Past Newsletters

This is the page of past newsletters for the L.A. Chess Ladder. Take a look at what we have been up to since the creation of the ladder in 2012

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11/25/2017

Happy Thanksgiving Chess Lovers,

It’s time for another exciting L.A. Chess Ladder Newsletter. Please give a warm welcome to our newest members: Vincent Parra, Toy Villafuente, Carlos Huertas, Hipolito Gomez, Katy O’Brian, and Santy Villanueva. Good luck to them as they move up the ladder rankings.

     

 

Here is a recap of our most recent events. The Sweet Tournament took place at a brand new location: the Southern Girl Desserts Bakery in Baldwin Hills. Everyone enjoyed delicious cupcakes and Darren won the 1st place trophy. Next was the Kevin Resnick Tournament which honored one of our most active members. The event was spectacular, featuring 10 players, 4 of which made their L.A. Chess Ladder debut at this event. New members Santy Villanueva and Hipolito Gomez took home 1st and 2nd place prizes respectively.

 

Be sure to sign up for our next event: The 4th Annual L.A Chess Ladder Masters Cup and Challenger Cup. These events will finish off a wonderful year of challenge matches and tournaments. Each event will feature two divisions based on your ranking on the ladder. The results of these events will determine the new top 8 on each ladder. The tournaments will take place at Juicy Wings located at 6340 Hollywood Blvd. LA, CA 90028. The standard event will be on January 6th 2018 and the blitz event will be on January 14th 2018.Check out our tournament page for all the details and send an email to enter.

Photo of Juicy Wingz - Los Angeles, CA, United States Photo of Juicy Wingz - Los Angeles, CA, United States 

 

Player Spotlight: Santy Villanueva! The Kevin Resnick Tournament featured four brand new players. Santy made headlines that day by displaying a near perfect performance to take the 1st place prize. He now stands at #8 on the blitz ladder. Look for him to continue his strong play in future tournaments and challenge matches.

Well that’s about it for now. Your passion for chess is what makes this group so special. Please tell all your friends about the L.A. Chess Ladder so our group will continue to grow. Don’t forget to sign up for the upcoming Masters Cup/Challenger Cup on January 6th and January 14th. See you over the board!

-Darren

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9/19/2017

Hello and Good Health to all of you!

It’s time for the next exciting L.A. Chess Ladder Newsletter. Let’s start things off by welcoming our newest members: Nick Marks, Ty McClendon, Ben Langley, and Daniel Vizcarra. We look forward to seeing you at challenge matches and tournaments.

 

 

 

We’ve had some very exciting events recently. The Pawn Power Tournament, hosted by Darren Himeles at his Northridge home, resulted in a 1st place tie between Max Hersh and Erik Halseth. The Carl’s Jr Tournament in North Hollywood was a delicious event that saw Vadim Plotkin turn in a near flawless performance to claim victory.

 

Don’t miss our next big event coming up in less than 3 weeks. The L.A. Chess Ladder Sweet Tournament! It will be a G15 +5 tournament at Southern Girls Desserts in Baldwin Hills. Check out our tournament page for all the details. Send an email to enter!

 

Player Spotlight: Joel Mendoza! Joel joined us in February of this year and has become a very active member, already participating in 3 tournaments. He is a dangerous player who has earned wins against high ranked ladder players including Darren Himeles, Riccarlo Porter, and Max Hersh. He currently ranks #5 on the main ladder and #28 on the blitz ladder. Good luck to him as he continues to compete and improve.

That’s all folks! Thank you for your love of chess and continuing to support our chess community. Don’t forget to spread the word about us to your friends, family, and co-workers. We are a free organization for anyone in Los Angeles who wants to play chess. See you over the board!

-Darren

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6/11/2017

Salutations and Greeting to you all,

It’s time for another edition of the L.A. Chess Ladder Newsletter. We have a cornucopia of new friends to welcome. Let’s say hello to Chris Kahn, Alex Gura, Zayd Muhammad, Ashjae Cacho, Robert Mena, and Lev Marquis. Best of luck to them as they join our chess community.

       

Let’s recap our most recent tournaments. The Homecoming Tournament was an April event in Northridge that featured prize money. Darren Himeles took home a prize of $30 for his top performance. Then in June, the Massey Match took place at Grey Massey’s house in Sherman Oaks. This event featured a tie for 1st place between Darren Himeles and Max Hersh.

Our next event is coming up in 1 month. Prepare yourself for the L.A. Chess Ladder Pawn Power Tournament. It will be a G15 +5 tournament at Darren’s home in Northridge. Medals will be given out this time as prizes. Some of our newest members will be featured at this event. Don’t miss it. Send an email to enter!

 

Player Spotlight: Erik Halseth! Eric joined the ladder in March and has been very active in his first few months. He produced a strong performance at the Homecoming Tournament and has won his first few challenge matches as well. He currently sits at #4 on the blitz ladder and #29 on the standard ladder. Look for Erik to tear up the rankings as he continues to challenge the competition.

I invite you to explore some of the cool features on our website at lachessladder.com:

  • Send in your challenge match results and I’ll update the Standings right away.
  • Keep up with upcoming events at our Tournaments Page.
  • For a detailed discussion of how the Ladder works, click on the Ladder Rules Page.
  • Our Chess Player Directory has updated contact info on all of our members.
  • Network with our members on chess.com using our Chess.com Usernames page.
  • Check out the diversity of our members on the Chess Photo Gallery.
  • The Chess Game Viewer has ladder matches that you can play through move by move. Send in one of your ladder games to have it uploaded.
  • An archive of our Chess Newsletters is stored on the site.
  • If you are new to chess, check out our Learn to Play Chess page.
  • Chess books can be checked out from our Chess Library and Chess Lessons are available to ladder members.
  • Play through games of your favorite champions on our Grandmaster’s Page.
  • Our organization is free, but you may make contributions on our Donations Page.
  • A collection of useful Chess Web Pages is also featured on our site.

