Record-Breaking Turnout at "The Cities"

The 54th Annual Greater New York Scholastic Chess Championships were held February 1-2 at the Marriott in downtown Brooklyn. The New York State attendance record was smashed as 1,640 players converged to compete in the 14 different sections. 5 Championship sections were each 6-round, 2-day events. The 9 varied rating-limited sections were each slightly more hectic 5-round, 1-day events, albeit with a quicker time control. Some players chose to go “all in” by playing 2 separate 5-round events. Many players chose to play “up” a section in order to help their teams in the championship sections. And the tournament ran on time, without a hitch. The “Cities” is a Kasparov Chess Foundation event, and as such, Garry Kasparov was on hand on Sunday, February 2 for a book-signing and to say hello to the many players and coaches that have come to know him as a resident of New York City. Kasparov Chess Foundation outsources the tournament directing functions of the event to the ever-capable Chess Center of New York, which in turn brings in loads of tournament directors to make sure that the event runs smoothly. As the original cap on the number of entries – 1,500 – was blasted through a week before the event, the magic 1,600 number was settled on, and even then, waitlists formed. Even same-day entries lined up at “chess control” couldn’t slow down the juggernaut that the Cities is, as coaches prepared their charges for battle starting at 10 am on February 1. A very popular feature of the Cities is that the top 4 players and top 2 teams in each section win months of free and reduced prize entries into Continental Chess tournaments. This allows promising young players to further develop their talents in major open tournaments, while enjoying huge savings in entry fees. At the Cities, these prizes are known as the “golden tickets!” The NYC High School Championship was as strong as it has ever been, headlined by IM Hans Niemann, who had just recently, in December, demolished the “Grades” with a 29-0 performance (including the bughouse and the blitz). But the electric Niemann draws competitors out like moths to a flame; the event featured 8 master-level-or-higher players. Two round 4 games featured players with perfect scores: Niemann converted his advantage of the two bishops against Max Lu, and Vincent Tsay did likewise against Wesley Wang.

[Event "Greater NY High School"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2020.02.02"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Niemann, Hans"]
[Black "Lu, Maximillian"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A50"]
[Annotator "Rohde,Michael"]
[PlyCount "67"]

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 b6 3. g3 Bb7 4. Bg2 g6 {This type of double fianchetto is
more commonly seen after Black plays ... c7-c5 to ensure more of a hedgehog
than a queen's indian formation.} 5. d4 Bg7 6. O-O O-O 7. Nc3 Ne4 {If Black
had played ... e6 and ... Be7 instead, this would be a common position. Here
Black could use a little more light square support in the center for this
maneuver, On the other hand, having double fianchettoed before playing ...
c7-c5, it is a little tough to figure out what to do against White's pending
threat to shut down the queen's indian bishop wit d4-d5.} 8. Bd2 Nxc3 9. Bxc3
Be4 10. Bh3 Bxf3 (10... c5 {is another way to forestall Nf3-d2.}) 11. exf3 c6 (
11... e6 12. f4 d5 {also acts against f4-f5, unless White agrees to the static
trade on d5.}) 12. f4 d5 13. f5 {Niemann has no trouble sacrificing a pawn to
create dynamic play.} dxc4 14. fxg6 hxg6 15. Bg2 Qd6 16. Qe2 b5 17. a4 b4 18.
Bd2 Qxd4 (18... a5 {is better and offers unclear chances after, for example,}
19. Be3 Bxd4 20. Rad1 e5 21. Qxc4 Rd8) 19. Bxb4 Qxb2 20. Qxc4 Nd7 21. Rab1 Qf6
22. Qxc6 {Now Black's position is just grimy.} Rad8 23. f4 Qd4+ 24. Kh1 Rc8 25.
Qf3 Nc5 26. Rfd1 Qc4 27. f5 Rfd8 {Under subtle but heavy pressure, Black
blunders as after this he suddenly cannot properly use the d4 square for his
queen.} 28. Rdc1 {A skewer which wins because of a subsequent skewer.} Qd4 29.
Bxc5 Rxc5 30. Rd1 {Now Black suffers heavy losses.} Rxf5 31. Rxd4 Bxd4 32. Qb7
Bc5 33. Qc7 Rd2 34. g4 1-0


