Next Tournament

Sardinia Tournament this Saturday

Sat. April 3 At the Sardinia Community Center(Town Hall),12320 Savage Rd, Sardinia NY 2 sections: Adults: 3SS, G45, EF $10, Rds.:11am,1pm,2:30pm. Prizes based on entries Scholastic: 1-4pm Round Robin-Play as many games as possible in 3 hrs! EF$5, Trophy for 1st place. All Scholastic players will receive a prize! For info call Tom Warner 716-560-4160 E-mail
I found this article by IM Silman interesting. I like his humor and he gives good advice.

How to study annotated games?

I have heard every top chess player say something like this "I grew up studying so and so's games". How exactly do they study the game is the question? Firstly I presume it is annotated in a book. So how does one study annotated games? I have several books that have classic games annotated. My impression is that there are several ways to study and I am curious to know if there is one good way people recommend that is most beneficial in improving one's own game. Below I list some of the methods that I have tried -- I am hoping the chess teachers/players out there might have some ideas about this.
  1. Have a board and play the moves and all variations (and sometimes beyond the text). This seems to be the most obvious method to study. But I often get lost in the crazy lines given and more often I am looking from book to board -- back and forth to just make the move and often even lose track of where in the book's page I was just reading. Also it gets difficult to retrace the moves to revert to the main line. Sometimes a single annotated game takes hours with this method and at the end of it, I am not sure if I actually understood everything the annotator said.
  2. Dont use a board, but instead use the computer and do same as above. The advantage here is that you can retrace your moves very quickly. Here again looking back and forth from the book to the computer is tedious. I am not not sure if looking at the computer is as good as looking otb. With this and the one above, you will have to repeat the whole process if you want to take a look at the same game again.
  3. Another method that I sometimes do is blindly enter all variation with annotations into your computer without breaking your brain to understand it. Once it is done, just go over what you enter on the computer. This is like converting the book to a pgn. Well this is also very time consuming to enter all annotations. I wish they sell CD with the pgn along with every chess book
  4. Yet another way would be to enter the main line that was played into the computer and analyze the game yourself (without the book's annotation) -- entering variations and evaluations and finally comparing your analysis to the notes in the book. This sometimes seems fast, but quite often I enter variations not listed at all in the book and also miss several variations that are listed -- so I end up only comparing my evaluations on the very few positions in the book that overlapped with my variations.
Your comments/suggestions are welcome.

Free Scholastic Unrated event this Saturday

The following letter is from the Old Woodpusher- Mr. Gary Reynolds:
Chess Coaches and Mentors: This coming Saturday is the 12th Scholastic Chess Tournament. This is being hosted by the Hornell High School. Games will be played in the B-gym. Please have your students pre-registered, if at all possible, by March 25th. Need only the students name (spelled correctly) and the grade level. Send all registration data to the e-mail address below. 9:00 - 9:30 Registration and check in of players 10:00 - 11:00 Round-1 11:00 - 12:00 Round-2 12:00 - 12:30 Lunch (Pizza and Soda) Cost is $4.00 12:30 - 1:30 Round-3 1:30 - 2:30 Round-4 2:30 - 3:30 round-5 Historically we have finished ahead of schedule. We start each round as quickly as possible after the completion of the previous round of play. Awards and prizes at end of final round of play. Any questions may be directed to this writer. Scholastic Chess Tournament Director and CoordinatorGarry L. Reynolds4153 CR 1Friendship, New York 14739(585)973-7613 Home

2010 Niagara Falls Ontario Canada Open

I received an email from Ferdinand Supsup about an upcoming big tournament just across the border in Canada. Below are the details and also in this link There is often FM and IMs who compete in this event. City: Niagara Falls, Ontario Dates: April 10-11, 2010 Place: Niagara Shrine Club, 5621 North Street (next to Greater Niagara General Hospital) Rds: 5 Times: 9am, 12:30pm, 4pm / 10am, ASAP Type: Swiss, Standard Rated TC: Rds 1-3 G/90; Rds 4-5 30/90, SD/60 EF: $45, Seniors (65+) & Juniors (U18) $40 Prizes: $$BEN$$ Reg: By Email up to April 9th; By Regular Mail to be received by April 8th; John Erickson, 4 - 6453 Colborne St., Niagara Falls, ON L2J 1E7 Via Onsite between 8:00am - 8:45am on April 10th, Late fee of $5. Cash only at site. Misc: Non Smoking, CFC Membership required, Bring Chess sets and clocks, Juniors bring proof of age. 2 Half point byes available rounds 1-3 only.

