grade Section, Sacramento Christian Academy s Louis DePello scored his first ever perfect score to take the section. The team event was won by Biggs Elementary.

Arden Middle School s Daniel Schwarz was the class of the 7-8 Grade Section. Biggs Middle School was victorious in the team event.

The 9-12 Grade Section was won by top seed Benjamin Tejes of Modesto High School. The team event ended in a tie with Luther Burbank taking the title over Modesto High on tie-breaks.

A big hand goes out to Bill Bynum of Biggs, California. Even though he has retired from teaching, he is still working with the scholastic chess programs in Biggs! For the tournament, he signed up and bused in 53(!!!!) players from Biggs Elementary, Biggs Middle School, and Biggs High School, fielding a team in every section. The contingent in the 4-6 Grade section was so large that it made up over half of the field!

I would like to thank Cain and Debbie Garrett, Charles Coleman, John Barnard, and Steve Bickford for helping to direct the tournament. Many thanks go to Foothill Farms Junior High Prinicpal Colleen Patton and Chess Program Coordinator Ed Lloyd for securing the facility for the tournament. The next scholastic event in Sacramento will be on January 19, 2002, the 2002 Sacramento Elementary Championship and January High School Scholastic, Cowan Fundamental School. For more information on that event, contact John McCumiskey, (916) 557-7053 or e-mail, or go to the Sacramento Chess Club website, and select Weekend Events Info.

2001 Sacramento High School Championship and November Elementary Scholastic Prize Winners (tied players are listed in tie-break order):

Grades K-3:
1st Place: Graham McDaniel, North Davis Elementary, 5.0 points 2nd Place: Mukund Chillakanti, Success Chess School, 4.0 points 3rd Place: Christopher Gardias, Cesar Chavez Elementary, 3.5 points 4th Place: Kartik Chillakanti, Success Chess School, 3.5 points 5th Place: Anna DePello, Sacramento Christian Academy, 3.0 points 6th Place: Vikram Kudva, Visions in Education, 3.0 points 7th Place: Trevor Lowenthal, North Davis Elementary, 3.0 points 8th Place: Dawson Hall, Sonlight Christian Academy, 3.0 points 9th Place: Melissa Cartwright, Cowan Fundamental School, 3.0 points 10th Place: Chinmai Raman, 3.0 points

1st Place Team: North Davis Elementary, 9 points 2nd Place Team: Success Chess School, 7.5 points 3rd Place Team: Cesar Chavez Elementary, 7.5 points

Grades 4-6:
1st Place: Louis DePello, Sacramento Christian Academy, 5.0 points 2nd Place: Jeremy Lowenthal, North Davis Elementary, 4.5 points 3rd Place: Jacob Hall, Sonlight Christian Academy, 4.0 points 4th Place: Nicholas Rubianes, Commodore Skills Center Stockton, 4.0 points
5th Place: Matthew Healey, Cowan Fundamental School, 4.0 points 6th Place: Dominic Garcia, Biggs Elementary, 3.5 points 7th Place: Andrew Gomez, Biggs Elementary, 3.5 points 8th Place: Aaron Brown, Placer Hills School, 3.5 points 9th Place: Arnold Clayton, Biggs Elementary, 3.5 points 10th Place: Jake Wheeler, Biggs Elementary, 3.0 points

1st Place Team: Biggs Elementary, 13.5 points 2nd Place Team: Cowan Fundamental School, 13 points 3rd Place Team: North Davis Elementary, 6.5 points

Grades 7-8:

1st Place: Daniel Schwarz, Arden Middle School, 5.0 points 2nd Place: David Rivera, Biggs Middle School, 4.0 points 3rd Place: Vincent Rubianes, Commordore Skills Center Stockton, 4.0 points
4th Place: Miles Mabray, Biggs Middle School, 4.0 points 5th Place: Brian Page, Arden Middle Schook, 3.5 points 6th Place: Emmanuel Garcia, Biggs Middle School, 3.5 points 7th Place: Tyler Woodruff, Holmes Junior High, 3.5 points 8th Place: Keith Schwarz, Arden Middle School, 3.5 points 9th Place: Shiloh Rainwater, Twin Oaks Academy, 3.5 points 10th Place: Austin Gold, Joseph Kerr Middle School, 3.5 points

1st Place Team: Biggs Middle School, 15 points 2nd Place Team: Arden Middle School, 14 points 3rd Place Team: Arcade Middle School, 7 points

Grades 9-12
1st Place: Benjamin Tejes, Modesto High, 5.0 points 2nd Place: William Terry, Biggs High School, 4.0 points 3rd Place: Dustin Kerksieck, Nevada Union, 4.0 points 4th Place: John Van, Luther Burbank, 4.0 points 5th Place: Brain Dole, Modesto High, 4.0 points 6th Place: Tyler Barnard, Delta Knights, 4.0 points 7th Place: Peter Pascoal, Luther Burbank, 4.0 points 8th Place: Jacob Green, Delta Knights, 3.5 points 9th Place: Will Dayton, Nevada Union, 3.5 points 10th Place: Erin Harrington, Esparto Chess Club, 3.0 points

1st Place Team: Luther Burbank, 14 points (on tie-breaks) 2nd Place Team: Modesto High, 14 points
3rd Place Team: Biggs High School, 12 points

A report from a young High School student who is rapidly becoming the man in Stockton--Jacob Green--on his Knights of Thanksgiving Scholastic Chess Tournament:


