Sunday, May 31, 2015

Planning your chess week?

Don't forget

Monday, June 1

Weaver Adams U1800 BCC Championship

Tuesday, June 2

IM David Vigorito lecture and simul

Thursday, June 4

 BCC Thursday Night Swiss

Friday, June 5 

BCC Friday Night Blitz

Saturday, June 6

BCC Quads

Changes in chess

There is an interesting brief article worth reading about how chess has changed over the last 150 years based on some analysis of databases:

Here are a few graphic points:

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Where are our blog readers are from?

This morning I became curious about who is reading our blog.

Our visitors are from diverse places:

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Weaver Adams 2015

U1800 Boylston Chess Club Championship 

Mondays, June 1, 8, 15, 22


The Weaver Adams U1800 Championship begins the annual club championship cycle. It is followed by the Reubens-Landey U2200 Championship, the winner of which is seeded into the club championship - a round robin tournament of Boylston masters

BCC Weaver Adams 

U1800 BCF Championship  

Open to 

BCF members rated Under 1800

General Information

Event Organizer: The Boylston Chess Foundation   Visit Organizer Website
Event Location: Boylston Chess Club , 40 Norris St., Suite B101, Cambridge, MA  02140
Event Date: Monday, June 01, 2015
Monday, June 08, 2015
Monday, June 15, 2015
Monday, June 22, 2015
Time Control: 4SS; 40/90  G/30 d5
Rounds Time: 7pm
Byes: Maximun two byes; bye for the last round must be declared before round 2
Prize Info: Winner receives free entry into the Reubens/Landey U2199- 1800 BCF Championship beginning on 6/29.

Inquiry:    (617) 714-3022
Event Webpage:

Registration Information

Entry Fee: $20
Registration - Onsite: 6:30 to 6:55
Membership Requirement: BCF and USCF membership required.


  • No smoking, no computers, wheelchair accessible.

  • Bring chess clocks.

Registration: 6:30 to 6:55; Rounds: 7:00
TD:  Bernardo Iglesias 



Past winners of the Weaver Adams are:
2014   Timothy O'Malley
2013   Joel Bryan Wald, Brandon Wu 
2012   Brian Perez-Daple  
2011   Ken Ho, Mike Griffin, Khikmet Sadykov 
2010   Alexander Paphitis 
2009   Frank Frazier 
2008   Jonathan Lee, Adam Yedidia 
2007   Alexander Paphitis 
2006   Alexander Paphitis, Jonathan Lee, Lior Rozhansky
2005   Robert Oresick, Joshua Blanchfield 
2004   Mike Griffin 
2003   Robert Oresick 
2002   William MacLellan 
2001   Mike Griffin 
2000   Stephen E. Smith 
1999   Bryan Clark 
1998   Bryan Clark, Charles G. Alex 
1997   Walter A. Driscoll III 
1996   Hector Perez, Jared Becker
1995   Miguel A. Santana 
1994   Andrew L. Yerre 
1993   Charles G. Alex

about Weaver Adams:

WEAVER WARREN ADAMS (born Apr-28-1901, died Jan-06-1963) United States of America

Weaver Warren Adams was born on April 28, 1901 in Dedham Massachusetts. He was an American chess master. He participated in the U.S. Championship in 1936, 1940, 1944, 1946 and 1948. He won the Massachusetts State Championship in 1937, 1938, 1941 and 1945.

In 1939, he wrote a book entitled "White to Play and Win." After publication he played in the U.S. Open at Dallas. He did not win a single game as White (3 losses and 1 draw) and won all his games (4 games) as Black!

Weaver Adams won the 49th U.S. Open, held in Baltimore, in 1948. He also wrote "Simple Chess", "How to Play Chess", and "Absolute Chess."
In May, 1947, Weaver Adams, New England Champion, gave a 16-board simul in San Jose, winning all his games.

Below is a photograph taken in Hastings on 28 December 1950. Lord Dunsany (standing on the right) is watching the first-round game between Alan Phillips and Weaver Adams.


