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  • Congratulations SC Championship Tournament Winners!! Left - Playing hall at the new location - Wingate by Wyndham in Lexington SC; Center - Feeling exhilarated, NM Sam Copeland describes his tournament experience to SCCA President, David Grimaud; Right - Daniel Tanco proudly displays his 2nd Place Trophy in the Open Section!
  • Young South Carolina chess warriors battle it out over the boards at the Greenville Fall Scholastic Chess Tournament! - Eastlan Baptist Church, September 30, 2017
  • SC Wins Border Battle 2017! Left - Upstairs Tournament Playing Room - Charlotte Chess Center; Right - South Carolina Border Battle Team 2017!
  • Left- L/R Ben Webb - Barber K-8, Olivia Watkins - NGTOC, Michael Burrell - Denker Tour. of HS Champions; Center - Ben Webb w/ Mr.and Mrs.Dewain Barber; Right - National Girls TOC Representatives
  • Congratulations Girls!! Left- Rochelle Wu - NGTOC 2017 Winner (AL); Center - USCF Women's Chair Maureen Grimaud wins Service Award!; Right - Maureen Grimaud with SC National Girl's TOC representative Olivia Watkins
  • Left - Greenville Spring Scholastic 2017; Center - Michael Burrell - 1st Place (K-12) w/ GCC President Gene Nix; Right - Daryl Dowty III - Runner-up (K-6)
  • Left - Tournament Hall; Center - Blitz Game; Right - Last year's blitz champion Dr. Edsel Pena (right) congratulates Ben Caeillo (new 2017 blitz champ!).
  • Left - SC Scholastic Championship 2017; Center - Michael Burrell vs Aidan Fejzulai - 5th and final round; Right - VP Daniel Smith holds mic for Kendra Rogers; Benjamin Webb, Ahan Shi, David Causey (rear)
  • Left - Columbia Open 2016 held at the Hilton Garden Inn, Columbia SC; Center - U1600 Winner Gary Morrow (L) vs Henri Murthy (R) in Round 2 Right - U1200 Winner Raviteja Guruvelli

Midlands Scholastic Chess League IV: Championship Training - Results!

Despite a seemingly omnipresent flu 46 healthy chess players took part in the Midlands Scholastic Chess League IV event held Saturday, January 27th at Ashland United Methodist Church in Columbia. Congrats to all of these participants on their creative play and excellent sportsmanship. Particularly exciting were the many teams that elected to play this event, and noticeable was the strength of the middle school section. We encourage everyone to watch the Facebook Live broadcast of the finish of the game between Jacob Stohl and Ahan Shi: an exciting game! Our next tournament is ... the 2017-18 South Carolina K-12 Championship! We highly encourage ALL of SC's juniors to join us for this thrilling tournament in Columbia, SC at the State Museum:

Our MSCL IV Champions are...

1st Individual K-3: Ethan Kinard
=2nd: Kaia Hartford, and Amit Gupta-Kagan
4th: Bode Hartford

1st Team K-3: Conway Waldorf Co-op

1st Individual K-5: Daniel Hartford
=2nd: Shafin Ula, Alesha Dzikowski, George Wang
5th: William Bao

1st Team K-3: Harbison West Elementary
2nd: Conway Waldorf Co-op
3rd: Midlands STEM Institute

1st Individual K-8: Jacob Stohl and Ahan Shi
=3rd: Kevin Chapman, Robert Patrick Wilmott
=5th: Thomas Hydorn, Taylor Hollis, Mehul Bellukutty, Michael Lucas, Andrew Farmer

1st Team K-8: RC Edwards
2nd: Dent
3rd: Midlands STEM Institute

1st Individual K-12: Matthew Robinson
=2nd: Liam Kelley, Jozn Donaldson
4: Owen Naylor
=5th: Timothy Manly, Alonzo Carpenter, Andrew Hancock

1st Team K-12: Woodruff
2nd: Palmetto Academy

1st Individual Adult: Warren Sampson
=2nd: Sam Frier, Jennifer Bailey, Sam Hartford

Crosstable  Photos on Facebook

NM Sam Copeland
Strategery Chess and Games


GSSM January Open Results!

Two of its representatives held the Columbia Chess Club’s banner high at the GSSM January Open in Hartsville on January 13, 2018.  Robert Halliday earned clear first place with 5.0, with Eli Moore clear second at 4.0, losing only to Halliday in a tough struggle.  As Halliday subsequently put it, “Yes, indeed, I did earn this money!”  Jordan Anderson, Cecil Clarkson, Brennan Ravan, James Balmediano and Jeffrey Russell finished tied for third with 3.0 in the fourteen-player field.  Anderson, also of Columbia, directed the tournament, assisted by Ravan.


Dr. Clyde Smith, Physics Teacher
S. C. Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics


9th Annual South Carolina Senior Open, December 16-17, 2017

Nineteen venerable gentlemen from South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, and Virginia converged on the Hampton Inn at I-385 in Greenville, SC, to resolve the matter of senior dominance at the chess board in South Carolina!

Accelerated pairings left only two perfect 2-0 scores going into the Sunday rounds, setting the pieces for a Master-level showdown in the final round between leader Life Master Peter Bereolos of Tennessee, and South Carolina legend Life Master Klaus Pohl. The Tennessee Master finally prevailed for the tournament win, while Daniel Quigley won a ratings upset over past NC Senior Champion Michael Kliber two boards down to take the SC Senior Championship trophy and title, and to share second & third places with Dr. Clark Brown of Georgia!

The U1600 leaders finished with a five-way tie at 2-2, with Michael Meekins taking the SC U1600 Senior trophy, which award was established on-site and which object is on order for delivery forthwith! The contending field included also from South Carolina John Haymond (returning to competition this year after a too long break), Lee Marinelli and Dean Creech; and from North Carolina Michael Matson, Joseph Quinlan, Wayne Spon, Bruce Roth, Debs Pedigo, Mike Eberhardinger, and Harold Zeltner; and Ray Downs from Alabama; and Steven Boshears from Georgia, and from Virginia was Rob Mahan, a fellow organizer of Senior tournaments!

South Carolina Senior Champion Daniel Quigley will receive an invitation and a stipend to compete in the Tournament of Senior State Champions next July in Madison, Wisconsin, alongside the US Open, to include a half-off entry into the US Open itself afterward. The development of this new event derives from SCCA President David Grimaud’s work as the US Chess Senior Committee President!

