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West Michigan Chess > Authors > Eugene Brumley
September 2012 Aquinas  - Karthik is up 1200 Points After One Year!
    At the registration for this month's tournament Karthik Vuyyuru dad asked me if I could pair Karthik up - his new rating was in the 1200s.  I looked at the official rating list, published bi-monthly, and saw a rating of 936.  Hmmm, maybe the father mis-remembered his son's rating.  Nonetheless, I agreed to pair Karthik up if it made sense with the situation. 
    Just before round one started, Karthik used a smartphone to show me his shiny new rating - 1263!  Wow, what a jump!
    He gained another 100 points at Aquinas, beating 1600 Bill Ignasiak and drawing Clara McGrew.
    Clara has also done well for herself recently.  Her first place achievement at this month's Aquinas tournament pushed her to a new height of 1603, Class B!
   We welcomed a newcomer to USCF tournaments.  Alex Schelhaas earned the only perfect score and a provisional rating of 1493. 
    In the top section, Allen Wickering and Joshua Posthuma drew their last round game, making my two points enough for clear first.  Stan Jarosz, who plays the white side of the Maroczy bind like a FIDE Master, capitulated me with it in the last round. 
    Thank you to Bill Ignasiak and Joshua Posthuma for briniging treats to share with everyone, and thank you to Allen Wickering for helping me arrange the chairs before the tournament.  Stan Jarosz deserves a special thank you for filling in for me as director while I was on vacation last month. 
    Congratulations to Karthik on his recent successes at the board.  The crosstable is here.
    The next Aquinas tournament will be October 20.
December 2011 Aquinas

Aquinas – December 2011

We had a fun tournament this month.  There were a lot of upset draws and a few upset wins.  Out of six sections, including one unrated quad, there was only one perfect score, earned by the young Karthik Vuyyuru. 

In the top section Allen Wickering snatched a win from a drawn position to keep Kevin Czuhai from clear first place.  He tied with 4th seed Greg Bailey. 

In the second section, coffeehouse terror Kevin Jackson won his fifth tournament in a row, slowed down only by a round one draw with the prodigious Joshua Posthuma.  Kevin has netted himself 125 points in two months.  Not bad for an old guy.  Also in section two, Michael Brooks returned to the tournament scene.  I enjoyed this position from his first round game just after Tim Clark  played Kf7!?:



Do these guys have any respect for King safety?


Andrew Schremser played excellently and earned his first first-place finish at Aquinas.  He had to beat the top seed who out-rated him by 200 points to do it!  Jacob Johnson, a regular Aquinas attendee tied with Andrew.  He won their encounter – an impressive feat considering Andrew out-rates Jacob by 200 points.  The third section was the spread section – the top seed outrated the 4th seed by 500 points.  Often that means a clobbering is in store, but with Jacob and Andrew in the section there was no cake walk.

In the fourth section, Karthik Vuyyuru earned the only perfect 3-0 score out of anybody in the six sections.  Karthik has been coming to Aquinas regularly and I was very happy to see him walk away with a perfect first and a rating bump taking him just shy of 900. 

In the final rated section, experienced junior Freddie Noe and the relatively new-to-tournaments Trenton Hildenbrand shared first place with 2 points apiece. 

Kaleb Packard, with 21/2,earned clear first and a trophy.  He had to overcome Keith Takens, who took second place, in a last round winner-take-all fight.  Welcome to Issac Jobin, who took 3rd place in his first chess tournament!

I’d like to thank several people who have helped with the tournament throughout the year.  Without fail Bill Ignasiak has brought snacks and water to every single Aquinas event, even the ones he hasn’t played in.  Calvin Challenge tournament director, Antowine Jordan, has helped me as a co-TD for the several quads he’s been able to attend in 2011.  David Posthuma and the Holland Chess Club volunteers have brought kids from the Lakeshore and allowed for more enjoyable and balanced competition at Aquinas.  Thanks to Dr. Michael McDaniel, advisor to the Games Club at Aquinas College, and Mark Schmidbauer, Aquinas College Director of Conferencing.  Without their help, I’d have to hold the tournaments in a city park, with hand warmers, and give it a funny name… like The Four Seasons Tournament.

