Impromptu G/2+3 Double-Round Blitz #6

We enjoyed another excellent turnout for our casual evening this past Thursday and 26 people played in our impromptu G/2+3 double-round blitz tournament (two games played against each opponent), with Andy Applebaum taking sole first with a perfect 8 points. One point behind in sole second was first-time club visitor Ramkumar Jeyaraman, while Cesar Tamondong claimed sole third with 6 points. Of particular note was the result of Hayden Brongersma at 5 points, a young player who seems to get stronger each week and, if memory serves, only took up the game seriously earlier this year. Full results for the tournament are given below and we’ll continue to offer these blitz events (with different formats and time controls) on casual nights given it’s clearly what club membership wishes to do.

#Name/Rating/IDRd 1Rd 2Rd 3Rd 4Rd 5Rd 6Rd 7Rd 8Total
1Andy ApplebaumW 22B 22B 17W 17W 11B 11W 3B 3
2Ramkumar JeyaramanB 6W 6W 15B 15W 8B 8B 11W 11
3Cesar TamondongW 16B 16W 13B 13B 7W 7B 1W 1
4Rohan KaprebyebyeW 6B 6B 19W 19W 5B 5
5Kornel CsernaiB 24W 24W 7B 7W 12B 12B 4W 4
6Hayden BrongersmaW 2B 2B 4W 4B 21W 21W 10B 10
7David ZhaoW 19B 19B 5W 5W 3B 3B 15W 15
8Mark DruryW 10B 10byebyeB 2W 2W 17B 17
9Josen KalraB 15W 15W 16B 16W 18B 18W 21B 21
10Amogh RaoB 8W 8W 26B 26B 13W 13B 6W 6
11Pranav JindalB 14W 14W 21B 21B 1W 1W 2B 2
12John VitlacilbyebyebyebyeB 5W 5B 14W 14
13Lasha LakarbaiaW 26B 26B 3W 3W 10B 10W 22B 22
14Paul HartelW 11B 11B 23W 23B 17W 17W 12B 12
15Jay WackerW 9B 9B 2W 2B 22W 22W 7B 7
16Atul DhingraB 3W 3B 9W 9W 20B 20W 23B 23
17Nikita GrinkinB 25W 25W 1B 1W 14B 14B 8W 8
18Aditya Dhamdherebyebye—-—-B 9W 9B 25W 25 
19Isaiah ScottB 7W 7W 24B 24W 4B 4W 20B 20
20Hugo Pubyebye—-—-B 16W 16B 19W 19 
21Ashwin GaneshW 23B 23B 11W 11W 6B 6B 9W 9
22Richard WangB 1W 1W 25B 25W 15B 15B 13W 13
23Jerome OrielB 21W 21W 14B 14B 26W 26B 16W 16
24Victor ChenW 5B 5B 19W 19B 25W 25W 26B 26
25Michael DarrW 17B 17B 22W 22W 24B 24W 18B 18
26Ganesh R.B 13W 13B 10W 10W 23B 23B 24W 24

Impromptu G/2+3 Double-Round Blitz #5

We enjoyed another good turnout for our casual evening this past Thursday and 24 people played in our impromptu G/2+3 double-round blitz tournament (two games played against each opponent), with Andy, Pranav and Alaric sharing first place with 7 out of 8 points. The time control was a bit unusual and was chosen solely because we wished to try something different, something a little faster than normal. I don’t know that we’ll play G/2+3 again as it was not obviously better than G/3+2 or the like but it was perhaps worth trying. We’ll play another impromptu blitz tournament next week (September 28th) and our club championship will begin the following week, October 5th. Regards,

