12-31-13 Kensek Chess Problems

The latest issue of the ChessCafe.com newsletter includes 3 problems by Albuquerque’s Ron Kensek. They are cyclotron problems (you rotate the positions of four or five pieces, depending on the problem, so that Black stands checkmated). I’m still working on these – they’re tough!

See it at http://www.chesscafe.com/puzzling/puzzling55.htm

Ron observed that trying to solve these can drive you crazy. You have been warned.

*Dr J*

12-23-13 Kids Chess Tourneys

I really don’t think the plans for the Team Tournaments for Elementary and Mid School teams in NM should be cancelled. Since this is not a currently ongoing event, there is no entity with which to compete!!


12-23-13 Chess Lessons from an Expert and Utah State Champion

My name is Harold and I am in Albuquerque for the next week or two. I am rated 2126 and I was the Utah State Champion in 2012. I am available to offer private lessons, which can just be playing chess and analyzing games, or you can bring some games and I’ll be glad to analyze them for you and help you improve your play.

I’ll be charging $20 per hour. I am staying near UNM and can meet at Winning Coffee Co. or the Frontier.

Please email me at harold.stevens64@gmail.com.

Also, I am open to possibly playing some rated matches.

Thank you and Merry Christmas,


12-22-13 Jesse Kraai’s simul at La Tienda

31 players faced G M Kraai in Eldorado on December 21st. They all got a copy of “Lisa” After 4 hours of play Jesse had 27 wins, 3 draws and 1 loss. First to finish was Dalton Ross. Back in junior high he played board 1and Kraai was on board 2! In this game Dalton got an edge and a draw was agreed after 15 moves. Next Sheikh, a student at St.John’s college, upset the G M! He opened the g file, attacked the castled W king and check mated Jesse on move 23. Soon after this Stefen Sloane, another former team mate of Jesse, agreed to a draw when Kraai offered it after making a dubious move. All the others had to work for some time more. NMSU student Ian Scott went a pawn up and kept it, thus making the 3rd draw.
Congrats to all the above, well played everybody. Here are some pictures of the event.

Jim Johnston

12-20-13 Game with commentary from GM Kraai Simul

Happy Holidays.

I just played my old friend Jesse Kraai in a simul game last night (12-19-13) and thought I’d sumbit a PGN of the game (what I could reconstruct) with a few comments for your enjoyment.

Jesse was impressive of course but several New Mexicans including Don Mulcahy, Chris De La Cruz and some of the younger players gave GM Kraai really tough battles.

As for our game…I don’t want to spoil a good, if brutal, story!

Bill Reynolds

12-16-13 Chess in the news

Check out this coming Wednesday’s Santa Fe Reporter for an article about G M Jesse Kraai’s simul and book reading at La Tienda, Eldorado at 2 p m on Saturday 21st December. If you miss the article then let me tell you that we still have plenty of room for players to take part in the simul.

Jim Johnston

12-15-13 SFR Blitz and Quick -results

Congrats to Ryan McCracken who won this event by a street! He finished with 12.5 out of 13. In 2nd place Robert Hampton scored 7 winning the rating prize. Rooks will not have a tournament in January – we will see you all at the Memorial tourney in Rio Rancho. Our next event will be a quad, probably on February 22nd.

Jim Johnston

12-12-13 Another Reply to Kids Chess Reponse

My kids have greatly benefited from private lessons with Coach Lior Lapid, Coach Steve Perea and Coach Doug Thigpen. They also have loved chess camps and after school clubs with Victor Lopez and Learners Chess. We were very sad to lose Coach Lior, although I’m glad to hear he is thriving in Colorado, and I am sad we are losing Coach Doug, who is moving on to pursue new adventures. I agree that the last thing we want is to have fewer chess coaches, chess camps and tournaments in New Mexico. There is room for everybody! I view it like AYSO versus club soccer. Both organizations serve a valuable purpose in the community. Sure, some kids may not join AYSO because they are in club soccer, and vice versa, but having different options helps address the needs of kids at all different levels of interest, time and talent. Let’s all try to work together to bring chess to as many students as possible, while also making sure we have high quality coaches to work with kids who want more intensive instruction from top players. Thank you to all in the chess community for your hard work! I greatly appreciate your time, effort, and dedication to helping kids become better chess players and better people.

Paige Melendres

12-12-13 Kids Chess Reply

Anytime you discuss positive extracurricular activities such as kids chess it’s a slippery slope. This is due to fact “why wouldn’t you want kids to have as many avenues for learning and playing chess?” But this does not sound like the case. It appears someone was hired to teach chess for an established group or organization and signed an agreement. If this is the case you are not just contractually obligated but morally obligated to fulfill your end of a deal. A solution may to request to work through the organization you signed a contract with to create a state kids chess team.
My two cents,

12-10-13 Kids Chess Response

I read this post with interest. Given that Albuquerque has such a dearth of both highly ranked and truly qualified chess instructors at the high level (and those we’ve had always seem to be leaving), I think these kinds of contracts are a detriment to children’s chess in New Mexico. Here’s an interesting article I found that, while dealing with a different area, points out public interest problems with noncompete agreements (which it sounds like you must have signed).

