Thursday, December 16, 2021

Holiday Chess Camp & Chess Club News/Tournaments for December 2021!

** Schedule Change ** The Rawle Farley Memorial Monday Night Chess League

The start date for the league has changed from January 3rd to Monday January 10th, 2022.  You can register now through January 10th at the Rochester Chess Center or call 585-442-2430.  For entries on 1/10/22 when games begin, please register no later than 6:30pm so we can form the teams.


Rochester Chess Center Chess Camp for the Holidays!  

Sign-Up for CHESS CAMP!

Because this is our 30th year of offering camps, our counselors are among the most experienced chess teachers found anywhere.  We coordinate daily activities and instruction to expand the students' chess skills.  Chess is known to teach logic, problem solving, analysis techniques, and will improve study habits.  These skills will carry over to school and career.  But the main reason kids come back is. . .  We have fun!!

Martin Luther King Day: January 17th

Register at the Rochester Chess Center or call 585-442-2430.  

Rochester New York Area Chess Leagues and Tournaments:

+The Rawle Farley Memorial Monday Night Chess League: The start date for the league has changed from January 3rd to Monday January 10th, 2022.  You can register now through January 10th at the Rochester Chess Center or call 585-442-2430.  For entries on 1/10/22 when games begin, please register no later than 6:30pm so we can form the teams.
+ The 42nd Annual Marchand Open: Web Link: 42nd Annual Marchand Open | US
Summary: Heritage Event, Enhanced Grand Prix, Junior Grand Prix. Bill Gray's Regional Iceplex (on the MCC Campus). Saturday, April 9, 2022 - Sunday, April 10, 2022. EVENT OVERVIEW. US CHESS GRAND PRIX POINTS: 150 (ENHANCED)
Dr. Erich Marchand requested that his "friends play chess in his memory". 5SS, G/120 d5. Location: Bill Gray's Regional Iceplex (on the MCC Campus), 2700 Brighton Henrietta Town Line Rd., Rochester, NY 14623. $17,000 Gtd. Open Section: $3000-2000-1300-800-500-300. Under2200 & U2000 each $800-475-280. EF: $90. U1800 Section: $1050-700-400. Under 1600 $700-400. EF: $75. U1400 Section: $580-360-240. Under 1200 $340-220. EF $65. U1000 Section: $350-220-140. Under 800 $175-115. EF: $55. Unrated players in the U1800 section can only win $330, in U1400 $195 & U1000 $100. No limit in Open. Balance to next prize winners. Free EF (deducted from prize) and $100 appearance award to all GM and IM if entered by 3/20. All EF add $20 after 3/20. All sections USCF rated. Ratings as in April Supplement. Bring sets, boards, and clocks – none provided. Food court and chess books & equipment sales available on-site. No smoking allowed in the Iceplex. Reg.: 8:30-9:15am. Rds.: Sat. 10-2:15-6:30, Sun. 10-2:15. One 1/2 point bye available in round 1, 2, 3, or 4 if requested at entry. Optional first round Friday, 4/8 at 7pm played at Rochester Chess Center (register by 6:30pm). Info: 585-442-2430. Mail entry to: Rochester Chess Center, 221 Norris Dr., Rochester, NY 14610. Email entry to: Web: Store Website: Address: 2700 Brighton Henrietta Town Line Rd. Rochester, NY 14623 United States. Sections: 4 Grand Prix Points: 150 Prize Fund: $17,000. ORGANIZER: Ronald Lohrman. Email: Phone: 585-442-2430 Website: Zttp://

Upcoming CCA Tournaments: 
Web Link: Online Registration for Chess Championships (

Niagara Falls Open Tournament Results

A large contingent of Rochester New York players participated in the 1st annual Niagara Falls Open Tournament held at the Sheraton Hotel in Niagara Falls, NY on the weekend of Nov. 19-21, 2021.  Here is the cross table Link: The United States Chess Federation - Player/Rating Lookup (Old format) (

A summary of results of Rochester players in the Niagara Falls Open will be posted soon.

