Chess Center News

U.S. Chess Center students recently played in the World Amateur Team Chess Championship in New Jersey

Two teams associated with the U.S. Chess Center played in the World Amateur Team Chess Championship in New Jersey over the weekend, and both returned with impressive awards. The Spring Hill Elementary team was the top elementary school team, and our team from the Theophilus Thompson Club was the top team with an average rating of under 1900. Congratulations to our students!

The World Amateur Team Championship, which was the US Amateur Team Championship when I was competing, was one of my two favorite tournaments (along with the U.S. Open) each year. Instead of scoring wins and losses as individuals, scores are based on the team results. Each team is four players, and they line up against the four players of another team. If a team scores more than two points (one point per win, a half-point for a draw) they score a win. With two points, a team draws that match.

Teams often decide on clever names, and the tournament offers special prizes for creative names. My favorite came from a group of women from the DC area about forty years ago. They dressed in nuns’ habits and called themselves Our Lady of Perpetual Check.

The team format relieves a lot of the pressure ordinarily experienced in chess tournaments, making the event more relaxed and fun. As a player in a team competition, if I lost my game but the team won, I could be happy. If I won my game and the team lost, I could still be satisfied that I did the best I could for the team. If I won and the team won, that was best of all. When I lost and the team also lost, we could accept that our team was out-matched and we would move on to the next round. In short, the result of each game and match was tempered and every round was a fun experience.

Both the Spring Hill Elementary and the Theophilus Thompson teams consisted of players who had experience in big tournaments, so being in a ballroom with more than 1,000 players was not daunting. The teenagers went 4.5/6; the elementary team scored 3.5 points in the six rounds.

Thank you to Marc Rotenberg for years of service to the Chess Center

The U.S. Chess Center acknowledged Marc Rotenberg’s years of service to our organization with Executive Director Chris McCleary presenting him a token of our appreciation. Mr. Rotenberg first became involved with the Center as an active participant in the tournaments and other activities at our original location, where he won the District of Columbia Chess Championship three times.

Mr. Rotenberg (pictured on left) joined our board of directors as we transitioned from 1501 M Street, where we began, first to collocate with BASIS DC public charter school, then to our current office in Silver Spring. He became the chairman of the board in 2015, a position he retained until he retired from our board last year.

He has been generous with his time and resources, hosting events at his beautiful home that included Queen of Katwe star Phiona Mutesi, and several political figures. The Center benefitted in myriad ways from his help.

Results from the first Bishops+Beers Blitz Tournament, Nov 7th

Nearly every Tuesday over the past year, the U.S. Chess Center has hosted Bishops and Beers at Silver Branch Brewery, an evening event for our grown-up clientele to gather in downtown Silver Spring for some good food, good company, good potations and good chess.

The first week this month, we added a competitive element, with the first Bishops + Beers Blitz Tournament kicking off at 6:30 p.m. on November 7. Our instructor Riley Dosh was on hand to make up the pairings, tally the results, and generally help facilitate the fun.

The tournament was well-attended with 16 total players, and the excitement also hooked in a few spectators. Don McLean (pictured below, right) won convincingly with 7.5/9, Christian (pictured middle) came in second place with 6/9, and Jason (pictured left) came in third, losing on tiebreaks to Christian.

Given the general success of the tournament, we’re looking into running more blitz events at future Bishops & Beers outings. If you haven’t come to downtown Silver Spring on Tuesday night (and you’re at least 21), come join the fun!

Chess Kids Is Back For The New School Year

The first few sessions of this year’s Chess Kids are being held at Eastern Middle School in Silver Spring. Two dozen students from kindergarten through sixth grade have joined us during the first two weeks of the new session.

The Chess Kids program has run on Saturday mornings for 30 years, and the goal has always been the same: helping children cultivate a basic understanding of the rules, etiquette, and strategy of chess through structured lessons and practice play. The class attracts students from throughout the metro area, including kids from Montgomery and Prince George’s County, Maryland, as well as the District of Columbia and northern Virginia.

In addition to playing with kids from other backgrounds, the students receive lessons that focus on the fundamental strategies of the game, such as the importance of playing aggressively rather than passively. Thousands of elementary school students have joined us in the program over the years, including many who have gone on to become strong tournament players.

Chess Kids operates in four-week sessions, and registration for the second session, which starts on October 28, is open now.  You can also register for sessions 3-6.

Chess Kids operates in four-week sessions, and registration for the second session, which starts on October 28, is open now.

New Year of Chess Classes Begins at Burroughs Elementary in DC

We are excited to be back at Burroughs Educational Campus in northeast DC. Every week, we teach all of the second, third, and fourth graders the rules, strategy, etiquette, and discipline of chess.

Teachers from the U.S. Chess Center have been coming to Burroughs since 2019, and are pleased that the school is growing. With forty more students in our chess classes this year compared to last, we are providing an additional twenty chess sets so that more than 100 students learn the game every week.

The students are excited about learning to play the game, and we hope to have them become tournament players and join millions of others around the world who form friendships over the board.

The second graders have started learning the Pawn Game, which has been our method of teaching the strategy of chess to students as they learn the rules, while the third and fourth graders began this week with the full game. Nearly all of the students in those grades had learned chess from us in school last year and the year before.

