Colorado State Chess Association

Letter of Thanks to Colorado's chessplayers

Members of the Board and all the CSCA members,

I have resigned as President of the CSCA. I felt led to move closer to
my family, so Nell, Shawn (our son) and I are moving to Oklahoma. Nell
and I have purchased a really nice home in Claremore, OK just 14 miles
from my brother and his family.

I will really miss the friendships developed over the last 13 years of
playing chess in Colorado. Reuniting with chessplayers my path has
crossed before my family moved to Colorado; Dean Brown, and Brad
Lundstrom. It has been nice serving on the Board with both of them. I am
proud that the Board selected Brad to replace me. We have known each
other since back in 1987. He is highly qualified and I know he will do a
great job for Colorado chess. I trust you will give him your full
support as he leads Colorado chess during these difficult times.

Playing and serving the Colorado chess community has been one of the
highlights of my life. It is amazing how quickly the years have rolled
by. I will try to write a summary of my chess experiences in Colorado
for the Colorado Chess Informant.

My sincerest thank you to Colorado chess for all the wonderful memories!
Paul Covington

New CSCA Board

Brad Lundstrom / President

Hello Colorado Chess Players,

After the recent surprising news of Paul Covington’s resignation as our CSCA President, as Vice President I was nominated, I accepted and the CSCA board voted me in as President. Following a man like Paul is a tall task! As a three-time President, Paul built tremendous connections, shared his experience and worked passionately to serve Colorado Chess. With appreciation and much respect, we thank you Paul!

As my first action, I appointed Paul to stay on the board as President Emeritus or as an advisor to attend meetings as a non-voting member. I have also reached out to Richard “Buck” Buchanan, a former many times CSCA President, officer, and senior tournament director, and will be seeking his ongoing wise counsel.

I have been a CSCA member since tenth grade when I played in the Denver Open summer of 1971. Back then, smoking was allowed, rooms were smoky, and the air conditioning broke down during 95 degree temps. I have always appreciated our non-smoking rule and air conditioning since then! My friend, the late James Hamblin, won the event by upsetting Colorado Hall of Famer and now IM John Watson. I went to that tournament with my mentor Tom Wayman and we stayed at Curt Carlson’s. Curt later became a two time Colorado Champion. Now fifty years later, the three of us still stay in contact. Chess has many wonderful rewards beyond our successes on the board with forever memories and lifelong friendships 

For me, chess is an important part of life! I have loved and stayed active in chess tournaments my whole life during college, through raising three children and an almost forty-year corporate career as a district manager at Safeway Stores Inc. I have been a part of Zachary Bekkedahl’s Chessmates team for the past nine years and have helped direct over seventy scholastic tournaments. I also manage a chess program at the Greeley Senior Center, two scholastic private clubs and provide group and private lessons. My efforts in CSCA duties, as with all our board members, are as a volunteer.

Internet chess is booming, with reporting over 35 million members on their site alone; and all around Colorado many players are playing tournaments online through both the Denver Chess Club ( and the Colorado Springs Chess Club ( We are thankful for online chess because of the current restrictions we face together, and we will continue to explore online chess options. Last June I led a CSCA challenge to all Colorado chess players to an online fundraiser tournament. Over 120 players and special guests including GM Alex Fishbein, IM Keaton Kierra, GM Timur Gareyev (who played blindfolded!) joined some of our top masters and many generous friends of chess to raise $3,400! All proceeds were donated to the Salvation Army food pantry on behalf of the CSCA.

Since last March over-the-board chess tournaments in Colorado have been almost non-existent with a notable exception of our recent Colorado Closed. We have an excellent returning Scholastic Director in Tom Nelson and he brings a wealth of experience and talent to us! Unfortunately, we will not be doing a regular Colorado Scholastics tournament this year, and with the issues of online cheating and the stringent USCF rules, will not be running an online CSCA Scholastic tournament either. However, since this annual scholastic tournament qualifies Colorado’s elementary, middle school, high school and girls’ champions to join our Senior Champion at the US Open (to be held in New Jersey in late July to early August), we have decided to make an exception and invite the top ten rated players (that do apply) for each section: Elementary, Middle School, High School, and Girls. We will follow all the CDC guidelines in conducting this smaller over-the-board Scholastic tournament on March 20th. There also will be a non-CSCA Colorado Online Scholastic Tournament on March 13th open to our scholastic players and neighboring states that will be a fun event! Regarding the 4th FIDE World Chess Championship for Players with Disabilities, that Kevin McConnell and Paul Covington opened the door to Denver this spring, we have just learned this has also been canceled for this year.

We are scheduled and hopeful for the Colorado Open, as always to be held over Labor Day weekend at the Embassy Suites at the Denver Tech Center, to be our return to over-the-board events. I understand active and well-run chess tournaments are the most important thing to most of our CSCA members. Once we get tournaments back into place, there’s a long list of additional ideas to build the CSCA, but first things first. 

