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January 20th G/25+5 Final Results and Highlights

Results are in for the first rated tournament games of the year at Piermont Chess! It was a nice and succinct, 3 round competition on a bright, cold day. 

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Congratulations to the winners!

First place: Artem Aleksenko

Best U1000: Peter Graham

Select Games from the Tournament

1. Jacob Kim vs. Joseph Burns

That game was pretty competitive. At 75 moves, it ended as a draw and was a dead heat the majority of the time, and each player received high marks from the engine, playing ~83% accuracy ~1300 rating level. But both players missed significant chances to take a win, (there were also 3 instances of “draw by repetition”!) Admittedly, the final forced stalemate was pretty clever.

White had advantages through most of the opening and middlegame and was the first to miss a winning chance on move 43. White played 43. Qh4?! but Qe3+ forced a trade of queens that gave white better chances to promote and win. On move 60 Black made a major blunder that went unnoticed with 60…g4?? White could have pinned the queen, again forcing a trade of queens and allowing a winning promotion.

With 68…Qxf2+, Black had their chance, but lost the line with 69….Qxg3 clearly hoping for a mate. Instead, 69…Qf1+ would have allowed 70. Kh2 Qh3+! forcing the queen trade in Black’s favor this time… c’est la vie.

2. Stephane Derveaux vs. Damian Bias

A very competitive game. White took the advantage toward the middlegame and held on to it but almost let it slip toward the end. White missed a hard to find tactic on move 12. Black played 11…Rad8 which was marked a blunder because White could play 12. f5! attacking the bishop. This is significant because the bishop must take the pawn or be captured. Once the pawn is taken, White will have been forced to walk into a double attack of two pieces defended only by the now overloaded queen. The bishop will fall to the rook on f1, after Nxd5 and Qxd5. No matter what, White is up a full piece.

White almost lost it with 20. Rae1?? but Black missed the move 20…Nd2 forcing white to give up a rook. Black had one more chance after 36. d5? but it was also hard to see while under pressure. The pawn on a3 was very close to promoting and with the right sequence Black could have won White’s rook and entered a favorable rook vs. bishop endgame. But it appears white picked off enough pawns that Black resigned.

3. Parth Gulati vs. Stephane Derveaux

Very nice game by both players. White was playing very nicely showing understanding of some advanced concepts, but missed something that even Black did! 8…Qxb2?? was a huge blunder! Very hard to see, but White could have trapped Black’s queen with 9. Na4!! and gone a queen for a rook very early in the game. The knight forks that White did decide to employ were initially a good idea, but unfortunately led to losing a knight when black forked two pieces with 16…d5. Black held onto that advantage, and White threw in the towel at move 36.

4. Peter Graham vs. Stephane Derveaux

Another competitive game where Black may have been able to equalize with more accurate play. Both had a decent opening, but White overpowered Black in the middlegame. Black did their best to keep things balanced but allowed a renegade bishop to escape unharmed. When White moved in with the knights and forked the bishop and rook, Black was already down 1 piece. With another on the chopping block Black’s position was all but lost. The notation ended here but white went on to simplify and win maintaining a 1 piece advantage.

5. Artem Aleksenko vs. Billy Zifchak

Intense game, but white generally had the upper hand throughout. Black neglected to push the push the d pawn and take other advantageous positions where white had left opportunities, but white had space advantage and was able to penetrate the kingside. Black’s big mistake was 21…Bb7, completely focused on a minor double attack to crack the queen side, while oblivious to the queen and bishop battery threatening an h7 mate.

6. Artem Aleksenko vs. Josh Pinchuk

A powerhouse game of chess between the #1 and #2 for 1st place, where both players were performing well above their ratings. A balanced opening led to a tricky position where Black missed a move that was hard to see, playing 19…Qe7?? leaving a knight hanging. The best option for Black was actually 19…fxe3 where White is encouraged to trade bishops thereby letting Black defend the knight with the rook on a8. Alternatives put the White queen in danger while losing tempo. White continued to gain on its advantage through the middle game and with 27…Rxf3?? Black appeared to read things as futile.

7. Billy Zifchak vs. Anna Kupchik

Opening with 1. Nf3, White couldn’t help but try the Tennison gambit when Black played 1…d5. But Black took an early lead refusing to fall into any traps. White was feeling the pressure until a fork was revealed. The knight guarding f7 was forced to displace and 21…Nc6?? allowed 22. Bf7! that turned the tables. The end of the game wasn’t notated as the clocks were within 1 minute of flagging. White was ultimately able to simplify, promote a pawn and catch a mate on the A file. Wild but intense game.

8. Damian Bias vs. Billy Zifchak

What a wild game! Excellent opening by both throughout move 15, with wild swings afterward. Tricky positions and misplaced priorities allowed misses and blunders on both sides. Every candidate move that Black considered-but didn’t make-was apparently the best move. White was hyper-focused on getting that mate in the corner, but once things were equalized and the king side was opened up, it was too late to promote that passer pawn on e7.

Results and Highlights from the January 13th Unrated Rapid Tournament!

Congratulations to all the participants! It was a full day of interesting chess that went by very quickly! After 5 lively rounds starting at 10am and ending right on time at 1pm we had our winners!