Warmest thanks go to the staff of the Hampton Inn for their responsive service, and to Business Manager Ms. Jessica Dillard for her close management of guest room matters.  Special thanks go to Mr.  Grimaud and Precision Tune Auto Care for their generous sponsorship of this and other SC tournaments, and to some unnamed, anonymous, and undisclosed donors who added funds to augment the U1600 prizes, to include an Under-1600 SC trophy!.  Local TD Gene Nix organized and officiated.

Gene Nix
Greenville Chess Club President

Crosstables    Photos


Midlands Scholastic Chess League III Olympiad! Results!

Our first ever true team tournament, the MSCL Olympiad, was our largest tournament thus far! 69 players from all over the state of South Carolina participated, many braving snow to make the trip. The event was held Saturday, Dec. 9th at Heathwood Hall in Columbia.

15 teams of 3 players (plus alternates) organized by school participated in the Olympiad section.

Here are our champions:

1st Elementary School Team: Midway;
2nd: Harbison West; =3rd: Center for Knowledge, Clemson

1st Middle School Team: RC Edwards; =2nd: Dent, St. John Neumann, Crayton

=1st Board One: Jacob Stoll, Ben Sloop
=3rd: Shafin Ula, George Wang, Toby Cox, Tripp Cohn

1st Board Two: Andy Yang
2nd: Matty Ferrario
=3rd: Mason Brissy, Joseph Ravindran
5th: Claire Boland

=1st Board Three: Henry Turner, Anna Zou
=3rd: Brendan Hitchcock, Andrew Hancock, Noah Graves

In the Friends and Family section, we had 19 players. Daryl Dowty the elder won all 4 games to claim first place and $50. In a big tie for second were Warren Sampson, Will Tabakian, Jay Nelson, and Daryl Dowty the younger. Each received $20 and Will, Jay, and Daryl claimed the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place junior trophies respectively.

Crosstables     Photos on Facebook

NM Sam Copeland
Strategery Chess and Games


Midlands Scholastic Chess League II: David Vs. Goliath - Results!

On Saturday, November 11th, 53 of South Carolina's finest young chess players joined us for the Midlands Scholastic Chess League II: David Vs. Goliath. Congratulations to all of the competitors, all of whom demonstrated great spirit and sportsmanship. We were excited to welcome 9 first-time tournament players to this edition of the MSCL; all performed admirably and several took home medals! The biggest hit of the tournament was the giant chessboard we provided which always had a crowd of players between games! Our next tournament, the MSCL III will be an Olympiad format for teams. We highly encourage early registration so we can plan logistically and so teams can begin to form. We have currently discounted registration by one whole dollar! Sign up now and help us out while saving yourself a buck. MSCL III Registration Page

Our "Davids" who defeated higher-rated Goliaths were Jennifer Bailey, Warren Sampson, Ben Sloop, Calvin Smith, Grace Bajarias, Kameron Belk, Samantha Wilmott, Ethan Maldonado, Kevin Reeves, and Zarif Ula.

Primary: 1st Aadi Agnihotri, 2nd Abigail Huang, =3rd Jacob Gowan, Keiko Tanaka, Darren Lane
Elementary: 1st Shafin Ula, =2nd Dakshinesh Kumar, Hudson Haley, Leandra Dawson, Olivia Docteur: 1st Team Harbison West, 2nd Tega Cay, 3rd Midlands STEM
Middle: 1st Helena Bajarias, =2nd Ethan Ellis, Kevin Chapman, Edmund Bajarias, Messiah Cornelius, Taylor Hollis: 1st Team Midlands STEM, 2nd Lexington, =3rd Chapin Intermediate, RC Edwards
High: 1st Henri Murthy, =2nd Eli Moore, Jon Del Rio, 4th Jacob Stohl, =5th Christopher Shells, Gabe de Veringer, Tyler Sim: 1st Team Columbia High
Adult: 1st Warren Sampson, 2nd Jennifer Bailey, 3rd Sam Frier

Crosstables Photos on Facebook

NM Sam Copeland
Strategery Chess and Games


NM Sam Copeland Wins 2017 South Carolina State Championship!

Fifty-eight pNM Sam Copelandlayers from six different states competed in this year's three-section, five-round, 78th Annual South Carolina State Chess Championship over the weekend (Oct. 14-15) at the Wingate by Wyndam in Lexington SC. Congratulations to NM Sam Copeland!!! After an early disappointing first round lost, National Master Copeland rallied to win his next four games thereby claiming the SC State Championship Title for 2017!!! In his 5th and final round, NM Copeland played the Evan's Gambit (accepted) and found great success after an especially powerful move 16. Ne5! His opponent resigned shortly thereafter. It was a fitting end to a comeback story and one that will be remembered for quite some time (see this game below). Other South Carolina section winners receiving first place trophies included Harsha Srijay (4.0/5), winner of the U1900 Section, and Robert Webb (4.5/5), winner of the U1500 Section. The South Carolina Chess Association would like to thank all players, and spectators who helped make the tournament a success. Special thanks to Daniel Smith, David Grimaud, and David Causey for organizing and directing this year's event! Pictures and more to follow.

Crosstables | Facebook

Congratulations to all of our 2017 Winners!!


(1st) NM Sam Copeland (SC) 4.5/5 pts.(T); (2nd-tie) Jeremy Mandelkern (FL) 3.5/5 pts., Daniel Tanco (SC) 3.5/5 pts.(T); (3rd) Erik Zhao 3.0/5

U2100: (2nd-tie) (FL) Jackie Liu, (SC) Keith Eubanks, (NC) Michael Kliber, (GA) Drew Justice, (GA) Samarth Bellayaru (all with 2.5/5 pts.)

Senior Open Section Winner - Keith Eubanks 2.5/5 pts.


(1st place-tie): (NC) Prad Kothapalli 4.0/5 pts., (SC) Harsha Srijay (T) 4.0/5 pts., (3rd place - tie) (NC) Advaith Karthik 3.5/5 pts.; (SC) Benjamin Webb (T) 3.5/5 points.

U1700:(2nd place-tie) (SC) Eli Davis Moore 3.0/5 pts.; (SC) Rashad Ishmael 3.0/5 pts.

