John Ludwig Captures 5th CFCC Club Championship Title

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CFCC 2018 Club Champion:
John Ludwig

The club wishes to congratulate John Ludwig on winning clear 1st place in our 2018 Club Championship this past weekend. The win gives him his 5th CFCC Club Champion title, an accomplishment only two other club members have experienced in their lifetime of competing in the storied history of our annual Club Championship!

Round 4, Board One, John Ludwig (2463) (L) versus Theo Slade (2177) (R) during the CFCC Club Championship hosted by the UCF Chess Club.

Round 4, Board One, John Ludwig (2463) (L) versus Theo Slade (2177) (R) during the CFCC Club Championship hosted by the UCF Chess Club.

Five-Time CFCC Club Champion John Ludwig (2463)

Five-Time CFCC Club Champion John Ludwig (2463)

His five CFCC Club Champion titles now places him only one title short of the club’s all time leading title holder Wilmer Chavira who has six titles, and matching the title count of five-time Club Champion and CFCC President Larry Storch.

With a lower than usual turnout of twelve players at this year’s CFCC Club Championship, only 2nd place winner Theo Slade was able to sufficiently challenge John to a draw in their 4th round matchup on board one (pictured above), keeping John from sweeping the tournament with a final score of 4.5/5.

We look forward to seeing what happens at next year’s Club Championship event!

Other Club Championship Winners

The club wishes to congratulate the other winners who placed in the weekend tournament event!

Daniel Smith (1639 (L) Top U1800, Theo Slade (2177) (M) 2nd Place and William Fink (1871) (R) Top U2000.

Daniel Smith (1639 (L) Top U1800, Theo Slade (2177) (M) 2nd Place and William Fink (1871) (R) Top U2000.

Other Place Winners Not Pictured:
Ryan Hamley 3/5 Top Under 16 yrs old
Allison S. 2.5/5 Top Under 1600
Javier Rojas 1.5/5 Top Under 1400
Ryan Valez 1/5 Top Under 1200

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Written by Theo Slade, CFCC contributor

The Central Florida Chess Club (CFCC) Championships were held at the University of Central Florida (UCF) on February 10-11, 2018. The UCF is a great venue since there is plenty of room, it is mostly quiet, and there are plenty of places to eat nearby. Unlike most tournaments in Florida, there were no separate schedules or sections. There were only twelve players in total, however, so obviously having only one section was a necessity. Personally, I prefer having one schedule because I think it is fairer, but this tournament was similar to a two-day schedule, except the first game was played with the same time control as the rest of the rounds, which was G/120; d5. Given that we played three games on Saturday, that meant potentially over twelve hours of chess in one day, but luckily a lot of the games finished quickly so we were partially spared from having to endure a marathon. Going into the tournament, John Ludwig was the top seed and the clear favorite, as the second seed was 303 points behind.

Round One

Amazingly, to me at least, in the first round, all the higher rated players won their games; there were no upsets at all! That meant that the six highest rated players were all on 1/1, and the second half was tied for seventh on 0/1. That obviously meant that Ludwig won his game, Black against Daniel Smith in the longest game of the first round.

Round Two

In the second round, Ludwig won again, this time with White against John Givler. Meanwhile, Ryan Hamley defeated Paul Leggett to maintain his perfect score. On board two, I was Black against William Fink and I played the Queen’s Gambit Declined. I went a pawn up on move twenty-five and declined a draw offer on move twenty-eight. However, despite keeping that material advantage for the remainder of the game I had to acquiesce to a draw on move seventy-one, the last game to finish.

Round Three

Midway through the tournament, Hamley was White against Ludwig, but Hamley could not stop the top seed from maintaining his perfect score. Therefore, after the first day, Ludwig was the sole leader on 3/3, with me on 2.5/3.

Round Four

My White victory over Givler was the last game to finish in round three, and because I was due Black and Ludwig was due White for round four, I knew I would be Black against Ludwig on Sunday morning. Therefore, I did a lot of preparation for that game; so much, in fact, that I was slightly late for my game! However, it paid off as in the Scotch I was still in book ten moves into the game and my eighth move seemed to surprise my opponent, as he spent a lot of time on his reply. However, I was worse, to varying degrees, for most of the game, but I hung in there and eventually, with Ludwig down to less than a minute, we liquidated to bare Kings and split the point.

Round Five

Going into the final round, Ludwig was half a point clear of Hamley and me. Ludwig was Black against Darien Brown whilst I was White against Hamley on board two. Ludwig beat Brown very quickly as Black to retain the CFCC Championship. That left Hamley and me to battle it out, and after weathering Hamley’s Kingside attack, I managed to win in the endgame to secure second outright. Ludwig’s victory took his CFCC Championship count up to five. Congratulations!

Tournament Slideshow

CFCC 2018 Board of Directors

The club also held its annual meeting to elect CFCC board members as it does at each year's Club Championship tournament. The CFCC members page has been updated to reflect the newly elected 2018 board of directors. 

