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  • (Left) 2019 SC State Championship! - Playing Hall, Hilton Garden Inn, Columbia; (Center) 1st Place Prize - Open Section - Prady Kothapalli (NC) 4.5/5 pts; (Right) SCCA Pres. David Grimaud w/ Eli Moore - 1st Place Winner U1800!
  • SC Wins 2019 Border Battle with NC!! Left: 2019 SC Scholastic Champ Matthew Johnson (L); Center: SCCA Pres. David Grimaud (L) with Matthew Johnson; Right: FM Peter Giannatos (L) congratulates(!?) Matthew Johnson on another perfect border battle performance!
  • Congratulations to all our 2019 SC State Scholastic Winners!! Left: Daryl Dowty watches over Giant chess set play in the Gymnasium; Center: K8 Champs: Eli Moore and Ahan Shi; Right: Top Female & GRIT Award winners: Grace Bajarias and Lefan Xuan;
  • Congratulations to all our 2018 Winners!! A record 249 players attended this year's SC Scholastic Championships held at the SC State Museum!! Left - playing hall Middle School Section; Center - Clemson Elementary - Elementary Champions!!; Right - State Champion Alex Byrnes battles Guneteja Guruvelli in the 5th and final round.
  • Congratulations SC Championship Tournament Winners 2017!! 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
  • 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!).

2019 SC State Championship Results! Mike Sailer Defends his Title! Kothapalli takes Top Prize!

mike sailerForty-nine players in over 3 sections competed in this year's 80th Annual South Carolina State Chess Championship over the weekend, Oct. 12-13. This year's championship section included six masters from three different states. Congratulations to NM Mike Sailer (left) on winning the 2019 South Carolina State Championship Title for the second year in a row! Cezarte Ramos Jr.(SC) was state runner-up! Congratulations also to young North Carolinian CM Pradhyumna Kumar Kothapalli (2131) of Charlotte. Kothpalli, after a first round draw to Gene Nix (SC), went perfect through his next four games to take the top prize. Other South Carolina winners receiving first-place trophies included Eli Moore (U1800 Section) and Eren Bilen (U1400 Section). Daryl Dowty Jr. came in first with a perfect score in the newly added SC Amateur Section. This special Saturday only event was created for less experienced players desiring a 1-day only schedule. The South Carolina Chess Association would like to thank all players, parents, and spectators who helped make the tournament a success. Special thanks to Daniel Smith, Gene Nix, Jordan Anderson, and NM Sam Copeland for organizing and directing this year's event! Final results and crosstables below..

Crosstables for 80th SC Championships
Crosstables for SC AMATEUR

Championship Section
1. Prady Kothapalli (NC) 4.5/5 pts
2. Ted Belanoff (NY) 4/5 pts
3. Mike Sailer (SC) 3.5/5 pts - SC State Champion
4. Cezarte Ramos (SC) 3/5 pts - SC Runner Up
*Senior Prize - Klaus Pohl
5th Place 5 way tie with 2.5/5 pts:
Sam Copeland, Klaus Pohl, Leo Rabulan, Leon Cheng, Patrick McCartney

U1800 Section
1. Eli Moore 4.5/5 pts - SC U1800 Champion
2. Tied Alex Hu 4/5 pts - SC U1800 Runner Up
Dan Quigley 4/5 pts

U1600 Prize
1. Devon Stein (SC) 3/5 pts
2. Tied with 2.5/5 pts:
Gilberto Padilla-Ortiz, Corey Burton
*Senior Prize Dan Quigley

1. Eren Bilen (SC) 4.5/5 pts - SC U1400 Champion
2. Krishna Somesula 4/5 pts - SC U1400 Runner Up
3. Tied..Debs Pedigo (NC) 3/5 pts
Lalith Challari (NC) 3/5 pts

U1200 prize
1. Vincent Mahoney 2.5/5 pts
2. Dean Creech 2/5 pts

U1000 Prize
1. Tied Henri Murthy 2/5 pts; Justin Fuentes 2/5 points
*Senior Prize: Dean Creech 2/5 pts

Special One Day Amateur Section (15 Players)
1. Daryl Dowty Jr. 4/4 (perfect score!) - SC Amateur Champion
2. Daryl Dowty III 3/4 pts - SC Amateur Champion Runner Up
3. Hleb Fedarovich 3/4 Pts
4. Roman Marks 3/4 Pts
5. Franklin Caudle 3/4 Pts


Greenville Fall Scholastic, October 5, 2019!