Senior U1900 Section Winner - (SC) John Yates (T) 3.0/5 pts.


(1st) (SC) Robert B Webb III (T) 4.5/5 pts.; (2nd) (SC) Zach Walsh (T) 4.0/5 pts.

(3rd-tie) (SC) Mike Meekins, (SC) Andrew Bouman, (SC) John Roberts, (MD) Kyle Schaff - all with 3.5/5 pts each.


MSCL I Kicks Off Midlands 2017-18 Season

The Midlands Scholastic Chess League started Saturday (October 7th) with 43 players turning out to hone their chess skills in friendly competition. In a tournament dedicated to newcomers, 10 players tried their hand at their first tournaments This year, we added a primary section for the first time. Many young players tried this section for the first time, demonstrating impressive mastery of chess for their young years .In all of the higher sections, some of the most impressive results were turned in by players playing up in higher sections! Particularly impressive was 7-year-old Smayan Ammasani's 2nd place finish in the K-8 section!

K-3: 1st Ethan Kinard, 2nd Anthony Zou (Midway), 3rd Henry Barbas, 4th Peter Wang (Midway), 5th Somya Jain - 1st Team Midway
K-5: 1st Daryl Dowty Jr., George Wang (Midway), Samvrtha Shanbhogue (MSI), 4th Alisha Dzikowski, Anna Zou (Midway) - 1st Team Midway, 2nd Team MSI
K-8: 1st Jacob Stoll (Dent), 2nd Smayan Ammasani, 3rd Taylor Hollis (MSI), Jacob Kinard, Kevin Chapman (CIS) - 1st Team MSI, 2nd Team Dent, 3rd Team Lexington Middle
K-12: 1st Eli Moore, 2nd Will Tabakian, Alex Tabakian, William Poole, Jon Del Rio
Adult: Daryl Dowty won with 3.5/4

Crosstables    Photos on Facebook

NM Sam Copeland
Strategery Chess and Games


GSSM September Open Results! Three trophies, three Govies!

Three trophies were awarded at the five-round GSSM September Open in Hartsville on September 30, and Govies (GSSM students) won them all, although Govies comprised only about half of the field.  First place went to Richard Sandvoss on tie-breaks over GSSM alum Jordan Anderson of Columbia (c/o '08).  Each ended the day with 4.5 points of the possible five, having fought to a draw in round three.  The trophy for biggest upset went to Victor Ruan, who upended Brennan Ravan although Brennan entered the day rated considerably higher.  The trophy for first unrated was earned by Brian Torreon, with 3.0 points on the day.


Dr. Clyde Smith, Physics Teacher
S. C. Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics


Greenville Fall Scholastic 2017 Results!

Sixty-four young King-hunters met for intense struggles at Eastlan Baptist Church in the Greenville Fall Scholastic chess tournament, held September 30. After five rounds, the respective leaders were, in tiebreak order:

K-12: Eli Moore, 4.0; Aidan Fejzulai, 3.5; Eric Shi, 3.5
K-8:  Jacob Stoll, 5.0; Simon Collins, 4.0; Aayush Verma, 3.5
K-6:  Nikolai Webb, 5.0; Shreeshiva Raja, 4.0; Kevin Chapman, 4.0
K-4:  Srihaasa Karyampudi, 5.0; Weishang Bi, 4.0; Daniel Leon-Osorio, Vishnusankar Jonnalagadda, William Ngo, Shivani Raja, 3.0
K-2: Samvrtha Shanbhogue, 5.0; Karan Michael Raj, 3.0; Sahaj Patel, 2.5

Twenty-nine youngsters competed in their first or second rated tournament!  Green Charter School and Edwards MS were represented by 11 players each, and Clemson Elementary with 10.  Woodruff HS, Sterling School, Lexington HS, Langston Charter, Hillcrest MS, Riverside HS, New Covenant, Chapin Intermediate, St Paul’s, Pelham Road ES, Brushy Creek ES, Monarch ES, Spartanburg Prep, Midlands Institute, Bob Jones HS, New Covenant, Hillcrest MS, Dent MS, Chapin Intermediate, and various home schools were all well represented.

Greenville Chess Club members acted as floor TDs: Dean Creech, Dr. Wayne Goddard, Life Master Klaus Pohl, Will Brown, and Tim Rankin.  Strong-back help with set-up and take-down came from Mark Webb, Klaus Pohl, Dr. Goddard, and many others. Special thanks to the staff of Eastlan Baptist Church for their kind attention to the venue and for their support of numerous chess events, to Kevin Hyde for the use of the chess sets, and to Clemson ES Chess Club for additional chess clocks.  The enthusiastic surge of chess in local elementary schools owes largely to the promotional efforts of Mr. Doug Peterson and to the Think-Move chess initiative of Peter Giannatos and David Grimaud.  Precision Tune Auto Care and David Grimaud, CEO, sponsored GSS’17 – thank you!  Finally, thanks go to the parents and guardians who support and encourage their children in learning chess from an early age! Local TD Gene Nix organized and directed.

Gene Nix
Greenville Chess Club President



South Carolina Wins 2017 Border Battle!!

The annual battle for border supremacy between North and South Carolina concluded Sunday with Team SC winning the overall match by a final score of 39.5 - 29.5!! This year's event, held at the Charlotte Chess Center & Scholastic Academy (Aug. 19-20), featured three new sections (High School, State Championship, and "C ALT"). The additional "C" section was added to accommodate the growing number of interested players rated between 1400-1599 USCF. In the State Championship section, (SC Champ) Ben Caiello (2145) played four rounds against (NC) NM Tianqi Wang (2383) - both players finished with 2/4 pts. In the High School Section, Michael Burrell (SC Scholastic Champ) scored 2.5/4 points. In the Expert section, Elijah Neumann finished with 3/4 pts. In section C, Eli Moore finished with 3/4 pts. In section "C ALT", Matthew Grant Johnson had the only perfect score - 4/4 pts! This was an exciting, competitive, and fun event that is growing in popularity! Congratulations again to all our fine players!! Special thanks to NM Peter Gianattos and the Charlotte Chess Center for hosting again this year! Thank you parents for making the trip to Charlotte and supporting chess in South Carolina!! See crosstables for more scores. 



