2019 Winter Quick Championship Report

On Wednesday, March 13, 2019, the RVCC held its Winter Quick Championship. Six players competed in a 5-round G/15 event at RVCC headquarters, Raleigh Court Public Library.

Ben Dubuque won clear 1st place with a 4.0 score. Drew Gripp got 2nd with 3.5 points. Isaac Spence came in 3rd place with 3 points. Eduardo Z., a visitor from Brazil, was in 4th place with 2.5 points.

Isaac Spence vs. Ben Dubuque: In a Leningrad Dutch, the game quickly reached an unbalanced position, with White having queenside space and a Pawn to Black's superior kingside space. Black (Dubuque) sacrificed a Pawn for some initiative and the material became extremely unbalanced with White (Spence) having 2 Rooks, 2 Pawns, and a Knight vs. Black's Queen and 2 Knights. The ending was eventually converted into a full point by Black.

Eduardo Z. vs. Drew Gripp: In a Budapest Gambit the game remained equal and transitioned to a drawish Knight ending with Pawns on opposite wings. After missing a check late in the game, Gripp held on for a draw despite serious time pressure.

Eduardo Z. vs. Ben Dubuque: In a Grunfeld, after White's 10th move, Black played the novelty (and after admitted home prep, even if dubious) 10.... b5. The game reached a crucial position after 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nxc3 6. bxc3 Bg7 7. Be3 c5 8. Bc4 Nc6 9. Ne2 Qa5 10. Rc1. This quickly led to complications, and after a long grind and transition to a roughly equal ending, White gave up a Rook for Knight, and then blundered the game.

Ben Dubuque vs. Tien Nguyen: The game with some light analysis follows, because of the Draw between Eduardo Z. and Drew Gripp, this game would determine if first would be Gripp, Dubuque, or shared between the two.

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. f4 e6 7. g4 b5 8. g5 Nfd7 9. Be3 Bb7 10. Qf3 Nc5 11. 0-0-0 b4 12. Nd5. A bold sacrifice, though somewhat justified, as the position is difficult if other moves are played; accepting the sacrifice is terrible, as it allows White to develop his Bishop and bring his Rooks to the center advantageously. 12.... Nxe4 13. Nxe6! (A shot out of the blue, these two moves combined are often thematic sacrifices in the Najdorf, and here it works to devastating effect, opening up Black's position and anchoring the d5 Knight; and because the Knight on e4 is en prise, it isn't even a sacrifice.) 13.... fxe6 14. Qxe4 (taking the simple route to victory) 14.... Kd7?? (stouter defenses existed) 15. Nf6+ Kc8 16. Qxe6+ Kc7 17. Ne8 Kc6 18. Bg2 Kb5 19. Bxb7 Be7 20. Qd5 Ka4 21. b3 Ka3 22. Kb1 1-0.

Ben Dubuque vs. Drew Gripp: Drew managed to win a piece in a complex position in the early middle game of a Philidor Defense. He then ground out an ending for the only defeat of the eventual tournament winner. Classic technique from a versatile player.

Other notable games included a game between Isaac Spence and Drew Gripp where Spence managed a win in a messy position that transitioned to an ending.

Club President Mike Huff and Ben Dubuque co-directed this event, with Ben helping out with pairings, playing, and providing the game scores and analysis here. Ben also graciously “spotted” the Brazilian player Eduardo Z. $5 to help cover his entry fee. Mike stepped aside to let Tien play, to avoid pairings with byes. Cooperation and good sportsmanship just naturally happen at your local chess club!

As always, the RVCC appreciates the Raleigh Court Public Library, for hosting our weekly club meetings and speed tournaments.

Thematic Tournament Report -- The Philidor Defense

On Wednesday, February 13, 2019, the RVCC held a Philidor Defense rapid tournament. Eight players competed in a 4-round G/15 event at RVCC headquarters, Raleigh Court Public Library.

Drew Gripp won clear 1st place with a perfect 4.0 score. Isaac Spence and Benjamin Dubuque split 2nd and 3rd place with 3 points each. Mike Huff and William Villarreal split 4th and 5th place with 2 points.

Ben travelled almost 45 miles from Radford to direct and play in this tournament, which ran very smoothly, as usual. Thank you, Ben!

As always, the RVCC appreciates the Raleigh Court Public Library, for hosting our weekly club meetings and speed tournaments.

(Submitted by Mike Huff)


Report on the Annual Fund-raiser of the Roanoke Valley Chess Club

On Wednesday evening, Nov.28, the R.V.C.C. had its annual fund-raiser at the club HQ in the Raleigh Court Branch Library. It consisted of pizza, soft drinks and tea for refreshments. National Master Russell Potter gave a game-improvement lecture lasting a little over an hour, followed by a Beat The Master simultaneous exhibition. As usual, as the RVCC is a non-profit, 501 (c3) organization, no members or officers received any payment for their organizing and running of this event.

The evening started at 6:00 pm and lasted approx. 3.5 hours. The game-improvement lecture was on Rook & Pawn endings. Particular emphasis was given to the most commonly-occurring types of these endings in over the board, practical play.

Approx. 16 people participated in the program with lecture and 12 of the attendees tried their luck against Mr. Potter in the simultaneous exhibition part of the program. The Master’s score was 8 wins , 1 draw and 3 losses. This was an approx. 70% score for the Master.

