12-31-12 Candidate Master Andrew Flores

Kudos goes out to Andrew Flores for becoming an Expert at the recent FHCC Quads. Let us hope he is not like so many of NM’s other higher rated players that forget “It’s not the kill, but the thrill of the chase.”

Robert Hampton

12-28-12 Thigpen-Grinberg II

M Grinberg and D Thigpen are both registered for the New Mexico Memorial. They both play whopping good chess. Even if you don’t play, it would be beneficial just to watch them play….especially if there is a Thigpen-Grinberg II (think of the Rocky movies, just add reality and uncertainty!)

Mark Schwarman

12-20-12 Santa Fe Rooks quad on January 12th

Feliz Navidad! We will hold our much postponed quad on January 12th at the La Farge library in Santa Fe. Library space has proved difficult to get so I booked the 12th rather than cancel the event. Play a round robin based on groups of 4 by rating. G/60 + 5 secs delay. Rounds at 10:15 1:15 3:30. To enter send your check for $10 to Santa Fe Rooks or you could email me to say that you are going to play and then pay at the door.

SFR will also run:
February 23rd Unrated blitz and G/15 tourneys. 13 games total!
March 16th Match -ups 2 games b and w against the same opponent. G/90 + 5 secs delay

Jim Johnston

12-11-12 Matt Grinberg’s shortest mates go national

Check out chesscafe.com where Matt’s shortest mates get national exposure. Felicidades!

Jim Johnston

12-09-12 Resurrect the Albuquerque Chess League?

Hello all, Phil again from Kirtland AFB. A three-on-three chess league sounds so interesting to me and my club that we might consider taking on the responsibility of resurrecting it. What we’re most interested in is whether or not anyone would play.

I’ve managed casual tournaments before, but I’m sure I’d need help from those of you that played last year. There are bound to be things you liked about the league and things you didn’t. I’m all ears.

The guys in my club are USCF members, but none of us have a rating yet. I’d say we’re all D or C class players. No matter. We’re in it for the fun.

Contact me if your team would like to play.


12-05-12 Congrats to Doug, Brooklyn Castle at the Guild

Hello NM Chess Community,

First, I would like to congratulate Doug Thigpen on his recent Wyoming Open Championship: USCF crosstable. Doug is doing a tremendous job representing New Mexico as our state champion, go Doug!

Second, I would like to let you all know that the Guild Cinema and Learners Chess Academy have teamed up to bring “Brooklyn Castle” to Albuquerque. Brooklyn Castle is a documentary that tells the story of five members of the chess team at a below-the-poverty-line inner city junior high school that has won more national championships than any other in the country. The film follows the challenges these kids face in their personal lives as well as on the chessboard, and is as much about the sting of their losses as it is about the anticipation of their victories.

It’ll be showing at the Guild from Saturday, January 19th – Monday, January 21st at 2:30pm and 4:45pm each day. We hope to see you there!

Happy Winter everyone!

12-05-12 Albuquerque Chess League

Hello all, my name is Phil and I’m in the Kirtland AFB Chess Club. We found a website for the Albuquerque Chess League, but I’m having a hard time contacting anyone that’s involved. The Wired Kings website seems to be down.

Is the Albuquerque Chess League still operating? How do I get my club registered? Thanks.


12-02-12 Santa Fe Action rated

Thanks to all who came and made this the strongest ever SFR tournament. Congrats to Konstantinos Prentos who swept the very strong top section. Gabe Maestas and Greg Stricklin tied for 1st in the lower group. Rating prizes went to Thomas Mathine, Tad Snediker and Aubrey O’Neal. The rating report should now be up.

Jim Johnston

11-23-12 SF Rooks Action tournament on December 1st

Hello all,
Come to the Southside library in Santa Fe next Saturday to play in our Action tournament. There will be 5 rounds G/30 + 3 secs delay. Round 1 starts at 10:15…last round finishes at 5:30. 2 sections – top and bottom halves by rating. To enter send a check for $10 to SFR, or you could email to tell me you will be coming and then pay at the door,
Jim Johnston

11-01-12 Santa Fe Rooks Action tournament on Dec 1st

Hello all,
I have booked the Southside library for the SFR Action event on Dec 1st. Play 5 rounds of G/30 + 3 secs delay, rounds at 10:15 11:30 1:45 3 and 4:15. To enter send your check for $10 to Santa Fe Rooks to the address on the flyer…..or you could send me an email to say that you will be there and then show up early and pay at the door. See you there.
Jim Johnston

10-21-12 Santa Fe Open rated

Congrats to Andrew Flores who won the Open section and Victor Lopez, winner of the U1500 section. Thanks to all the players.
The rating report should now be available,
Jim Johnston

10-15-12 New chess club forming

My name is Edwin Crosswhite. I am in the process of starting a chess club at Santa Fe School for the Arts and Sciences.

None of the students are rated and we have not participated in any kind of chess tournaments. What is the best way for me to proceed?

Edwin Crosswhite
505-820-1956 (home)
505-603-0504 (cell)

10-14-12 Santa Fe Open on Saturday 20th

Hello all,
Don’t forget that we have 2 sections – Open and U1500 – and 4 games at G/45 at the La Farge library in Santa Fe this Saturday. To enter send your $10 check to Santa Fe Rooks or you could email me to say you will be coming and then pay at the door at 10 a.m.
On Wednesday I will post a list of players at santaferooks.blogspot.com
Jim Johnston

10-06-12 The next NMCO Executive Board Meeting

The next meeting of the NMCO Executive Board is Tuesday, October 9th at the Foothills Fellowship Church, Candelaria & Tramway at 6:15 P.M. The board meetings are open to chess players so you are welcome to attend.

Art Byers, Board member

10-06-12 State Champion’s photograph

A picture of the 2012 New Mexico State Chess Champion is now up on this website. Mouse click on “State Champions in the left column. Douglas Thigpen is surrounded: on the right by NMCO President Oren Stevens and on the left by NMCO V.P. Eddie Sedillo as they made the official presentation at the Coronado Chess Club.

