Sunday, January 05, 2014

Chess by Stephen Dann

If we are not buried in snow throughout January, there are unique opportunities to learn about chess education as well as observe some of the country's top players. Next weekend, the Logan Airport Hyatt will host the second Boston Chess Congress and the concurrent Boston Chess Education Expo. These and many more events are described at

Next weekend you not only can view or compete in a tournament section, but you can see educational products in a neutral environment, presented by the Mass. Chess Association, with free live lectures on Sunday by both men and women. Dr. Nicholas Sterling of Needham is putting together a great show, and whether you play chess in a library, school or senior center, you cannot beat the price.

Harvard and Yale attended the annual Pan American Intercollegiate last week in Texas, but they were no match for the powerhouse schools with chess scholarship programs such as Webster University of St. Louis, which took two of the top four places, including a 6-0 victory. Visit to see how they did it.

We failed to mention last week that Westboro's Andrew Liu competed in the Open Under 16 section of the World Youth in UAE. Carissa Yip of Chelmsford missed out on the bronze medal in the Girls Under 10 group, by "the closest of margins," according to the USCF site report. The U.S. won one gold and one silver in the Open Under 10 group. Some 1,790 youths younger than 18 competed for 100 countries, the U.S. sending 94.

John Grefe, 66, of California, former U.S. co-champion 40 years ago, died Dec. 22 of kidney cancer.

Closer to home, Muharrem Brahimaj of Worcester won the Delectable December Open by in Worcester. Neil Cousin of Franklin dominated the Vortex December Open last Sunday in Framingham, 5-1. Chris Chase of Somerville and Farzad Abdi of Rockland split first at Wednesday's New Year Healy Memorial in Somerville. More details at