New York State Championship

138th Annual New York State Championship
September 2-5, 2016

The 138th Annual New York State Championship was held from September 2-5, 2016, at the Albany Marriott, 189 Wolf Road (Thruway Exit 24, I-87 north to Wolf Rd, Exit 4), Albany, New York.

IM Alexandr Ostrovskiy repeats as New York State Chess Champion, Report by David A. Hater

IM Alexandr Ostrovskiy successfully defended his title as New York State Chess Champion, but he had to come from behind to do it. Ostrovskiy lost in round two to FM Ben Dean-Kawamura and had to win the rest of his games to tie for first and take the title on tiebreaks over FM David Brodsky.

This is Ostrovskiy’s third title as New York State Champion. He won in 2010, 2015, and now this year at the 138th Championship. At the time he won in 2010, he was the youngest ever winner at 14 years old (since eclipsed by Nicolas Checa in 2013). Winning the event three times places Ostrovskiy in some pretty elite company. Only three people have won it more than three times: GM Joel Benjamin 9 times (1985-87, 1990, 1995, 2000-2002), GM Michael Rohde 5 times (1988, 1993-94, 1996, 2002), Eugene Delmar 4 times (1887, 1890-91, 1897), Erich Marchand 4 times (1960, 1967, 1969-70), and Anthony Santasiere 4 times (1928, 1930, 1946 and 1956). Four others have won it three times: IM Jay Bonin (1982, 1997, 1999), Jacob Bernstein (1920-1922), Julius Finn (1901, 1907, 1908), and Albert Hodges (1891-1893).

A critical game was round five. FM Anthony Renna was 4-0 and was a full point ahead of the field. Six players were at 3-1: Ostrovskiy, FMs David Brodsky & Ben Dean-Kawamura and NMs Lev Paciorkowski, Zachary Tannenbaum and Joseph Zeltsan. Renna had white versus Ostrovskiy. He would be quite content to draw and he kept the game very balanced for a long time, but Ostrovskiy figured out a way to win.

Brodsky defeated Zeltsan and Paciorkowski defeated Tannenbaum. Dean-Kawamura was paired “down” to GM Rohde and drew. This setup a 4-way tie going to the last round with Ostrovskiy, Brodsky, Paciorkowski and Renna all at 4-1. In the last round Ostrovskiy defeated Paciorkowski and Brodsky defeated Renna to finish in a tie for first.

Ostrovskiy’s mixed doubles team finished 1½ points ahead of all other teams as Ostrovskiy’s partner Charlie Reeder won the Under 1800 section with a score of 5½-½. This is the first time the State Champion also won the mixed doubles.

IM Jay Bonin finished in clear third place with 4½-1½. Bonin defeated GM Michael Rohde in the last round but got off to a rough start. He was scheduled to play in the three day schedule, but ran into a traffic jam and had to take a half point bye in round one. He was paired significantly down in round two and won and then drew with Paciorkowski and Dean-Kawamura in rounds 3 and 4. He won his two games on Monday to finish third.

One player who did not win money but had a great tournament is FM Ben Dean-Kawamura. He defeated Ostrovskiy and drew with Bonin and Rohde. Only a last round loss to FM Olivier Chiku-Ratte kept him from cashing.

This tournament has a 4 day, 3 day, and 2 day schedule (except no two day schedule for the Open). By far the most popular schedule is the three day option. Not a single master opted for the 4 day schedule!

On Sunday night there was a blitz tournament which GM Max Dlugy won scoring 9½-½ giving up only a draw to GM Michael Rohde and going 2-0 against everyone else including Ostrovskiy and WIM Megan Lee. Since Dlugy is now from New Jersey, Yefrim Treger is the New York State Blitz Champion. He tied for 2nd place with WIM Megan Lee from Washington.

The Under 2100 section had a familiar face atop the standings – Harold Scott started 4-0 and then drew both games Monday to tie for first with Webster Kehoe. Scott and Kehoe drew their final round game. I have to apologize to Mr. Kehoe. It is my fault he didn’t come in clear first. After a couple mediocre performances in “Under” sections, Harold Scott recently told me if he ever tried to enter an Under section again I was to stop him. Unfortunately, I was not in Albany to direct or play so I was not able to stop Harold from winning the tournament!

The section winners were:

Under 2100 – Harold Scott & Webster Kehoe 4-2, $750
Under 1800 – Charlie Reeder, 5½-½ $1000
Under 1500 – Dmitry Agron 6-0 $700
Under 1200 – Ashwin Vutha 5½-½ $400

The New York Chess Association holds its annual meeting at this event. As part of the meetings, they induct players or organizers into the New York Chess Hall of Fame. This year the players were GMs Robert J. Fischer, Sammy Reshevsky, Reuben Fine, and Gata Kamsky.

The organizer this year was Sophia Rohde. Most people are aware of the achievements of the GMs but a few highlights of Sophia’s accomplishments are from the induction ceremony are: A Chess Tournament Director since the age of 11, Sophia was the youngest person in the world to earn the FIDE International Arbiter title at age 19. She is also a FIDE International Organizer and a USCF National Tournament Director. She has long been active in chess organization at the city, state, national and international levels, and her contributions have been immense. She has been among the Top 100 US women as a player. She served as the Manager of the Manhattan Chess Club. As an organizer, Sophia is always seeking the highest standards for the players. She has been a teacher and true aficionado of the Royal Game for almost her entire life. She has a special mission to bring its enjoyment and challenges to the disadvantaged. Sophia makes people’s lives better through chess.

Congratulations to all on a well deserved honor.

NTD Steve Immitt directed for Continental Chess Association assisted by Bill Goichberg, Brother John McManus & William Townsend.

The final standings, with prizes, are now posted for all sections.

Please use the following links to obtain more information regarding the 2016 New York State Championship:


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