Golden Anniversary NY State Scholastic Shatters Attendance Records

NY State Scholastic Champion, IM Nicholas Checa, at the 2016 Washington International
This year marked the 50th Anniversary of the New York State Scholastic Championship, and, as befits such a milestone, this year’s attendance shattered previous records.  Last year, the event had 948 players, which was the third highest number since MSA began keeping statistics in 1991.  The tournament had never broken the thousand player barrier---until this year’s total of 1165 players in eleven sections.  Looking at previous MSA history, only six tournaments have broken that barrier, and five of those were New York City Scholastic Championships! This year’s tournament was especially strong and featured one IM, three FMs, one WIM, and one WFM in the High School Championship section.  Overall, there were nine players over 2200 and twenty one players over 2000 in the 106 player High School Championship section.  The highest scoring NY player qualifies to represent New York in the Denker Tournament of Champions, and the highest scoring girl from NY qualifies for the National Girls' Tournament of Champions. Looking at pre-tournament seedings, one would have to think IM Nicholas Checa has to be one of the favorites to win the Denker qualification.  However, FM Ethan Li as well as National Masters Lev Paciorski, William Graif Jacob Chen, Henry Qi, and Warren Wang would also be out to contend for the spot.  Adding to the intrigue is the fact that half of the titled players were from Canada and could not represent at the Denker, but could certainly play the role of spoiler. For the National Girls' qualification, the odds on favorite has to be WFM Martha Samadashvili.  She outrated the next closest girl competitors by over 200 points. There were two sections of high school and the lower section is Under 1200.  This led to many mismatches on the first day.  Most of the top players started out 2-0, and it was only in round three there were experts playing masters on the top boards.  Even so, there would be nine perfect scores going into the second day which would feature master versus master pairings on the top few boards for the last three rounds. Four of nine players who survived the first day unscathed were Canadian: FMs Olivier Chiku-Ratte and Shawn Rodrigue-Lemieux, WIM Mali-Jade Ouellet and Ananda Saha.  The five New Yorkers with perfect scores were:  IM Checa, NMs Paciorkowski, Graif, and Wang and WFM Samadashvili.  After Sunday morning, the perfect scores were down to four, but there were four players following by half a point.  Top seeded FM Chiku-Ratte, 2nd seeded IM Checa and 4th and 5th seeded NMs Paciorkowski and Graif all stood at 4-0.  Third seeded FM Ethan Li gave up a draw in round three but he led the group at 3 ½ points with NMs Chen, Qi and expert Brian Arthur being the other players with 3 ½. Round five was the round that really started to separate the players.  NM Lev Paciorkowski defeated FM Olvier Chiku – Ratte on board one.
[pgn][Event "New York State Schol-ch50 HS"]
[Site "Saratoga Springs,NY"]
[Date "2017.03.12"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Paciorkowski, Lev"]
[Black "Chiku Ratte, Olivier"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E75"]
[WhiteElo "2343"]
[BlackElo "2516"]
[PlyCount "87"]
[EventDate "2017.03.11"]
[EventRounds "6"]
[EventCountry "USA"]1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Be2 O-O 6. Bg5 c5 7. d5 e6 8. Nf3
exd5 9. exd5 h6 10. Be3 Bf5 11. O-O Ne4 12. Nxe4 Bxe4 13. Qd2 g5 14. Bd3 Bxd3
15. Qxd3 Nd7 16. Rab1 g4 17. Nd2 f5 18. f4 Qf6 19. Rfe1 a6 20. a4 b6 21. Nf1
Qf7 22. Bf2 b5 23. axb5 axb5 24. cxb5 Ra4 25. b4 Rxb4 26. Rxb4 cxb4 27. Qc4 Nf6
28. Re6 Ne4 29. Be3 Qb7 30. b6 Kf7 31. Ng3 Rc8 32. Qd3 Rc3 33. Qb5 Qc8 34. Nxe4
fxe4 35. b7 Rc1+ 36. Kf2 Rc2+ 37. Kg3 Qd8 38. Qe8+ Qxe8 39. Rxe8 b3 40. b8=Q b2
41. Re6 Bf6 42. Qe8+ Kg7 43. Rxf6 Kxf6 44. Bd4+ 1-0[/pgn]
On board two Checa defeated Graif in a complicated rook ending.