First Place- Jeffery Inferra
(The only one is third grade, he did play in the rated section. So we gave him the first place trophy)


First Place- Sam Calvetti
Second Place- Christian Sunday
Third Place- Michael Tutupalli
Fourth Place- Reid Morrisey

USCF Rated Section 4-12 Open

First Place (Winner of Speed Play-off)- Kou Vang
Second Place- Chang Her
Third Place- Kao Saeteurn
Fourth Place- Nai Saeteurn
Fifth Place- Mohammad Mukhtar
Sixth Place- Daniel Hartley
Seventh Place- Christopher Inferra
Eight Place- Michael Chochla
Ninth Place- Bryce Randolf
Tenth Place- Michael Brienzo
Eleventh Place- Victor Vasquez
Twelfth Place- Larry Wong
Thirteenth Place- Brendan Chan
Fourthteenth Place- Rohan Sathe

Jacob also informs me that the new site for Stockton Chess is at:

The Zierk report:

And, last but not least, another Stephen Zierk (Blossom Hill Elementary School) success from Billy Chow. And, yes it did escape my radar:

Just in case it escaped your radar, I noticed that Steven Zierk just won the 2001 National Youth Action Championship, Nov 9-11, in Rockford, IL, for the K-3 Section with a 8.0/9.0 effort. His December rating is now up to 1487. It's quite an accomplishment for a Northern California boy age 8 and under.

I hope to see many of you at Weibel on December 8, but to all--
Have a joyous holiday season and a Happy New Year!

August 6, 2001

I just returned from vacation and remembered that I had not sent my usual reminder to tweak a few memories. The third and final Weibel Chess Scholastic Quads will be this Saturday, August 11. To avoid a $5 late fee you must have the application in the mail by Wednesday, August 8. You can obtain an application at:

For those that attended the July 21 Quads--I had 263 players--the US Chess Federation received the tournament report in July, but have not rated the event too date. I will, therefore, have to use the previous ratings unless I received a report before Saturday. I cannot remember if I mentioned in a previous newsletter that photographs and the winners of the July Quads were posted a few days after. You can check out these and other Northern California scholastic information at I full report of the Weibel Quads and the results of the Berkeley Quads will appear in the next issue of the CalChess Journal. Remember that by joining CalChess (go to you get the CCJ every two months and discounts at many tournaments.

The scholastic tournament calendar indicated that the October 14 CalChess Scholastic Quads were only tentative. I will be removing the tentative and will soon post an application for both the October 14 and the November 11 Quads. I was also able to firm up a date with the San Leandro Recreation Department the date for the Alameda County High School and Middle School(Junior High School) Championships. The match will return to the last week in February. Sadly, the only open days they had were on Sundays (too many Saturday weddings) and so I selected February 24. Once again, I will provide a half point bye for those players who must miss a round to attend church.

I received information from Jacob Green in Stockton that he has worked with the city to provide a regional chess tournament on the Friday following Thanksgiving (Nov 30). I will get you more details when I have them, but I do know that he will have two different sections K-3, and 4-12. This young man and his family are really moving chess along in the Stockton area. He recently created a website for their club, the Delta Knights:

July 15, 2001

Hi CalChess Scholastic Community:

A reminder that the entry w/o a late fee for the July 21st Weibel Scholastic Quads is Wednesday, July 18. An application can be downloaded from:

These quads will have a chess bazaar. Jay Blem from National Games and Chess will be up from Southern California to sell all kinds of chess goodies (equipment & books). I will have the VAGABOND CHESS & CHECKERS SET (that is the carry bag with shoulder strap, heavy weighted tournament chess & checker pieces & board) for $40 & with the BHB clock for $80. Kathy Mac Lennan will have her Chess Mom and Dad mugs, her Chess Mom T-shirts and her carry bags available as well. Of course, a snack bar will again be available. So even if you are not intending to play, come by and get some food & check out the chess stuff.

I hope everyone had an opportunity to read the Summer 2001 copy of School Mates.  There was a great article, written by our CalChess Journal editor Frisco del Rosario on Doug Shaker's very successful Sojourner Truth (For Girls Only) Tournament last January. A few photographs by Kevin Batangan, a chess and photography student of Richard Shorman and an instructor for <>Success Chess School accompany the article.

I have obtained a bit more info on seven year old Steven Zierk's accomplishments at the World Open. He tied with two adult players for first place in the under 1400 section getting 7 1/2 points via 6 wins and 3 draws (no losses). He played 8 adults and one boy in his late teens. He split an $11,000 pot. That means he walked home with $3666.67. Not bad for a seven year old--probably just about equal to what his Dad spent to get him to the tournament. :0) When Micah, my son won money in adult tournaments--he started at about 9 or 10--I insisted he buy a trophy with the cash. That tells you how little he won. You can sure buy a lot of trophies with Steven's winnings. 

Steven wasn't alone last month in bringing a touch of glory to Northern California. Jacob Green, of Stockton, competed in Ohio at the Columbus Open Grand Prix last month. His mother Joanne--who has been expanding chess in Stockton & is teaching chess classes for kids at San Joaquin Delta College this summer told me that he played his heart out. Just about
everyone he was paired with was hundreds of points above his rating, yet he won his division. He also got the upset award and came home to Northern California $205 richer.

On another note, Jacob, last year, conceived of a Club for Kids in Stockton. Well, the 14 year old finally showed his Mom he was serious when he went and obtained his TD certificate. So, she has started a new chess club
for kids in the Greater Stockton Area. "The club," she reports, "is
not intended to take the place of teams in the schools, but rather, is offered to give kids a place to play, and to learn, the game of chess."

The volunteerism of the Green-Smiles family is simply one example of why scholastic chess is experience such dramatic growth in Northern California and the rest of the country.

I have not received a report from yesterday's Berkeley Chess School Quads. As soon as I do, I'll pass the news on.

Have any other scholastic chess news?--please send it to me at 

Removal of your name from my mailing list is done at your own risk. Please send your request to me and, if my computer doesn't crash--I lost one request after the last issue--I will remove your address. Of course, adding someone's e-mail is risk free.  

July 8, 2001

Hi Northern California Scholastic Community + friends in other parts of the world--
A reminder that the Berkeley Chess School Quads are coming on July 14 (Saturday). You can download an application in pdf format from:

While you are there you might want to check out the new look of the page. I have also placed the photographs of recent tournaments at its own site:

You can get there from Kid Chess. I posted the photographs that Richard Shorman & I took at the Hayward Library Scholastic Tournament on Friday, July 6. The results are also posted. I might note, that despite the tournament being on a Friday this year, we still had 80 players. The tournament is one of the few (if not the only) tournament that is open to all scholastic players without a charge. The library provided enough medals that I was able to give all those that tied for third, second and first medals. All players received certificates.

I received this exciting tidbit from Ken Thorne:
Dr. Kirshner,

June 9th and 10th I led a project at my school, Cesar
Chavez Middle School in Hayward, where we banded
volunteers, students and staff together to among a
host of other things, build three concrete chess
tables outside my classroom where the Chess club
meets on Thursday afternoons. 

As the designer of the tables exclaimed, "when the big
one hits , the only thing left will be cockroaches and
these tables."

The students are excited for Chess Club to resume in
September so that they can play once again on the
tables that they built.

Thank you for all you do. Regards, Kurt Thorne

With this kind of an incentive I expect you had better watch out for Cesar Chavez Middle School at the States next year. They may end Hopkins Junior High School's dominance of the Junior High section. Actually, that may end in any case. Fremont Unified has redistricted the Weibel Elementary students away from Hopkins and a good number of them will be moving to private schools in the Fall--ugly.

While I mentioned that the States will be in Monterey on April 6 & 7 in my last newsletter, I forgot to mention that the National Elementary School Championships will be in Portland, Oregon from April 26 through April 28. I hope Northern California will have a decent showing this year. So few of our players have attend any of the Nationals in the last few years.

One young man who has been making a name for himself in the national championship sections is Steven Zierk from Blossom Hill. He tied for second at this year's Super Nationals in K-3. Well, this seven year old is proving his
mettle once again as I write this. He is competing at the World Open and after 8 rounds he is tied for first in the under 1400 class--and that is with adults. Last year, I noted that he would likely follow in the footsteps of our recent greats--Jordy Mont-Reynaud & Vinay Bhat. Now, I think he may break their record of reaching Master by 10 1/2.

Earlier I wrote of the Berkeley Quads. I just learned that Kris Mac Lennan's mother (Kris is one of our top youth players and the scholastic representative to the CalChess Board) will be selling her coffee/tea mugs and tote bags at that tournament Saturday. I love them. Here is some further info on Kathy's project:

She has "Proud Chess Mom" mugs and tote bags and "Proud
Chess Dad" mugs. The mugs are 15 oz. flared cafe ceramic, microwave safe,
and are $14. The shoulder tote bags are made of 100% cotton and are $20.
The designs are printed on both sides of all her products. She will be
selling these at the next two Weibel Chess Quads as well. For more information, as well as how to order through the mail, go to her website at

Well, I think that is all I have for now--I'll keep you posted as soon as I receive more information on scholastics in Northern California.

Removals from the mailing list, while never welcome, can be accomplished by just replying to this e-mail and requesting I remove your address.

May 20, 2001

To the CalChess Scholastic Community and other interested (+ a few uninterested) parties:

Sorry for the delay in getting out my newsletter. Need I say that I have been busy with many other endeavors. This has not prevented me from posting photographs from the recent tournaments (CalChess States, Weibel Grade Level K-3, California Grade Level). You can view these from the links at

I would like to thank all of you who have sent me such beautiful thank you notes for keeping you updated. Your appreciation energizes my batteries.

Before I go any further, I want to remind everyone of the Charlotte Woods Quads in Danville next Saturday (May 26). Dr. Dennis Alfaro did a beautiful job with his first venture last year and I know next week will be even more efficient and exciting. You can go to the tournament listings from the above mentioned site or

From this page you can download applications for Charlotte Woods and all the summer tournaments--and, we have a full schedule including my three Weibel Summer Quads.

At you will also find a link to other summer programs in Berkeley, Fremont, Santa Clara, Cupertino, Stockton and Atherton. Mountain Lake Chess Camps has a week sleep in program outside of Sacramento.

I just posted the June Top 50 US Chess Federation age group players in Northern California. The USCF has expanded the list to Top 100. I did update the girls lists with the top 100, but decided to hold the open lists at 50 until I get a little more time to examine the lists carefully. Please forgive me if I left off your name. California is divided into two states and I am not always clear on who lives in Northern California--nor, do I remember all the names of scholastic players. :0) If I accidentally omitted your name, just drop me an e-mail and you can be sure it will appear in a day or so.

