♘  "I have two vocations: chess and engineering. If I played chess only, I believe that my success would not have been significantly greater. I can play chess well
only when I have fully convalesced from chess and when the 'hunger for chess' once more awakens within me." -Mikhail Botvinnik  ♘

WCC News 2017 ♔

Miscellaneous News & Other Chess Events of Interest:

MACA Event Calendar of Tournaments throughout Massachusetts

NHCA Event Calendar of Tournaments throughout New Hampshire

Relyea Event Calendar of Open & Invitational Tournaments

Continental Chess Association Tournament Schedule for All States

Billerica Chess Club weekly results are now available on this site as part of the Other Organizations section.

Keene, NH Chess Club events calendar

Waltham Chess Club events calendar

Boylston Chess Club events calendar

Greater Worcester Chess Club events calendar

New Britain CT Chess Club events calendar

♔ Second Tuesday of every month: Larry Christiansen Simul at South Station 25 boards, noon to 2:00 PM. Open seating until 1:15pm. No fee.

♔ ♞ Print or download a .PDF version of the Wachusett Chess Club Flyer ♘ ♚

♚ ♛ An Archive of these & earlier News Links is now available in the "Chess Online" section ♛ ♚


An unofficial but nice to have Glossary of Chess terms ♜ ♘ ♝

ECO code to enjoy =  A18 English opening, Mikenas-Carls, Flohr variation: 1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 e6 3.e4 d5 4.e5 
♔   ♛   ♖   ♝   ♘   Four Random Mating Patterns   ♞   ♗   ♜   ♕   ♚

Fianchetto Mate

David & Goliath Mate

Reti's Mate

Stan Talcott's Mate

January 18th, 2017

Reggie Boone Memorial, January 18th, 2017
Round 3 of 5 Results
Gary Brassard 0-1Paul Godin
Roger Cappallo 0-1Geoff LePoer
Dave Couture 0-1Larry Gladding
Don Briggs 0-1Mike Meehan
Brett Kildahl 1-0Ralph McNeilage
Diego Ubiera 1-0Jim Hankard
Ken Gurge 0-1♔ Mike Commisso
John Bastarache 0-1Jim Donahue
Tom Fratturelli 0-1♔ Vince Premus
Wayne Steadman 0-1Nik Lavoie
Emily Gawboy 0-1Brian Biglow
Randy McLaughlin 1-0Andy Kiser
Total of 12 boards, 2 major upsets ().

♝ Receiving half-point byes were Alexander Venezia, Dave Thomas, George Mirijanian, Arthur Barlas, Ed Harris,
Seeth Ganesan, Bob Mathieu, Gail Lingner, Nicholas Anderson, Francis Scanlon, Alan Condon and Larry O'Rourke.
♗ Declining a half-point bye was Hugh McLaughlin.
♙ Withdrawn from the tournament were Vlad Gaciu and Stan Talcott.

Reggie Boone Memorial, January 18th, 2017
3.0Godin, LePoer, Gladding
2.5Venezia, Meehan
2.0Kildahl, Cappallo, Ubiera, Brassard, Thomas, Donahue, Commisso, Premus
1.5Mirijanian, Barlas, Couture, Harris, Ganesan, Lavoie, Mathieu, Briggs
1.0Gurge, McNeilage, Hankard, Bastarache, Lingner, Biglow, R. McLaughlin, Anderson, Scanlon
0.5Condon, Fratturelli, Steadman, O'Rourke, Gawboy
0.0H. McLaughlin, Kiser

Projected Round 4 Pairings for January 25th:

Board #: [White] vs. [Black]
Board 1: Godin vs. Gladding Board 2: Meehan vs. Venezia Board 3: Thomas vs. Kildahl Board 4: Premus vs. Ubiera Board 5: Commisso vs. Brassard Board 6: Mirijanian vs. Ganesan Board 7: Barlas vs. Mathieu Board 8: Lavoie vs. Couture Board 9: Harris vs. Briggs Board 10: Hankard vs. Gurge Board 11: McNeilage vs. R. McLaughlin Board 12: Biglow vs. Lingner Board 13: Anderson vs. Fratturelli Board 14: Condon vs. Gawboy Board 15: O'Rourke vs. Steadman Board 16: Kiser vs. H. McLaughlin

♗ Requesting half-point byes for Round 4 are LePoer, Cappallo and Donahue.

REMINDER: Players must be present by 7:10 P.M. in order to be paired for Round 4 on January 25th.
Players running late who wish to be paired MUST CALL by 7 P.M.

