The Florida Panthers Partner with Champions Chess

On October 15th over 120 chess fans gathered for an amazing event at the BB&T Center in Sunrise Florida.  Steve Abrahams and Bryan Tillis the directors of Champions Chess LLC and Full-Time chess teachers at Franklin Academy-Palm Beach Gardens were able to partner with the Florida Panthers NHL Hockey organization for a day of chess and hockey.

bryan-steve Organizers Steve Abrahams & Bryan Tillis

The First event of the day was a K-12 USCF Rated 4 round Tournament.  About 50 students participated in this part of the day. The K-3 Section was won by: Cameron Coe 4/4


    The K-5 Section was won by: Nicholas Hillberg 3.5/4


    The K-12 Section was won by: David Thomas 4/4


The second event of the day was a Grandmaster Blitz Spectacle event.  Grandmaster Sandro Pozo Vera & Grandmaster Renier Gonzalez played against each other in a best three out of five 3-0 blitz match for the crowd.  The match was won by GM Gonzalez 3-0.

gm-pozo-vera-vs-gm-renier-gonzalez-1 GM Sandro Pozo Vera vs. GM Renier Gonzalez

Next the crowd got to see their coaches Life Master Tillis and National Expert Abrahams try their hand at taking on the GMs in 2 blitz games.  In four highly contested games, GM Pozo Vera was able to beat NM Tillis 1.5-.5 and GM Gonzalez was able to beat Expert Abrahams 2-0. [youtube]] And here is a crazy double edged draw between NM Tillis & GM Pozo Vera:

[pgn] [Event "Midwest Class"] [Site "?"] [Date "2016.10.25"] [Round "?"] [White "Tillis, Bryan"] [Black "Pozo Vera , Sandro "] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A12"] [Annotator "jensh"] [PlyCount "131"] [EventDate "2016.??.??"] [SourceDate "2016.10.25"] 1. Nf3 d5 2. g3 Nf6 3. c4 c6 4. Bg2 Bf5 5. O-O e6 6. d3 Nbd7 7. b3 h6 8. Bb2 Bc5 9. Nbd2 O-O 10. a3 a5 11. Ra2 Qb6 12. Qa1 Rfe8 13. Bd4 Bxd4 14. Qxd4 c5 15. Qb2 d4 16. Rb1 e5 17. Ne1 e4 18. Nxe4 Nxe4 19. dxe4 Bxe4 20. Bxe4 Rxe4 21. Nd3 Rae8 22. b4 axb4 23. axb4 Qg6 24. Nxc5 Rxe2 25. Qb3 Qf5 26. Rf1 Rxa2 27. Qxa2 Nxc5 28. bxc5 Qxc5 29. Qb3 Re7 30. Qd3 Rc7 31. Rd1 Qxc4 32. Qxd4 Qxd4 33. Rxd4 b5 34. Rd8+ Kh7 35. Rb8 Rc5 36. Kf1 h5 37. h4 Kg6 38. Ke2 Kf5 39. Ke3 f6 40. Rb6 g5 41. hxg5 fxg5 42. Rb8 h4 43. Kf3 Rc3+ 44. Kg2 hxg3 45. fxg3 Rb3 46. Rf8+ Kg4 47. Rb8 Rxg3+ 48. Kf2 Rb3 49. Kg2 Rb2+ 50. Kf1 Kg3 51. Rd8 b4 52. Rd3+ Kf4 53. Rd4+ Ke5 54. Rg4 Kf5 55. Rc4 Ke5 56. Rc5+ Kf4 57. Rc4+ Kf3 58. Rc8 g4 59. Rf8+ Kg3 60. Ke1 b3 61. Kd1 Rb1+ 62. Kd2 b2 63. Kc2 Rf1 64. Kxb2 Rxf8 65. Kb3 Rc8 66. Ka2 1/2-1/2[/pgn]
There were clearly some missed opportunities at the end of the game, but both players were well under 5 seconds for the last 10 moves. Clearly neither play had a problem with the game:

lm-tillis-vs-gm-pozo-vera LM Bryan Tillis vs. GM Sandro Pozo Vera

Next the students had their chance to play the GMs as well as their coaches in time odds games 3 minutes to 5 minutes for the chance to win prizes!    

instructors-vs-students GM Gonzalez, Expert Steve Abrahams, LM Bryan Tillis, & GM Pozo Vera take on all comers in 3-5 Blitz

Lastly everyone got the chance to relax and attend that night NHL Hockey Game between the Florida Panthers and the Detroit Redwings.


Please visit for more information about future events as well as more pictures and videos from the 10/15 event