Saturday, December 26, 2015

Herb Healy Open House 2016

  • Our annual kickoff tournament
  • Free food served to all players all day
  • Two sections: rated and non-rated

 Herb Healy Open House 2016

Friday, January 1, 2016
Event Format
Time Control
G/40 d5
Rated & Non-Rated
Entry Fee
$25, $20 for BCF members, $5 more at door
Based on entries
10:45am - 11:40am
Round Times
11:45am, 1:40pm, 3:30pm, 5:10pm

Please come to the annual BCC open house, 
see some old friends, 
make some new ones, 
play some chess (rated or unrated), 
and enjoy a free lunch. 
It's a great way to start the 2016 chess year.

 Registration isn't until 10:45,
so you can sleep in from your celebrating the night before.


Since 1974 Boston area chess players have started the new year with a tournament and open house at the Boylston Chess Club. In 1980 the open house was dedicated to Herb Healy, described below by Bernardo Iglesias.

Each  year there are many (40 - 50) players and many visitors. 
Former US Champion GM Larry Christiansen often plays, along with IM David Vigorito, former BCC and Massachusetts Champion, and FM Paul MacIntyre, former BCC President and BCC Champion (2004, 2003, 2001, 2000).

Other former BCC Champions playing at the Open House have included FM Bill Kelleher (1987, 1984, 1983, 1981, 1980, 1979), FM Chris Chase (2014, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2006, 1998, 1994, 1990), NM Alex Cherniack (1995, 1989), and FM Jacob Rasin (just visiting; 1997,1995,1993,1992,1991, 1990), NM Charles Riodan (2013, 2011, 2006, 2005) and NM Mika Brattain (2015, 2014.)

Andrew Hoy (BCF president 2015-2016) and Carey Theil (BCF president 2013-2015) will likely be there.

Bernardo Iglesias is usually the able TD, often assisted by Walter Driscoll

Mike Griffin caters the affair as Irving Yaffee did before him.

Irving Yaffe, in Memoriam.
Irv catered the Herb Healy for years!

Passing the baton to

BCC Veteran chess player and member, Board of Directors and Treasurer,

Mike Griffin, high-lights one of his prime dogs at the deli table which he volunteered to organize and operate. Thank you Mike for your contribution!
Tony Cortizas and Steve Stepak, two pre-eminent photographers, have documented the event, as they have so often done in the Boston chess world. Robert Oresick also snapped some shots.


Start 2016 out right.  

Come play chess with friends.

Bernardo did a sketch of  the origination of the Herb Healy Open House:

Herbert E. Healy was born on July 13, 1885 and died on Wednesday, January 9, 1974 in Boston.[Thanks to George Mirijanian for providing July 13 as his exact day of birth.]
He was 88 years old and one of the original Charter members of the Boylston Chess Club at its official organization in 1919.    He was Secretary Emeritus at his death.
“The Club was saddened by the death of Herbert Healy, Charter Member and Secretary Emeritus, on Wednesday night, January 9, 1974. This occurred only days after the Herbert Healy Appreciation Tournament (the 30-30 New Year’s Event) and Testimony was held in his honor. Wednesday had a 10”-12” snowfall, but Mr. Healy showed up at the Union and peeked into the Chess Quarters. [ He went to his home in the South End on Brookline Ave.] He died in his sleep. (Only Dave Hudnut, in the Providence Rhode Island area, remains as a Charter Club Member.)”
In 1980 the New Year's 30/30 was permanently dedicated to him as Herbert E. Healy Open House.  Herbert E. Healy along with Harry Lyman, Irvin Yaffee, Myer Edelstein and others customarily provided food to the participants of this event.

This information was taken from minutes of the club from January 27, 1974 and talking with Mr.Harry Lyman and William Lukowiak in past years. There are more testimonies about Mr. Healy that I am omitting.

Bemardo Iglesias
 December 2007


Saturday, December 19, 2015

Attend a Boylston Chess Clinic

Boylston Chess Foundation

Attend a Boylston Chess Clinic 

December recess: 28, 29, 30, 31

9:00 am - 12:30 pm each day

Taught by SM Jacob Rasin, these clinics are great for students of all levels.