[pgn][Event "New York State Schol-ch50 HS"]
[Site "Saratoga Springs,NY"]
[Date "2017.03.12"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Checa, Nicolas"]
[Black "Graif, William"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E17"]
[WhiteElo "2507"]
[BlackElo "2257"]
[PlyCount "97"]
[EventDate "2017.03.11"]
[EventRounds "6"]
[EventCountry "USA"]1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 b6 4. Bg2 Bb7 5. O-O Be7 6. d4 O-O 7. Re1 Qc8 8. Bg5
h6 9. Bxf6 Bxf6 10. Nc3 d6 11. Rc1 Nd7 12. e4 Rd8 13. Qd2 a6 14. d5 c5 15. Bh3
Nf8 16. dxe6 Nxe6 17. Nd5 Bxd5 18. cxd5 Ng5 19. Nxg5 Bxg5 20. Qxg5 hxg5 21.
Bxc8 Raxc8 22. Rc3 g4 23. h3 gxh3 24. Kh2 f6 25. Kxh3 Kf7 26. Kg4 Rh8 27. Ra3
Ra8 28. Rc1 Rh2 29. Kf3 Rh5 30. Re3 Re8 31. b4 f5 32. bxc5 fxe4+ 33. Kg4 Rxd5
34. cxb6 Rb5 35. Rc6 d5 36. a4 Rb4 37. Kf5 g6+ 38. Rxg6 d4 39. Re1 Rxa4 40. Rd6
d3 41. Rd7+ Kg8 42. b7 Rb4 43. Rc1 Rf8+ 44. Ke5 Re8+ 45. Kd6 d2 46. Rd1 Rb2 $2
(46... Rb8 $14) 47. Kc7 a5 48. R1xd2 Rb1 49. Rd8 1-0[/pgn]
This would setup Paciorkowski versus Checa on board one for the championship.  However, FM Li defeated Henri Qi in round five to emerge as the only player at 4 ½ since Chen and Arthur drew.  Li could tie for first if board one was a draw, but Li would be facing Chiku-Ratte on board two.  In addition to Chiku-Ratte, there were eleven other players at 4-1 including WFM Samadashvili.  Samadashvili was leading the girls but Ella Papanek was only ½ point back and there were numerous girls at 3-1.  Samadashvili also had a tough pairing in round six, facing Nate Shuman. On board one, Checa defeated Paciorkowski to clinch the section at 6-0.
[pgn][Event "New York State Schol-ch50 HS"]
[Site "Saratoga Springs,NY"]
[Date "2017.03.12"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Paciorkowski, Lev"]
[Black "Checa, Nicolas"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "D15"]
[WhiteElo "2343"]
[BlackElo "2507"]
[PlyCount "116"]
[EventDate "2017.03.11"]
[EventRounds "6"]
[EventCountry "USA"]1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 a6 5. e3 Bf5 6. Bd3 Bg6 7. O-O e6 8. Qe2
Bb4 9. Bd2 O-O 10. a3 Bxc3 11. Bxc3 Nbd7 12. Rfd1 Re8 13. a4 Bh5 14. h3 Ne4 15.
g4 Bg6 16. Be1 Qe7 17. Rac1 Rf8 18. Nd2 f5 19. f4 Nxd2 20. Qxd2 fxg4 21. hxg4
Bxd3 22. Qxd3 Qf7 23. Bb4 Rfd8 24. cxd5 exd5 25. g5 Re8 26. Bd6 Re4 27. b3 Qg6
28. Be5 h6 29. Rc2 Nxe5 30. dxe5 hxg5 31. Rg2 Qh5 32. Rxg5 Qf3 33. Rf1 Qxe3+
34. Qxe3 Rxe3 35. Kf2 Re4 36. Rfg1 Rxf4+ 37. Ke3 Rf7 38. Kd4 Re8 39. Rg6 Rfe7
40. e6 Rd8 41. Rh1 Rde8 42. Rhg1 Rd8 43. Rh1 c5+ 44. Ke5 d4 45. Rh2 d3 46. Rg1
Rde8 47. Rg6 b5 48. axb5 axb5 49. Kd6 c4 50. bxc4 bxc4 51. Rd2 Kh7 52. Rg4
Rxe6+ 53. Kd5 Re2 54. Rd1 Re1 55. Rd2 R8e2 56. Rg2 Rxd2 57. Rxd2 c3 58. Rxd3 c2
0-1[/pgn]
Li and Chiku – Ratte drew on board two.  This meant that Checa finished a point ahead of the field, and there would be a large tie for second at 5-1.   Checa and Li were seeded 2nd and 3rd in the tournament.  They would have been 1st and 2nd, except that in accordance with tournament rules and CCA policy Chiku-Ratte’s Canadian adjusted rating was used, and this was much higher than his USCF rating. In the end, there was an eight-way tie for 2nd and four of the eight had only one loss---to Checa!  Second place went to Graif, 3rd to Paciorkowski and 4th to Warren Wang, who lost to Checa in round four.  The 5th place winner was Samadashvili.  She displayed fine technique in defeating Shuman in a king and pawn ending.