Middlegame Masterclass From Zero to Master

Our club's National Master Matt Slomski has created a wonderful online class which can help you climb the ratings ladder to Master!  Through December 31, 2021, you can get lifetime access to the course for $30 (regularly $90).  Click the picture below to visit the page.

CCCR's 25th Annual Championship Results

Twenty-Eight members of the club participated in this year's annual Community Chess Club of Rochester championship tournament.  The annual club championship consists of four rounds of games played over four separate Wednesday nights (Oct. 6, 13, 20 and 27), with a Swiss G/80;d5 time control.  This is the second largest annual chess tournament in Rochester (with the largest being the Marchand Open). The highest rated player was 2015 club champion Clif Kharroubi (USCF 2130) followed by Toby Rizzo (USCF 2129). The range of USCF ratings among the club members was between 570 and 2130. Our club president Don Stubblebine who was also a club champion in 2010 also participated in the tournament. The tournament was directed by Chief TD Ron Lohrman of the Rochester Chess Center.  The assistant TDs were Mike Lionti and Ken McBride. The organizer was Mike Lionti.

In the final round this year, the same two chess players who played against each other last year played against each other again this year.  The outcome last year (2020) between Henry Swing and David Phelps was a draw, and David won 1st place by tie-break with Henry placing 2nd.  This year, David won the final round game resulting in a final score of 4 points, which was the only 4-point score in the tournament.  David Phelps now has 2 championships under his belt. Following two-time Club Champion David Phelps, we have Toby Rizzo in 2nd Place, Henry Swing in 3rd Place and Dale Janezic in 4th Place.  For the Section prizes, we have U1800 winner Oliver Valenti, U1500 Keshil Bilimoria, U1200 winner Howard Decker and U1000 winner Kaleb Holton.  Awards night was celebrated with a cake and other desserts on Nov. 10, 2021.

CCCR Championship Hall of Fame: David Phelps (2021-2020). Lev Paciorkowski (2019-2016). Clif Kharroubi (2015). Webster Kehoe (2014). Abraham Glasser (2013-2012). Doug Spencer (2011). Don  Stubblebine  (2010).  Isay  Golyak  (2009,  2006-2005,  2000-1999).  Igor Nikolayev (2003-2001). Matt Parry (2008). Craig LaSalle (2007). Andrey Kozitsky (2004). Jim Clague (1998). Mike Winans (1997).  

The online cross table can be found at this link: US Chess MSA - Cross Table for 25TH ANNUAL CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP (Event 202110277902)

More content will be added for this article.

Games: Coming Soon

Photo Gallery: Coming Soon

Cross Table


Updates in-progress... Check back soon for more information.

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

2021 CCCR Club Championship and other Events

The 25th Annual 
Community Chess Club Championship!
Oct. 6, 13, 20, 27

Eligibility: Community Chess Club members must have played a minimum of 10 games since  November 4th 2020 on separate Wednesday nights.   Entry fee ($12) by Sept. 29th 2021 .  Late fee add $5.  Food and snacks provided all rounds, pizza last round!  Door prizes too!
We will have rated games available for players unable to participate in the Club Championship.

The Rochester Chess Center has Chess Camp for two days during the Columbus Day holiday break: Oct. 8 and Oct. 11.
Call 585-442-2430 for Details and to Register - Join The FUN at Chess Camp! 

Other Tournaments Coming Up will be posted here soon.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Kids Chess Camp & Events at the Rochester Chess Center!



Call 585-442-2430 for Details and to Register - Join The FUN at Chess Camp! 

Click here for a link to the CAMP FLYER!

Camp is available to students age 5-13 years. All skill levels from beginner to advanced are encouraged to attend. Beginners who arrive without any knowledge of the game will become proficient players from their camp experience; advanced players benefit from sharing classes and experience with some of the top scholastic players in the USA.