[Event "Greater NY High School"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2020.02.02"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Tsay, Vincent"]
[Black "Wang, Wesley"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E18"]
[Annotator "Rohde,Michael"]
[PlyCount "100"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3. g3 b6 4. Bg2 Bb7 5. c4 Be7 6. O-O O-O 7. Re1 d6 (7... d5
{would be the most Classical move here. Black ends the debate over who will
control e4, and in return accepts a stodgy central posture. But the move also
renders White's Rf1-e1 useless.}) 8. Nc3 c5 {A risky strategy considering that
the queen's indian bishop gets shut down.} 9. d5 exd5 10. Nh4 Qc8 11. cxd5 Ne8
12. e4 Bxh4 {White has a clear advantage here. His better center and two
bishops more than make up for the doubled h-pawns.} 13. gxh4 Nd7 14. Bf4 Qd8
15. Bg3 a6 16. a4 Kh8 17. Qe2 Qe7 18. Rad1 {This potentially threatens 19 e5
dxe5 20 d6, and so it coaxes forward the following weakness.} f6 19. Rd2 Nc7
20. h5 b5 21. Nd1 {Tsay artfully engineers the arrival of this knight on f5.}
c4 22. Ne3 Ne5 23. Nf5 Qd7 24. Qe3 Nxd5 25. exd5 Qxf5 {At first this breakout
seems satisfactory, but d6 is still falling.} 26. h6 Qg6 27. Qb6 Qxh6 28. f4
Bc8 29. fxe5 Qxd2 30. e6 b4 31. Qc6 Rb8 (31... Bxe6 {is also insufficient, as
White's two bishops plus passed pawn against the rook will win more material.})
32. e7 Bf5 33. exf8=Q+ Rxf8 34. Qxc4 h6 35. Qxa6 Qxb2 36. Qxd6 {White emerges
a piece ahead, althouh he still faces a tricky technical task.} Rc8 37. Qf4 Bd7
38. Bf2 Qc3 39. Qg3 (39. Rf1 {looks nice but} b3 40. Bd4 Qb4 {still poses
problems.}) 39... b3 40. Qxc3 Rxc3 41. a5 b2 42. Be4 Ra3 43. Rb1 f5 44. Bc2
Rxa5 45. d6 Rd5 46. Bg3 g5 47. Rxb2 f4 48. Be1 Rxd6 49. Bc3+ Kg8 50. Rb8+ Kf7 {
Black fell on time; 51 Bb4, for example, is still of course good for White.}

Then in a wild round 5 encounter, Tsay held Niemann to a draw.

