Tuesday, March 3, 2015

WEIBEL @ THE SUSAN POLGAR FOUNDATION NATIONAL OPEN FOR BOYS AND GIRLS

    This weekend, February 28 and March 1, 31 members of the Weibel Chess Team travelled to San Mateo to compete in the Susan Polgar Foundation’s National Open Championships for Boys and Girls.   This is the first time this event has been held on the West Coast.  We have Chris Torres of the Chess and Music Academy to thank for bringing the Championships to the Bay Area.  This was his first venture into running a large major tournament and he did a fine job.  Grand Master Susan Polgar and her husband Paul Truong brought their charismatic personalities and helped draw competitors from all over the United Sates and Canada to the event. 
  
 I admit I was amazed that so many of the Weibel Team players attended as this was not a required event.  Most of our top players were there and even without our full teams Weibel Chess proved that our program could compete with the best.  Our Teams finished first in the Under 12 Boy’s Division as well as the Under 8 and Under 12 Girl’s Divisions.  We lost to Mission San Jose Elementary School in the Under 10 Boy’s Division by a half a point. From my perspective as a coach I think our players in this section deserve loads of accolades as they accomplished this task without our second highest rated player being present and obtained their second place by finishing strong.  As many of you have heard me say for years, “our weakness is that our players cannot finish well.”  Our Under 10 Boy’s came from a fairly large deficit to almost winning the section.  I admit that I tried to bribe them by offering their team members an ice-cream party if they each could win their games in the last round.  They came close to succeeding with only one of the players losing his game.  The big question is, “Will they be able to do at the CalChess State Championship” against the very powerful Mission San Jose 4-5 Grade team.  All I can say is that I am looking forward to dishing out the ice-cream.
   
Our hero of the two day event was Shivangi Gupta.  She tied for first in the Under 12 Girl’s Division.  Since the winner of the section would obtain the right to compete in the World Youth Championships there had to be a blitz (fine minute chess) playoff between the top two contenders.  Chenyi Zhao, a Warm Springs Elementary School student who is one of the top girls in her age group in the United States with an 1861 rating was her opponent. Shivangi had defeated her in the fourth round. They both had five wins and one loss.  Shivangi’s rating is 1397.  I stood on a table to capture the blitz game on film.  As the time ticked away, Shivangi had a dominating lead and all felt she would get to go to the Youth World Championships.  However, in her aggressive speed play Shivangi overlooked a mating pattern Chenyi had created. Shivangi had to settle with a “wait until next year” and a memory that she had defeated Chenyi in their earlier game. 
   
As I have done in my recent articles I am only going to name the trophy winners in each section.  In the Under 8 Boy’s we had our poorest showing.  While I hate making excuses like I woulda, I coulda,
I shoulda, I am convinced we would have done a lot better if this were a required event for most of the players who had led us to our victories in the Age Level’s six and seven year old sections were not present.  This translates to “none of our players came home with trophies.”   The Under 8 Girl’s was a different story. Erin Law continuing her recent successes tied for second place, Chau-Ha Nghiem eighth place and Yesun Lee tied for ninth place.

Oliver Wu tied for third place in the Under 10 boys division winning five of his six games.  Louis Law and Dharshan Vetrivelan tied for 12th place winning four games each.   The Girl’s Under 10 was another Division in which we could have used a few of the Team players who selected not to attend.  Please do understand that when I write this I am not saying they should have been there.  Out main   goals this year are to win our State championship and the all-Girls Nationals.  Any victories at the Polgar were a bonus and preparation for those upcoming events. Isha Varada, who I noted in my article on the Age Level surprised me with her success, proved it was no fluke.  She took home a ninth place trophy.  Prisha Jain tied for 11th.

My special Kudos go to our Under 12 Boy players. After not finishing well at the Grade Level in December they looked a lot better here.  Granted they didn’t have to finish well as both the boys and     girls teams took insurmountable leads far before the last rounds.  Rahul Ravishankar, Sutryateja Mandadi and Aaron Lee tied for 10th place winning four out of their six games.  I already mentioned Shivangi Gupta’s, the 2015 CalChess State Girls Champion, success at this event.  She had strong back up with Amy Chan’s tie for ninth place and Enya Mistry and Amirah Mohamed Rafi’s tie for 12th place.  If they can keep up this level of play and with the addition of the strong play of Anvi Surapaneni, who was not at the Polgar, they will win the Under 12 National Girl’s title for the third year in a row. 