Weaver W. Adams An Autobiography 
Massachusetts State Chess Association, 1949, Robert W. Reddy (Ed.) p. 6-8

I was born on April 28th, 1901 to Frank H. Adams, native of Dedham, Mass., salesman for many years for Bellantine Breweries and later (after prohibition) for Ceresota Flour, and Ethel Weaver Adams, native of Newmarket, NH and graduate of Wellesley College. I am not directly related to the Presidents, John and John Quincy Adams, although the Adams's in and about Massachusetts are mostly of the same family, deriving from a Henry Adams who landed in Braintree in 1644. The family is quite famous and boasts of many statesmen, writers, historians, judges, preachers, etc. Footing the list comes a national chess champion. In the old days he would have surely been branded as a black sheep for wasting his time at so idle a pastime, and perhaps by many even today.

My schooling was conventional, Dedham Public schools and Dedham High School, but then they tried to make an engineer out of me by sending me to Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The result was not too good. During the first year a half dozen of us, after playing a few games at Walker Memorial in Cambridge, would regularly trek across the bridge to Ye Olde Boston Chess Club on Ashburton Place or to various dives in the West End, not the least attractive of which was the Lighted Lamp operated by Boston's famous Ambrose Gring.

Those were really the balmy days of chess in Boston. Well I remember listening to tales told many times over by John Barry, Will Miller, George Babbitt, and a host of others most of whom are no longer living. I seemed to have been a favorite with John Barry because I would talk chess and analyze with him until 4 A. M. in the morning after everybody else had either gone home or turned to a bridge game. At any rate I believe I learned most of my chess from Mr. Barry, and in 1922 attained to the club championship.

An autobiography is supposed to contain a statement as to when one learned chess, although it's not clear as to why this is so important. However, for the sake of the record, I began playing at the age of about twelve. An older brother of a friend next door taught the two of us to play, and would play us both simultaneously blindfold at Queen odds.

What I do think is important, however, is the time when he took us to Boston once to visit the Boston Chess Club which at that time was located in an alley off Boylston Street. I shall never forget the thrill it was to me to see for the first time the large club size pieces in action. Instinctively I seemed to feel that that was me. A friend of mine tells me that he had a similar experience on first visiting a stock exchange and seeing the ticker tapes in action. Curiously, all the rest of his life has .been spent in the stock market.

My chess activities , of course, did not have a good effect on my marks at M.I.T., and, due redness of my report card at the half year, I was politely asked to take a vacation. This I was quite agreeable too, since it afforded me additional time for chess playing. A year went by before my parents inveigled me into attending a military school in northern Vermont, and, six months later, re-entering my class at M.I.T. All knowledge is useful, and it is always futile to look back and say if we had done so and so, life would have been better. It is completely impossible to foresee the over all plan. We can live but a day at a time.

To continue my story, about 1924 Harold Morton had just won the championship of the Providence, R. I., chess club, and a purse was gotten up for a match to take place between Mr. Morton and myself for the championship of New England. Up to that time John Barry had been unofficially recognized as the strongest player in N. E., so, with his consent and approval it was logical that the winner of the match should hold that title. Thus, in 1924 I became the NE Champion and held the title until 1929 when Morton beat me in a succeeding match. Another match between us did not take place until about 1938 which Morton again won.

After his death in 1939 the title came under the control of the N. E. Chess Association and has been decided by an annual tournament (usually held over Labor Day weekend) ever since, which is all to the good, since I am strongly opposed to the awarding of titles through private matches. The tournament method is pre-eminently fair and much more attractive to both the players and the public.

Thereby closes the local chapter in my chess career. At this time – say 1936 - I think that both Morton and myself - I know I did - thought that we were pretty good chess players. We were in for a rude awakening. In that year (1936) was held the first tournament for the Chess Championship of the United States, due to the retirement of Frank J. Marshall.

I recall that after the first few rounds I kept figuring that I might still win the tournament, provided I won all of the remainder of my games. In fact, this went on for several rounds, before I finally gave up hope of first prize. After nine rounds I was relatively proud of my score, since I had three wins and six losses, while Morton had nine goose eggs in a row. However, we finished in a tie for last place, since in the remaining six rounds Morton got six draws, and it was my turn for goose eggs. I mention this experience in order to caution the reader that unless he happens to play regularly in the chess clubs of New York City, he shouldn't put too much store by his showing in the chess clubs of other cities. There is really a difference.

