Colorado State Chess Association

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

Colorado Informant - January

The January edition of the Colorado Informant is now available!

In This Issue:


  • Griffin McConnell and Team USA
  • My favorite game from the Olympiad
  • 2020 Colorado Closed Report
  • The 1981 Boulder Open (& more)
  • The Chess Detective
  • Tactics Time!

and more!

Download the January Edition

Chess News Update

The following is what has been proposed to the CSCA Board for comments and ideas. This is open to all members to comment on.  Stay Safe, Paul Covington

We have not had many email exchanges. My apologies for not making that happen.

After sending out emails for input about the Scholastic Championship and not receiving a lot of feedback, the decision had to be made. The best possibility is to have an over the board event at the Arapahoe County Fair Grounds. The event is belayed to give the governor time to open up the state. I asked for late April to mid May but so far the latest date available is March  26, 27, and 28, 2021. It is possible to have a later date, but that is not likely. If this falls through, we need to set some plans and advertise what we will do so our Scholastic members and their parents know what to expect.
Here are some ideas:

  • Over the board, in person. Best
  • Four player play-off. Not the most attractive option.
  • Board would name the "Champion" based on rating. Least desirable.

The CSCA is responsible to provide representatives for the Tournament of State Champions in five areas.
Four are scholastic: Denker (Grades 9-12), Barber (Grades 6-8), Rockefeller (Grades K-5) and the Haring All Girls (K-12).
The fifth is the Senior (over 50) Champion.

These events are held each year during the first four days of the US Open Chess Championships (Pandemic permitting).. Players participating in these Invitational Events may then play in the US Open Chess Championship six day schedule or four day schedule for half price entry fee. They also receive a two year free membership to the Internet Chess Club online network. The scholastic representatives also receive a stipend ($600 to $800 dollars) to help defray some of the expenses to represent Colorado.

Other tasks for the CSCA are: Colorado Open Championship, scheduled September 3, 4 and 5 in Denver; Senior Championship not yet scheduled -- Colorado Springs this year; Class Championship, not scheduled -- Loveland, Greeley, or Ft Collins based on affordability. The Class and Senior flip each year to give each category of players equal opportunity to play. The have added several other tournaments over the years: blitz, quick, bughouse, and Girls Scholastic championships. I hope to have a couple of fun events at the Open this year: Colorado Chess Hall of Fame induction ceremony and a 960 Fischer tournament on Friday night.

All of these events depend on having the freedom to meet over the board late Spring to mid Fall.

We also have a major event still scheduled to be in Denver over the July 4th holiday, the World Championship for Displayed Scholastic players. We will need to pitch in by volunteering to help where we can. Kevin McConnell will lead this effort and I hope our board members will get involved as much as possible.

I have shared a plateful and hope you will quickly share your ideas on how to accomplish these things.
Thank you for serving,
Paul Covington

Working to make Colorado Chess the Best!
Special Wishes on this day

Wishing everyone a special day today. 

We have started scheduling in-person events in hopes that our state opens up so we can play chess again. 

Best Wishes,


Colorado Chess News and the FIDE Newsletter #020

Lior Lapid is wearing many hats these days. We are proud of him and Griffin McConnell:

Paul Covington

FIDE Newsletter #020

Welcome to the FIDE newsletter

Welcome to the FIDE Newsletter #20. This issue is released a bit later than usual because of the 91st FIDE Congress, which was held entirely online and produced a large amount of information. The newsletter covers some of the most important topics, while a few others that demand more space will be reported on the FIDE website during the coming days. 


91st FIDE Congress

Since its foundation 96 years ago, FIDE has celebrated 91 Congresses. This annual meeting, where the most important matters are discussed and voted on, has been held almost without interruption for nearly a century. Only five editions had to be canceled, due to force majeure.

Just a few years ago, a global pandemic would have surely meant the cancelation of the FIDE congress. But in 2020, with broadband internet connection available almost everywhere in the world, we have managed to hold this event entirely online. The meetings were held via Zoom, and those of general interest were also broadcast via Youtube.

This wouldn’t have been possible without the cooperation, will, and patience, of all our member federations, delegates, and commission members. Most of us have already mastered the use of Zoom and other video-conference solutions during 2020, but for many others without technological savvy, the experience posed a little challenge. An additional difficulty was that, with our members being spread across the whole planet in different time zones, we all had to make a little effort, and while some of our members had to get up really early in the morning, for many others the meetings concluded well past midnight.