A few former Weibel students, now at Horner won trophies in the Under 14 Boys and Girls Division’s.  Kia Sadegi tied for 11th and Avi Khanna tied for 18th in the Boy’s.  Sara Kaushik tied for fourth and Raisah Khan for seventh.  Former Weibel student Aria Lakhmani, now at Basis, took second.  I would like to thank her father, Sonny, for making sure I was fed on both Saturday and Sunday.
   
In closing, let me provide a million thanks to those parents who gave up their weekend to spend both days in San Mateo when it was not required. In some ways this was a first for Weibel parents.  Over my 25 years with the Weibel Chess Team I have had a hard time to get parents to travel to tournaments outside the Tri-City Area.  I am aware that they have done so reluctantly when the tournament was required as was the CalChess Grade Level in Stockton or the CalChess Girls Championships in San Rafael.  Somehow, over the years most parents, not all, candidly seemed to think that taking their children to a remote place like San Mateo was like a trip to Timbuktu.  Parents of the 31 players who attended the Polgar did not mutter a word or look as if they put themselves out.  They were there to support their children and the Weibel Team.  You cannot imagine how good that felt.  It may have taken me 25 years, but I think I finally have a large number of Team parents who understand what a commitment to an elite competitive team means.  So once again—THANK YOU!

Chess is Forever,
Alan
PS:  You can find complete results at http://chessandmusic.com/susanpolgarfoundation/
I will shortly process my photographs and post them at my usual site: http://www.CalNorthYouthChess.org/photographs.html


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

WEIBEL CHESS TEAMS AT THE AGE LEVEL 2015

WEIBEL CHESS TEAMS AT THE  AGE LEVEL 2015

I am so proud of our Weibel players.  A coach, even a perfectionist coach like myself, could not be happier based on the results of the Weibel individual players and our Teams at the CalNorth Youth Age Level this weekend.  I know the school and the Unified School District will be thrilled at the success of the Weibel Chess Team.  This was tough competition and most of our students played like tigers.  Four hundred and thirty one players from over 40 schools participated.  Actually, over 500 registered.  Yes, at least 70 players failed to show.  I believe the weather had a bit to do with this, but I also think many didn’t show because of the large number of early registrants who forgot they signed up.  Numerous e-mails were sent to remind people of the competition, but I am sure like many of my e-mails they landed in spam folders.

I send my Kudos as well to the parents who spent the last few weeks preparing their children for the competition and seeing that they studied.  My thanks to instructors for their excellent work in training their students. 

There were trophies to 15 places in each division with trophies for ties at 15th place.  Three unrated trophies were given to three individuals who never played in a United States Chess Federation Tournament before and did not win one of the 15 trophies in their division.  The top three Teams also received awards.  I am going to simply list the trophy winners.  To view the full standing, the USCF ratings and photographs of the Championships you can go to http://www.CalNorthYouthChess.org/photographs.html

No team trophies were awarded in the 4-5 Age Group or the Invitational Divisions. Weibel Chess Teams, in all the rest, minus two-well maybe minus one, took first place.  OK, we tied for first place in the 9 year old division with Warm Springs, however their top players are all Weibel trained.  Yup, in the 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11 year old sections our players took home the championship titles.  In a sense they did in the 12 year old section as well.  The first place trophy went to Horner Junior High School and the three former Weibel players stood tall.  Tierra Linda Junior High School from San Carlos won the 13 year old Championships.

In the four and five year old division, Weibel had five players: , Akarsh Khare, Farhan Ali, Kevin Xu, Krishank Sardesai, Avnita Paul.  All brought home trophies.  The star of the 4-5 Age Group was Akarsh Khare who came in second only a half point from first place.  He drew the winner, Issac Lee of Gomes.   Farhan Ali took seventh.   Kevin Xu got tenth.  Krishank Sardesai placed eleventh and Avnita Paul twelfth.

Six of our players in the six year old division came home with trophies. Aakash Koneru, Edward Miu and Nikko Lee all tied for third.   Avyukt Bhardwaj, Ekansh Samanta and David Gao all tied for ninth.