Team SC Results - Denker, Barber, National Girls Tournament of Champions

Congratulations to our three SC representatives, Michael Burrell (SC Scholastic Champ 2017), Benjamin Webb, and Olivia Watkins for their courageous performances in the prestigious Denker/Barber/NGTOC Chess Tournaments held at the Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel in Norfolk Virginia July 29th - August 1st!! It takes talent, huge effort, and great family support to arrive at this level and these kids represented us well!! Special thanks also to all those who contributed financially to help make the trip to Norfolk possible and to all the players, and families of players for their steadfast support of chess in South Carolina!!

Crosstables: Denker  Barber  NGTOC


Midlands Scholastic Chess League VI Results!

An impressive cadre of 53 players from all around the state played Sat. May 13th, 2017 in the Midlands Scholastic Chess League VI to wrap up the spring semester. Congratulations to Harsha Srijay and Alex Tabakian, David Dye, and Daryl Dowty and Smayan Ammasani on winning the K-12, K-8, and K-5 sections respectively. Our team champions were Scholar's Academy, Laing Middle School, and Lake Murray Elementary School. Thanks to all who came out and we hope to see you again in fall!

Crosstables  Photos - FB Strategery


Greenville Spring Scholastic 2017 Results!

Seventy-six future Masters met for friendly battle at Eastlan Baptist Church in the first Greenville Spring Scholastic, held April 22.  After five rounds, the respective leaders in each section were,

K-12: Michael Burrell, 4.5; Ahan Shi, 4.0; Gunateja Guruvelli & Toby Cox, 3.0
K-8:   Jacob Schley, 4.5; Simon Collins, 4.0; Bradon Schley, 3.5
K-6:   Jay Bhatt, 5.0; Daryl Dowty III, 4.0; Shreeshiva Raja & Kevin Chapman, 3.5
K-4:   Joshua Nielson & Ruideng Zhong, 4.5; Mo Zheng & Reid Holtzclaw, 4.0
K-2:   Smayan Ammasani, 5.0; Srihaasa Karyampudi, 4.0; Maddox Daniels & Silas Hall, 3.0

Thirty-three youngsters competed in their first rated tournament, with Green Charter School appearing in force with 18 players, and Clemson Elementary with 13.  Sterling School, Lexington HS, Edwards MS, Charleston Catholic, Midlands, Hampton Park Christian, Langston Charter, Hillcrest MS, Riverside MS, Barringer Academic Center, New Covenant, Chapin Intermediate, St Paul’s, St. Mary’s, St. John’s, Shannon Forest Christian, Pelham Road ES, Metrolina Regional, Byrd ES, Hampton Park Charter, Sara Collins ES, and various home schools were all well represented.

Greenville Chess Club members acted as floor TDs: Life Master Klaus Pohl, Will Brown, Dean Creech, Dr. Wayne Goddard, and Petar Jotev.  Strong-back help with set-up and take-down came from Klaus Pohl, Dr. Goddard, Wendell Burnett, Marlana Burrell, Michael Burrell, David & Rachel & Toby Cox and others.  Administrative support and traffic direction came from Ms. Nesha Dias. Special thanks go to the staff of Eastlan Baptist Church for their kind attention to the venue and for their support of numerous chess events, to Kevin Hyde for the use of the chess sets, and to Derek Wilmott for providing additional chess clocks.  The enthusiastic surge of chess in local elementary schools is owes largely to the promotional efforts of Mr. Doug Peterson. Precision Tune Auto Care and David Grimaud, CEO, sponsored GSS’17 – thank you!  Finally, thanks go to the parents and guardians who support and encourage their children in learning chess from a early age! Local TD Gene Nix organized and directed.

Crosstables      Photos


Midland's Scholastic Chess League V Results!

The MSCL V was probably our strongest scholastic tournament thus far by average rating. Many of the twenty two players competing were previous tournament victors. This month we held a bughouse tournament after the tournament and had 9 teams compete including several parent/child teams that were really fun to watch! Our bughouse champions were Ben Yordy and Charlie Allemond. Our individual victors were Will Tabakian, Alex Tabakian, and Charlie Allemond in K-5, K-8, and K-12 respectively. The winning teams in K-5 and K-8 were Harbison West Elemantary and Midlands STEM Institute. Thanks to Pelion High School for hosting and for all the many times they have hosted!

Crosstables     Photos FB


SC Chess Festival Results!

South Carolina's first Chess Festival event featured plenty of fast paced action for all participants as players competed for top honors and prizes in Rapid, Blitz, and Bughouse Chess. The event was held at the Hilton Garden Inn in Columbia SC on March 25th and 26th. Thirty two players competed in the Rapid tournament; twenty six in the Blitz Tournament. Congratulations to Ben Caiello!! Ben came away with all the hardware as he is the SC Rapid and Blitz Champion as well as our current State Champion! Ben Caiello and James MacDougall won the Bughouse event where ten (10) teams competed. Eli Moore claimed the U1600 Rapid prize and Braeden Reed claimed the U1200!  Congratulations to all the winners and special thanks to Daniel M. Smith and NM Sam Copeland of Strategery Chess and Games for organizing this year's event!!!

Rapid Crosstable        Blitz Crosstable


Midlands Girls' Tournament Results!

19 talented young South Carolina players from Columbia, Aiken, and Clemson competed in the Midlands Girls' Chess Tournament held at North Trenholm Baptist Church on Saturday, March 18th, 2017. It is one of our favorite tournaments of the year. There was great competition this year with many players and four teams. About 1/3 of the players were playing in their first tournament. The winners this year are Alesha Dzikowski (1st K-5) and Olivia Watkins and Haylee Hollis (=2nd K-5), Taylor Hollis (1st K-8 and the only perfect score) and Erica Smith (2nd K-8) and Lydia Tillman (1st K-12). The winning team was Midlands Stem Institute followed by Byrd Elementary and the Knights of the Square Table in second and third. Congratulations to all of the competitors, and thanks to Susan Key for assistance with the event!

Photos      Strategery Chess & Games fb


Lefan Xuan Wins The "Tori", the SCCA's Newest Award!

