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Central Florida Chess Club, Lerman take awards at USCF Ceremony

The United States Chess Federation held its annual awards banquet at the Rosen Centre Hotel today (August 2)  and The Central Florida Chess Club took home a big honor.  First though, it was organizer Harvey Lerman who collected a Lifetime Achievement Award.

USCF Awards banquet (12)

Chess in Education director Steve Shutt and Harvey Lerman


After several other awards were presented, The Central Florida Chess Club was honored as the United States Chess Federation chess club of the Year.  President Larry Storch and Harvey accepted the award for the club.  After MC Steven Shutt read a short paragraph about the club, Larry took the microphone and acknowledged the passing of Paul Hargett, one of the club’s former presidents,

USCF Awards banquet (26)

Larry Storch accepts award for the Central Florida chess Club with remarks about the passing of Paul Hargett, an early president of the club.

Present at the awards were many USCF dignitaries including President Ruth Haring, Allen Priest, VP of Finance, Editor of Chess Life Dan Lucas, Executive Director Jean Hoffman, Director of Events Franc Guadalupe and many more.

USCF Awards banquet (17)

Thad Rogers Lifetime Achievement Award


The text of remarks about the Central Florida Chess Club appear below:

The Central Florida Chess club was created  in 1986 as a result of a merger between the Orlando Chess club and the Winter Park Chess Club.  The club has had many locations and directors, but two members who have guided it from its inception through the present were President Larry Storch and treasurer and senior td Harvey Lerman.  Over the years, contributions have been made by many players and organizers; Paul Hargett, Bob Diday, Nick Schoonmaker, Jonathan Lee, Roderic van Beuzekom, Michael Leavitt, Wayne Strickland, Chuck Hall  and many others.  The club served as a meeting place for chess players, but as technology changed the landscape of chess, and more online opportunities presented themselves, The Central Florida Chess Club evolved as well.  We created one of the most informative websites in the country so players from all over the region could keep up with events.  We also devoted time and money into hosting three major tournaments every year, as well as monthly tornadoes and our club championship which has run continuously since 1987.  In addition, we sponsor a Grand Prix which rewards players for tournament participation.


Today we are one of only a handful of clubs that have served the chess community for the past 27 years.  Though our leadership, we have had active scholastic programs, supported prison chess and funded youth programs.  This past year we held an invitational tournament for the strongest young players in Central Florida.  Many strong masters made their starts through our club including FM Miles Ardaman, GM Alejandro Ramirez, GM Ray Robson IM Daniel Ludwig and many more.  As we go forward, the Central Florida Chess Club will always be at the forefront of Florida chess.



Larry Storch ties for First in US Open Weekend Swiss

The US Open Chess tournament started off with a bang in Orlando with a tie for first for life master Larry Storch.  Storch tied for first with young phenom Ruifeng Li (2420) and English master John Duggan (2302).  Fifty-two players participated in the G/60 event which took place on the first weekend of the US Open at the Rosen Centre hotel on International Drive.  The tournament goes through Sunday, August 3.