Bishop Timon-St. Jude Open

Bishop Timon - St. Jude Open Saturday, March 27, 2010 Bishop Timon High School 601 Mc Kinley Parkway, Buffalo, NY Park in the back parking lot- the east door will be open. 3 sections: Open, U1500, and Scholastic Game/45 for Open and U1500; Game/30 for Scholastic 4 round swiss in Open and U1500; 5 round swiss for Scholastic EF: $20, $15 if received by 3-26-10 for Open and U1500 All Prizes based on entries. There will be a U1900 underprize in the Open section. Scholastic Section EF: $5 Registration 8:30-9:25 for all sections Rounds:9:30-11-12:30-2:00 in Open and U1500 sections; Scholastic: 9:30-10:30-11:30-12:30-1:30. No checks at the site and late entries will be forced to take a ½ point bye. Send advanced entries and inquiries to: Old School Chess Enterprises c/o Douglas Dubose 124 Military Road Buffalo, NY 14207 or email please let me know by email if you intend to play include USCF ID#,rating , expiration date,and section you wish to play in.

No Lucena or Bridge here

Many are familiar with the famous Lucena bridge building procedure to win the first of the two positions shown as white starting with Rd1+ and Rd4 next and then bringing up the king in a zig zag. But what about the second position. If we try the same approach it does not work since there is no bridge to build here :). for eg. Rd1+ Ke7 Rd4 Ra1 (black simply waits) Kc7 Rc7+ and white has no Kb6 here. So is there a win still for white in the original position?

1-0, 0-1 or 1/2-1/2 ??

White to move - Evaluate.

Katz wins again in Sardinia

Alanna Katz repeated her results from February and won the March 6 Sardinia tournament. She defeated Chris Darling, Pat Patterson, and Ryan Madden to win clear 1st. Excellent job again Alanna! Ryan Madden, Pat Patterson, and Mike Jocko tied for 2nd with 2 pts. Carl Raymore won the u1000 prize. In the Scholastic Section, John Osborne of Colden,NY went undefeated with 8 wins and 2 draws to win the trophy. Nate Schiener scored 8.5 to finish 2nd while Wes Darling and Francis Kilcoyne of Hornell tied for 3rd with 8pts. Todd Thompson, Luke Grisanti, Nick Brennan, Zach Madden, Max Peters, Bob Mahiques, Hunter Witt, and Sydney Dzierzanowski also competed.
Next Sardinia tournament is April 3rd. See you there!

Sardinia Tournament this Saturday

Sat. March 6 At the Sardinia Community Center(Town Hall),12320 Savage Rd, Sardinia NY 2 sections: Adults: 3SS, G45, EF $10, Rds.:11am,1pm,2:30pm. Prizes based on entries Scholastic: 1-4pm Round Robin-Play as many games as possible in 3 hrs! EF$5, Trophy for 1st place. All Scholastic players will receive a prize! For info call Tom Warner 716-560-4160 E-mail


In honor of the new Black Heritage 32nd postage stamp of Anna Julia Cooper, we will meet on Saturday, March 20, 2010. at The Main Place Mall, Upper Level, 390 Main Street, Buffalo, New York, 14201.

This event will be hosted by The Archangel 8 Chess Academy in conjunction with Buffalo Fire Commissioner-Garnell W. Whitfield, Jr.


Four Rounds, Swiss, Game 50, USCF Membership required.

