Best of CLO '12 #1- Shahade at US Chess School by Kostya Kavutskiy
February 8, 2013
Shahade Rises to Occasion at 19th USCS by Kostya Kavutskiy is the #1 article in Best of CLO 2012. Judges felt Kostya's writing transported them to the exclusive camp for America's top juniors. The US Chess School is a program founded by IM Greg Shahade-- the USCS runs three yearly sessions and rotates around major American cities. This particular session was held at the Saint Louis Chess Club. 

Matan Prilletensky contributed a recent piece on the USCS session in New York. Look for Kostya's piece on the San Francisco session later this month. 

Kostya is a regular contributor to Chess Life Online. He writes weekly US Chess League wrap-ups during the season. He also placed #3 in Best of CLO 2011 for his piece on "Breaking 2366." Kavutskiy currently attends Lindenwood University. You can follow him on twitter at and find more about his coaching services on 

The Judges Sound Off
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I had the feeling while reading the story that I was right there with Kavutskiy as he described the camp experience and shared some of the instruction that took place.   The examples from the various lectures were very informative.  I found the positions challenging.  I admit, that I didn’t spend a whole lot of time trying to solve the study problems.  I went fairly quickly to the hidden solution.  His explanation of the winning moves was instructive and even for a B player like me, understandable.  

I loved how much detail he gave about the various lectures Greg gave.  I’m too old and not talented enough to attend a US Chess School session.  However Kavutskiy’s article gave me a taste of what the students experienced.  It also gave me a greater appreciation for the hard work these young players put into improving their game.--Polly Wright  

US Chess School articles have always scored well in this contest.  Perhaps the audience (and judges) appreciated the many thoughtful examples. Others preferred the brief yet still insightful interviews, and hoped to elucidate a profile of the quintessential chess prodigy.  This report covered topics often overlooked while studying chess: overconfidence, time management, learning from mistakes and the benefits of a broad opening knowledge.  ----Michael Aigner 

This had fantastic content, and was very instructive. The pictures, diagrams/positions, bios of the participants were all fabulous.--GM Ben Finegold  

Thought this was an excellent peek inside of the US Chess School. Really detailed article, with great examples, nice diagrams. Could have used a few more photos perhaps, but really well done. Interesting tidbits, like about Van Wely getting deported.--Tim Brennan  

Best of CLO 2012 Countdown
#1-Shahade Rises to Occasion at 19th USCS by Kostya Kavutskiy
#2-Justin Sarkar on a Golden Win by IM Justin Sarkar (Read Judging article
#3-   The US Chess Scoop with Phiona Mutesi by the US Chess Scoop (Read the judging article) 
#4-  Greg on Chess: Time Controls in the US by IM Greg Shahade (Read the judging article)
#5- Caruana Dominating Grand Slam Final at Halftime by GM Ian Rogers (Read the judging article
#6-Skywalk to Chess: The National High School Champs by Melinda J. Matthews(Read the judging article)
#7- London Chess Classic: Mate in 196 by Daniel Parmet (Read the judging article ) 
#8- "Nakamura Defeats Fischer’s Record in Istanbul" by FM Mike Klein (Read the judging article)
#9- Sam Loyd’s Organ Pipes and Benko’s 45th Anniversary by Dr. Steven Dowd (Read the judging article here.
#10- Greg on Chess: Opening Books by IM Greg Shahade (Read the judging article here)