No. Ttl Name                    St Rate Pts Rnd1 Rnd2 Rnd3 Rnd4 Rnd5
1     Li, Ruifeng                    TX 2420 4.5 W 18 W 46 W 16 W 14 D2
2     Duggan, John                     2302 4.5 W 43 W 22 W  6 W  5 D1
3     Storch, Lawrence        FL  2200 4.5 W 44 W 12 D  8 W 15 W7
4     Rajasekaran, Vikas      VA 2168 4.0 W 34 W 13 L  5 W 23 W16
5     Moon, Benjamin         GA 1990 4.0 W 36 W 33 W  4 L  2 W14
6     Hansen, Martin          FL 2073 3.5 W 35 W 24 L  2 W 25 D12
7     Stewart, Evan              FL 1928 3.5  -H- W 38 W  9 W  8 L3
8     Strickland, Wayne     FL 1837 3.5 W 19 W 47 D  3 L  7 W22
9     O’Young, Coby            NH 1807 3.5 W 37 D 21 L  7 W 32 W23
10     Leggett, Paul               FL 1775 3.5 W 48  -H- L 15 W 42 W28
11     Day, Garry Dale           FL 1771 3.5 W 39 W 28 L 14 W 20 -H-
12     Kumar, Nikhil             FL 1658 3.5 W 40 L  3 W 34 W 21 D6
13     Liu, Jackie                   FL 1642 3.5 W 49 L  4 W 36 W 18 D15
14     Brashaw, Daniel         IA 2124 3.0 W 45 W 42 W 11 L  1 L5
15     Helfst, Matt D             FL 2074 3.0 W 26 D 23 W 10 L  3 D13
16     Johnson, Frank          GA 2039 3.0 W 27 W 32 L  1 W 33 L4
17     Villarreal, Brian L     IN 1814 3.0 L 28 W 39 L 25 W 44 W24
18     Singh, Keshav            FL 1496 3.0 L  1 W 48 W 31 L 13 W37
19     Matthews, Marcus    NC 1344 3.0 L  8 W 52 L 24 W 50 W33
20     Sibbitt, Camille         FL 1112 3.0 L 23 W 26  -X- L 11 W35
21     Nath, Anoop Raghu   FL      3.0 W 25 D  9  -H- L 12 W36
22     Davis, Charles R        TX 1662 2.5 W 30 L  2 W 35 D 24 L8
23     Zheng, Lixin               FL 1605 2.5 W 20 D 15 W 46 L  4 L9
24     Smith, Peyton J         MN 1582 2.5 W 51 L  6 W 19 D 22 L17
25     Salzgeber,  John        MS 1511 2.5 L 21 W 37 W 17 L  6 D29
26     Hamley, Ryan            FL 1422 2.5 L 15 L 20 D 40 W 45 -X-
27     Kumar, Naman          FL 1377 2.5 L 16 W 50 D 42 L 28 W43
28     Chin, Taban               FL 1330 2.5 W 17 L 11 D 32 W 27 L10
29     Ferrer, Sofia               FL 1261 2.5 L 46 D 44 D 43 W 47 D25
30     Mittal, Agastya         FL 1258 2.5 L 22 L 31 W 52 D 34 W44
31     Leyva, Anthony         FL 1798 2.0 L 38 W 30 L 18  -H- -H-
32     Hart, Jordan David  FL 1549 2.0 W 50 L 16 D 28 L  9 -H-
33     Taylor, Kevin P         IL 1524 2.0  -X- L  5 W 38 L 16 L19
34     Vogel, Rick                AZ 1462 2.0 L  4 W 49 L 12 D 30 D38
35     Chin, Lane                 FL 1383 2.0 L  6 W 41 L 22 W 40 L20
36     Sibbitt, Brandon      FL 1355 2.0 L  5 W 51 L 13 W 41 L21
37     Baer, Steve L             NY 1282 2.0 L  9 L 25 W 49 W 46 L18
38     Singh, Sharanya       FL 1270 2.0 W 31 L  7 L 33 D 43 D34
39     Vigil, Eric Golf          IA 1262 2.0 L 11 L 17 L 41 W 52 W49
40     Liu, David Yuan       FL 1230 2.0 L 12 D 45 D 26 L 35 W50
41     Tustin, Jesse Tolk     WV 1158 2.0 L 42 L 35 W 39 L 36 W46
42     Abdulaziz, Jahi         NC 1628 1.5 W 41 L 14 D 27 L 10 -F-
43     Harrs, Christian        FL 1496 1.5 L  2  -H- D 29 D 38 L27
44     Derwitsch, Mason A FL 1481 1.5 L  3 D 29 W 45 L 17 L30
45     Cruz, Jancarlo          FL 1427 1.5 L 14 D 40 L 44 L 26 W51
46     Weidenbenner, Eri  FL 1765 1.0 W 29 L  1 L 23 L 37 L41
47     Sanderlin, Joseph L FL 1515 1.0 W 52 L  8  -F- L 29 —
48     Ferrer, Gabriel         FL 1266 1.0 L 10 L 18 L 50 W 51 —
49     Sabol, Nicholas         FL 1170 1.0 L 13 L 34 L 37  -B- L39
50     See, Te                        NH  842 1.0 L 32 L 27 W 48 L 19 L40
51     Karandikar, Akhil     FL  893 0.5 L 24 L 36  -H- L 48 L45
52     Pryor, Kevin J          FL      0.0 L 47 L 19 L 30 L 39 —


Below are two games which that helped push the master to 4.5/5 points.  In the first, white zeroes in on black’s vulnerable c pawn, and when black tries to break out, the invasion of f5 decides matters.

In the second game, black plays inaccurately in the opening and pays the price.




