Virginia Assassins Win US Amateur Team East Championship


Click here to see the entire list of winners

Click here to see the final wall chart.

by Pete Tamburro

Braving snow, ice and frigid temperatures, 270 teams and 1133 chess crazed lunatics fought it out for honor rather than money at the Hilton Hotel in Parsippany, New Jersey.

When the snow cleared, the Virginia Assassins with an average rating of 2185 (teams, as usual, were carefully crafted to compete with 2199 ratings to stay under the 2200 mark—thus eleven grandmasters participated and numerous IMs and national masters) won the coveted prize (trophy and chess clocks) on tie breaks with a 5.5-0.5 score over the NYC Legends who had to beat 5.0-0.0 “Bone!” in the last round to draw even with Virginia and Magnus et Potens who had drawn in round six.

The individual assassins were James Schuyler (2383), Andrew Samuelson (2360), Daniel Miller (2354) and Lucas Knoll (1646). Twelve teams finished with 5-1 scores in the three day Presidents’ Weekend event.

The ever popular plays on words for team names were also in fierce competition. The winner was Legalize Caruana, beating out the usual cultural hot topics as 50 Shahades of Grey, Belicheck Light Weight Pawns  (referring to the American football scandal), Cosby Mate with the Scotch, and others.

E. Steven Doyle and his TD team ran the event with their usual efficiency. Doyle also holds prize winning competitions before selected rounds with books and chess equipment going to the first person to run up with a subway token or proof of a birthday that day.

There are three other regional team tournaments occurring at approximately the same time, and the winners will play online for the US championship. The “East” tournament is still the biggest by far, and even Texas Tech comes 1500 miles to play in this one.

There were a good many hard-fought games as you might imagine. Here’s a small selection. The database of selected games will be, in a few weeks, put online at .


(24) McHugh,Ted (2366) – GM Kaufman,Larry (2401) [C48]

USATE 2015 (2), 14.02.2015


1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bb5 Bc5 5.0–0 0–0 6.Bxc6 dxc6 7.d3 Re8 8.Be3 Bf8 9.Ne2 Nd7 10.Ng3 Nc5 11.h3 Qf6 12.Nh2 Qh4 13.Qd2 h6 14.Ne2 Ne6 15.f4 exf4 16.Nxf4 Bd6 17.Nf3 Qe7 18.Nh5 Ng5 [18…f6 19.Bxh6 Qf7 (19…gxh6 20.Qxh6 Rf8 21.Nh2 Bc5+ 22.Kh1 Ng7 23.Rxf6) 20.g4 gxh6 21.d4 Ng7 22.Ng5 fxg5 (22…hxg5 23.Nxf6+) 23.Rxf7 Nxh5 (23…Kxf7 24.Rf1+) 24.e5 Kxf7 25.gxh5 Bf8 26.Qd3 Ke7 27.c4 Kd8 28.Rf1 Bd7 29.Qg6; 18…Qd8 19.Bxh6]


19.Nxg5 hxg5 20.Bxg5 [20.Nxg7 Kxg7 21.Bxg5 Qe6 (21…Qe5 22.Bf6+) 22.Bf6+ Kh7 23.Qg5]


20…Qe5 21.g4 Qxb2 22.Bf6 Be5 23.Qg5 Bxf6 24.Nxf6+ Kf8 25.Nxe8 Kxe8 26.Qh5 Be6 27.Qh8+ Kd7 28.Qxa8 Qe5 29.Kg2 Qg5 30.Qf8 f5 31.Rxf5





(25) Molner,Mackenzie (2613) – Karell,Leif (2179) [B12]