That’s the end of our newsletter. Thank you so much for sharing your love of chess with our Los Angeles Community. Be sure to sign up for the upcoming Pawn Power Tournament. See you over the board 🙂

-Darren

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3/23/2017

Hello Everyone,

Welcome to the latest edition of the L.A. Chess Ladder Newsletter. We have a quintet of new members to welcome. Let’s embrace Tyler Bourgoise, David Yu, Joel Mendoza, Erik Halseth, and Anthony Cano. Good luck to them in their challenge matches and tournament campaigns.

     

Bourgoise, Yu, Halseth, Cano

This year has already given us some exciting tournaments. The Masters Cup, hosted by Vincent Amaya in January, was an all out battle for the # 1 ranking. Ronald Turner produced a flawless performance to sweep the field and claim the top spot. In March, Grey Massey hosted the Beverly Blitz, which showcased high quality speed chess. Darren Himeles ground out several tough wins to take home 1st prize and he currently rests at #3 on the blitz ladder.

 

Coming up in April will be the L.A. Chess Ladder Homecoming Tournament, a money tournament with standard time control that will take place at the Northridge home of ladder player, Darren Himeles. Check our tournament page for all the details and send an e-mail to sign up.

 

Player Spotlight: Mark Doty Jr! Mark joined the ladder in 2015 and has been an active member ever since. He has participated in 4 tournaments, and has even brought pizza! Mark is a solid player and an all around nice guy. He currently sits at #18 on the standard ladder and #19 on the blitz ladder. Look out for Mark at our future events and send him an email if you would like to set up a challenge.

 

I invite you to explore some of the cool features on our website:

  • Send in your challenge match results and I’ll update the Standings right away.
  • Keep up with upcoming events at our Tournaments Page.
  • For a detailed discussion of how the Ladder works, click on the Ladder Rules Page.
  • Our Chess Player Directory has updated contact info on all of our members.
  • Network with our members on chess.com using our Chess.com Usernames page.
  • Check out the diversity of our members on the Chess Photo Gallery.
  • The Chess Game Viewer has ladder matches that you can play through move by move. Send in one of your ladder games to have it uploaded.
  • An archive of our Chess Newsletters is stored on the site.
  • If you are new to chess, check out our Learn to Play Chess page.
  • Chess books can be checked out from our Chess Library and Chess Lessons are available to ladder members.
  • Play through games of your favorite champions on our Grandmaster’s Page.
  • Our organization is free, but you may make contributions on our Donations Page.
  • A collection of useful Chess Web Pages is also featured on our site.

That’s about it, my friends. Good luck to all of you in your chess. Thank you for sharing your passion and enthusiasm for one of the greatest games in history. Be sure to sign up for the L.A. Chess Ladder Homecoming Tournament coming up in April. See you over the board!

-Darren

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12/29/2016

Salutations and Greetings to you all!

It’s time for our next L.A. Chess Ladder Newsletter. Let’s start by honoring our newest members. Say hello to Jamm Melchiade and Aidan Briggs. Both have competed in recent L.A. Chess Ladder Tournaments.

  Jamm Melchiade Aidan Briggs

Our last few events were a lot of fun. In December, Grey Massey hosted the Holiday Classic II which saw Darren Himeles take the 1st place prize. Earlier in October, Riccarlo Porter hosted the Downtown Classic at the Skid Row History Museum. Vincent Amaya played a perfect tournament to win the day.

Speaking of Vincent, he will be hosting our next tournament. Our Annual Masters Cup and Challenger Cup will be played at Vincent’s Hollywood home on Sunday January 29th at 2 pm. This event is open to all L.A. Chess Ladder Members. The top 8 entries will compete in the Masters Cup and the rest will play in the Challenger Cup. Check out our tournaments page for more details. Send an email right away to enter 🙂

Player Spotlight: Grey Massey! Grey has been an active member since 2013 and remains the youngest player in the top 10. He frequently crushes opponents that are twice his age. He recently placed second at the Holiday Classic II and has won several tournaments including this year’s Maximum Effort and Final Flash Tournaments. He continues to be a huge supporter of the ladder, frequently hosting events at his home. Don’t blink or he will checkmate you in 30 seconds.

Grey Massey

Thank for reading our newsletter. Be apart of our chess community if you aren’t a member already. Be sure to join us in Hollywood for our Masters Cup and Challenger Cup. See you over the board.

Darren

 

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9/13/2016

Hello Everyone!

Welcome to another edition of the L.A. Chess Ladder Newsletter. As we always do, let’s start by honoring our newest members. Say hello to Tony Condo, Aven Son, Max Hersh, and Christopher Han. Good luck to you as you ascend the ranks of chess greatness! (Tony, Max, and Christopher pictured below)

Tony Condo Max Hersh Chris Han

We’ve had some great events recently. Darren Himeles hosted the Deep Blue Tournament at his home in Culver City. Later, the Burbank Blitz was contested at the home of ladder player, Gerald Ruiz. Gerald is in strong form as of late, winning 1st prize at the Burbank Blitz and sharing 1st place at the Deep Blue Tournament.

Our next tournament is coming in 1 month and brings us to Downtown for the first time. The L.A. Chess Ladder Downtown Classic will be played at the Skid Row History Museum in Downtown L.A., hosted by ladder player Riccarlo Porter. The museum is operated by the Los Angeles Poverty Department (LAPD), a performing arts group that draws attention to and honors those who suffer from poverty and homelessness. The address is 440 S. Broadway, 2nd Floor Los Angeles, CA 90013. The event will take place on Sunday, October 16th 2016 at 11 am.