[Event "Greater NY High School"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2020.02.02"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Tsay, Vincent"]
[Black "Niemann, Hans"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A49"]
[Annotator "Rohde,Michael"]
[PlyCount "145"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. g3 Bg7 4. Bg2 O-O 5. O-O d6 6. b3 {Tsay's favorite
anti-King's Indian line. There are some subtle differences between this move
and 6 c4.} a5 (6... c6 7. Bb2 Bf5 {is not so good here, as White having held
the knight back from c3, Black cannot create knight contact with ... Nf6-e4
makes this a little awkward.}) (6... Nbd7 7. Bb2 e5 8. dxe5 Ng4 9. c4 {is
essentially the main line, but White can still retain a quiet pull sometimes.})
7. Bb2 a4 8. c4 Nbd7 9. Qc1 c5 10. e3 Qb6 11. Nbd2 Qa6 {extremely edgy: the
queen is going to support the b-pawn push?} 12. Bc3 b5 {But what about the
giant liability on the diagonal - can Black really get away with this?} (12...
Rb8 13. b4 b5 {doesn't really work:} 14. cxb5 Qxb5 (14... Rxb5 15. bxc5 dxc5
16. Rd1) 15. bxc5 dxc5 16. Rb1) 13. dxc5 Nxc5 14. cxb5 Qxb5 15. Nd4 Qa6 16. b4
{Niemann was willing to make a generic Exchange sacrifice in order to get
light square compensation, but instead the exposure of the rook on a8 is
leading to different tactical problems.} Nd3 17. Qb1 Ne5 {Not only is the
retreat necessary, but also, Black must cover the c6 square.} 18. b5 Qa7 19. b6
Qa6 20. b7 Rb8 21. bxc8=Q Rfxc8 22. Qc2 Rc5 23. Nb1 (23. Rad1 {seems strong
here, getting out of the corner and watching the d3 square. White can play
Nc3-b1 next.}) 23... Nd5 24. Bxd5 Rxd5 25. a3 {A blunder.} (25. Qe2 {is most
logical, covering f3. Then} Qa8 26. e4 Rc5 27. Rc1 {and White is consolidating.
}) 25... Rxd4 26. Bxd4 Nf3+ 27. Kg2 Bxd4 (27... Qa8 {is winning here;} 28. e4
Nxd4 29. Qd3 Rb3 30. Nc3 Rxc3 31. Qxc3 Nb3) 28. Ra2 Qb7 29. e4 Ne5 30. Nd2 {
The players soldier on. Black now as a pawn for the Exchange.} Qa8 31. Rc1 f5
32. f4 Nf7 33. Qd3 e5 34. Rac2 Bc5 35. Qf3 Qa6 36. Rb1 Re8 37. Qf1 (37. exf5
gxf5 {is still a tense battle.} (37... exf4 38. Nc4)) 37... Qa8 {Suddenly
Black is winning the e-pawn.} 38. Qc4 exf4 39. gxf4 fxe4 40. Rcb2 Qc6 41. Rb7
d5 42. Qb5 Qc8 43. Qd7 Qxd7 44. Rxd7 Nd6 45. Rc1 Be3 46. Rcc7 Nf5 47. Nf1 Bxf4
48. Rb7 d4 (48... e3 {would have won, getting there first, before White gets
counterplay.}) 49. Ng3 Bxg3 50. hxg3 h5 (50... e3 51. g4 e2 52. gxf5 {and
White will have a perpetual.}) 51. Rb6 e3 52. Rxg6+ Kh8 53. Rg5 Re5 {Now the
position is insanely complicated as White's rooks battle Black's pawns.} 54.
Rxh5+ Kg8 55. Rg5+ Kf8 56. Rh5 Ke8 57. Ra7 Re7 58. Ra8+ Kd7 59. Rxf5 {Amazin
calculation by both players.} d3 (59... e2 60. Ra7+ Ke6 61. Rxe7+ Kxe7 62. Kf2
{would win for White.}) 60. Ra7+ Kd6 61. Rxe7 d2 62. Rff7 e2 63. Rxe2 d1=Q 64.
Ref2 Qd5+ 65. R7f3 Qe4 66. Kh3 Qh7+ 67. Kg2 Qe4 68. Rd2+ Kc5 69. Kf2 Qe5 70. g4
Qh2+ 71. Ke3 Qe5+ 72. Kf2 Qh2+ 73. Ke3 1/2-1/2

In round 6, Tsay defeated Max Lu, while Niemann could not get past the solid Justin Chen. Thus, Tsay reached 5.5/6 to become NYC High School Champion. Niemann and Max Jiahua Li tied for second at 5/6. Jericho High School won the Team Championship on tiebreak over Brooklyn Technical High School, both half a point over Columbia Grammar and Prep School.
Vincent Tsay (photo Ana Vivas)
After the tournament I had a chance to catch up with Vincent Tsay. I had played him recently in an IM norm event at the Marshall, and a couple of times before that, and Vincent had always struck me as a very solid and well-prepared player. Vincent told me that when he was 9 a friend of the family introduced him to chess. Three years later, he had become World Cadet U-12 champion! Now, as a 14-year-old 9th grader, Vincent was drawn to the Cities, first of all, for the prospect of winning a scholastic title and the free entries to major tournaments which the title confers, and also because of the challenge it represented, mainly due to the number of very strong competitors, but particularly because Hans Niemann was playing. In their complex round 5 game, after an unclear piece sac by Niemann in the late opening, Vincent thought he might be winning. But by move 27, Niemann had engineered a strong attack. Then an inaccurate sequence allowed Tsay back into the game and it was later drawn. Vincent tries to play “in the moment,” meaning he tries to and can adopt any style depending on what is most appropriate. He takes online lessons with the great teacher Gregory Kaidanov. Vincent is planning to utilize his “golden ticket” prizes at the upcoming Southwest Class, and also at Foxwoods in April. He likes the site, and likes to read endgame books and game collections. Vincent has one IM norm, and is very aware that as a 9th grader, the schoolwork and requirements will only become more intense in the next couple of years. He plans to play a lot this summer. Aside from all of the massive work that Vincent has put into chess, he spends almost as much time on music! Vincent is a classical pianist who has appeared twice as a soloist at Carnegie Hall!
Nico Chasin (photo David Hater)
The NYC Junior High Championship was won convincingly by Nico Chasin with a perfect 6-0 score. In round 5, Nico was in major trouble against Liran Zhou, but was able to artificially castle, and the clock came to Chasin’s aid, as Zhou could not figure out how to break through.