This program invites young chess players who already have a complete understanding of the rules of chess to come and develop their abilities. With a combination of lecture, question/answer and guided cooperative learning, the instructor will cover essential elements of the game:

Tactics    Strategy    Openings    Middlegames    Endgames    Problems    
Students will develop their memory, visualization ability, attention span, critical thinking skills, as well as their sense of fairness and good sportsmanship – all while having fun!

 About the instructor: A master of the game and a Boylston Chess Club member for over 25 years, Jacob Rasin has been a professional chess teacher for over 35 years in the Soviet Union and the United States. 1978-1989, Jacob served as head coach at the Pioneers Palace of the Leningrad Province; 1982-1985, he had the additional assignment of training Soviet grandmasters and international masters. Since 1990, he has taught privately and at schools in the Boston area. His students have won dozens of scholastic state championships and medals, and more than ten national championships in various brackets. Jacob has directed the School Break Program since 1994.

Friday, December 18, 2015

$15 Open is Saturday

$15 Open

Saturday, December 19, 2015
Event Format
Time Control
G/60 d10
Open; U1800
Entry Fee
$15 in advance. $30 at door, $20 at door for BCF members
$225 based on 25 paid entries
9:15am - 9:45am
Round Times
10:00am, 1:00pm, 3:30pm, and 6:00pm

Chess equipment discounts at Leavitt & Pierce

 Leavitt and Peirce is a 124 year-old tobacco shop located in Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA, just across the street from the historic "old Harvard Yard." We have been a gathering place for generations of Harvard men and women, offering unique and traditional gifts, games, and toiletries. This is in addition to our fine selection of pipes, tobacco, cigars, and accoutrements.

Dr Jonathan Lee reports that his friends at the venerable Harvard Square shop Leavitt and Peirce  is offering a 20% discount  on chess equipment to Boylston Chess Club members. (The have become an official suppler to the BCC.)

When asking for the discount, be sure to have your current BCC membership card.  If you don't have one, contact a TD or officer at the club.

Monday, December 14, 2015


Good bye Harold.

Rest in peace.

Read more about Harold Dondis



A Must Read:

"A True Lover of Chess" for an excellent portrait of Harold's life-long contributions to chess.

George and Harold at his chess center.  Photo:  Tony Cortizas, Jr.

Steve Stepak's post on Harold's passing after more than 40 year's of friendship.

Steve Stepak observes Harold play Nithin Kavi.  Photo: J. Wu


In Memorial:     Harold Dondis

Dan DeLuca 

Harold Dondis, attorney

Harold was a very accomplished attorney:


In memory of Harold B. Dondis (1922-2015), former Managing Director and former counsel to the firm concentrated on corporate and public utility law, as well as estate planning taxation with a specialty in legal analysis of federal and Massachusetts law. Mr. Dondis provided counsel to electric, gas, cable and various commercial companies, with a particular focus on natural gas companies. Mr. Dondis argued several cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. 
Named a 2015 Top Rated Lawyer in Business and Commercial by Martindale-Hubbell.
Awarded the highest ranking by Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory (AV – Legal Ability Rating: Very High to Preeminent).
Recipient of the U.S. Chess Federation 2001 Cramer Award for the “Best Chess Column.”
Community Involvement
Trustee and former CEO of the U.S. Chess Trust, a national charity focused on chess education.
Editor of the “Chess Notes” bi-weekly column in the Boston Globe.
Professional Affiliations
Massachusetts Bar Association

Harold Dondis, Boston Globe Obituary

Boston Globe

Harold B. Dondis of Belmont, MA, passed away December 10, 2015.

Beloved husband of Claire Louise Dondis. Son of the late Joseph and Ida (Povich)
Dondis and brother of the late Meredith Dondis of Rockland, ME.
Brother-in-law of Esther Dondis of Rockland, ME, and the uncle of Jo
Dondis of Camden, ME and Lynn Dondis of Washington, DC.

