Sunday, June 25, 2017

July Quads

Banner:  Tony Cortizas, Jr.

Date           Saturday, July 1, 2017
Event Format3RR
Time ControlG/65 d10
SectionsPlayers will be arranged into quads by rating
Entry Fee$35, $20 for BCF Members, $5 more at the door
Prizes$$80 First place in top quad, $$50 First place in each of the other quads
Registration9:15am - 9:45am;  
Round Times10:00am, 1:00pm, and 3:30pm
Entry ListCurrent Pre-Registration List

Register Online Now
Save $5
Save first round pairing delay and confusion! Register early online!

Legends of Chess photos by Nick Sterling

Nick Sterling has been increasing his help at Boylston events.

In addition to assisting the TD (Bernardo and Natasaha, of course), he shot about 40 photos at Saturday's Legends of Chess:  Sammy Reshevsky, which had 50 players

You can view them all at one of his facebook pages.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

New Chess Books for Advanced Adult Beginners

Dear BCC members,

I published two chess books this week: Chess for Advanced Adult Beginners and
its companion workbook Chess Workbook for Advanced Adult Beginners. They are
successors to the books I wrote in 2015 for adult beginners
and are available at the Harvard Book Store, both online and at the brick and mortar store
at 1256 Mass. Ave. in Cambridge. I wrote them for players in the 1500 to 2000 USCF
rating range.

Chess for Advanced Adult Beginners is 168 pages long. Covered are issues that
every tournament player struggles with: correctly evaluating positions, winning
better positions, saving worse positions, playing equal positions, connecting the
pieces, exchanging the right pieces, using the empty squares around the pieces,
studying opening theory, learning from your own games, and how to continue
enjoying chess. 100 exercises are included, with answers in the back (more are
available from the workbook).

Chess Workbook for Advanced Adult Beginners is 246 pages long, and has 640
exercises with answers in the back. The workbook covers the same material as
Chess for Advanced Adult Beginners, and can be read on its own, but has less
writing and more problems to solve. I chose these exercises from messy positions
in real games, not tidy postcard-perfect snapshots with bows on them.

I've donated a copy of each book to the Boylston Chess Club. Feel free at the club
to pick them up and flip through the pages. If you like them, please buy them. 
Again, these books are available at the Harvard Book Store
( and

Alex Cherniack

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Larry Eldridge passed away.

Larry Eldridge. Mass. G-60 Championship 2017.  photo:  Tony Cortizas, Jr.

Larry Eldridge passed away Sunday, June 18th. 

He had just recently played in the Paramount at the Boylston.  Larry's passing is shocking and sad for all of us. His loss for the chess community is enormous.

Larry's obituary, which includes information for his funeral tomorrow (June 23rd), is online at

Larry Eldridge, 20th club anniversary, MetroWest Chess Club 2003  photo: Tony Cortizas, Jr.

Holiday Team Challenge -  K-3 1st place, Loch Chess Monsters. Darrith Phan, Max Wiegand, Tristan Young, Nelson Barnett and Coach Larry Eldridge.  photo:  Tony Cortizas, Jr.

Larry Eldridge, longtime chess player,

teacher, coach and journalist, dead at 84

Larry Eldridge, one of this country's most accomplished chess teachers, died on Sunday, June 18th, at his home in West Newton, Mass. He was 84. Eldridge, a longtime active player who competed in tournaments at the Metrowest Chess Club in Natick and the Boylston Chess Club in North Cambridge, among others, was noted as a skillful chess coach who mentored many winning teams for years at the Hurvitz Cup, the Massachusetts Scholastic Team Championships, sponsored by the Massachusetts Chess Association (MACA). He was also a chess journalist who wrote many chess stories for the Christian Science Monitor, of which he was once the sports editor. He played a key role in getting the late GM Arthur Bisguier to become a chess columnist for the Monitor. Eldridge was also very generous with his huge chess library, donating many books and magazines over the years to MACA to sell at its fundraising auctions.
The funeral for Larry Eldridge will be held 11 a.m. Friday, June 23rd, in the Newton Cemetery Chapel, 491 Walnut St., Newton, MA 02459. Following burial, a lunch/repast will be held at 36 Wedgewood Road, West Newton. Family and chess friends are welcome to attend.

George Mirijanian

BBN A team. K-3 2nd place - Max Wiegand, Tristan Young, Larry Eldridge, Sophie Applbaum, Darrith Phan  photo:  Tony Cortizas, Jr.