Lefan Xuan of D.W. Daniel High School in Central, S.C. was beaming when presented the South Carolina Chess Association's newest honor, the Hannah "Tori" Whatley G.R.I.T. Award, at the S. C. Scholastic Chess Championships that were held Saturday, February 25th, in Mount Pleasant, S.C.  Lefan battled in the male dominated high school field and finished the tournament as the highest scoring female in that section.  In so doing, she has earned the right to participate in the Susan Polgar Girl's Invitational as the Palmetto State's official representative.  The event will be held at Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri.  Each year, over 3000 girls nationwide, set their sights on one of the 52 special invitations offered by Grandmaster Polgar.  "It is a daunting task... See entire article


2017 SC State Scholastic Tournament Results! Michael Burrell New State Scholastic Champion!!!

Michael BurrellWith superb spring-like weather on Saturday (Feb. 25th), one hundred seventy four of the State's brightest young chess players met at Charles Pinckney Elementary School in Mt. Pleasant SC to compete for trophies, prizes, rating points, and titles. After a grueling five rounds of play, Michael Burrell (shown right) emerged as our new South Carolina State High School Scholastic Champion of 2017!!!!!! Congratulations Michael!!! Michael finished with 4.5/5 points drawing Aidan Fejzulai (4.0/5) in an exciting fifth and final round game that determined first place.

Michael is also now eligible to represent South Carolina in the Denker National Tournament of High School Champions in Norfolk, VA in July! Lefan Xuan was the top scoring female and is eligible to participate in the National Girls Tournament of Champions also this summer! Benjamin Webb won the middle school section and eligible to attend the Barber Tournament of K8 Champions! Congratulations to all these fine players representing our State!!

Special thanks to E.C. Setser, Charles Pinckney Elementary - staff, faculty, and support volunteers!! Thank you all parents, organizers, tournament directors, and coaches! Special thanks to the NM Sam Copeland (Strategery Chess & Games) for providing chess services and personal game analysis! Here are this year's Trophy winners..

2017 Trophy Winners...
HIGH SCHOOL SECTION: (1st) Michael Burrell 4.5, (2nd) Aidan Fejzulai 4.0, (3rd) Brennan Ravan 4.0, (4th) Ben Yordy 4.0, (5th) Lam Nguyen 4.0, (6th) Gregory Post 3.5, (7th) Alexander Moreno 3.5, (8th) Caleb Hylkema 3.5, (9th) Jeffrey Russell 3.5, (10th) Paul Pena 3.0
Lefan Xuan 2.0 - Top Female

MIDDLE SCHOOL SECTION 6-8: (1st) Benjamin Webb 5.0, (2nd) Ahan Shi 5.0, (3rd) Matthew Johnson 4.0, (4th) Eli Davis Moore 4.0, (5th) Aditya Dias 4.0, (6th) Sam Stalnaker 4.0, (7th) Connor Liu 4.0, (8th) Sairam Ramesh 4.0, (9th) Toby Cox 4.0, (10th) David Dye Jr 3.0
Kendra Rogers 3.0 - Top Female

ELEMENTARY SECTION 4-5: (1st) Robert Hylton 4.5, (2nd) Allen Hong 4.5, (3rd) Whit Suber Jr. 4.0, (4th) Daniel Hartford 4.0, (5th) William Tabakian 4.0, (6th) Henri Murthy 4.0, (7th) Ethan Ellis 4.0, (8th) Agustin Rivero 4.0, (9th) William Barnes 3.5, (10th) Calvin Smith 3.5
Olivia Watkins 4.0 - Top Female

ELEMENTARY SECTION K-3: (1st) Daryl Wayne Dowty, III 5.0, (2nd) Caleb Missaggia 4.0, (3rd) Nikolai Webb 4.0, (4th) Caton Tsao 4.0, (5th) Kieran Graney 3.5, (6th) Logan Handel 3.5, (7th) Ethan Missaggia 3.0, (8th) Stone Alexan 3.0, (9th) Chad Mason II 3.0, (10th) Haylee Hollis 3.0
Alesha Dzikowski 3.5 - Top Female

1st Team High School - Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics, Hartsville
2nd Team High School – D.W. Daniel High School, Clemson
1st Team Middle School – R.C. Edwards Middle School, Clemson
2nd Team Middle School – Laing Middle School, Mt. Pleasant
1st Team Elementary School – Pinckney Elementary School, Mt. Pleasant
2nd Team Elementary School – Clemson Elementary School, Clemson
1st Team Primary School – Pinckney Elementary School, Mt. Pleasant
2nd Team Primary School – Ebinport Elementary School, Rock Hill

Crosstables     Photo Gallery


Midlands Scholastic Chess League IV - Results!

66 of South Carolina's young chess players competed in the Midlands Scholastic Chess League IV on Saturday, February 4th. Gregory Post won the K-12 section with 3.5 points. Taylor Hollis, Henri Murthy, and Jacob Stoll each got 3 points in the K-8 section, and Jacob Kinard and Calvin Smith each got a perfect score in the K-5 section with Jacob winning a tiebreak game. Pelion High, Midlands STEM, and Harbison West won the K-12, K-8, and K-5 team sections respectively. Thanks to all of these players for their fighting chess and good sportsmanship which kept the spectators riveted!

Crosstables       Strategery Photos on Facebook


12th Annual Patrick D. Hart Memorial Scholastic Results!

The 12th Annual Patrick D. Hart Memorial Scholastic took place January 21st, 2017 at the Church of the Holy Cross in Daniel Island, SC. Congratulations to K-12 winners Matthew Johnson and David Dye Jr. (first runner-up)! Both players finished with 3.5/4 pts. Matthew Johnson won the 1st place trophy on tiebreak. Eli Moore came in 3rd place with 3.0/4 pts. In K-8, 1st place went to Matthew Stewart with a perfect 4.0/4 score! Devin Dietrich and Hudson Seifert won 2nd and 3rd respectively with Devin winning 2nd place on tiebreak. Both players finished with 3.0/4 pts. K-5 and K-3 sections were combined. Daniel Hartford came in 1st place in K-5 with a perfect 4.0/4 score! Lula Robyn Galvan came in 2nd place with 3.0/4 pts., Matthew Doty came in 3rd place with 2.0/4 pts. In K-3, Jessica Smith came in 1st place with 1.5/4 pts., Vera Galvan came in 2nd place with 1.0/4 pts., Penelope Galvan came in 3rd place with 0.5/4 pts. Congratulations to all the winners!!



GSSM January Open Results!