Our seven year olds came away with a four way tie for fourth: Mihir Gadre, Chau-Ha Nghiem, Reyansh Samanta and Yesun Lee.  Nik Sadeghi, Rutansh Pathak and Vincent Yang tied for thirteenth.

The ties continued in the eight year old division.  Umesh Gopi, Justin Wu and Prisha Jain all tied for third place.

Eshan Prakash was our hero in the nine year old division.  He tied for first place.  Irene Xu and Sidhant Chaliha tied for 15th place.

Our Warm Springs Team players who we tied for first place with and learned at Weibel are: Alex Chen (3rd),  Ryan Dai (3rd), Tiger Yang (15th), Ricky Lin (15th). 

Aaron Lee shined in the ten year old division.  He not only tied for first place he won the playoff for the large first place trophy in a blitz (5 minute chess) game.   Stanley Ko had a good tournament as well tying for third place. Kripa Kini, Frederick Zhang and Yash Pradhan all tied for fifth place.

Four of our player came out in third place in the eleven year old division, only one point out of first: Amirah Mohamed Rafi, Prithvi Nagamanivel, Amy Chan, Rahul Ravishankar.

Former Weibel students did well in the 12 and 13 year old division even though they are now in Junior High School: Ambika Tiwari (4th in 12),   Avi Khanna (4th in 12), Praveen Ravindar (4th in 12), Avikam Chauhan (12th  in 12), Akshay Gharpure (5th in 13th)

A fair number of our top players entered the new format Age Level Invitational for longer time controls and to obtain an international chess rating.

In the 4-9 Open Weibel Chess students had the following results: Sidarth Raman (9th),  Eshaan Mistry (13th), Dharshan Vetrivelan (15th), Aaron Hu (15th)

Last year’s Kirshner Cup winner in the 4-9 Open took second this year in the 10-13  Orwig Cup Open.  Oliver Wu lost to an individual he had beaten many times before, Rishith Susarla of Mission San Jose Elementary School.   Louis Law tied for eight but made a big jump in his USCF rating due to defeating some much higher rated opponents.   Zayaan Khan took thirteenth. Jeremy Chen, Suryateja Mandadi and Shivangi Gupta (this year’s Girls State Champion) did not have great tournaments, but still brought home trophies for tying at fifteenth place.

If I left anyone out, please please forgive me.  I am still not recovered from the weekend helping Carl Moy run this successful tournament.   I would have gotten this out sooner, but I have been sleeping a lot the last few days.  I guess that is what happens when you become an Ancient. ;-)

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

REPORT ON WEIBEL AT THE CALCHESS GIRLS STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS

I would like to start my report by thanking all the parents who drove their daughters and their friends to San Rafael on Saturday, January 31.  I am sure they were surprised that getting there was not like driving to the end of the earth.  However, the trip home was another thing as I am sure you felt you Fremont was the end of the earth.  The traffic was bumper to bumper from San Rafael through the Berkeley corridor.   It took me more than twice the time to get back to Fremont as getting to the Mark Day School in the morning.  I think the only saving grace the parents had was that they had a great day enjoying the success of their daughters and the Weibel Team.

As I wrote in an earlier note to the Weibel Community and on Facebook, the Team won both the 2-3 and the 4-6 grade sections.  In the K-1 division we placed second, a half point behind Mark Day School.   Prisha Jain in the 2-3 and Shivangi Gupta in the 4-6 were the only two players to win all their games.  They both became State Champions in their respective divisions.  Both had to play their teammates to obtain their titles. 

Prisha Jain, a third grade student, defeated Weibel’s Erin Law, our top 
second grade player, in the third round to move on to the final.  Erin’s only loss was to Prisha.  My pleasant surprise was to see a Weibel student, I did not know well, Isha Varada, in third grade, also finish with only one loss.  Erin and Isha tied for second place and took home trophies.  The organizer Ray Orwig provided medals for the top second grade students who did not win trophies.  Weibel’s Chau-Ha Nghiem, Yesun Lee and Elena Xu tied for this award.

