“Tower of Flints” Chess960 Swiss Results

Twenty-two intrepid souls joined us for the Chess960 tournament Thursday night, one which morphed into an individual Swiss rather than a team event due to the number of relatively late entries. When the last flag fell two things were clear: we had, as a group, finally figured out how to castle (for the most part) and Josh Garrow is at least 3 inches taller and his chess skills are even stronger than when he visited us last summer. Congratulations to Josh on his perfect 4-0 score, to Quincy Chen for sole second with 3.5 points and to Chris Murphy, Jay Wacker, Jerome Oriel and Steven Swick on tying for third with 3.0 points!

I mentioned to a number of people that I chose the four Chess960 starting positions used last night based, somewhat whimsically, on information in the following Lichess user blog post—I haven’t looked too closely at the methodology or the code to judge its merits but I found it interesting and you may too: https://lichess.org/@/rdubwiley/blog/using-lichesss-public-data-to-find-the-best-chess-960-position/GCpB9WLH.

As another reminder, the first of two bughouse tournaments occurs next Thursday and you have the option to choose your teammate (via the registration form or by contacting me) or to allow me to pick one for you from the pool of other individual entries. The first event is free to enter, given it will serve as a club trial for the format, and the following week we will hold the same event with a $5 entry fee per player, all of which will be returned in prizes. Enter one or both events at https://menloparkchess.club/events/ and I hope to see many of you for some bughouse over the coming two weeks! Regards,

Mark Drury

“Tower of Flints” Team Bughouse

The Menlo Park Chess Club will hold its first team Bughouse event April 6th, a follow-on to our Team Blitz tournament and part of a long-promised experiment to see if the team format works for our membership. The tournament will consist of sixteen teams of two players in a 4-round Swiss with a G/5 time control and free entry. More information about Bughouse rules and strategy may be found here.

Sign up individually using the Register button, above, and indicate your desired team member if you have one (optional). Given the fixed team nature of this event there is little flexibility where the number of participants is concerned, so if you wish to play please sign up early. That said, please do not register if you are on the fence about playing on the 6th, as nothing causes more swirl in a team event than late withdrawals or, worse, no-shows.

Shortly after registrations close team rosters and pairings will be shared with all participants. If you need to withdraw for any reason please let the tournament director know as soon as possible, so that a replacement player may be found and the teams rebalanced, as necessary. The first round will begin promptly at 7:00pm so please arrive by 6:45 Thursday to check in. Our Tournament Rules Summary will be followed for this tournament with the lone exception that we will observe clock move rather than touch move (the distinction will be shared before the start of the first round). Please send any questions or comments to info@menloparkchess.club and we look forward to seeing you at at this event!

“Tower of Flints” Team Chess960

The Menlo Park Chess Club will hold its first team Chess960 event March 30th, a follow-on to our Team Blitz on March 9th and part of a long-promised experiment to see if the team format works for our membership. The tournament will consist of eight teams of four players in a 3-round Swiss with a G/10 d/3 time control and free entry. The Chess960 starting positions to be used will be shared at the beginning of each round.

Sign up individually using the Register button, above, and teams will be crafted by the tournament director, with the avowed goal of making the event as equitable as possible where rating and/or skill level are concerned. Given the fixed team nature of this event there is little flexibility where the number of participants is concerned, so if you wish to play please sign up early. That said, please do not register if you are on the fence about playing on the 30th, as nothing causes more swirl in a team event than late withdrawals or, worse, no-shows.

Shortly after registrations close team rosters and pairings will be shared with all participants. If you need to withdraw for any reason please let the tournament director know as soon as possible, so that a replacement player may be found and the teams rebalanced, as necessary. The first round will begin promptly at 7:00pm so please arrive by 6:45 Thursday to check in. Our Tournament Rules Summary will be followed for this tournament with the lone exception that we will observe clock move rather than touch move (the distinction will be shared before the start of the first round). Please send any questions or comments to info@menloparkchess.club and we look forward to seeing you at at this event!

Casual, Blitz, Bughouse Chess Evening

Our regular weekly club meeting now occurs Thursday evenings from 6:00-9:45pm in the Oak Room of the Arrillaga Family Recreation Center. Casual, blitz and bughouse chess are in the offing and we’ll discuss details of the next tournament, tentatively scheduled for March 23rd.