Thirty-eight young future Masters gathered for some contemplative King-hunting at Green Charter School in the Greenville Fall Scholastic chess tournament Saturday, October 5! After five lively rounds, the respective leaders in tiebreak order were:

K-12 (10 players): Harrison Majors, 5.0; Bradon Schley, 3.5; Toby Cox & Mark Ritchie, 3.0; Nikolai Webb, 2.5

K-8 (7 players): Jaden Conner, 4.5; Alexander Fyock, 3.5; Kunal Bakre & Aadi Agnihotri, 3.0; Zachary Taylor, 2.0

K-6 (11 players): Lincoln Boucher, 5.0; Daryl Dowty III, 4.0; Silas Hall & Spencer Burke & Eliana Schley, 3.0; Sarah Slieff, 2.5

(K-4 & K-2 played in one section)

K-4 (9 players): Ritika Sanghani, 4.0; Abhinav Ramireddy & Nandini Jonnalagadda, 3.5; Sreekar Bodepudi & Walker Dennis, 2.5

K-2 (1 player): Ayaansh Kaistha, 3.5

Hampton Park Christian School took the first place team trophy, followed by Green Charter Elementary School in second place.

Four youngsters competed in their first rated tournament! Sixteen schools were there, with Hampton Park Christian’s nine scholars leading the crowd, Green Charter’s five contenders enjoying the home-field. Daniel HS brought three, and Clemson Elementary’s likewise had three, rounding out the leading participation levels! There were also three home-schoolers!

Greenville Chess Club members, Think Move Chess Academy instructors, Green Charter School officials, and numerous enthusiastic chess parents volunteered to keep this event on track and on schedule! These included Dean Creech as primary assistant TD, Will Brown, David Acosta, and David Blair as floor TDs, and Ani & Arati Agnihotri were score-keepers. Sara Hamby with Green Charter provided the venue. SCCA President David Grimaud visited and brought along IM Alexander Matros! Life Master Klaus Pohl assisted with floor TD duties. Thanks also to National TD Kevin Hyde for the loan of many chess sets! Finally, warmest 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.

Tournament report is online at:


LM Klaus Pohl in Chess Life Magazine!

In thLM Klaus Pohl croppede October 2019 issue of Chess Life Magazine, Life Master Klaus Pohl describes how he and his family survived the bombing of Dresden in the winter of 1945. The article, written by Al Lawrence, is aptly entitled "Overcoming Obstacles" and is featured in the "Faces Across the Board" section of the magazine. Klaus has won the SC State Championship title an incredible 13 times and also represented South Carolina in the prestigious National Senior Tournament of Champions. The digital version of the October issue is now available online.



Changes to Barber Tournament of State K-8 Champions - New Rockefeller Tournament

Starting with the upcoming Barber Tournament, the Barber Tournament will now be for grades 6-8 only. A new Rockefeller Tournament of State Elementary School Champions has been created. This will be for grades K-5, only, and have prizes and awards similar to those of the other National State Championship tournaments. This tournament will also be starting in 2020. Please keep this in mind when holding your qualifying events for the invitational tournaments that will be taking place in the summer of 2020.

Jon Haskel,
Barber Committee Chairman

Carol Meyer's Announcement on Twitter


Chess in Orlando 2019 - Denker, Barber, Ruth Haring NGTOC, National Senior Tournament of Champions

August 14, 2019

So, Sunday evening (August 4th) several hundred chess players filled the Junior Executive ballroom at the Rosen Centre hotel in Orlando in their various tournaments, including the Haring Tournament of Girl State Champions, the Barber Tournament of K-8 Champions, the Denker Tournament of State High School Champions, the Tournament of Senior State Champions, and of course round two of the 120th US Open tournament. By 11:30 only two directors remained to see off the completion of the last game in progress at board 156. My opponent resigned shortly before midnight, a small upset victory and my second point in the tournament.

Then it all happened again the next day about the same way, and near midnight the evening’s last game finished on board 152, and I had another upset win for the third point in as many rounds. My name was on the leaders list just below three Grandmasters, a FIDE Master and three National Masters, all with 3-0.

I played round four inside the cordoned corral on board four(!) against FIDE Master Macon Shibut, and the demonstration boards outside the hall displayed the most swiftly thoroughgoing beat-down of an A-player witnessed that night and likely several nights. And I lost the next four after that, like one of those marathon runners who surges to the front at the start only to fade back the rest of the way.