In the Kindergarten through First Grade section the only two girls we had in this division took home trophies for tying for fourth place, Mihika Deshpande, in first grade, and Mai-Ha Nghiem, in Kindergarten. They both played extremely well for their first big meet.  They will join our 2-3 girls as future
stars replacing the absolutely wonderful group of sixth grade girls that are leaving us at the end of this school year.  I anticipate that before they leave they will also do Weibel proud in the Polgar Girls Championships on February 28 and March 1 in San Mateo and then help continue our winning streak in the Under 12 division of the All-Girls Nationals in Chicago over the weekend of  April 17 through April 19. 

Ray Orwig, the organizer of the meet, as he was giving out the award commented on the excellent chess played at the tournament this year.  He then specifically mentioned a game we both watched in the 4-6 division that will last in our memories for a long time.  If there was a super star chess player award both Ray and I would have given it to Enya Mistry.  In  round three, Enya played the top student from Berkeley Chess School rated who was over 100 points more.  Enya played like a Tigress—focused and sure of herself.  As the game approached its conclusion Enya’s opponent had only two seconds left on her clock.  Many lesser players would have toyed with their opponent waiting for the clock to fall.  Not Enya.  With determination and confidence she moved with clarity of purpose and proceeded to trade off her pieces checkmating her opponent with her king and her rook. 

This win now meant that Enya had to play Shivangi Gupta in the last round for the Championship.   Shivangi moved on to the championship match by defeating her good friend and teammate Anvi Surapaneni in a match that should not have been.  Sadly, the tournament director was not familiar with the USCF Rule Book on not pairing teammates until the last round.  He also did not carefully examine the pairings to see that there were two non-Weibel players in the same score group that got paired together.  I take blame, in part, for what occurred.  I was outside going over a couple of younger players games while eating my lunch and enter the playing hall just seconds before the round was to start.  I brought it to his attention just before he was going to start the round.  He did not repair the group.  

Shivangi defeated Anvi after, I am told, she offered her a draw that Anvi turned down.  I told Enya
and Shivangi that they should play for a win in the championship game.  If they did not a three way tie would result and that would mean a student that had not played any of the top Weibel players would become a co-champion.  Shivangi, as I mentioned earlier, won the championship taking home the first place trophy.  Enya, Anvi and Amirah Mohamed Rafi, also from Weibel, tied for third place.  The top fourth grade player medal in this four through sixth grade division went to Weibel student, Sophia Zhu.

Weibel had 24 girls in this event. While I have only mentioned those Weibel students who won awards, I want to note that I am proud of all the girls.  Most won at least 50% of their games and not one of our students lost all of their games.  As your Principal Catherine Strommen wrote after receiving my short note on your successes: “Congratulations Weibel girls!!”
RESULTS AND PHOTOS WILL BE FOUND SOON @ http://www.CalNorthYouthChess.org/photographs.html
Enkijen Vs Enya Jan 31 2015 - Annotation by Enya Mistry: 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. d3Bc5 5. Nc3 Normal four knights opening with guicco piano. 5... d6 6. h3 Be67. Bb3 h6 8. Be3 very mundane opening. couldn't get less exciting. 8... Bb6 9. O-OO-O 10. Ne2 Interesting move. I have never seen a person play that, in the little experience i have. It seems that my opponent wants to make her 2 knights very dangerous. 10... d5 a counterattack 11. exd5 Nxd5 12. Bxb6 I think this was a bad move because it gives me a chance to open my rook and put pressure on the a2 pawn. This also gave me an open file to do anything i want with my rook while her rook was trapped in her own pawns. 12... axb6 13. Ng3 now she is putting her knights into the play 13... Nf4This move was a waiting move. This was so that my queen could go to g6 and then i could put pressure on the knight and possibly win a pawn.  14. Bxe6 Nxe6 15. Re1 f6This opened my king side, but he doesn't have a white squared bishop, so it is no problem. 16. Nh4 now i can't move my queen out. 16... Qd4 but i moved it out with a threat. I either win a knight or a pawn. 17. Qg4 she counterattacked. If i take the pawn on b2, she takes my knight WITH a check. Therefore, she would be up in material and would start invading my pawns and kingside. 17... Qxg4 18. hxg4 Nb4 Instead i found a counterattack. 19. Re2 Nxa2 I took with the knight to perhaps move it out, and attack the hanging rook with a discovered attack. 20. c3 Her plan was to move b4 after this to get my knight, but then i would play Nxc3, so i am fine ....for now. 20... Nf4 21. Rd2 Rfd8 22. Rad1Rd7 My plan is to move the other rook to d8, threatening to take the pawn, but then my knight was hanging, so i need to figure out a way to get my knight out. 23. Ne2 Nxe2+24. Rxe2 b5 This enables me to move to b4, and if he takes, my knight can take back and be free, and if she doesn't, i win an extra pawn with : bxc3, bxc3, Nxc3. 25. Nf5 b426. cxb4 Nxb4 My knight is free!!! 27. d4Rad8 She can't take my pawn because then i take her rook with a check. 28. Red2 c5This puts more pressure on the d4 pawn, threatening to take the d4 pawn with a tempo. 29. d5 excellent move. If nxd5, rxd5,rxd5, Ne7+, winning the rook to fork. 29... Kf7 30. d6 b5 Now i am planning to bombard the queen side area and possibly promote. 31. b3 I don't know why she moved that, it was a waste of tempo. 31... c4 32. bxc4 bxc4 33. Rc1Rc8 34. Ne3 c3 35. Rdd1 Ke6 36. Nf5Nd5 This blocks the white pawn from anymore guarding. This will let me win the pawn later on in the game.  37. Rd3 h538. f3 hxg4 39. fxg4 g6 40. Ng3 Rxd641. Ne4 Rdc6 42. Kf1 Her king will never be able to get to my pawn because if she moves Ke2, i fork her king and rook. 42... f543. gxf5+ gxf5 44. Ng5+ Ke7 45. Ke1e4 46. Rh3 she was planning to keep checking my king and waste time because she had 3 minutes remaining while i had 7 minutes 46... Nf6 47. Re3 At this point i stopped notating because i had 3 minutes on my clock. I ended up winning in a rook and king endgame. Before, she had a knight, but i pinned her king to the knight and i won her knight. she made that mistake because of time pressure. she had 13 seconds on her clock. i played till the end with 10 seconds remaining on my side of the clock.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

