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GM Perelshteyn on Rediscovering Live Speed Chess Print E-mail
By GM Eugene Perelshteyn   
January 16, 2012
It is no wonder that more and more chessplayers prefer playing chess in the comfort of their homes.  Armed with a trusted mouse, you can quickly get a challenge on Chess.com or ICC and then go over a game with Houdini, who will poke fun at your moves at lightening speed and with a cold silicon heart.  Is this the future of chess?  

What about the excitement of playing blitz with a friend and feeling over-the-board tension, exchanging witty jokes and experiencing the thrill of pieces flying while the seconds count down to zero?  Internet chess cannot fully replace the thrill of OTB chess, and that’s why chess clubs are still around and growing strong.

Recently, I decided to re-discover the art of speed chess (G/10) with real pieces, clocks, and yes – real human beings, by visiting the newest chess club in New England.  Located in Norwalk, Connecticut, Fairfield County Chess Club is not your average chess club.  As chessplayers we are used to playing in basements, churches, libraries, cafeterias and anything that is big enough to fit a few tables and chairs.  We don’t ask for much.  So, what makes this club different?

First of all, it has a two-story building all to itself.  The second floor is spacious with chess pieces neatly set up on wooden tables.  Throughout the club there are rooms with comfortable armchairs, where players can relax between games, and flat-screen TVs that are used for lectures and pairings.  It felt odd, VIP-style.  It made me recall my visit to the famous Saint Louis Chess Club.   However, I was surprised to find that Fairfield County Chess Club has limited resources.  It is completely self-sufficient thanks to the dedication and hard work of Daniel Lowinger and Melvin Patrick.  Despite the terrible recession, these passionate individuals followed their dreams to build a chess community.

While the Fairfield County Chess club is merely a year old, it already has a strong membership base.  The club is home to scholastic programs, Grand-Prix tournaments and Grandmaster lectures.  One GM lecture was conducted by none other than the legendary Yuri Averbakh, the oldest living Grandmaster!

The tournament I played in turned out to be surprisingly strong for a G/10 tourney with 6 GMs (Hess, Stripunsky, Kudrin, Rogers, Perelshteyn, Kekelidze) and 3 IMs (Sarkar, Bonin, Vioreanu).  Top seed GM Robert Hess, who is now a freshman at Yale, decided to shake off some rust, but was upset by a talented youngster Kapil Chandran.

I had a perfect score and was paired in round 4 against another surprise of the tournament, world-renowned GM and journalist Ian Rogers from Australia.  Take a look at this game how my older opponent conducts the attack with youthful vigor and a finishing coup-de-grace move!

White resigned due to 31.Qb8 Rxh2 32.Qxh2 Qd3+ 33.Kg1 Rf5–+ 0–1

I managed to come back after this round with victories over IM Justin Sarkar, and GM Mikheil Kekelidze (see below), tying for first with GM Sergey Kudrin with 5.5/7.

The club celebrates its one-year anniversary this month, and I wish it all the best in 2012!

November - Chess Life Online 2012

A Parent’s Reflections: Prelude to the K-12 Khachiyan Wins American Open The Scoop on the National Chess Congress World #1 Magnus Carlsen visits the Bay Area Urgent Info for USCF Directors & FIDE Events Results are In From Thanksgiving Weekend Philly & Seattle Fight for US Chess League Championship Women's World Champs Final: Stefanova vs. Ushenina Dancing Around Chess at the Philadelphia Art Museum Chirila Wins UTD Invitational Sevillano Wins First East Bay OpenMedals in Maribor: A Coach's Perspective Check Out the New USCFSales.com Four Medals for USA: Troff & Sevian Earn GoldWorld Women's Champs Down to Eight US Chess League Quarterfinals: Highlights on the Board Elena Donaldson Akhmilovskaya, 1957-2012Chess Federation President Meets Vladimir PoznerGM Ramirez on Maribor: Clutch Preparation Irina Krush on Winning Streak at Women's World ChampsUpdated USCF Scholastic Regulations Sevian Leads in Slovenia as Team USA Marches on Krush & Zatonskih Advance in Women's World Champs Kaidanov & Vojinovic Top King's Island Open USCF Accepting SuperNationals Bookstore Bids US Chess League: Playoff Time! USCF Invitational Requirements Updated GM Ramirez on the World Youth: Arriving in Maribor Before the Storm: NYC Rapid Chess Challenge The Post on Lessons from Brooklyn Castle World Youth Begins in Slovenia Sevillano Takes Clear First in Auburn Open USCF Dues Promo: Buy Two Years of Premium, Get Third Free Hundreds face off in Pleasanton for G/30 and G/60 ChampsBrooklyn in Da House: Ashley Plays Blitz [VIDEO] Pairings Set for Women's World Champs International Game Day at Denton Library Notice to Premium Members: November Chess Life