But I brought home 29 score sheets to study as there were some side events, and through the good offices of David Grimaud I attended the annual delegates meeting and accepted Dr. Clyde Smith’s plaque at the awards luncheon – Congratulations to David and Maureen Grimaud, Dr. Smith, and Sam Copeland on their recognitions acknowledging ongoing hard work in support of scholastic, senior, and womens chess!

And congratulations to our invitational tournament contenders: Charlotte Leys in the Haring tournament, Eli Moore in the Barber tournament, Matthew Johnson in the Denker Tournament, and Senior Life Master Klaus Pohl in the Senior Tournament!
And greetings to the rest of the South Carolina contingent, SCCA VP Daniel Smith, Drew Plyler, Aidan Fejzulai, Shaun McCoy (honorary), and David Acosta, who was GM Timur Gareyev’s roommate and study partner! And parents Michael Moore, Michael Johnson, Matthew Leys, and big brother Callum Leys, who won one of the quads!

Quite a week it was!

Individual Standings  Denker | Barber | Ruth Haring NGTOC | NSTOC
Team Standings
US Open Crosstable

Gene Nix
Greenville Chess Club President


South Carolina Wins 2019 Border Battle 21-17!!

Thirty-eight players gathered at the Charlotte Chess Center on Saturday, August 17th for the annual Border Battle between North and South Carolina. With games fiercely contested and point totals running neck-and-neck in the second rounds, South Carolina managed to edge out North Carolina in the end 21-17!!! It was a great win for this year's SC Team!! Congratulations to all our fine players!! Perfect scores (2.0) in this year's event went to Matthew Grant Johnson, Jacob Stoll, Daniel Smith, David Acosta, and Callum Leys. Special thanks to NM Peter Giannotos and the CCCSA for hosting this year's event! Thank you SCCA President David Grimaud, VP Daniel Smith, and to all players making the trip to Charlotte and supporting chess in the Carolinas!!

Crosstables | Chart


SC Chess Festival Results! May 18-19

Ben Caiello smallCongratulations to Benjamin Caiello (right), the South Carolina 2019 Rapid and Blitz Champion! Ben won both titles despite early losses which he had to recover from. Ben scored 13/14 in blitz, and 8/9 in rapid. Mike Sailer also scored 8/9, but lost out on tiebreak though he did win the head to head. Next year, Ben will begin graduate school in Pennsylvania, and we wish him the best of luck! This year's event was held at the Hilton Garden Inn, in Columbia SC.
Facebook Photos  |  Crosstables

SC Rapid Chess Championship:
=1 - Ben Caiello and Mike Sailer
3 - Klaus Pohl
4 - Ernest Nix
5 - Jacob Stoll

1 U1600 - Eli Moore
2 U1600 - John Roberts

1 U1200 - Vincent Mahoney
2 U1200 - Mark Ritchie

SC Blitz Chess Championship:
1 - Ben Caiello
2 - Mike Sailer
=3 - Klaus Pohl, Luis Lizardo, Eli Moore (also =1 U1600), Jacob Stoll (also =1 U1600)
=1 U1200 - Vincent Mahoney, Kevin Chapman

SC Chess Festival Bughouse Championship:
1 - Ben Caiello and Marty Anderson
1 Junior - Jacob Stoll and William Wang

Sam Copeland
Director - Strategery: Chess and Games, Facebook, Twitter


Greenville Spring Scholastic, May 4, 2019 - Results!

Forty-seven young future Masters met up for some pawn-promotions at Green Charter School in the Greenville Spring Scholastic chess tournament Saturday, May 4. After five lively rounds, the respective leaders in tiebreak order were:

K-12 (8 players): Ford Duncan, 5.0; Nikolai Webb, 3.5; Bradon Schley & Sankar Jonnalagadda, 3.0; Will Howard, 2.5; Hayes Brown, 2.0

K-8 (8 players): Toby Cox, 5.0; Mark Ritchie, 4.0; Jaden Conner & Kunal Bakre, 3.0; Shravan Dash & Zachary Taylor, 2.0

K-6 (24 players): Callum Leys, 5.0; Aadi Agnihotri, 4.0; Eliana Schley, Brijesh Abboy, Kavin Michael Raj, Noah Graves, & Lincoln Boucher, 3.0

(K-4 & K-2 played in one section)

K-4 (14 players): Abhinav Ramireddy & Charlotte Leys, 4.0; Silas Hall & Vishnu Abboy, 3.5; Vishwaksen Enugala & Nandini Jonnalagadda, 3.0

K-2 (5 players): Ritika Sanghani, 4.0; Jonathan Gao & Ayaansh Kaistha, 3.0; Karan Michael Raj, 2.0; Justin Peng, 2.0

Green Charter Elementary School took the first place team trophy, followed by Hampton Park Christian School in second place.