January 18th, 2017

Hans Berliner, Master Chess Player and Programmer, Dies at 87:
Arnold Denker, L;
Hans Berliner, R.
Vic DeLucia, NYT Photo

Hans Berliner, a former world champion of correspondence chess who won one of the greatest games ever played on his way to the title, and who later helped develop game-playing computers, died on Friday in Riviera Beach, Fla. He was 87.

In the early '60s, inspired by the work of programming pioneers in artificial intelligence, Mr. Berliner, who was working at IBM at the time, began writing a program to play chess.
In spring 1985, the new computer, HiTech, made its debut. It quickly ascended to the rank of master and then to senior master, becoming the world's strongest chess computer. In 1988, it became the first computer to beat a grandmaster in a match, defeating Arnold Denker, 3.5 to 0.5, though Mr. Denker was well past his prime.
In 1937, amid the rise of Nazism, Mr. Berliner's family emigrated to Washington, D.C. He learned to play chess at 13 during a rainy day at summer camp.

He became a chess master at 20 and by 23 was good enough to be part of the United States team that played in Helsinki at the biennial Chess Olympiad.
"Sooner or later, the moment of truth comes where you put them all together and see what it does," he said. "And from the very beginning, I could see that it had the potential - maybe not every single time - it had the potential to play better than any device that existed."
-By Dylan Loeb McClain, NYT, January 16, 2017

January 18th, 2017
Wachusett CC member Geoff LePoer interviewed the late Hans Berliner at CMU

Geoff LePoer, champion of the Wachusett Chess Club in 1999 and currently an active member of the club, has brought to light that he interviewed the late Hans Berliner, who directed the development of the chess computer HiTech when he was a professor of computer science at Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA. Berliner passed away in Riviera Beach, FL on Friday, Jan. 13, 2017 - two weeks before his 88th birthday. LePoer, a graduate of Carnegie-Mellon in 1987, had the opportunity of interviewing Berliner for a writing class he was enrolled in. Berliner granted the interview because LePoer identified himself as a chess player. That made the difference! In the mid-1980s Berliner directed the development of HiTech, which was the first computer to attain a rating over 2400 in 1985. Besides his contribution to computer chess, Berliner is also known as the winner of the 5th World Correspondence Chess World Championship (1965-1968) and a participant in several U.S. Chess Championships in the 1950s. He was also on the U.S. team that played in the 1952 Chess Olympiad in Helsinki, Finland.
-George M

Sorry folks - I am afraid there is no trace of that Interview. It was my junior year - would have been fall of 85. I think I had a copy in my portfolio when I graduated, but that was 30 years ago!! It was never published - which was negligence on my part. My professor asked me to submit it to our campus paper and I just never got around to it. Too bad - would be a nice piece of nostalgia to share it.
-Geoff LePoer

You were fortunate to be at Carnegie-Mellon during a period when HiTech was the dominant computer program in the country, possibly in the world. HiTech prevailed from September 1985 (the start of your junior year) until around July 1988, a little more than a year after you graduated. And the fact that you met Berliner and interviewed him will be something you will never forget. Carnegie-Mellon made its mark in computer chess while you were there.
-George M

What a lot of folks don't know - even chess players - is that HiTech was one of two chess programs developed at CMU (what we called it before a marketing effort dropped the University, added a hyphen and converted our identity to Carnegie-Mellon). Deep Thought was also developed there at the same time. They competed against each other and Deep Thought eventually surpassed HiTech.
My recollection is that HiTech was built on a series of processors that calculated all the moves by squares. There was a processor dedicated to each of the 64 squares. But DeepThought was more of an algorithm based program and analyzed more by piece moves - more along the lines of how humans played. Of course - analyzing it at thousands of times faster and deeper than any of us can.
DeepThought was already strong program when I met Hans - but it had a different name then. I can't remember what it was originally - but by time it passed HiTech it was called DeepThought.
[DeepThought most likely was originally named "ChipTest". -PG]
-Geoff LePoer

I remember Deep Thought, because it was the computer that played in the 1988 U.S.Open in Boston that I directed. I cannot forget when it was paired against Igor Ivanov (R, pictured here with Alexander Ivanov, L), who was in a state of intoxication, in round 9 and defeated Igor in 29 moves of a Scandinavian Defense (See game here). Igor dropped out of the tournament right after that.
Igor Ivanov was no stranger to chess aficionados in the Fitchburg-Leominster area. He played in the Central New England Opens more than 30 years ago.
-George M
[More details of this fascinating & somewhat local story may be found in: AI Magazine Volume 10 Number 2 (1989) -PG]