Storch,Larry (2200) – Helfst,Matt (2079) [D60] US Open Weekend Swiss Rosen Center Orlando (4), 27.07.2014 [Storch,Larry]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Be7 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.Bg5 Nbd7 6.e3 0-0 7.Rc1 c6 8.Bd3 b6 9.0-0 Bb7 10.Qe2 Rc8 11.cxd5 [11.Rfd1] 11…Nxd5 12.Bxe7 Qxe7 13.Ba6! Nxc3 14.Rxc3 Bxa6 15.Qxa6 Rc7 16.Rfc1 Rfc8 17.Qa4 Qd6 18.b4 c5 19.bxc5 bxc5 20.Qc2 e5!? [20...c4 21.Nd2 Nb6=] 21.dxe5 Nxe5 22.Ng5 Qh6? [22...Qg6 23.Qxg6 hxg6 24.f4 Nd7 25.Kf2+/=] 23.Qf5! Ng6 [23...f6 24.Rxc5! Qxg5 (24...fxg5 25.Rxc7; 24...Rxc5 25.Qxc8+ Rxc8 26.Rxc8#) 25.Qe6+ Kf8 26.Rxc7+-] 24.Nxf7 Qh4 25.Nd6 Rf8 26.Qe6+ Kh8 27.g3 Qg5 28.Ne4 1-0

Storch,Larry (2200) – Stewart,Evan (1938) [E97] US Open Weekend Swiss Rosen Center Orlando (5), 27.07.2014 [Storch,Larry]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 d6 3.Nf3 g6 4.Nc3 Bg7 5.e4 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Nb4 9.a3 Na6 10.b4 c6 11.Nd2 Ne8 12.Nb3 f5 13.dxc6 [13.c5 dxc5 14.Bxa6 bxa6 15.dxc6] 13…bxc6 14.b5 Nac7 [14...cxb5?? 15.Qd5+] 15.bxc6 Nf6 16.f3 Kh8 17.Be3 f4 18.Bf2 g5 19.Rb1! h5 20.Na5! Qe7 21.Nb7 Nfe8 22.c5! Rf6 23.Qd2 [23.cxd6! Nxd6 24.Bc5 Nce8 25.Nd5 Qf7 26.Nxf6 Qxf6 27.Bxd6] 23…Rg6 [23...dxc5 24.Bxc5 Qf7 (24...Qe6 25.Nd8 Qg8 26.Be7 Rg6 27.Nd5) 25.Nd5 Rxc6 26.Nd8] 24.Rfd1 g4 [24...dxc5 25.Bxc5] 25.cxd6 Qg5 26.d7! g3 27.hxg3! fxg3 28.Qxg5 gxf2+ 29.Kxf2 Rxg5 30.d8Q Bf6 31.Qd2 Be6 32.Nd5 Nxd5 33.exd5 Bf5 34.Rb4 Nc7 35.d6 Rag8 36.g4! Ne6 37.Rh1 Nf4 38.Rxf4 exf4 39.Qxf4 Bxg4 40.Qxf6+ 1-0


Paul Hargett Passes Away

Central Florida Chess organizer and an early president of the Central Florida Chess club, Paul Hargett passed away Tuesday, July 29th at the age of 89.  Paul was battling health problems but still managed to play in his weekly blitz games.  Paul was an early president of the Central Florida Chess Club following the merger of the Orlando Chess Club and the Winter Park Chess Club in 1986.  He was honored with the cover of the Florida Chess News in September of 1994 as Central Florida’s chess organizer.  He will be missed.

USCF Awards banquet

Paul Hargett’s cover photo from the 1994 issue of Florida Chess News


Paul Hargett playing blitz chess



The “five minute gang”



Casselberry Chess Club to host Lecture

Ludwig, Baeza: The Perfect Storm at May Tornado

Twenty-three players turned out for the CFCC’s May tornado, the first of three summer tornadoes to be held at the Unitarian Church this year.  Among the throng of players were three masters and two experts along with a host of other hopefuls.  Top rated John Ludwig (2303) sailed through his games with little headwind and was joined by expert Jose Baeza (2097).  Second rated Alfonso Gabbedon (2210) had a rough event blundering in round two to Wayne Strickland (1803) and losing in the fourth round to Baeza.  Third rated Makaio Krienke (2202) won his first three games before losing a piece in time pressure to Ludwig in the last round.   In a three way tie for third through fifth with three points were Krienke, Andres Hernandez (2032) and Kai Tabor (1906).  All three players lost to top-rated Ludwig winning their other games.


Wayne Strickland takes on Makaio Krienke in round three at the May Tornado.