Eight youngsters competed in their first or second regular rated tournament! Fifteen schools were there, with Green Charter’s 12 contenders enjoying the home-field, Hampton Park Christian’s 9 close behind, and Clemson Elementary’s 5, Monarch Elementary’s 4, rounding out the leading participation levels! There were also seven home-schoolers!

Greenville Chess Club members, Think Move Chess Academy instructors, Green Charter School officials, and numerous enthusiastic chess parents volunteered to keep this event on track and mostly on time! These included Dean Creech as primary assistant TD, Will Brown and Ani Agnihotri as floor TDs, Arati Agnihotri as score-keeper, and David Acosta as floor TD and representing TMCA! Sara Hamby with Green Charter provided the venue. Life Master Klaus Pohl assisted with floor TD duties and game analysis. Thanks also to National TD Kevin Hyde for the loan of many chess sets! Finally, warmest 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.

Tournament report is online at: US Chess MSA - Cross Table for GREENVILLE SPRING SCHOLASTIC 2019 (Event 201905048162)

Gene Nix
Greenville Chess Club President
Tournment Organizer and Director


2019 SC Scholastic Championships - Results!

Matthew Johnson221 excellent young chess players competed in the 2019 South Carolina Scholastic Chess Championship held March 9 at Dent Middle School. Competitors came from communities such as Columbia, Spartanburg, Charleston, Greenville, Simpsonville, Beaufort, Hilton Head, Andersson, Clemson. and ranged from the ages of 4 to 17.

The champions in the K-8 (Eli Moore) and K-12 (Matthew Johnson (photo right), Grace Bajarias, and Lefan Xuan) have won the right to represent South Carolina in national competitions against the other state scholastic champions. We are proud to have such fine representatives for our state, and we know they will do all of us proud!

Thank you to the players, parents, coaches, staff, and volunteers (see the full list below) who made this event so successful, and thank you to Dent Middle School for graciously hosting the event. If you know a volunteer, please take the time to thank them for their hard work :)


K-3 Individuals:
1 - Aadi Agnihotri (2nd grade champ)
=2 - Callum Leys (1st grade champ), Abhinav Ramireddy (3rd grade champ)
=4 - Michael Wang, Charlotte Leys, James Frassica, Victor Ermolov, William Bao, Charlie Jordan (Pre-K Champ )
=10 - Bryan Zheng, Loganathan Maneeshkumar, Birol Ozdem
Top Female - Ritika Sanghani, Nandini Jonnalagadda
Kindertarten Champ - Ben Girardot

K-3 Teams:
1 - Monarch
2 - Tega Cay
3 - Charles Pinckney

K-5 Individuals:
1 - Will Howard (4th grade champ)
=2 - Eric Shi (5th grade champ), Nikolai Webb, Jonathan Steffee
=5 - Will Phelps, Zachary Teachman, Cameron Wheeler, Daryl Dowty, Hudson Haley
=10 - Eliana Schley, Stone Pham, Haylee Hollis (Top Female), Luke Kuehmeier, Miguel Shim, Pranav Suresh

K-5 Teams:
1 - Charles Pinckney
2 - Tega Cay
3 - Hampton Park

K-8 Individuals:
=1 - Eli Moore (7th grade champ), Ahan Shi (7th grade champ)
=3 - Ben Webb, Bradon Schley (8th grade champ), Caton Tsao (6th grade champ), Will Tabakian (6th grade champ), Alan Hong (6th grade champ), Jacob Stoll 8th grade champ), Aiden Costanzo
=10 - Bakre Kunal, Jonathan Wei, Paolo Hitopoulos, Kai Robertson
Top Female - Ava Schoonover, Tessa Bonnema

K-8 Teams:
1 - RC Edwards
2 - Thomas Cario
3 - Hampton Park

K-12 Individuals:
1 - Matthew Johnson (9th grade champ)
2 - Richard Sandvoss (12th grade champ)
=3 - Brian Torreon, Breckin Muzzy (11th grade champ), Travis Pence, Theophilus Pedapolu (11th grade champ)
7 - Jack Layton (10th grade champ)
=8 - Connor Liu, Laurence Zhang, Timothy Manly, Johnny Besser, Connor Miles, Niko Peterson, Frank Yang, Austin Minnix, Grace Bajarias (Polgar Indvitational and Top Female)
Lefen Xuan (NGTOC Representative)

Graduating Seniors: Richard Sandvoss, Brian Torreon, Travis Pence, Johnny Besser, Niko Peterson