[Event "Greater NY Junior High"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2020.02.02"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Chasin, Nico"]
[Black "Zhou, Liran"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E44"]
[Annotator "Rohde,Michael"]
[PlyCount "152"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 b6 5. Nge2 Bb7 6. a3 Be7 7. Qc2 d6 (7... d5
{is more standard as there is a lot to be said for stopping White from playing
e3-e4, which also mobilizes the c1 bishop.}) 8. e4 Nbd7 9. f3 (9. Ng3 {is a
cleaner form of develoment} h5 10. Be2 h4 11. Nf1 {looks good for White.}) 9...
O-O 10. Be3 c5 11. d5 exd5 12. cxd5 {In Queen's Indian formations, shutting
down Black's light-squared bishop is a major priority. But here 12 exd5 leads
to the objection that White's f2-f3 has weakened the e-file. So Chasin heads
into a less stable Benoni formation.} Ba6 13. b4 (13. Ng3 Bxf1 14. Nxf1 {
aiming for d2 with the knight, is more advisable.}) 13... Bc4 14. h3 Ne5 15.
Rd1 Nh5 {A series of extravagant moves has landed White in very hot water.} 16.
bxc5 bxc5 17. Kf2 {Artificial castling is under way.} Rb8 18. Rb1 Bd3 19. Rxb8
Qxb8 20. Qd1 f5 (20... Qb2 {has to be a candidate move here.}) 21. exf5 Bxf5
22. Kg1 Bg6 23. f4 Nc4 (23... Nd3 24. g3 {does not achieve anything for Black.}
) 24. Bc1 Nb2 25. Qd2 Nd3 {A good maneuver to corral White's bishop.} 26. g3
Bf6 27. Bg2 Bd4+ {A mistake, putting the bishop in harm's way just for dubious
chances with the new d-pawn.} (27... Qb3 {still leaves Black with the
advantage.}) 28. Kh2 Re8 29. Nxd4 cxd4 30. Ne2 Nxc1 31. Rxc1 {Suddenly all the
clouds over White's position have vaporized into thin air.} d3 32. Nd4 Qb6 33.
Qc3 Nf6 34. f5 Bf7 35. Qxd3 Nxd5 36. Rc6 Qb2 37. Ne6 Nf6 38. Rxd6 {White takes
a one-pawn advantage and doesn't let go.} Qe5 39. Rd8 h5 40. Rxe8+ Nxe8 41. Qd4
Qxf5 42. Nd8 {A finely calculated sequence.} a5 43. Nxf7 Kxf7 44. Bd5+ Ke7 45.
Qc5+ Kd8 46. Qxa5+ Ke7 47. Qc5+ Kd8 48. Qb6+ Ke7 49. Qb7+ Kd8 50. Qb8+ Ke7 51.
Bg2 Nd6 52. Qc7+ Qd7 53. Qc5 g6 54. Qg5+ Kf7 55. Qf4+ Ke7 56. a4 Nf5 57. a5 h4
58. g4 Qd6 59. Qxd6+ Nxd6 60. a6 Nb5 61. Bf1 Na7 62. Kg2 Kd6 63. Kf3 Ke5 64.
Ke3 g5 65. Kd3 Kd5 66. Bg2+ Ke6 67. Kd4 Kd6 68. Bb7 Nb5+ 69. Ke4 Ke6 70. Bc8+
Ke7 71. Kf5 Nd6+ 72. Kxg5 Nxc8 73. Kxh4 Kf6 74. Kh5 Kg7 75. g5 Na7 76. Kg4 Nc6