On Saturday, January 14, twenty-nine players competed in the five-round GSSM January Open on the campus of the Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics in Hartsville. When the proverbial dust settled, three players shared the top spot with hard-earned 4.0 scores: Ian Haigler of Wingate, NC, Jordan Anderson of Columbia, and GSSM senior Jeffrey Russell of York. Jeffrey had entered play as the fourteenth seed; this was his second rated tournament, Ian's 897th, and Jordan's 90th. Jordan, a GSSM alum, served as Chief TD, ably assisted by GSSM junior Brennan Ravan of Columbia.


Dr. Clyde Smith, Physics Teacher
S. C. Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics


2016 Pan-American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championships - USC/CU Results!

South Carolina and Clemson chess teams traveled to Louisiana to compete in this year's prestigious 2016 Pan-American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championshiusc clemson teamsps. Hosted by a different school each year, the chess tournament is the foremost undergraduate chess event, determining the teams qualified to compete in the President's Cup (Final Four of College Chess). This year's intercollegiate event was held at the Hilton New Orleans Airport Hotel in Kenner Louisiana Dec. 27-30. The University of South Carolina team (top-L/R) was represented this year by Richard M. Whitehouse, Ameed Qadi, Benjamin Caiello, and Rade Musulin. Clemson University team members (bottom-L/R) were Ian Bell, Jiang Xia, Bradon Alverson, and Joe Bonitati.

At the end of six rounds, USC's final standing was 41st out of 60 with 2.5 points (1.5 points better than 2015!). Clemson University finished 47th with 2.0 points. Congratulations to these fine players from both USC and Clemson!! Thank you faculty advisors Dr. Edsel Peña (USC) and Dr. Mickey Lauria (CU). Special thanks to SCCA President David Grimaud and US Chess Women’s Committee Chair Maureen Grimaud for their support of both teams while in Louisiana! Sponsorship support to the teams was provided by Precision Tune Auto Care! See photos and crosstables below.

Photos     Crosstables


2016 National K-12 Grade Championships - SC Results!

Congratulations to Benjamin Webb of Clemson on a fine performance in the National K-12 Grade Championship Tournament held December 16-18 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville Tennessee!! With 181 kids competing in his 3rd grade section, Ben finished 5th overall with 6.0/7 pts. (6-way tie for second). His new USCF rating is 1689!! Other players competing from SC were Harsha Srijay (10th Gr) 3.0 pts., and Nikolai Webb (K) 4.0 pts. Special thanks to all players and parents for making the trip to Nashville and supporting chess in South Carolina!



Midlands Scholastic Chess League III - Results!

68 players met at Heathwood Hall Episcopal School on Saturday, December 10th to compete for trophies and prizes in the final Midlands Scholastic Chess League tournament of 2016. The turnout was outstanding as MSCL III produced our largest tournament thus far with players coming from Georgia, North Carolina, and, of course, all over South Carolina!! Our K-5 section alone had 32 players! Thanks to all who attended this final league event of 2016 and congratulations to all the Section Winners!!
K-5 - Eli Moore and Ethan Ellis (Eli won the blitz tiebreak)
K-8 - Messiah Cornelius
K-12 - Ben Yordy
Adult - David Hamer
The winning schools were Harbison West Elementary School (K-5), Midlands STEM Institute (K-8), and Pelion High (K-12). See links below for crosstables and photos.

Crosstables   Strategery Photos on Facebook


Congratulations NM Sam Copeland and Benjamin Caiello, 2016 Columbia Open Co-Champions!!!

National Master Sam Copeland and Benjamin Caiello (L-R in photo) were named Co-Champions in the 2016 Columbia Open Ben Samchess tournament held November 19th-20th at the Hilton Garden Inn in Columbia SC. Sam and Ben scored 4.0 points each - splitting this year's top prize! Congratulations also to LM Klaus Pohl! Klaus came in third with a final score of 3.5 points. In the fifth and final round, Klaus played Sam in a grueling game that lasted over 4.5 hours w/100+ moves! You can see this game in PGN format below.

Congrats to all!!!! Here are your 2016 Columbia Open winners:  

Open Section:  
NM Sam Copeland and Ben Caiello Co-Champions (4.0 pts)
3rd LM Klaus Pohl (3.5 pts)

U2200 (3-way tie) Daniel Tanco (3.0 pts), Neil Deshpande (3.0 pts), Vignesh Sekar (3.0 pts)

U2000 Section: 1st - Gene Nix (3.0 pts) Congrats!!
2nd - (4-way tie) Douglas Holmes (2.5 pts), Jayavel Kumaresan (2.5 pts), Xiaodong Jin (2.5 pts), Benjamin Webb (2.5 pts)

U1600 Section:
1st - Gary Morrow with (4.5 pts)
2nd - (tie) Mike Boone (3.5 pts), John Neiffer (3.5 pts)
U1400 prize: (tie) David Dye (3.0 pts), Mike Mayfield (3.0 pts)

U1200 Section:
1st - Raviteja Guruvelli (3.0 pts)
2nd - Alex Tabakian  (2.5 pts)
U1000 Prize: (tie) William Tabakian (2.0 pts), Henry Murthy (2.0 pts)

There were a total of 38 players in three sections in this year's event.  

We would like to thank each and everyone who came either to play or support family members playing in this year's event! Your attendance was greatly appreciated and we would love to see everyone back again next year!  Special thanks SCCA Vice Pres. Daniel Smith for directing and coordinating this year's event! Thanks also to Andrew Plyler for providing DGT Board & web support. Thank you Gene Nix for always being there and supporting us! This event was sponsored in part by Precision Tune Auto Care!

Crosstables    Photos


Midlands Scholastic Chess League II - Results!

Strategery was proud to welcome 51 talented players to the Midlands Scholastic Chess League II, our second fall tournament! The competitive event was held Saturday, November 12th at Pelion High School with nearly equal numbers in our K-5, K-8, and K-12 sections. Calvin Smith won the K-5 section, making Daniel M. Smith one thoroughly and deservedly proud papa! Gibson Ward won the K-8 section, with a perfect score! Paul Daniel Pena won the K-12 section for his second time in a row! Congrats to all, and we hope to see everyone for our final fall tournament on December 10 at Heathwood Hall Episcopal School.

Strategery Facebook Photos   Crosstables


GSSM October Open Tournament Results!