A few other important items to highlight: We are extremely fortunate to have as our editor, Fred Spell, a nationally awarded online Chess State Magazine editor. Also, thanks primarily to Ann Davies, CSCA received a US Chess grant of $5,700 to promote scholastic girls’ chess in Denver. We look forward to CSCA board member, Gracie Salazar, leading our efforts in this area.

I love chess as an art, sport and science. But even more, it's brought many wonderful, brilliant people into my life, opened many doors and I am ready to give back. As a fifty-year tournament player, and following a wonderful but challenging corporate business career, I will do my best to provide leadership and pull a large number of wise and passionate chess leaders together. I am appreciative of anyone that serves chess. Because I well understand we all are imperfect, I count integrity and good intentions first.

I stand for unity, teamwork, and good will for all chess players.

I am excited about the CSCA team that I will be serving with and we cannot wait to get chess tournaments and activities going again. I will always be open to communicating with CSCA members and any chess player. Thank you for the honor of serving and I will give you my best!

Jesse Cohen / Vice President

National Master Jesse Cohen is stepping into the role of Vice President. I'm happy to join alongside Brad Lundstrom and the many other fine members serving. I have always wanted to see Colorado flourish for chess. I'm excited to serve. 


Alexander Freeman / Secretary

I am 28 years old and I have been involved with Colorado Chess for more than 12 years. I have many other hobbies other than chess like music, poker and always doing the unexpected. I am looking forward to working with the rest of the CSCA board to make this a great year for Colorado Chess.


Joshua Samuel / Treasurer

I am 65 years old and have been involved with the local chess community since 1973. Playing on the University of Colorado Chess team as team captain 1973 through 1976. Over the years I have consistently played in local and National chess tournaments. I share the goals with our chess community in bringing a National chess event to the state within the next few years. My commitment to the local chess community will extend to my involvement on the CSCA board. I look forward to my position as Treasurer and the challenges that I will face.


Gracie Salazar / Member at Large

Gracie was born and raised in Denver Colorado. She began coaching chess to elementary students in 2016 and continuously added more students throughout the years while working for PALS Chess Academy. She helped start the Colorado Women’s Chess & Wine Club. Still in its infancy, the turnout has been great and Gracie looks forward to seeing this continue to grow with aspirations of getting women and young ladies more involved in the chess community. When not playing chess, Gracie teaches Barre classes at the Bar Method in Cherry Creek North. She is also a member of The Denver Astronomical Society, has a collection of telescopes and enjoys stargazing. She is a devoted mother and wife and absolutely loves life. 


Alayne Wilinsky / Member at Large

Alayne is a software Product Manager by trade who also enjoys playing guitar and drums, as well as Muay Thai kickboxing when she is not playing chess. She is an active Denver Chess Club board member who manages their online presence since Covid-19. 


Andrew Roerty / Junior Representative

I am a sophomore currently attending Liberty Common High School. I hope to study engineering in college. I began playing chess at around the age of 7, and began playing in my first tournaments when I was about 9. I reached a peak USCF rating of 1726, and my current rating is 1720. My greatest achievement so far would be placing 4th in the K-8 Scholastic Championship in 2018. I have aspirations to achieve a rating of 2000 or higher at some point in my chess career. I hope to help grow chess in Colorado as the Junior Representative.


Tom Nelson / Scholastics Director

I've been involved with scholastic chess since my youngest son was in the 5th grade. Shortly after he started playing in tournaments I became a Tournament Director. A few years later I volunteered to be the CSCA Scholastic Coordinator and stayed in the role for 10 years. When the USCF hosted the National Elementary tournament in Denver I was invited to help them with their National Scholastic tournaments as their volunteer coordinator. I helped put together approximately 27 tournaments ranging from 500-5,000+ players. During this time I also acquired Senior TD status and FIDE Arbiter status.



US Chess National Invitational Scholastic Qualifiers
To all Colorado Scholastic Players,
Below is all the tournament information.
Note this is an over the board tournament.
We will follow all the Denver County CDC guidelines currently at stage yellow.
As in all other school activities, everyone plays at their own risk.
We will accept the top ten rated players for each section that contact us that you do want to play by end of day March 8, 2021.
If you do want to be considered and commit you will play, send us the following information:
Player's name
Parent/guardian name
Phone number
Current email address
US Chess Regular rating
Be sure to include all this information for your application to be accepted.
Tom Nelsons, Scholastic Director
cc email 
Brad Lundstrom, CSCA President

Name: US Chess National Invitational Scholastic Qualifiers

Date: March 20, 2021

Time Control: Game in 60 minutes + 5 second delay

City: Denver

Location: Embassy Suites at 7525 E Hampden Ave, Denver, CO 80231


High School: Denker - Grades 9-12

Middle School: Barber - Grades 6-8

Elementary: Rockefeller - Grades K-5

All Girls: Haring - Grades K-12


This is an invitation only tournament. Up to 10 players per Section. Invitations will be sent out via the CSCA.