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/before-you-sign-that-non-compete-agreement/ (noncompete clauses in tech area cause a “brain drain” from states that enforce them)

Cindy Stofberg (mom to a child whose coaches left the state)

12-09-13 Last call for SF Rooks blitz and quick chess on Saturday 14th

This Saturday, December 14th, at the La Farge library in Santa Fe, SFR has a blitz tournament in the a m followed by an afternoon 5 round G/15 ;d3. Unrated. You can play here even if you are not a current uscf menber. Play 13 games and you will not lose any rating points! 1st round at 10:15. To enter send your check for $10 to santa fe rooks or you could just email me to book your place and then pay at the door. Cash prizes for the best combined scores.
See you there.
Jim Johnston

12-05-13 Kids Chess

Because of a contract I entered into 23 months ago, I am concerned that, if I were to organize or conduct a chess tournament or lectures for the public schools of Albuquerque, I would expose myself to the possibility of civil litigation being lodged against me. Although I believe that I should win such a lawsuit, I could not afford to participate in such a trial. The time it would take from my workday would impair my ability to earn a living. The expense of a suitable lawyer is beyond my means.
Steve Perea

12-01-13 Seeing old friends and meeting new ones

Fellow NM chessplayers,
I’m looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones at two events where I will be reading from my chess novel, Lisa Each will be followed by a simul.
Dec. 19th in Abq at 6: Learners Chess Academy
Dec. 21st in Santa Fe at 2:45 Santa Fe Rooks
hope to see you there!

12-01-13 Santa Fe Rooks Blitz and G/15 on December 14th

Hello all,
We will be holding our last tourney or 2013 in a little under 2 weeks time. Come to the La Farge library in Santa Fe on the 14th for an unrated event. There will be 2 separate tournaments – a 4 double rounds blitz tourney in the morning then a G/15 ;d3 5 rounds in the afternoon. Cash prizes go to the players with the best combined scores. Rounds at 10:15 10:45 11:15 11:45 then G/15 rounds after lunch at 1:30 2:15 3 3:45 and 4:30. To enter send your check for $10 to Santa Fe Rooks or you could just send me an email to reserve your place and then pay at the door IF you get there before 10.

Don’t forget that SFR are also hosting a book reading of “Lisa” GM Jesse Kraai’s brand new chess novel. Jesse will read from his novel and then give a simul. This will be at La Tienda, in Eldorado, in The Performance Space on the following Saturday December 21st. The book reading starts at 2. The simul should start around 2:45 and finish at about 5. Free admission. For $15 you can play in the simul AND get a copy of “Lisa”. Please send me an email at jdjohnston100@gmail.com to save your place in the simul. Directions are at santaferooks.blogspot.com

Jim Johnston

11-16-13 State Team Championship Tournament for kids K-8

I would like to thank the entire chess community for its support in my personal chess project of running a Elementary and Middle School state team tournament. Special thanks to NMCO and Art Byers for their contributions and donations. For those who do not know, I am spear heading a state team championship tournament for kids K-8. I feel this project will help boost chess in the state and expand our community. The dates are May 2 for 6-8 and May 9 for K-5. I should be able to confirm the location within the next 4 weeks, I am open to someone that can help find a location at little to no cost. This event is not supported by the New Mexico Activities Asso., so any help in making this event go smooth would be greatly appreciated.

Steve Perea

11-16-13 RE: The Barefield-Schwarman Extra

I do believe that games with words accompanying will be available after the memorial tournament. After two games, Schwarman leads, but I learned more….;-p

11-09-13 Santa Fe Rooks match-ups tourney on November 16th

Hello all,
We will be holding a tournament in the main library in downtown Santa Fe next Saturday. Play 2 games, white and black, against the same opponent. G/90 + 5 secs delay, rounds at 10:15 and 2:15. To enter send your check for $10 to Santa Fe Rooks or you could email me to say you will be there and then pay your entry fee to me in the parking lot just before 10 a.m. Prizes: 2points wins $20, 1.5 points wins $10 Suggestions for where to park are atsantaferooks.blogspot.com where you will also be able to see a players list by Wednesday.

Jim Johnston

10-28-13 RE: The Barefield-Schwarman Extra

I don’t know if I speak for anyone else in the NM chess community, but I would like to see the move by move commentary of this match on the forum.

Robert Hampton

10-27-13 Santa Fe Action – The Winners

The SF Rooks Action tournament has now been rated. Thanks to all who came Sam Dooley won the top section while in the lower group 1st place was shared by John Letard and Edward Weagel. Rating prizes went to Victor Lopez and Willow Letard. Congrats to all! Our next event will be match – ups on the 16th November in the main library in downtown Santa Fe. Hope to see you all there.

