Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Ron Lohrman - TD for the CCCR Championship for 21 straight years




I asked Ron Lohrman how he felt having been tournament director with Mike Lionti for the CCCR Championship tournament for 21 consecutive years now. He was disbelieving at first, flat out said I was mistaken, but I told him Mike assured me it was so.

These guys have truly done a great job year after year, and this one was no exception. If there was ever a hitch or a glitch, I never saw it.

Thanks to all the TDs and Assistant TDs for this years championship: Ron, Mike L., Ken McBride, and Mike Runnells.

And I don't know how many years' running Mike Runnell's wife has fueled all of our efforts with her chocolate chip cookies, but they were again absolutely sensational.


Lev Paciorkowski wins his second CCCR Championship

So for the second year running Lev Paciorkowski won the Rochester Community Chess Club of Rochester championship tournament. In the final round last Wednesday, four players were tied for first with 3.5 points apiece, and they were all battling it out on the top two boards. As most were predicting, Lev prevailed.

Lev may have been helped a bit this year as so many strong players of recent CCCR championships were absent: Daniel Johnston, Matt Slomski, Webster Kehoe, and David Campbell were all unfortunately not playing. Clif Kharroubi, the 2015 champion was second-seeded again this year and considered by many to have the most serious chance of stealing the tournament from Lev in an upset. 

Even before the final four squared off at the top two boards the word the official word circulated among the thirty-two participants: Lev could lose first place only if he lost this match with the white pieces against Randy MacKenzie on board one, as the tiebreaks went his way in all possible outcomes where he was able to tie. On board two, Kharroubi enjoyed white against Dave Phelps, who managed an exciting draw against Lev in round four but who has never managed to defeat Clif in a rated game.

The drama for first place didn’t last long: just about an hour and ten minutes after the games had started Lev and Randy were the first players of the evening to settle their differences, with Randy tipping his king in resignation. “[Randy] sacked a piece [17...Bxg4] but I didn’t have to take it,” Lev told me after the game. “Instead I attacked on the other side of the board and he couldn’t defend.” The players contested a Kings Indian Defense which lasted only twenty moves. “Randy and I have played the exact same position countless times,” Lev said.

Clif won his game against Dave on board two, matching Lev’s final 4.5 score. Clif’s only blemish was a draw at the hands of Tony Badamo in round two, while Phelps managed to nick Lev for a draw in round four.

“I won my game,” Clif said after the tournament concluded. “It was complete magic. I had my lucky scoresheet," he said joking. "I’m four and oh with it.” He went on to explain how he had a basically won game by move eight and then let his guard down and found himself in a seriously critical position. He said he fought his way back and the advantage changed yet again. “It was a little tricky but I managed to keep the pressure on. I wouldn’t be able to do that against Lev. ”

Jamshed Ahmed and Don Stubblebine managed to overtake Dave Phelps for third and fourth places respectively. Brian Jesse rated 1674 going into the event managed to win the Under 2000 category by defeating Chris Brown and David Stearns and drawing Ken McBride – a great performance that drove his rating up nearly 100 points to 1760. Aidan Kharroubi, rated 1563, also had a terrific event, winning the Under 1800 prize ahead of several higher-rated players.

Dan Burnside
(U1600), Joshua Stephens (U1400), Richard Warmus (U1200) and Mike Connelly (U1000) also won prizes in their categories.

Paciorkowski-MacKenzie   1-0
21st Community Chess Club of Rochester Championship Rd. 5
Kings Indian Defense
November 1, 2017


Brian Jesse sent Smoke the Pawn his exciting final round win which was decisive in bringing him the Under 2000 trophy and prize. Brian writes, "Noteworthy on the final move, my opponent attempted to play Rd4 to fork my bishop and pawn. He did not notice he was in check and I called him out on it. He resigned because of touch move on his rook. That being said, my position is winning regardless. Quick Analysis on my phone shows evaluation of -7.0. My pawn is too strong."

Stearns-Jesse,    0-1
21st Community Chess Club of Rochester Championship Rd. 5
Dutch Defense
November 1, 2017

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

A draw in Round 4 leads to a four-way tie for first going into the CCCR Championship final tonight

Even with the white pieces Dave Phelps was a deep underdog going his fourth-round match last Wednesday against Lev Paciorkowski, the reigning champ and top-seed in the CCCR Championship. Undeterred Dave hung on for a draw in a game where both players missed chances that could have left either one the clear tournament leader going into tonight's final round [see the game replayer below].