January 16th, 2017
Wachusett Chess Club players compete in Portsmouth Open

Four Wachusett CC players, all residents of New Hampshire, competed in the Portsmouth Open, held Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 14-15, at the Holiday Inn in Portsmouth, NH. Ed Harris of Marlboro, Jim Hankard of Antrim, Mike Commisso of Brookline and Francois Gauthier of Francistown took part in the Under 1750 section of the 40-player tournament.
Harris, Hankard and Commisso all scored 2.5-1.5, while Gauthier tallied 2-2. None of the players gained rating points or won prize money. Hankard drew Commisso in round 3, while Harris finished the tournament with three blacks in a row!
-George M

January 14th, 2017
Former Wachusett CC member Jon Edwards columnist for new American Chess Magazine

Jon R. Edwards, a member of the Wachusett Chess Club in the early 1970s, is now a columnist for the new American Chess Magazine, published by the Chess Informant. Edwards, who lived in West Acton, Mass. during the period in which he played at the Wachusett CC when it was situated at the Fitchburg YMCA, is a well-known correspondence chess player. He won the 10th U.S. Correspondence Chess Championship in 1997 and the 8th North American Invitational Chess Correspondence Championship in 1999. A Senior International Master in the International Correspondence Chess Federation (ICCF), the 63-year-old resident of New Jersey has written more than 20 books on chess. During his time at the Wachusett CC, he was greatly influenced by two-time (1973 & 1974) club champion Stephan Gerzadowicz, a noted correspondence player and author of several chess books. Edwards' column in the American Chess Magazine is titled "Chess Tech," In his first article, he introduces the readers to the wonders of ChessBase Account and plans in future columns to teach the intricacies of ChessBase 13/14.
-George M

January 11th, 2017
2017 Reggie Boone Memorial
Round 2 of 5

Reggie Boone Memorial, January 11th, 2017
Round 2 of 5 Results
♔ Larry Gladding 1-0Brett Kildahl
Paul Godin 1-0Ken Gurge
Arthur Barlas 0-1Roger Cappallo
♔ Alex Venezia 1-0Diego Ubiera
Geoff LePoer 1-0Ed Harris
Jim Donahue 0-1Gary Brassard
Ralph McNeilage 0-1Dave Couture
Mike Meehan 1-0Tom Fratturelli
♔ Don Briggs 1-0Alan Condon
Seeth Ganesan 1-0Hugh McLaughlin
Jim Hankard 1-0Randy McLaughlin
Mike Commisso 1-0Larry O'Rourke
Brian Biglow 0-1John Bastarache
Wayne Steadman 1/2-1/2♖ Emily Gawboy
Bob Mathieu 1-0Andrew Kiser
Total of 15 boards, 3 major upsets (). 1 upset draw ()

♝ Receiving half-point byes were Dave Thomas, George Mirijanian, Vlad Gaciu, Stan Talcott,
Gail Lingner, Nik Lavoie, Nicholas Anderson and Francis Scanlon.
♙ Withdrawing from the tournament were Jackson Parker and George Miller.

Reggie Boone Memorial, January 11th, 2017
2.0Godin, Cappallo, LePoer, Brassard, Gladding, Venezia
1.5Couture, Thomas, Meehan, Briggs
1.0Kildahl, Mirijanian, Ubiera, Gaciu, Gurge, Barlas, Donahue, Harris, McNeilage, Ganesan, Hankard, Commisso, Bastarache,
Mathieu, Talcott
0.5Fratturelli, Lingner, Steadman, Lavoie, Anderson, Gawboy, Scanlon
0.0Condon, Biglow, H. McLaughlin, R. McLaughlin, O'Rourke, Kiser

Projected Round 3 Pairings for January 18th:

Board #: [White] vs. [Black]
Board 1: Brassard vs, Godin Board 2: Cappallo vs. Gladding Board 3: Venezia vs. LePoer Board 4: Couture vs. Meehan Board 5: Briggs vs. Thomas Board 6: Kildahl vs. McNeilage Board 7: Mirijanian vs. Ganesan Board 8: Ubiera vs. Hankard Board 9: Gurge vs. Commisso Board 10: Bastarache vs. Barlas Board 11: Talcott vs. Donahue Board 12: Harris vs. Mathieu Board 13: Fratturelli vs. Lavoie Board 14: Anderson vs. Lingner Board 15: Scanlon vs. Steadman Board 16: Gawboy vs. Condon Board 17: O'Rourke vs. Biglow Board 18: R. McLaughlin vs. Kiser

REMINDER: Players must be present by 7:10 P.M. in order to be paired for Round 3 on January 18th.
Players running late who wish to be paired MUST CALL by 7 P.M.