I have also updated our CalChess State Champions in both the individual and school team categories.

I still have nothing new to announce on the 2002 States. Organizers are still working on Monterey and Stockton in order to place a bid. I will, as always, get news to you as soon as I learn anything.

For a number of years I have bemoaned the lack of 8 and Under players on the USCF Top 50 list from Northern California, but that has changed. We had an explosion of new names this month on the 8 and Under Top 50 List. . William Connick (1263) is at 11. Ankita Roy (1171) is at 30. Alan Hwang (1153) at 33. Willie Wang (1134) at 37. Tatsuro Yamamura (1115) at 45. Davis Xu (1105) at 48 and Tau Jeng (1101) at 49. Ten and Under saw the addition of Ben Laufer (1383) at 28. Nicolas Yap (1599) is 43 on the 12 and Under list. Ankita Roy (8 years old at a rating of 1171) was added to the Girl's 13 and Under as was Kate Yaropolov (12 years old and 1087) at 32 and 50 place. Congratulations to all the newcomers and kudos to those of you from Northern California who continue to remain on these lists.

Northern California had a few players at Super Nationals II in Kansas City last month--very few. Steven Zierk seems to have placed the highest of our players in any of the championship divisions, taking eighth in the K-3 Open. A CalChess player whom I do not know but I understand is from the Peninsula, Robert Hsu, gets kudos for winning all seven games and tying for first in the K-3 U800 Division. Certainly, I will look forward to remembering his name as I search through future tournament results.

I have posted the results from the Weibel Grade Level Tournament, Kindergarten through Third Grade (April 7). We had 170 players. A very respectable number considering it was limited only to Primary School players. I must admit that the tournament went off too smoothly. I had too much help and people were standing around looking for something to do. No, I am not complaining. Rounds went off on time and we had loads of skittle areas to get away from the few rain drops that fell. Massive trophies were awarded to the top place finishers (check out the photos) and the trophies went down to tenth place with awards to any ties. All participants received special chess medals. I want to thank those who attended and most of all my adult and youth helpers.

The California Grade Level in Stockton on May 5 and 6, did not run quite as smoothly. This was not the fault of the North Stockton Rotary Club or the Chief TD John McCumiskey. The Stockton Unified School District pulled the tournament site from them at the last moment and they had to switch the meet to Lodi. Because of logistic problems, including waiting for people to locate the new site, the tournament was late getting started--one and a half hours late. About 250 players contested the 13 divisions. If ties occurred for first place, a blitz play-off for the top trophy occurred. The results are posted at my website, but here is the information from John Mc Cumiskey on the play-offs: "In Grade 7, Timothy Ma won the playoff; in Grade 11, the 4-way playoff ended up with the final standings of: 1st Place, Anthony Nguyen; 2nd Place, Kris MacLennan; 3rd Place, Mario Ramos; 4th Place, Peter Pascoal." Once again a big thank you to the North Stockton Rotary Club and their President, Dr. Bill Mc Donald, their tournament organizers Floyd Barnes and Scot Mc Bian, and all the rest of the Rotarians for their work and support for chess in Stockton and Northern California.

I can't resist wasting your time to tell you about one frightening incident, from my perspective, at this Cal Grade Level. Saturday seemed like an ideal day for me to volunteer my time in Stockton. My youngest son was scheduled to run that evening in a California High School Meet of Champions in Sacramento. As I was ready to leave to drive up to Sacramento I realized I had lent my Swiss Army knife with my keys attached to a woman to cut some tape earlier in the day. She apparently had left to do some shopping at Costco. Dr. Mc Donald popped me in his car and off we drove to Costco and found my keys. I got to my son's mile run with a few minutes to spare and no speeding ticket.

I received the results of the annual match between Argonaut in Saratoga and Blossom Hill in Los Gatos. Here they are--BLOSSOM HILL + DAVES (11.5) vs ARGONAUT (30.5)
W1. Steven Zierk (2nd) 1235Ac 1234 1-0 David Chock (5th)
W2. Cory McDowell (3rd) 1239Ac 1138/8 0-1 Aaron Garg (4th)

B3. Iris Kokish (D:5th) 1052Ac 946 1-0 Brian Tsai (4th)
B4. Ali Hashemian (5th) 1215Ac 796/15 1-0 Alison Wu (5th)

W5. Craig Wilmer (5th) 815/18 0-1 Jason Chang (4th)
W6. Mark Kokish (D:4th) 947Ac 782/22 1-0 Nathan Wang (5th)

B7. Ryan McGee (4th) 1137Ac 750 1-0 Julianne Freeman
(5th) 770
B8. Jamie Eldredge (4th) 759/16 0-1 Eugene Tseng (5th)

W9. Amir Hashemian (3rd) 982Ac 903/10 0-1 Jessie Young (6th)
W10 Naseem Raad (5th) 917/6 0-1 Vincent Sheu (5th)

B11 Trey Miller (D:4th?) 936Ac unr 1-0 Michael Wu (5th)
B12 Chars Wagener (3rd) 760Ac 790/8 0-1 Sally Freeman (4th)

W13 Jan Van Bruggen (3rd) 834/8 0-1 Steven McLellan (4th)
W14 Charles Sun (3rd) 850Ac 734/5 0.5-0.5 Marvin Shu (5th)

B15 Lana Frankle (2nd) 788Ac 779 0-1 Steven Chang (3rd)
B16 Rik Basu (2nd) 613/4 1-0 Chris Rea (4th)