In a considerable sense I feel that my serious chess playing did not begin until after 1936. Hundreds of hours I spent on opening analysis, with the result that there began forming in my mind the idea that by means of precise play White could perhaps emerge from the opening with just enough edge to win. Thus developed a small volume published in 1959 by the David McKay Co. of Philadelphia entitled "White to Play and Win", by Weaver W. Adams. Forthwith, in a tournament at Dallas, Texas in 1940 I proceeded to lose all of my games playing white and win all of my games playing black!

However, I still stick to my theory, and even under the handicap of bucking my own analysis (most writers sedulously avoid playing a move which they have recommended as best, because of fear of having to play against a line which their opponent has prepared against it) and despite the hours which I am advised that many of my opponents spend in trying to discover mistakes in my published variations in "Simple Chess," I nevertheless lost but a single half point with the white pieces in the Open Tournament at Baltimore in 1948. And it wasn't because the boys didn't try. There were my moves open for all to see in "Simple Chess." They could select any one of a hundred different opening variations and I would play the exact moves as published. Is this not just a little significant that white can win? And, if so, why is my favorite opening the Vienna, so damned by faint praise, and so shunned by all the celebrities? You answer that one. I can’t.

I don't wish to take up space by tournament records. All in all, they could be a lot better, except perhaps locally, inasmuch as I have won every City of Boston, Massachusetts State, end New England tournament in which I have taken part since 1956 - some dozen or more altogether. I will merely say that having played in eighteen national tournaments, including U. S. National, U. S. Open, Ventnor City, and the Pan American in Los Angeles in 1945, I feel that this experience should mean something, and I hope eventually to demonstrate that it is possible to play chess with consistent scientific accuracy.

The following is an example of such a game. It is one of five which I have thus far played with similar accuracy for the Log Cabin Chess Team of West Orange, New Jersey, of which I have recently become a member. It was played at Elizabethtown, New York, vs. a Montreal Team, and was part of the coast to coast 1949 match between Canada and the U. S.

Adams,W - Guze [B72]
US v Canada, 1940

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.h3 Bg7 7.Be3 Nc6 8.Qd2 a6 9.g4 Nxd4 10.Bxd4 0-0 11.0-0-0 b5 12.Bg2 Bb7 13.f4 Qc7 14.Rhe1 Rfd8 15.Qf2 Nd7 16.Bxg7 Kxg7 17.Nd5 Bxd5 18.exd5 Nb6 19.f5 Nc4 20.g5 gxf5 21.Qxf5 Qd7 22.Qf4 Rac8 23.Be4 Rc5 24.b4 Rc7 25.Bf5 Qe8 26.Qd4+ Kg8 27.Qh4 e5 28.Qxh7+ Kf8 29.Qh8+ Ke7 30.Qf6+ Kf8 31.Re4 1-0

Alex Cherniack has posted 8 games between Weaver Adams and Harry Lyman, where you can see Harry Lyman 's opinion of the forced win for white theory.


Please read this profile by 

Stephan Dann

 Chess Journalist, Historian, and Organizer.

Weaver Adams "started" writing "White to Play & Win" in 1935, and, an early edition of this "informal" publication was with Harlow Daly's papers, ledgers and scrapbooks that Harry Lyman & I obtained in 1975...

Adams continued "publishing" revisions to his "dogged" theories for some 25 years, the last editions of what he termed "Simple" and "Absolute" chess being "issued" about 1960, though the last year his health enabled him to "carry on" might have been 1959...

The greatest collection of Adams' material published was "edited" by Sam Sloan in 2007, but few know of the existence of this "limited" edition, published on demand book that would have had Harry Lyman "giggling" with delight, as it was about chess, and not about the tragic life of one of its players. 

I posted copies of some crosstables from 1905 to 1939 at the Mass. Open in Leominster yesterday, including games from the 1964 U.S. Open.  It was an effort to "complete" the weekday/weeknight chess events in Massachusetts before 1940, but most of this would have been lost were it no for the dogged efforts of Harlow Daly to document them for his own records, to "index" his games...and you can view this & more today & on Monday in Leominster...