Entry Fee: $20

Prizes: Trophies 1st - 3rd Place

Registration: Due on or before March 15, 2021

Round Times: 9:00 AM, 12 Noon, 2:30 PM and 5:30 PM

 Bye Policy

Zero-point byes may be requested for any round prior to the start of or during the tournament.


Tom Nelson



2021 Colorado Online Scholastic Championship
6 Round Swiss Tournament
Date March 13, 2021
Time Control Rounds 1 - 3 are G/24+5; Rounds 4-6 are G/54+5


Kindergarten - 3rd Grade

4th - 6th Grade

7th - 8th Grade

9th-12th Grade


Entry Fee $25 if received by 3/6/2021 $30 if received after 3/6/2021
Prizes There will be prizes for the top 10 finishers in each division. There will be 1st - 3rd place prizes for the top school teams in each division. We will give out gift cards for the Parent/Coach/Adult section based on the number of entrees.
Registration Anytime before the tournament begins at 9 AM. Late joins are also allowed.
Round Times 9:00 AM, 10:00 AM, 11:00 AM, 1:00 PM, 3:00 PM, 5:00 PM
Entries Jesse Cohen
Phone 7202431450
Bye Policy

A half-point bye may be requested for any round prior to the start of a tournament. After the tournament has begun a player may only request half-point byes for Rounds 1-3 and zero-point byes for Rounds 4 & 5.


Welcome to the 2021 Colorado Scholastic Online Championship!


You will need to create an account on Tornelo, register, and pay for the tournament directly on this website/lobby.

Playing in this tournament is VERY simple. In addition to the Zoom link you can find here in the lobby - we will also send an email prior to the tournament with Zoom details and additional instructions.

This tournament is a substitute for the normal Colorado Scholastic State Championship due to the ongoing COVID restrictions.

This event will be live-streamed with interviews and game review on

What you need for the tournament: 1) A room where only the participant will occupy 2) A webcam

Time Control: Rounds 1-3: G/24+5 Rounds 4-6: G/54+5

Schedule (All times listed are Denver/USA Time Zone) 6 rounds Morning Meeting: 8:30-9 AM Round 1: 9 - 10 AM Round 2: 10 - 11 AM Round 3: 11 - 12 PM Lunch 12-1 PM Round 4: 1-3 PM Round 5: 3-5 PM Round 6: 5-7 PM Awards @ 7 PM

Divisions: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade 4th - 6th Grade 7th - 8th Grade 9th-12th Grade Parent/Coach/Adult

Prizes: There will be prizes for the top 10 finishers in each division. There will be 1st - 3rd place prizes for the top school teams in each division We will give out gift cards for the Parent/Coach section based on the number of entrees.

School Team Rules: A school team is defined as at least four players from the same school in the same division.

Bye Policy: A half-point bye may be requested for any round prior to the start of a tournament. After the tournament has begun a player may only request half-point byes for Rounds 1-3 and zero-point byes for Rounds 4 & 5.

Cheat Detection/Prevention 1) All participants must be on Zoom with the video turned on at all times. This will allow us to ensure that each participant is actually playing as themselves and not receiving advice from other people. 2) The Tornelo website has an automatic cheating detection program built in that will scan every game played. We will review this information every tournament prior to the distribution of prizes. 3) The number one reason players cheat is anonymity. The wonderful thing about Tornelo is that all participants are listed by their actual names and not aliases. Furthermore, this is a tight nit community of players. We know each other.

Fair Play: No chess programs or engines (e.g. Chessmaster, Fritz, Komodo, Houdini, Stockfish, Chessbase with any active UCI engine, etc.) can be used to analyze positions in ongoing games at any time.
No outside assistance OF ANY KIND is permitted. Fixing game results by arranging games, playing with multiple accounts, or losing intentionally is also against the rules. Do not let anyone else play on your account! This is strictly against the rules!

CSCA Board Meeting Announcement

CSCA Board Meeting

Wednesday, February 17th at 7pm

Zoom link

Our agenda will include a new plan for a CSCA Scholastic Tournament from Tom Nelson.

Also a possible unrated non-CSCA online Scholastic Tournament from Jesse Cohen and CSCA updates from Brad Lundstrom, Gracie Salazar and Josh Samuels.

Hope to see you then.

Brad Lundstrom

4th FIDE World Junior Chess Championship for Players with Disabilities --Canceled due to COVID19

This is sad for CSCA as hosting this event would have been a hugh step for us. 

Maybe it will happen someday. 


Board Meeting Wednesday, February 03, 2021

This is a zoom meeting. Thank you to Jesse Cohen for hosting this meeting. 

Click on the link below to go to the meeting on February 3, 2021 at 8:00 PM.

Our Agenda will include a discussion on getting Over the Board chess going again, what the immediate Board actions should be, and assorted Board actions. 

Hope to see you then.

Paul Covington

Griffin's Chess Gambit did this story and video of Griffin McConnell's struggles to overcome obsticles to play championship chess. We are so proud of Griffin! He has shown us obsticles should not stop our quest to achieve our goals. I hope his story inspires everyone. Enjoy!

Paul Covington

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