USATE 2015 (2), 15.02.2015


1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.dxc5 e6 5.a3 Bxc5 6.b4 Bb6 7.Qg4 Kf8 8.Nf3 h5 9.Qf4 Nh6 10.Bd3 Nc6 11.0–0 Bd7 12.Bb2 a5 13.b5 Ne7 14.a4 Rc8 15.Nbd2 Nhf5 16.Nb3 Ng6 17.Qd2 Ngh4 18.Nxh4 Nxh4 19.Bd4 Bxd4 20.Nxd4 g6 21.Rac1 Nf5 22.Nxf5 gxf5 [22…exf5 23.c4 Be6 24.c5 Kg7 25.f4 Re8 26.b6]


23.c4 dxc4 24.Bxc4 Be8 25.Qe3 Qh4 26.f4 Qe7 27.Be2 Rd8 28.Rfd1 Rxd1+ 29.Bxd1 Kg7 30.Qg3+ Kf8 31.Qc3 b6 32.Qd4





(61) Kahn,Erin (2427) – Kopec,Danny (2348) [B21]

USATE (2), 14.02.2015


1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3 Nc6 5.Nf3 d6 6.Bc4 e6 7.0–0 Be7 8.Qe2 Nf6 9.Rd1 e5 10.Be3 0–0 11.Rac1 Be6 12.b4 Rc8 13.Bxe6 fxe6 14.b5 Na5 15.Nxe5 Qe8 16.Nf3 Nc4 17.Bxa7 Nh5 18.Be3 Qg6 19.Nb1 Qxe4 20.Rd4 Nf4 21.Qe1 Nxe3 22.Rxe4 Rxc1 23.Qxc1 Ne2+ 24.Kh1 Nxc1 25.Rxe3 Rc8 26.Rc3 Rxc3 27.Nxc3 d5 28.a4 Bb4 29.Nd1 Nb3 30.Nb2 Nc5 31.Ne5 Bc3 32.Ned3 Nb3 33.f4 Kf7 34.g4 Ke7 35.Kg2 Kd6 36.h4 Bxb2 37.Nxb2 Kc5 38.h5 Kd4 39.Kf3 Kc3 40.Nd1+ Kb4 41.Ne3 d4 42.f5 dxe3 43.f6 Nc5





(63) Bonin,Jay (2419) – Chandarn,Kapil (2374) [A30]

USATE 2015 (6), 16.02.2015


1.b3 Nf6 2.Bb2 e6 3.Nf3 c5 4.g3 b6 5.Bg2 Bb7 6.0–0 Be7 7.c4 d6 8.Nc3 Nbd7 9.Re1 0–0 10.e4 Qc7 11.d4 cxd4 12.Nxd4 Rac8 13.Rc1 Qb8 14.f4 Nc5 15.Rc2 Rfd8 16.Nd5 exd5 17.Nf5 Re8 18.exd5 [18.e5 Nfd7 19.cxd5 Bf8 20.e6 fxe6 21.Nh6+ Kh8 (21…gxh6 22.Qg4+ Kf7 23.dxe6+) 22.b4 exd5]


18…Bf8 19.Bxf6 Rxe1+ 20.Qxe1 gxf6 21.b4 Re8 [21…Nd7 22.Qd1 Re8 23.Bf1 b5 24.cxb5 Ba8]


22.Re2 Rxe2 23.Qxe2 Nd7 24.Kf2 b5 25.Qg4+ Kh8 26.Be4 Qe8 27.Kf3 Qe5 [27…bxc4 28.Qh5 h6]


28.fxe5 Nxe5+ 29.Kf4 Nxg4 30.Kxg4 bxc4 31.Kf4 Bc8 32.Ke3 Bxf5 33.Bxf5 Bh6+ 34.Kd4 Kg8 35.Kxc4 Kf8 36.Kb5 Ke7 37.Ka6 Be3 38.Bxh7 f5 39.Bxf5 Kf6 40.Be4 Kg5 41.a4 Kg4 42.a5 Kh3 43.b5 Kxh2 44.b6 axb6 45.axb6 Bxb6 46.Kxb6 Kxg3 47.Kc6 Kf4 48.Kxd6