My work with John Donaldson and Andy Ansel (who attended yesterday in Leominster, driving up from Long Island with his daughter), focus on games as the real history, not the politics and "entertainment" that sometimes accompanies chess gatherings.  

Collecting games played by Weaver Adams, Harry Lyman and other past chess legends (you will see the many names in Daly's ledgers and scrapbooks from Abe Moses Sussmann--New England Champion at the dawn of the 20th century--to Putzman, Cabot, Gring, Morton, Sturgis, Welch, etc.) right at the Boylston CC in the box of 2,000 game cards, history that you can hold right in your hand.

The time has come to scan these cards, and, use them as the basis of the history of the club, history of Boston and Massachusetts chess, and as basis to do new promotional efforts for the game without borders on the Internet.  

E-books on Weaver Adams, Harlow Daly and the 1964 U.S. Open (as well as the 1964 Fischer Tour--also by John Donaldson) are not only possible, but are the next logical step in preserving the legacy of past chess giants and encouraging future educational and historical endeavors at the Boylston Chess Club, and the work of the Boylston Chess Foundation.

Weaver Adams' family is still alive and well in Dedham, and is confident that the chess community will continue to preserve his memory in the hearts and minds of future generations. Like Pillsbury, we will never forget his contributions to the Royal Game.

E-books may not in themselves help finance efforts to finance clubs or run tournaments, but these may validate the efforts of .org chess foundations to raise funds to carry out their missions. 

It's time for sharing the "wealth" of the 1975 donation from Harlow Daly beyond "75 years of affection for chess" and just 150 games. Just the typos in the hastily prepared 1975 volume would fill a page or two...and we owe it to the memory of Harry Lyman to do a much better job the second time around.  

You have my continued support in preserving the Boylston Chess Club as one of America's premier chess shrines.


[Note the date: June 28th; this is a remembrance time,
for on this date in 1992, World Chess Champion
and World Blitz Chess Champion Grandmaster
Mikhail Tal, the Magician of Riga, passed away.]
This is also my birthday.  So each year, I commemorate Tal's
life and death by renewing my BCC membership on this
date. This is a special year. It is the time of the offering of
the newly minted BCC membership card, which as you
can see, features the beautiful and colorful BCC club logo.
I was the first to register my BCC renewal with this version
of the Card, signed by BCC Tournament Committee Chair
 and Friday Night Blitz TD, NM Andrew Hoy,
at the BCC Friday Night Blitz Chess event.
Will you be the 2nd to get this beautiful membership card?
Join the BCC for discounts on all tournaments
and an introduction to a splendid world of chess.
Renew your membership to help support the Club at its
new home at 40 Norris Street, Cambridge, MA 02140.
and as a treat, listen to the greatest pianist that ever lived
playing Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, Opus 16.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015


The Thinking Person's Tournament
Time Control: 40/90/ SD 60 + 5" Delay
NM Eric Godin, clear 1st with 8/10 points. Bravo, Eric!
Jared Becker, 6 points for clear 2nd place in
Group 1. Bravo, Jared!
David Glickman, 5 points for clear 3rd place.
Bravo, David!
NM Eric Godin, black vs Joel Wald, Round 2.
 Jonathan Lee, black vs Soren Pedersen, Round 2.
 Lee v Pedersen, Round 2. Lee scored 3 points
and Pedersen, 4.5.
Juan Payan scored 10 points for a perfect score to convincingly
capture 1st place in Group 2. Bravisimo, Juan. 
Mark Buckles scored 7.5 points to claim
clear 2nd place in Group 2.
Bravo, Mark!
Bob Oresick, playing his first major league tournament
since recovering from illness, scored above 50 percent
with 5.5 points good for clear 3rd place in Group 2.
Bravo, Bob!
Ray Behenna, black vs Tom Pendergast, Round 1.
Ray scored 5 points for 4th place. Bravo, Ray!
Bernardo Iglesias, TD