Jim Johnston

10-25-13 John Baca

Unfortunately, our chess community has lost another great player, an amazing doctor, and an even greater man. John Baca pasted away Monday night and services will be held for him this Saturday (10/26/13) at the JCC at 10:30 a.m..

His obituary can be seen at. http://obits.abqjournal.com/obits/2013/10/23, 3rd from the top of the page.


10-21-13 The Barefield-Schwarman Extra

EXTRA, EXTRA! Will Barefield and I, Mark Schwarman, are tired of 1200 rated weaklings kicking sand in our face; hence, we are playing a training match to resharpen our many skill sets. It is not a traditional match in that the opening is agreed upon prior to the game. There are no bonus points for playing a surprise, dubious line. After the first game, results:
Opening was a King’s Indian.

Will Mark
Preperation: 1/2 1/2 Preparation was good but not great.
Execution: 1 0 Barefield chose a plan and executed it freeing his game and giving him better chances (the SOB-Son of Bobby). Schwarman made legal moves 🙁
Time management: 1/2 1/2 When one plays chess, one never has enough time (similar to…when do you have enough money?). On a side note, Will made a move and did not punch his clock. I gained 5 minutes, Will lost 5 minutes. I’ll take it.

A weekly update will be provided of the struggle. In the future, our opponents will be expected to walk the plank.

Mark S.

10-16-13 Santa Fe Rooks Action tournament on 26th October

Hello all,

We are having a 5 round action tournament on the 26th at the Southside library in Santa Fe. Play 5 games G/30 + 5 secs delay. Rounds at 10:15 11:45 2 3:15 and 4:30. If there are 18 or more entries we will have 2 sections – top half and bottom half. Cash prizes based on entries. To enter send your check for $10 to Santa Fe Rooks, or you could just send me an email to reserve your place, and then pay at the door IF you arrive on time.

Jim Johnston

10-11-13 Peter Cuneo is the 2013 Winner of the America’s Challenge Gas Balloon Race

Congratulations to Peter Cuneo and Barbara Fricke they are the unofficial race winners. Their flight of 1,427 miles (2,297km) is their second-longest gas flight and nearly beat their personal best distance of 1,454 miles. They were aloft for 60 hours, 19 minutes. The rest of the article can be viewed at:

So next time you see Pete give him a pat on the back.


10-03-13 New Mexico Chess News and Thoughts

Hello NM Chess Friends,

Many congrats to Doug Thigpen and Jason Kammerdiner on their shared state title this year! This is the third NM Championship for for Doug!

In other news, I encourage you all to participate in this year’s State Bughouse Championship at NM Chess Fest in November.

In Learners Chess Academy news, I am proud to report that we are undertaking another successful year of teaching chess in after school programs! We have over 500 students this semester at elementary schools around Albuquerque. Many of these students are new to chess and we are excited about the growth of chess among New Mexico’s youth. A handful of our students are starting to get ratings and play in rated events. We are accepting volunteers who will pass a background check to work with kids in our classes. We need help testing our students on skills like how the pieces move, the four move checkmate, the king queen checkmate and many more. If you would like to volunteer please get in touch with me at learnerschess@gmail.com.

Also, October 13th is National Chess Day and we are having a chess tournament for kids at the NM Museum of Natural History and Science. Here is ourflyer and the link to register. We are also having a bughouse tournament and adults are welcome to come play but they must have a child on their team, no all adult teams.

Have a great October everyone!


10-03-13 New Expert

Congratulations to new Candidate Master – Munir (Ramzi) Hammad!

Robert Hampton

09-26-13 NM Open Advance Registration List

Latest list s/b up on the website. I will be updating the list tomorrow (Thursday) and Friday.

Please check the “bye” list. If it is not what you ordered, please let me know ASAP


09-20-13 Richard H. Sherman

Hello All,

My name is Morgan Sherman and am the son of Richard H. Sherman who was a decades-long president of the Coronado Chess Club. With great sadness I wish to let the New Mexico chess community know that my father passed away this past Tuesday, September 17th. He died peacefully at home in Virginia with his daughter, son-in-law, and grandsons.

As many of you already know Richard was deeply passionate about chess and was for some time a fixture in New Mexico chess culture. I do not want to say too much about my father and his contributions to chess since I suspect that many of you know him in this regard better than I do. However I did play chess briefly when I was younger, occasionally at the Frontier with my father. Recently I have regained my excitement for the game but where I live in California there is nothing comparable to the “Coronado Chess Club at the Frontier on Wednesdays”. So it is with some pride to know that the success of that club is due in no small part to my father. As Chad Schneider so nicely put it a couple of years back, in comparing him to baseball’s Babe Ruth: “… the Frontier restaurant for New Mexico chess players is without doubt ‘the house that Richard built'”.