1st place with 5 pts: Artem Aleksenko

2nd place with 4pts: Josh Pinchuk

& in 3rd place with 3 pts: Peter Graham

Select Games from Jan 13th

Note: many moves may be incorrectly recorded or missing. Most endings are not recorded due to rules allowing no notation under 5 minutes. Analyses by

Billy Zifchak vs. Stephane Derveaux

A balanced opening if not a somewhat messy game. Both players missed free bishops. After 11. Bf4??, 11…e5 would have won the bishop with a fork, And after 17…Be5?? 18. Qxe5 would have also won a bishop for white with the d6 pawn pinned by the d1 Rook, and ultimately black made the blunder (27…f5??) that gave white the chance to win.

Jacob Kim vs. Joseph Burns

This was a really sharp game but white lost the game early on with 6. Bd2?? The best move is Nxc6 which is a book move for the sharp mainline of the Scotch opening. This blunder ultimately left black up a knight and rook after move 11. After trading queens the endgame began with black up a rook. Finally, a fork with 31…b5! ended any hope of white’s survival. White found checkmate 5 moves later.

Minus the early error, both played very well. Lichess gave white 85% accuracy with 29 average centipawn loss while black had 99% accuracy and 10 centipawn loss! Almost every move in the endgame was an excellent or best move.

Stephane Derveaux vs. Joseph Burns

This started off with an unconventional response to the English opening 1. c4. Black tried to open up the queen side with the Scandinavian defense 1…d5 which was not the engines favorite move. White steadily increased the advantage until 23. Bd2+?? landing on a square guarded by the knight on e5, but black missed it! There must have been some tunnel vision when white played 23. Bd2?? likely aiming for a potential checkmate threat with Bb4. But black caught it this time and white was knocked back with 23…Nxc6. There is no notation after move 28, but white won. One possible continuation saw an interesting checkmate by pawn promotion from the advanced e pawn, but black had ways around it.

Selection of Games from the final day of the December Classic Tournament

It was yet again a dramatic day of top notch chess with some major upsets, and well deserved wins by many players.

Artem Aleksenko vs. Ron Lopez

In the epic final match for first place, Artem and Ron dueled for almost 2hrs and 30 minutes. The critical move was 31…Qa2 when it appears Ron missed a better tactic and gave away his advantage with a losing trade. Artem entered the endgame up a rook and ultimately received Ron’s resignation.

Kareem Khan vs. Billy Zifchak

Kareem did it again! We told everyone to watch out for him. Billy was ahead out of the opening capturing a second knight with his queen, but this left her in a very precarious position. Carelessly, Billy castled and allowed a devastating discovered attack on move 13. Though Billy pressed on, Kareem carefully squeezed his advantage and there was nothing to be done to stop him. ranked Kareem’s move 13. Bxh7+ as a “brilliant” move, reported an overall accuracy of 80% for his game, and said he played as if ranked 1050. Well done.

Joe Burns vs. Josh Pinchuk

This was a very competitive game! Josh played an aggressive response to Joe’s Ruy Lopez opening and developed a strong attack in the middle game. Black had white on the back foot with a slight material and positional advantage but let it slip with 34…Rxg2+. Joe played well above his rank to get to the end game where he was able to turn the tables. *transcribed from notation, some moves at the end may be missing or inaccurate

*If you would like us to post one of your games, send a PGN file from or to, or hand in a scoresheet at the end of any tournament.

Select Games From December Classic Day 2, 12/9/23

*If you would like us to post one of your games, send us a PGN file from or, or hand in a scoresheet at the end of any tournament.

Josh Pinchuk vs. Billy Zifchak

A solid game lost by an unfortunate blunder. Josh kept things tight with 96% accuracy. Though Billy’s strong opening earned him 85%, it wasn’t enough to make up the loss of his knight, and the defense quickly came apart.

Tom Nassisi vs. Kareem Khan

Tom and Kareem had great battle! Tom unfortunately was a move late for a nasty queen pin, and Kareem ultimately took the win with well connected rooks.

Peter Graham vs. Kareem Khan

An incredible performance from Kareem (91% accuracy!) even though Peter took this game with the masterful (96%!) utilization of his off-beat Polish opening. Great job by both!

Billy Zifchak vs. Anna Kupchik

A wild game for Billy and Anna. He stumbled his way through an English opening, while she did a great job coordinating pieces, and taking an early lead with lots of pressure down the middle of the board. Billy weaseled out of a cramped position with a discovered attack on Anna’s queen which turned the tables, but Anna held on to move 52!

Games from Nov. 4th Rapid, Board #1

The 5 games below are from Board #1 at the Piermont Chess Club November 4th Rapid G/25+5, imported from DGT software. Thanks to Stephane Derveaux for providing the board and the PGN files.

Aleksenko vs. Graham, Piermont 11/4/23

Delabre vs. Graham, Piermont 11/4/23

Derveaux vs. Delabre, Piermont 11/4/23

Levy vs. Burns, Piermont 11/4/23

Derveaux vs. Levy, Piermont 11/4/23

More Games from the Nov 4th Rapid

Here are some more games transcribed from players score sheets. (Forgive any mistakes due to illegibility! Feel free to submit corrections.)

If you would like your games posted too, hand in your score sheets at tournaments, or send a PGN file to We can also include your thoughts and ideas about key moves in the annotations if you include those as well!

Zifchak vs. Aleksenko, Piermont 11/4/23

Pinchuk vs. Zifchak, Piermont 11/4/23

Burns vs. Pinchuk, Piermont 11/4/23