Art Byers

10-05-12 RE: Had an awesome time this summer

Yes, we had some good main line theoretical debates, as well as the “psychopath” openings. I think we all learned a lot, the “lessons” went both ways. Come back and we will do it again.

Don Mulcahy

10-04-12 Had an awesome time this summer

A little late posting this, but I had an awesome time in ABQ this summer and I must say, the chess scene here is awesome and so were the lesson I got from the “psychopaths” (Don, Chris) at the Coronado Chess Club.. Can’t wait to come back!

Jai Dayal

10-02-12 Santa Fe Open on October 20th

Hello all,
Santa Fe Rooks will be holding the SF Open tournament on the 20th October at the La Farge library. We will play 4 rounds of G/45 + 5 secs delay. Round times are 10:15 11:45 2:15 and 4. There will be 2 sections Open and U1500. To enter send in your check for $10 to Santa Fe Rooks – see the flyer on the upcoming events page – or send me an email to say you will be there and pay at the door. Those with email entries must arrive promptly at 10.
See you there.
Jim Johnston

09-24-12 Congrats to Doug

Congrats to Doug Thigpen on his State Championship! He’s a great chess coach and we were lucky to have him this summer at Learners Chess Academy.

In other news:

Happy Fall to All,
I would also like to make a plug for all to participate at the Santa Fe Open on October 20th. I will be there playing in the under 1500. I’ve never been to a Santa Fe Rooks event, but I’ve heard good things and I am very excited!

Victor Lopez

09-24-12 The New Mexico state chess champion for 2012

Is Douglas Thigpen who had a great tournament.

Art Byers

09-24-12 Lost & Found at the New Mexico Open

Found on final cleanup:

1 black knight, labeled Robert Scott

One chess clock..if you think it might be yours, please contact me via Email. artjbyers@Gmail.com. You will need to describe it accurately including the serial number.

A plea to all chess players: please mark your chess clocks with your name.. and if it has a serial number, write it down and save the number in a safe place.

Art Byers

09-21-12 thematic chess sets this weekend

I shall bring a varied bunch of chess sets to the NM Open and will show them to you all between rounds. So before anyone starts complaining that you can’t see thematic chess sets at NM tournaments I hope everybody will be pleased that now you can!

Jim Johnston

09-20-12 Important reminder for the NM Open Chess Tournament

To all who will be either playing or who will be spectators at the New Mexico Open:

If someone has to reach you (or you need to reach the Tournament Director because you can’t make a round to which you committed) during the September 22/23 chess tournament, they should use the following number because all cell phones must be turned off during play:

The Meadowlark Front Desk Telephone Number is 505-891-5018.

Art Byers

09-20-12 Comments for Mr. David Bonner

Mr. David Bonner, please keep in mind the difference between a populous state such as California and a small population state such as New Mexico.

When I lived in New Jersey, a chess tournament in Cherry Hill (which draws from the densely populated states of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, lower Connecticut and New York) had over 600 entrants. In addition, the entry fees were quite steep by the standards of those days but the guaranteed prize fund was about 100 G’s.

New Mexico has about 2 million residents. Only approximately 500 have currently paid up USCF memberships and about half of those are scholastic. The scholastic association runs its own tournaments giving out trophies, not cash.. In addition, New Mexico is way down on the list of U.S. states as far as wealth goes. I sincerely doubt we could raise our entry fees to about $50 or more and draw anyone at all to our Chess events. Low entry fees and an average of about 60 – 65 players at a typical NMCO tournament mean very small prize funds..

NMCO Playing sites are not free. Site fees and TD fees must come off the top before prizes. NMCO also gives out three stipends (or call them scholarships) to the New Mexico representatives to the Denker, Polgar and Barber student tournaments. The stipends are small compared to what Scholastic donates to the same three representatives but they are paid for out of the entry fees to NMCO tournaments.

Mr. Bonner, thank you for you suggestions. The few unpaid volunteers on the NMCO board and in communication with the board are doing what they can.

Art Byers, NMCO Desert Knight Editor

09-19-12 NMCO Annual Meeting and Executive Board Elections

The New Mexico Chess Organization Annual Meeting and Executive Board elections will be held this Sunday, September 23, at approximately 1:00 p.m., between the 4th and 5th rounds of the New Mexico Open, at the Meadowlark Senior Center in Rio Rancho.

The following current members of the Executive Board have volunteered to stand for re-election:

President: Oren Stevens
Vice President: Eddie Sedillo
Treasurer: Dean Brunton
Secretary: Sam Dooley
Tournament Organizer: Larry Kemp
Desert Knight Editor: Art Byers
Webmaster: Jeff Sallade
Member at Large: David Lewis

In addition, the positions of Scholastic and Collegiate liaison are currently open.

The Executive Board invites any individual who would like to volunteer to stand for election to the board to contact the Secretary (by email, if possible) prior to, or at, the Annual Meeting, so their name may be included in the election process.

All Executive Board meetings are open to anyone who has participated in a NMCO tournament, and anyone who would like to attend a board meeting may do so by contacting any board member to find the date and time of the next scheduled meeting. Volunteers who would like to help with any aspect of the board’s work are always welcome.

Sam Dooley, Secretary
on behalf of the Executive Board

09-19-12 Comments from Ray

What I don’t like is paying hundreds of dollars to go to a “big city” tournament and playing more than half my games against underrated kids! Remember when you could sign up not to play a computer? I wish there would be a sign up list so that you wouldn’t have to play a kid. Yes, there are “senior” tournaments, but only about one or two per year that are cheap to travel to.