                                                                                                                        Average Rating: 2011
Tom Croonenborghs
1. BM* Tom from Belgium (2250) 17 points: 1st Place
2. NM Andrew MIT TD (2220) 15 points: 2nd Place
3. BM Mateos the Pianist (2200) 14.5 points
4. FM* Bill BlitzMan (2380) 14 points
5. BM Charles Magician (2200) 13.5 points
6. BM Professor Joe (2200) 13 points 
7. Soren Sandmann (1980) 9 points
8. WIM* Vesna the Engineer (2000) 5 points
9. SteveChess (1740) 4.5 points: 1st U1800
10.Obed-el the Scholar (1631) 2 points
11. Chris Paul Morphy (1680) 1.5
*[BM = "blitz master" specifically calculated for the BCC;
BM ratings are estimates and do not necessarily correspond to the player's
USCF rating, or FIDE over the board rating.]
This event at the BCC Cambridge is a casual,
fun tournament which brings together the art and
skill of fast moving action on the chess board and
mild-witted comments from the players and
spectators. So far, no gold coins have yet been dropped
on the table for brilliant play, though there has been
such play.  I often find myself at the chess tables of
the Au Bon Pain Cafe around 6:00 PM on afternoons of this
 Friday event, assuming the temperature is above freezing,
and would be happy to collect any players who needed
to be shown the way to the Club, on the Red Line,
from Harvard to Davis Stop, and an 8 minute
walk to the Cambridge venue.  On balmy
days, it is a pleasure to walk this route.
And, yes, I am proud of having won the U1800
section of the BCC FNB this past session, for
the field was a strong and experienced blitz
group. [I still don't know how that pawn in
the photo above is standing on one leg. I swear
I did not glue it to the mat. This was a
spontaneous action solely on the part of the
Thanks again, go out to NM Andrew Hoy
who donated his time and energy, not only
to provide rigorous competition for all the 
players participating in this extravaganza, 
and winning 2nd place in the process, but
also managed this event with efficiency and
friendliness. Bravo, Andrew!
Steve Stepak, BCC Photographer
winner of the U1800 Prize.
IM Marc Esserman: 2537
FM Bill Kelleher: 2380
NM Lawyer Times: 2330
BM Andrew Hoy: 2240
BM Tom from Belgium: 2250
BM Joe Perl: 2230
BM Charles Slade: 2220
BM Mateos Sahakian: 2200
Dr. Vesna: 2000
Nathan Smolensky: 2000
Natasha Christiansen: 1900
Soren Pedersen: 1900
Anatoly Levin: 1980
Steve Stepak 1740
Doctor Doc: 1690
Chris Paul Morphy: 1680
Obed-El the Scholar: 1631
Khari Alexander: 1620
Sergio Miranda-Elmaleh: 1600
Mike Signorella: 1300
Doug Keeler: 1000

Monday, May 25, 2015

2015 Mass Open Photo Gallery

Photos from Sunday May 24, 2015.

The usual suspects plus some youngsters and a nice pic of Harold Dondis & John Curdo.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

vigorito lecture and simul

Lecture and Simultaneous Exhibition

Psychological Insights 
Beating a Higher Rated Opponent

 Tuesday, June 2
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

IM David Vigorito

IM David Vigorito, highly renowned chessplayer, instructor, and author, will speak on the basis of personal experience and success about various strategies for approaching games against higher-rated players. He will demonstrate how he applies these principles in his own play. The lecture will be interactive, with questions from the audience welcome. 

Time permitting, a question and answer session, open to any chess-related discussion, will follow. 

Finally, IM Vigorito will play a simultaneous exhibition against the audience members.

A buffet dinner will be provided for all attendees.

IM David Vigorito

  • highly experienced trainer of scholastic tournament players and has coached players of all levels up to and including Grandmasters
  • ·author of eight highly acclaimed chess books
  • ·USCF 2517; FIDE 2422
  • 2007 Massachusetts Champion
  • 2009 and 2012 New England co-champio
  • former state champion of New Hampshire and Nevada
  • player and manager of New England Nor’easters, U.S. Chess League 2010 Champions

Admission:      $15 BCF members, $25 non-members

Location:         Boylston Chess Foundation

    40 Norris St., Suite B103

     Cambridge, MA 02140

Phone:             470 223-1919