|Russians Never Retreat from Georgia|
|By Frank Johnson|
|February 21, 2014|
The 2014 U.S. Amateur Team Championship South was held in Norcross, Georgia this year, the first time the USAT South was held in the state. It was well received by those who attended. Atlanta and a lot of the South suffered from a wave of snow and ice storms leading up to the event. Several teams from the Carolinas were just unable to make it past Team Mother Nature!
The big winner was Russians Never Retreat, named after an expression from a well-known GM who refused to move his pieces backwards. They bested 33 teams over the President’s Day weekend.
Russians Never Retreat finished with a score of 4.5 out of 5 and tied with Gator Chess Our Pieces Block Each Other. Their team was led by Daniel Gurevich and included Richard Francisco, Michael Corallo and Elena Gratskaya. Gator Chess was led by Toby Boas who also won the top Board Prize. The other members were Eric Heerschap, Alexander Malekan and Miguel Ararat. 3rd Place was Pawn Stars who finished with a strong 4 out of 5 just beat the Johnscreek Jaguars on tie break. The Pawn Star members included Juan Jos Oviedo, Robert Nolan, Aviva Smith and Robert Woodruff.
USCF Director of Publications Dan Lucas also participated, and he explained why he returned in this particular event after a break from rated tournament chess: "Finding out that the USAT South had moved from its recent Florida home of many years to Norcross, Georgia, a mere 20 minutes from my house, felt like the goddess Caissa herself beckoning me to get back in the game. I was not disappointed. I had fun catching up with old chess friends and playing on a team sponsored by the Marietta chess-teaching company Kid Chess. I gave a master a run for his money as I took him down to the wire in our game before I tipped my king and played two other strong games (and one forgettable one) to pick up a few rating points. In short, the South was the fun chess atmosphere I had always heard it was."
Team: Gator Chess Our Pieces Block Each Other
Team: Pawn Stars
Team: Russians Never Retreat
Top board prizes are a well-earned honor at every team.
Board 1 Boas, Toby, Gator Chess: Our Pieces Block Block Each Other 2220 5.0
Board 2 Francisco, Richard, Russian Never Retreat 2318 5.0
Board 3 Corallo, Michael P, Russian Never Retreat 2229 4.0
Board 4 Belegradek, Ilyusha, Walton Wizards 1612 4.0
U2000 Johnscreek Jaguars (Sanjay Ghatti, Kapish Potula, Raghurama Bukkarayasamudram, Saithanusri Avirneni, Sudhakar Avirneni)
U1800 Walton Wizards (Nathan Wu, Amaan Pirani, Nagaraj Bhagwat, Illyusha Belegradek, and Saad Khan)
U1600 M.A.C.K. Game on Point (Kaita Saito, Charles Curry, Amruthansh Sriperumbudur, Margo Helmke)
U1400 Keep Calm and Castle (Ben Silva, Roderick Gorby, David Frank, Benjamin Chen)
U1100 Crabapple Colts (Arul Selvakumar, Gokul Premkumar, Aryan Dhingra, Srikar Doddi)
U800 Fighting Eagles (Davis Elliot Lee, Aditya Sriram, Jonas Soh, Millind Mukkamala)
Top Senior Team
Gators Final Four ( Miles Ardaman, John Nardandrea, Lawrence Storch, David Haimes)
Best Team Name (by Vote)
(Sagan Hartley, Quentin Mot, Stephen Eisenhauer, Zachary Justice, Daniel Justice)
Top Female Team
The Queens of Chess (Samhitha Dasari, Shiraja Abayanathan, Zoe Justice, Srihitha Dasari, Aafreen Anjum)
Organizer and Tournament Directors
(Thad Rogers, Joseph Couvillion, Kevin Hyde, Frank Johnson)
Find more details and photos at http://americanchesspromotions.com/.