K-12 Teams:
1 - Governor's School of Science and Mathematics
2 - DW Daniel
3 - Woodruff

Staff and Volunteers:
TDs: Daniel Smith, Dr. Clyde Smith (no relation), Stuart Chagrin, Jordan Anderson, EC Setser, Mike Moore, Ross Simmons, Brennan Ravan
Results: Maureen Grimaud, Mark Webb, Olga Volkova-Webb, Arati Agnihotri, Sarah Hamby
Registration: Miller Copeland, Elizabeth Smith, Melissa Williams, Carey Ellis
Navigation: Yi Yi, Tony Steffee, Tani Tanaka
DGT Board: Drew Plyler
Volunteer Lunches: David Grimaud
making sure students did not destroy giant chess set: Daryl Dowty
Dent Assistant Principal: Joe Casey


NM Mike Sailer Wins 2019 Columbia Open!

Congratulations to National Master Mike Sailer of Columbia SC! Mike finished with 4.5 points in the five-round event giving him a clear first place. LM Klaus Pohl (SC) finished second with 4.0 points. Ernest (Gene) Nix, Jr. (SC) and Eli Moore (SC) tied for third with 2.5 points each. There was a three-way tie for the top spot in the U1600 section. Marty Anderson (SC), Brennan Ravan (SC), and Danny Ross Simmons (SC) all finished with 3.5 points each. Fifteen players competed in this year's event held at the Hilton Garden Inn (Feb. 9-10) in Columbia.



Midlands Scholastic Chess League IV Results! Feb. 16th

In a last warm up before this year's SC State Scholastic Championship (March 9th), forty-six competitors met at North Trenholm Baptist Church in Columbia to test their wits over the chess board at the Midlands Scholastic Chess League IV! Our compliments to these talented competitors on a delightful set of games and their excellent sportsmanship.

Here are your MSCL IV Winners...

K-8: 1st-Jacob Stoll 4.0/4, 2nd= Bradon Schley, Kevin Chapman, Helena Grace Bajarias, Sai Kummari, Evan Steffee 3.0/4
K-5: 1st-Cameron Wheeler 4.0/4, 2nd- Manith Bannenhally 3.5/4, 3rd= Daryl Dowty III, William Bao, Frances Grice, Ashish Maddipati, Collin Smith 3.0/5

Biggest Upset: Ashish Maddipatty; Top Female: Grace Bajarias; Best Debut: Francis Grice, Youngest Participant: Charlie Jordan

Strategery Chess & Games on Facebook
Games from Board 1


Matthew Johnson wins 45th Snowstorm Special!

With a perfect 4-0 score, Matthew Johnson won the 45th Snowstorm Special on February 16, 2019, and joins the list of accomplished players who have done the same. Matthew was the second highest rated player in the tournament, but only had to beat the third highest rated player, Gary Firestone, in the final round to complete his sweep. Gary had upset the highest rated player, Ian Barnett, in the 3rd round, which set up the battle of “B” players in the final round for 1st place. Gary and Ian finished 3-1 and shared 2nd place. This year's 45th Snowstorm Special tournament was held at The Church of the Holy Cross Parish Hall, Daniel Island SC.



2018 Senior Open Results!

23 Players from six different states gathered at the Hampton Inn in Greenville, SC (Dec. 15-16) to determine who would be named Senior Champion of South Carolina 2018. At the end of four rounds, the new champion emerged. All hail the Senior Champion of South Carolina, Life Master Klaus Pohl! He drew in the final round with NM Peter Bereolos of Tennessee to score 3.5-0.5 to claim the SC title and trophy in this past weekend’s 10th Annual SC Senior Open!. Expert Peter Michelman of North Carolina shared overall first place, while Ray Downs of Alabama and NM Bereolos shared third and fourth places. John Haymond and Christopher Scarborough led the Under-1600 crowd going into the final round, with John prevailing in their game to earn the U1600 SC title and trophy and first overall U1600 – congratulations! Tony Cato, Christopher Scarborough, and NCCA President Debs Pedigo shared second, third and fourth places among the Under-1600 players. Other Greenville-area contenders were Bill Corbett, Daniel Pollock, Expert Mike Anderson, Dean Creech, Vito Cortese, and Wendell Burnett. Thanks to all who participated, whether they supported chess in their hometown or they crossed several state lines to be in it!

Six states were represented, with South Carolina happily forming the majority at 15 players, followed by North Carolina and Georgia with two each, and one each from Tennessee, Alabama, and New Jersey!