Image result for skid row museum

L.A. Chess Ladder

Player Spotlight: Vincent Amaya! Vincent joined the ladder in 2013 and has been one of our most active members. He regularly competes in challenge matches and attends most of our tournaments. A skilled player, he ranks inside the top 10 on both our standard and blitz ladders. Vincent also created and operates the L.A. Chess Ladder Facebook page. We are very glad to have Vincent in our chess community.

Good journey to all of you. Keep practicing and send an email to sign up for the L.A. Chess Ladder Downtown Classic. See you over the board!

Darren

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5/20/2016

Greetings!

It’s time for our next L.A. Chess Ladder Newsletter. As always, lets start by welcoming our newest member: Christopher Sanders! Welcome, Christopher, to our fun chess world!

Christopher Sanders

Let’s recap our most recent tournaments. The Royal Green Tournament featured big bucks and 12 hungry combatants. Ladder #1, Vadim Plotkin, continued his dominat play by taking home the top money prize. A few weeks later, we had the Maximum Effort Tournament which saw Grey Massey win his second blitz tournament in a row! Tournaments are a great way to bring us all together.

Our next tournament is coming in 1 month. The L.A. Chess Ladder Deep Blue Tournament will be a standard tournament at the Sherman Oaks home of Grey Massey (address to be given out later). This event will feature a time control of G15 plus 5 seconds as well as trophies, food, and awesome fun! It will take place on Sunday, June 12th at 1 pm. Visit our tournament page for more info on this upcoming event and send an e-mail to enter.

Player Spotlight: Ronald Turner! Ronald joined the ladder in January and has already carved out a spot for himself among our top ranks. After some strong tournament performances, he sits at #4 on the main ladder and #6 on the blitz ladder. Good luck to him in his future matches.

Ronald Turner

The L.A. Chess Ladder is as great as ever! And it’s because of all of you! See you over the board!!

Darren

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3/28/2016

Greetings My Lords and Ladies!

It’s time for the next L.A. Chess Ladder Newsletter. As always, lets start by welcoming our newest members: Ronald Turner, Marina Khachatryan, Nishit Patel, Gavin Faught, and Zackary Davis. We shall meet them on the field of honor and embrace them into our chess community!

Ronald Turner Nishit Patel Gavin Faught Zackary Davis

We’ve had some really fun tournaments recently. The Immortal Game brought 10 players to Grey Massey’s house where former #1 Uday Kanike brought his A-game to take home first prize. Next was the Final Flash Tournament at Darren Himeles’s new home. This blitz tournament featured 10 players and saw young Grey Massey display some strong and consistent play to win the event. Tournaments are an exciting part of the L.A. Chess Ladder and we will continue to feature them on a monthly basis.

  

Our next tournament is coming in 1 month. The L.A. Chess Ladder Royal Green Tournament will be a standard tournament at the Sherman Oaks home of Grey Massey (address to be given out later). This event will feature a time control of G15 plus 5 seconds as well as a $10 dollar entry fee and prize money. It will take place on Sunday, April 24th at 1 pm. Visit our tournament page for more info on this upcoming event and send an e-mail to enter.

L.A. Chess Ladder

Player Spotlight: Nishit Patel! One of our newest members, Nishit is hungry for competition and eager to see his game improve. He made his debut at the Final Flash Tournament and finished with a solid 3/6 points. He now sits at #13 on the Blitz ladder. Look out for this fresh face at future L.A. Chess Ladder Events.

Nishit Patel

I invite you to explore some of the cool features on our website:

  • Send in your challenge match results and I’ll update the Standings right away.
  • Keep up with past and upcoming events at our Tournaments Page.
  • For a detailed discussion of how the Ladder works, click on the Ladder Rules Page.
  • Our Chess Player Directory has updated contact info on all of our members.
  • Network with our members with Chess.com Usernames.
  • Check out our diversity of members on the Chess Photo Gallery.
  • The Chess Game Viewer has ladder matches that you can play through move by move. Send in one of your ladder games to have it uploaded.
  • Past Chess Newsletters are stored on the site.
  • If you are new to chess, check out our Learn to Play Chess page.
  • Chess books can be checked out from our Library and Chess Lessons are available to ladder members.
  • Play through games of your favorite champion on our Grandmaster’s Page.
  • Our organization is free, but you may make contributions on our Donations Page.
  • A collection of useful Chess Web Pages is also featured on our site.

Keep up the strong play everyone! Thanks to all our players who make the ladder such a great chess community! Be sure to sign up for our next event. As always, see you over the board!!

Darren

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1/11/2016

Happy New Year, Pawn Pushers!

I know it’s been a few months, but it’s time for another jam-packed L.A. Chess Ladder Newsletter. As always, lets start by welcoming our newest members: Mark Doty Jr., Chris Burgess, and David Morris. Good luck to you all on a fantastic new chess journey.

Mark Doty Jr. Chriss Burgess David Morris

The end of the year brought with it some awesome tournaments. The Vanessa Himeles Classic honored one of our long-time most supportive members. Vanessa was able to stalemate a tough opponent, and Vadim Plotkin dominated the proceedings to maintain his hold on the #1 spot on the standard ladder. The Holiday Classic was a blitz tournament which featured more players, some remarkable match-ups, and it was the second event in a row to be at Vanessa’s Beverly Hills home. This time, it was Eric Sakurai who claimed victory.

  

Our next tournament is coming in February. The L.A. Chess Ladder Immortal Game will be a standard tournament at the Sherman Oaks home of Grey Massey on Sunday, Feb 21st at 3 pm. Visit our tournament page for more info on this upcoming event and send an e-mail to enter.

L.A. Chess Ladder

Player Spotlight: Eric Sakurai! A new edition to the ladder, Eric has posted terrific results in his first two tournaments. He finished second in the Vanessa Himeles Classic and then took home the first place prize at the Holiday classic. These results put Eric at #4 on the main ladder and # 1 on the blitz ladder. Expect him to remain a strong force on the ladder throughout 2016.

