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The Second Annual Fall Scholastic Championships drew a total of thirty seven students, our most successful draw but not as many from chess teams. Team awards were withdrawn and the sections were revised to reflect a more balanced Swiss format.

Winners pictured above in the STAR SCHOLASTIC Section K - 4th grades sponsored by the Willie Hutch Jones Educational and Sports Clinics were Champion - Miles A. James, 3rd Grader at Olmstead #64 and Urban Knights Chess Club, 2nd Place - Kevin Farris, 4th grader from the Chess Club of Buffalo, 3rd Place - Adam Velaquez, Kindergarden at Ellicott Road Elementary in Orchard Park, 4th Place - James Velaquez, 1st Grader at Ellicott Road Elementary, 5th Place - Andrew Pencille, Upman School, Lockport NY.

Winners from the Main Liberty Group Section 5th - 8th grades were as follows, Pioneer Middle School dominated this section and remain the Middle School Champions for 2009. Leading the way was Champion Nathan Palmisano, Pioneer Middle, grandson of Thomas Warner, 2nd Place - Samuel Tillinghast, Pioneer, 3rd Place - Chris Darling, 4th Place - Nick Brennan, Pioneer and 5th Place - Spencer Rhyans, Westminister Charter and Urban Knights member, other 5th place honorable mentions were Carl Raymore, Pioneer, Nathan Schiener, Pioneer and Yamil Cruz, Enterprise Charter.

Winners from the Archangel 8 Chess Academy Section 9 - 12th grades, most of the players in this section were underclassmen, USCF rated members and were the most advanced from the total pool of tournament players. This section will be our first USCF Rated section. Champion - Benjamin Havey(1757), Kenmore Middle and the highest USCF rated player in the section, 2nd Place - Partho Bhattacharya(1242), City Honors, 3rd Place - Austin Kossow(895)Pioneer Middle, 4th Place - Richard Herko(941) Global Concept Charter and 5th Place - Ryan Madden(1598), Pioneer Middle. Other 5th Place honorable mentions were John Osborn, Chess Club of Buffalo, Colden NY and Trevor Cohn(761)Kenmore Middle and a Archangel 8 Chess Academy member.

Pizza and beverages were donated by contributions from George K. Arthur and Robert Simpson, Simpson and Simpson, LLC. Trophies donated by the Archangel 8 Chess Academy and The Wright Plaque Company, Kenmore NY.

A special thanks to the Enterprise Charter Chess Team for the Set Up, Marissa Herko, Maritime Charter and Richard Herko, Global Concept Charter for Clean Up, Chess Moms for Lunch, Mrs Herko, Dr Debbie Miller and moms from Pioneer Middle School. Outstanding Coach - Thomas A Warner for delivering a bus load of 14 players and parents. New female chess players were Lorena James, 5th - Nichols and member of the Urban Knights Chess Club, Julia Penchaszadeh Robert, 3rd - Olmstead #64, Jovanna Chambers, 2nd - Charter School for Applied Technology and member of the Urban Knights Chess Club.

Thanks to everyone for making the 2009 WNY Fall Scholastic Championship the most successful. Tell a Friend, Bring a Friend to Chess, start a club in your area. If you would like help or in need of group lessons, requests to We look forward to all returning in 2010.

Respectfully submitted, Michael A. Mc Duffie, Chess Ambassador


  1. Thank you for sharing this.
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