MSCL III Olympiad Results!

olympiadA record 82 South Carolina chess players competed in the MSCL III: Olympiad tournament hosted by Dent Middle School this Saturday! This was our largest and (in our opinion) most successful Strategery tournament so far. We were happy to see the extensive support for the Olympiad tournament, the only team tournament in South Carolina.

Crosstable (standings attached):
Facebook Album:

----- Olympiad Section -----

18 teams competed in the Olympiad section. Teams were composed of three players and competition was organized in matches between teams.

1st K-12: MSI HS (Eli Moore, Taylor Hollis, Erica Smith)

1st K-8: Hampton Park coming down from Greenville and achieving the only perfect score! (Bradon Schley, Jaden Connor, Zachary Taylor)
2nd K-8: Dent Silver (Jacob Stohl, Joseph Ravindran, Will Smith)

1st K-5: LMES (Miguel Shim, Brendan Song, Robert Shim)
2nd K-5: (Manith Bannenahally, Ashish Maddipatti, Aarush Jani)

Individual medals were awarded to those who achieved the best score on their "board" where the highest-rated player on a team played board one and so forth.

1st Board:
=1 - Jacob Stoll, Eli Moore
=3 - Laurence Zhang, Bradon Schley, Miguel Shim

2nd Board:
=1 - Helena Bajarias, Joseph Ravindran, Taylor Hollis, Sahil Agarwal

3rd Board:
=1 - Jaden Connor, Daniel Steffee, Gareth Young

----- Friends and Family -----

28 individuals competed in the Friends and Family section.

1st - Brennan Ravan who scored 4/4 and surged past 1300.
2nd - David Laboone who scored 3.5/4 playing in his first tournament in three decades!

=1st U1000 - Jason Huynh, Samuel Hartford, Daryl Dowty Jr.
=1st Unrated - Jay Shah, Megan Laboone

Puzzle Rush contest: Jacob Stoll achieved the best score (27) in our Puzzle Rush contest and won a $20 Amazon gift card.

Our immense thanks to Dent Middle School's chess team for their hard work in hosting this event and for graciously welcoming the opposing teams. 4 teams from Dent competed in the Olympiad section, their "silver" and "white" teams tied for first K-8 team.

Daniel Smith and Sam Copeland TDed the event and would like to express our appreciation to all for their patience and support. It helped immeasurably in making sure everything ran smoothly.

We will be back in spring with more tournaments, more after-school programs, and more chess! In the meantime, every Tuesday we have an online tournament on at 5 pm, and every Thursday from 6-7 we meet at the Saint Andrews Library for Kid's Hour.

Sam Copeland
Director - Strategery: Chess and Games, Facebook, Twitter


GM Elshan Moradiabadi goes Undefeated in SC Tour!

GRANDMASTER ELSHAN MORADIABADI of Durham, North Carolina, completed a four-day tour of South Carolina, winning 60 chess gamesGMElshanMoradiAbadi in four individual simultaneous exhibitions in this traditional, annual, state-wide tour to promote the State Chess Championship in S.C. this weekend (Nov. 2 - 4). Chauffeured by S.C. Chess Association President, David Grimaud, GM Moradiabadi tackled every simul with zeal, even picking up the pace in Columbia when he realized he might be the first tour master to finish with a perfect score.

The grandmaster’s toughest game, and the last game standing at the end of the tour, was against NM Mike Sailer who managed to gain an edge in the middle game as Black in the Slav Defense. GM Moradiabadi realized that he and NM Sailer were headed toward a drawn endgame. However, the GM was spurred on to play aggressively, taking some risks in the hope of finishing with his final and 60th win. In time pressure, NM Sailer missed a forced draw by perpetual check. The GM exchanged his queen for rook and bishop to set up a mating threat that won back the queen and brought the final resignation.

The GM admitted he had swindled a handful of such games during the tour after making blunders and losing material, showing the resiliency of this young, and ambitious GM.

The association would like to thank Precision Tune Auto Care, Roly Poly Sandwiches of Greenville, and Think Move Chess Academy for sponsoring this tour. Special thanks go to Cornel White of Charleston and friends for raising funds online to assist in the expense. Also, thanks goes to the other organizers and promoters that include, but aren’t limited, to the following: Rachel Hequembourg of Roly Poly; Gene Nix and the Greenville Chess Club; David Causey, Dennis Dawley, and the Charleston Chess Club; Daniel Smith and the Columbia Chess Club; David Acosta and Eli Neumann of Think Move Chess Academy. Last, but not least, thanks to NM Sam Copeland of Strategery Chess and Games, and Rod Franco of Richland Memorial Library-St. Andrews Branch for the best venue and setup of the tour.