W17 Taig McNulty (2nd) 695Ac 332/4 0-1 Nickesh Viswanathan
(6th) 611
W18 Campbell Brooks (1st) 717Ac 713/5 0-1 Tejas Mulye (4th)

B19 Tyler Shultz (4th) 767Ac 744/5 0-1 Dustin Chen (5th)
B20 Erik Eastland (3rd) unr 0-1 Rolland Wu (3rd)

W21 Neema Akbarzadeh (1st) unr 0-1 Joseph Stevens (3rd)
<round 1 total:> 7.5-13.5
------------------------------------------------------------------------ --------------

B1. Steven Zierk (2nd) 1235Ac 1234 1-0 Aaron Garg (4th)
B2. Cory McDowell (3rd) 1239Ac 1138/8 0-1 David Chock (5th)

W3. Iris Kokish (D:5th) 1052Ac 946 1-0 Alison Wu (5th)
W4. Ali Hashemian (5th) 1215Ac 796/15 0-1 Brian Tsai (4th)

B5. Craig Wilmer (5th) 815/18 0-1 Nathan Wang (5th)
B6. Mark Kokish (D:4th) 947Ac 782/22 0.5-0.5 Jason Chang (4th)

W7. Ryan McGee (4th) 1137Ac 750 0.5-0.5 Eugene Tseng (5th)
W8. Jamie Eldredge (4th) 759/16 0-1 Julianne Freeman
(5th) 770

B9. Amir Hashemian (3rd) 982Ac 903/10 0-1 Vincent Sheu (5th)
B10 Naseem Raad (5th) 917/6 0-1 Jessie Young (6th)

W11 Trey Miller (D:4th?) 936Ac unr 0-1 Sally Freeman (4th)
W12 Chars Wagener (3rd) 760Ac 790/8 0-1 Michael Wu (5th)

B13 Jan Van Bruggen (3rd) 834/8 0-1 Marvin Shu (5th)
B14 Charles Sun (3rd) 850Ac 734/5 1-0 Steven McLellan (4th)

W15 Lana Frankle (2nd) 788Ac 779 0-1 Chris Rea (4th)
W16 Rik Basu (2nd) 613/4 0-1 Steven Chang (3rd)

B17 Taig McNulty (2nd) 695Ac 332/4 0-1 Tejas Mulye (4th)
B18 Campbell Brooks (1st) 717Ac 713/5 0-1 Nickesh Viswanathan
(6th) 611

W19 Tyler Shultz (4th) 767Ac 744/5 0-1 Rolland Wu (3rd)
W20 Erik Eastland (3rd) unr 0-1 Dustin Chen (5th)

B21 Neema Akbarzadeh (1st) unr 0-1 Alex Liu (5th)
<round 2 total:> 4-17
<overall total:> 11.5-30.5

Thank you Jon Frankle and Stayton Chock for your results.

My usual disclaimer: Please forgive me if you received this newsletter a few times. I keep a few lists.
Removal: If you believe you have received this newsletter in error or wish to be removed from my mailing list, please reply and write remove in the subject heading.

Thank you,

February 25, 2001

Grand Master Maurice Ashley at Chess Fess 2001

Chuck Windsor retired from his job as a hospital administrator a few years ago and decided to volunteer to teach chess at his grandchildren's elementary school. In three years he has expanded his volunteer efforts to eight schools in Oakland and San Leandro. To avoid having his students have to play each other at the various tournaments they attend the name "Windsor East Bay Chess Club" was born. Last December he received an unexpected Christmas gift from his son-in-law, Larry Hill--Grand Master Maurice Ashley. Larry had made arrangements to bring the first U.S. International Grand Master of African descent to the Bay Area from Brooklyn, New York to celebrate Black History Month. An Oakland Councilman made arrangements for the auditorium at the PeopleSoft Center for Science and Environmental Education at the Knowland Park Zoo. GM Ashley was to meet with the Windsor Club on Friday night, February 23 and on Saturday, February 24 from 10 AM to 3 PM, the "Chess Fess" would be open to the public. Chuck Windsor was thrilled when Dr. Collette McGruder, educator, expert on cognitive learning, and Region XI Women's Chess Champion asked him if she could come up from Los Angeles, at her own expense, to participate in the festivities.

I had the pleasure of attending the event and was pleased to validate my impressions of GM Maurice Ashley as a dynamic person who relates beautifully to children and adults alike. I told my Weibel students that I felt he was the best spokesman for chess in the United States. Now, that I have met him, listened to him and watched him, I would expand that statement to all the English-speaking world.

I received in this morning's e-mail a summary with impressions of the event + a copy of the blindfold game that Grand Master Ashley played against the Windsor East Bay Club players. Henry Vinerts, expert chess player, retired engineer, champion badminton player and Weibel chess instructor is the author:

Here is a quickie about today's show at the Zoo, mainly about the blindfold game. If the rest is of any interest, use it as you wish to let the rest of the chess community in on the current happenings. As I understood, cable TV channel 38 will have a report at 7 P.M. next Saturday; channel 27 may have one tonight, but I did not catch the time. My report comes as an attached file in plain ASCII.