We want to thank all participants for their patience, and in particular, to all those who had to make an extra effort to adapt to this new format. We would also like to thank our IT department, headed by Vladimir Kukaev and Gennady Rakhvalov, who provided explicit tutorials and provided assistance to the delegates during the whole process.

We will recap here some of the most important decisions and topics discussed during this week at the General Assembly, the Zonal Council, and the Commissions' meetings. Inevitably, some reports and materials won’t fit here, and more materials will be published in the upcoming days on the FIDE website. Meantime, you can go through this publication which includes the agenda of the General Assembly with links to all the annexes and relevant documents. Or, if you don't want to miss a thing, you can even watch the whole meeting on Youtube
Moscow 2022, Budapest 2024

One of the main concerns of our member federations and the chess community in general, was the uncertainty related to the two next Olympiads: Moscow 2021, and Minsk 2022. Besides, hosting the chess Olympiad comes with the associated responsibility of organizing the World Cup as well, which under the current situation is an additional complication.

The FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich explained the situation and the decision made as follows:

“Given that the Republic of Belarus and its government have decided that they cannot hold the Olympiad, we have tried to find a solution, another host for the 2022 Olympiad and the World Cups.But we couldn't find an alternative. If you add to the picture the pandemic, we have been left with no other choice than to have just one Olympiad during this period. We have received a kind proposal from the Russian government to host the two World Cups simultaneously next year, 2021, and to have the Olympiad in Russia 2022.”

The FIDE president clarified that, as long as the circumstances allow it, Khanty-Mansiysk will still host the FIDE Olympiad for players with Disabilities and the FIDE Congress in Khanty during the summer next year.

The news was hardly a surprise, given the difficult circumstances. No one was happy to hear that we all will have to wait until 2022 to enjoy a chess Olympiad, but the slight disappointment quickly dissipated when the representatives of the Hungarian Chess Federation presented their project for Budapest 2024.

The tournament is scheduled to run from September 10 to 23 at the renovated Hungexpo Exhibition and Conference Centre, with a total budget of 16,6 million euros. Political authorities, chess legends, and prominent members of the Hungarian Olympic movement and the sports administration have expressed their unconditional support to the event.

You can download a complete presentation for Budapest 2024 here:
FIDE in good financial shape

An important report at every General Assembly is the one by the FIDE Treasurer, which is normally offered right after the President’s opening speech. Zhu Chen shared the news that FIDE has now opened a Swiss bank account, which means that the organization is now ready to accept credit card payments, something crucial in order to organize activities like seminars, et cetera.

The Treasurer informed that Ernst & Young concluded their audit for the year 2019 in which they examined every transaction, and "they were fully satisfied with FIDE’s internal control procedures". The delegates voted in favor of appointing Ernst & Young again for the 2020 audit.

Chen informed the delegates that FIDE's cash balance is currently just below 3 million euros, and she expects it to be a bit over 4 million euros by the end of the year thanks to some advance payments that are expected in the next weeks related to next year's World Championship match and the FIDE Grand Swiss. "We are in a very small group of International Federations that have managed to deal with the crisis on our own, without applying for support from IOC or public funds. We must be proud of this achievement", she added.

The Treasurer also spent some time analyzing how the pandemic has impacted FIDE's budget, compared to what was originally approved in February. The budget took a serious blow, but FIDE's good situation allowed for even further reductions in several fees: in particular, the ones applied to titles and transfers. These new reductions are added to the ones already established in previous budgets, following the strategic plan announced by Arkady Dvorkovich during his electoral campaign. 

As for the budget for 2021, FIDE has prepared a very conservative estimate, but the budget will probably be reviewed, and it will depend greatly on the income generated by the World Championship match. FIDE’s Director-General Emil Sutovsky briefed the attendants about the most recent developments on the match and the candidates, and he said that he expects the match to generate a profit for FIDE of at least 1,5 million euros.

The report of the FIDE Treasurer, the budget for 2021, the new Financial Regulations, the appointment of Ernst & Young, and the report of the Verification Commission were all approved without objections.
Trainers Commission, by the numbers

Leading up to the Trainers Commission Meeting held as part of the Online FIDE Congress, its secretary Peter Long shared a presentation that reported on the work done by this commission.

