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    Chess Notes

    Weekly chess column

    Among local news of note is that 8-year-old Carissa Yip has embarked with her father, Percy, to compete in the world youth chess championship in Maribor, Slovenia. The tournament hosts 1,584 players from 91 countries, in a city of less than 100,000 people. There are 89 players from the United States, including stars NM Robert Perez of Florida (and MIT) and the youngest US chess master ever, 11-year-old Californian Samuel Sevian.

    In October, Carissa had the third highest rating for her age in the country. One can only imagine what an extraordinary experience this must be for an 8-year-old. There are 129 players from 50 countries in the Girls Under 10 section. In Carissa’s first six games she posted only a 3.5-2.5 score, apparently leaning to socializing rather than analyzing.

    The New England Nor’easters won the US Chess League Championship in 2010. The stars of that performance were Sam Shankland, Robert Hungaski, and Alex Cherniack. Recently on the USCF website, Hungaski related a representative story of players who seek the Grandmaster title. Hungaski compared it to Captain Ahab’s pursuit of the White Whale. We prefer to think of it as the Arthurian search for the Holy Grail. Hungaski won the 2011 New York International tournament with a score of 8-1, 1.5 points ahead of Jaan Ehlvest.


    With two GM norms, Hungaski could not resist a chance to add a third and final GM norm. He joined the European Circuit and succeeded only in losing 50 rating points. Thus frustrated, he swore off playing for the rest of the year. However, while visiting family in Argentina, he was asked to join Gregory Kaidanov and Alexander Shabalov in entering the Argentina Continental tournament (no relationship to the American Continental tournaments). He could not resist. He placed eighth and, voila, won the last Grandmaster norm for the title.

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    The US Chess League found all New England teams on the bottom of the Eastern Division, looking up at four teams qualifying for the divisional playoffs. In round 10, the Boston Blitz lost to the Baltimore Kingfishers. The New England Nor’easters ran into terrible luck against the Eastern leader, the Philadelphia Inventors, when A. Ivanov and C. Thiel lost from better positions. Ben Goldberg, who due to the storm and a near traffic accident arrived well over 45 minutes late, supplied the only win. The Connecticut Dreadnoughts also failed to qualify.

    Brevity: Wells vs. L. Prins (1979) 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.cxd5 exd5 4.Nc3 c6 5.Bf4 Bf5 6.e3 Qb6 7.Qd2 Nf6 8.Nge2 Nbd7 9.Ng3 Bg6 10.Bd3 Be7 11.Nf5 Nh5 12.Nd6+ Kf8 13.Na4 Qc7 14.Nxf7 Nxf4 15.Nxh8 Nxd3+ 16.Ke2 Bf5 17.g4 Nf4+ 18.exf4 Bxg4+; 0-1

    Winners: Boylston Grand Prix — 1st, Eric Goden, 3.5-.5, 2d-4th, Henry Terrie, Michael Bohigian, and Bowen Wang, -2.5.; Continental Eastern Team Championship — 1st, Jerry Albano Law Office, 4.5, 2d-3d, Left Our GM at Home and Cornell University “A,” 4.0

    Coming Events: SBCC Brask Tournament,
    Nov. 21, United Methodist Church, 16 East Bacon St., Plainville, e-mail:; Burlington Open, Nov. 23-25, FIDE rated, Marriott Burlington, e-mail: