CFCC 2018 Orlando Autumn Open and Scholastic Concludes With a Tie for 1st Place

 Final round, board 1, Orlando’s NM Theo Slade (2077) vs Tallahassee’s Benjamen Chen (2064) where their game ended in a draw.

Final round, board 1, Orlando’s NM Theo Slade (2077) vs Tallahassee’s Benjamen Chen (2064) where their game ended in a draw.

Tampa’s Michael Brown contributed a 360 degree perspective of the tournament room at the beginning of round 2 on Saturday afternoon. Thanks Michael!


Contributed by Steven Vigil, Chief Tournament Director

CFCC 2018 Orlando Autumn Open & Scholastic

The 2018 Orlando Autumn Open was held on September 8-10. Over 130 players competed in the Central Florida Chess Club annual fall 3-day event. The tournament took place at the Wyndham Hotel on International Drive. It is a familiar venue which has hosted many great CFCC events over the years and this years’ Autumn Open was no exception.

Top Open Section

The tournament featured five sections with the top Open Section competing for the $1600 in prizes available. It was a hard fought, hotly contested weekend of chess among the top players in the tournament, where Theodore Slade (2077) and Ryan Hamley (2025) remained undefeated with 3.5 points.

Congratulations to Theo and Ryan who drew in their fourth round game and shared first place honors and $570 each. Three others players, Alexander Sinnott (2066), Elio Otero (2105) and Benjamin Chen (2000) finished with 3 points each in a three way tie for 3rd place and $152.

Under 2000 Section

In the U2000 section Leovel Barbon (1893) had an impressive showing with 4.5 points earning him clear first place and $684. Roy Weaver(1936), Jayden Lang (1765) and Brandon Sibbitt (1785) all finished in second place with 4 points netting them each $278.67.

U1700 Section

The U1700 section was dominated by siblings Andrew Xing (1570) and Amy Xing (1626). It is unusual to see siblings play against one another, but the pairing could not be avoided since Andrew and Amy were in first and second place respectively. After agreeing to a draw in the final round, Andrew finished with 4.5 points to win first place and a $684 payout. Amy won second and $456 undefeated with 4 points. Nate Ziegler (1534), Samuel Wohl (1617) and Abhiram Pothuri (1522) all finished with 3.5 points earning them $126.67.

Under 1400 Section

In the U1400 section Rithwik Hedge (1325) finished with a perfect score of 5 points to win first place and $608. Camille Sibbitt (1386) and Michael Trigo (1334) tied for second with 4 points winning them $266 each. Camille and her Brother Brandon who won second in the U2000 section were another brother & sister who performed exceptionally well at the tournament. Amit Prasad took fourth place and $152 with 3.5 points.

Scholastic Section

The Scholastic section was by far the largest with 41 players. Congrats to Robert Drum (1006) who managed to score a perfect 5 points winning him $228 and the U1200 trophy. Vasilii Filosofov (976) won the U1000 trophy and tied with 5 others with 4 points. Each of them won $45.60, except for Alison Solik (513) who won $76 and the U800 trophy.

CFCC Special Announcement

This event also marked the one year anniversary of the passing of longtime CFCC board member, chess coach and tournament player Jonathan Lee. CFCC will be awarding two scholastic private coaching scholarships in his honor.

CFCC also announced it will be holding a Winter Open in February which will feature a special senior section.

Steven Vigil and Harvey Lerman served as Tournament Directors for this event. Thanks to Alex Zelner and OCG who provided the chess shop.

Orlando Autumn Open Slideshow

John Ludwig Captures 5th CFCC Club Championship Title

CFCC 2018 Club Championship-3.jpg

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


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

CFCC 2018 Class Championships Slideshow & Recap

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