Eric Sakurai

I’ll be doing a bit of spring cleaning on our website this week. A huge shout out to all our players for making this organization as great as it is. Good luck in your challenges, bring your best to our tournaments, and always have a great time with chess, the immortal game. I hope many of you can come out to our next tournament on February 21st. See you over the board!

Darren

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10/3/2015

Hey Chess Lovers,

It’s time for the next earth-shattering L.A. Chess Ladder Newsletter. So strap yourselves in and let’s jump to it!

We’ve had a couple of great events recently. Grey Massey hosted the Checkmate Tournament at his Sherman Oaks home. This standard tournament featured 9 high level players competing for trophies and ladder glory. Gerald Ruiz dominated the field, finishing with a perfect score and taking home the 1st place trophy. Last week, Gerald hosted the Bonus Check Tournament at his Burbank home. The blitz tournament had 6 players competing in a rapid fire duel for the ultimate cash prize. Amazingly, we had a three way tie for 1st place between Darren Himeles, Jose Estrada, and Gerald Ruiz. Check out our tournament page for the complete results from these events. Thank you to our hosts and a big shout out to all the players for making these events possible.

Our next exciting tournament is coming in November. The L.A. Chess Ladder Vanessa Himeles Classic will honor one our all-time greatest members. It will take place on Saturday, November 14th at 2 pm at Vanessa’s Beverly Hills home. Visit our tournament page for more info on this upcoming event and send us an e-mail to enter.

L.A. Chess Ladder

Player Spotlight: Gerald Ruiz! Somebody stop this guy! Gerald has played consistently awesome since joining the ladder in May. He placed 1st at our last two tournaments and he currently ranks inside the top 3 on both the standard ladder and the blitz ladder. He has also hosted two tournaments at his home. Let’s all watch out for this deadly player and thank him for his support of our chess community.

Gerald Luis

Our organization would be nothing without you, the players. Keep playing challenges, keep coming out for our tournaments, and keep telling all your friends about us. We are always looking for new members. Good health to all of you and enjoy the cooler weather. See you over the board!

Darren

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8/6/2015

Hello Everyone,

It’s time for another exciting L.A. Chess Ladder Newsletter. Let’s start by introducing our newest members: the tripple E’s. Say hello to Eric Sakurai, Erick Cazares, and Elmarie Hyman. Good Journey to you as you climb the ranks of our chess community.

Eric Sakurai Erick Cazares Elmarie Hyman

Our L.A. Chess Ladder Double Header was a great success. It started out with a standard tournament at Gerald’s house followed by a blitz tournament at the SLAM education center the following week. Many titanic battles were fought and we all had a lot of fun. Check out our tournament page for the complete results.

CHess2 ChessChess Chess Chess1

Standing atop the standard ladder are #1 Vadim Plotkin, #2 John Hale, and #3 Vincent Amaya. Reigning over the blitz ladder are #1 Darren Himeles, #2 Jose Estrada, and #3 Gerald Ruiz. Good luck to all of you in your future chess challenge matches and tournaments.

Our next exciting event is coming up. Send an e-mail to enter the L.A. Chess Ladder Checkmate Tournament, which will be played at the Sherman Oaks home of ladder player, Grey Massey. This standard tournament will take place on Saturday August 29th at noon. Come out for chess, food, trophies, and great people.

L.A. Chess Ladder

Player Spotlight: Maria Perez! Maria just keeps getting better. She turned in great performances at the Double Header and took home prizes at both events. She currently ranks inside the top 5 in both the standard ladder and blitz ladder. Expect her to continue to be a force to be reckoned with on the L.A. Chess Ladder.

L.A. Chess Ladder

Here are a few additional reminders for all you chess enthusiasts:

  • If you would like to be added to the blitz ladder, send me an e-mail. Playing a blitz challenge or competing in a blitz tournament will automaticaly add you to the blitz ladder.
  • Check the player directory. Let me know if any of your contact info needs to be updated.
  • Wanna change your picture? Send me a replacement and I’ll upload it right away.
  • Send us your chess.com user name so that ladder members can network with each other on chess.com.
  • Looking for chess lessons? We offer lessons for L.A. Chess Ladder members. All proceeds go towards the ladder.
  • The L.A. Chess Ladder is non-profit and is open to Los Angeles Chess Players of all ages and playing levels. If you would like to make a donation, please visit our donation page or make a donation in person at one of our events.

That’s all folks. Stay cool with one of the greatest games in history. I hope many of you can attend our next tournament on August 29th. As always, see you over the board!

-Darren

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6/30/2015

Salutations and Greetings to you all!

Summer fever has struck the L.A. Chess Ladder. We have FIVE new members this month: Shane Schwartz, Paula Edelman, Sanat Singhal, Marko Jankovic, and John Koprowski. This is a ladder record! Welcome to all of you and thank you for joining our chess community.

Shane Schwartz L.A. Ches Ladder Sanat Singhal Marko Jankovic John Koprowski

The Perfect Gambit Tournament was a lot of fun. We had eight spirited players competing for blitz glory. This modest sized tournament was not without its fireworks. Several thrilling games came down to the wire, with time control often deciding the victor. When the smoke cleared, we had a three way tie for first place! Congratulations to everyone on a hard fought tournament. A special thank you to Jose Estrada for donating one of the prizes. Check out our Tournaments Page for the full results.

Gambit gambit (3)Gambit (4) Perfect Gambit

Are you enjoying the L.A. Chess Ladder tournaments? Can’t get enough? Well, I’ve got a treat for you! For the first time ever, the L.A. Chess Ladder will feature back to back tournaments. The Double Header will start with a standard tournament on Sunday, July 26th at 2 pm at the Burbank home of Gerald Ruiz. The following week, Jose Estrada will host a blitz tournament on Sunday, August 2nd at 2 pm at the SLAM Education Center in Sherman Oaks. These tournaments are open to everyone! Send an e-mail to enter one or BOTH! Check out our tournament page for more details.