Theophilus Thompson Club Resumes on Sundays

In some places, school has started. In others, it is about to begin. For any local student, however, the last Sunday of August means that the Theophilus Thompson Club brings students in grades 7-12 together for chess.

 

Kids who enjoy the game and want to improve arrived in McLean yesterday for practice, lessons, and socializing. They played some blitz, as well as a game with a normal tournament time control. We discussed the strategy of the game and found some cool tactics.

This year, we plan to have students compete in the National High School Championships in April in Baltimore. We also are working on organizing internet matches with students from other countries and, if things go well, travel abroad for in-person matches as we have in previous years.

 

The Club meets nearly every Sunday from now through the end of the school year.  Online registration is available for those who wish to join us.

U.S. Chess Center Founder David Mehler Profiled in Washington Jewish Week

Since forming the U.S. Chess Center over 30 years ago, David Mehler has been at the center of our efforts to teach the game to young people.  In a feature published earlier today by Washington Jewish Week, he touches on several topics related to the Center, including the philosophy that has helped us reach tens of thousands of students in the greater D.C. area with our instruction. 

From our beginning, we’ve always encouraged the idea of chess not as an exclusive vocation for some cadre of intellectual super-elites, but rather as a pastime that everyone can enjoy with their friends.  As Mr. Mehler explains, anyone can learn to play and anyone can profit from learning.  Children who may be used to thinking only about short-term consequences learn the value of strategizing and planning ahead toward a long term goal, and students in the habit of acting out in the classroom can find an outlet for their energies that is equal parts competitive and mentally demanding.  Our preference for in-school chess classes over after-school clubs exists for the simple reason that those students least likely to sign up to learn the game are the ones likely to benefit the most from doing so. 

Our perspective on teaching the game runs along those same egalitarian lines.  Aside from a required rudimentary understanding of the rules, strategy and etiquette of chess, there’s not necessarily a correlation between playing strength and the ability to effectively impart the fundamentals to children.  Beyond Mr. Mehler’s jest about how “I make terrible moves while I’m playing competitively, but I can teach kids not to follow my example,” there’s a great deal of truth to the idea that you don’t have to be a grandmaster to be a good teacher of the game; you just need patience and a basic knowledge of what makes chess so useful. 

 

You can read the entire article on Mr. Mehler and the beginnings of the U.S. Chess Center here.  And, if you agree that chess can be a valuable tool to sharpen the minds of children, please consider donating to support our charitable work.

Great day of Chess at DC Public Library’s Battle of the Branches

On Saturday, June 10th, the DC Public Library System held it’s first “Battle of the Branches” chess tournament at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library.  The Chess Center’s own, Ms. Riley Dosh, served as Tournament Director and students from our Friends of Cleveland Park Library Chess Club were among the 57 competitors (of which 26 were children and 31 were adults).  Chess players were divided into two leagues by self-declaration – a Beginner League with 16 players and an Intermediate League with 41 players.  

Congratulations to Richard Wu (10 years old), representing MLK Library, who won the Beginner League with an undefeated 7 of 7 wins!  Meanwhile, Jesse Webb took second place and Elbert deGuzman, representing Bellevue Library, was third.

The Intermediate League was won by Jarock Davis, representing Cleveland Park Library (one of our students!).  Larry Jefferson, representing Benning Road Library, took second place; Nathan Pho, representing Southwest Library, was third; and Richard Aiken, representing Tenley-Friendship Neighborhood Library, took fourth place.

In the “Battle of the Branches” overall competition where the scores of the top three players from each branch were compared, Benning Road Library emerged victorious with 13 of their 17 games won.

DCPL Battle of the Branches 2023-06-10

Thank you to Dubian Ade, Carol Auerbach, and the rest of the DCPL staff and librarians for organizing the tournament.  Thank you to NM David Bennett for assisting Ms. Dosh in running the tournament, and thank you to Robin Ramson of ChessGirlsDC, for providing chess sets and other logistical support.

Congratulations to all the winners and players!

Another great day of Chess in the Park on May 20th

Our second drop-in tournament this spring at Eastern Market Metro was held under blue skies this past Saturday, May 20.  Staged in cooperation with Barracks Row Main Street and the DC Department of Parks and Recreation, this event had over 40 students showing up to play over the two and a half hours.  The players ranged from grades 2 to 8, and from experienced USCF tournament players to first-timers.  

On June 24 we will hold a third and final Chess in the Park Tournament at Eastern Market Metro Plaza with the same format and again we will present awards to the top players, including top girl and top DC school (so encourage others from your school to register and play).  Pre-Register online for June 24 at: https://chessctr.org/play/easternmarketmetro/

Chess in the Park Kicks Off 2023 Season at Eastern Market Metro

Despite the gray skies and raw temperatures, 37 students representing 28 schools (14 of them in DC) came to play in the first of three Chess in the Park events the U.S. Chess Center is organizing at Eastern Market Metro Park. Working in collaboration with Barracks Row Main Street and the DC Parks and Recreation Department, we were happy to welcome children in grades 2-8 to a friendly competition.

For some players, this was their first tournament. Others were experienced players, arriving with national ratings. The event is held using an informal method in which players are matched with others as soon as they finish each game. Keeping waiting time between games to a minimum means that some people played only two games while others played as many as eight. This makes it more fun for everyone.

Former ANC Commissioner Brian Ready not only provided a welcoming atmosphere for the event, at the end he provided half-price coupons for chess players and their families to come to Smoke & Mirrors, a magic show at Miracle Theatre on May 25.

DC Councilmember Charles Allen, himself a chess player, came to distribute trophies and medals to those who won more games than they lost. Mr. Allen has been a great supporter of activities at the park, located in his ward.

Washington Latin won the team championship trophy, with Brent Elementary winning the second place team trophy.

We will help with similar events at the same location on May 20 and June 24.

U.S. Chess Center Students and Alumni at the Eastern Open

The 47th Annual Eastern Open wrapped up Thursday evening with a record-breaking turn-out. More than 400 players came to this year’s iteration, held at the Hyatt Regency in Arlington, VA.  The competition included a number of innovative additions (Mixed Doubles and Senior prizes, in addition to a rated blitz tournament) to the traditional 8-round main event.

Among the competitors were dozens of students of the U.S. Chess Center, including players from the Theophilus Thompson Club, and Kent Gardens, Spring Hill, Colvin Run, and Churchill Road Elementary Schools.

It was also wonderful seeing graduates of our classes and camps, including students returning from college and post-college adults. We saw players as young as six years old and another (a grandpa of one of our summer campers) at age 82.

Record Turnout at K-12 Championships at National Harbor

2,463 students turned up to this past weekend’s National K-12 Grade Championships, held at National Harbor, MD for the first time ever.  The field size shattered the previous record of approximately 1,700 students from five years ago.  Students showed up from all over the country to compete for the national championships in their respective grade levels.

We had hoped for strong local representation, and were not disappointed as large contingents of students turned up from the District of Columbia, Maryland and Northern Virginia.  Spring Hill Elementary (pictured below) took home the 5th place trophy in the 6th grade section, as well as the 8th place trophy in the 3rd grade section.  Students at our clubs at Spring Hill, White Oaks and the Theophilus Thompson Club also won individual medals.

Win or lose, it’s always an incredible experience for kids to play an event with thousands of other young people who possess the same love for chess.

A full list of results is available on the website of the U.S. Chess Federation, here.

Jennifer Yu Wins U.S. Women’s Chess Championship

The 2022 U.S. Chess Championships have concluded in St. Louis.  A day after Fabiano Caruana won the open section of the championship, U.S. Chess Center honorary co-chair Jennifer Yu won the women’s championship for the second time, following on from her win in 2019.   Congratulations to both the winners!

Jennifer Yu’s victory in particular is a testament to one of the most fundamental values we espouse at the U.S. Chess Center: the value of not giving up.  Going into the late stages of the tournament, Jennifer led her closest opponent, eight-time U.S. Women’s Champion Irina Krush, before losing their individual matchup in Round 12 to fall half a point behind her in the standings.  Undeterred by the loss of that game, Jennifer battled back to win in Round 13 whereas Irina could only draw.  This forged a tie for first place and ensured that the championship title would be settled the following day with tiebreak games at a faster time control.

Jennifer Yu, U.S. Women's Chess Champion, pictured in September 2018 giving a simul at the U.S. Chess Center.
Krush-Yu 2022 Black to move 9....

Diagrammed here is a position during the opening of the decisive game of that tiebreak match, with both competitors knowing that the winner of this game would be the new champion.  Jennifer, as Black, made an uncharacteristically big error with 9…Bg4, hanging the bishop, which Irina quickly took on the next move with 10. Qxg4.  In tournament games, it’s sadly common for players to resign after making a mistake like this. Facing the prospect of playing on down a piece against a player as strong as Irina Krush, perhaps to some players it would seem less unpleasant to just give up.  But Jennifer chose to play on and keep trying her hardest, and what happened later on is a testament to the merits of doing exactly that.

 
Krush-Yu 2022 Black to move 22...

The players eventually reached the position in the second diagram on the left.  Irina, still ahead by a piece, had just taken Black’s knight, 22. Nxd6.  But instead of recapturing right away, Jennifer combined an in-between move (zwischenzug) with a discovered attack: 22…Bxh2+ 23. Kxh2 Qxd6+ 24. Kh1 Rxe2 25. Rxe2.  After the tactics, Black ended up with a queen and pawn in exchange for White’s two bishops and rook – still a material advantage for White, but a position with the kings exposed like this tends to create tactical chances for the side with the queen, and Irina felt compelled to use a lot of time on the clock. 

White’s time ultimately ran out after the 47th move, giving Jennifer the win in the game and the championship.  The lesson to our students, as always – don’t quit, because until the two players shake hands to end the game, no outcome is guaranteed.

Theophilus Thompson Chess Club Begins for the Year

The Theophilus Thompson Club, the U.S. Chess Center’s Sunday class for students in grades 7 – 12, just had its first meeting for the 2022-23 school year. The club is for students who know the rules of chess and want to improve their skills. We intend to prepare the students to compete successfully in the national chess championships that are coming to the DC area this year.

