CFCC 2018 Sunshine Open & Scholastic Concludes with a Tie for 1st Place!

 Final round, board 1, IM Rafael Prasca (2433) (L) vs Arnold Banner (1857) (R), CFCC 2018 Sunshine Open & Scholastic held at the Westin Lake Mary.

Final round, board 1, IM Rafael Prasca (2433) (L) vs Arnold Banner (1857) (R), CFCC 2018 Sunshine Open & Scholastic held at the Westin Lake Mary.

CFCC 2018 Sunshine Open & Scholastic

Congratulations to IM Rafael Prasca and Cory Acor (2378) for their 1st place tie with 4.5/5, where their only draw was against each other in their fourth round matchup on board 1.

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written by NM Theo Slade, CFCC contributor

Round One; Three-Day Schedule

Going into the Sunshine Open, only Satvik Reddy (1860), Evan Stewart (2004), and I (2127) had entered the Premier section. Evan and I were in the three-day schedule whilst Satvik was in the two-day schedule which meant that on Friday night I played Evan. The top two sections could not really be merged at this point given that many players could have entered the Premier section two-day schedule on Saturday.

Evan was White, and we played the Anti-Berlin. Both sides committed a couple of mistakes before he made a strong exchange sacrifice. However, I missed my chance to return the extra material and reach an equal position, instead allowing a devastating Kingside attack. Evan made no mistake, and after forty-five moves I resigned.

However, immediately after this game, Harvey Lerman asked me if I would like to re-enter. Where I am from, in England, there is no option to re-enter; we only have one schedule! And I had never re-entered before in America as you have to pay another entry fee, you have to fit another game into an already tiring schedule, and adjust to playing a shorter time control in the first round of the two-day schedule, only to have to adjust back to playing with the time control you played with on Friday night. All of this sounds like a lot of inconveniences, especially when you consider that after all of that, you still may lose on Saturday morning! Then it would all be for nothing! Despite all of this, I nevertheless decided to re-enter anyway, although ultimately it did not turn out very well . . .

Perhaps Paul Leggett (1832) has got it all figured out: he lost on Friday night, re-entered, and then took a bye on Saturday morning. This way, he is guaranteed at least half a point out of his first round even if he loses, and he does not have to adjust to a new time control twice or play an extra game.

One final quirk of all this is that for the rest of the tournament, I cannot play Evan anymore because he played me in the first round! When we played each other, we were the top two seeds in the entire tournament, including all sections! If we had have known then that the sections were going to be merged on Saturday, we could have merged the sections on Friday and we would have both played lower rated opponents. It would have been disappointing from a competitive standpoint if both of us had tied for first on 5/5 without the chance to play each other again since I re-entered . . .

Round One; Two-Day Schedule

On Saturday morning I was paired Black against William Xu (1720) on board two, with IM Rafael Prasca (2433) on board one. However, at the last minute, Corey Acor (2378) entered, which meant that my pairing was the same, but instead on board three as White against the same opponent . . . Or was it? Actually, I was not playing against William Xu, but William Wu (1668)! No wonder my Dad misread the pairings; the names were so similar! Anyway, William Wu resigned after fifty moves. In the meantime, Rafael beat Nicholas Weisberger (1724) as White and Corey dispatched William Xu as Black.

Round Two

On Saturday afternoon the two schedules merged, and Paul beat Wyndell East (1644) as Black. I played the Nimzo-Indian Defense against Leon Cheng (1708) and he resigned after thirty-one moves. This meant that I was on 2/2, maximum points, despite losing my first game! Meanwhile, Rafael won again, this time as Black against Zoe Zelner (1837) in the French Defense. Corey defeated Connor Eickelman (1772) as White in a Rook endgame.

Round Three

On Saturday evening, I lost to John Givler (1942) in the Modern Benoni in a four-hour game. In my opinion, he played a brilliant sacrificial game, regardless of what the engine says and deserved to win. In the meantime, Paul won again as White against Sivaji Hariharan (1913). This meant that Paul was on 2.5/3 but obviously if there was only one schedule the maximum score for him would have been 2/3, so both Paul and I benefitted from the option to re-enter. Rafael extended his win streak in the antepenultimate round on the top board, defeating Ryan Hamley (1993) with the White pieces. Corey followed suit, beating Evan as Black.

Round Four

Going into Sunday morning the top two seeds, who were both on maximum points, faced each other on board one. Corey was White, and at one point offered a draw, which was declined by Rafael. However, eventually, the point was indeed split. Credit to both players for playing a true fighting game of chess rather than agreeing on a quick draw.