CALNORTH YOUTH CHESS WINTER 2015 NEWSLETTER

IN THIS ISSUE:
CalNorth Youth Age Level + CalNorth Youth Age Level Invitational
Winter Chess Tournaments to Aim For
Chenyi Wins Big
Parent Resources Website

CalNorth Youth Age Level + CalNorth Youth Age Level Invitational


Only two weeks to go before the most popular tournament of the Winter Season.  For the last few years the CalNorth Youth Age Level Championships have register over 500 players.  Only one other youth event is expected to surpass it in size and that is the CalChess State Championships that will be held on May 2 and May 3.  No other youth championships, in my humble opinion, will surpass it in popularity.  David Hwang, from Corte Madera and a father of three boys who almost always attend the CalNorth events wrote my favorite, of many, compliments: "Our family really appreciates the CalNorth Youth Chess tournaments because they are not only superbly run, from a logistical and organizational standpoint, but it is also clear that the principles that guide all those involved, from the leadership to the volunteers, are to cherish, motivate, and inspire our children -- and to do so with excellence, integrity, good humor, and warmth.”

The CalNorth Age Level Championship on Sunday, February 8, 2015 at Ohlone College, Newark Campus, is the only tournament on the West Coast that is held strictly by a child’s age.  Not only are there trophies in each age group that will be awarded for the top 15 players, there are three extra awards for brand new players who have never competed in a United States Chess Federation event before.  All four and five year olds will get trophies.  If a child does not win a trophy they will go home with a unique commemorative chess medal.  Carl Moy, the organizer, does not promise loads of trophies and then stipulate a player has to have a positive score. Whereby many are never awarded.   All trophies are awarded, plus some.  http://www.calnorthyouthchess.org/AgeLevel2015/

This year, Carl Moy, has added a new section to the Championships.  For a number of years there has been a 4 to 9 year old division that transcended the specific age groups.  This section was designed for more experienced and higher rated players in the 4 through 9 age groups.  Last year Carl added a special award that he named the Kirshner Cup to honor Dr. Alan Kirshner and his contributions to Northern California Chess.  This year he added a new section for the super stars in the10 through 13 bracket.  He created a second award, the Orwig Cup.  This award is to honor the individual most responsible for beginnings of scholastic chess competition in Northern California who continues, unselfishly running chess tournaments teaching chess to the children at the school where he works--Mark Day School, formerly St. Marks—Ray Orwig.  Carl went a step further this year.  To provide longer time controls he created a two day tournament called the CalNorth Youth Chess Age Level Invitational.  He also decided to have it dual rated with both the U.S. Chess Federation and FIDE, the International Chess Federation. These Championships will also be held at Ohlone College, but on both Saturday, February 7 and February 8.  To compete in the 4 through 9 age section of the Kirshner Cup, a player must have a U.S.Chess Federation rating of at least 1000.  Entry into the Orwig Cup for 10 through 13 year old chess player requires a minimum 1300 rating.