In 2019, TRG organized a total of 38 seminars, which totaled 902 participants – using 42 different lecturers. Besides offering rotation which is a practice that the new FIDE management has established, this also tapped on the expertise of a large number of trainers.

Of these seminars, 13 took place in Asia, 11 in Europe, 8 in Africa, and 1 in the Americas, while 5 of them were held online. This experience proved to be very useful for what was to come!

In 2020 there was a shift to having seminars by region and language, so while TRG organized just 23, many were in cooperation with the continental chess bodies and even held together with other commissions, and so have become more available to many usually unable to attend when organized by country.

Of these, 16 are already completed, and 7 will be held during the next few days. In total, there have been 605 participants and 37 different lecturers to date, 11 in English, 3 in Russian, 3 in Arabic, 2 in Spanish, 1 in German, and 1 in Portuguese.

2021 will see a complete shift to a teaching curriculum where the subjects have moved beyond just teaching to play chess, to include areas such as psychological and training issues and the use of technology, and critically needed by trainers today, and lecturers will be focused on sharing their own methods and the best practices. In total, 1,573 titles were awarded during this two-year period (note that very often the titles are awarded sometime after the seminar has concluded). Regarding academies, there are currently 42 FIDE Endorsed Academies, of which 14 are in Asia, 13 in Europe, 9 in Africa, and 6 in the Americas. At the end of 2019, there were 30 so 2020 added 12 more.

Here is a list:
1 Asean Chess Academy Singapore Club
2 German Chess Academy Germany National
3 American Chess University USA Scholastics
4 Russian Chess Academy Russia National
5 Grivas Chess International Academy Greece Elite
6 Asian Chess Federation Academy UAE Regional
7 Chess Academy of Ptolemais ‘Skakistakos’ Greece Scholastics
8 Marshall Chess Academy USA Club
9 Susan Polgar Institute of Chess Excellence USA Elite
10 Bahrain Chess Academy Bahrein Scholastics
11 Belarus FIDE Chess Academy Belarus National
12 Mongolian International Chess Academy Mongolia Scholastics
13 Kwazulu Natal Chess Academy South Africa Scholastics
14 Stefanova Chess International Academy Bulgaria Elite
15 Tbilisi International Chess Academy Georgia National
16 Academia Brazileira de Xadrez Brazil Regional
17 Culture Echecs France Scholastics
18 Sabah Chess Academy Malaysia Scholastics
19 Dubai Chess Academy UAE Club
20 Schachzwerge Magdeburg e.V.  Germany Club
21 Academia Internacional "Martha Fierro" Ecuador Scholastics
22 Asia Chess Academy Jordan Regional
23 Young Chess Masters Zimbabwe Scholastics
24 Mastermind FIDE Chess Academy of Pakistan Pakistan Scholastics
25 Wadi Degla Adly Chess Academy Egypt Scholastics
26 Project Chess Zambia Zambia Scholastics
27 Myanmar Chess Academy Myanmar National
28 Let's Learn Together Cyprus Scholastics
29 iChess Academy South Korea Scholastics
30 Bouhjar Chess Academy Tunisia Club
31 World of Chess - Kazakhstan - Anton Flilipov Kazakhstan Scholastics
32 Jussupow Schachschule Germany Scholastics
33 Chess Queen Academy Georgia Scholastics
34 Philippine Academy for Chess Excellence Philippines Regional
35 FIDE International Academy Bulchess Bulgaria National
36 OMSE Chess Academy Algeria Scholastics
37 Vugar Gashimov Chess Academy Azerbaijan Scholastics
38 Mechanics Institute USA Regional
39 Elite Brain Academy Mongolia Club
40 GoforChess Academy South Africa Scholastics
41 Francistown School of Chess Botswana Scholastics

More information:
Boris Spassky in 1972, before his match Fischer. PHOTO: Yu Somov / Novosti Press
FIDE honorary titles

During the General Assembly, the tenth World Chess Champion Boris Vasilievich Spassky was awarded the title of “FIDE Honorary Member”. Born in Leningrad, the great Spassky very early caught the attention of Mikhail Botvinnik when he managed to defeat him in a simul exhibition at just 10 years old. He played a total of three world championship matches: he lost to Tigran Petrosian in 1966, defeating him in a second attempt in1969 to become World Champion. Then he famously lost the crown to Bobby Fischer, in the match in Reykjavík that became a global sensation. Spassky is the oldest living former world champion, and also one of the most charismatic ones because of his sportsmanship and geniality.