Round Five

In the last round, Rafael had Black again, facing Arnold Banner (1888) on the top board. Despite the enormous rating disparity, it was a very long, exciting game with a lot of spectators watching at various points. At one point, I counted as many as eleven people watching at once! However, in the end, Rafael prevailed, meaning that he finished on 4.5/5. On the second board, I was White against Corey and I played the Queen’s pawn opening. However, Corey played very well to checkmate me by underpromoting on the sixty-first move. That meant that Corey and Rafael tied for first, with John finishing third outright. Special mention should also go to Christopher Fashek (1614), who gained a whopping 107 rating points! Congratulations to the two highest rated players, Rafael and Corey, who shared first!

Photo gallery to be posted shortly!

-Central Florida Chess Club (CFCC)

 Final round, CFCC 2018 Sunshine Open & Scholastic held at the Westin Lake Mary

Final round, CFCC 2018 Sunshine Open & Scholastic held at the Westin Lake Mary


CFCC May 12th Tornado Concludes with Clear 1st Place Winner

 Final round, board 1, Todd Durham (1813) (L) vs Anthony Coleman (1885) (R), CFCC May Tornado held at the UCF Teaching Academy. 

Final round, board 1, Todd Durham (1813) (L) vs Anthony Coleman (1885) (R), CFCC May Tornado held at the UCF Teaching Academy. 

Congratulations goes to Clermont Chess Club's Todd Durham who won clear first place in CFCC's first summer tornado with an upset win and a final score of 3.5/4 in the 4SSG/75;d5 tournament event. 

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written by NM Theo Slade, CFCC contributor

The May CFCC Tornado was held at the UCF Teaching Academy, which I think is a great venue because the playing room is spacious and quiet. Heading into the tournament, I (2192) was the top seed by 246 rating points, followed by Andy Yang. The Tornado’s time control is G/75; d5, meaning that one game could last as long as two hours and forty minutes if both players used all of their time and the game lasted sixty moves. Given that Tornadoes feature four rounds in one day, one player could play up to ten hours and forty minutes of chess in the same day! Therefore, I would say this event is the ultimate endurance test!

Round One

On board one, to kick off the tournament I checkmated Andrew Xing (1521) as White in thirty-two moves. Meanwhile, Evan Waters (1586) upset Andy as White! Anthony Coleman (1880) took a half-point bye in the first round, whilst Todd Durham (1813) defeated Scott Cox as Black. In the meantime, Leon Cheng (1730) beat Javier Rojas (1282) as Black and Arnold Banner (1855) overcame Charles Hatherill (1458) as White.

Round Two

In the antepenultimate round on board one, Todd played really well as White to mate me in the Queen’s pawn opening. It was the longest game of the round, with many people watching. Elsewhere, Andy bounced back with a win over Javier as White, Anthony triumphed in his first game against Tim Bowler (1436) with the Black pieces. Arnold beat Leon as Black, Evan defeated Darien Brown (1491) as Black, and Andrew rebounded to outdo Scott with the White pieces.

Round Three

On the top board in the penultimate round, Arnold quickly split the point with his co-leader, Todd, as White. Arnold admitted after the event that he was extremely tired and, “Playing like a zombie!” Todd, on the other hand, had just played a very long game against me, so was probably also happy to rest for the last round. Needless to say, Arnold used his break to have a nap! Concurrently, I got back on my feet with a victory over Leon as White in forty-seven moves, Andy topped Andrew as Black, and Anthony beat Evan as White.

Round Four

Going into the final round, Todd, Anthony, and Arnold were the joint leaders on 2.5/3. Todd was White against Anthony whilst Arnold was Black versus Andy. Todd emerged victorious in his game, whilst Andy overtook Arnold. On the other boards, I won against Evan as Black in the Queen’s pawn opening in twenty-nine moves, Leon shot ahead of Darien with White, and Andrew defeated Tim as Black to get back to fifty percent.

Prizes

All of this meant that Todd won the tournament outright on 3.5/4, winning $100 and gaining sixty-five rating points. Todd played extremely well throughout the tournament and thoroughly deserved his victory. Andy and I shared second and third place on 3/4, which meant we both won $45. Arnold and Anthony shared the U2000 prize on 2.5/4, each earning $15, Leon and Evan shared the U1800 prize on half marks, each winning $15. Finally, Andrew won the U1600 prize outright, winning $30 and gaining ten rating points. Congratulations!

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 Velez Rodriguez 1.0/5 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