The Lion in the Oakland Zoo

(A short report on "Chess Fess 2001" or Maurice Ashley's visit
with Chuck Windsor's chess kids in Oakland on February 24th,

It was about 10 A.M. on a rainy day in the Knowland Park Zoo in Oakland. Chuck Windsor had brought a number of "scholars," I would guess, from kindergarten to 7th grade, who attend his chess school in Oakland. Maurice Ashley had come all the way across the country
to show the kids some grandmaster chess. Of course, the parents and the coaches, the photographers, and even some chess dignitaries, like Dr. Colette McGruder and Dr. Alan Kirshner, were there to provide the audience for the contests of the young scholars against Maurice.

It was a bit of late start, because of a slight "technical
difficulty," according to Larry Hill, the M.C. The laptop that was
going to show on a projected screen GM Ashley's blindfold game
against a selected team of Windsor's chess school did not survive

a drop test, but a second one was substituted in due time and we
could start following the game on a program by Hoyle. By sleight
of hand, Chuck managed to get the white pieces for the kids, and
the computer then showed that the black pieces were to be handled
by a lyon. And the Lyon had to sit blindfolded on a chair and wait
for moves from the kids, who were allowed to consult among

A deal was struck at the beginning that, if GM Ashley did not win
in 35 moves, the kids could claim a draw, or else they would need
to go only 10 more moves within which Mr. Ashley would have to
checkmate them, or he would have to resign the game.

This is how the game went:

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 d5 3.Nc3 Bf5 4.Bf4 e6 5.e3 Bb4 6.Qd2 Ne4
7.Qd1 Nxc3 8.Qd2 Nxa2 9.c3 Nxc3 10.bxc3 Bd6 11.Be2 0-0
12.Bd3 Bxd3 13.Qxd3 Bxf4 14.exf4 Nd7 15.0-0 c6 16.Ng5 Nf6
17,f5 exf5 18.Qxf5 Re8 19.Rfe1 Qa5 20.Rxe8+ Rxe8 2
1.Rf1 Qxc3
22.h3 a5 23.Rb1 b5 24.Kh2 a4 25.Qf4 h6 26.Nf3 a3 27.Rc1 Qb2
28.Rxc6 a2 29.Rxf6 (long think here) gxf6 30.Qg3+ Kh8 31.Nh4
Qc1 32.Qg4 a1=Q 33.Nf5 Rg8 34.Kg3 Rxg4 35.hxg4,

and the yell "Draw!" was heard by all. Well, a grandmaster also knows how to
entice the opponent into false hopes of winning... After a bit of
discussion and voting, the Windsor kids decided to forgo the draw
and gamble on hanging in for 10 more moves. A bird in hand is
worth...? Anyway, it went on:

35. ...Qac3+ 36.f3 Q3e1+ 37.Kh3
Qf4 38.Ng3, and, I believe, GM Ashley decided to let the new Queen do the honors, Qexg3++.

After lunch the Lyon took on 20 players, simultananeously, graciously granting colors according to individual wishes. As some games finished early, he let more opponents into the contest. Nevertheless, after about 2 hours the score stood at 26 for GM Ashley, 0 for all the hopefuls. There were a few tears of
defeat. I noticed one contestant innocently castling long with king to b8 and rook to c8, only to have Mr. Ashley pick up the illegality on his third passing. Hardly anyone resigned earlier than one move before checkmate. Anyway, as the games went, no one even came close to a draw.

There was not much time left for questions and answers, but the main question about whether we could expect Grandmaster Ashley to return again next year was answered affirmatively. That is great, because it is a blessing to kids and adults alike to be able to observe and to be inspired by masters in any constructive endeavor.


A few photographs taken by yours truly--Alan--follow. You can view enlargements of each by clicking on the small image.



GM Ashley fiddles

The pawn is the key

Chuck & Larry look on

Always the gentleman




GM Ashley blindfolded

The Club members decide on move

Club member reads move


The Windsor East Bay players


2001 Sacramento Elementary School Championship
by John P McCumiskey

James R. Cowan Fundamental School hosted the 2001 Sacramento Elementary School Championship and January High School Scholastic on January 27. Tournament Director John McCumiskey reported that participants came from as far away as Pacific Grove, Merced, and Biggs.

With 173 players in four sections, the turnout was the largest ever for a chess tournament held in Sacramento. The largest section was Grades 4-6 with 77 players.

Volunteers from Cowan ran concessions during the event to raise money for the Cowan Chess Club. John Denton, a retired Disney artist, personal drew caricatures and donated the proceeds to the Cowan Chess Club.

Many thanks to the tournament staff of Steve Bickford, Chuck Coleman, Don Copeland, and Cain and Debbie Garrett. The next scholastic event will be May 19th. Check the Sacramento City Chess Club website at in March for details.

Trophy Winners, Grades K-3
1st Place Jacob Hall, 5.0 points
2nd Place Graham McDaniel, 4.0 points
3rd Place Louis DePello, 4.0 points
4th Place Anna DePello, 4.0 points
5th Place Yuki Siegrist, 3.5 points
6th Place Karl Kummerle, 3.5 points
7th Place Ricky Bunch, 3.5 points
8th Place Vikram Kudva, 3.5 points
9th Place Riley Brian, 3.5 points
10th Place Matthew Bower, 3.5 points
11th Place Brandon Brown, 3.0 points
12th Place Chinmai Raman, 3.0 points

1st Place Team, North Davis Elementary, 13.5 points
2nd Place Team, Cowan Fundamental School, 11 points
3rd Place Team, Cesar Chavez Elementary, 8 points