January 8th, 2017

Woman FIDE master Carissa Yip, champion of the Wachusett Chess Club in 2014, scored one of the biggest successes in her tournament career by tying as one of the runners-up in the 5th annual Boston Chess Congress, held Jan. 6-8 at the Hyatt Boston Harbor Hotel. Carissa, playing on top board in the final round of the event, drew GM Alexander Ivanov (2564), who clinched first place with a score of 4.5-0.5 Sharing the 2nd and 3rd-place prizes with Carissa with 4-1 tallies were Canadian grandmaster Eric Hansen (2659), IM David Vigorito (2448), and FM Chris Chase (2391). Also scoring 4-1 and finishing as a runner-up was Farzad Abdi (2246), who won the top Under 2300 prize, and M. Derek Meredith (2125), who won the 2nd U2300 prize.
Carissa started the tournament by defeating two high-rated experts in the first two rounds, then drew IM Aleksandr Ostrovskiy (2489) of New York in round 3, beat a frequent rival, master Grant Xu (2396), in round 4 before splitting the point with Ivanov in the final round.
The Wachusett Chess Club congratulates Carissa on her very fine finish.
-George M

January 4th, 2017
2017 Reggie Boone Memorial
Round 1 of 5

Reggie Boone Memorial, January 4th, 2017
Round 1 of 5 Results
Brett Kildahl 1-0Seeth Ganesan
Alan Condon 0-1Paul Godin
Roger Cappallo 1-0Jim Hankard
♖ Tom Fratturelli 1/2-1/2George Mirijanian
Diego Ubiera 1-0Mike Commisso
John Bastarache 0-1Geoff LePoer
Gary Brassard 1-0Wayne Steadman
Nik Lavoie 0-1Larry Gladding
Ken Gurge 1-0Brian Biglow
Hugh McLaughlin 0-1Arthur Barlas
Dave Couture 1/2-1/2♖ Don Briggs
Larry O'Rourke 0-1Alexander Venezia
Dave Thomas 1-0Nicholas Anderson
Emily Gawboy 0-1Jim Donahue
Ed Harris 1-0Francis Scanlon
Andrew Kiser 0-1Ralph McNeilage
16 boards, no major upsets () two upset draws ()

♝ Receiving half-point byes were Vlad Gaciu, Jackson Parker, Mike Meehan, George Miller and Stan Talcott.
♗ Declining half-point byes were Gail Lingner and Randy McLaughlin.

Reggie Boone Memorial, January 4th, 2017
1.0Kildahl, Godin, Cappallo, Ubiera, LePoer, Brassard, Gladding, Gurge, Barlas, Venezia, Thomas, Donahue, Harris, McNeilage
0.5Mirijanian, Gaciu, Couture, Parker, Fratturelli, Meehan, Miller, Talcott, Briggs
0.0Ganesan, Condon, Hankard, Commisso, Bastarache, Lingner, Steadman, Lavoie, Biglow, H. McLaughlin, R. McLaughlin,
O'Rourke, Anderson, Gawboy, Scanlon, Kiser

Projected Round 2 Pairings for January 11th:

Board #: [White] vs. [Black]
Board 1: Barlas vs. Kildahl Board 2: Godin vs. Gurge Board 3: Venezia vs. Cappallo Board 4: Donahue vs. Ubiera Board 5: McNeilage vs. Brassard Board 6: Gladding vs. Thomas Board 7: Mirijanian vs. Harris Board 8: Gaciu vs. Meehan Board 9: Miller vs. Couture Board 10: Parker vs. Talcott Board 11: Briggs vs. Fratturelli Board 12: Ganesan vs. Lavoie Board 13: Biglow vs. Condon Board 14: Hankard vs. H. McLaughlin Board 15: Commisso vs. O'Rourke Board 16: R. McLaughlin vs. Bastarache Board 17: Lingner vs. Gawboy Board 18: Steadman vs. Kiser

♗ Requesting a half-point bye for Round 2 is LePoer, Anderson and Scanlon.

REMINDER: Players must be present by 7:10 P.M. in order to be paired for Round 2 on January 11th.
Players running late who wish to be paired MUST CALL by 7 P.M.

January 3rd, 2017
CHESS WORKSHOP with George Mirijanian
Saturday, January 7, 2017 at Fitchburg Public Library

CHESS WORKSHOP for youth and adults with George Mirijanian of the Wachusett Chess Club, 10:30 AM 'til noon, Saturday, January 7, 2017 at Fitchburg Public Library. Work on your game, and enjoy the company of other players. George (who is also my uncle) is the host and founder of "Chess Chat," the most popular chess show in the world, which originates at FATV. PLEASE share with students!!
-Sally C.