The club is named after noted African American chess champion Theophilus Thompson. As a teenager, Thompson saw his first chess game in April 1872, when he watched two players compete in his hometown of Frederick, Maryland.  Fascinated by the complexities of chess, he decided to learn the game.  This thirst for knowledge intrigued John Hanshew, the publisher of The Maryland Chess Review, who taught Thompson the fundamentals, lent him a chessboard and pieces, and gave him several chess problems to solve.  Within weeks, the 17-year-old Thompson was not only solving chess problems, he was also devising new ones and contributing his work to the Dubuque Chess Journal, a pioneer problem-solving magazine of the time.

 

In 1873, Thompson had a book published titled Chess Problems By Theophilus Thompson.  A review of the book in City of London Chess Magazine praised “the compositions in this book, and consider that they display real genius, both of a conceptive and constructive order. . . .  We consider Mr. Thompson a composer of great merit and of rare promise.”

Theophilus Thompson in 1873.

After competing in tournaments in Philadelphia and Chicago, Thompson returned to his native Frederick, where became a respected mathematician and schoolteacher.  We named our Sunday afternoon chess club for him in respect for his achievements and with the hope that local young people will follow his example and improve their academic skills as a result of mastering the game of chess.

Interested in joining us on Sundays?  Click here for more information and registration.

Chess Center Founder David Mehler Receives USCF’s Outstanding Career Achievement Award

Earlier this summer David Mehler, U.S. Chess Center Founder and President, was presented with the Outstanding Career Achievement Award from the national U.S. Chess Federation, in honor of his many decades spent teaching and promoting the game of chess in the greater Washington area and throughout the country.

Mr. David Mehler
Founder, U.S. Chess Center

• Arranged for the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame and Museum to move from upstate New York to a facility five blocks from The White House
• Organized student trip to meet chess players in Cuba
• Organized Internet chess matches with students from countries in Africa, Asia, and Europe
• Staged chess exhibitions in many places, including the National Mall, the Smithsonian, and the Charles Sumner Museum
• Taught tens of thousands of students and trained dozens of instructors

Chess Teacher, including teaching students who won:

• U.S. Junior Invitational
• Denker Tournament of National Champions
• U.S. Cadet Championship
• U.S. High School Championship
• U.S. Junior High School Championship
• U.S. Elementary School Blitz Championship

Organized and directed:

• U.S. Armed Forces Championships
• U.S. Cadet Championships
• U.S. Junior Invitational Championship
• International invitationals at which IM norms were earned

Maryland Chess Association: Vice President and President

D.C. Chess League: Executive Director, Scholastic Coordinator, and Newsletter Editor

Region III Vice President

Member, US Chess Bylaws Committee

Member, US Chess Scholastic Committee

Chair, US Chess Development Committee

Chess club president: University of Massachusetts/Amherst

Chess club president: University of Wisconsin at Madison

Sacramento Chess Club Director

Arlington (VA) Chess Club Director

Highlights From This Summer’s Nationals Prep

Over 20 students joined us on Wednesday evenings over the past two months to practice for the National Grade Level Championships coming to Baltimore in December.  We were impressed by how quickly the students improved during the eight weeks.  We are confident the effort they put into their practice games will serve them in good stead when they compete later this year.

Published below are a few of the game scores from the class.  The games we watched were nearly always full of hard deliberation and determination as the students battled for advantages no matter what kinds of positions they found themselves in.

 

Jerry – Zohran

1.e4 c5 2.c3 d5 3.exd5 Qxd5 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.d4 e6 6.Bb5+ Nc6 7.O-O a6 8.Ba4 b5 9.Bc2 Be7 10.Bf4 O-O 11.Ne5 Bb7 12.f3 cxd4 13.Nxc6 Bxc6 14.cxd4 Rfd8 15.Be5 Nd7 16.Bb3 Nxe5 17.Bxd5 Rxd5 18.Nc3 Rd7 19.Re1 Bf6 20.Ne4 Bxe4 21.Rxe4 Nc6 22.Rc1 Nxd4 23.Rc3 Rad8 24.Qe1 Nxf3+ 25.Rxf3 Rd1 26.Qxd1 Rxd1+ 27.Kf2 Rd2+ 28.Re2 Rxe2+ 29.Kxe2 Bxb2 30.Rb3 Be5 31.Ra3 Kf8 32.Rxa6 b4 33.Ra4 Bd6 34.h3 Ke7 35.Kd3 f5 36.Ra7+ Kf6 37.Kc4 g5 38.Rxh7 Ke5 39.Rb7 Kf4 40.Rb6 Ke5 41.Rb7 Kf4 42.Rg7 Bf8 43.Rg8 Bd6 44.Rg6 Bf8 45.Rxe6 Kg3 46.Rf6 Be7 47.Rxf5 Kxg2 48.Rxg5+ Bxg5 49.Kxb4 Kxh3 50.a4 Be3 51.Kb5 Kg4 52.a5 Kf5 ½ – ½

 