Gerald Ruiz L.A. Chess Ladder

Player Spotlight: Max Kutner! When he’s not jamming on the guitar with his multiple bands, Max has been a consistent competitor on the L.A. Chess Ladder. At last week’s Perfect Gambit Tournament, Max took home the prize for Best Outside the Top 5 and currently sits at #10 on the Main Ladder and #11 on the Blitz Ladder. Watch out for this tricky player in future events.

L.A. Chess Ladder

Are you ready for a really exciting summer? I know I am. Good luck to you all! See you over the board.

-Darren

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5/20/2015

S’up Chess Players!

Welcome to another edition of the L.A. Chess Ladder Newsletter. Let’s take this moment to welcome our newest member, Gerald Ruiz. Gerald made his debut at the recent En Garde Tournament and won 2nd place. Good Luck to him in his future matches.

Gerald Luis

Speaking of which, the En Garde Tournament was a terrific success. We had 12 players, lots of food, and many memorable games. A special thanks to Vincent Amaya for hosting this event. Check out our tournaments page for the full results. Stay tuned for more monthly L.A. Chess Ladder tournaments.

My IMG_9215IMG_9213 IMG_118920150510_184333(1)

Speaking of which, our next exciting tournament is coming up. The L.A. Chess Ladder Perfect Gambit Blitz Tournament is coming up on Sunday, June 21st at 1 pm at the Burbank home of ladder player, Darren Himeles (address to be given out later). This will be a free tournament with a time control of G5 + 5 seconds. Check out the tournaments page for all the details. Send an e-mail to sign up.

L.A. Chess Ladder Chess Photo Gallery

Player Spotlight: Vadim Plotkin! Vadim made a huge splash at our En Garde Tournament. He finished with a score of 4.5/5 points, highlighted by an epic comeback victory over former #1 John Hale. Vadim’s performance catapults him to #1 on the ladder. Who will be the first to challenge Vadim for ladder supremacy?

L.A. Chess Ladder

The ladder is doing really well, everyone! Thank you for making this such a great organization by playing challenge matches, attending tournaments, making donations, and having a great time. I’m looking forward to an exciting chess-filled summer. As always, see you over the board.

-Darren

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3/25/2015

Happy Spring Everyone,

It’s time for another L.A. Chess Ladder Newsletter. Let’s welcome our newest members: Vadim Plotkin, Luigi De Bernardis, and Darryl Forshpan. Good luck to them as they compete in challenge matches and tournaments.

The Quick Money Tournament was a great success. 10 competitors, including 2 new players, were relentless in their quest to finish at the top. $100 in prize money was divided among 1st place, 2nd place, best outside the top 5, and best outside the top 10. Check out our tournament page for the full results.

L.A. Chess Ladder Quick Money Tournament c

Don’t miss our next big event. The L.A. Chess Ladder En Garde Tournament will take place on Sunday, May 10th at 3 pm at the home of ladder player, Vincent Amaya (address to be given out later). This will be a G10 + 5 second tournament with trophies. We already have 9 players signed up on the tournament page. Send an e-mail to enter! We would love to have you.

Due to the popularity of our quicker tournaments, there has been interest in starting a blitz ladder. Well, the wait is over! The L.A. Chess Blitz ladder is up and running. The Blitz ladder is separate from the main ladder and will be based on matches and tournaments with a time control of G5 + 5 seconds or faster. The main ladder will now be dedicated to matches with slower time controls such as G10, G15, or G30. When playing challenges and reporting scores, be sure to specify which ladder was used. Approximately half of our tournaments will now be blitz tournaments. Any ladder player can join the blitz ladder, so send me an e-mail and I’ll add you right away. Good luck to you!

Player Spotlight: Riccarlo Porter! One of our newest members, Riccarlo impressed at the Quick money tournament. He scored 4 wins and took home the prize for second place. Displaying wisdom both on the board and in life, Riccarlo will be a wonderful asset to our chess community.

Well that’s it for now. Your feedback is most appreciated, so please don’t hesitate to send an e-mail with comments and suggestions. Don’t forget to sign up for the En Garde Tournament. See you over the board!

-Darren

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2/5/2015

Greetings from your friendly neighborhood L.A. Chess Ladder!

Let’s start off this chess newsletter by welcoming our newest members. Say hello to Riccarlo Porter, Jon Pirincci, and Osheen Tosonian. Thank you for joining our chess community.

L.A. Chess Ladder Chess Newsletter

The Masters Cup was a great success. We had 11 strong competitors and there were lots of great matches. At the end of the day, we had a tie for 1st place. Congrats to everyone on a great event. A special thanks to the Massey family for hosting yet another of our tournaments. Check out the tournament page for the full results.

Masters1 L.A. Chess Ladder Chess NewsletterMaster5 Master4Master3

Our next tournament is going to be really exciting! The L.A. Chess Ladder Quick Money Tournament will take place on Saturday, March 14th at 2 pm at the Beverly Hills home of ladder player, Vanessa Himeles. This will be a blitz tournament with a time control of G5 and a 5 second delay. This event will feature a $10 dollar entry fee and prize money. Check out our tournament page for all the details. Send an e-mail to enter this rich tournament.

L.A. Chess Ladder

As we are well into 2015, I’ll spend a week or so doing some “clean up” on our website. I’ll be adding some new content and fixing anything that needs attention. Wish me luck!

  • Many of our members practice on chess.com. If you play on chess.com, send me your user name and I’ll add it to our site so our members can connect with you.
  • Take a look at our player directory and check that your contact info is up to date. If you’re missing a phone number, send it in so players have another way to contact you.
  • Check out our photo gallery! If you’re missing a picture or if you want to change your picture, e-mail one and I’ll upload it right away.

Player Spotlight: Andrew Williams! Andrew has been on the ladder for a year and he made a big breakthrough at the Masters Cup. He put together a string of strong wins that allowed him to take home the prize for best outside the top 5. He now sits at a career high #4 on the ladder.