The founder and driving force behind the Gibraltar Chess Festival, Brian Callaghan, was also awarded an honorary title, "FIDE Life Member", as a recognition for his important and continued contribution to chess. Thousands of players took part in Gibraltar events he organizes since 2003, with a special emphasis on promoting women chess players. Even though the Gibraltar Chess Open 2021 had to be canceled, Brian managed to keep the tradition alive by hosting the fourth and final leg of the FIDE Women’s Grand Prix, from January 17-29.
FIDE Life Member Brian Callaghan. PHOTO: David Llada
Isle of Man joins FIDE

The General Assembly approved the admission of the Isle of Man Chess Association as an affiliated organization. This is in recognition of the Isle’s continued contribution to chess, including what promises to be one of the world’s major chess events next year, the FIDE Grand Swiss. The vote saw 107 votes in favor and just 4 against, with a further 4 abstentions.

The status of “Affiliated Organization” is slightly below that of full “Member Organization”, which according to Article 9.4 of the FIDE Charter, would demand a territory to be recognized by the United Nations and the International Olympic Committee.

Howard Dobson, the Chairman of the Isle of Man Chess Association, said: “In 2019, our chess friends and colleagues at IOM International Chess Limited successfully organized the FIDE Grand Swiss Tournament as part of the FIDE World Championship Cycle. Furthermore, they recently won the bid to host the 2021 Grand Swiss and the Women’s Grand Swiss. In light of this, plus Isle of Man’s history of hosting high class international Swiss events extending back to the early 1990s, we believe that it is important that FIDE should acknowledge Isle of Man’s status in the chess world”.
The Russian Superfinals are being played at the legendary Central Chess Club at Gogolevsky Boulevard. PHOTO: Eteri Kublashvili
Brief news from National Federations

The Russian Championship Superfinals began this weekend in Moscow, and is one of the strongest editions in recent times. With no other top-tournaments in sight, all the top players gathered in Moscow for this 12-player round-robin event, including Nepomniachtchi, Karjakin, Svidler and Artemeev.

Sergey Karjakin seemed to be particularly happy to be back at the chess board, since he hadn’t played a classical game since December 2019. His return couldn’t have been more sucessful, and after 4 rounds he shares the leadership with Nepomniachtchi, both with two victories and two draws. 19-year-old Polina Shuvalova is bulldozing in the women’s section, with a perfect score after four rounds.

The total prize fund is 10 million rubles (around 112,000€).

More information:

The Serbian Chess Championship 2020 kicked off yesterday, as a round-robin tournament with 10 players. GM Ivan Ivanisevic (2608) and GM Aleksandar Indjic (2604) are the top seeds. In the women’s section, played under the same format, WGM Jovana Rapport (2308) and Teodora Injac (2290) are the two highest-rated participants.

More information:

More “over the board” chess: the Ukrainian Women's Championship is a 9-round Swiss tournament taking place from 6-14 December 2020 in Kherson. In the absence of both Muzychuk sisters and Anna Ushenina, the main favorites are Iulija Osmak (2438) and Nataliya Buksa (2413).

More information:

Karolis JukÅ¡ta and KamilÄ— BaginskaitÄ— claimed the 2020 Lithuanian Championship titles. In the open section, 10 players competed for the title in a round-robin tournament, which was won by JukÅ¡ta with a whole point margin. It is worth mentioning that 17-year old JukÅ¡ta became the second-youngest winner of the Lithuanian championship. The record still belongs to GM Viktorija ÄŒmilyte-Nielsen, who triumphed in the Lithuanian Chess Championship for the first time in 2000, when she was 16 years, 7 months, and 28 days old. In the women's section, a five-round Swiss tournament brought together 12  female players. KamilÄ— BaginskaitÄ—, who returned to Lithuania after living in the US, won her second women’s title after a 28 year break.