And in round 6, Chasin defeated Merric Hu in an aesthetic interpretation of the Taimanov Sicilian. Nest + m School won the Team Championship, a point over Jericho Middle School and Hunter College High School.

[Event "Greater NY Junior High"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2020.02.02"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Hu, Merric"]
[Black "Chasin, Nico"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B47"]
[Annotator "Rohde,Michael"]
[PlyCount "98"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nc6 5. Nc3 Qc7 6. g3 a6 7. Bg2 h5 {
Nico distinguished this move, on which he said he had done some independent
work, from 7 ... Bc5, which he said he did not like. The idea is that he wants
to soften up g3 a little first.} (7... d6 8. O-O Be7 9. Re1 Rb8 {is what I
played against Merric in the last round of the Empire City Open in December.
Then he played 10 a4.} (9... Nf6 10. Nxc6 bxc6 11. e5 dxe5 12. Rxe5 {is
uncomfortable for Black.})) 8. h3 Bc5 9. Be3 Ne5 10. Bf4 {Played evidently to
allow the d4 knight to also dodge. But the pin is not strong because the real
issue is that there is nothing that can make the Black knight on e5 budge.} (
10. Qe2 {preserving castling options in both directions, is worth looking into.
}) 10... d6 11. Nb3 Ba7 12. O-O b5 13. a3 Ne7 {Already with a model Taimanov
position, Chasin chooses a dynamic role for this knight.} 14. Bxe5 dxe5 15. Nc1
h4 16. Kh2 Bd7 17. Qg4 Ng6 18. Nd3 Bd4 19. Ne2 Bb6 20. Rac1 Rh6 21. Qf3 Qd6 22.
Rfd1 Qe7 23. Ra1 Rc8 24. Rdc1 Qg5 {increasing the grip on the dark squares.}
25. b3 Ne7 26. Qg4 hxg3+ 27. Qxg3 Qxg3+ 28. Kxg3 Ng6 29. c4 f5 30. c5 Bd8 31.
exf5 (31. Nb4 {looking to get c5-c6 in with meaning, was the right way to
fight back.}) 31... exf5 32. c6 f4+ 33. Kh2 Bf5 {With the Black light-squared
bishop now joining the party, the kingside threats take precedence.} 34. Nb4
Nh4 35. Bd5 e4 36. Nd4 Nf3+ 37. Nxf3 Rxh3+ 38. Kg2 Rxf3 39. Nxa6 Bh4 40. Ra2
Rd3 41. Nb4 Rd4 42. c7 Kd7 43. Rac2 f3+ 44. Kg1 e3 45. Bc6+ Kd6 46. Bb7 Bxc2
47. Bxc8 Bxf2+ 48. Kh2 e2 (48... Rh4+ 49. Bh3 Bf5 50. Rc6+ Ke7 51. Nd5+ Kf7 52.
Nf4 {would stop the mate.}) 49. Nxc2 Rd1 0-1