Because this is our 30th year of offering camps, our counselors are among the most experienced chess teachers found anywhere. We coordinate daily activities and instruction to expand the student's chess skills. Chess is known to teach logic, problem solving, analysis techniques, and will improve study habits. These skills have obvious carry-over benefits to schooling and career. But, the main reason kids come back to our chess camps year after year is because...


Rochester Chess Center is located near Cobbs Hill Park, at 221 Norris Drive. There will be daily outings to the park for seasonal activities (Frisbee, soccer, hiking)... so dress for outdoor action.

We will post the Camp Flyers and Supplementary info here shortly.  In the mean-time, you can call for information or to register by calling the Chess Center at 585-442-2430.

Wednesday August 18th, 2021

A  Dual Chess 

Simultaneous Exhibition

With Community Chess Club Champion David Phelps

 and 2nd place finisher Henry Swing

Hosted by the Community Chess Club of Rochester

Registration: On-site Only @ Rochester Chess Center   221 Norris Drive Rochester NY 14610 585-442-2430   Entry Fee: $7 ($5 for CCCR Members).  Payment MUST accompany registration to reserve seat except for waiting list. Pizza, snacks, & beverages will be provided to participants

5:30-6:15 Pizza, snacks, soft drinks & coffee will be provided    
6:15pm Seating begins for the chess simultaneous exhibition
6:25pm Announcements/Instructions/Q&A
6:30pm Chess simultaneous exhibition begins

We have limited seating capacity for 28 players.  Please register on-site with any of our Tournament Directors at the Chess Center. Your entry fee (cash only) must be collected during registration.  Please arrive no later than 6:15pm on the night of the event (Aug. 18th) so that we may check you into your assigned seat.  Come earlier to enjoy the pizza and beverages that will be provided before the event starts.  All chess players of every skill level are encouraged to participate. Expert Players and above should add their name to the waiting list.  For those of you who are unable to participate in the chess simultaneous on Aug. 18th, you may still register for our regular USCF-rated G/80 d5 tournament during our regular registration period which is from 6:30pm to 7:15pm.

A  Dual Chess Simultaneous Exhibition is an event where two high-ranking Chess players compete against multiple players all at once. It is an exciting show of skill and endurance. When all games are finished, the tournament director will present a tally of the results and present prizes for challengers with wins or draws.


Opponents who achieve a draw will receive a hardcover chess scorebook (up to $12 value).

Opponents who achieve a win will receive a chess video DVD of their choice (up to $20 value). David and Henry will be presented with a base prize ($50) and an incentive prize for one of the following: No losses and no draws (a perfect score!) $100; No more than 9 points lost $50; No more  than 12 points lost $40.

Dual Chess Simultaneous Exhibition Rules:

- David and Henry play with white pieces on all chess boards.

- David and Henry will generally maintain an overall half-way distance between the total in-progress chess games.

- Each opponent will make their move only when either David or Henry approaches the chessboard.

- Each opponent will get one pass to have more time to make a move.

- Each opponent should write down the game moves on a score sheet until only 5 opponents left. When the game finishes, you can ask David and Henry to sign it.

- When 1 to 5 players are remaining, it is at David’s, Henry’s and the TDs discretion how much time the opponent will be given between moves; if the opponent is taking too long, David and Henry will work with the TD to speed up the game moves.

- David and Henry have the right to change his move until the moment he makes his move on the next board.
- No talking and kibitzing (including spectators) is permitted while games are in-progress; cell phones should be turned off or on vibrate to avoid distracting participants.

- The tournament director will assist to ensure all players follow the rules. If necessary, the TD may speed up late-running games with a clock or timer/stopwatch to blitz through the remainder of a game.