Ray Fourzan, El Paso

09-15-12 Re: upcoming state event – complaint

Im happy someone responded to my commentary. Zach thanks for your compliment. However, not everybody is cut out to organize a chess event or other types. Im not an organize person. I can barely handle my check book. There is alot involve in making this happen. It takes resources money, building or space, etc. The reason why I wrote what I wrote. Is because, The people who organize these events in New Mexco who are capable with resources and support from others, They can make a change. Ill Im doing is giving ideas that can make this state have more competive chess. Its pathedic that theres only a few masters in New Mexico. I suggested before that perhaps El Paso chess club and Albuquerque chess clubs could work together to create a invitational reginal event. A bigger event would promote chess more and invite GMs and IMs . I also suggest more unrated events. Because, I hear players complaining that they dont want their ratings to fall. Esspecially if they work hard to obtain their rating status. This way U would have a greater flow of entries taking that fear out of competing. Ive been there I know what is like to work hard go to another event and then lose points it hurts. However, by that reply to my commentary shows me something or sign thats been hurting the growth of chess in this state for years. It is that while someone comes up with an idea, Everyone or most of others want that individual to do something about that idea and bear fruit of it. Instead, the right thing to do is to take that idea and share it. WORK Together People and as a whole make it happen. I might not have resources but person B or more can take that idea and make a difference for the benefit of all.
David Bonner

09-14-12 Re: upcoming state event – complaint

If it takes you $200 to get to a NM city, I bet it’s at least $400 to go to Cali. You spent your prize money before you won it.

You don’t want 3 rounds on one day because it’s too exhausting, but you want 6-hour games. If we play 2 in one day, this actually makes day 1 longer than if we had 3 G/90s. Genius!

Are you willing to pitch in some $$ for the ‘fair’ aim of having tournaments all over the state? Playing sites don’t pay for themselves, you know. And the organizers don’t get paid for the time they spend making the event happen.

OK, fine, you got me. It’s all a giant conspiracy by the Albuquerque Chess Cartel to squeeze the smaller cities out of the lucrative chess market.

Do you actually think that anyone on this forum can do anything about your travel costs? Really?

Perhaps you should consider posting at a 40/2 SD/1 time control. It seems like you blitzed this one.

-Ryan McCracken

09-12-12 Re: upcoming state event – complaint

Wow, those are some great ideas you got there. Why don’t you take the appropriate steps to organize a tournament like that?

–Zach Stuart

09-11-12 upcoming state event – complaint

To whom it concerns,
Ive been playing competative chess off and on for some time. I went to the Southern Cali. Open last year. I placed second. I won 400 dollars. I dont want to brag. It just u guys dont have much of a cash award. There are times I have to leave state to compete. And its worth it. I went to your guys events while back, And I must say that they werent in my opnion very good events. Because it at times is difficult to get plenty of rest a day prior to event. U have rounds 1-3 on one day can be exausting to the out of town player or out of state player. I dont like your time controls. Its not enough time to think rationally more difficult as more advance u are. I ussually like time controls with 40 moves in 2 hrs with 1 hr sudden death with 5 sec delay. When I play scholiastic in this state in the 90s we had state events in Albuqu. Las Cruces and other places. Why dont u guys do that? So it is fair for every chess player in this state to try to enter and play. Its to convienient for u guys to put events only in your area and leave every city out in New Mexico. My other concern is the travel cost to get to your site is overwelming. I would have to spend over 200 dollars just to make it to your event. And your prize money isnt worth the cost to travel. Our economy is very poor and gas is to high.

David Bonner

08-27-12 FHCC Team Quad

Results of the August 25th Team Quad at the Foothills Chess club are posted on the USCF web site. along with results of the the U1000 section Swiss. Team “The Lions”, led by rated Expert Tony Schroeder, swept the quad with 3-0 in match points. Tony had sterling help from Sam Dooley, Don Mulcahey and Jeffrey Sallade.

I want to thank everyone who took part as this was a completely problem free event. It was a pleasure to be the TD. Thanks, also, to those who stayed; late after all the games were finished and helped put away tables and chairs and cleanup the site.

Special thanks to Rod Avery who acted as room monitor in the U1000 section.

Art Byers

08-27-12 Match-ups rated

With my apologies for the delay, the Santa Fe Rooks match-ups tournament has finally been rated.
Jim Johnston

08-18-12 Re: Thank You to NM Chess (Ben)

Sorry to hear you’re departing NM, Chad.

Your contributions to New Mexico chess have been invaluable. Although I wouldn’t claim to know everything you’ve done for the chess community – the portion which I am aware of is sufficient for the highest praise. You will be missed.

But you are right, chess was here before you and chess will go on without you. And in a matter of months it will also go on without me. I’m leaving as well; back to the Midwest. Though I wouldn’t consider myself a great participant (I’ve attended only about half of NM’s larger scale events in the last 5 years) I had fun for the time I was here.

I even encountered some tough competition here in the desert. I had left Dayton, OH – a place where I could regularly play experts and masters – 7 years ago with a low 2000’s rating and gaping holes in my understanding. But the solitude of the barren lands allowed me time to focus on my chess studies like never before. And I learned how to make those few tournaments really count. 7 years later, the rating moved up a bit (2215), and my chess career is off and running. And the 2012 SRFO propelled me to a successful summer – the most successful of my life to date. I guess what I’m trying to say is: I couldn’t have done it without you. Thanks again Chad.

Remember, I could have stayed in Dayton; by now I’d probably have been rated around 2350 and a good 3 classes weaker…

I’d say we’ve done good labor under the hot sun, in the dry wasteland.

Ben Coraretti

08-15-12 Re: Thank You to NM Chess (Daniel)

Good Luck Chad,

Even though I had not participated in a while, Wired Kings was great.

Daniel Tellez

08-15-12 Re: Thank You to NM Chess (Victor)

Thank you Chad,

You will certainly be missed. I remember when you and Scott were two of my instructors at Hummingbird chess camp. I still remember the lecture you gave that compared squeezing the all of the juice out of an orange to getting the most out of a positional advantage. Best of luck to you.

Victor Lopez

08-14-12 Thank You to NM Chess

Dear New Mexico Chess Community,

Thank you for participating in Wired Kings Chess Club tournaments over the past 4 years and making New Mexico a great and unique community. Sadly, as of this Friday 8/17, I will not be a member of this community as I will be moving to Denver both for employment advancement and for other personal reasons.

I hope that with my departure, New Mexico chess will continue to strive and I can return to New Mexico one day to see it even stronger in scope and depth of tournaments and competitors. Chess has been around much longer than any one person and it will continue to flourish as long as those who enjoy it will celebrate it.