Well, that’s it for now. Good luck in your challenges and don’t forget to enter the Quick Money Tournament. See you over the board.

-Darren

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12/16/2014

Happy Holidays from the L.A. Chess Ladder!

Let’s start things off by welcoming our newest members: Jordan Isaac & Mikael Brusio. Good luck to them in their future challenges.

L.A. Chess Ladder L.A. Chess Ladder

The L.A. Chess Ladder Holiday Classic was a blast! We had 14 players, great food, a CHESS CAKE, and lots of memorable match-ups. A huge thank you goes out to Vanessa Himeles for hosting this event. Check out our tournament page for the complete results.

Day HolyDay

Santa Days L.A. Chess Ladder

Get ready and get set! It’s time for the 2nd Annual L.A. Chess Ladder Masters Cup and Challenger Cup. The Masters Cup will feature the top 8 players in an end of the year battle for #1. The top 8 as of December 31st will qualify for this prestigious event. The Challenger Cup will be played at the same time and will feature players outside the top 8. These tournaments will take place on a Saturday or Sunday in January. If you aren’t in the top 8 now, you still have a few weeks to challenge your way into the top 8. Good Luck everyone! More details to come in early January. Check out our tournament page for more details. The top 10 as of 12/16 are written below.

1) John Hale

2) Jose Estrada

3) Darren Himeles

4) Eric Schaefer

5) Vincent Amaya

6) Grey Massey

7) Maria Perez

8) Kevin Resnick

9) Chris Madeksho

10) Marco Reed

Player Spotlight: John Hale! Say hello to John, one of our newest members and our brand new #1. John went into the Holiday Classic at #60 and played a fantastic tournament, beat several top players, and finished in 1st place. Good luck to him in his future challenges. How long will he be able to hold onto the top spot?

L.A. Chess Ladder

That’s about it everyone! Have a wonderful holiday season. See you at the Masters Cup and Challenger Cup.

-Darren

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11/12/2014

Hello Everyone,

It’s time for another jam-packed L.A. Chess Ladder Newsletter. Let’s welcome our newest member: John Hale. Good luck to him in his Chess Ladder campaign.

The Grey Massey Tournament was a great success. We had 9 players battling their hearts out for chess glory. Congrats to all the players on a great event. This was our eighth tournament to take place at the Massey home and we are really grateful for their continued support. Check out our tournaments page for all the results.

L.A. Chess Ladder

It is my pleasure to announce our last tournament of 2014: The L.A. Chess Ladder Holiday Classic will take played on Sunday Dec 14th at 1 pm at the home of ladder member, Vanessa Himeles. She lives in Beverly Hills (address to be given out later). This will be a typical Swiss style tournament consisting of 4-5 rounds depending on how many players we have. The time control will likely be G15 or G10. Come on out for a fun afternoon of chess, food, and great company! Check out our tournaments page for details and send an e-mail to enter!

L.A. Chess Ladder

I’m also happy to announce the 2nd Annual L.A. Chess Ladder Master’s Cup is coming up in January and will feature the top 8 players on the ladder. Players who are ranked inside the top 8 as of Dec 31st will qualify for this prestigious event. The Master’s Cup will take place on either a Saturday or Sunday in January that works with the schedules of the 8 qualifying players. If someone from the top 8 can’t play, his/her spot will be offered to the next highest ranked player. If you aren’t in the top 8, now is the time to scramble to raise your ranking through challenges and performing well at the Holiday Classic in December. Good luck, everyone! On the day of the Master’s Cup, there will be another tournament for players outside the top 8.

Player Spotlight: Kevin Resnick! Kevin has been a consistent performer on the L.A. Chess Ladder, playing well in many tournaments. In August, Kevin won 1st place in the queen section of the Summer Sectional Tournament. Recently, Kevin played very well at the Grey Massey Tournament, taking home the prize for best outside the top 10 and catapulting himself to #5 on the ladder. Good luck to him in his future challenges/tournaments.

L.A. Chess Ladder

In addition, here are a few other quick announcements:

– The L.A. Chess Ladder is more than two years old and we are always looking for new members. Please tell all your friends about us and encourage them to join our chess community.

– The L.A. Chess Ladder is free and open to everyone. It is a non-profit organization and donations to help out are always welcome. Anyone can make a donation by going to our donations page or donating cash or chess books at one of our tournaments. Every donation is greatly appreciated.

– Our organization is always evolving. If you have any suggestions on ways to improve the L.A. Chess Ladder, please share your thoughts by sending an e-mail.

That’s all folks! Have a great month and I look forward to playing with you at the Holiday Classic. See you over the board!

-Darren

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9/27/2014

Greetings Pawn Pushers!

It’s time for another exciting L.A. Chess Ladder Newsletter. Let’s start by introducing our newest members. Say hello to Fernanda Mara and Gabe Hernandez. I wish them luck as they ascend the prestigious ranks of our chess ladder.

L.A. Chess Ladder L.A. Chess Ladder

The Battle Royal Tournament was a wonderful success. We had 11 spirited players and some terrific battles. Dustin Ransom finished best outside the top 20 and Andrew Williams was best outside the top 10. At the end of the day it was Jose Estrada and Grey Massey who tied for 1st place. Congratulations to everyone on a great event.

  

Speaking of Grey, The L.A. Chess Ladder Grey Massey Tournament is coming up. It will take place at Grey’s home in Sherman Oaks on Sunday, November 2nd at 2pm. Come join us for great chess, food, trophies, kitties, and fun company. This tournament is to honor the Massey family for being such a huge support to our organization. Send an e-mail to reserve your spot now!