Other Key Dates for your Chess Life Calendar:
October Wednesdays: 2021 Community Chess Club Championship

Photos from the Chess Simultaneous 
held on August 18, 2021
Henry Swing congratulates TJ Weaver on TJ's win

David Phelps makes his rounds playing against 23 opponents

Henry Swing makes his rounds playing against 23 opponents

David Phelps congratulates TJ Weaver on TJ's win

Total participants: 23
Total time: 5 hours 15 minutes
Score for the David Phelps/Henry Swing Duo: 14W, 2D, 7L

Wins: TJ Weaver, Mars Dixon, Jason Peppers, Toby Rizzo, Nick Secours, 
Don Stubblebine and Peter Craig
Draws: Chris Mark and Eric Piato

Congratulations to all the players!
The 23 participants included unrated players and a top player rating of 2118.

A photo gallery link will be added soon.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

New Video: A draw with Dale Janezic

 In this latest video I look at my draw against Dale Janezic from the Monday Night League. Dale played extremely well, and actually the computer didn't see any mistakes from either side! However, I did make some minor positional judgement errors, which led me to not put as much pressure as I could have. That combined with my time management made the game quite interesting by the end, where I offered a draw in a position I thought I was worse in.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

New YouTube Channel! And some analysis from my games

 I have some exciting news - I am starting a new YouTube channel! In this channel I will be analyzing some interesting games that I play and explaining my thoughts during the game.

For the very first video on the channel, I looked at my game from the Monday night league against David Phelps.

To see it on YouTube, click here.

Friday, February 5, 2021

Imagination in Chess


Black to move. There is a powerful but well-camouflaged idea.

Imagination in chess is all about finding unexpected resources that catch your opponents by surprise. I was feeling inspired, so today I'm sharing a cool example from one of my own games that I played some time ago online (the time control was G/45 + 15 sec/move).

We will join the game from the following position (I am playing black):

Black to move.

The opening is coming to a close and already we have an unorthodox position. My development setup is a bit odd, but there is significant pressure against white's center. Before trying to decide what to play, let's first answer one simple question to understand the situation better: What does white want here?

This one question is actually all you need to answer in order to get to the heart of this particular position.

In reality the answer is quite simple: white would like to finish development and castle with Bf1-e2 and 0-0. Once that's done, he can start thinking about pushing d4-d5 to gain some space and push black's pieces around. Once white is fully consolidated, black's various structural deficiencies like the doubled f-pawns and isolated h4 pawn can become serious weaknesses. Also, black's king will struggle to find a good home. Castling kingside hangs the h4 pawn and going queenside will leave white perfectly situated to launch a pawn storm with b2-b4-b5. Black's minor pieces won't be able to defend the queenside easily, while both of white's bishops are perfectly lined up in that direction.

In other words, white wants to consolidate. If white finishes development and coordinates the pieces, then in the long run black is just going to be in trouble. What does this mean? It means black should do something active now! Already we can rule out slow ideas like Qd8-d7 followed by long castling. Just to illustrate how badly that can go, consider this continuation from the diagram:

16. ... Qd7?! 17.Be2 0-0-0? and already white can react strongly with 18.d5! After 18. ... Nc7 19.Qa5 a6 20.0-0 (D), my position would be very desperate:

Black's bishops are complete spectators with all the action happening on the queenside. White's attack will just be crushing.

If we go back to the first diagram, there's actually only one move I seriously considered, which I played after about 4 minutes of thought.

16. ... f4!? A mostly intuitive sacrifice. Throwing this pawn forward is the only way black can threaten anything in white's position, and the bishop on f5 now has an open diagonal. I wouldn't call this move imaginative yet because it's black's only real idea in the position, but let's see what happened next. White's response is forced: 17.Bxf4 Nxf4 18.Qxf4 (D)

Now those bishops look fantastic and black has something to work with. But white is up a pawn, and still wants to consolidate with Bf1-d3 and 0-0, after which black will once again be in trouble. So just like before, we have to keep making threats to continue the initiative. Knowing this, there are three moves we can consider that attack stuff: Qa5+, Bh6 and Bc2.