More information:

Yakini Tchouka is the new Togo Chess Champion, after scoring 5½ points in a six-round Swiss tournament with 22 players. He only conceded a draw in the last round, which was enough to secure the victory. The highest-rated participant and four-time national champion of Togo Adama Mawulikplimi lost a critical game against the winner in Round 5 and failed to defend his title, but ended up in a respectable joint second place with 4.5 points.

More information:

Milton Botao has been elected the new President of the Mozambique Chess Federation, after several years as Vice-President. At 37 years old, Milton is now the youngest president of a national chess federation in the African continent. Parabèns, Milton!
Milton Botao, new President of Mozambique Chess Federation. PHOTO: Mekalab
"The power of chess in education"

National K-12 Grade Championships December 11-13

The information is on US Chess website:

FINAL ENTRY DEADLINE for the 2020 US Chess / ChessKid K-12 Showdown is Friday, December 11! 

US Chess is proud to announce, in partnership with and, the 2020 US Chess / ChessKid K-12 Showdown! This event will take place online from December 12 to December 13. Players will be competing in 13 different sections, one for each grade. There are over 2,100 players already entered!

The final entry deadline for the 2020 US Chess / ChessKid K-12 Showdown is at 7:00pm Central Time on Friday, December 11. There will be no late registration permitted! You must be a member of US Chess through at least the end of December 2020 to participate. You can renew your membership online!

This event is intended to provide an alternative for the 2020 National K-12 Grades, which was unfortunately canceled due to COVID-19. There are a few very important things to know before you enter, so please read this email all the way through. Also, please take time to read the tournament website at for more information. Please be sure to read and understand the rules for this event before you sign up!

If you have already entered the K-12 Showdown, we have some VERY important information for you! There will be two warmup tournaments this Saturday to help every registered player get familiar with the interface. One of the warmup tournaments will be for players in grades K through 5. The other warmup tournament will be for players in grades 6 through12. There are separate procedures for each! During the main event, there will be a live help desk on Slack, there to help you if you run into problems during the event. If you would like to learn more about the warmup tournament, or how to join the live help desk on Slack, please go to the tournament website at and look for the section titled, “Important Updates for Players!” We encourage you to look at the information in this section. Here is a link to the pre-tournament information: Here is a link to the Fair Play Rules:

This event will be shared between two servers! If you are in grades 6 through 12, you will be playing on Chess.comIf you are in grades K through 5, you will be playing on So, you’ll need to set up a login on the server where you’ll be playing. Then, if you have not already done so, you will need to create a user account on the US Chess website and add your or login to your user dashboard at US Chess.

This step is important because and will be validating your US Chess membership using that information! You can read instructions on how to set up a user account at US Chess, as well as how to link your login to your US Chess user profile. (PLEASE check to make sure your online login is spelled exactly right!)

The K-12 Showdown will be online rated by US Chess. There will be some special rules in place. They are detailed on the tournament website at Please note the terms and conditions for the event. You and your parents need to read these terms before entering. We will be using the 2020-21 Scholastic Regulations to determine eligibility and ratings. Please check the tournament website for the terms and conditions, as well as a link to the current Scholastic Regulations. When you enter the tournament, you agree to follow the US Chess and event rules – so be sure to read and understand them! 

The K-12 Showdown will not require cameras for players, as it is not a national championship event. The and fair play algorithm, endorsed by US Chess, will be used to make decisions about potential cheating violations.

Do not use another browser window, another device, or help from a parent/coach/friend. You do not want the trouble that will cause you. The simplest way to avoid any problems is to make sure you, and you alone, are making your own moves. Just play honestly, as hard and as well as you can!

Additional details, such as how to communicate with tournament directors and details about possible warm-up events, will be available at the tournament website as soon as they are finalized.

For more information, registration, list of pre-registrations, and prizes, please see the tournament website:

Don’t delay! We will “see” you next weekend for the 2020 US Chess / ChessKid K-12 Showdown!


Veterans Day

Colorado State Chess Association Salutes Our Veterans who served to preserve our great country. 

Thank you to everyone who put their lives on the line for the United States AND to those families and loved ones who supported them!!! 

Long may our flage wave and proclaim our freedom! 


US Chess is Calling all scholastic chess players, parents, and coaches

This Annoucement is just in: Go to the web site listed to see the details. (pc)

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