A small memorial will be held at a future date in Virginia. My sister and I would like to thank the New Mexico chess community for all the love and support shown to our father over the years.

Morgan Sherman

09-17-13 National Chess Day Celebration on Las Cruces – October 12

09-17-13 NM Open

Hi, Can you tell me how the pre-entries are going? I am still deciding whether or not to go to the Open tournament. Also, can you tell me who is directing the tournament?

Thanks, Ray

09-14-13 NMCO Annual Meeting and Executive Board Elections

The New Mexico Chess Organization Annual Meeting and Executive Board elections will be held on Sunday, September 29, at approximately 1:30 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 and/or re-appointment:

President: Oren Stevens
Treasurer: Dean Brunton
Secretary: Sam Dooley
Tournament Organizer: Larry Kemp
Webmaster: Jeff Sallade
Member at Large: David Lewis
Scholastic: Rebecca DeLand

In addition, the positions of Vice President, Desert Knight editor, and Collegiate liaison are currently open.

The Executive Board invites any individual who would like to volunteer to stand for election and/or appointment 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/appointment 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

09-10-13 Las Curces Quads #5

There were a record 24 players in six sections in the Las Cruces Quads #5 on September 7. Adding the 16 who played in the concurrent, but unrated, scholastic tournament organized and directed by Manny Castillo that makes a whopping total of 40! Bill Daly once again secured for us the beautiful Roadrunner Room in the Branigan Library in Las Cruces. Yours truly directed the tournament.

Of the 24 players 12 were new to the Las Cruces Quads – Tony Schroeder, Don Mulcahy, Jim Lannon, Greg Stricklin, Noe Andres Alba-Jimenez, Ruben Arzaga Jr, Gary Roybal, Sandra Michelle Alba-Jimenez, Eric Chacon, Ricardo Noe Alba-Jimenez, Noe Alba-Baena, and Declan Foster.

With an average rating of 1940, Quad A was the strongest yet!

Tough no holds barred play was the norm in all sections. Only four of the 36 games ended in draws. Walking around observing the games, I have never seen so many amazing positions! I said it of Las Cruces Quads #4 and I’ll say it again, “We play uncompromising chess in these parts!”

Congratulations to the winners!

Quad A: 1st – 2nd, Tony Schroeder and Don Mulcahy, 2.5, $25 each

Quad B: 1st, Jim Lannon, 2.5, $30

2nd, Cliff Nadeau, 2.0, $20

Quad C: 1st, Jake Ornelas, 3.0, $30

2nd – 3rd, Dan Burns and John Helwick 1.5, $10 each

Quad D: 1st – 2nd, Alex Ramirez and Geof Gill 2.0, $25 each

Quad E: 1st, Eric Chacon, 3.0, $30

2nd, Ruben Arzaga, 2.0, $20

Quad F: 1st, Declan Foster, 3.0, $30

2nd, Alba-Jimenez, Ricardo Noe, 2.0, $20

It is noteworthy that four of the winners were the lowest rated in their Quad – Don Mucahy in Quad A, Jake Onelas in Quad C, Eric Chacon in Quad E and Declan Foster in Quad F! Not surprisingly there were notable rating point gains.

Player Pre Rating Post Rating Gain
Don Mulcahy 1879 1940 61
Jim Lannon 1694 1753 59
Jake Ornelas 1663 1737

09-05-13 Computer Chess playing September 7 to 11 at the Guild Cinema


I’m with the Guild Cinema and we have this new indie mock-documentary that I thought may be of interest to some of your constituency. See the info below plus a link to the trailer. Take a look at that trailer & lemme know if this might be something of curious interest to some of you. Just looking for some help spreading the word. Much thanks for your time & consideration!

Computer Chess
Sep 7 to Sep 11
Saturday to Wednesday 3:00, 7:00
Dir. Andrew Bujalski – 2013 – 92m

Set over the course of a weekend tournament for chess software programmers thirty-some years ago, COMPUTER CHESS transports viewers to a nostalgic moment when the contest between technology and the human spirit seemed a little more up for grabs. We get to know the eccentric geniuses possessed of the vision to teach a metal box to defeat man, literally, at his own game, laying the groundwork for artificial intelligence as we know it and will come to know it in the future.