The natural 18. ... Qa5+!? is certainly appealing, and was the first move I looked at. After 19.Qd2 black can even regain the pawn right away with 19. ... Qxa2. But we shouldn't stop there - looking a bit deeper we will find that white still consolidates his position and after 20.Be2 0-0-0 21.0-0 (D) black is not too happy:

Suddenly the open a-file will benefit white! The threat of Ra1-xa7 is awkward to meet, and the queen will take many moves to get back into a useful position from a2. Once again, black's bishops look very nice but are not hitting anything and even block the g-file for the rooks. White has a serious advantage.

So that means 18. ... Qa5+!? 19.Qd2 Qxa2? is no good, and I wouldn't want to exchange on d2 either, since trading queens will just let white escape into an endgame a pawn up. OK, no problem, black has another intriguing resource in the position besides the queen check:

18. ... Bh6. This is a much stronger move, and white's response is again forced. Playing 19.Qg4? or 19.Qh2? would now walk into 19. ... Qa5+ 20.Nd2 Bc2 and black wins material. The game continues 19.Qe5! f6! I don't care how ugly it looks! Positional features don't matter right now; we are playing with the initiative and must continue to make threats! 20.Qc5 Bc2! (D)

Making an awkward threat against the rook, which has only one safe square on a1. Here we should notice some tactics - for instance 21.Qh5+?! might look tempting at first, but after 21. ... Kf8 black now threatens Bd2+! winning the queen and is still hitting d1, so white loses material.

In the game white played the natural 21.Ra1?! (D) which leads to the exercise position at the top. This is where the real imagination starts happening! If you haven't yet taken a crack at finding black's idea, then I would encourage you to go back and try it out.

The first thing we should notice about this position is that white's queen is extremely vulnerable on c5. Therefore, the first move I considered was 21. ... Bf4!?, with the fairly obvious threat ...Bd6 trapping the queen. However, this move doesn't attack anything else and gives white time to retreat 22.Qb4 after which the plan is once again to consolidate with Qc3, Bd3 and 0-0. I didn't like that, so looked for some other options.

21. ... Bf8!? also suggests itself, now threatening either ...e6 or ...e5 to trap the queen. This one is a little more interesting, as after 22.Qb4 I can still play 22. ... e5, hitting the queen and attacking d4. After white plays the natural 23.Qc3 I could keep going with 23. ... Be4 with the idea to take on f3 and then take on d4; however, white can play 24.dxe5 or even 24.Rd1 and things are far from clear. Black definitely has some play, but it turns out that there is a much stronger resource available than 21. ... Bf8!?. Black can change the move order around!

21. ... e5!! (D)

This one caught my opponent completely by surprise, as it just looks so ridiculous. With the king on e8, black willingly opens up the center! Chess is a concrete game though, and in this case the trapped queen on c5, plus my ability to play ...Qa5+ is more important than anything else. The threat is ...Bf8, which wins immediately. Even after 22.Nxe5? black still plays 22. ... Bf8!, when 23.Nxc6 Bxc5 24.Nxd8 Bb4+! saves the bishop and wins for black.

22.dxe5? The losing move. In a practical rapid game, I would call this position basically lost for white, since it is basically impossible to find the engine defense with just 10 minutes on the clock. Apparently, only 22.Qa3! still survives - my plan against that was 22. ... e4?! 23.Nxh4 Qxd4 (D), which looks like a crushing initiative for black.

Just when the white king is about to be mated in the center of the board, there is the brilliant tactic 24.Qe7+!! Kxe7 25.Nf5+ Kf7 26.Nxd4 which even leads to a worse endgame for black. You would have to spot this sequence from move 22 though, since without it, white is completely busted.

In the game, after 22.dxe5 I won quickly: 22. ... Bf8 23.Qe3 Qa5+ 24.Nd2 (24.Qd2 Bb4) 24. ... 0-0-0 (D)

Just in the nick of time, black's king is teleported away to safety. There is no defense to either Bh6 or Bb4, which win material. The finish was 25.Rc1 Rxd2 26.Qxd2 Bb4 0-1