By SUZANNE MOORE
---- — MALONE — The Malone Chess Club aims to keep its Team Champions crown at the Upstate NY Chess Championships later this month.
The Scholastic Event, with teams from as far away as Watertown and Montreal, takes place from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, April 27, hosted by the Malone Club at Franklin Academy High School.
The Open Event, for ages 8 through 99, will take place May 11 at those same times.
Many of the best local scholastic chess players will compete on April 27.
“The annual event draws players from an area stretching from Watertown to Montreal, and competition is always fierce,” organizer Matthew Rogers said in a press release.
“I invite (the schools) to bring their top five players,” he explained in an interview Tuesday. “A lot of the tournaments you go to you have big, big groups of kids.
“I find with the smaller groups the games are a higher level of play; it’s more intense and pretty fun, too.”
As well, he said, the students get to know one another better in that setting.
Coach of the Malone Club, he said the scholastic teams have a kind of friendly rivalry.
Rogers said he expects Sabina Tinica from Montreal’s College Charlemagne will return for the April contest; she lost narrowly to Potsdam’s David Boyle, a three-time champion, last year.
Boyle has graduated and moved on, so Tinica and many others will try to capture his crown.
The Franklin Chess Club will try to reprise its victory last year as Team Champions.
“Holding the team title will be difficult for the Malone squad,” he said in the release. “Only two wins separated first from last in the team standings.”
The Upstate NY Open Championships in May has three separate age divisions and offers $900 in cash prizes. Both individual and team prizes (up to five players per team) are awarded, although competitors do not need to be part of a team to enter.
The Adult Division of the Open Tournament could feature a much anticipated rematch between two area players, Rogers said. Coming from Evans Mills will be three-time champion Dr. David Kistler, “who holds what is nearly a Master USCF rating of 2072.”
He could potentially face off once again with two-time champion Randall Gay of Malone.
“With a rating of 2017, Gay likewise has tremendous skill,” Rogers said.
The cash prizes extend to sixth place in each of the divisions, he explained, broken down as ages 12 and younger, 13 through 17, and 18 and older.
Spectators are welcome at both events, he said.
For more information, email Rogers at email@example.com or call him at 353-6676.
Email Suzanne Moore:firstname.lastname@example.org