“…close to perfect.” – Amy Taubin, Film Comment

“An extraordinarily inventive and richly textured period piece.” – Richard Brody, The New Yorker

“… a funny, low-key look at nerd culture…” – Hugh Hart, Wired

“Computer Chess could be a new Doctor Strangelove. Hilarious and brilliant.” – Nathan Renaud, Accréds

FOUR STAR REVIEW – “(A) rather brilliantly conceived study. …About as perfect a rendering of the era as you could ask for…the acting is uniformlysuperb: every twitch, every stumble, every stutter is deployed with absolutely plausibility. Bujalski really has pulled off something extraordinary here… As an act of cultural archeology I can think of few better.” – Andrew Pulver, The Guardian

“An endearingly nutty, proudly analog tribute to the ultra-nerdy innovators of yesteryear.” – Justin Chang, Variety

“Funny and poignant, it’s also a witty satire on technology and how today’s cutting-edge will be tomorrow’s quaint kitsch.” – Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times

View a trailer

tel: (505)255-1848
fax: (505)232-9385

09-03-13 Notes on the coming New Mexico Open Chess Tournament

Notes on the coming New Mexico Open Chess Tournament.

It is just about 3 1/2 weeks until the most important New Mexico Chess tournament of 2013. It will take place on September 28 & 29th at the Meadowlark Senior Center in Rio Rancho.

In accord with USCF policy & rules, we will be using the ratings data base that was posted at the end of the third week of August. To use the ratings that will be posted at the end of the third week in September, we would have had to have it placed in the official TLA as published in Chess life and posted on the internet at the USCF web site.

Since the TLA had to be submitted last Spring and was sent in close to the deadline, unfortunately, that change was omitted.

You are reminded that entry forms both for mail-in and Pay Pal, PLUS all necessary data is on the NMCO website, nmchess.org. Also, there is a $10 late fee for on site registration – but since the U1000 section is only a single day tournament, the late fee for that section only will be $5.

Pay Pal users are reminded that if there is insufficient information on their entry – i.e. no valid way to contact the user &/or no valid up to date USCF ID, the $10 late fee will be assessed when he/she appears on site.

As usual, the highest finish by a New Mexico Resident playing in the OPEN section will be NM State Chess Champion. In case of ties, $$ is split evenly and tie-breaks used to determine who gets the Champion’s plaque.

A special reminder that the best “performance” by a woman, regardless of section (excepting the U1000) will be declared the NM State Women’s Champion. Actual award will have to await the official posting of performance ratings by the USCF after the tournament has been submitted for rating.

The tournament organizer is Larry Kemp. The tournament director will be Art Byers.

08-29-13 David Ingram

I would like to pass along the sad news that David Ingram died unexpectedly on August 26th. There is an obituary in today’s (August 29th) Albuquerque Journal. A viewing will take place on Friday evening 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. and service on Saturday morning (August 31) at 10:00am, both at French Funerals on 1111 University NE — David Ingram Obiturary.

Steve Sandager

08-19-13 SF Rooks Octos on August 31st

Hello all,
Our next event is at the southside library in Santa Fe on the 31st. Players will be grouped in 8s by rating, then each octagon plays a 3 round Swiss tournament. G/60 + 5 seconds delay. Rounds at 10:15, 1:15, 3:30. $10 to enter. 1st in each Octo wins $40, 2nd wins $20. To join us send your check for $10 to Santa Fe Rooks, or you could just email me to book your place and then pay at the door….but then be sure to arrive on time.

Jim Johnston

08-07-13 Corrections to the entry form for the New Mexico Blitz Championship

Please accept my apology for a serious error on the entry form for the NM State Blitz Championships on Saturday August 10th. It was first pointed out by Matt Grinberg of Alamagordo. At the August Board meeting, August 6th, the NMCO Board has instituted a remedy.

The following corrections apply:

First, there will be eight rounds instead of six. Next, Round times will be as follows: 9 A.M, 9:30, 10, 10:30, 11, 11:30; Lunch at Noon; Round 7 at 1 P.M., Round 8 at 2 P.M. Each round will be a double – that is players will play two games alternating piece colors. Round times are approximate.

Art Byers, TD for the NM Blitz Championships.

07-28-13 Santa Fe Open on August 3rd

Last call for entries to the SF Open this Saturday. We will play at the Southside library. 2 sections Open and U1300. 4 rounds of G/40 with a 5 second delay. Rounds at 10:15 11:45 2:15 and 4. Cash prizes based on entries. To enter send your check for $10 to Santa Fe Rooks or you could just send me an email to say you will be there and then arrive on time to pay at the door.

Jim Johnston

07-26-13 Old Issues of Chess Life Available

I have pretty nearly complete sets of Chess Life from 1987 to the present. If possible, I’d like to sell them and use the proceeds for scholastic chess. If interested, please contact me at anowak@cybermesa.com.

Andy Nowak

07-22-13 Santa Fe Open on August 3rd

Hello all,

The next Santa Fe Rooks tournament will be the Santa Fe Open at the Southside library in Santa Fe in slightly less than 2 weeks time. 2 sections – Open and U1300 – 4 rounds of G/40 with a 5 secs delay. Rounds at 10:15 11:45 2:15 and 4. $10 to enter. Cash prizes based on entries. To enter send your check for $10 to Santa Fe Rooks or you could send me an email to book your place and then pay at the door IF you arrive before 10 am.

Hope to see you all there.