I spoke to Nico after the event. Nico grew up in the chess milieu of PS 41, which is a block away from the Marshall Chess Club. Now as a 7th grader at Baruch Middle School, where his new friends are mostly non-chess-players, Nico has many diverse interests. He loves playing ping-pong (table tennis) and, in contrast to most chess players, enjoys public speaking. Nico also plays the flute, and his other favorite sport is running. Amazingly, Nico has been studying chess with Georgi Kacheishvili for 6 or 7 years! He is appreciative that, in response to his victory in becoming NYC Junior High Champion, Georgi didn’t mince words with congratulations, and instead told him that he “played terribly” and that they needed to get back to work! When I pointed out to Nico that, like him, I had played Merric Hu in a last-round game (at the Empire City Open) in which Merric had played his favorite fianchetto against the Taimanov Sicilian, Nico generously shared some of his own home-cooked analysis. And often at the Marshall, if I get away with some cheap win against someone, Nico will, in true Kacheishvili style, be there with the report that in fact, Stockfish says that I was actually dead lost! In the Elementary Championship, Liam Putnam and Brewington Hardaway each won their first 4 games. Then in round 5, Putnam defeated Iris Mou while Hardaway won against Chloe Gaw. This set up a showdown between Putnam and Hardaway in round 6. Hardaway secured an edge as Black in a Sicilian after Putnam mixed up his lines. However, Putnam held steady and the game was agreed drawn on move 34. Meanwhile, Alexander Wang, who had 4.5/5, won against Iris Mou and thus a 3-way tie between Putnam, Hardaway and Wang at 5.5/6 resulted. Putnam won the 1st place trophy on tiebreak. Speyer Legacy School, led by Hardaway, won the Team Championship, a half-point over Lower Lab School and a full point over Success Academy Hudson Yards.

[Event "Greater NY Elementary"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2020.02.02"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Putnam, Liam"]
[Black "Hardaway, Brewington"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B42"]
[Annotator "Rohde,Michael"]
[PlyCount "67"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 a6 5. Bd3 Qc7 6. O-O Nf6 7. Qe2 d6 8. Kh1
Be7 {One of the issues in the Kan is that White is allowed to play c2-c4
unperturbed. Here would be a good moment for White to avail himself of that
option, or simply play Nb1-c3.} 9. a4 Nbd7 10. Na3 {Liam said after the game
that he mixed up some lines. Now Black begins to get a good game.} O-O 11. Rd1
Nc5 12. b3 d5 13. e5 Nfe4 14. Bb2 f6 15. f3 Ng5 16. f4 Nge4 17. Nf3 fxe5 (17...
f5 {can also be played, although Brewington's move is more ambitious.}) 18.
fxe5 Bd7 19. Rac1 Qb6 20. Bd4 Qd8 21. Nb1 Be8 22. Rf1 Bh5 23. Rcd1 Qe8 24. Qe3
Rc8 25. Rde1 Bg6 26. Be2 h6 27. c4 Kh7 {Both sides' pieces seem to be on their
optimal squares.} 28. cxd5 exd5 29. Rc1 Ne6 30. Nbd2 Kg8 31. Nxe4 dxe4 32. Nd2
Rxf1+ 33. Nxf1 Rd8 34. Rd1 1/2-1/2