Born in Rockland, Maine, he was educated in Rockland Public Schools. Mr. Dondis graduated from Bowdoin College and Harvard Law School.

He practiced law and became a senior partner at Rich, May in Boston for his entire legal career. He was also general counsel for the Algonquin Gas Transmission Company for many years.

Mr. Dondis had a great interest in the game of chess and founded the U.S. Chess Trust. This Trust became the charitable  arm of the U.S. Chess Federation. He wrote the chess column for the Boston Globe for 50 years.

Relatives & Friends are respectfully invited to attend Visiting Hours in celebration of Harold's Life in the Brasco & Sons Memorial Chapels, 325 Trapelo Rd, BELMONT, on Wednesday, Dec. 16th from 3 - 7 p.m.

Donations may be made in his memory
to the Rockland Public Library, Rockland, ME 04841,
or the Boylston Chess Club, Suite B101, Norris St, No. Cambridge, MA 02140

Harold Dondis 1922-2015

Harold Dondis was born on October 1, 1922 in Rockland, Maine.  He was a lawyer, graduating from Harvard Law School in 1945.  

Harold Dondis has been at the heart of the chess world, for decades. Dondis had a great interest in the game of chess and founded the U.S. Chess Trust. This Trust became the charitable arm of the U.S. Chess Federation. He wrote the chess column for the Boston Globe for over 50 years, first appearing in 1964.   He is considered the Dean of New England Chess Journalists.

He was a leader in Massachusetts and New England chess.
He is a former president of the Massachusetts State Chess Association (MSCA).  In 1967, he co-founded the U.S. chess Trust with Ed Edmondson.

And he was a constant player at the Boylston Chess club since at least the 60's.  Harold was a great benefactor to the Boylston year in and year out.  He helped make the move to our new Cambridge location possible.
When the board wanted to recognize his support by dedicating a room in his name, he deferred, requested that it be called the Harry Lyman room instead.

BCF president Carey Theil and Harold Donis at the naming ceremony this summer.                               Photo: Tony Cortizas, Jr.

He will always be remembered in the same breath as other New England chess giants and friends as Harry Lyman and John Curdo.

Directors of the MSCA in 1957:    seated far right, H. Dondis;   standing, second from left, H. Lyman                  Photo: LV Kramer    Chess Horizons November December 1989

Fischer v Dondis, final positon, 1964

At the club on Saturday, on Harold's usual board, they set up the final position when Fischer resigned to Harold in a simul on March 2, 1964

Photo:  R. Oresick

 Play through the 19 move gem, or should I say, bit of chess caviar, as his friend John Curdo might say.

Dondis and Curdo   Photo: Anthony Cortizas, Jr.

Harold Dondis photo memorial by Tony Cortizas

Tony Cortizas, New England chess photographer, said what so many people expressed at learning the news.  Surprise and shock at our deep loss.  His photos are so evocative.

"All, Seems wrong to be surprised - but  somehow it is shocking to realize Harold Dondis won't be at the club anymore.


Tony Cortizas, Jr."

Chris Chase on Harold

Others learned of his passing from Chris Chase, his longtime friend and co-author. 


 From Chris Chase, Harold's friend and co-columnist
 Boston Globe Chess Notes

Dear Friends, 
This past Thursday I lost my good friend and colleague, Harold Dondis. He was 93. He died of heart attack  while playing in the Boylston Chess Club's Thursday Night Swiss. It seems fitting that he died playing the game he loved and supported for so many years. I know that he was greatly appreciative of all the support  you have given to the Boston Globe Chess Notes column over the years. A column that he authored or co-authored for at least 50 years. I would add that he never, never missed a deadline. This level of professionalism was an earmark of Harold's life.

Thank you all for your very kind thoughts and words!

Chris Chase
Photo: Steve Stepak

Harold Dondis passed away

Harold Dondis

A True Lover of Chess

Photo:  Tony Cortizas, Jr

Harold Dondis passed away
after the Thursday Night Swiss, Dec. 10

Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2015
3:00 PM - 7:00 PM 
Brasco &  Sons
See Globe obituary below for details. 

Many of us at the club learned about his passing  from Andrew Hoy's email.