Jim Johnston

07-11-13 On-line Chess Opportunity

New Mexico Chess Players (NMCP) represents the state in the US Team Chess League on chess.com. Our new season is about to start and we are seeking more players to join us in this fun on-line league. All New Mexico players are welcome. Just register on chess.com (it’s free) and then request to become a member of our group.

Bill Daly

07-04-13 The Santa Fe Open on August 3rd

I have at last booked a library for the much awaited SFR SFO. We will play 4 rounds of G/40 ;d5 at the Southside library. 2 sections Open and U1300. See the flyer on NMCO events page
I am hoping it will be well worth the wait.

Jim Johnston

06-18-13 HELP WANTED


The NMCO Executive Boards is seeking a new team to edit and publish Desert Knight. I’ve been at this for about 6 years. For the first four he had Jim Johnston as editor while he did the actual publishing. For the last two years I have done both the editing and publishing. Now, for personal reasons, I need to relinquish the job.

If you are interested in an explanation of what is involved, contact me by Email (artjbyers@gmail.com) or by phone (505-440-9754).

Art Byers

06-09-13 Interstate quads

The quads have now been rated. Congrats to winners Don Mulcahy, Holly McRoberts, Greg Stricklin, Dean Brown, Jonah Romero and Kathy Schneider. Thanks to all who played. The next SFR event will be the Santa Fe Open on July 20th.

Jim Johnston

06-07-13 Leonard Helman 1926 – 2013

Some sad news from Santa Fe. Rabbi Leonard Helman passed away on Thursday 6th June. Leonard had been battling against Parkinson’s disease for as long as I have known him. A few years ago he used to come and play blitz at Border’s. He also played in two recent class championships tourneys and most recently at the Santa Fe Rooks G/15 and blitz tournament this last February. I learned from his obituary that he was twice the state champion of Virginia. He was also a keen bridge player and enjoyed music and dancing.

Jim Johnston

06-01-13 Learners is Putting on Charity Chess Camp for the Kids of Moore, Oklahoma

Hello NM Chess Community,

I am very excited to announce a unique opportunity presented to Douglas Thigpen and myself. After the devastating tornado in Moore, Oklahoma on May 20th, we have been in touch with the Moore Public Library and they are helping us arrange a free chess camp for children who have been displaced by this tragedy. The camp will run from June 10-14th, when we do not have any scheduled camps in New Mexico.

Click here to make a donation to help Coach Victor and Coach Doug bring chess to Moore’s children.

Unfortunately, many summer programs for kids in Moore have been canceled, while the devastating realities and hard memories linger. So Coach Doug and I are heartened about the opportunity to work with these kids and provide them with a sense of normalcy while teaching them the game we all love so much!

We are giving up our week off to run this camp and help with clean up and recovery. Please, if you have a spare $10, $20, $50, or $100, consider making a tax deductible donation to send some New Mexican Chess-Love to Oklahoma! We can’t make it out therewithout your help!

Please spread the word about this effort in your social networks and ask friends to pitch in as well.

Thank you, have a great weekend.


p.s. you can also send check donations made out to Learners Chess Academy to
2108 Silver Ave. SE
Abq. NM 87106

— Victor Lopez
Executive Director
Learners Chess Academy
Learners on Facebook

05-18-13 Chess Coach Wanted


We are looking for a summer chess coach for private lessons for 2 children (13, 10). They’ve been playing for years, but not playing outside of the in-school meets lately, and now that they have time, they want to focus more on chess.

Please email us if you know anyone or are interested: at germdoc@aol.com

Thank you.

Cindy Stofberg

05-14-13 The Match between Colorado and New Mexico and the side tournament

The annual NM -Colo match is indeed going to happen at La Tienda in Eldorado on June 8th. This will be the 4th meeting in the series. Colorado won the first 2 meetings and NM won last year in Colorado Springs. The match is played over 7 boards. Each state is represented by the state champ, the scholastic champ and the class champions for classes A – E.

I am going to organize a small quad tourney to happen alongside the match. This will be 3 rounds G/60 ;d5. I am hoping that some Colorado players will come to support their team and that NM players will have the chance to face some new opponents.

On Sunday, all details will be posted on santaferooks.blogspot.com…. where you can also read directions to the venue.

Jim Johnston

05-13-13 Hexes on May 18th in Santa Fe

Last call for the Hexes tournament at the Southside library in Santa Fe next Saturday. Play 5 rounds G/30 ;d5. Players are divided into groups of 6 based on ratings then each hex plays a 5 round round robin. Winner of each Hex wins $45. Rounds at 10:15 11:45 1:45 3 and 4:15. To enter send your check for $10 to SFR or you could just send me an email to say you will be there and then pay at the door IF you arrive early.

Jim Johnston

05-11-13 New Mexico – Colorado Match Side Events?

Rumor is that the annual New Mexico – Colorado Match will be held the weekend on June 8th in El Dorado NM.