Robin the Boy Wonder in the comics, Batman's sidekick, is fictional.  However, Ben the Boy Wonder in chess is amazingly real, as demonstrated October 29 at the GSSM October Open in Hartsville.  Ben Webb of Clemson, who just turned nine, compiled a perfect record for clear first place in the five round event among seventeen players.  GSSM alum, Jordan Anderson of Columbia, served as Chief TD, and GSSM senior Will Schmidt of Hilton Head Island served as Chief Assistant TD.  Gary Morrow of Aiken, now returning to tournament chess after his retirement, earned clear second place with 4.0 points, losing only to Ben.  He also snagged the Biggest Upset trophy for his final-round victory over Jordan.  GSSM junior Brennan Ravan of Columbia won the First Unrated trophy on tie-breakers over GSSM junior Michael Gresko of Greenwood.  Four players tied for third place at 3.0:  Jordan, Brennan, Michael, and fifth-grader Whit Suber, Jr., of Fripp Island.


Dr. Clyde Smith, Physics Teacher
S. C. Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics


Midlands Scholastic Chess League I - Results!

Over forty players attended this year's first Midlands Scholastic Chess League event held at North Trenholm Baptist Church in Columbia, October 22nd. 2016's first event of the year was a real nailbiter with several exciting finishes occurring in key last round games. Paul Pena eeked out a thrilling win against Eli Moore to win the K-12 section while dozens of spectators gathered. Meanwhile both the K-8 and K-5 sections saw last round upsets as Henri Murthy upset top seed Daniel Sobel to take first in K-8 while Ethan Harder did the same to top seed Daryl Dowty in the K-5.

In the team sections, Pelion High claimed K-12, MSI claimed K-8, and CIS leapfrogged MSI in the last round to take top honors in K-5.

Here are the full results. Thanks to all for coming out! Our next tournament is November 12th at Pelion High School! We hope to see you there :) Registration is already open at

Adult: 1st is Daryl Dowty, 2nd is Eli Moore
K-12: 1st inidividual is Paul Pena; =2nd is Jonathan Shaw, Ben Yordy, and Charlie Allemond; 1st team is Pelion High School

K-8: 1st individual is Henri Murthy; =2nd is Messiah Cornelius, Katie Maldonado, Daniel Sobel, Trey Fletcher, and Jacob Stoll 1st team is Midlands STEM Institute, 2nd is CIS, 3rd is Timmerman

K-5: 1st individual is Ethan Harder; 2nd is Hayden Thorpe; =3rd is Ben Sloop, Daryl Dowty, Michael Lucas, and Kevin Chapman; 1st team is Chapin Intermediate School, 2nd is MSI, 3rd is HWES

Top Female is Taylor Hollis
Best Debut is Hayden Thorpe
Biggest Upset is Ethan Harder
Youngest Participant is Connor Brandes
Top Female Team is Midlands STEM Institute

Strategery Chess & Games on Facebook      Crosstables


South Carolina Open 2016 Results! June 17-19

K Wang 1st placeForty-two contenders of all ages from Tennessee, Georgia, Virginia, North Carolina and of course South Carolina convened at the Hilton Garden Inn in Greenville to dispute the usual eternal questions:  materialism vs. freedom, structure vs. opportunity, simplification vs. complication, attack vs. defense, order vs. chaos, all in the great quest to trap the other fellow’s King!
The top score in the Open Section came from Kevin Wang of Georgia. Kevin became this year's SC Open Champion besting all others with 4.0/5.0 points! Congratulations Kevin! (shown right w/ Gene Nix), Mark Biernacki came in second with (3.5), followed by Forest Chen (3.5), Life Master Klaus Pohl (3.0), Mike Anderson (3.0) and Peter Michelman (3.0), while Tim Rankin’s 3.0 took the U2000 prize.  As a matter of human interest, Tim Rankin demonstrated yet again that holding the theoretical draw in R&P endings needs very little time, and he must hold an accumulated record for the number of moves played in one delayed second.
Xiaodong Jin and Matt Mayhew shared top honors in the U1800 section with 4.0 each, while Jayashree Sekar and Michael Burrell and Bob Mahan and Harsha Srijay each scored 3.0, thereby dividing third place and the U1600 prize.
Alex Moreno and Venkata Guruvelli each scored 4.0 in the U1400 group, followed by Marcus Benjamin and Arjun Rawal at 3.5 to close out third place and the U1200 prize.
Drew Plyler most capably operated the display at board 1 and assisted energetically as TD, and SCCA President David Grimaud showed his support with a visit Friday and Saturday. Gene Nix organized and directed. Warm thanks to the attentive and responsive hotel staff of the Hilton Garden Inn, a great place to hold a chess tournament!  And those eternal questions?  Deferred to the next tournament.

Gene Nix
Greenville Chess Club President

Crosstables    Photos    Download Board 1 Games


Midlands Girl's Tournament Results! May 28th

Olivia Watkins scored 3.5/4, achieving the highest score in the Midlands Girls' Tournament and claiming first place K-5! Neha Dias, SC's highest rated female, scored 3.0/4 and claimed top K-12 honors. The sensation of the event was Olivia Watkins catching Neha in a trap when Neha captured a hanging piece, but allowed mate in two. Full awards are as follows.

1st K-12: Neha Dias | 2nd K-12: McKenzie England
1st K-8: Delany Ratcliff | 2nd K-8: Lillian Redmond
1st K-5: Olivia Watkins | 2nd K-5: Ally Gordon

1st Place Team: Byrd Elementary
2nd Place Team: Knights of the Square Table

Eight players played in the event including two first time USCF players. To our knowledge, this is the most girls that have played in a single tournament in Columbia outside of the SC state scholastic championships. That is, of course, both encouraging and a call to action

After the event, Neha Dias played six players in a clock simul. She won all six games. The last to succumb was Olivia Watkins as the specter of a bishop and knight mate hovered in the air.

We look forward to hosting the event again next year. Thanks enormously to Nisha Dias for representing the USCF Women's Committee and to Maureen Grimaud for help in promoting the event!

NM Sam Copeland - Strategery Chess & Games

Crosstables   Photos


Midlands Scholastic Chess League V Results!

Forty eight players met at Pelion High School on Saturday, May 14th to fight for top honors in the last MSCL event of the school year. Thanks to Daniel Smith, and EC Setser for assisting with direction and to the parents and coaches who support their chess players! Special thanks to NM Sam Copeland & Strategery Chess and Games for making the Midlands Scholastic Chess League series such a success!! Tournament winners...