Aaron – Ameya

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 d6 4.Bxc6+ bxc6 5.d4 cxd4 6.Nxd4 Bd7 7.O-O g6 8.Nc3 Bg7 9.Nf3 Nf6 10.Bg5 Rb8 11.Rb1 Qc7 12.Qd2 O-O 13.Rfd1 Rfd8 14.h3 Rb4 15.Nd5 Nxd5 16.exd5 Re4 17.Re1 Rxe1+ 18.Rxe1 cxd5 19.Rxe7 Qc5 20.Qf4 Be8 21.Bh6 d4 22.Bxg7 Kxg7 23.Nxd4 Kg8 24.Qf6 Rb8 25.Ne6 Qe5 26.Qxe5 dxe5 27.Ng5 h6 28.Nf3 f6 29.b3 a5 30.Nd2 Ra8 31.Nc4 a4 32.Nd6 Bc6 33.Re6 Kg7 34.Re7+ Kg8 35.Re6 Rf8 36.Kh2 Kh7 37.Re7+ Kg8 38.Re6 Kh7 39.Kg3 Kg8 40.Nf5 Be4 41.Nxh6+ Kg7 42.Ng4 Bxc2 43.Rb6 axb3 44.axb3 e4 45.Ne3 Bd3 46.b4 f5 47.Kf4 Kh6 48.g3 Kh5 49.Rb7 g5+ 50.Ke5 f4 51.g4+ Kg6 52.Rb6+ Kg7 53.Nf5+ Kg8 54.Rg6+ Kh7 55.Rxg5 e3 56.Rh5+ Kg8 57.fxe3 f3 58.Rg5+ Kh7 59.Rh5+ Kg8 60.Ne7+ Kf7 61.Nf5 f2 62.Rh7+ Ke8 63.Nd6+ Kd8 64.Nf7+ Kc8 65.Nd6+ Kb8 66.Rb7+ Ka8 0-1

 

Bryan – Zohran

1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qa5 4.Bc4 Bf5 5.d4 e6 6.Bd2 c6 7.Nf3 Nf6 8.Ne5 Nbd7 9.Ne4 Qc7 10.Nxf6+ Nxf6 11.g4 Be4 12.f3 Bd5 13.Qe2 O-O-O 14.O-O-O Bxc4 15.Qxc4 Bd6 16.Rhe1 Bxe5 17.dxe5 Nd5 18.f4 Rhe8 19.Qe4 h6 20.Be3 Nxe3 21.Qxe3 Rxd1+ 22.Rxd1 b6 23.Qd3 Rd8 24.Qxd8+ Qxd8 25.Rxd8+ Kxd8 26.Kd2 Ke7 27.Ke3 f5 28.h3 g5 29.a3 Kd7 30.b4 a6 31.fxg5 hxg5 32.Kf3 Ke7 33.Kg3 Kf7 34.h4 gxh4+ 35.Kxh4 f4 36.Kh3 Kg6 37.Kg2 Kg5 38.Kf3 a5 39.bxa5 bxa5 40.a4 c5 41.c4 Kg6 42.Kxf4 Kf7 43.Kg5 Kg7 44.Kh5 Kh7 45.g5 Kg7 46.g6 Kg8 47.Kh6 Kh8 48.Kh5 Kg7 49.Kg5 Kg8 50.Kf6 1-0

 

Zohran – Ameya

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 g6 5.c4 Bg7 6.Be3 d6 7.Nc3 Nf6 8.Be2 O-O 9.O-O Bd7 10.f3 Rc8 11.Nd5 Ne5 12.Rc1 Nxd5 13.cxd5 Rxc1 14.Qxc1 Qa5 15.a3 Rc8 16.Qd1 Nc4 17.Bxc4 Rxc4 18.Qd3 Rxd4 19.Bxd4 Bb5 20.Qc3 Qxc3 21.Bxc3 Bxf1 22.Kxf1 Bxc3 23.bxc3 Kg7 24.Ke2 Kf6 25.Ke3 e6 26.c4 exd5 27.cxd5 Ke5 28.f4+ Kf6 29.Kd4 Ke7 30.e5 Kd7 31.g4 Ke7 32.f5 dxe5+ 33.Kxe5 f6+ 34.Kd4 gxf5 35.gxf5 Kd6 36.a4 Kd7 37.Kc5 Kc7 38.d6+ Kd7 39.Kd5 b6 40.Kc4 Kxd6 41.Kb5 Kc7 42.Ka6 Kb8 43.h4 h5 44.Kb5 Kb7 45.a5 bxa5 46.Kxa5 Kc6 47.Ka6 Kd5 48.Kxa7 Ke5 49.Kb6 Kxf5 50.Kc5 Kg4 51.Kd4 Kxh4 52.Ke3 Kg3 53.Ke2 Kg2 54.Ke3 h4 55.Ke4 h3 56.Kf5 h2 57.Kxf6 h1=Q 58.Kf5 Qh4 59.Kg6 Kf3 60.Kf5 Qe4+ 61.Kf6 Kf4 62.Kf7 Kg5 63.Kg7 Qf5 64.Kg8 Qd7 65.Kf8 Kf6 66.Kg8 Qg7#

 

Jerry – Ameya

1.e4 c5 2.c3 Nc6 3.Nf3 d6 4.d4 cxd4 5.cxd4 Bg4 6.Nc3 Bxf3 7.Qxf3 Nxd4 8.Qd1 Nc6 9.Bb5 g6 10.O-O Bg7 11.f4 Qb6+ 12.Kh1 Bxc3 13.Bxc6+ Qxc6 14.bxc3 Qxc3 15.Rb1 Qc7 16.Bb2 e5 17.fxe5 dxe5 18.Rc1 Qe7 19.Qa4+ Qd7 20.Qxd7+ Kxd7 21.Rxf7+ Ke6 22.Rxb7 Rd8 23.Ba3 Kf6 24.Rxa7 Kg5 25.Ra5 Kf4 26.Rf1+ Ke3 27.Rxe5 Nh6 28.Be7 Nf7 29.Bxd8 Nxe5 30.Bb6+ Kxe4 31.Ra1 Ra8 32.h3 Nc4 33.Bf2 Kf5 34.a4 Nd2 35.a5 Nb3 36.Ra3 Nd2 37.a6 Ne4 38.Bd4 Ke6 39.a7 Kd5 40.Be3 Nc5 41.Bxc5 Kxc5 42.Kh2 Kb4 43.Ra6 Kb5 44.Ra1 and White went on to win.

