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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, September 8, 2011

With diagram
Three high school students tie for first in State Chess Championship

By Peter Henner

Seventeen-year-old Michael Chiang won the 133rd New York State Chess Championship, held at the Albany Marriott over Labor Day weekend. Chiang was awarded the title on the basis of a complex tie-breaking system over Schenectady's Deepak Aaron and defending Champion Aleksander Ostrovskiy, with all three players tied with 4.5 out of 6.0.

The $3,000 prize money was divided three ways, with Chiang receiving an extra $100.

Aaron, a Niskayuna High School student just back from playing in the World Junior Chess Championship in India, led the field by a full point going into the last round, but lost to Ostrovskiy, who, when he won the tournament last year at age 14, was the youngest Champion ever.

Although Deepak won his fifth-round game against Jay Bonin, one of the two International Masters in the tournament, he ultimately lost his last-round game to fall back into a three-way tie for first. 

Going into the last day of play, there was a chance that both Deepak and his brother, Dilip, would win their sections. Dilip Aaron, with a perfect score of 4-0, was leading the Under-1800 section but lost his fifth-round game to Albany player and ultimate winner David Finnerman, and drew his last-round game to finish in a three-way tie for second through fourth.

Finnerman won the $1,000 first prize with a score of 5.0.

In all, 179 players competed in six different rating classifications.  Thirty players from the Capital District competed against players from around the state.  Many local players took the opportunity to play up a section, to have the chance to compete against stronger players.

The Open section, the only internationally rated event to be held the Capital District each year, had five local players; all but Aaron would have been eligible to play in weaker sections.  Schenectady Champion Steve Taylor and myself both scored 3.0, and Patrick scored Chi 2.5.  David Connors, playing in the Open section with a rating of only 1487, was unable to score a point.

In the Under-2200 section, Phil Sells raised his rating 25 points while scoring 3.5, Albany Club Treasurer Jon Leisner scored 2.0; Glen Perry, 1.5; and Saratoga Club President Alan LeCours, 1.0.

Phil Thomas, the former New York State State Quick Chess Champion from Troy, made a strong run in the Under-2000 section; had he won his last-round game against tournament winner Malik Perry, he would have tied for first with 5.0.  Instead, he finished in a tie for sixth through eighth with 4.0, gaining 72 rating points in the process.

Other local scores: Scott Boyce, 3.0; John Phillips, 2.5; Kenneth Evans, 1.0; and Matt Clough who, with a 1573 rating was playing up two sections, 1.0.

The Under-1800 section was dominated by players in the Capital District who captured six of the top 10 places.  Dilip Aaron and Berne player Richard Moody tied with 4.5; Art Alowitz, who tied for first in the Under-1600 section last year, finished in a tie for fifth through 10th with 4.0, along with local high school player Zachary Calderon.

Another high school player Zubin Mukerjee finished with 3.5.  Other local scores: Sylvester Canty, 2.5; Cory Northrup, 2.5; Carlos Varela, 2.0; and Elihue Hill, 1.0.

In the Under-1600 section, Michael Laccetti won $200, tying for third and fourth with a score of 4.5.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute player Max Katz also made a run to win the section, losing to the tournament winner, David Brodsky, and Laccetti, to finish with 4.0. He won $150 for tying for the best score for players under 1400. Lew Millenbach and Jason Denham drew their last-round game to finish with 3.0.

In the Under-1300 section, Ken Rossman scored 4.0 to join a tie for fourth through ninth, winning $40, and Schenectady junior player Yogi Kanakamedala scored 3.0, including a win over Rossman. 

This week’s problem

Youth did very well in the Open section, as evidenced by the three-way tie for first between high school players.  However, sometimes a treacherous old-timer triumphs.  Twleve-year-old Kapil Chandran, rated 2176, played a very steady, calm, and collected game against me in the fourth round, to ultimately break through in a position I thought was drawn.

However, in the last round, when he was plainly winning against Master Yefim Treger, and a victory would have placed him in a tie for fourth and in the prize money, Treger came up with a swindle that deprived Chandran of the game.

Can you find it?

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