As it is, with the 2015 champion Clif Kharroubi defeating Ken McBride with the white pieces on board two, and Randy MacKenzie as black quickly dispatching underdog Brian Jesse on board three, four players are now tied for first place with three and a half points, heading into a deciding showdown fifth round. Paciorkowski will have white against MacKenzie on board one, and Kharroubi will have white against Phelps.

Paciorkowski and Phelps relaxed and comfortable before the start of the fourth round.

According to the tournament directors, in the event of a tie for first, the championship will be decided by the Median system, by which the final scores of each tying player’s opponents are totaled while discarding their lowest opponent’s score. If a tie still results after summing up opponent scores, there is a series of further tie-breaks that will be used to determine the tournament’s champion, as shown on the CCCR blog site here. All the sections are subject to the same tie breakers.

In the drawn game on board one, it looked like Lev was gaining some momentum as the players traversed a known path through the English Opening which is statistically a little worse for white. But in a sudden and uncharacteristic mistake Black recaptured after the apparently benign 20. Bxc6 with 20…bxc6 rather than 20...Qxc6 allowing Dave back into the game with winning chances after 21. Ba5, skewering black’s queen and rook.

“I do something like that maybe once a year,” Lev said after the game. “It just happened against [Dave] this time.”

Underterred, Lev was able to win back some but not all of his material from the mishap while also pushing his unopposed e-pawn to the seventh rank to create real problems for his opponent. In the final position black was down a bit in material but it didn’t seem clear how either player could progress. In time trouble Dave took the draw.

“I got a little lucky,” Dave said. “He overlooked losing the exchange, and from there he bluffed. I had a win. But I got in time pressure and took the draw. You only get a shot at winning against Lev every twenty games or so, and this was my shot.”

Going into the tournament Lev, the top seed, had a USCF rating of 2368. Dave, seeded fifth had a rating of 1930 – over 400 points difference.


Having lost to MacKenzie, Brian Jesse remains at three points tied behind the leaders with Chris Brown, Don Stubblebine, Jamshed Ahmed and Hanan Dery.

Looking ahead to tonight’s match against Kharoubbi, Phelps said he five losses and only one draw against Clif. Over the summer MacKenzie lost twice to Paciorkowsi in the Rawle Farley Memorial. It remains to be seen if Randy or Dave can overcome the odds and earn their first championship trophy.

Dave Phelps-Lev Paciorkowski  1/2 - 1/2
English Opening
21st Community Chess Club of Rochester Championship Rd 4
Rochester Chess Center        October 25, 2017


PGN format for your browser:

[Event "21st CCCR Championship"]
[Site "Rochester, NY"]
[Date "2017.10.25"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Phelps, David"]
[Black "Paciorkowski, Lev"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A23"]
[PlyCount "63"]

1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 c5 3. g3 e6 4. Bg2 d5 5. cxd5 exd5 6. d4 cxd4 7. Qxd4 Nc6 8.
Qa4 d4 9. Ne4 Nxe4 10. Bxe4 Bb4+ 11. Kf1 Qb6 12. Kg2 O-O 13. Nf3 Re8 14. Bd3
Be6 15. Bf4 Be7 16. Bd2 a6 17. e3 Rad8 18. Rhd1 Bg4 19. Be4 Bc5 20. Bxc6 bxc6
21. Ba5 Qxb2 22. Bxd8 Bxf3+ 23. Kxf3 dxe3 24. Qxc6 Qxf2+ 25. Kg4 Re5 26. Kh3 e2
27. Re1 h5 28. Rac1 Bb4 29. Bb6 Qf5+ 30. Kg2 Bxe1 31. Rxe1 Re6 32. Qa8+ 1/2-1/2

Still in the hunt for the Under 1600 trophy




Going into the final round Blaze Veljovski is one of six players leading the rated under 1600 category with two points.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Preliminary pairings for the final round of CCCR Championship

Ugh, I haven't had time or energy to post a report on round four yet. Big game with David Phelps drawing Lev Paciorkowsi to keep the drama alive with a four-way tie going into the final round! Well, I will get to that game a little bit later. In the meantime here is the preliminary pairing sheet for round five. Top boards are sure to stay the same.

Who are you betting on? I ran into Brian Jesse yesterday at Wegmans and he told me, "of course" Lev would take first place and Brian's coach Clif Kharroubi would finish second.