Connor – Jin

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Nc3 b6 5.O-O Bb7 6.d3 Nf6 7.Be3 Qe7 8.d4 exd4 9.Nxd4 Nxd4 10.Bxd4 Nxe4 11.Bxc5 Qxc5 12.b3 Nxc3 13.Re1+ Kd8 14.Qd3 Qg5 15.g3 Qh6 16.h4 Qc6 17.f3 Qxf3 18.Qxf3 Bxf3 19.Re3 Bd5 20.Rxc3 Bxc4 21.Rxc4 b5 22.Rb4 a6 23.Rf1 f6 24.Rg4 Rg8 25.Rf5 Ke7 26.Re4+ Kf7 27.Rc5 c6 28.Rd4 Ke6 29.g4 Rae8 30.Rc3 g5 31.h5 Ke5 32.Rxd7 Kf4 33.Rd4+ Ke5 34.Rcd3 Re7 35.Rd6 Rc7 36.h6 Rg6 37.Rd7 Rxd7 38.Rxd7 Rxh6 39.Rc7 Kf4 40.Rxc6 Rg6 41.Rxa6 Kxg4 42.Rb6 h5 43.Rxb5 h4 44.Kh2 Kf3 45.c4 g4 46.Rh5 g3+ 47.Kg1 Rg4 48.c5 Rd4 49.Rf5+ Rf4 50.Rxf4+ Kxf4 51.c6 h3 52.c7 h2+ 53.Kh1 Kf3 54.c8=Q g2+ 55.Kxh2 Kf2 56.Qc2+ 1-0

 

Aaron – William L

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Bg5 Bg7 7.Bd3 Nc6 8.Nf3 Bg4 9.h3 Bd7 10.O-O O-O 11.Qd2 Rc8 12.Rad1 Re8 13.Rfe1 Nh5 14.Bh6 Nb4 15.Bxg7 Kxg7 16.a3 Nxd3 17.Qxd3 Nf4 18.Qe3 Ne6 19.Qxa7 Nc5 20.Nd5 e6 21.Nb6 Rc6 22.b4 Nxe4 23.Nxd7 Qxd7 24.Rxe4 f5 25.Qd4+ Kg8 26.Ree1 Rd8 27.Re2 Qg7 28.Red2 b5 29.Rc1 Rc4 30.Qd3 Qf6 31.Nd4 Rb8 32.Nxb5 d5 33.Nd4 Rd8 34.Nb3 e5 35.Qf3 e4 36.Qe3 Rc3 37.Qd4 Qc6 38.Kf1 Rxb3 39.Qa1 Rc3 40.a4 Ra8 41.a5 Qb5+ 42.Ke1 Qxb4 43.Rxd5 Rc5+ 44.Rd2 Rcxa5 45.Qf6 Rd5 46.Qe6+ Kg7 47.Qxd5 Qa3 48.Qd7+ Kh6 49.Rcd1 e3 50.fxe3 and White went on to win.

 

Bryan – Vanya

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Bc4 Bc5 5.c3 d6 6.cxd4 Bb6 7.h3 Nf6 8.Bg5 h6 9.Bxf6 Qxf6 10.e5 dxe5 11.dxe5 Qe7 12.O-O O-O 13.Qe2 Re8 14.Re1 Be6 15.Bxe6 Qxe6 16.Nc3 Rad8 17.Rad1 Nd4 18.Qe4 Nxf3+ 19.Qxf3 c6 20.b3 Bc7 21.Rxd8 Rxd8 22.Qe3 Bb6 23.Qe4 Rd2 24.Rd1 Rxd1+ 25.Nxd1 Bc7 26.Qd4 Qd5 27.Qxd5 cxd5 28.f4 g5 29.g3 h5 30.fxg5 Bxe5 31.Kf2 Kg7 32.h4 f6 33.gxf6+ Bxf6 34.Kf3 Kg6 35.Kf4 b5 36.Nf2 a5 37.a4 b4 38.Nd3 Bg7 39.Kf3 Bh6 40.Ne5+ Kf5 41.Nc6 Bg7 42.Nxa5 Bd4 43.Nc6 Bc5 44.a5 d4 45.a6 d3 46.Nxb4 d2 47.Ke2 Ke4 48.Nc6 Kd5 49.a7 Kxc6 50.a8=Q+ Kb5 51.Kxd2 Bd6 52.Qd5+ Kb4 53.Qxd6+ Kxb3 54.Qc5 Kb2 55.Qc3+ Ka2 56.Qb4 Ka1 57.Kc2 Ka2 58.Qa4#

.