Player Spotlight: Dustin Ransom! Dustin made his debut at our Battle Royal Tournament. A dedicated member, he rode his bike from Miracle Mile to Sherman Oaks to compete with us. While many of us bring snacks or desserts to these events, Dustin surprised us with TWO Mulberry Street Pizzas!! Dustin’s strong performance at the tournament catapults him to #13 on the ladder. Good luck to him in his future matches and thanks for the Pizza.

Well, that’s about all for now. Good health to you all and I look forward to competing with you at the Grey Massey Tournament. See you over the board!

-Darren

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8/25/2014

Hello Chess Masters,

It’s time for another L.A. Chess Ladder Newsletter!

Someone asked me recently why I like chess so much. For some, chess is only a game, while for others it’s a sport, a competition, a hobby, or even a way of life. For me, my passion for chess stems from my love for mathematics. The problem solving and geometric/spatial reasoning inherent to chess have always appealed to me. With practice, I grew more experienced and became a student of the game. I came to realize that the depth of tactics and strategy in chess was truly amazing. You can learn to play in less than an hour and literally spend a lifetime trying to master it. What about you? Shoot me an email and tell us how chess appeals to you?

Our last tournament was our most successful tournament ever. The L.A. Chess Ladder Summer Sectional Tournament featured 15 players and two sections. Several players made their debuts at this event and many fascinating battles were fought. At the end of the day, it was Vincent Amaya and Kevin Resnick who won the King and Queen Sections respectively. You can check out all the match-ups and the full results at our Tournaments Page. Congrats to everyone on a really fun event!

L.A. Chess LadderL.A. Chess Ladder L.A. Chess LadderL.A. Chess Ladder

Hopefully our next tournament will be at least as successful as our last one. An announcement will be made about our next tournament….right now! Start training for the L.A. Chess Ladder Battle Royal Tournament, which will be played on Sunday, September 14th at 1pm at the home of ladder player, Grey Massey. This event will feature prize money and an entry fee. Check out our Tournaments page for all the details. The Massey Family has been a huge support for the L.A. Chess Ladder for years. If you get a chance, be sure to thank Grey and his family for continuing to host many of our chess tournaments at their home.

L.A. Chess Ladder

Player Spotlight: Maria G. Perez! A new member, Maria made a splash at our Summer Sectional Tournament. She tied for 2nd place in the Queen division and her performance bumps her up to #15 on the ladder. Congratulations to her!

L.A. Chess Ladder

The L.A. Chess Ladder was founded in the summer of 2012 with only 5 players. Exactly two years later, with 57 members, 11 successful tournaments, and 170 challenge matches played, I will honestly say that I couldn’t be happier. Our chess community is a huge success because of you! Thank you so much for sharing your interest and enthusiasm for the greatest “board game” in history.

Thanks a lot for reading. I look forward to playing you at the Battle Royal Tournament. See you over the board!

Darren

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8/2/2014

Salutations and greetings to all you chess masters,

It’s time for another jam-packed Chess Newsletter. We have some fabulous new members to welcome. Say hello to Aaron Moore and Maria G. Perez. I wonder who they will challenge first.

L.A. Chess Ladder L.A. Chess Ladder

Our next big tournament is in one week!! The L.A. Chess Ladder Summer Sectional Tournament will be played on Sunday, August 10th, at noon at Grey Massey’s house in Sherman Oaks (address to be given out later). This tournament will feature two sections: a king section for higher ranked players and a Queen section for lower ranked players. Trophies will be given out for 1st and 2nd place in each section. We already have 10 confirmed players, so this is shaping up to be an incredible event. If you haven’t signed up, send an e-mail to lachessladder@yahoo. Any members are welcome to enter. If you aren’t a member, sign up now, it’s free!

L.A. Chess Ladder

Don’t forget to stop by the Echo Park Chess Club which meets Mondays from 6 pm to 9 pm at the Stories Books and Cafe located at 1716 Sunset Blvd Los Angeles 90026. This is a great opportunity to meet other ladder players to play challenge matches or to play casual chess. If you have any questions, please call Aaron Moore at (916)-670-0627.

Some quick anouncements:

  • Please take a moment to check the player directory to see if your contact info is up to date. I will update your info immediately if necessary. Also, let me know if you would like your chess.com user name posted on our site.

  • Are you happy with your photo gallery pic? If you want to change it, or if you don’t have one on the site, send me a pic and I’ll upload it right away.

  • Played any awesome challenges lately? Send me the moves and I’ll upload it to the game viewer.

  • We are always looking for used chess books for our library. If you have a book to donate, bring it to the tournament.

  • Chess Lessons are available in person or through Skype. If interested, send an e-mail to lachessladder@yahoo.com.

  • We are always looking for new places to host a tournament. Interested in hosting? Anywhere in L.A. is fair game.

Well, that’s about it, everyone! I hope many of you can come to the tournament next Sunday. See you over the board!

-Darren

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6/24/2014

Howdy Chess Players,

It’s time for another L.A. Chess Ladder Newsletter. We have a quintet of new members to welcome. Zach Montenegro, JR Snodgrass, Max Kutner, Brian Alexander, and RJ Wolfe are the newest additions to our chess family. Good luck in all your challenges.

L.A. Chess Ladder L.A. Chess LadderL.A. Chess Ladder L.A. Chess Ladder L.A. Chess Ladder

The Carl’s Jr Tournament was a lot of fun. In a field that featured 3 brand new members, Jose Estrada dominated the proceedings to take home first place and become the new #1 on the ladder. Check out our tournaments page for all the results. Stay tuned for announcements about our next tournament

   

Player Spotlight: Zach Montenegro! Making his debut at the Carl’s Jr Tournament, Zach turned in a great performance and won the prize for best outside the top 5. Quite an accomplishment considering he is only eleven years old. He now sits at #11 on the ladder and will likely continue to climb.

L.A. Chess Ladder

That’s all folks! Enjoy the L.A. summer! See you over the board.