K-5 - 1st: Ethan Ellis 4.0/4!, 2nd: Parijat Majumdar, Daryl Dowty, Thomas Hydorn, and Marcial Valdivia all with 3.0/4.

K-8 - 1st: Dawson Coutsos & Gibson Ward both with 3.0/4! 3rd: Ethan Maldonado, 4th: Katie Maldonado, 5th: William Nettle.
1st Place Team K-8: Chapin Intermediate School

K-12 - 1st: Ben Yordy 4.0/4, 2nd: Brady Setser and Jericho Ho 3.5/4, 4th: Gunatej Guruvelli, Daniel Spicer, and Tyrese Smalls each with 3.0/4.
1st Place Team K-12: Pelion High School

Marshall Jaco and Ethan Harder each shared Best Debut. Erica Smith won Top Female. Dawson Coutsos and Tyrese Smalls won Best Upset, and Daryl Dowty claimed our Raw Recruit award for being the youngest participant!

In the Adult Section, first place went to Daryl Dowty Sr. with a perfect 3.0/3 performance! Thanks to all our competitors, parents, coaches, and other supporters for making this a great season. We look forward to resuming next school year and hope you have a great summer!

Photos   Crosstables   Strategery Chess & Games


8th Annual South Carolina Senior Open Results! May 14-15

Twenty-five elder fighters from South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee converged on the Hilton Garden Inn hotel in Greenville, SC, to resolve the matter of senior dominance at the chess board. Accelerated pairings left only four perfect scores going into the Sunday rounds, and after sitting next to each other on boards one and two all weekend, Masters Klaus Pohl and Randal Ferguson settled the question in round four in an exciting duel that kept the TD studying tie-break scenarios until Klaus took over the position. So, Life Master Klaus Pohl took first place with 4-0; Expert Mike Anderson was second with 3.5 points; Gary Newsom and Ralph Lombard shared third-fourth with 3 points; National TD Kevin Hyde’s 3-1 took top honors for the Under-1600 prize, and Harold Zeltner won second Under-1600 with two points. We had some new faces, so to speak, with Father Jeffrey Kendall of Round O, SC, and Joe Page of Morrisville, NC, playing in their first rated tournament - welcome to the fray!. Special thanks to Kevin Hyde for sharing his expertise on several finer points of tournament direction. Local TD Gene Nix officiated.

Gene Nix
Greenville Chess Club President

Photos    Crosstables


Midlands Scholastic Chess League IV Results!

In possibly our most competitive tournament yet, we had 40 of the Midlands best and brightest chess players compete across three sections. Thanks to Rade Musulin and Daniel Smith for assisting with direction and to the parents and coaches who support their chess players!

K-5 - 1st: Gibson Ward, 2nd: Will Edwards, 3rd: Henri Murthy, Jonathon Williams, and Conner Brown
1st Place Team K-5: Harbison West,  2nd Place Team K-5: Byrd and Lake Murray

K-8 - 1st: Dawson Coutsos, 2nd: William Nettles, 1st Place Team K-8: Chapin Intermediate

K-12 - 1st: Ravitej Guruvelli, 2nd: Gunateja Guruvelli, Paul Pena, Kenneth Jackson, and Alejandro Rivera

New individual prizes were claimed by...
Top Female: Olivia Watkins
Best Debut: Michael Kuckuka
Biggest Upset: Jonathon Williams (Over Calvin Smith for 387 points)
Youngest Participant: Blake Watkins

In the Adult section, James MacDougall claimed first with a perfect score. Michael Mayfield took second and Charles Stevenson and Truman Price shared third.

Thanks to all, and we hope to see you again on May 14th for the MSCL V at Pelion High School!

NM Sam Copeland
Strategery Chess & Games

Photos from Facebook        Crosstable


GSSM February Open Results!

Twenty players contested the GSSM February Open in Hartsville on Feb. 20.  Randy Mosteller of Elloree defended Board One against several stern challenges and won clear first at 4.5, yielding only a fifth-round draw to Jordan Anderson of Columbia.  Mike Lafer of Florence and Tony Cato of Pageland shared second place at 4.0, each losing only to Randy.  In addition to serving as chief TD, Jordan, a 2008 graduate of GSSM, finished in clear fourth place with 3.5.


Dr. Clyde Smith, S. C. Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics


Midlands Scholastic Chess League III Results! Highest Attendance in League Series!

Sixty-one talented young players turned out for the Midland Scholastic Chess League III tournament on Saturday, February 6th, 2016. The event, held at at North Trenholm Baptist Church in Columbia, once again broke new attendance records for the series!!!  Congratulations to all of the students who participated and thanks to all the parents and coaches who support scholastic chess in Columbia! The top finishers are as follows...
1st Individual K-12 - Paul Daniel Pena
1st Individual K-8 - Daniel Sobel
1st Individual K-5 Messiah Cornelius
1st Team K-12 - Charles Pinckney Elementary and Pelion High School tied with CPE having the better tiebreak.
1st Team K-8 - Pleasant Hill Middle School
1st Team K-5 - Midlands STEM Institute.

Congratulations to McKenzie England, Jericho Ho, Omar Hamdan, Blake Lawson, Daniel Sobel, Kevin Reeves, Messiah Cornelius, Matty Ferrario, Katie Maldonado, and Taylor Hollis on being projected to gain more than 100 rating points! We hope to see you at the SC State Scholastic Championships on February 27th in Charleston, SC! Our next tournament will be April 9th at Ashland United Methodist Church; registration will be available this week!

Photos from Facebook     Crosstables


USCF Memberships Increase in South Carolina! USCF to Recognize at US Open Awards Luncheon!

Chess is indeed growing in South Carolina! USCF memberships were up 23% in 2014 placing our State 3rd nationally in the USCF's Membership Appreciation Program (Percentage Gain Category). The USCF will be presenting an award in honor of SC's achievement at the 2015 US Open Awards Luncheon on August 8, 2015 in Phoenix, AZ. This is quite an honor for our State and we would like to particularly thank those of you who became USCF members in 2014!  Thank you SCCA officers, volunteers, all players, family and friends for your hard work and tireless commitment to promoting chess in South Carolina! Without you, none of this would be possible. 
Click here to download and view the Awards Letter from the USCF.