Winners were Gary Myers, Ben Dubuque, and Isaac Spence. The sole tie went to Andrew Gripp. All of these players were awarded medals for their achievements. Several ribbons were also awarded to the 3 players who were the in the “Toughest To Beat” category.

The event was directed by RVCC President Mike Huff, who was assisted by Mr. Potter and Club treasurer Ray Megginson.

The chess club meets every Wednesday night from 6:00 pm until 9:30 pm at the Raleigh Court Branch Public Library, in the Community Room in back of the building. The library is located at 2112 Grandin Rd. SW in Roanoke, Va. It is located directly in front of Patrick Henry High School.

We want to thank the Library staff with their valuable help rendered in the setting up of the overhead projector and equipment.

Submitted by the RVCC Board of Directors


Thematic Tournament Report-- The Halloween Gambit

On Wednesday, October 31, 2018, the RVCC held a Halloween Gambit rapid tournament. Eight players competed in a 4-round G/10 event at RVCC headquarters, Raleigh Court Public Library.

Drew Gripp won clear 1st place with a perfect 4.0 score. Christian Dotson was 2nd with a 3.0 score. Ben Dubuque came in at 3rd place with 2.5. Isaac Spence rounded out the top 4 with a solid 2.0 score.

Ben travelled almost 45 miles from Radford to direct and play in this tournament, which ran very smoothly. Ben also brought apple cider, candy, and Doritos from Food Lion. The library staff also gave us some delicious chicken pot pies and other food left over from feeding the high school kids that afternoon. Thank you, Lindy and Audrey!

As always, the RVCC appreciates the Raleigh Court Public Library, for hosting our weekly club meetings and speed tournaments.

(Submitted by Mike Huff)



On the evening of Wednesday, September 5, 2018, the Roanoke Valley Chess Club held its annual re-organizational business meeting. The meeting was convened by President Mike Huff at Chess Club headquarters: Raleigh Court Public Library, 2112 Grandin Road, SW. Attendees enjoyed pizza and soft drinks from Allsports Cafe, delivered by Mike Huff.

Those present included President Mike Huff, Treasurer Ray Megginson, and a number of general members.

  1. General Membership Meeting.

    1. President's Report for the FY 2017-18.
      Traditionally, the President's Report reviews activities of the past year, and largely coincides with a summary of events. For the complete list of these past events, see the RVCC PAST EVENTS section of our web page. A brief summary of each event was given by the club officers present who organized or directed them. All present agreed that it has been a very busy and satisfying club year! We all felt that our activities in general were well worth the time and effort.

    2. Treasurer's Report.
      The Treasurer's Report, presented by Ray Megginson, discussed the profit-loss aspect of last year’s events.

    3. Web Page.
      Our current Web Master is Mr. Martin Cooperson. The club is very pleased with the continuous excellence, creativity, and promptness of his work. We are very grateful for Martin's help!

    4. IRS Reminder.
      The RVCC is a tax-exempt, charitable organization with designated I.R.S. 501 (c3) status. This means that individuals and organizations can donate monies and items of value to the Club, and have such donations written off as tax deductions.

      Accordingly, all members are enthusiastically encouraged to solicit donations for the Club!

    5. Other Old Business.
      The club membership discussed Ben Dubuque’s motion for thematic rapid rated tournaments, to be organized by Nalin Jha. Everyone approved of this proposal, and the motion carried.

    6. Election of Officers. Mike Huff was re-elected as President of the RVCC.
      Ray Megginson was re-elected as Treasurer.
      Ben Dubuque was elected as Tournament Liaison.

    7. New Business.

    8. Dues. Membership dues were then collected for FY 2018-19.

    9. Adjournment. The general membership meeting adjourned at approximately 8:00 p.m.

  2. Board of Directors Meeting.

    The Board of Directors convened at approx. 8:00 p.m. on August 29, 2018, and elected the following members to the following positions on the Board of Directors:

    1. Election of Board Members.
      1. EVEN YEAR 'A' SPOT: 2018-2020: Rusty Potter.
      2. EVEN YEAR 'B' SPOT: 2018-2020: Ray Megginson.
      3. ODD YEAR 'A' SPOT: 2017-2019: vacant.
      4. ODD YEAR 'B' SPOT: 2017-2019: Mike Huff.

      Things to know about the Board:

      1. In order to serve on the Board of Directors of the RVCC, a member must have 5 consecutive, dues-paid years of membership in the RVCC.

      2. Josh Lilly resigned from the Board in 2015, leaving his odd-year “A” spot vacant.

      3. As club Treasurer, Ray Megginson automatically remains a member of the Board of Directors, with full voting rights on the board, as long as he holds the Treasurer's position.

      4. Mike Huff was not up for election for the current 2017-19 “B” spot.

    2. Activities Calendar. The Board of Directors met and drew up a tentative tournament schedule and Calendar of Events for the upcoming club year. This schedule will include both our USCF-rated tournaments, our popular casual chess events, as well as our community outreach events. Once all the details have been finalized for our Grand Prix and other events, they will be posted on our Web page.

    3. Adjournment. The meeting of the Board of Directors was then adjourned at approx. 9:00 p.m.

      (Report submitted by Mike Huff.)