On a more practical note, if anyone would like to use resources that I have had in the past to carry the torch of the Southern Rocky FIDE Open or other events, please let me know and I can provide whatever resources/wisdom to help.

Aside from the conclusion of the Albuquerque Chess League, the Wired Kings will no longer be hosting tournaments. Most likely, I will not be checking the inbox beyond August. If you would like to reach me after August, please contact me using my personal email address.

Once again, I am deeply saddened by having to leave this community as I do believe that together we have built great things. Thank you all for enriching my life.

Most Sincerely,
Chad Schneider

08-06-12 SF Rooks Match-ups on August 18th

Hello all,
This SFR tournament will be at the Southside library in Santa Fe. Play 2 games(W and B) against the same opponent. 1st round at 10:30, 2nd round planned for 2:30. G/90 + 5 secs delay. $10 to enter. 2 points wins $20, 1.5 points wins $10.

This should prove to be a good warm-up for the NM Open in September and is probably the last chance to gain points in the 2012 NM Cup competition. If you wish to enter send your check for $10 to Santa Fe Rooks or you could just email me to say you are coming and then arrive on time to pay at the door. Hope to see you all there.

Jim Johnston

07-25-12 Chess community in NM

New Mexico, I hope you realize how lucky you are to have such a diverse and interesting group of chess players. Big personalities, big devotion to the immortal game, and general goodwill and humor among organizers and players. It was a treat for me to participate in Advanced summer camp run so well by Victor Lopez and Learners Chess Academy. The kids were terrific, the parents grateful and supportive, and my co-teachers were a blast to work with. Doug Thigpen and Steve Perea have huge hearts for young people and a lifelong love of chess that is truly contagious.

We had a really fun week together, with serious reflection every day on how we could improve the learning outcomes from the student’s and parent’s point of view. As a lifelong educator, I know that attitude is the most important ingredient for making the very finest teachers and the most successful students. Chess in NM seems to be in great shape and good hands, with so many talented and caring organizers, TDs and teachers. I wish I could have given my opponents a little better resistance at the Coronado Club and the Foothills Quads, but hey… they were playing beautiful chess and I was enjoying a truly memorable New Mexico vacation.

It’s all good. As we said at the camp, I might have lost a few chess games and rating points, but meanwhile I sure had fun winning at the game of life!

Damian Nash

07-16-12 Rooks Blitz and quick….the winners

Thanks to all 16 players who took part in our combined tourneys. Congrats to Jeremiah Miller and Chad Schneider who tied for 1st place and to Colin Redman who won the rating prize. ALL the scores are now posted at santaferooks.blogspot.com Not to be missed is our next event….. match – ups on the 18th August.

Jim Johnston

07-16-12 Corrupted games in 2012 Desert Knight PGN file

I went through the PGN file for the 2012 Desert Knight and found some problems with the database.

Several of the games got corrupted after a certain point. Here’s a list of what I found so far:

Game # Problem point
17, 61 After 15…Nh4
13, 57 Magazine: missing moves w7 to w9
11 After w16 (game 49 is a fixed version)
8 After w18
12 After w13
9 After w12
10 After w9
77 After w13

-Ryan McCracken

07-11-12 Re: Adding Chad’s article to the DK

Thanks for your suggestions. I appologize for the delay in getting the games posted. I have recovered them and added links from the DK page to download them (Chessbase format and PGN format). I’ve also added them to the zip file for the June Edition of the DK.
Jeff Sallade

07-08-12 SFR Blitz and Quick chess tourneys on July 14th

Hello all,
Next Saturday July 14th, SF rooks are holding their combined Blitz and G/15 tourneys at the southside library in Santa Fe. You can play a 4 double round blitz tourney in the a.m. and then a 5 round G/15 in the afternoon. Cash prizes to those with the best combined score from both.
To enter send your check for $10 to SFRooks or send me an email to say you will be coming and then pay at the door.
This event is not USCF rated….play even if your membership has lapsed. On Wednesday I will post directions to the library and a list of players on santaferooks.blogspot.com
See you all there,
Jim Johnston

07-07-12 Congratulations

Congratulations are in order for Chad Schneider and Ben Coraretti.

Thanks go out to Chad for keeping master chess alive in a hostile environment. We all owe you a debt of gratitude.

Welcome, Ben, to the fraternity. You’ll find the biggest change is one of attitude. As I always tell my students when they make master, today you stop playing theory and start making theory. Good luck. Play well.


NM Robert Haines

07-06-12 Adding Chad’s article to the DK

Since the Desert Knight is now online-only, I think this link should be added to the page:


This is Chad’s article on the Southern Rocky FIDE Open 2012.

I have also read that there were technical problems posting the *.PGN files to the website. I’d be happy to assist if needed.

-Ryan McCracken
Former DK Editor

07-06-12 Desert Knight Magazine – some explanations

The question has been raised as to why there were no games or article in Desert Knight magazine about the 2012 Southern Rocky FIDE Open.

The reason is that neither the organizer of the FIDE Open or any player submitted even a single game score (annotated or just the moves) or any article for publication to DK. The duplicate copies from that tournament are the property of the Organizer, not NMCO, Not to submit games or an article to DK was the choice of the organizer and well within his rights.

Also, no game scores or article has thus far been received from the team match with Colorado. they will be welcome if any player chooses to send them in either via the internet or to the NMCO P O Box 4215 zip 87196, ABQ.

Nor was any material from the Spring tournaments of the Santa Fe Rooks sent to DK. If submitted,articles and games would have been published in the June 2012 issue.

As reported in the past, the volunteer who offered to replace Jim Johnston as editor and turn out Desert Knightall by himself, was sent all the duplicate games scores from the November 2011 New Mexico Open. He had problems of a personal sort. As a result, he did not respond to Emails and phone calls and so there was no DK issue published in January of this year. Despite requests, the November duplicate game scores were never returned.