Mark Drury

#PlayerRd 1Rd 2Rd 3Rd 4Rd 5Rd 6Rd 7Rd 8Total
1Andy ApplebaumbyebyeB 13W 13W 15B 15B 10W 10
2Pranav JindalW 17B 17B 5W 5W 10B 10W 3B 3
3Alaric SteinB 18W 18W 6B 6W 11B 11B 2W 2
4Rohan KaprebyebyebyebyeW 21B 21B 11W 11
5David ZhaoB 20W 20W 2B 2W 13B 13W 7B 7
6Josen KalraW 9B 9B 3W 3B 8W 8W 12B 12
7Julian TaibyebyeB 15W 15W 19B 19B 5W 5
8Paul HartelB 15W 15B 17W 17W 6B 6W 20B 20
9Austin ChenB 6W 6W 18B 18W 23B 23B 16W 16
10Richard WangB 21W 21W 16B 16B 2W 2W 1B 1
11Nikita GrinkinW 19B 19W 12B 12B 3W 3W 4B 4
12Ashwin GaneshW 24B 24B 11W 11W 14B 14B 6W 6
13Isaiah ScottB 22W 22W 1B 1B 5W 5W 21B 21
14Hugo PubyebyebyebyeB 12W 12B 24W 24
15Thomas GerberW 8B 8W 7B 7B 1W 1B 18W 18
16Arnav BhavsarB 23W 23B 10W 10W 20B 20W 9B 9
17Amogh RaoB 2W 2W 8B 8W 18B 18B 19W 19
18Hayden BrongersmaW 3B 3B 9W 9B 17W 17W 15B 15
19Jeff UngarB 11W 11W 24B 24B 7W 7W 17B 17
20Aditya DhamdhereW 5B 5W 22B 22B 16W 16B 8W 8
21Michael DarrW 10B 10W 23B 23B 4W 4B 13W 13
22Johann LoebW 13B 13B 20W 20B 24W 24B 23W 23
23Victor ChenW 16B 16B 21W 21B 9W 9W 22B 22
24Maxime GerberB 12W 12B 19W 19W 22B 22W 14B 14

Impromptu G/5+0 Blitz Tournament #4

There was another good turnout for our casual evening this past Thursday and twenty people played in the 4-round G/5+0 blitz tournament, won (yet again) by Pranav Jindal with a perfect 4-0 score, followed by Kunal Modi, Nikita Grinkin, Satya Chitturi and yours truly at 3 points. At the conclusion of this tournament quite a few people wanted to play another 4-rounder but we simply didn’t have time–perhaps if we manage to start earlier we can hold two complete blitz tournaments in one evening. Regards,

Mark Drury

#PlayerRd 1Rd 2Rd 3Rd 4Total
1Pranav JindalB 15W 5B 4W 2
2Kunal ModiW 16B 9W 3B 1
3Nikita GrinkinB 12W 11B 2W 6
4Satya ChitturiW 17B 13W 1B 10
5Mark DruryB 18B 1W 14W 11
6David ZhaoW 14B 8W 9B 3
7Hugo PubyebyeB 12W 14
8Josen KalraW 13W 6B 19B 17
9Cesar TamondongB 20W 2B 6W 18
10Rohan KaprebyebyeB 18W 4
11Arnav BhavsarB 19B 3W 13B 5
12Eddie ZhaoW 3B 20W 7B 19
13Hayden BrongersmaB 8W 4B 11W 16
14Aditya DhamdhereB 6W 15B 5B 7
15Ashwin GaneshW 1B 14W 17B 20
16Kornel CsernaiB 2W 18W 20B 13
17Michael DarrB 4W 19B 15W 8
18Jeff UngarW 5B 16W 10B 9
19Kyan AgdassiW 11B 17W 8W 12
20Paul HartelW 9W 12B 16W 15

Impromptu G/3+2 Blitz Tournament #3

Our casual/blitz/bughouse evening this past Thursday was more lightly attended than usual, perhaps due to the upcoming Labor Day Weekend and the fact that we completed our Quick-rated tournament the week before, but many club stalwarts and several first-time visitors played in a five-round impromptu blitz tournament, with Andy Applebaum taking sole first with a perfect 5-0 score (I gave Andy a run for him money in the final round). Satya Chitturi was second with 4 points and Jeff McGinnis third at 3.5. It was another fun event and we may do this every casual evening as there appears to be an appetite for it. Full results follow and note that our Surfeit of Blitz Redux event will likely occur over two weeks September 23rd and 30th. Regards,

Mark Drury

#PlayerRd 1Rd 2Rd 3Rd 4Rd 5Total
1Andy ApplebaumB 8W 4B 2W 9B 7
2Satya ChitturiW 10B 9W 1B 6W 4
3Jeff McGinnisbyebyebyeB 11B 9
4Deep BardhanW 11B 1W 7B 10B 2
5Aranya KunduW 12W 14B 6B 15W 10
6Chase WangW 7B 16W 5W 2B 12
7Mark DruryB 6W 12B 4byeW 1
8Hayden BrongersmaW 1B 11W 16B 13—-
9Ashwin GaneshB 17W 2B 12B 1W 3
10Arnav BhavsarB 2W 17B 14W 4B 5
11Hugo PuB 4W 8B 17W 3W 13
12Esther MendozaB 5B 7W 9W 14W 6
13Colin TaylorbyebyebyeW 8B 11
14Aditya DhamdhereW 16B 5W 10B 12B 17
15Abhik ChatterjeebyebyebyeW 5B 16
16Michael DarrB 14W 6B 8W 17W 15
17Paul HartelW 9B 10W 11B 16W 14

