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WNY Chess Report for Empire Chess

The following was the report I had submitted to Empire Chess, the award winning quarterly official magazine of the New York State Chess Association. It has been quite awhile since there has been any reporting from the Western end of the state. The next issue is to be published on/about April 15th and is sent to all the state members. Buffalo-Niagara Chess News Welcome to the Wild West! Yes, there actually are chess activities in the hinterland of the state. For all too long, it seemed only Mr. Thomas Warner of the Southtowns, was able to keep some semblance of over the board chess events going in this part of New York. While we thank him to have kept the flame alive, we are proud to report that he has been joined by two other active chess promoters- Mr. Michael McDuffie of Buffalo, and Dr. Mark Mieth of Niagara Falls. Within the last 12 months there have been 12 USCF rated events including both scholastic and open events, one of which was a 40 point Grand Prix Tournament! Although there always has been some scholastic clubs here, now there at least 7 active chess clubs spread out in the region in which anyone may participate. The potential exists to play almost every day of the week! Within the past year, we have brought two internationally famous Grandmasters- Jaan Ehlvest and Susan Polgar to the area as well as seen the reemergence of the area’s highest rated player, International Master Ken Regan back to tournament play. We have also hosted a top USCF representative- Mr. Jerry Nash to help strengthen our scholastic training efforts. Lastly, there has been the establishment of an effective method of communication regarding chess happenings in the area with the creation of the internet site With that in mind here is a recap of some of the highlights: April 2006 With the untimely death of Mr. Jeff White, the prior president of the Niagara Falls Chess Club, the first of hopefully many Grand Prix tournaments in his honor was held. The inaugural White Memorial-Excelsior Open was won by GM Ehlvest with FM Igor Schneider finishing second and third shared by IM Regan and promising high school player Matt Parry. The following game by Thomas Riccardi was the winner of the White Memorial Brilliancy Prize: James Hiltunen (1861) v. Thomas Riccardi (2138) Round 1 White Memorial-Excelsior Open, Buffalo, NY 4/22/06 May 2006 The Second Annual Stella Niagara-Excelsior Scholastic event was proud to host GM Susan Polgar who delighted us with a simul, live chess exhibition, lectures, and her gracious presence in answering questions and signing autographs. This year’s top scholastic section was won by her six year old son Tom Polgar-Shuzman! September 2006 Western New York’s own Mr. William Rich captured the NY State Championship Under 1200 Section with a perfect 6/6 score. Who says retirees can not outperform our more youthful members? October 2006 Eleventh Annual Arkport Open had a three way tie for first with FM Igor Nikolayev and the stellar high school players Stephen Dygert and Matt Parry. December 2006 Harish Srinivasan, a graduate student at the University of Buffalo and relative new comer to tournament chess, establishes the website. Mr. McDuffie, of the Archangel 8 Chess Academy, holds the first in a series of monthly scholastic and open tournaments in downtown Buffalo at the Main Place Mall with sponsorship from New York State Senator Antoine Thompson and the Alliance for Quality Education (AQE) group. Besides the local chess community, winners that month were Mark Johnson, Evan Ashton, and Rael Dolan in the Open, Grades 6-9, and Grades 3-5 sections respectively. January 2007 The Reverend Marijan Procyk begins a string of strong performances as he captures the open section of the monthly AQE event with a perfect 4/4. Randall Beach and Partho Bhattachayra won the Grades 3-5, and Grades 6-9 sections respectively. Procyk followed up with then winning the First Buffalo Blitz-zard event with an undefeated 6.5/7. February 2007 Father Procyk continued his winning ways by scoring a perfect 4/4 in the first monthly “free” event at the University of Buffalo and then capturing his second AQE event in a row with another perfect 4/4 score. That event was notable also for the emergence of an outstanding high school player Stephan Demjaneko who finished second after beating an experienced class B player as well as an expert rated player. The Grades 3-5, and Grades 6-9 sections were won by Austin Kossow and Yakun Hu respectively. Mostly, however, the event was important as it was a part of the chess activities of visiting USCF Scholastic and FIDE Director Mr. Jerry Nash, who was in town at the behest of our regional “chess ambassador McDuffie” to visit Buffalo and Niagara Falls area schools to promote scholastic chess in the area. Upcoming Events: April 7 Free Event at UB April 14 AQE event at the Main Place Mall April 21 Third Annual Stella Niagara-Excelsior Scholastic May 5 Free Event at UB June 9 &10 Queen City Chess Championships at Buffalo State College There is now no excuse for a chess player in the Buffalo-Niagara region to not be involved in over the board chess here. Perhaps even others in the state should consider coming here for future chess events. Faithfully submitted by the “chessdoctor” aka Dr. Mark Mieth


  1. Finally. Maybe we will be listed as chess club...

  2. Very nice write up. I hope, that brings in more to the club.

  3. Appriciate Mr.Harsih Srinivasan. Hoping to meet him when he is on a visit to India.