Will there be rated side events on Saturday and Sunday in which non-match players may participate?

Dean Brown

05-06-13 SF Rooks tourney on May 18th

Hello all,
Thanks to all those who turned out for the class tournament in Eldorado and congrats to the section winners. Our next event is at the Southside library in Santa Fe on May 18th. Players are divided into groups of 6 by ratings, then each hex plays a 5 round round robin. 5 rounds G/30 ;d5. Rounds at 10:15 11:30 1:45 3 and 4:15. Winner of each hex wins $45. To enter send your check for $10 to Santa Fe Rooks, or you could email me to book your place and then pay at the door, IF you arrive early.
Jim Johnston

04-12-13 Congrats to 10 NM Students who played in Super Nationals

I would like to congratulate the 10 New Mexico Students on impressive Chess play, in the Super National Chess Championship tournament in Nashville Tennessee this past weekend. An impressive number of 5,335 students attended of all ages and ratings. Highlighting Los Alamos was Donald Poston and Michael Brown of Los Alamos. 5th Grade Henry Poston playing in K thru 5th grade Championship got 4 points tying for 91st place out of 355 participants. In the K thru 12th grade U1600 Championship, Los Alamos, Michael Brown scored 3.5 points out of 7, and 5.5 points in the K thru 12th grade Blitz Championship. Highlighting, Albuquerque Play was Thomas Mathine and Jonah Romero. Thomas of Albuquerque Academy who scored 4.0 points in the K thru 9th grade Championships, received Tied for 39th place out of 145 participants. Also 4th grade Jonah Romero playing in the K thru 6th Grade Championship Blitz, tied for First in the 1000 to 1099 rating. He also tied for 14th place in the K thru 12th grade, U1200 with 5.5 points with close to 400 participants. Good Job NM, results are on the USCF Website.

04-12-13 NM Class Championship on 27th and 28th April

Hello all,
A reminder that the Class tournament is on, on the last weekend of the month in Eldorado. 5 rounds G/90 ;d5. Entry $30. Late fee after April 25th. Section winners get $100 based on 5 entries in the section. For more info, directions to the venue AND details of upcoming SFR tournaments, check outsantaferooks.blogspot.com
Jim Johnston

04-03-13 Spring Chess Time

Hello NM Chess Community,

I hope the emergence of the Spring season sees us all healthy and happy.

First of all I would like to congratulate all of the youth chess players who have participated in the K-12, K-9, and K-6 Championships. Congrats to all of the winners:

  • Rebecca Deland and Thomas Glen Mathine in the K-12
  • Donald Mars Poston and Thomas Glen Mathine in the K-9
  • Victor Popa-simil, Henry William Poston, and Aaron Scott Lawrence in the K-6.

At the K-6 championships in Albuquerque, we had 135 players participating and I am proud to say that from our program at Learners Chess Academy, we had 45 players turn out to compete. I believe youth chess is on the rise in our state and I am proud to be a part of it.

On another note, I would like to encourage participation in a chess tournament in Taos on Sunday, April 21st, the Taos Planetary. There are two sections Jupiter (open) and Mars (under 1250) in which adults may play. You can sign up for this tournament at http://nmchess.dyndns.org. There will be a lot of new youth players from Taos, Albuquerque, and around New Mexico competing. It would be great for the up and coming youth players to get to play against adults, so please do sign up if you have the day free to make a trip up to what will be a beautiful one in Taos.

Also, I am looking forward to the Class Championships coming up in April. Should be a fun one!

All the best chess friends,


03-16-13 Santa Fe Rooks match-ups on March 30th

The next SFR tournament is on Saturday 30th at the La Farge library in Santa Fe. Play 2 games (b and w) against the entrant with the rating closest to yours. G/90; d5 rounds at 10:15 and 2:15. To enter send your check for $10 to Santa Fe Rooks or send me an email to say you are coming and then pay at the door. Prizes: 2 points wins $20 1.5 wins $10 See santaferooks.blogspot.com for info on the next 6 Santa Fe Tournaments.
Jim Johnston

03-03-13 chess theory

Looking to discuss chess theory, play some games in an artistic manner,
Zen approach,
outside the box,
Don Lubin

02-25-13 SFR -The winners

20 players competed in the combined Blitz and G/15 on February 23rd. IM Justin Sarkar and SM Kostas Prentos were rated some 500 points above the rest of the field and duly finished 1st and 2nd respectively. They split their 2 blitz games but the IM won the G/15 game. Andrew Flores won the U1850 prize. His score of 10/13 was even more impressive as he only lost to the 2 top guys. The U 1300 prize winner, Eliot Ostling, has not played in NM for a few years. He scored a number of rating upsets to finish with 8/13. Congrats to the above and thanks to all who played.
Jim Johnston