 

Chess Camp Comes to Northwest DC

Our staff was excited to return to the headquarters of the DC Housing Finance Agency in the Cardozo-Shaw neighborhood of Washington for our latest week of camp.  We had a range of ability levels represented among the dozen students who showed up, and everyone, regardless of playing strength, worked hard and learned something new this week.

We now move to Oakton, Virginia for the final week of our summer camp season, at Alpha STEM for the Gifted, and there is still time to register to join us.

Bishops & Beers Is Now Every Tuesday

Even with the inclement weather in Silver Spring, Bishops & Beers still brought out chess enthusiasts on Tuesday night.  Players turned up to Silver Branch Brewery for some good drinks, good food and good games of chess.

Moving forward, our meetings at the brewery will be a weekly occasion, beginning at 6 p.m. every Tuesday.  The next event will be the evening of June 19.  Whether you’re a seasoned tournament player or still learning the ropes, we hope you’ll come join us (as long as you’re over 21).  Our Meetup group has more information about Bishops & Beers and our other regular activities open to the public. 

Chess Class at the Seafarers Foundation’s Summer Youth Program in Annapolis

The US Chess Center was pleased to resume our summer chess classes in partnership with Seafarers Foundation’s Summer Youth Program in Annapolis, MD.  Led by Greg Acholonu, the chess class has approximately 90 minutes of instruction and play each day over the two week camp, culminating in a camp tournament on the final Friday. 
 
Thank you to our board member, Dr. Derrick L. Cogburn, and the Seafarers Foundation for allowing us to share chess with their campers.
 

U.S. Chess Center Celebrates A Successful First Year at Sousa Middle School

The U.S. Chess Center was pleased to run a during-school chess class this past year for students in grades 6th through 8th at John Philip Sousa Middle School in Washington D.C.’s Ward 7.  More than a dozen students participated in chess class each week as part of the school’s Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) elective program and became enthusiastic players.  So much so that when a school closure was announced for the same day as our weekly chess class, Ms. Edmonds (who hosted chess in her classroom for us each week) reported that the students were disappointed to miss chess class, adding, “That is the first time I have EVER seen students unhappy about school being closed. Your chess class has surely made a positive impact on them!” 

A special thank you to Ms. Chiba Edmonds for allowing us to host chess in her classroom each week, and thank you again to the DC Housing Finance Agency, Share Fund, and all our donors for their financial support which enabled us to supply the equipment and offer chess class at Sousa at no cost to the students or school.

Chess in the Park Comes to Eastern Market Metro

40 students showed up to Eastern Market Metro Park last Saturday, June 4 for the latest event in our series of casual drop-in tournaments.  We had a wide range of experience levels represented – some of the students were already seasoned tournament players while others were taking part in their first chess competition.

As always, it was nice to see new friendships being formed over games of chess.  We hope participating in events like these helps provide the experience and confidence the students can carry with them into other competitions.

Congratulations to Our National Elementary School Championship Participants

More often than not, when students travel to compete in strong tournaments like the state and national championships, it makes for a fantastic experience.  It’s exciting when the kids bring home trophies, and it’s also exciting when they bring back things they’ve learned from competing that they can then share with the other students in their school clubs.

At the recent National Elementary School Championships, held May 13-15 in Columbus, our students at Spring Hill got to do both.  In all, ten Spring Hill students traveled to Ohio to play, and the school finished 6th in the K-5 Championship section, while also winning trophies in the K-3 U-900 section (17th place overall), and the K-3 U-700 section (9th place overall). 

Below, Principal Eck accepts the three trophies the school brought back from Ohio after last week’s tournament.  

When the Elementary School Nationals come to Baltimore in 2023, we hope to see even more of our students come out to represent the local region.

A full list of results from the 2022 tournament is available at USCF’s website at  http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?202205151282.

Chess in the Park at Eastern Market Metro on June 4

Chess In The Park continues the first Saturday in June with a free outdoor tournament at Eastern Market Metro Park, staged in partnership with the DC Department of Parks and Recreation.  Any student in grades 2 through 8 may register to participate.

The tournament will follow a similar format to the event we recently held at Fairview Road Urban Park in Silver Spring.  The first round of games will begin at 10 a.m. and the tournament will finish up around 1.  Students who play need to be familiar with all of the rules of chess, including castling, stalemate and the touch-move rule.  No membership in any organization is required to take part.

There will be areas where family members and non-participants to wait during the games, but owing to space constraints, we will be unable to accommodate more than 40 students at the tournament tables at any one time, so early registration is encouraged.   Online sign-up is available here: https://register.chessctr.org/a/easternmarketmetro
 

Three Sunday Chess Students Competed in National High School Championships

Three students from Sunday Chess attended the 2022 National High School Championships in Memphis over the weekend. The tournament had been cancelled for the previous two years because of the pandemic, so there was a lot of pent-up enthusiasm for this year’s event.

 

This was the third Nationals Anish attended, but the first major national for Zach and Ret. All three had wonderful experiences and are more prepared for the series of national championships coming up in the DC area over the next few years.

The tournament was run exceptionally well, with professional staff handling every detail efficiently. The rounds started on time, the side events were fun for the students, and the conditions of play were the best ever for a scholastic tournament. We look forward to spectacular events at National Harbor in December and in downtown DC next March.