http://www.calnorthyouthchess.org/AgeLevel2015/AgeLevelInvitational.html

You can view all current entries at: http://www.calnorthyouthchess.org/AgeLevel2015/ENTRIES.html


Winter Chess Tournaments to Aim For


As many of you know Bay Area Chess has a mass of youth tournaments to offer almost every weekend.  Since Judit Sztaray became Executive Director of BAC I have been posting them on my tournament site, http://www.CalNorthYouthChess.org/Tournaments.html
Sadly, the large number of BAC events often mask other fine youth events.  I would like to mention just a few.  And, just so I am not misquoted, I think it is great that there are so many quality youth competitions organized by Bay Area Chess.

Let me start with the CalChess Girls State Championship next Saturday, January 31 at Mark Day School in San Rafael. http://calnorthyouthchess.org/Applications/CALCHESS-GIRLS-ENTRY-FORM-2015.pdf

Success Chess School, one of the sponsors for the CalNorth Youth Chess Age Level Championships has two events this Winter:
On January 31 in Fremont, http://www.successchess.com/Tournaments/Game_Kastle_Tournament_INFO.html

And

On Valentine’s Day, February 14 in Cupertino: http://successchess.com/Tournaments/BethelTournament_INFO.html
On January 31, Alex Veksler is holding the first of his monthly Chess for Kids Quads in San Jose:  http://calnorthyouthchess.org/Applications/FlyerChessQuads_013115.pdf
This one even has a parent section with a Grand Prize for the best combined family—a Gevalia coffee maker.

The NorCal House of Chess, another sponsor of the CalNorth Youth Chess Age Level, has youth Quads on February 15 and March 7 in Fremont: http://norcalhouseofchess.com/?page_id=9

On March 7 in Santa Clara, Matthew Bensen is holding another of his Let’s Play Chess tournaments: http://www.chessthings.com/events.php

On March 15, Dennis Myers is running his yearly, non-rated tournament, at Fox School in Belmont: http://peninsulachess.blogspot.com/2015/01/2015-fox-school-scholastic-chess.html

I would be remiss if I failed to mention the weekly Friday night tournaments the Hanley Chess Academy holds in San Jose: http://www.hanleychessacademy.com/SJFriQuads.html
And then there is the new man on the block—Demetrius Goins’ Shore View Chess Club in Fremont.  Shore View Chess holds weekly events at it site near Pacific Commons on Thursday nights and weekends.   They are also running monthly Quads the first one on February 21:  http://www.shoreviewchess.com/tournament  PS: Shore View Chess is also a sponsor of the CalNorth Youth Age Level Chess Championships.

I would like to end this section to urge people to attend the Susan Polgar Foundation’s Boys and Girls Championships on February 28 and March 1.  This prestigious event, that has been held over the years in other parts of the country, has made its way to Northern California.  Chris Torres, through his Chess and Music Academy, is the local organizer for this event that offers $100,000 in prizes: http://www.chessandmusic.com/susanpolgarfoundation/

Chenyi Wins Big

Chenyi Zhao, a student at Warm Spring Elementary School, has always been one of my favorite young chess players.  Since she was in first grade she remembered me because of my car that had a honu (Hawaiian for turtle) on my side window.   Chenyi, always a good chess player, made a big break through at the Golden State Open a week ago when she won the under 1900 section and brought home to Fremont a check for $2000.  She now sports a rating of 1917.  KUDOS!