[pgn][Event "New York State Schol-ch50 HS"]
[Site "Saratoga Springs,NY"]
[Date "2017.03.12"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Shuman, Nathaniel"]
[Black "Samadashvili, Martha"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "D02"]
[WhiteElo "2124"]
[BlackElo "2185"]
[PlyCount "116"]
[EventDate "2017.03.11"]
[EventRounds "6"]
[EventCountry "USA"]1. d4 d5 2. Bf4 Nf6 3. e3 c6 4. Nf3 Qb6 5. b3 Bf5 6. Bd3 Bxd3 7. Qxd3 e6 8. O-O
Nbd7 9. c4 Be7 10. h3 Ne4 11. Nc3 Nxc3 12. Qxc3 O-O 13. Nd2 Rfe8 14. e4 dxe4
15. Nxe4 Nf6 16. Nxf6+ Bxf6 17. Be5 Bxe5 18. dxe5 Red8 19. Rfd1 c5 20. f4 Qc6
21. Qf3 Qxf3 22. gxf3 Kf8 23. Kf2 Ke7 24. Ke2 g6 25. Rxd8 Rxd8 26. Rd1 Rxd1 27.
Kxd1 Kf8 28. Ke2 Kg7 29. Kf2 Kh6 30. a3 a5 31. h4 Kh5 32. Kg3 h6 33. Kh3 g5 34.
hxg5 hxg5 35. Kg3 gxf4+ 36. Kxf4 Kh4 37. Ke3 Kg3 38. f4 Kh4 39. Kd3 Kh3 40. Kd2
Kg4 41. Ke3 Kg3 42. a4 b6 43. Ke4 Kf2 44. f5 Kg3 45. fxe6 fxe6 46. Ke3 Kg4 47.
Ke4 Kg5 48. Kf3 Kf5 49. Ke2 Kxe5 50. Ke3 Kf5 51. Kf3 e5 52. Ke3 e4 53. Ke2 Kf4
54. Kf2 e3+ 55. Ke2 Ke4 56. Ke1 Kd3 57. Kd1 e2+ 58. Ke1 Ke3 0-1[/pgn]
The remaining individual trophies were won by Derek Chen, Rodrigue-Lemieux, Max Li, FM Ethan Li, and FM Chiku-Ratte. Edgemont Junior/Senior High School won the team title with 17 ½ points as they had three players finish in the tie for second: Graif, Chen, and Max Li.  They were joined by teammate Yura Lemin. Traditional powerhouse Edward R. Murrow was runner up with 16 points. As noted, Checa will represent New York in the Denker and Samadashvili in the National Girls' Tournament.  Since they are presently in 9th and 7th grade respectively, they will have many years to defend their titles! The Junior High School Championship was not quite as strong, but was still quite competitive.  There were two masters and a total of 11 players over 2000.  The top two seeded masters Justin Chen and Wesley Wang would obviously be the favorites to win the right to represent New York in the Barber tournament. The Junior High School also had only one section.  In addition, there was a middle school reserve section, limited to players under 1000.  This led to many mismatches in the JHS Championship section particularly in the first two rounds.  Some of the top seeds gave up a draw along the way, and there were a few upsets. Going into the final three rounds on Sunday, there were four perfect scores, including the top two seeds.  One of the four-pointers was Steven Xue from IS 318.  He upset 11th seeded Marcello Berger in round three and 6th seeded Brandon Wang in round four.  In round five, he would face second seeded NM Wesley Wang, and this time the higher rated won. On board one, NM Justin Chen was playing fourth grader Nico Chasin.  Nico could have played in the Elementary Championship where he would have been the favorite as the first seed, but chose to play up a section.  Chen won the game, setting up a final round match-up between the top two seeds for first place.  There was one player trailing by half point---4th seeded Vincent Tsay, who is a sixth grader also playing up a section. He drew in round three and would face 3rd seeded Francis Durrette from Quebec.  Tsay won the game and could tie for first if the top players drew, but top seeded Justin Chen did defeat 2nd seeded Wesley Wang to win first place and the right to represent New York at the Barber Championship. Tsay finished in clear 2nd, and Wang took 3rd on tiebreaks over a group of players at 5-1 including: Justin Dalhouse, Katherine Davis, Sophie Morris-Suzuki, Ethan Gu, Daniel Levkov, and Sam Santora.  Nico Chasin drew his last round game to finish at 4 ½ and had the highest tiebreaks to take the 10th place trophy. The team championship went to a familiar school:  IS 318 won first place on tiebreaks over NYC Lab Middle School for Collaborative Studies.  