Liam likes to play in a lot of tournaments and can often be seen at the Marshall Chess Club in New York City. Liam’s mom and dad share the driving duties from his home in eastern Long Island. This also often means a late-night drive home as well. Denizens of the Marshall CC have had the privilege of watching Liam become a master, and it also has become very clear that Liam enjoys the blitz and banter of the Club. Liam is home-schooled and currently studies chess 4 hours a day. He used to take online lessons with Larry Christiansen, and it seems to me that part of Liam’s attacking style derives from the Christiansen influence, but he feels that he is making good strides with positional chess as well. Liam said that online lessons are as good as in-person lessons, and nothing was lost in translation. However, he has chosen for now to study chess on his own. Regarding the openings, Liam feels that he knows both a little about a lot of different openings, and a lot about a select few. His favorite book is Bobby Fischer’s My 60 Memorable Games. Liam plans on using the golden ticket for one thing to go to the Southwest Class. His favorite player is Levon Aronian, although he also stays abreast of the games of Carlsen, Caruana and Nakamura. In his last round game against Brewington, Liam actually mixed up some lines against Hardaway’s Sicilian Kan, and Brewington got the better position. Liam fought back, and in a tense position on move 31, the players agreed to a draw, thus both tying for first. Liam’s favorite sport is basketball.
Brewington Hardaway (photo Ana Vivas)
Brewington Hardaway is a 5th grader at Speyer School. In addition to becoming NYC Elementary Chess Co-Champion, he led Speyer to a first-place team victory as well! At Speyer, Brewington studies with John Fedorowicz, and when he gets a chance, he takes lessons with Jay Bonin at the Marshall. Jay has always been very complimentary of Brewington’s tactical ability. I am not sure, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Brewington becomes a puzzle rush enthusiast. In the last year, Brewington has gained 300 rating points and became a master, so it looks like he is becoming well-rounded stylistically. Brewington commented that the 4th round of this event was a tough round for his team, and that made the race for the team prize close, but that then his team rebounded. He seemed to relish the leadership role that this event allowed him to play. In his critical last-round game against Liam, Brewington skillfully parlayed his Sicilian center into an advantage, and pressed it as much as reasonably possible before settling for the draw. On the trip to Florida for the “Grades” a couple of months ago, I sat near Brewington and his family on the plane, and Brewington never seemed to tire of playing blitz chess on his device. Brewington says that he is going to use his golden ticket for the World Open and some other tournaments in the Northeast. Right now I am more worried about facing him in a blitz tournament. In the Primary Championship, both Daniel Kastioukevitch and pre-tournament favorite Bobby Qian posted perfect 6-0 scores! Daniel won the playoff to become NYC Primary Champion! Dalton School won the Team Championship. In the K-1 Championship, Kyle Dong took first place with a score of 5.5/6. 6 players tied for 2nd place with 5 points. Hunter College Elementary School won the Team Championship. A full list of individual and team prize winners, and games from the top boards, is available at the tournament website In addition to the Championship sections, the website details the results of: High School U1900, High School U1200, Junior High U1300, Elementary U1500, Elementary U1100, Elementary U700, Primary U1000, Primary U600, and K-1 U400.
Kasparov, Kimberly Doo, Karsten McVay, Michael Khodarkovsky (photo Doo)
This year, for the first time at the Cities, the World Chess Hall of Fame had a display of some of its chess sets and artifacts. Girls’ chess was represented by Kimberly Doo and Karsten McVay under their new project, Girls 2 Grandmasters. The event ran smoothly due to the efforts of: Michael Khodarkovsky of the Kasparov Chess Foundation, Steve Immitt of Chess Center of New York, and the CCNY team including – Dave Hater, Korey Kormick, Bob Messenger, Jabari McGreen, Hector Rodriguez, Michelle Martinez, Harold Stenzel, Aris Marghetis, Polly Wright, Martha Underwood, Noreen Davisson, Maya McGreen, Al Lecours, Jaimie Melanson, Aiya Cancio, Ryan Velez, Karl Heck, Andre Harding, Ron Young, Harry Heublum, Mariah McGreen, Yvonne Scorcia, Anatoly Ostrovsky, Aaron Kiedes, John McManus, Jace Jones, Helen Xue, Jim Mullanaphy, Dominique Myers, Ebony Lea, Amadi Utak, Beverly Cabbarubias, Jessica MacArthur, Sophia Rohde, and Danny Rohde.


In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

This may have been the second-largest, non-national, USCF-rated tournament ever held (behind the 2016 State Scholastic Championship):

In reply to by Steve Immitt (not verified)

Behind the 2016 Texas State Scholastic Championship. My apologies for the error.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Just a stylistic preference! Let me suggest couple of slight improvements: 33.exf8=R+ instead of 33.exf8=Q+ in Tsay-Wang & 21.bxc8=R instead of 21.bxc8=Q in Tsay-Niemann. 1) In Tsay-Wang: promoting to a rook is BETTER, as it takes just a nanosecond to see that black's only legal move is to play 33...Rxf8 anyway. It avoids the slight trouble of having to grab an extra queen! 2) In Tsay-Niemann: Here the choice is a bit tricky, as no pieces have been captured. Getting up from the board to grab an extra rook instead of queen would cause a bit of a sensation (or at least, a laugh) and also it takes a microsecond to see that black had better recapture on c8 anyway. 1rb2rk1/1P2ppbp/q2p1np1/4n3/p2N4/2B1P1P1/P2N1PBP/RQ3RK1 w - - 0 21 I believe in the humorous aspect to underpromotion in cases like these, even though I've (almost!) broken my bad habits of underpromoting to a bishop. To be honest, my slight obsession with underpromotion might be a bit of an Ivanchuk thing :)

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