I took on the task of turning out DK. Fortunately, Three good players volunteered to annotate games and the June issue was completed in a new format – only as a pdf file. In 2011 NMCO was about $900 in the red. Much of that loss was from printing hard copy of the magazine. The new format was approved by the NMCO board and was not solely my decision.

Because of three weeks of early voting, the 2012 New Mexico Open and state chess championship could not be held in October or early November at Meadowlark. It is now scheduled for September 22/23. That left only 2 months to turn out the September issue of DK and it is in work – right now only with games from the June Albuquerque/Rio Rancho Open. There is still time to send in your annotated games, no matter what your rating.

All those involved with the current DK, as in the past, are unpaid volunteers and we will welcome any help you my offer.

Art Byers, Editor/Publisher of Desert Knight and NMCO Executive Board member

07-06-12 Re: Award Luncheon

Thank you, Chad.

After a long and tiring event (The Philly Int.) your encouraging words have helped re-energize me for another tough 9-rounder (The World Open). As it happened, you were right and I did cross 2200 by a few points. Naturally, I experienced some excitement over making the milestone, but I have much higher goals (I wasn’t too far from an IM norm). So it’s back to work for me. I’m off to a good start and have 7 rounds to go.

I’m very happy that you won organizer of the year. I hope that you can continue to win not one, not two, not three…
Just kidding; I’m from Cleveland so I have to take swipes at Lebron whenever I can get ’em.

Thanks again,
Ben Coraretti

07-04-12 Award Luncheon

Thanks to everyone for attending our tournaments and helping me win the organizer of year award. There will be an award luncheon at the U.S. Open. Guests can pay $40, let me know if you are interested in attending.

Also congrats to Ben Coraretti who had a fantastic Philadelphia Open. The MSA isn’t posted yet, but I think it will make him master. He scored 5/9 vs. several players including multiple IMs, FMs, and NMs. Nice work Ben!

Chad Schneider

06-30-12 Mike Sturm, Passing

Michael Sturm, 58, a New Mexico resident and chess player, passed away in Albuquerque on June 24, 2012. Mike was a frequent tournament player in the 1970s and 1980s. He was a founding member of the Eldorado High School chess team that won a remarkable four consecutive NM state team championships over 1971-74. You can share any memories of Mike at www.imorial.com/mikesturm.
Dean Brunton

06-29-12 Customized Quads


I am looking for three people who are rated from 1700-1900 to play in the quads tournament on July 21st. My rating is 1789. If interested contact me at jbryant@cybermesa.com.

Matthew Bryant

06-28-12 Re: New to NM Chess

Re: New to NM Chess –
On the left side of this page click on USCF Ratings. A page will pop up where you can enter your name. Transmit and if you have an ID # it will show. Looks like there is only one Griff with a USCF ID and that Griff is from California.

Eddie Sedillo

06-28-12 Colorado Chess Players and the Fires

Over the years, we’ve enjoyed having a group of Colorado chess players participate in our tournaments. The two states have also participated in a team challenge match the last few years. A group of those folks were in town to participate in the Albuquerque Open this week. A good number live in the Colorado Springs area, which is currently threatened by forest fire. I received an update from Dean Brown and Kathy Schneider, who are safe, but there are lots of worries about others property and their forests.

Dean Brunton



A couple of the chess players have (had?) homes in the direct line of the fire. Glenn Miller’s home is located in the hard hit Mountain Shadow’s area and is not encouraged by the words he has heard about his neighborhood. Tom Mullikin’s home is just outside of the active line and the firefighters are very active between his place and the fire. Many other players are watching the progression of the fire lines very carefully. I’m fine.

Dean Brown

06-28-12 Expert Damian Nash to visit Albuquerque for Chess Camp and Simuls

Hello New Mexico Chess Community,

I am very excited to announce that long time gifted educator, chess expert, and two-time Utah State Chess Champion, Damian Nash will be coaching with us for our Advanced Chess Camp from July 16-20th.

A Player Coach Steve Perea and Exert Coach Doug Thigpen will be working with the kids that week too. We do still have space. Register here http://fs6.formsite.com/LearnersChess/form11/index.html?1329239662063

Sunday Night Chess Simultaneous Exhibition, July 15th

Also, Coach Nash will be conducting a brief lecture about openings and then giving simul match on Sunday July 15th in the evening before that week’s camp against all comers (any age) (max, 25=20 participants). The cost is $10 to participate, $7.50 for students who have attended or will attend a camp this summer, and $5 for students who will be in the following week’s advanced camp.
When: Sunday July 15th, 5pm
Where: UNM School of Law (regular camp location for this summer, follow the green signs)
Bring your own chess board or we’ll have them provided.

–>If your kids and/or yourselves want to come out to that simul and match chess wits with Coach Nash, sign up by emailing Pam at pam.learnerschess@gmail.com so she can put you on the list (give her your name, and the name of the participants that you intend on registering). After signing up please send a check to 2108 Silver Ave. SE. Abq, 87106. You can also show up on that day with cash. Since the number of participants is limited, please give us advanced notice if you plan to attend.


I imagine Coach Nash will be attending the Frontier Chess club on that Wednesday evening.

Hope you all are having a nice summer and congrats to Tony Schroeder on his ABQ Open victory!


Victor Lopez
Executive Director
Learners Chess Academy

06-28-12 Organizer of the Year

Congratulations to Chad Schneider for winning the 2012 USCF Chess Organizer of the Year. Job well done! Now everyone has to go to Vancouver, Washington to the US Open to help him accept his award.

Bob Hampton

06-28-12 No 2012 Southern Rocky FIDE & US G/15 championship coverage in Desert Knight?

Why is there no mention of the 2012 Southern Rocky FIDE Open or the US Game/15 championship in the current issue of the Desert Knight? Even a reprint of Chad’s article for Chess Life Online would have been preferable to a complete omission.

In related news, Chad Schneider has been awarded the 2012 Organizer of the Year award from USCF. Chad will be honored at the 2012 US Open’s annual awards luncheon. Congratulations Chad!

