MPCC Ladders

This evening we’ll host casual, blitz and bughouse play at the club but will also open up our Blitz and Quick ladders a little early for those seeking to climb either. The idea remains to run each ladder for three months and award points for ladder games as one would an ordinary Swiss, where a win is one point, a draw half a point and a loss zero points, and we may also incorporate a bonus for the person or persons who climb the most rungs during each three-month period.

As mentioned during the Quick Swiss last week, is sponsoring some nice prizes, including 1-month Diamond memberships for three club members every month, which we will award to ladder participants based on monthly results, with some additional prizes awarded for one’s three-month performance. If you’ve read this far, you deserve a little prize already—please use the following link to get Chessable Pro free for one month, another benefit is passing along to affiliate clubs such as ours:

More information about our ladders, along with rules and initial standings based upon our two most recent tournaments, may be found here: (if you wish to be added to either ladder just let me know). Questions? Send a message to or see me at the club tonight. Regards,

Mark Drury

Hall Of Bright Carvings Quick Swiss Results

Our Hall of Bright Carvings Quick Swiss ended dramatically Thursday with perfect scores in two sections, and with Michael Ho looking to make it three until he ran afoul of WFM Olivia Smith in the final round, leaving the two tied for first atop the 1400+ section with 3 points apiece. Of particular note are the performances of Banks Bennion, U1400 champion, and Austin Rolfe, winner of the Unrated section, both of whom scored the aforementioned 4-0 in their respective groups. Banks is all of nine or ten years old, I think, and his rating clearly has some catching up to do with his ever-increasing skill in the game, while Austin now finds himself with a 1735 provisional rating after just four games, 300+ points higher than he was speculating Thursday night. Congratulations to both on their excellent results and to Siddharth Kalra, as well, another strong junior who tied for second in the U1400 section!

The full results for all three sections may be found in the attached images, while the tournament rating reports are now available here: The prize winners for each section follow and I’ll contact them directly to ask how they wish to receive the proceeds. Thank you to everyone who participated in this event, especially for your patience with the slightly noisier playing conditions during the first two rounds (rounds 3 and 4 were better, I hope). As always, please let me know if you have feedback, good or bad, and I hope to see many of you at our next tournament! Regards,

Mark Drury

1400+ (12 players):
Michael Ho: $30
Olivia Smith: $30

U1400 (15 players):
Banks Bennion: $45
Kornél Csernai: $10
Nicholas Tan: $10
Siddharth Kalra: $10
Unrated (12 players):
Austin Rolfe: $40
Atul Dhingra: $10
Amogh Rao: $10

Hall of Bright Carvings Quick Swiss Rounds 1 & 2

Our Hall of Bright Carvings Quick Swiss got off to a rocky start Thursday due, chiefly, to SwissSys software crashes and subsequent data loss, but we managed to complete the second round by ~9pm so all was not lost. I believe I have resolved the software issues so rounds 3 and 4 should proceed far more smoothly, with an 8:30pm finish easily attainable if we begin promptly at 7:00pm. The three images below show the results after two rounds (please check them for accuracy) as well as the tentative third round pairings—these could change if there are bye requests or withdrawals before Thursday evening (let me know ASAP if you are unable to play for any reason).

Another issue raised by several players Thursday was that of frequent vocal intrusions heard during play. We have a number of younger, less experienced players in this event, players who may be accustomed to scholastic gatherings where stream of consciousness chatter about one’s misfortunes during a game is largely overlooked. I won’t be playing in rounds 3 and 4 and will do my best to keep this chatter to a minimum, but please keep in mind that part of our club’s charter is to encourage new players to join our tournament ranks and some etiquette leeway should be afforded the youngest participants—they could very well be tomorrow’s masters, after all. Regards,

Mark Drury

Raphael Yelluas Memorial Blitz

The Raphael Yelluas Memorial Blitz event held last night at the Kolty Chess Club was a great success, with a very large turnout split into two sections, 1600+ and U1600. The Menlo Park club was well represented and saw excellent results from the likes of Cesar, Adam, Kunal, Marshall, Nicholas, Samuel, Ashwin, Alex Chin, Shahin Aghevli, Josen Kalra, Michael Ho and certainly others I’m forgetting at present.

I don’t have the official results but I believe IM Grisha Kotlyar and CM Badamkhand Norovsambuu tied for first in the 1600+ section, while Menlo Park Chess Club stalwarts Nicholas Tan and Samuel Agdamag shared first in the U1600 section, after an exciting final-round draw between the two (both undefeated to that point!).

The photos below are from the first round, with Cesar and Badamkhand squaring off on board two while I had the pleasure of playing Grisha on board one. We began an interesting Dutch game of a dozen or so moves until I may have been on the verge of losing a pawn or some positional concession but instead opted to boldly hang my queen, from which auspicious start I never left the bottom boards for the rest of the night. Grisha was gracious in victory, however, and may visit our club at some point to play blitz with members and/or give a lecture of some kind.

A big thank you to Wolfgang Behm, George Jeffers, Carl Lumma, Grisha Kotlyar and all the other Kolty Chess Club Players who made this happen—it was a great event!

IM Grisha Kotlyar and Mark Drury before their round one game
Cesar Tamondong and CM Badamkhand Norovsambuu before their round one game