Trophy Winners, Grades 4-6
1st Place Dachi Siegrist, 4.5 points
2nd Place Tyler Wilken, 4.5 points
3rd Place Tyler Woodruff, 4.5 points
4th Place Shiloh Rainwater, 4.5 points
5th Place Jeremy Tempkin, 4.0 points
6th Place Anyon Harrington, 4.0 points
7th Place Rebecca Chao, 4.0 points
8th Place Niles Tanner, 4.0 points
9th Place Brandon Zeman, 4.0 points
10th Place Chris Bannister, 4.0 points
11th Place Brent Walton, 4.0 points
12th Place Pamela Saeturn, 4.0 points
13th Place Ashley Bixler, 4.0 points
14th Place Tyler Riggs, 4.0 points
15th Place Chris Prochaska, 3.5 points
16th Place Kyle Baxter, 3.5 points
17th Place Kevin Mani, 3.0 points
Siegrist won a four-way playoff.

1st Place Team, Biggs Elementary School, 16 points
2nd Place Team, Cowan Fundamental School, 13.5 points
3rd Place Team, North Davis Elementary, 12.5 points

Trophy Winners, Grades 7-8
1st Place David Rivera, 5.0 points
2nd Place Stephan Goupille, 5.0 points
3rd Place Chris Saeturn, 4.0 points
4th Place T C Bradford, 4.0 points
5th Place Jorge Arellano, 4.0 points
6th Place Luke Thornton, 4.0 points
7th Place Christopher Mendieta, 4.0 points
8th Place Connor Rath, 4.0 points
9th Place Ben Baltazar, 3.5 points
10th Place Brian Page, 3.0 points
11th Place Sylvia Gutierrez, 3.0 points
12th Place Donald Singleton, 3.0 points
Rivera won a playoff with Goupille.

1st Place Team, Biggs Middle School, 17 points
2nd Place Team, Arden Middle School, 8 points
3rd Place Team, Arcade Middle School, 6.5 points

Trophy winners, Grades 9-12
1st Place Eduardo Corona, 4.5 points
2nd Place Erin Harrington, 4.0 points
3rd Place Benjamin Tejes, 4.0 points
4th Place William Terry, 4.0 points
5th Place John Van, 4.0 points
6th Place Joshua Prochaska-Saglio, 4.0 pts
7th Place Michael Kennedy, 3.5 points
8th Place Peter Pascoal, 3.0 points
9th Place Nicholas Robinson, 3.0 points
10th Place Nikhil Chand, 3.0 points
11th Place Monica Ceballos, 3.0 points
12th Place Nai Saeturn, 3.0 points

1st Place Team, Biggs High School, 14 points
2nd Place Team, Luther Burbank, 13 points
3rd Place Team, New Hope Charter School, 10 points

From Stockton

Scot C. McBrian" <scmcbrian@caltel>

We just finished the SUSD grades 7-12 tournament. Hopefully Don Lindsley can email the results to you. The Children's Home is having an Invitational for grades 7 to 12. It is not open because we can't handle over 90 kids. Jenny Lind Elementary is hosting an Open Regional Invitational on Saturday, March 24, grades K to 8. This is open but I will cut registration at 140 unless I can get a TD to show up with a little more experience than my own... So please publicize this and have them email me... pretty please... It is our first in the hills with Calaveras Unified's support. We are about 25 miles East of Stockton up in the foothills. No entry fees. I'll try to get someone in the district to get the flyer on a web page. None of these is USCF rated but they will lead to that goal. The Rotary is sponsoring these events. Thanks. Stay in touch.

Success Succeeds Against Berkeley
By Alan M. Kirshner, Ph.D. (This article was written for publication in the CalChess Journal)

On Sunday, February 4, the Seventh Annual Knights vs. Bishops Competition occurred at the Hillside School in Berkeley. For the first five years of this match, the Weibel Elementary School (the Knights) fought the Berkeley Chess School Bishops. Both teams usually selected their 30 + best players and each played an opponent as white and black with 45 minute time controls. The first two matches went to Weibel and then Berkeley won three in a row. Since the Berkeley Bishops draws from over 90 elementary schools, last year I decided to add a few players from my Wisdom Chess Club also in Fremont. That match, held at Weibel, contested 34 boards with a run away victory for the Knights.

The previous three years I joked in my articles in this journal that Bishops seemed stronger in theses open end games. Berkeley kept coming back from a first round defeat to win in the second round and take the match by a coupler of points. Elizabeth Shaughnessy, the Director of the Berkeley Chess School reduced the number of players to 25. I am not sure if that was to open up the diagonals on her home board. Well, I was a bit disappointed as this year I had expanded my program to eight schools and that meant many fine players would be denied the chance to compete. Actually, only three of the Success Chess School (as I have named the program) groups participated: Weibel, Wisdom and Argonaut Elementary School.

Both Elizabeth and I run a pre-tournament to select our teams and their board positions. I am constantly amazed at the placement of my players determined by the invitational tournament. The Knights have had low rated (some 500 points lower) players at the top boards for the last two years. Yet, they have accorded themselves quite well. I know that if our players would attend adult tournaments as a number of the Bishops do, they would have corresponding ratings.