Scott Kerns

06-27-12 SF Rooks Quick Chess on July 14th

Hello all,
On July 14th our next event will happen at the South Side library in Santa Fe. We will have a 4 double round Blitz swiss tourney in the morning. This will use the updated USCF Blitz rules. In the afternoon we will hold a separate 5 round swiss tourney at G/15 + 3 secs delay. Cash prizes will go to the best combined scores from both events. NOT rated. You can play in this tournament even if your USCF membership has lapsed, AND you will not lose any rating points. I hope there will be 2 sections Our flyer is attached to the info at upcoming events on nmchess.org. To enter send me a check for $10 or send me an email to sign up, and pay at the door at 10:00 on the day.
Jim Johnston

06-27-12 New to NM Chess

Hello my name is Griff I played chess in HS and wanted to get back into it. I was trying to reactive my USCF but to no avail. I have no way of getting my former id number from my coach who set it up. Any ideas?

06-21-12 Preparing for Budapest

Hello everyone!

I plan on taking a teaching job in Budapest, and I need to sell many of my chess books, dvds, etc. I will be at the Rio Rancho/Albuquerque Open this weekend if you would like to see the items.
I also need someone to take over being the contact person for the Westside Chess Club. Please let me know if you are interested!!

You can contact me at: QueenHJM@aol.com

I will miss the NM chess playing community!

Holly McRoberts

06-03-12 RE: Did we win???

Since it is impossible to win a team match by a half-point (sorry Jim!) I will go with one point. 🙂

Congratulations, team NM!

-Ryan McCracken

05-23-12 Unofficial report for the Rocky Mountain Team Chess Challenge 2012

The RMTCC match took place in Fountain, CO (just S of Colorado Springs) on 5/19/2012. I took some photos,here

Paul Covington and the CO State Chess Association were excellent hosts.

The final NM team was:

Lior Lapid
Bailey Corry
Chad Schneider
Matthew Bryant
Larry Kemp
Tim Tran
Josiah Ortega

Playing against the CO team:

Brian Wall
Katherine Wise
Alexander Yu
James Powers
Justin Alter
Peter Swan
Kathy Schneider

It was a suspenseful match, and the final results can be found here: USCF Cross Table

The team result is an exercise left for the reader. (Hint: Look at photo #5). I’m sure Chad Schneider will provide an exciting, blow-by-blow report later.

Hy Tran

05-23-12 Did we win???

The way I am reading the cross table, New Mexico defeated Colorado on Saturday by a margin of half a point. If so this was the first ever NM victory….Colorado beat us convincingly in the previous 2 annual matches. Well done New Mexico. Congrats to all.

Jim Johnston

05-13-12 Santa Fe Rooks Octos winners

The May 12th Octos has now been rated. Congrats to the three section winners, Wayne Hatcher, Gabriel Maestas and Elizabeth Cooper.

Jim Johnston

05-02-12 Santa Fe Rooks tourney on May 12th

Hello all,
We kick off our new season of library tournaments on May 12th at the La Farge library in Santa Fe. Rounds are at 10:15, 1:15 and 3:30. Sections have 8 players – first in each section wins $40 and 2nd $20. Only $10 to enter.
Check out santaferooks.blogspot.com for info on all the SFR tournaments for the rest of 2012 and (soon) a player list for this one,

Jim Johnston

04-30-12 RMTCC – Need a D and E player

Hi all,

The RMTCC is May 19th, 2012 in Manitou Springs and our team still needs a D and E player to represent the state on 6th and 7th boards. If you are interested, let me know. Here is our current team:

1st Lior Lapid
2nd Tim Martinson
3rd Andrew Flores
4th Matthew Bryant
5th Larry Kemp
6th TBD
7th TBD

The Colorado Team is as follows:

1st Brian Wall
2nd Jason Loving
3rd Alexander C Yut
4th James Powers
5th Justin Alter
6th Peter Swan
7th Kathy Schneider

The site is:

The Salvation Army
901 N. Santa Fe
Fountain, CO 80817

North on Interstate 25 to exit 128, go to the right, drive into Fountain, as you go through Fountain the Salvation Army building will be on your left.

Santa Fe is also called 85/87.

It will be 2 games, 1 white and 1 black (G/90+30s)

If you are interested in attending, contact me @ WiredKingscc@gmail.com

It was really quite a lot of fun the last couple of years with great team spirit and enthusiasm. Hopefully this year will top the past 2 and result in a victory for our state!

Best Regards,
Chad Schneider

04-25-12 June issue of Desert Knight is in Work

If you have an interesting game from the 4/21 Pir Maleki, please send it to: Art Byers, DK Editor (artjbyers@gmail.com), either as a pgn file or a .cbv chess base file. ALSO!! We will be starting a new feature “The End Game Corner” and are looking for instructive end games by New Mexico Players.

Art Byers

04-16-12 Match Play

Hello all,

I would like to improve my chess game and therefore am seeking some competition in the form of informal games or match. My current rating is 1275 and would be amiable to competition around 1200 thru 1400; therefore, if a person(s) would be interested in discussing theory and pushing pawns, please contact me at:DLubinchess@yahoo.com

Thanks, Don Lubin

04-13-12 SF Rooks tournament on May 12th

Hello all,
Santa Fe Rooks will start off its new season with Octos at the La Farge library in Santa Fe on May 12th. Entrants will be divided into groups of 8 based on ratings, and each group will play a 3 round Swiss tournament among themselves. Rounds at 10:15, 1:15 and 3:30. G/60 + 5 secs delay. 1st in each section wins $40 2nd wins $20. To enter send your check for $10 to Santa Fe Rooks or you could email me that you will be coming and then pay your entry outside the library on the day. Download the flyer for all of this year’s tourneys at nmchess.org.
Hope to see you all there,
Jim Johnston

03-31-12 Rated Match Challenge

Hello everyone!

I am looking to play matches with players rated 1600-2000. My rating is approximately 1675. If anyone is interested, please e-mail Holly at QueenHJM@aol.com

Thank you!