02-17-13 Santa Fe Rooks tournament on Saturday 23rd

Hello all,
This Saturday we will be holding G/15 AND Blitz tournaments at the La Farge library in Santa Fe. First there is a 5 round tournament with G/15;d3, then we hold a blitz tourney with 4 double rounds. We will use the updated uscf blitz rules. The best combined scores win cash prizes. This tournament is NOT rated…..you can play even if your uscf membership has lapsed and your rating will not go down. Rounds at 10:15 11 11:45 1:15 and 2, then blitz at 3 3:30 4 and 4:30. To enter send your check for $10 to Santa Fe Rooks, or you may email to say you will be coming and then pay at the door if you arrive on time. See you there,
Jim Johnston

02-09-13 Hummingbird Chess Camp

The annual Hummingbird Chess Camp will be held June 9-16 2013 at Hummingbird Music Camp. If you know and active player between the ages of 8 to 14 with your recommendation I will award the player a $100 scholastic discount award. The $100 may be used as a deposit or at registration. We have classes for Beginners, Intermediate, and advanced players. Visit our site Hummingbirdmusiccamp.org to see the facilities. You may use Andy Novak as a reference. Past campers include Jessie Kraai our only NM Chess Grand Master. If you have a suggestion of a Chess Master who is educationally motivated in the Five contiguous states please let me know.

Additional information: Elliott255@gmail.com

02-09-13 SF Rooks tourney on February 23rd

Hello all,
Our next SFR event is a combined G/15 and Blitz tournaments at the La Farge library in Santa Fe on the 23rd. We will play 5 rounds of G/15;d3, then start a new tournament of 4 double rounds of Blitz. We will use the updated uscf rules for blitz. Those with the highest combined scores will win cash prizes. Rounds at: 10:15 11 11:45 1:30 and 2:15. Then blitz at 3 3:30 4 and 4:30. NOT rated. You can play even if your uscf membership is history….. and you are guaranteed to lose no rating points! To enter send your check for $10 to Santa Fe Rooks or you could just email me to say you will be coming and then pay at the door, IF you get there on time.
Jim Johnston

02-09-13 Coronado Club needs a new TD

Arthur Glassman can no longer be at the Frontier on Wednesday nights to run the Coronado Club. The club will continue to meet and we are in search of a new director. Anybody interested in taking over directing the club, please show up on Wednesday, February 13th to talk with the regular members. For more information about the club, you can contact Arthur Glassman at 867-6167.

01-18-13 Brooklyn Castle

Hello New Mexico Chess Community,

For those of you in Albuquerque, don’t forget to make it out to the Guild Cinema this Saturday (Jan. 19th)-Monday (Jan. 21st) at 2:30 or 4:45pm each day for a viewing of Brooklyn Castle! Brooklyn Castle tells the stories 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.

Hope to see you there!


01-15-13 SF Rooks Quad

The SFR Christmas Quads have now been rated. Thanks to all the players who turned out. Our next event will be a combined G/15 and Blitz event on February 23rd

Jim Johnston

01-10-13 January 2013 Issue of Desert Kmight Magazine is now up on this website

Look in the left hand column and mouse click on DK MAGAZINE. It consists of three files. 1. The January issue as a pdf file. 2. A pgn file of all the games in the issue and some extra raw not annotated game scores and3. a very short file named “Read This First.”.

Art Byers

01-09-13 2013 Delegate and Alternate

If anyone is planning to attend the US Open in August, and would like to participate in the USCF Annual Meeting, please let me know, as we are looking for volunteers to represent New Mexico at the meeting.

Sam Dooley

01-09-13 K12 K9 K6

For those who might not know, the TENTATIVE dates and locations for the NMSCO tourneys are as follows- K12 Feb. 16 in Santa Fe, K9 Mar. 9 in Los Alamos, and K6 Mar. 23 in Albuquerque. You may look this up yourself from the NMCO homepage by clicking SCHOLASTIC in the left menu bar (LMB), then click Upcoming Events in the LMB, then look under Feb. 3 … Los Alamos … and click on the nmk12chess.org, then about halfway down that page click on Complete 2012/2013 Scholastic Chess Schedule. The left hand column will have the info, BUT note the disclaimer at the bottom. The flyer for these events will hopefully be out shortly.

Scout Veitch

01-09-13 Rooks quad on January 12th

Last call for entries for the Santa Fe Rooks quad at the La Farge library in Santa Fe this Saturday. Play 3 rounds G/60 + 5 secs delay. Rounds at 10:15 1:15 and 3:15. To enter send your check for $10 to Santa Fe Rooks or send me an email to sign up and then pay at the door. The winner of each quad wins $30. I will post a players’ list and directions at santaferooks.blogspot.com

Jim Johnston

01-02-13 2012 New Mexico JGP Champion

Congratulations to Helen Vaughn for being the Junior Grand Prix points Champion in 2012 for the state of New Mexico.

Eddie Sedillo