Parent Resources Website

Over the many years of my writing this newsletter either under the CalNorth Youth Chess title or my 14 year stint as CalChess Scholastic Chair I included not just Kudos to young chess players, but resources and websites that they can use to improve their chess.   This season I offer a shiny new website for parents.  No, it will not help parents become better parents, but maybe better chess parents.  Jay Stallings who has been active in youth chess in Southern California almost as long as I have been active in Northern California has a wonderful and exciting project in the works:  http://chessparentresource.com/
Jay writes the following in his Welcome to ChessParentResources.com:

“My name is ‘Coach Jay’ Stallings. I have coached chess full-time for almost 20 years and currently serve on the Scholastic Council for the United States Chess Federation (USCF). When I learned in 2014 that, before USCF’s new website would launch, there would be many committee meetings, votes, more committee meetings, etc., I decided to create this site to bridge the gap.

Please email me with anything that you think is missing. I’m trying to keep the site simple, with information that 99% of the parents need. If you are one of those 1% who have other needs, please send me an email and I will try to answer your questions as soon as possible.


Check you later!
Coach Jay”

I was very impressed with the information as well as excited that parents now have a resource that can guide and direct them as they grow with their child’s chess.  Check it out now, not later.

Chess is Forever,
Alan











Tuesday, December 23, 2014

THANK YOU AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS

I just wanted to thank all of you who for attended the December 13 Fall Weibel Quads #3 and wish you all an enjoyable holiday break.

As many of you have already learned, the results and photographs from the 220 player event are posted from the links found at: http://www.calnorthyouthchess.org/photographs.html You can download any of these photographs at will. If you want one of my photographs in the original resolution, simply write to me and let me know. I do not have Richard Shorman’s full resolution photographs.

You might have heard me say or read it in one of my notes that I will not be running my usual Spring Quads due to an overload of major events I am committed to attend. However, I do want to remind you of the largest CalNorth Youth Chess tournament—The Eighth Annual Age Level. CalNorth organizer Carl Moy is holding this year’s tournament at the Ohlone College Newark Campus on Sunday, February 8. Two hundred and fifty young players are already registered putting this yearly event on track to once again break the 500 player mark. http://www.calnorthyouthchess.org/AgeLevel2015/

Tied to this tournament are the CalNorth Youth Invitational Chess Championships for high rated players who need longer time controls and hope to obtain or improve their international rating (FIDE). This event is divided into two age divisions—4 to 9 and 10 to 13. The winner of the 4 through 9 year old division will receive the Kirshner Cup. The winner of the 10 through 13 section will obtain the Orwig Cup.
Carl wants to make it clear that these events were not named after the two individuals due to financial considerations as have occurred in other "legacy tournaments." He named these tournaments after the two individuals who have contributed the most to the creation of the competitive youth chess atmosphere in Northern California. The Championships will be held on Saturday and Sunday, February 7 & 8. http://www.calnorthyouthchess.org/AgeLevel2015/AgeLevelInvitational.html 

WEIBEL CHESS TEAM HOLIDAY BREAK INFORMATION

Let me start out by wishing everyone an enjoyable Winter break.  If you celebrate any holidays during this period of time I hope they are very fulfilling.  I am writing this note to remind all the Team members of what obligations, if any, they have during the break before we return to Weibel on Friday, January 9.

1)   Your child does not have to do any homework.  Any puzzles they do will be counted as extra credit.  Are the cheers I am hearing coming from the students, their parents or both?

2)   All Team members, unless they are Play Option Only, must have completed three tournaments by January 15, 2015.  I am very pleased to say that almost all our Team players have already done so & more.  The few that have not will receive extra notes from me.
  a)I have attached an Excel sheet that Carl Moy, our Parent Coordinator, distributes every few months so you can see your child’s progress in U.S. Chess Federation events as well as the number of tournaments they have competed in since June 1.  I am thrilled with the progress so many of our Team members are making.  This is a building year and we are building well as proven by our great results at the State Grade Level .  I know we will do even better at the Spring States as long as you and your children continue to take chess seriously while having fun playing the game.  Next year when we go to Nationals we will have our best Teams ever.
 b)The following youth tournaments are available for your child’s participation before January 15.