03-19-12 Class Championships

The Class has now been rated. Thanks to all 28 players who came and congratulations to the following champs:
Expert Carlos Santillan
Class A Albert Zuo
Class B Matthew Bryant
Class C Julian Trujillo
Class D Jerry Nabb
E and below Alfredo Vigil

Great job all,
Jim Johnston

03-05-12 Class Championships on March 17th and 18th

Hello all,
Don’t miss the NM class tournament which will be held at the Destiny Allison fine arts space at La Tienda in Eldorado, near Santa Fe. It’s been a while since a tournament happened at a mall, but this will perhaps be the first NM tournament to take place in an art gallery! We will play 5 rounds of G/90, rounds on Saturday at 10, 1:45 and 5 and on Sunday at 10 and 1:45. Play in sections based on each rating class.( M/X, A, B, C, D and E and below). 1st in each class wins $150 based on 10 entries. To enter send your check for $25 to Santa Fe Rooks, 84 Moya Road, Santa Fe NM 87508 You have about a week and a half to get your entries in. Here is the Flyer.
Hope to see you there,
Jim Johnston

03-01-12 Celebrating the 2012 Southern Rocky FIDE Open and the hosting of the US G/15 Championship

I want to openly congratulate organizer Chad Schneider, the Wired Kings Chess Club, and directors Damian Nash and Kevin Kerns for another outstanding success with the 2012 Southern Rocky FIDE Open and hosting the US G/15 Championship! It was truly a great contribution to chess in New Mexico and the entire southwest region.

We all should be grateful for the hard work Chad and all of the above staff have put into organizing and conducting such a significant event. Chad, I think you broke your attendance record from last year, great job! I hope you can continue to organize this event and other future events. I am issuing a challenge to all local chess players – including our non-playing resident masters – to support Chad and his organization, to promote and organize great chess tournaments.

I want to also recognize the New Mexico chess masters who have participated and supported this tournament: Lior Lapid (last year’s winner with a perfect score 5-0!) and Steve Sandager. The resident masters who have not participated, you have missed another golden opportunity to support the local chess community and play some of the best titled players, GMs and IMs, in the United States. Also, in my humble opinion, it is a responsibility of all chess masters to support chess and to pass on their chess skills to the next generation.

Thanks again Chad for all you did, and I wish you the very best in your future endeavors.

Ron Coraretti

02-28-12 Found after the SRFO: A chess clock

In “cleanup” after the SRFO was over, a chess clock was found. If you believe it might be yours, send me an email with the brand, type, and description of the clock so it can be returned to the rightful owner.

Art Byers

02-14-12 GM Yermolinsky SRFO Lecture Topic Announced

The GM Yermolinsky topic for his lecture at the Southern Rocky FIDE Open has been released.

GM Yermolinsky will be lecturing on the recently concluded Tata Steel International [super tournament] in Wijk aan Zee. He will show few highlights I will talk about this tournament as a traditional event and will also discuss his memories about playing there in the 1990’s when he faced the worlds strongest GMs each time, including:

Current world champion – GM Annand
Former world champion – GM Kasparov
Former world champion – GM Kramnik
Former world champion – GM Topolav
GM Ivanchuk
GM Svidler
GM Sokolov
GM Onischuk
GM Van Wely
GM Timman
GM Korchnoi
GM Short
GM Illescas-Cordoba
GM Salov

GM Yermolinsky was a commentator/analyst for the Internet Chess Club which attracted 10s of thousands of viewers.


02-11-12 GM Khachiyan announces his lecture topic for the Southern Rocky

GM Khachiyan has announced his lecture topic area for his group lecture at the Southern Rocky Open on 2/23/12. He will be thoroughly analyzing/discussing his recent exciting game which won game of the year for the United State Chess League. The exciting game with the judging comments can be found here:http://usclnews.blogspot.com/2012/01/game-of-year-1st-place.html

From this game, he will discuss his opening preparation which resulted from other games played in this similar line and his thought processes throughout the game. GM Khachiyan is an elite chess lecturer who teaches camps in California and Arizona each year. In August, he will be one of three featured teachers at a camp in California alongside World Champion GM Vishy Annand. If you are interested in this lecture, more information and registration can be found at www.SouthernRockyOpen.com.

GM Khachiyan will also be giving two private lessons while he is in town. If you are interested in scheduling private lessons with GM Khachiyan, contact me at wiredkingsCC@gmail.com

Hope to see you at the Southern Rocky!


02-11-12 Local chess sets

I am wondering where a good place in the Albuquerque area is to get a standard competition chess set is? I have found plenty on the internet but would like to stay local. Any information would be great.

Thanks for your help,


01-30-12 Class Championships on March 17th and 18th

Hello all,
You may have noticed that we are taking a break from monthly tournaments in Santa Fe libraries. These will return starting in May. Meanwhile SF Rooks are hosting the NM Class Championships in March. We have a new venue for this! We will be playing in the mall at La Tienda in Eldorado, 8 miles from Santa Fe. There are 5 rounds of G/90 + 5 secs delay, players are grouped in sections based on chess rating classes. The leading scorer in each class will win $150 based on 10 entries per class. Rounds will be at 10, 1:45 and 5 on Saturday and at 10 and 1:45 on Sunday. Entry $25. Flyer and entry form are at nmchess.org. btw my email has changed….if you wish to contact me I am now at jdjohnston100@gmail.com
Jim Johnston

01-26-12 SRFO Lectures

This was from a participant from the 2011 Southern Rocky FIDE Open:

“I would like to place a plea for players to come to the GM lectures – maybe through the forum – but also, I think if there was some newspaper exposure there would be a good response from those in the public that are not tournament chess players that would be curious enough to come listen to both GM’s. This happened when John Donaldson came several years ago – there were articles in the “Alibi” and ABQ newspapers that brought maybe half of the people I had never before seen in the chess scene. They are truly incredible speakers – especially Yermo – as I am quite inspired every time I listen to his “Game of the Day” and “Every Russian Schoolboy Knows” lectures on ICC. Yermo has sooo much wisdom and knowledge and easy to understand that I think if the general public could be informed that all 25 slots would be taken. And, with Levon Aronian on such a tear at Wijk aan Zee this moment it would be very good to advertise Khachian as his former coach. I just thank that a lot of players are missing out. I went to the breakfast at last years SRFO and enjoyed Kachian’s talk. He was very open to questions which I thought very good. There are kids in the area that parents would pay for this. ”