The tornado was a big success for the Central Florida Chess Club as it had made a concerted effort to boost attendance at tornadoes.  In addition to the increased prize fund, there were two drawings for free entries into the next tornado.  The winners of those were Zach Robertson and Alfonso Gabbedon (note that masters normally get free entry fees with those fees deducted from any winnings.  In Alfonso’s case, there would be no deduction in the next tornado).  Flyers, emails and word of mouth also contributed to the large turnout.  Wayne Strickland made the push for more attendance and Harvey Lerman did the work.  Larry Storch also contributed providing refreshments and entering games.

SwissSys Wall Chart. CFCC May 2014 Tornado at UUU

# Name/Rtng/ID St/Tm Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4
1 John G** Ludwig FL B  13 W    6 B    5 W    3
2303   13721287 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0
2 Alfonso** Gabbedon FL W  14 B    8 W  13 W    4
2210   12775019 1.0 1.0 2.0 2.0
3 Makaio W ** Krienke FL B  15 W    9 B    8 B    1
2202   13474768 1.0 2.0 3.0 3.0
4 Jose Rafael Baeza FL W  16 B  10 W  12 B    2
2097   14703591 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0
5 Andres Hernandez FL B  17 W  11 W    1 B    9
2032   13460747 1.0 2.0 2.0 3.0
6 Kai Tabor FL W  18 B    1 W  17 B  11
1906   12943433 1.0 1.0 2.0 3.0
7 David A Raymond FL bye B  12 W  23 B  16
1868   10231841 0.5 0.5 1.5 2.0
8 Wayne Strickland FL B  19 W    2 W    3 bye
1803   12440866 1.0 2.0 2.0 2.5
9 Paul Leggett FL W  20 B    3 W  21 W    5
1673   12481864 1.0 1.0 2.0 2.0
10 Daniel K Smith FL B  21 W    4 B  19 —-
1631   12684427 1.0 1.0 1.0 U1.0
11 Cesar Gonell FL W  22 B    5 W  20 W    6
1597   12651613 1.0 1.0 2.0 2.0
12 Natahja Graddy FL B  23 W    7 B    4 bye
1530   14052183 1.0 2.0 2.0 2.5
13 Christian Harrs FL W    1 B  18 B    2 W  20
1485   14376224 0.0 1.0 1.0 2.0
14 Sofia Ferrer FL B    2 W  19 W  16 B  23
1343   14870396 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
15 Gabriel Ferrer FL W    3 B  20 W  22 bye
1317   14870381 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.0
16 Brandon Sibbitt FL B    4 W  23 B  14 W    7
1300   14958795 0.0 0.5 1.5 2.0
17 Ryan E Hamley FL W    5 B  22 B    6 W  21
1299   14930548 0.0 1.0 1.0 2.0
18 Nathan Kelly FL B    6 W  13 bye B  22
1239   12745591 0.0 0.0 1.0 1.0
19 Michael E Dudley FL W    8 B  14 W  10 bye
1200   15369193 0.0 1.0 2.0 2.5
20 Osvaldo J Ramirez FL B    9 W  15 B  11 B  13
1100   14196965 0.0 1.0 1.0 1.0
21 Camille Sibbitt FL W  10 bye B    9 B  17
1029   14958768 0.0 1.0 1.0 1.0
22 Sean Northrup FL B  11 W  17 B  15 W  18
unr.   15453298 0.0 0.0 1.0 2.0
23 Zachary J Robertson FL W  12 B  16 B    7 W  14
unr.   15452101 0.0 0.5 0.5 1.5


For rated results, click here

CFCC Announces Spring & Summer Tornadoes

The CFCC Announces their Spring and Summer Tornado schedule featuring increased prizes and drawings for other prizes!  Our tornadoes are May 17th, July 12th and August 23rd.  All tornadoes will be played at the Unitarian Universalist Church near UCF.

4SS,G/75 $750 b/30 (1st place guaranteed) $200-120-80 class A,B,C,D,E$70 each

See Chess Life or for complete details.

Special Prizes

Play May !

Be entered in our two drawings for FREE entry into the July tornado.

Play May and July !!

for a chance to win one FREE entry into August tornado or one FREE entry into a CFCC Grand Prix Event!

Play May, July and August !!!

Be entered in our two drawings

for FREE entry into CFCC Grand Prix Event

Drawings held before the start of the 3rd round.

One prize, per winner, per tornado.


My Adventures in Atlanta!

2014 US Amateur South Team Tournament 

The US Amateur Team South Tournament (USATS) has been held in Florida for the past 17 years, and for the past two in Boca Raton. But this year at the last minute, Thad Rogers’ American Chess Promotions was awarded the bid for the event to be held in Norcross Georgia.