December 27, 2014 (Saturday)Milpitas Chess for Less Kids Swiss & Quads, Milpitas

January  2, 2015 (Friday)
New Year’s Youth Championships, Burlingame
New Year Quads, Santa Clara

*January 3, 2015 (Saturday)
"Ger" Youth Center's 3rd Scholastic Quads, Oakland,

January 4. 2015 (Sunday)
Milpitas Chess for Less Kids Swiss & Quads, Milpitas

January  10, 2015 (Saturday)
Let’s Play Chess, Santa Clara
Milpitas Chess for Less Kids Swiss & Quads, Milpitas

*January 10, 2015 (Saturday)
Game Castle Scholastic Quads, Fremont,

January 10-11, 2015 (Saturday & Sunday)
Game of Thrones Tourney, NorCalHouse of Chess, Fremont

January 11, 2015 (Sunday)
Cupertino Kid’s Quads & Swiss
Fremont Kid’s Quads & Swiss

 The starred events are to be found at http://www.CalNorthYouthChess.org/Tournaments.html  I strongly recommend these tournaments.

All other events can be found at  http://www.calchess.org/scholastic_calendar.html

c) If your child is rated over 1000, you might want to consider the following events due to their longer time controls.

January 2-4, 2015
New Year’s Championshjps, Burlingame

January 10, 2015
15th Bob Burger, Mechanics in San Francisco

January 16-19, 2015 (with 2 day through 4 day options)
6th Annual Golden State Open, Dublin (THIS SHOULD BE A MUST FOR ANY OF WEIBEL’S VARSITY TEAM)

Info for all at http://www.calchess.org/regular_calendar.html

3)   I still have one youth small & a few youth large T-shirts available.  The cost is now $15.

4)   Fremont keeps expanding its chess community. We already have two active Clubs in our city with Ken Zowal’s Fremont Chess Club (http://www.newfremontchessclub.org) and Ted Castro’s NorCal House of Chess (http://www.NorCalHouseofChess.com).  A third chess Club will make its appearance on January 17 near Pacific Commons, Demetrius Goins’  Shore View Chess (http://www.shoreviewchess.com/)  All these Clubs offer free play, tournaments and special instruction and lectures.  And, some people wonder why Fremont has become the hub of chess in the Bay Area in recent years!

5)   Gaurang Mehta, one of our teachers, is head chess instructor at the Indian Community Center in Milpitas in case you want to travel out of Fremont. They offer different level chess classes from January through November every Sunday in the early afternoon. (http://www.indiacc.org/sites/default/files/icc_web12-12-2014.pdf)

--
Chess is Forever!
Alan

Sunday, December 7, 2014

REPORT ON THE SECOND DAY OF THE CALCHESS STATE GRADE LEVEL CHAMPIONSHIPS

As many of you know, I am down in San Diego awaiting the birth of a new grandchild.  I figured it was an acceptable reason not to be at the second day of the CalChess Grade Level State Championships.  Tigran Darbinyan, my Assistant and Gaurang Mehta , Weibel Chess’ senior instructor, handled the 4th, 5th and 6th grade teams for their second and final day of competition. 

The report I received indicated that our Weibel Chess Teams had another good day, although not without some disappointments and tears.  Even though our very strong Sixth Grade Team got hammered by Mission San Jose Elementary School, our three girls scored higher than the higher rated Weibel boys and got all our points.  These three girls were on last years Under 12 Girls National Championship Team--Shivangi Gupta, Enya Mistry and Anvi Surapaneni.  My hope is they will return to Chicago in April to win the Under12 title again this year.

Our Fifth Grade Team finished a half point out of first with the usual chess players mantra, “we coulda, we woulda, we shoulda.”  I believe one fifth grade player deserves special mention —Sumukh Murthy.  Although Sumukh enter the tournament as the lowest rated of all our players he had the highest score on the fifth grade team.

Our amazing group of fourth grade students did it all.  They proved they were champions.  The Team won the Fourth Grade State Championship.  Oliver Wu, the chess wonder kid, accomplished what he said he would—he obliterated the opposition to become the 2014 Fourth Grade Champion. Louis Law, whose sister finished second in Second Grade yesterday, upset the top Mission San Jose player whose national chess rating is 700 points higher, took a second to Oliver.  I figured he wasn’t about to be outdone by his younger sister, Erin.  Eshaan Mistry proved to be another stand out player.  He received 4 points--a half point behind Louis.  He could have been higher if he hadn’t had the misfortune of having to play his own teammate Oliver in the fifth round of the six round event since he stood alone as the second highest player.

Kudos to all the Weibel players, their parents and their coaches who spent the weekend in Stockton at the University of the Pacific.

Alan