The rating report is here 

How to Create a PGN Game File

  1.     Go to the Analysis Board and Editor. Then click on "Position Setup" on the right hand side of the browser. Under "Game Details" enter your name and rating, your opponent's name and rating, etc.

  2.     Then click on "Game Editor" on the right side of the browser, press the "Set Begin" button beneath the main notation box, and enter all the moves from your game on the board to the left.

  3.     While you are entering the moves, you can add comments (please do!) using the "Comment before move/Comment after move" boxes at the bottom.   To add a variation, first enter the actual move played, then use the back ("<") arrow button while on the game editor tab.  Once you are satisfied with the variation click on the last move played in the actual game to continue entering the game moves.

  4.     Once you are finished entering and annotating the game click on the "Copy PGN" button and copy the text (right click with your mouse and select “copy”).  Paste the text into the body of an email and send it to or


  (Adapted from FM Valeri Lilov's website at

Aquinas Chess - National Master Brumley!


This past Saturday's Aquinas quad came with much anticipation that I, with a rating of 2197, would do well enough to bump it to 2200 or higher. Calculators needed new batteries, cake makers worked late, webpages were refreshed so frequently that some programmer developed an app to auto-refresh any page, even with a login, every 0.28 seconds.


Wins against Andy Catlin and Kevin Czuhai, and a loss the Alisher Sanetullaev were barely enough to do it. My new rating is 2200, making me Grand Rapids' newest National Master!


The June event brought 20 people out, a couple of unrated players, a Nuclear Physicist from Lansing, a gang from the West Coast, and, of course, thronging groupies.


Two out of three was enough to take clear first in the top section. Andy and Alisher both won in round one, then drew each other in round two. Kevin beat Alisher in round three to make it possible for a 2-1 clear first.


John Drexel won his last round against Emin Khachaturyan, an eleven year old in from Moscow for the summer, to cause a three-way tie for first with Isaac Zylstra and Emin.


Chris Stapleton and Josh VanderMeulen both won their sections "on their own merit" by scoring 2.5 and 3, respectively. Jacob Johnson and Ben Beach each scored two points to win their sections.


Many thanks to Bill Adams for bring a new supply of pens - I'm always running a trade deficit in that department. And Bill Ignasiak's bottled water and honeyed cashews were welcome treats through the lunchless afternoon. Also thanks to Tim Clark for his help with the tournament director duties. He entered much of the wallchart information while I and others returned chairs and cleaned the rooms. Thanks everyone for your help!


Several games, many with annotations, can be found here.  The rating report is here.


Please come to next month's Aquinas Event - July 16!

Lansing City Championship - Final
Tony Nichols won the tournament with 4.5 points, drawing only me.  He beat Ray Garrison, who I drew, to edge me out of first place by half a point.
Dave Sundeen took clear first Under 1800 with 3 points, and there was a 5 man log-jam for second Under 1800.  Chris Irwin took the trophy on tie-breaks.
A collection of some of the games can be found here.  Note 913-rated Caleb Bowman's draw with 1700 Milan Talreja and Ray Garrison's win against Alisher.
Lansing City Championship - Round Two


Top-seeded Alisher Sanetullaev was upset by former Expert Ray Garrison.  Ray has been active on the tournament circuit for at least 20 years.  He survived the maze of an Alisher attack to come out the other side down an exchange, but with two extra passed and connected pawns. 

On board two, Tony Nichols out-prepared Eugene Brumley on the white side of a Grunfeld.  Brumley misplayed the novelty to gain a slightly worse and cramped game.  In a winning position, Tony overlooked a perpetual check opportunity and the players agreed  to a draw. 

Caleb Bowman, who received a full point bye in Round One, was paired against the 2011 Vandenberg Cup Reserve Winner, Milan Talreja, rated at 1764.  Caleb, rated at 672, was better throughout the game, and offered a draw in a superior posititon.  Had Caleb converted the win, he would have been, as the bottom seed by 1500 points, one of the two leaders!