29-Oct, Mon
Roly Poly Scholastic (Greenville)
30-Oct, Tue
Greenville Chess Club
31-Oct, Wed
Charleston Chess Club
1-Nov, Thu
Columbia Chess Club


GSSM October Open Results!

Two Columbians shone brightest as eighteen players fiercely contested the five-round GSSM October Open on October 27, 2018, in Hartsville. Eli Moore and Jordan Anderson shared first place at 4.5, battling to a nailbiter draw in their fourth round meeting. Yes, it was a rook and pawn endgame that wound up drawn! On tiebreakers, Eli took the first place trophy. Other trophy winners were GSSM senior Travis Pence of Fort Mill for Biggest Upset, earned at the expense of Myrtle Beach’s Cecil Clarkson (a 395-point difference), and GSSM junior Theo Pedapolu of Orangeburg for First Unrated. Travis and Theo were among the six players finishing tied for third with 3.0. The other four were GSSM senior Brian Torreon and three GSSM alums, now USC students: Brennan Ravan, Victor Ruan, and Jeffrey Russell. (Had there been a third-place trophy, Travis would have won it on tiebreaks.) Jordan, GSSM c/o 2008, was Chief TD, and Brennan Assistant TD.


Dr. Clyde Smith, Physics Teacher

S. C. Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics
401 Railroad Ave.
Hartsville, SC 29550
(843) 383-3937 (office)
e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Midlands Scholastic Chess League I - Roundup!

45 players competed in the Midlands Scholastic Chess League I on October 13! This was our largest season opener in the four years we have been offering tournaments, and we were excited to see intense (friendly) competition in all sections. This year we added several events to our tournament. First, we offered a Q and A on chess competition for parents and a later lesson/Q and A on the rules of chess.

nm sam copeland simul small During lunch, reigning SC champion Sam Copeland played a seven-board simul scoring seven wins against his young and aggressive opponents. Thanks to all who came out, and we look forward to seeing you next month for the MSCL II on Nov. 10. Let us know what lessons or activities you would like us to include next time!

K-5: 1st George Wang, 2nd Nandini Jonnalagadda, =3rd William Bao, Ryker Vallee, Bryan Zheng, Peter Wang
1st Team: Midway Elementary
K-8: 1st Jacob Stoll, = 2nd Alex Myrick, Aadi Agnihotri, Edmund Bajarias, Kevin Chapman, Taylor Hollis
1st Team: Lexington Middle School

Individual Prizes:
Youngest Participant - Arvin Gummenini
Best Debut - Ryker Vallee
Top Female - Taylor Hollis
Biggest Upset - Peter Wang

Upcoming Events:

Tuesdays @ 5 - ChessKid Tournaments
Thursdays @ 6 - Kid's Hour and Columbia Chess Club
October 27 - GSSM Open
November 2-4 - SC Championship
November 10 - MSCL II
December 8- MSCL III

Crosstable     Facebook Album

NM Sam Copeland
Director - Strategery: Chess and Games -, Facebook, Twitter


Greenville Spring Scholastic, May 5, 2018 - Results!

Seventy-nine young Pawn-promoters gaggled up for some King-hunting at Green Charter School in the Greenville Spring Scholastic chess tournament Saturday, May 5. After five intense rounds, the respective leaders in tiebreak order were:
  K-12 (8 players): Alexander Moreno, 5.0; Ahan Shi, 4.0; Allen Hong, Eric Shi, Shreeshiva Raja & William Howard, 3.0. (Note: K-12 & K-8 were combined in one section)
  K-8 (8 players):  Bradon Schley, 4.0; Ford Duncan, Aayush Verma & Sydney Burke, 2.0; Sumukh Paspuleti & Payton Springer, 1.0.
  K-6 (24 players):  Ruideng Zhong, 4.5; Callum Leys & Andrew Cai, 4.0; Daryl Dowty III & Kevin Chapman, 3.5; James Sun, Jaden Conner, Zachary Alper,
                          Kunal Bakre, Brijesh Abboy & James Robinson, 3.0.
  K-4 (20 players):  Shivani Raja, Sankar Jonnalagadda & Aadi Agnihotri, 4.0; Vishnu Abboy, 3.5; Ankit Patibandla, Joshua Luo, Shlok Trivedi, Eliana Schley,
                           William Ngo, Batuhan Tarhan & Silas Hall, 3.0.
  K-2 (19 players): Charlotte Leys, Eliott Howard, Abhinav Ramireddy & Nandini Jonnalagadda, 4.0; Vishwaksen Enugala, Sahaj Patel, Karan Michael Raj,
                          Paul Manavalan & Adalyn Schley, 3.0
Twenty-nine youngsters competed in their first regular rated tournament! Twenty-two schools represented, with Green Charter’s 17 contenders enjoying the home-field, and Clemson Elementary’s 17 matching that, along with nine from Hampton Park Christian School, seven from Monarch ES, and five home-schoolers, along with many others.
Greenville Chess Club members, Think Move Chess Academy instructors, SC Chess Association representatives, Green Charter School officials, and numerous enthusiastic chess parents volunteered to make this a smooth operation! These included Hernestina Nix with set up and check-in, Andrew Plyler as primary assistant TD, Aidan Fejzulai as floor TD and photographer, Ani Agnihotri & Bhavin Sanghani as assistant floor TDs,  Arati Agnihotri & Sarma Robinson with score-keeping and trophy repair, David Grimaud & David Acosta with TMCA, and Elijah Neumann with online pre-registration! Sara Hamby with Green Charter provided the venue and arranged for on-site dining. Thanks also to National TD Kevin Hyde for the loan of many chess sets! Finally, warmest 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.  