Both schools finished with 17 points.   Lab was led by Justin Chen, but only had five players.  IS 318 had more depth with 14 players which proved to be the difference. The Elementary Championship was also won with a 6-0 score, but this result was somewhat more surprising.  Two of the top three seeds were from Canada and not eligible for the state title.  There were three sections of Elementary school students, and there were a few more upsets leading up to the last day. Going into the last round, there were only two players at 5-0, top seeded Tyler Tanaka from Quebec and 15th seeded Hamilton Shillingford from Dalton in New York City.  Shillingford had just defeated 5th seeded Yassamin Ehsani in round five to set up the championship game.  Even though Shillingford was over 400 points lower rated, he won the game finishing in clear first at 6-0.  Tanaka had the best tiebreaks of the 9 players at 5-1 and took the second place trophy.  Shillingford also led his team to the championship as Dalton won on tiebreaks over IS 318.  Both schools finished with 16 ½ points. In the Primary Championship, top seeded Liam Putnam was 5-0, going into the last round,  and only needed a draw to secure clear 1st place.  He won to finish 6-0, a point ahead of the field.  One of the amazing things is that Liam played in his first USCF rated tournament less than a year ago and only learned how the pieces move less than a year and a half ago!  Clearly, Liam has a bright future ahead of him!
NY State Scholastic Primary Champion, Liam Putnam
The team title was won by Dalton on tiebreaks over Nest.  Both schools finished with 16 points. The K-1 Championship was the only championship section where the winners were not 6-0.  John Moon, Reese Rutkoske, and Aliana Fausto all finished at 5-1 and are co-champions taking the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place trophies respectively. The mixed doubles prizes are open to players in the high school section, and this year’s 1st place mixed doubles team was Olivier Chiku-Ratte and Renee Scorcia.  Their team finished with a combined score of 8 ½ points. The bughouse tournament Saturday night drew 15 teams and was won by the team of Wang Chen and Anthony Saquisili with a perfect 4-0 score. On Sunday, there was a small Parents and Friends tournament.  Timothy Smolinsky out-rated the 2nd seed by nearly 800 points and not surprisingly he went 4-0 to take the 1st place trophy and gain half a rating point! Bill Goichberg and Continental Chess Association have been organizing this event in Saratoga Springs for many years.  The Chief TD was NTD Steve Immitt.  NTD David Hater was the overall floor chief.  NTDs Harold Stenzel and Susan Breeding, ANTD Bob Messenger, and Local TD Al LeCours were the floor chiefs of Elementary, Primary/below, High School, and Junior High School sections respectively.  Jabari McGreen and Hector Rodriguez III served as pairing chiefs.  Nineteen other tournament directors also worked the event including:  Taraqur Rahman, Ron Young, Bill Townsend, Hector Rodriguez IV, Brother John McManus, Anatoliy Ostrovskiy, Santhosh Abraham, Karl Heck, Eric Stenzel, Ernesto Rivera, Jace Jones, Steven Flores, Jaimie Jones, Harold Scott, Mariah McGreen, Maya McGreen, Kofi McGreen, Beena McGreen, and Polly Wright.  Ebony Tyleer, Jessica MacArthur, and Dima Teitelman assisted on results taking. The webmaster was Nils Grotnes. For more information, visit:

Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.

Plain Text Comments

Archives

Share Your Feedback

We recently completed a website update. If you notice a formatting error on this page, please click here.