“Tower of Flints” Team Blitz Results

Our “Tower of Flints” team blitz tournament last night was an interesting and fun experiment with a few lessons learned (off the top of my head—there are certainly more): with assigned teams as were used in this event, have people on the same team introduce themselves to one another before the start of the first round, so everyone knows who is on their team (it was pointed out to me after the second round that there was some uncertainty about team makeup, resulting in a “Doh!” moment); balancing team strength is difficult when most participants don’t have an established blitz rating and there are a number of first-time participants; a five-round blitz tournament can take longer than 90 minutes, even with the pairings pre-made.

That said, I think the format has promise and I heard generally positive feedback from participants, so we’ll try it again next week or the week thereafter, perhaps playing Chess960 to further obfuscate my questionable team balancing algorithm. In the meantime, congratulations are due to Clyde Taylor and Gustavo Chau for winning their board groups with perfect 5-0 scores, and to Team E (Alex Chin, Andy Shih, Cameron Rampell, Atul Dhingra, Benjamin Sergeant and Clyde Taylor) for sweeping the other teams with a 5-0 match score, as well. All team and board results are in the images below and I’ll work out a better way to share this for the next event.

Thank you to everyone who played chess with us last night (including the many who visited for casual and bughouse), who put up with the missteps and who provided feedback during and after the tournament—I really appreciate it! Regards,

Mark Drury

Casual, Blitz, Bughouse Chess Evening

Our regular weekly club meeting now occurs Thursday evenings from 6:00-9:45pm in the Oak Room of the Arrillaga Family Recreation Center. Casual, blitz and bughouse chess are in the offing and we’ll discuss details of the next blitz tournament, tentatively scheduled for March 9th.

Casual, Blitz, Bughouse Chess Evening

Our regular weekly club meeting now occurs Thursday evenings from 6:00-9:45pm in the Oak Room of the Arrillaga Family Recreation Center. Casual, blitz and bughouse chess are in the offing and we’ll discuss details of the next tournament, tentatively scheduled for February 2nd.

Year’s First G/3+2 Blitz Tournament

We held our first blitz tournament of the year last night with 28 players participating in two sections. Section A, an 8-player round robin, was won by FM Shawnak Shivakumar with the statement score of 6.5 out of 7 points. Adithya Karavadi took second with 5 points and Alaric Stein rounded out the top three of this hard-fought group with 4.5 points.

Newcomer Samuel Agdamag won Section B, a 5-round Swiss event, with a score of 4.5 points, while Jörg Lamprecht, Kornél Csernaiand youthful Sahil Shivakumar tied for second with 4 points each. Congratulations to our winners—Shawnak and Samuel took home $25 Kepler’s Books gift certificates for their efforts—and thank you to everyone who joined us last night (including our five first-time visitors)!

I’ll send information later today or tomorrow about the USCF-rated tournament which begins next Thursday, a 4-round Swiss event in one section with a G/45 d/5 time control, and I hope many of you will be able to join us then. Regards,

Mark Drury

Casual, Blitz, Bughouse Chess Evening

Our regular weekly club meeting now occurs Thursday evenings from 6:00-9:45pm in the Oak Room of the Arrillaga Family Recreation Center. Casual, blitz and bughouse chess are in the offing and we’ll discuss details of the next tournament, tentatively scheduled for January 19th or 26th.

Blitz Ouroboros G/3+2 Results

Last night we held another single-section Swiss-system blitz tournament, a G/3+2 affair with 24 players and, as with last week, Kunal Modi mowed through the field for another perfect 5 of 5 result. Adam Stevens and Aaron Cho tied for second with 4 points and all three received $25 Kepler’s Books gift certificates for their exertions. Congratulations to our winners and thank you to everyone who participated in this event, our last of the year!

It’s hard to believe the club will observe its one year anniversary when we next meet January 5th and it has been far more successful than I would have imagined in January or February of this year. For my part, the greatest reward is meeting so many of you fine people, both at the club and online. Thank you for your participation and support over the course of the year, have a great Holiday season and a safe New Year and here’s hoping next year will be even better! Regards,

Mark Drury