Beginning in July, all tournaments are suspended until a new location is found. Patisserie management waited until the last minute to tell me that they are converting the upstairs to a “high-end corporate meeting venue.”

Anyone who has a lead on possible spaces is encouraged to contact me at pikecountychessclub[at]

Spaces should be:

Free or low-cost
Available between approximately 9:30 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. on weekends
Big enough to accommodate at least 14 players


Honors For PCCC Tournament Director

This weekend, I played in the 70th Annual U.S. Amateur East Championship. Even though there was an U1800 section, I decided to register in the championship section (U2200) to get stronger competition. It turned out to be a very good event for me. I played two of my best games to date and scored 3.5/6, earning a performance rating solidly in the expert range. I ended up placing first U1800 and was awarded a trophy to mark the occasion.

Here are my results (opponent’s pre-tournament rating at right):
W-1816 W-1942 W-1962 D-2004 L-2022 L-2041

See New Jersey State Chess Federation for all top results.

Big Changes!

Entry Fees: The new entry fee for all tournaments is $15. Previously, entry was $25.

Prizes: The new prize for all tournaments is $40/quad or 67% of entries (although it is actually larger since the organizers are usually playing too). Prizes were 50% of entries prior to this change.

Registration and Round Times: Registration for all tournaments is now 9:30-45. Round one begins at 10:00 a.m. This is a change from the previous start time of 11:00 a.m. for round one of the G/60 events.

I hope these changes are to your liking and that they make it both more feasible and more fun for you to play chess with us. Fauchere management is working with us for the time being, and without their help, these tournaments would no longer be possible. With that in mind, I encourage you, as usual, to patronize the cafe throughout each event. I also encourage you to spread the word about these changes to any chess players you encounter. A broad group of players is what will ensure our survival.

Chester Bean Makes Expert

Congratulations to Chester Bean for finally becoming an expert! His rating passed 2000 after the 23rd Milford G/90 Quads, held last weekend. Scoring a perfect 3-0, he beat a class E player and two class B players. But we’ve long been expecting this from Chester. His rating has been in the high 1900s for at least a year.

Congratulations once again. Your Milford chess family is proud of you!



January’s G/90 quads marked the two-year anniversary of USCF-rated tournaments in Milford. I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to all the players who have helped keep this going, especially Dan Reinert. Dan has been present at all but one event! To those of you who keep my events in mind but can’t always make it, please know that I do appreciate your thoughts. Maybe the new events will make it easier for you.

New Tournaments in 2014

In recognition of how difficult it can be for some of you to show up and spend potentially ten hours in Milford, I will be adding another event this year. I cannot yet guarantee that it will happen every month, but we are going to try doing a G/60 as well. This will cut three hours from the maximum tournament length, which means you won’t need as much stamina and will have plenty of time for traveling.


Our big winner this month is Michael Chiu, who scored 3-0! Michael (1574) earned two slight upsets over myself (1756) and Dan Reinert (1793). He told us that his only goal in chess has been to reach 1600. With a post-tournament rating of 1676, he’ll need a new goal! Congratulations!

Chris Devick (1090) had the opposite experience this time, scoring 0-3.This was not unexpected, considering the ratings. He did have a noteworthy game with Chiu, however, winning a pawn and standing better for quite some time.

Dan Reinert and I had an interesting game where I missed a simple opening move that would have won a queen for two pieces. I went on to reach a won ending, only to drop my rook in what I thought was a tactical way of trading down.

Mike Kagel Upsets To Win 15th Ever

Eight people played in the 15th Ever Milford G/90 Quads over the weekend. We were pleased to welcome back most of our regulars, as well as Bennett Lynn (absent for about a year) and his friend Robert Engleman (new to otb tournament chess). Chris Devick is normally the house player, but this time I decided not to play so that our unrated player could be guaranteed a more competitive game with Chris.

The top quad consisted of Bennet Lynn (2037), Chester Bean (1967), Dan Reinert (1779), and Mike Kagel (1764). In round one, Lynn-Kagel ended in an upset draw after Lynn neglected to notify me of an improperly set/defective clock. Lynn found himself scrambling not to flag from what might have been a winning position. With just seconds left, his draw offer was accepted. Always remember to pause the clock and notify a TD when something strange is happening!

Round two was perhaps even stranger since both top games were upsets. Reinert-Lynn was 1-0, although I can’t remember the specifics–other than Lynn’s liberal use of time (much like myself). Then, some odd happenings in Kagel-Bean made for some excitement. The game looked drawn most of the time until I went away, came back, and somehow Bean was up the exchange for a pawn. Even that seemed kind of drawish given the lack of open lines, but when I showed up again a bit later, Kagel had an outside passer and an extra pawn in a rook and pawn endgame! He soon traded the passer for a kingside pawn, but didn’t go about it quite right and probably had to take a draw. Bean’s clock was very low, however, and play continued until Bean made an unexpected error, dropping his rook. I’m pretty sure Bean got a chance to force a draw by trading his rook for a pawn, but the last opportunity was missed in time trouble.

Round three was more normal, as Bean-Lynn was 0-1 and Kagel-Reinert would be about a 50-50 chance anyway. Kagel managed to score the full point, possibly because Reinert left his knight on h7 for just about the whole second half. Eventually, Kagel had passed c- and e-pawns, one of which would surely be forced through. Reinert resigned. What a day for the top half! Congratulations to Mike Kagel for scoring 2.5/3 and winning his first quad in Milford!

The bottom half of the tournament was almost as exciting as the top half. Mike Tremmel (1536), Larry Tremmel (1482), Chris Devick (1077), and Robert Engleman (UNR) competed. In round one, the newcomer Engleman won his very first tournament game–against the number one seed! Must be a great feeling. It was a tactical game. In the end, Tremmel was going for a stalemate draw, which on several occasions it looked like he might get, but Engleman always gave him a square. Engleman was making me nervous just watching–work on that technique! Tremmel-Devick looked harmless until Devick allowed a devastating pin, losing a piece and the game.

Devick-M. Tremmel was a fun game to watch in round two. It looked drawn with a mostly locked position and bishops of opposite color. Tremmel refused a draw offer and eventually found himself with winning chances. Unfortunately, as is often the case in drawish positions, his attempt to queen also gave his opponent a chance to queen. He could have forced a draw by a perpetual attack on Devick’s bishop, but he tried too hard and lost. Big upset for Devick! Meanwhile, Larry Tremmel converted his extra piece against Engleman into a rook and pawn ending up a rook.

Engleman had a better game in round three against Devick. He built up the queenside pressure until he finally won the exchange and forced a trade of material using his pawn on the seventh. Larry Tremmel was able to beat his brother in the final round–not a good day for Mike, but he has won the bottom section with a perfect score in the past. This time it was just Larry’s turn, and congratulations are in order for a score of 3/3 to accompany his first win here in Milford.

Full standings info can be found at “Previous Tournaments” above.