Posted below is a win of Zach’s from the first half of the competition.  Zach, playing the black pieces, managed to hold on against an intimidating attack during the first 25 moves.

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. d3 b5 6. Bb3 d6 7. c3 Be7 8. O-O O-O 9. Nbd2 Na5 10. Bc2 c5 11. Re1 Re8 12. Nf1 h6 13. Ng3 Bf8 14. a4 Bb7 15. axb5 axb5 16. Nf5 c4 17. d4 exd4 18. N3xd4 Bxe4 19. Bxe4 Nxe4 20. Nxh6+ gxh6 21. Qg4+ Ng5 22. Rxe8 Qxe8 23. Bxg5 hxg5 24. Qxg5+ Bg7 25. Nf5 Qe5

White is down a piece, but looks as though he will regain it after 26. Ne7+ Kf8 27. Qxe5 Bxe5 28. Nc6 .  However, Zach’s 28….Ra6 kept him in the driver’s seat, since after 29. Nxa5 b4 30. cxb4 Bxb2, the pin on the a5-knight means that White can’t stop Black’s dangerous c-pawn without losing material.

Instead, White played 29. f4, and the game concluded: 29…Rxc6 30. fxe5 Nb7 31. Ra7 Rb6 32. exd6 Nxd6 33. h4 Ne4 34. g4 Nc5 35. Kg2 Na4 36. Kf3 Nxb2 37. Ke4 Nd3 38. Kd5 Kg7 39. g5 Re6 40. Rb7 Re5+ 41. Kd4 Rf5 42. Rb6 Nc5 43. Ke3 Na4 and White resigned.  0-1

The full set of results from the 2022 tournament is available here

Photos from the final class of Chess Kids 2021-22

This past Saturday, March 26, 2022 was the final class of our Chess Kids program for 2021-2022.  Stay tuned this fall when we open registration again for the 2022-2023 sessions.  In the meantime, here are some photos from Chess Kids this spring.

Join us on April 30 for Chess in the Park

The U.S. Chess Center and Montgomery Parks are inviting students to join us on the last day of April at Fairview Road Urban Park in Silver Spring for an outdoor chess tournament.
 
Any student in grade 2 through 8 may register to take part.  This tournament is not nationally rated, and students do not need to have any tournament experience in order to participate.  We do require students who play to be familiar with all of the rules of chess, including castling, stalemate and the touch-move rule.  Students who are not familiar with the rules are welcome to come spectate, as are other family members and friends.  The first round of the tournament starts at 10 a.m. and the last of the games will finish around 1 p.m.
 
We will organize the tournament based loosely on the Swiss pairing system, which means that players who win in the first round will be matched against other winners for their next games, and players who lose will be matched against others with similar results.  Nobody is eliminated early.  
 
Registration on the morning of the tournament is permitted, but we recommend planning ahead and signing up ahead of time to beat the line. 
 
Online registration is available here: 
 
More details about the playing site are available here: https://montgomeryparks.org/events/chess-in-the-parks/

Thank you to Eugene Meyer for 29 years of service to the Chess Center

Eugene Meyer accepted an award for his 29 years of service on the Center’s Board of Directors.

One of the co-founders of the U.S. Chess Center in 1991, International Chess Master Eugene Meyer was instrumental in the success of the Center in establishing chess classes in hundreds of local schools.

IM Meyer was among the twenty highest-rated players in the country for a couple of decades and was an active participant in local and national tournaments and leagues, winning many championships. For many years, until he emigrated to Virginia, he was the District of Columbia’s highest-rated player.

In honor of his 29 years of service and generosity to the U.S. Chess Center, Executive Director Christopher McCleary presented IM Meyer with an award last week.  Thank you, IM Meyer!

Photos from Saturday Chess Kids on October 23, 2021

Our Saturday Chess Kids program resumed again this past Saturday, October 23, 2021 at the DC Housing Finance Agency auditorium in the Shaw / U Street neighborhood of Washington, DC. 

Chess Kids, which has been operating since the U.S. Chess Center’s founding, is an individualized, highly structured program for students in Grades K – 6 that meets on Saturdays from 10:00 am – 11:30 am.  Chess Kids students are placed in groups based on their ability and everyone plays games each week and receives lessons. Through Chess Kids, we make learning chess fun!

To register your student for Chess Kids, click here.  Chess Kids operates in four-week sessions, and students are welcome to register for multiple sessions.  Session 2 begins November 20th.

Thank you to DC HFA for providing a great venue and support for this program.

Photos from “Bishops & BBQ” on October 14, 2021

Thank you to Money Muscle BBQ and everyone who came out on Thursday, October 14, 2021, to spend the evening with us playing chess, eating barbecue, making new friends, and enjoying beautiful fall weather under Piggy Smalls’ tent. 

Want to play more chess? Our offices are finally re-opening for limited hours and open play starting this Saturday, October 16th from 1:00-5:00pm.

WHERE
U.S. Chess Center
8560 Second Avenue, Suite 118
Silver Spring, Maryland  20910

WHEN (New Hours)
Saturdays 1:00pm – 5:00pm

For the rest of October, play chess for free.  Starting in November table fees are $5/day, but Chess Center Members always play for free, so Become a Chess Center Member!