Help Wanted: ACF Webmaster

November 16, 2015 - ACF is need of a volunteer webmaster to help us keep this site up and running as well as maintaining the tournament calendar. This is a great opportunity to support the Alabama Chess community and be a part of the ACF management team. Current webmaster Jared Collins will be available to help with the transition and discuss technical aspects of the job. If you are qualified and interested in helping, please email president@alabamachess.com to learn more.

Featured Events

November 21, 2015 - Prichard (near Mobile), AL - The Gulf Coast Classic will have three rated and one not-rated sections. Click here for the flyer.

December 5, 2015 - Birmingham, AL - The Birmingham City Scholastic Chess Tournament has 1 rated and 2 non-rated sections. Individual and team trophies will be awarded. Flyer.

December 12, 2015 - Birmingham, AL - The Magic City Classic will feature two rated and one non-rated section. Flyer

World Youth Chess Championship in Halkidiki, Greece

November 5, 2015 - Rochelle Wu of Birmingham, Alabama finished the 7.0/11 points placing her 15th in a field of 110 international players at the World Youth Chess Championship, Girls Under 10 section. Her victories included two wins and two draws against players holding FIDE's WCM (Womens Candidate Master) rank.

Since her third place finish in the Girls Under 8 section of last year's WYCC, Rochelle and her older brother Sijing, both with class A rankings, have played in tournaments across the Southeast US. She recently won the 2015 Women's Open sponsored by the Georgia Chess Association.

I.M. Emory Tate, 1958-2015

October 18, 2015 - ACF mourns the passing or I.M. Emory Tate, a 2010 Alabama State Champion, who died suddenly on October 17 during a chess tournament in Califorrnia. Emory was truly an exceptional human being. Read more.

Chess Day Happenings

October 14, 2015 - There was a lot happening this past Chess Day (October 10) weekend.

  • What do you get when you mix rockets, chess tournaments, and a visit by chess grandmaster? Find out in Michael Ciamarra's report on events around the state.
  • Governor Robert Bentley issued a Chess Day proclamation.
  • ACF applauds the efforts of the teachers of Alabama Chess in Schools of (ACIS) pilot schools who are bring chess into the classroom. Nearly all of the pilot schools have launched their planned new chess programs.
  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama awarded ACF a $2,500 grant in support of the ACIS initiative.

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. 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.