       December 11, 2015
Hi Everyone,

I'm sad to share the news that Harold Dondis passed away last night after playing in the Thursday Night Swiss.  He had chest pains and thought he had had a heart attack, and he collapsed shortly after Cambridge Fire Department was called.  Harold received CPR on the scene, and the paramedics arrived very quickly and tried everything they could possibly try but Harold never regained consciousness.  

The wake will be at some point next week, and I will share more information about the arrangements once I have it.  I take a small measure of comfort in the fact that Harold was with friends and playing the game that we all love.  

Please keep Harold, his family, and his friends in your thoughts and prayers.
 Andrew Hoy

A dozen years ago Harold was quoted:

I’m not an impressive player, but I love the game. I’m 81. I still play it. I love it. I even had a heart attack during one game. It doesn’t bother me. I love it so much ~ Harold Dondis

(This is a quote from George Mirijanian's interview  ' A true lover of chess' with Harold in Chess Horizons.)

Wake for Harold Dondis

Harold Dondis, NorthEast Spring Getaway, 4/04
Photo: Tony Cortizas Jr.

The wake for Harold Dondis will take place at Brasco Funeral Home, 325 Trapelo Rd., Belmont (617-484-2086) on Wednesday, December 16th from 3pm - 7pm.

The Waverly Square bus from Harvard Square goes by the funeral home.

If anything else comes up, I will let everyone know and please pass this email
around to anybody you think might be interested. There is also an obit that ran
in the Globe today.

Also, please don't hesitate to call me if you have any questions.

Thank  you,

Chris Chase

$15 Open

$15 Open

Saturday, December 19, 2015
Event Format
Time Control
G/60 d10
Open; U1800
Entry Fee
$15 in advance. $30 at door, $20 at door for BCF members
$225 based on 25 paid entries
9:15am - 9:45am
Round Times
10:00am, 1:00pm, 3:30pm, and 6:00pm

Friday, December 11, 2015


I just got an email from Andrew Hoy, that Harold Dondis passed away last night
after participating in the Thursday Night Swiss.  Through the tears which are rolling
down my face, I feel honored to have known this brilliant, wonderful and
generous man for all the decades we shared chess, politics and friendship.
Harold Dondis: 1922-2015
                                                                                                                 Photo: JWu
Nithin Kavi, Black, vs Harold Dondis at his table at BCC,
Norris Street, Cambridge MA. Steve Stepak, observes. 
 Harold Dondis, BCC, Somerville, MA
QUADS 2014
Photos: Steve Stepak
Harold Dondis, on Board 1, Boylston Chess Club,
Somerville, MA
Charles Bing vs Harold Dondis,  BCC Cambridge, 2015.
Harold Dondis: a benefactor and friend of the BCC.
He will be sorely missed.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Boylston website revised

Boylston Website Renovated

Andrew Hoy, newly elected president of the Boylston Chess Foundation, is a hands-on leader.  In November 2014 he and Mike Griffin (and others) resurfaced our playing tables, adding greatly to the improved ambiance of Norris St. home.

Andrew Hoy and Mike Griffin, sanding and staining the classic tables  photo:  r. oresick

He is an active TD (more TDs needed - please help) and 
Andrew has revised our website -  take a look.

One very nice feature is the addition of wallchart, standings, and tentative pairings to the info about multi-day events.

E.G., the DecemberThursday Night Swiss :

(btw, it's not too late to join in (with a 1/2 point bye) for the final two games.)



Friday, December 04, 2015

Free Entry for GM's / IM's (and masters)

 Did you know?

 Free Entry 


GM's/IM's (and masters)


President Andrew Hoy and the board revised the entry fee policy: 



Any player holding the title of either Grandmaster or International Master may play in any BCF tournament with no entry fee, and no entry fee will be withheld from any prize he or she wins.

Any club member rated 2300+ may play in any Saturday BCF tournament with no entry fee, but the entry fee will be deducted from any prize he or she wins.

Any club member rated 2200+ may play in the Thursday Night Swiss with no entry fee and no prize deductions.