Just to let more chess people know about Larry's chess and  communications legacy, George did a great summation. I started to work very closely with Larry in 1969 (First Chess Horizons), 1970 (the U.S. Open program book), 1971 (coverage of Fischer's early world championship match games before Spassky--Larry worked nights for the Associated Press--late 1960's to at least 1970--and urged me to urge all major newspapers to use AP's "B" wire to get chess stories in American newspapers! What a hassle it was to do this decades before the Internet! I did my part in 1970-71 at the Globe, and, in 1972 at the Hartford Courant (when it was Harold Dondis calling me from Iceland). Larry wrote the chess column in the Maine Sunday Telegram from 1960 to 2000...he was a Portland native, and featured all kinds of detail from Portland stalwarts Stu Laughlin, Richard Collins, Stan Ellowitch, and others...the golden days of New England chess. More coming, so spread the word. As I see it, there will be more feedback on Larry (from former students), than on anyone, even Gus Gosselin! Amazing he found time to play and promote the game in so many ways for so very long...Remember his activity since 1992 is recorded in the USCF archives...
 Stephen Dann

New England Open 2016. Burliington, MA. Round 1. Larry Eldridge  photo:  Tony Cortizas, Jr

Two hands needed for rook lift

At The Plaza of Harvard Common Spaces.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Rihel returns

Bernardo (BCC president 1990-1991) and Jason (BCC president 2009-2011)  photo:  Steve Stepak

Jason Rihel visited the Boylston last week.  Jason (BCC president 2009-2011) was in Cambridge for a conference and stopped by the club on his way to the airport to return to London.

It was great to see him.  I am sure his smile was due to his pleasure at being back at the club, but partly due also to the afterglow of his lab's recent discovery of a new type of cell in the zebrafish brain.


Tuesday, June 20, 2017



FM Steve Winer vs Jerry Li, Round 2.
Steve scored 3.5 points to share 1-2nd place.
Jerry scored 3 points to take a piece of 
3-9th place and a +9 to 2140 rating!
 NM Farzad Abdi, black vs IM Denys Shmelov, Round 3.
Farad won this game and a share of 1-2nd place for a 
+13 to 2341 rating! Bravo, Farzad!
NM Chris Williams, black vs Jacob Chudnovsky, Round 4.
Jacob won this game and a share of 3-9th place.
Joy Cao plays the professor: NM Dr. Timothy Sage, Round 3.
Tim scored 3 points to share 3-9th place.
NM Brandon Wu vs IM Denys Shmelov, Round 2.
Brandon scored 3 points to share 3-9th place, 
and a +3 to 2249 rating.  Bravo, Brandon!
David Xie, black vs Zubin Baliga, Round 4.
Zubin scored 3 points to share 3-9th place and 
a +37 to 2045 rating. Bravo, Zubin!
Nicholas Belous vs NM Nithin Kavi, Round 4.
Nicholas won this game and a share of 3-9th place
for a +27 to 1979 rating. Bravo, Nicholas!
Aravind Ponukumati scored 3 points to share
3-9th place and a +27 to 2066 rating.
Bravo, Aravind!
Hermenegildo Neto, Black vs Bob Oresick, Round 4.
Both players had 3 points.  In a long endgame,
Bob ran out of gas. Hermenegildo sealed the deal
for the only perfect score in this most fascinating
and grueling event, with 22 players in this 
U1800 section!  Bravo both!
Hermenegildo was +76 to 1668 rating.
Bob was +32 for a 1549 rating.
Hermenegildo was perfect with 4-0 for clear 1st
place and Bob scored 3 points to share 2-4th!
Kevin Li, left in army fatigues, scored 3 points
to share 2-4th place and a +16 to 1617 rating.
Packed House: 44 in the Open Section and 22 in the U1800
section for a wapping 66 player field, a record at the
Cambridge BCC!  Thanks, all for participating!
Saanvi Tiruveedhula scored 3 points to share 2-4th place
in the U1800 section. Saanvi earned a +46 to 1528 rating.
Brava, Saanvi!
Victor Feng, black vs Joy Cao, Round 2.
Aaron Lu, black vs Ed Astrachan; Zubin Baliga, Round 4.
(background): Bob Oresick.
Michelle Zhang
3 year law student Nowell Sheinwald plays
black vs NM Chris Williams in Round 2.
(Bottom to Top): Eddie Wei vs Jacob Chudnovsky;
David Grawoig v Maxwell Chen; 
Professor Sage, black vs Lewis Tu
Round 2: Open Section
Derek Jin, black vs David Xie; 
David Tianyi Zhou vs Mark Kaprielian
et al . . .
NM Professor Timothy Sage et al . . . 
Eric Li vs Michelle Zhang;
Nang Dang vs Evan Wei; 
Cuu Van Dang v Kishore Sivarjan.
Bernardo Iglesias, Chief TD looks on as 
Riya Kanury plays Alan Lu;
and Eric Li, black vs Ranjan Dey.
[NOTE: Bernardo deserves the Nobel Peace Prize
for his magnificent handling of this most challenging
event: 66 players (a record).  The shear impact of  30 + kids 
being kids would be enough to drive a normal person
bonkers.  Bernardo was totally calm and decisive during
the pairing and officiating of this event, an awesome 
performance! Bravo, Bernardo!]