Impromptu G/3+2 Blitz Tournament #2

We had another good showing at our casual night this past Thursday and threw together a second impromptu G/3+2 blitz tournament, which Pranav won with a perfect 4-0 score. Full results are below for the curious. We’re overdue to host our second Surfeit of Blitz marathon so that may happen in September or October, at the latest.

Our August Quick-Rated Double-Round Quads begin this Thursday and I’ll send the groups and round-by-round pairings later today or tomorrow. Note that we have one extra spot in the larger Swiss section for someone rated 750 or below—please contact me if you or someone you know may wish to play some quick-rated games over the coming three weeks. Regards,

Mark Drury

Isles of Blood and Spices Blitz Results

We enjoyed an excellent turnout for our 5-round G/5 Isles of Blood and Spices Blitz tournament last night, with 28 players vying in one Open section for modest cash prizes in three ratings groups. Congratulations to Pranav and Adam S. for shared first overall, to Lasha and Nicholas for shared first 1000-1499 (and their excellent 4.0 result) and to young Siddharth for yet another strong showing in taking first alone in the U1000 group, with Hayden, Marc and Trinton tying for second a point behind. The common lament heard during this event was that “I was n moves away from mate or a draw but lost on time!” so we may revisit an increment or delay during our next blitz tournament. The full results may be seen in the attached image—I’ll follow up with prize winners about payment and, as always, please let me know if you have questions or if a correction is needed.

Our next tournament will be a 3-round, dual-rated G/30;d5 Swiss over three weeks beginning June 15th, and we’ll again offer 2, 3 or 4 sections to keep the ratings within groups as close as possible. The entry fee is $5, all of which will be returned in cash prizes. More information and a registration button may be found here: Note that you only need register for round 1 of this event and you’re good for all three rounds.

As mentioned at the club last night, I may be out of town next Thursday, June 8th, but I’ll try to find someone to bring the chess equipment to the club in my stead. If that turns out to be impracticable we may still open for casual/blitz/bughouse/ladder play but you’ll need to bring your own equipment, is all. I’ll send another note once I know more. Regards,

Mark Drury

Isles of Blood and Spices Blitz

In a final homage to Mervyn Peake—for now—the Menlo Park Chess Club will hold an unrated 5-round tournament with a G/5 time control (no increment or delay) in one section over one evening Thursday, June 1st, our Isles of Blood and Spices Blitz. The entry fee is $5, all of which will be returned in prize money, the distribution of which will be based on ratings groupings and number of entries. Games played during this event which meet our blitz ladder criteria will also impact ladder standings. Entries are limited to 32 players so please register early using the button, above, and provide a US Chess ID or handle to give some idea of your blitz strength.  The first round begins promptly at 7pmplease check in at the club no later than 6:45pm!

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

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

Mad Hatter Ladder Blitz Swiss Results

We enjoyed another full house Thursday night, April 27th, for our Mad Hatter Ladder Blitz Swiss, with perhaps eight people playing in their first over-the-board event. I didn’t do justice to the name of this tournament, given I had five different Mad Hatter-worthy variations prepared for each of the five rounds, but in reading the room we went with straight-up chess and I think that was the right call (we may partake of those variations later this year).

Kunal enjoyed another perfect result with his 5-0 score, one point ahead of second-place finishers Alex, Pranav, Adam, Amós and Kornél (who is likely the world’s strongest Class D player). The tournament started just a few minutes after 7pm and finished round 8:30, so a huge thank you to everyone for checking in early, as requested, and for joining us last night!

As a reminder, the club will soon host ladders for blitz and slower games and last night’s event was the seed tournament for our blitz ladder. I’ll create a page on the website for the ladder and will include the rules on that page, but the thinking is we’ll offer some nice prizes for those who are most active (or some similar criteria) on the ladder over the remainder of the year. More details about that will follow soon.