Chess Day: October 10, 2015

There is plenty to celebrate this Chess Day. Here's a list of things you can do:

  • Read Governor Bentley's Chess Day proclamation.
  • Play in Birmingham's National Chess Day Scholastic Chess Tournament. See Featured Events below.
  • Applaud the teachers of Alabama Chess in Schools (ACIS) pilot schools. Nearly all of the participating schools have started teaching and using chess in the classroom.
  • Cheer Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama for their grant of $2,500 to ACF in support of the ACIS initiative in the coming year.

Alabama State Chess Championship Results

September 7, 2015 - Scott Varagona (left) is the 2015 Alabama State Chess Champion. He finished with 5.5 points in the six-round event. Stephen Adams finished second with 5.0 and Matthew Puckett was third with 4.5 points. This is Scott's sixth state championship title since 2002.

Ahmed Amer (right) won the reserve section championship for players under 1600. Sarvagna Velidandla and Jerome Flowers tied for second place.

For more see Michael Ciamarra's Latest Chess News - September 16 column. For complete crosstables, see the Tournament Results page.

More Tournament photos

ACF Business News

September 6, 2015 - Over 60 members turned out for the annual ACF Membership Meeting. Highlights included a review of the Alabama Chess in Schools program by ACF President, Neil Dietsch. See the ACF News ACIS link on the left menu for details.

Scholastic Vice President Gerald Larson spoke about the attendance growth for the Spring Alabama State Scholastic Chess Championship (ASSCC) and the changes planned to accommodate it. Go to the Scholastic page for more detail.

Elections of ACF officers were held for the one-year term beginning October 1, 2015. The officers elected are:

  • Neil Dietsch, President
  • Charles A. Smith, Vice President
  • Balagee Govindan, Secretary
  • Bradley Denton, Treasurer
  • Gerald Larson, Scholastic Vice President, USCF Delegate
  • Michael Ciamarra, Director of Public Relations, Alternate USCF Delegate

Charles Smith is new to the ACF Executive Board. He is a level 4 National Chess Coach from the Birmingham area with a long record of success in Alabama scholastic chess. He is also on the ACIS steering committee and has provided training and support for the Alabama Chess in Schools Initiative.

In other volunteer positions Madison City chess coach Noel Newquist will act as a deputy Tournament Organizer for the ASSCC assisting Dr. Larson and working with the ACF Executive Board. Scott Varagona continues as Antics editor. Jared Collins continues as Webmaster. Josh McClellan serves as Membership Administrator. Caesar Lawrence processes and posts Tournament Reports.

Rapid Growth of Alabama Chess Continues in 2015

# of Players in Alabama Rated EventsAugust 22, 2015 - This year Alabama chess is on pace to exceed the 20% annual growth rate it has set since 2010. By way of comparison, the US Chess Federation's annual growth rate in USCF memberships for the nation was 9.6% for a similar period. The state data is based on the number of players in rated sections of Alabama tournaments. Considering that much of scholastic chess consists of unrated play, it is likely that the actual growth rate of chess play is even higher.

Featured Events

October 10, 2015 - Birmingham, AL - The National Chess Day Scholastic Chess Tournament will be held at Brookwood Village. It is a charity event with proceeds going to Children's of Alabama. Click here for the flyer.