Sunday, June 18, 2017

June Sunday Scholastic

Banner:  Tony Cortizas, Jr.

DateSunday, June 25, 2017
Event Format4SS
Time ControlG/30 d5
Sections14 & Under and 8 & Under
Entry Fee$25, $20 for BCF members, $5 more at door
PrizesTrophies for 1st/2nd each age group, medal for 3rd
Registration10:00am - 10:20am
Round Times10:30am, 11:50am, 1:00pm, 2:00pm
Entry ListCurrent Pre-Registration List

Save $5

Legends of Chess: Reshevsky

Banner:  Tony Cortizas, Jr.

 Sammy Reshevsky  
DateSaturday, June 24, 2017
Event Format4SS
Time ControlG/60 d5
SectionsOpen & U1800
Entry Fee$35, $20 for BCF Members, $5 more at door
Prizes$300 based on 25 paid entries: Open 1st $125, 2nd $75 U1800 1st $60, 2nd $40
Registration9:15am - 9:45am
Round Times10:00am, 1:00pm, 3:30pm, 6:00pm
Entry ListCurrent Pre-Registration List

Save $5 
Save 1st-round start-up time!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Chess Clinic

 with Jacob Rasin
DateJune 27, 28, 29, 30, 2017
Event Format9:00am to 12:30pm each day
Registration6/27, 9:00am onsite
DescriptionThis program invites young chess players who already have a complete understanding of the rules of chess to come and develop their abilities. With a combination of lecture, question/answer and guided cooperative learning, the instructor will cover essential elements of the game: Tactics, Strategy, Openings, Middlegames, Endgames, Problems. Students will develop their memory, visualization ability, attention span, critical thinking skills, as well as their sense of fairness and good sportsmanship — all while having fun!
Who can join?
School-age children, K-12, who are interested in improving at chess and maturing from motivated beginners to skilled intermediate players.

How much does it cost?
Club membership is required for participation (Junior: $120/yr; $67/6 months; Family: $180/yr; $100/6 months). Participation fee: $160; $120 per child, if two or more per family. For first-time Club members, the fee is reduced to $125. Please make checks payable to the Boylston Chess Foundation and please pay on site.

Registration: Located in the renovated former Ellis School building, there is plenty of room at our pristine site. Reservation is not required. Just show up to unit B103, at 40 Norris Street the morning of the first day, before or around 9:00 a.m.! Use the right-side door of the building.

About the instructor: A master of the game and a Boylston Chess Club member for over 25 years, Jacob Rasin has been a professional chess teacher for over 35 years in the Soviet Union and the United States. 1978-1989, Jacob served as head coach at the Pioneers Palace of the Leningrad Province; 1982-1985, he had the additional assignment of training Soviet grandmasters and international masters. Since 1990, he has taught privately and at schools in the Boston area. His students have won dozens of scholastic state championships and medals, and more than ten national championships in various brackets. Jacob has directed the School Break Program since 1994.

For more information, call Jacob Rasin at home after 9pm (617) 783-6307; cell (857) 225-1297 or email

Monday, June 12, 2017

$15 Open

DateSaturday, June 17, 2017
Event Format4SS
Time ControlG/60 d5
SectionsOpen & U1800
Entry Fee$15 in advance, $30 at door, $20 for BCF members at door
Prizes$300 Guaranteed: Open: $150-$100, U1800: $50
Registration9:15am - 9:45am
Round Times10:00am, 1:00pm, 3:30pm, 6:00pm
Entry ListCurrent Pre-Registration List

Save $15

Mass Open Musings, Part 1: Journey to the West (西遊記, 哈哈)

In an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the Klingon warrior Worf is forced to battle about half a dozen different Jem'Hadar (an alien race bred to be warrior soldiers), one after another. The Jem'Hadar soldiers are fresh for each battle, but Worf is continuously worn down. Nonetheless, he is able to overcome all of them, except the final one (cf. Anand-Karpov, FIDE 1988 1998 World Championship cycle).

As the tournament approached, I daydreamed about similar chess glory:

The reality, after 4 years without playing any chess, brief tidbits of preparation over several weeks, and time controls significantly faster than what I can handle comfortably, was...somewhat different:

Being comparatively more comfortable in the endgame than in either the opening or middle game, I hoped that, particularly for the three G/45, d5 games, I could leave myself with at least 15 minutes for the endgame, in which case I hoped and thought that I would neither lose on time nor make huge endgame blunders (uh, that were actually capitalized on).

In the following position as Black, after 24...Qa5 I only had 4 minutes and 26 seconds left on the clock to finish the game. As Andy Bernard from The Office might say, "Nailed it!"

With the luck of fools (I think my opponent missed a chance to create a passed pawn, which would have made things pretty horrible for me), I actually won that game. Will wonders never cease.

People asked me after a couple of games, "Why did I play X instead of Y?" My answer was generally, "I was running out of time and couldn't consider much, aside from making the time control." Life in the fast lane....