Sections of play: OPEN, EF $20 v $35, Cash Prizes, $120 - $80, U1900 $75 and U1500 $80 and $50. Games Schedule at 9:45am, 11:30am, 1:15pm and 3pm. Discounted Advance Registration online to arcangel8chess@yahoo with full name, telephone number and USCF Id number no later than midnight, Wednesday, March 17th. Mail and make checks payable to Archangel 8 Chess Academy, 60F Guilford Lane, Buffalo, NY 14221 postmaked no later than wednesday, March 17, 2010, with full name, USCF Id number and section of play. Registration closes at 9:30am, CASH ONLY, No Refunds, No Checks! All late arrivals must take one half point Bye! Please be on time!

Buffalo College Section (College students only): Entry Fee $20, Cash Prizes based upon the number of entries. 5 Rounds, Game 30, USCF membership.

STAR SCHOLASTICS: Entry fee $10, 5 Rounds, Game 30, USCF rated, Registration closes at 9:30am, Games start at 10am, 11am, Noon, 1pm and 2pm.


Any questions, please email me at

Final Results - NY State Scholastic Championships 2010

A total of 362 players participated in the New York State Scholastic Championships in Saratoga Springs, New York over Feb 27 - 28th, 2010 at the Hilton Hotel.

Here is how our local players performed:

Starting with the Primary (K-3) Championships, Samuel Santora, Chess Club of Buffalo, 2nd grade, seeded 10th out of 45 players, finished 29th overall in his first state championship with a record of 2 wins, 3 losses, and 1 draw. Sam lost to players rated 967, 1023 and 1120.

In the Elementary Open Championship, The Pioneer Middle Team, coached by Thomas Warner, finished 7th among 13 teams and won a team trophy as one of the top eight teams. Team members were Austin Kossow who finished 44th overall, Chris Darling who finished 47th overall, Ryan Palmisano who finished 54th, Carl Raymore who finished 57th, and Nathan Palmisano finished 59th out of the 65 participants in this section.

In the Elementary Novice Championship Section competed by players rated U 800 and Unrated with a total of 72 players, the Pioneer Middle Team won 6th place and Kenmore Middle 7th place of the 13 teams entered. Pioneer Middle School student, Samuel Tillinghast finished 7th overall with 4.5pts, Trevor D. Cohn, 6th grade,Urban Knights and Kenmore Middle finished 11th overall with 4 pts, Zachary Madden, Pioneer Middle finished 31st with 3pts and Sean V. Mc Donough, 6th grade, finished 39th. Urban Knights and Kenmore Middle earned the 2nd place trophy of the Top 3 Unrated Section.

In the Junior High School Section of 61 players, Benjamin W. Havey, 7th grader at Kenmore Middle earned 7th place overall, with a record of 4 wins, 1 loss and 1 draw, Ryan Madden, Pioneer Middle finished 13th overall with 4pts. Meanwhile John Osborn, Chess Club of Buffalo, Colden, NY, tied for 1st Place in the U1200 undersection with 3pts and finished 35th overall. Wes Darling, Pioneer Middle finished 50th and Robert Becker, Pioneer Middle finished 55th.

In the High School Section of 86 players, The Bishop Timon Team coached by Bowers and Alanna Katz had some tough competition. Sean Jones finished 27th with 4pts, while Joe Covley was 39th, Michael Dupere 44th, Daniel Schieber 46th, Devin Shea 56th, Tim Leahy 63rd , Scott Wilson 65th , John Nelson 68th , James Harris 71th, and Jesper S. Kontinen an exchange student from Sweden was 80th.

WGRZ-TV is scheduled to interview the students now that they have returned home to get their views on participating in the Championships. More details to follow as they develop.

We want to extend our special thanks to the Times Union newspaper for the article, published Sunday Feb. 28th, about the Championships which pictured Sean Mc Donough, John Osborn, Samuel Santora and Trevor Cohn (seen at the top of this blog post). If you would like to read the articlce see or please email

To all the Moms, Dads, and coaches from WNY who helped our chess players a whole hearted Thank You.

My apologies if I left out anything but I did want to quickly share the Championship experience with the chess community.

I hope that everyone in The Buffalo Niagara region will make room to participate in the 2011 State Championships.

Submitted by Mc Duffie, Chess Ambassador