The NSCF had its first event of the 2013-2014 tournament season. 87 players participated in seven USCF rated sections. The sections cover a broad range of ages, experience and ratings. In the K/1 section there was Chase Hurst a pre-K student from Greenwich Country Day. On the other end of the age spectrum was 12th grader Jason Fiametta from John Jay High School.

There were many newcomers playing in their very first tournament. Lack of tournament experience didn’t hurt some of these new players as they took first place in the K/1, Primary Novice and Booster sections. These sections are designed to give younger or less experienced players a chance to play against their peers and still be able to obtain a USCF rating.

In K/1 it was a tie for 1st between Tony Zhu and Jackson Choi, with Tony winning the first place trophy on tie-breaks. This was Tony’s first tournament and he was able to draw with his Brunswick teammate Jackson in the final round. Teammates normally don’t have to play each other unless they’re the only perfect scores. Despite the teammates having to play each other in the last round, Brunswick still won the team title with 9.5 points.

In Primary Novice newcomers swept the top three places with Michael Sica of Harrison Avenue coming in first with 3.5 points. He was followed by Maya Tratt of Carmel Academy and Landon Pepe of Primrose who both scored 3 points. Maya was second on tie-breaks. Primrose won the team competition with 7 points.

The Primary section is open to all players in 3rd grade and below. Although unrated players may choose this section, none did for this event. The section was won by Alexander Dyakin of Edgewood School with a score of 3.5.  Jared Schwartz of Solomon Schechter finished 2nd with 3 points followed by Isabella Ann Hall of Whitby in 3rd with 2.5 points.  Solomon Schechter won the team title with 4 points.

In the Booster section, another newcomer took 1st place. Joshua Cohen scored 4 points. Nielsen Gordon was 2nd with 3 points. His lone loss came against Joshua in the 3rd round. Booster players, recruit some of your chess playing friends to form a team for upcoming events.

The Reserve section is open to players of all ages, rated between 500 and 999. Primary aged players have a choice of playing in this section against older players that they wouldn’t face in Primary. 3rd grader Advay Kumar of Greenville School scored a perfect 4 to take 1st place.  Noah Lichtblau of White Plains HS finished 2nd with 3.5. He was held to a draw in the last round, preventing him from tying for 1st.  Avery Hood was in 3rd on tie-breaks over 5 other players with 3 points. Bronxville had a very strong turnout with 6 players competing in Reserve.  The top 4 scorers amassed 8.5 points to win the team title over White Plains HS.  The White Plains team only had 2 players, but still scored 5.5 points.

The Championship section was another strong showing for Bronxville. Robert Schetlick went into round 4 a half a point behind his teammate, Joseph Daher. Once again it was a situation with teammates having to play each other in the last round.  Robert beat Joseph to take 1st place with 3.5. Joseph finished 2nd on tie-breaks with 3 points.  3rd place went to Dillon Hurst of Greenwich Country Day. 4th place went to Itai Rubin of Briarcliff Manor MS.  Bronxville won the team title with 10 points.

The Future Masters section is open to players rated over 1300. Normally the top player will be rated around 1700. In this particular tournament Future Master players had an extra special challenge. USCF expert and White Plains HS student, Michael Ainsworth entered the tournament. Although he could not play in the same section as his White Plains HS teammates, he wanted to support them by coming out and playing in the tournament. There were no upset wins against him so he scored 3 points to win the section. Jason Fiametta of John Jay HS was 2nd with 2.5 points.  Jack Kochansky of Bronxville lost to Michael in the final round and finished in 3rd with 2 points.

Although Jack did not pull off an upset win against Michael, he did so against 2012-13 Grand Prix Overall Champion Shawn Cobb in round 2. It came down to a miscalculation on Shawn’s part to allow Jack to win a piece.


With both players short on time Jack was able to win with a nice checkmate at the end.  Neither player had a complete score sheet, but they were able to reconstruct the ending.

Woodlands Fall Scholastic, November 3rd, 2013

USCF Rating Report






Recommended books for beginning players.

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