Midlands Scholastic Chess League VI: Graduation - Results!

Thirty-six enterprising young players turned out for the MSCL VI: Graduation on April 28th, competing for themselves and their schools in our final tournament of the 2018 scholastic chess season. It's been incredibly exciting to see these players grow and learn as young chess players throughout the 2017-18 year, many playing their first tournaments and just getting into tournament chess and some establishing themselves as the best players of their age group in the state and the country.

Here are this month's prize winners:

Primary Section
=1st Individual - Ruien Lyu, Cameron Wheeler, William Bao
=4th - Bryan Zheng, Zarif Ula
1st Team - Midway Elementary

Elementary Section
1st Individual - Daryl Dowty
2nd - Manith Bannenahally
=3rd - Dakshinesh Kumar, Alesha Dzikowski, Robert Leonardi, Gavin Lee, Leandra Dawson
1st Team - East Point Academy
2nd - Center for Knowledge
3rd - Harbison West Elementary

Middle School Section
=1st Individual - Eli Moore, Jacob Stoll
3 - Ethan Maldonado
=4th - Kevin Chapman, Henri Murthy, Will Smith, Joseph Ravindran, Benjamin Sloop
=1st Team - Dent, Midlands STEM Institute

High School Section
1st Individual - Ilan Falcon
2 - Matthew Robinson
3 - Rollins Cattrell
4 - Mequil Waller
1st Team - Spartanburg High School

Crosstables  Photos-Facebook


The King's Gambit! Final round game analysis from the SC State Scholastic Championships

NM Sam Copeland expertly analyzes the final round game of the SC State Scholastic Championship Tournament (HS section). This game was between newcomer (and eventual 1st place winner) Alex Byrne and Teja Guruvelli. Both players gave it their all in a game that opened with the King's Gambit Accepted - an exciting reminder of the Romantic era of chess!

Game Analysis: The King's Gambit - Alex Byrne vs Teja Guruvelli Teja Guruvelli 


Midlands Scholastic Chess League V: Brilliancies - Results!

On Saturday, March 24th, the top seeds defended their pride in the Midlands Scholastic Chess League V tournament held at North Trenholm Baptist Church!
Congratulations to all of these fierce competitors on an exciting slate of games!

The addition of a brilliancy prize convinced many to record their games for the first time, resulting in much improved play :)

Middle School:
=1st Individual - Jacob Stoll, Kevin Chapman
=3rd - Jacob Kinard, Daniel Sobel
5th - Thomas Hydorn

1st Team - St. John Neumann

The best game prize went to Jacob Stoll for his queen sac!

Elementary School:
1st Individual - Daryl Dowty
2nd - Jonathan Wei
3rd - William Bao
4th - Dakshinesh Kumar
=5th - Andrew Qiao, Ben Jones

The best game prize was awarded to Daryl Dowty and William Bao for their third round draw.

Primary School:
1st Individual - Ethan Kinard

Midlands Scholastic Chess League V: Brilliancies
2nd - Bryan Zheng
=3rd - Ruien Lyu, Arvin Gummenini
5th - Alan Amal

1st Team - East Point Academy
2nd - Midway Elementary

The brilliancy prize was awarded to Ruien Lyu for his first-round game.

Photos Facebook


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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