  This was ideal for a group of friends scattered around the southeast US.  John Nardandrea (Ocala) and I (Orlando) have always played together on teams, but it was difficult to get first board Miles Ardaman and David Haimes, both in North Carolina to get to the same venue.  Norcross was going to be ideal; but two major problems stood in our way.  First, the hotel was subpar.  One travel website described it thusly: “This used to be a Holiday Inn Express, but over the years it has devolved into something called the Garden Plaza Inn.”  Several calls to both Thad and the hotel, assured me that the hotel had renovated and we would be happy.  This turned out to not be true.  The “renovated” rooms turned out to be just non-smoking rooms.  Our room had no light bulbs or hangers, and a television that I think I sold in a 1991 garage sale.  In our other room, the adjoining door separating two rooms was off the hinges and hanging by a thread!  Down in the tournament hall, there was no water service (Thad went to the grocery and bought cases of bottled water for the playing hall and hand soap for the bathrooms)!  The second problem was much worse.  A storm sweeping the eastern half of the country was zeroing in on Atlanta.  One weather channel characterized it as “a catastrophic ice storm of historic proportion!”  Our wives were against our going, but Dr. Nardandrea, always the optimist said it would be fine by the weekend.  I called Dave in High Point, North Carolina and he was digging out from a combination of ice and snow but said it was doable.  Our problem was first board Miles Ardaman.  Miles lived on top of Cold Mountain, near Asheville, North Carolina and the roads were impassable.  He texted us updates, “state DOT says roads in Western Carolina are not drivable, will check later”.  Finally, at 10am on Friday, the authorities gave the okay to drive.  We all converged on Atlanta by 5 pm on Friday and had a great reunion.

2014-02-15 10.34.43

“Later Gators” from left; Miles Ardaman, John Nardandrea, Larry Storch, David Haimes

The tournament had a solid turnout with 142 participants.  Our veteran team, “Later Gators” was ranked second.  The tournament was going to be won by either the top rated “Russians never Retreat” led by Daniel Gurevich (2396),  Toby Boas’ (2205) “Gators, our chess pieces block” or us.  After sprinting out winning our first two matches with 7.5/8 points, we ran into trouble in round three.  We had two points from boards two-four.  I won, and both John and David drew.  That left usually reliable Miles Ardaman (2264) battling Lawrence White (2116) on board one.  In terrible time trouble, Miles had a rook and two passed pawns against his opponent’s queen.  The lower rated opponent was desperately trying for perpetual check, but Miles was under the mistaken impression that we needed a win on board one and used all his time trying to win, losing on time instead.  This left us at 2.5/3 trailing the other two teams by a half point.  In round four, the leaders drew 2-2 while we scored a solid 3.5-.5 win with Miles rebounding beating  Andrew Cherepanov (2470).  That resulted in the three top rated teams all tied with 3.5/4.  “Russians” had white against us, while Toby’s team played a team of experts and A players on table two.  Our last round was very disappointing. David Haimes (1916) had a winning attack against their fourth board, Elena Gratskaya (1840),       only to lose his way.  Miles was defeated by Daniel Gurevich (2396) and Michael Corallo (2248) played a nice attack against me.  Finally, John Nardandrea (2246)  succumbed to Richard Francisco (2348) to complete the 4-0 sweep.  Meanwhile, with his higher rated team tied 1.5/1.5 against their outranked opponent, Toby’s game against Reese Thompson (2097) was the last one.  He rallied from an inferior position to tie Gurevich’s team with 4.5/5.

The “Russian” team had the better tie breaks and took the Southern USAT title. We finished with 3.5 and captured top senior team as Miles turned 50 in December.  For me it was a wonderful weekend to catch up with old friends.  Not only did I enjoy spending time with Miles, John and David, I caught up with Atlanta resident Justin Morrison who played on my 1991 team.  Thad said he would like to host the event again next year, I told him that would be great as long as he used a different hotel!

2013-2014 Grand Prix Results

      Below are the winners, their point totals and prize amounts.



    1st     John Ludwig          12.5      $175.00


    2nd     Truman Hoang         11.0      $125.00


    3rd     Makaio Krienke       10.0      $100.00


    4th     Dylan Mavrides        9.5      $100.00


    5th     Brandon Sibbitt       9.0      $100.00


The board voted to continue the Grand Prix for 2014-2015.  The Grand Prix runs from our June Summer Sunshine tournament through the 2015 CFCC Championship.  The other two events included are the Orlando Autumn Open (October) and the Central Florida Class Championship (Jan 2015)