I really concur, GM Yermolinsky’s lectures are very hot items on ICC so much that he has become their #1 viewed lecturer. The fact that we have him to speak personally to us in New Mexico is quite a treat! In addition, GM Khachiyan’s former student, GM Levon Aronion, is +5 at Wijk Aan Zee which is one of the strongest fields all year. Here are the standings through 10 rounds:

1. Aronian, L. 7 1/2
2. Ivanchuk, V. 6 1/2
3. Carlsen, M.
Radjabov, T.
5. Caruana, F.
Nakamura, H.
5 1/2
7. Kamsky, G.
Van Wely, L.
9. Karjakin, S. 4 1/2
10. Gashimov, V.
Gelfand, B.
Giri, A.
Topalov, V.
14. Navara, D. 2 1/2

Hope to see everyone at the lectures! – Chad.

01-26-12 2011 Southern Rocky FIDE Open Article gets accolades

The story I wrote for Chess Life Online about the Southern Rocky last year was voted as the #7 story of the year for all CLO submissions! Thanks everyone for providing such great material to write about.


Story with ranking here!
Even better is that I’ve been asked to do another article on the 2012 version of the Southern Rocky, especially since we’re hosting it with a National Championship event!

01-23-12 Re: survived

Thanks Mark, but despite the strong finish I definitely didn’t cruise to that result. It was a bumpy ride to say the least. Several games I was outright losing at some point — particularly against Jeff, Matt, and Silas — and in a few other games I was fortunate to get more than a draw. I’m happy Ben is carrying the torch for Las Cruces chess, he’s a dangerous opponent for anyone with his creative and aggressive style of play. Our game was another one that could have easily gone his way had he not been in time trouble. It’s wonderful that we have so many talented young players in New Mexico, and the phenomenal success of the UNM chess team is a testament to that as well. Good luck to everyone playing in the Southern Rocky FIDE Open 2, it promises to be an exciting event. Meier who? Yermo who? Come on, let’s teach them not to underestimate New Mexican chess 🙂


01-20-12 Silas, Doug and Dante get national exposure

Check out the video spotlight feature at chesscafe.com for the news item on the UNM team’s success at the panams tournament. Jim Johnston

01-20-12 Congrats

Congratulations to the UNM Chess Club’s team for their performance at the 2011 Pan American Intercollegiate Team Championship!

Just read about this in an article (which included a nice video clip) in Chess Cafe’s Newsletter… well done!
Dr J(Dr Jeffrey Neil Burch)

01-07-12 Southern Rocky Deadline Approaches

Hi all,
I just wanted to remind everyone that the first early entry deadline is approaching – January 23rd! Entry can be made online at www.SouthernRockyOpen.com

After each deadline, the entries are $10 and $20 more expensive.

In addition, the hotel deadline to receive the best rate has passed. They have extended this deadline by 10 days; meaning, there are a few days left to book your room!

If you need any assistance, feel free to contact me.

Best Regards,
Chad Schneider

01-07-12 Hotel Deadline SRFO

Hello chess friends who live outside of Albuquerque,

I’m not sure if you noticed, but deadline for the hotel rate for the Southern Rocky Rate has passed. They have agreed to extend the deadline for a few days. Obviously you can stay other places, but the rate for the preferred site is $71 at our rate and will go back up to $149 soon.

Here is the link to register:


or you can find it on the website @ www.SouthernRockyOpen.com

Best Regards,
Chad Schneider

01-07-12 I survived the Albuquerque FIDE Invitational

Dominating and doominating a strong New Mexico field, Lior Lapid cruised to a 7-1 first place finish. Demonstrating strong technique and applying persistence Lior was able to consistently bring home the point. Zach Stuart was the only player able to slow Lior’s march through a tough field. Zach was able to bring Lior down by a knight sac and attacking onslaught. Regardless of the tricks tried against him, whether in openings or endgames, Lior was convincingly able to outplay his opponents. A quite impressive performance. Zach Stuart starting on a high note was in turn slowed down by the ever dangerous Jeff Serna. With a gusto reminiscent of Tal, Jeff seeks to execute his opponents with strong and forceful moves. He also had a great game against Lior but stumbled in the endgame. His explosive play allowed him to finish 5-3 and tie with Ben Coraretti for second place. Ben Coraretti always plays interesting chess. His famous quote is, “I played it in an internet game….” Somewhere there must be a 20,000 game database of his. He also started strong but late losses to Lapid and Serna let the field narrow. The unfortunate players of the tournament were Silas Perry and Chad Schneider. Playing strong chess, they were hindered by the relatively fast time control and large number of games played in a short time. Many a half-point slipped through these Botnivik-like clones before the end of the tournament. Matt Grinberg played solid chess accumulating a bagful of draws. His tough play blunted Stuart’s attempt to minority attack him and exhausted Stuart and many others. Typical was Young-Grinberg in the final round, an opposite colored bishop endgame literally fought to the last pawn. Steve Young fought valiantly but was unfortunate in catching his opponents at their peak. The event was quite hard but a good time was had by all, especially when the tournament ended. Again, congratulations to Lior Lapid, Jeff Serna and Ben Coraretti the cream of New Mexico chess.

Mark Schwarman

01-02-12 UNM Chess Team at 2011 Pan-American Intercollegiate

The University of New Mexico chess team of Silas Perry, Doug Thigpen, Lara Armas and Dante Archuleta, finished tied for 10th place in the 2011 Pan-American intercollegiate team championships. The tournament was held in Dallas, December 27-30. UNM captured the Class A team prize.

The tournament was remarkably strong. Four teams entered with average ratings above 2500. Congratulations to the UNM Team.

The UNM Chess Club meets in the UNM Student Union Building on Tuesday evenings during the Fall and Spring semesters. Contact Dante Archuleta at 934-3931 or dantearc@unm.edu.