Find round three pairings and the most current wallchart can be found the Lansing Chess Club website.

Nichols-Brumley can be found here.

Lansing City Championship - Round One

1. Being stuck in a car for two-and-half hours with a couple of other dudes is actually pretty cool.

2. Where else has Eugene played Eugene in Round One?

3. Eugene gets to play Tony the Tiger in Round Two.

4. The competition?  They're GRRREAT!

5. Knowing my color and pairing one week ahead of time lets me spend 40 hours preparing - tiger nets and poison-dart blow guns.

6. The Lansing Community College parking lot is guarded by men on Segways. 

7. Andy Catlin suggested it!

December 2010 Aquinas Chess

The big news of December is that 32 people played in the Aquinas tournament!  That's more than all of the other Aquinas events combined (28)! 


I walked in a few minutes late and saw a huge crowd of people at the end of the hallway.  I passed a classroom with an open door and in which were many faces I did not know.  I thought to myself, "Hmm, I guess someone's teaching a class in one of the chess rooms today."  :)  Nope, no class, just chess players.  I don't mean to say that chess players have no class...


It was thrilling to see so many people excited to play, and excited about the G/30, done by 2:00 for only $5.  One parent noted that the quad format has the benefit of having at least one section winner out of every 4 players.  With ties for first place, 10 people took first place this month!


It was also exhilarating to race around for 5 hours with the feeling that there might be something I was missing.  Contrary to the prior three tournaments, I left this one feeling whipped.  It was very nice that Kevin Czuhai had already planned a farewell gathering for Katy Ford at Derby Station in East Grand Rapids.  A burger, a beverage, and the company of chess players was a good end to the day. 


I owe a debt of gratitude to Andy Catlin for helping me register players and for getting Round 1 on track smoothly.  It was a better tournament because of Andy's quick thinking and clear organization.  Also, thanks to Bill Ignasiak for bring eggnog and Christmas cookies for all to share.

November 2010 Aquinas Chess
I was pleased to see that no one left the tournament with a perfect score. Each section winner scored 2.5. I did not play in this one since my entry would have meant three people would have received a bye. Thanks to Bill Ignasiak who brought nuts and trail mix for me (and everyone else) to munch on while I watched the progress of the games. It was especially nice to see Kevin Jackson and John Tyrell back in tournament play. John had not played a tournament in 10 years(!).
October 2010 Aquinas Chess
I was really happy to see 12 players at this month's tournament. I was also quite happy an odd number showed, which meant I would play. Again I got to play NMs Kevin Czuhai and Eric Fischvogt, as well as a strong A-player, Stan Jarosz. No complaints there. Well, except for the painful last round loss to Eric in the winner take all game... I changed a few things on the tournament bulletin. I advertised that the tournament will no longer necessarily be a quad. That was my initial intent, and I plan to stick with that format, but only if it seems like the best situation based on the players who show up. As well, I agreed with Kevin Czuhai's recommendation to make the advertisement reflect the reality of the tournament structure - there have been no quads in either tournament, even though it has been advertised as being a quad tournament. A quad in the top section was initially paired this past Saturday. However, after some players started their games, a player showed up late so I rearranged things (without stopping the games in progress) to make the top section a small swiss. I also removed the parameter that players under 1100 will play unrated games. I have received several disapproving comments about that so I dropped it. However, I am still happy to help anyone who wants to get their feet wet in tournaments without playing rated games. Kevin Czuhai graciously brought cider and donuts for all. Bill Ignasiak also brought miniature chocolates. And, as with last month, Dr. Tony Palmer generously extended his offer of a best game prize of an MCA membership for each section. The criterion are that the game must be annotated and electronically submitted to Dr. Palmer, Andy Catlin, or Eugene Brumley. Overall, I was quite happy with the tournament. The facilities are nice, Round one started only 5 minutes late, and all of the games were done by 2:00. After the last round it seemed many people still had enough energy and hunger for chess to analyze their games. I hope for another good tournament on the third Saturday of November.
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