CFCC 2018 Class Championships Slideshow & Recap

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CFCC 2018 Class Championship

Board One, Round 2, with UCF's Nick Moore (2144) (L) vs John Ludwig (2463) (R) in the CFCC Class Championship last weekend in south Orlando.

Board One, Round 2, with UCF's Nick Moore (2144) (L) vs John Ludwig (2463) (R) in the CFCC Class Championship last weekend in south Orlando.

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Written by Theo Slade, CFCC contributor

The Central Florida Chess Club (CFCC) Class Championships were held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando hotel at SeaWorld, which was a great venue because the hotel was spacious, and the playing conditions were great. Going into the tournament, John Ludwig was the top seed, followed by Corey Acor, just sixty-two points behind. They were the clear favorites since the third seed was 164 points lower rated than Acor.

Round One

There were only four entrants in the three-day schedule in the Open, including yours truly. On board one on Friday night, I was Black against Steven Lenhert, who played a trendy variation in the Catalan, which has been played before by GMs Boris Gelfand, Wesley So, and Vladimir Kramnik. I knew this variation, but then I played a “natural” (according to GM Max Illingworth) move which was a mistake, giving Lenhert a big advantage. He did not capitalize on it in the best way, but I later blundered handing him a winning position with an outside passed pawn. I fought hard to hold it, he did not play as accurately as he could have, and we reached a position where he was better, but it should be a draw with correct play. However, I had a lot less time than my opponent, and that eventually told when on move sixty-three with less than twenty seconds left, I made the decisive error, allowing Lenhert to win.

On Saturday morning in the two-day schedule, Acor was White against Kai Tabor; it was a Closed Sicilian, and Tabor equalized comfortably. The game did not veer too far from the equilibrium until the twenty-third move, when Black perhaps became too impatient, trading White’s impressive Knight, but allowing him to create a dangerous passed pawn, which in the end, cost Black. Meanwhile, on board one, Ludwig got off to a perfect start, defeating Yandri Morales.

Round Two

In round two, once the two-day and three-day schedules had merged, Acor beat Blake Baumgartner. However, Nickolas Moore got a great result, holding Ludwig to a draw as Black.

Round Three

Midway through the tournament, the top two seeds met. Ludwig was Black and played the Scandinavian Defense; a quick draw ensued, which probably suited Acor given that it ensured he kept his tournament lead.

Round Four

In the penultimate round, Ludwig upped the pace by defeating Lenhert as Black, and in the meantime, Acor was Black against Joshua Harrison. It was an Italian, but one where Black equalized quickly by snagging the Bishop pair. The position remained balanced for twenty-eight moves, but on the twenty-ninth, White allowed Acor to suddenly and drastically improve his pieces, which gave him a significant advantage. Just three moves later, Black was already winning and efficiently converted. That just goes to show how quickly things can go south in chess . . .

Round Five

In the last round, Ludwig beat Baumgartner as White in a Caro-Kann, whilst Juan Marquez Pereira was White against Acor on board one. It was a Vienna Game and a sharp position was reached in a hurry. Just sixteen moves in, White was already winning, but missed his chance and blew the lion’s share of his advantage. Later on, Black was actually slightly better despite being a pawn down due to his more active pieces and Bishop pair. However, the players transposed into an equal ending where White was a pawn up, but it looked to be only temporary as Black could get it back . . . but he did not! So suddenly Pereira was a pawn up in a winning endgame when just four moves ago it was drawn. He had a chance to create a protected passed pawn, which would have won, but passed up this gilt-edged opportunity. Further mistakes were made by both sides (time may have been a factor) but this roller coaster of a game finished with the point shared.

In Conclusion

Moore and Marquez Pereira tied for third on 3.5/5. Marquez Pereira also gained the most rating points in the tournament, going from 2120 to 2146. Both Moore and Marquez Pereira remained unbeaten throughout the tournament, as did Ludwig and Acor, who tied for first on 4/5. Congratulations to all of these players!


CFCC 2018 Class Championships
Event Slideshow

Some of the winners from the CFCC 2018 Class Championship

CFCC 2017-2018 $600 Grand Prix Standings After Class Championship

Board One, Round 2 Theo Slade (2177) (L) vs John Ludwig (2463) (R), 2017 CFCC Club Championship at UCF's Teaching Academy

Board One, Round 2 Theo Slade (2177) (L) vs John Ludwig (2463) (R), 2017 CFCC Club Championship at UCF's Teaching Academy

UPDATED CFCC 2017-2018 $600
Grand Prix Standings 

CFCC's annual 2017-2018 $600 Grand Prix cycle is coming to a close, with the 2018 CFCC Club Championship (February 10-11th, 2018) being the last event that counts towards a members 2017-2018 total tournament score, with their lowest tournament score being eliminated from their total for the year. 

2017-18 CFCC $600 Grand Prix
Standings After 2018
Class Championship
Place Player Points
1st John Ludwig
11.5
2nd John Givler
10.0
3rd Ryan Hamley
9.0
4th Raghav Venkat
8.5
5th-8th Martin Hansen
Paul Leggett
Theo Slade
Andy Yang
7.5
9th Charles Bell
6.5
10th Matthew Minear
6.0