The Knights entered the first round with their usual exuberance. We pulled 4 points ahead. During half time, I tried to keep their enthusiasm going. Elizabeth has a wonderful way of motivating her players during the break. I know that a few years ago she threatened to leave her players in Fremont. I am sure the threat of leaving Berkeley children in Fremont spurred her team on to a win. This year, the famous Irish gift of gap must have arisen (Elizabeth Shaughnessy is a native of Ireland and former Irish Women’s Chess Champion). She spent over half an hour with her players. I tried to rev mine up. I ran out of words and jokes in five minutes. My players wanted to start their clocks, but we had not set a time to begin round two. I am sure Elizabeth, despite the fears of some of my parents, was not intentionally trying to weaken the Knights ability to jump over her children. I do know, as she let it slip to me later, that one thing she told her players was that if they didn’t come back for a win, I would broadcast their loss all over the internet, embarrassing them all. Well, who am I to make her a liar?

The final round went for the Bishops, but they could not stop our Knights from mating enough of their Kings to irk out a victory 26 to 24. Therefore, in the seventh year of the competition, the Knights, now from Success Chess School, are one match up. The Berkeley Chess School Bishops will be plotting their revenge for next year. However, in 2002, we meet on the Weibel turf and I think the Knights do better on turf then Bishops. *

Board #(first name is Berkeley Bishops & second name is Success Knights)

#1 Daichi Siegrist (1532) v Kyle Hui (786) 2-0

#2 Ewelina Krubnik (1311) v Mihir Pendse (915) 1-1

#3 Gabe Gordon (1094) v Kimberly Anonuevo (777) 2-0

#4 Kevin Walters (1028) v Sharon Tseung (1073) 1/2-1 1/2

#5 Brian Aller (920) v Kevin Hwa (846) 2-0

#6 Ahmad Moghadam (1009) v Eric Wei (905) 1-1

#7 Aviv Adler (869) v Tau Jeng (851) 2-0

#8 Corey Chang (111) v Ryan Ko (1012) 2-0

#9 Jiaao Chen (829) v Charles Fang (1099) 1/2 - 1 1/2

#10 Emilia Krubnik (690) v Brian Tsui (922) 0-2

#11 Philip Jouriles (1103) v Edward Chien (1147) 1-1

#12 Jake Holtz (364/7) v David Chock (977) 0-2

#13 Vincent Andrade (762) v Wesley Rou 1/2 v 1 1/2

#14 Robert Connick (942) v Tommy Liu (832) 1 1/2 - 1/2

#15 Mahnoosh Moghadam (690) v Alvin Cheng (835) 1-1

#16 Andrew Yun (757) v Samuel Shih (672) 1-1

#17 William Connick (906) v Rahul Subramaniam (995) 0-2

#18 Yuki Siegrist (717) v Daniel Tien (1053) 0-2

#19 Steven Lee (719) v Aaron Garg (804) 0-2

#20 Taylor Jang (693) v Derek Lin (803) 0-2

#21 Noah Zachary (996) v Brian Chao (864) 1-1

#22 Saya Wallace (602) V Brian Lin (818) 0-2

#23 Jamie Irvine (882) v Dylan McCarty (562) 2-0

#24 Bei He (New) v Alison Wu (819) 2-0

#25 Joey Shemuel (700) v Teddy Hanson (644) 0-2

A few photographs from the match:

Corey by Shorman (BCS)

Corey Chang (Bishops)

Kimberly by Shorman (SCS)
Kimberly Anonuevo (Knights)

Mahnoosh by Shorman BCS
Mahnoosh Moghadam (Bishops)

Ryan Ko by Kirshner (SCS)
Ryno Ko (Knights)

Mihir by Shorman (SCS)
Mihir Pendse (Knights)

Brian Chao by Kirshner (SCS)
BrBBBBrian Chao (Knights)

The Young People's Tournament, February 19, 2001


Kindergarten through Third Grade (30 players)

Overall winners were--

1st William Connick (935) 5-0

2nd Yuki Siegrist (733) 4-1

3rd Emilia Krubnik (703) 4-1

1st Third Grade Alvin Cheng (825) 4-1

1st Second Grade Dustin Rudiger (839) 3.5-1.5

1st First Grade Connor Carrejo (355) 3-2

1st Kindergarten Sid Akkiraju (Unr) 3-2The Winners of K-3

A Kirshner photograph of the winners minus Sid Akkiraku:

Fourth Through Sixth Grade (27 players)


1st Ahmad Moghadam (979) 4.5-.5

2nd Kevin Walters (1105) 4-1

3rd Brian Aller (893) 4-1

1st Sixth Grade Lucien Kahn (856) 4-1

1st Fifth Grade Carrie Ho (881) 3-2

1st Fourth Grade Corey Chang (1062) 4-1

Photograph of the winner by Shorman:

Seventh through Twelfth Grade ( 21 players)

The Overall Winners

1st Benjamin Tejes (1421) 5-0

2nd Aaron Wilkowski (1249) 4-1

3rd Tyson Mao (1207) 4-1

1st Twelfth Grade Jason Hanlon (895) 3-2

1st Eleventh Grade Glen Gee (1150) 3-2

1st 8th Grade Justin Kreibich (916) 3-2

1st 7th Grade Keith Schwarz (790) 3-2

Photograph of HS & Jr. HS winners by Kirshner.

Steven Zierk Makes Under-8 Top 50 List

Congratulations to Steven Zierk. The USCF finally rated most of his games and the 7 year old becomes Northern California's newest addition to the Top 50 lists. He is number 14 with an 1130 rating on the 8 and Under List--a great beginning.

I'll see most of you at the State Championships next weekend and until next months newsletter, I remain


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