-Darren

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5/14/2014

Salutations and Greetings to you all,

Feast your eyes on the next Chess Newsletter! Let’s say hello to our newest members: Mark Calabio, Jorge Rivera, & Andrea Harris. Good luck to them in their chess challenges.

L.A. Chess Ladder L.A. Chess Ladder L.A. Chess Ladder

Our L.A. Chess Ladder Jackpot Tournament was a great success. We had 11 players in a competitive field that featured the top 9 players on the ladder. There were terrific matches and some heartbreaking stalemates. Lots of prize money was given out and some big jumps were made on the ladder. Check out our tournaments page for the complete results.

Speaking of tournaments, our next one is coming up in June. The L.A. Chess Ladder Carl’s Jr Tournament will be on Saturday, June 21st at noon at the Carl’s Jr on Laurel Canyon in North Hollywood. Visit our tournaments page for all the details. What better way to spend the longest and hottest day of the year than in an air-conditioned Carl’s Jr playing chess! This will be an awesome event featuring trophies, prizes, and great food. Send an email to lachessladder@yahoo.com to enter.

Player Spotlight: Chris Madeksho! One of our newest L.A. Chess Ladder members, Chris made his ladder debut at the Jackpot Tournament, where he made a big splash. After losing his first two matches, he stormed back to win his final 3 matches and finish tied for 3rd place. Chris took home the prize for best outside the top 5. We wish him well in future tournaments and chess challenge matches.

L.A. Chess Ladder

Well, that’s all folks! I look forward to seeing many of you at our next tournament. Stay cool, my friends! See you over the board!

-Darren

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4/22/2014

Hello Everyone,

Behold the latest L.A. Chess Ladder Newsletter. Let’s take this opportunity to welcome our newest members: Tyson Kelly and Chris Madeksho. Good luck to both of you as you embark on a new chapter in your chess journey.

L.A. Chess Ladder          L.A. Chess Ladder

Our next tournament is less than two weeks away! The Jackpot Tournament will be played on Sunday May 4th at 1:30 pm at Grey Massey’s house in Sherman Oaks (address to be given out later). Prize money will be awarded for 1st and 2nd place as well as for other achievements. This tournament will have an entry fee of $10 OR a donation of a used chess book for our L.A. Chess Ladder library. A $10 entry fee can be paid in person or by using our donations page. To donate a used chess book instead of the $10, just bring the book to the tournament. All of the entry fees as well as additional funds will be given back as prize money. See our tournament page for more information. To enter, please contact Darren at lachessladder@yahoo.com.

The L.A. Chess Ladder is free and open to everyone, so remember to tell all your friends about us. If any of you have any comments or suggestions, please share your ideas. We are always on the lookout for ways to improve our organization.

That’s all folks! Hope to have many of you at the Jackpot Tournament. And as always, see you over the board!

-Darren

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3/5/2014

Greetings and good health to you all!

It’s time for another L.A. Chess Ladder Newsletter! We have a triplet of new members. Say hello to Andrew Williams, Vanessa Himeles, and Mimi Corpus. May the chess forces be forever in their favor.

L.A. Chess Ladder L.A. Chess Ladder L.A. Chess Ladder

The L.A. Chess Ladder Greek Gift Tournament was a terrific success. Thank you to all the players for coming and congratulations to everyone on a great event. A special thanks to the Massey family for hosting us. This is the fourth tournament that we have had in their home and we are extremely grateful for their continual support. For the full results, check out the tournament page.

   

Speaking of tournaments, we are in the process of planning our next one. It should take place about 6 weeks from now and will be…somewhere in L.A. If any of you are interested in hosting our next tournament, please let Darren know.

Player Spotlight: Vanessa Himeles! Many of you already know Vanessa. She has been a huge supporter of the ladder, showing up at nearly all our tournaments, bringing delicious homemade cookies and food, and cheering on the players. After years of support, she has decided to join the ladder. Vanessa made her ladder debut at the Greek Gift Tournament last weekend. Her solid performance at the event saw her break into the top 10! This is big news as she is the first female to make it into the top 10. Good luck to Vanessa in all her future chess matches!

L.A. Chess Ladder

Just a few reminders, everyone:

  • Remember to report all challenge match results so they can be posted.

  • Send in a pic of yourself and I’ll add it to the photo gallery.

  • Send in one of your games and I’ll upload it to the game viewer.

  • Check out books or donate books to our library.

  • Chess lessons are available through the L.A. Chess Ladder.

  • Help out the ladder and make a donation.

That’s all folks! Thanks for reading. Stay tuned for the announcement of our next tournament and let me know if you are interested in hosting. See you over the board!

-Darren

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2/2/2014

Salutations and greetings to you all!

It’s time for our next L.A. Chess Ladder Newsletter. Let’s take this opportunity to welcome our newest members: Leonard Auslender & David Shin! Good luck to them. I wonder who will be their first challenges.

L.A. Chess Ladder L.A. Chess Ladder

                                                         Leonard                  David

The L.A. Chess Ladder Masters Cup was a great success. The event featured the top 8 ladder players in a unique tournament format featuring round robin play. Vincent Amaya went undefeated in his group and went on to beat Grey Massey in the semis and Darren Himeles in the final to win the tournament and become the new #1 on the ladder. Congratulations to everyone on a great day of chess. See our tournament page for the complete results.

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Our next L.A. Chess Ladder Tournament is coming up in 1 month. Brace you for the Greek Gift Tournament! This Swiss tournament will be played on Sunday March 2nd at 1:30 pm at the home of ladder member, Grey Massey. Everyone is welcome! Check out the tournament page for all the details and be sure to e-mail Darren at lachessladder@yahoo.com to enter.

L.A. Chess Ladder

Grey

The L.A. Chess Ladder is free and open to everyone, so remember to tell all your friends about the ladder. If any of you have any comments or suggestions, please share your ideas. We are always on the lookout for ways to improve our organization.

That’s about it everyone. Good luck with your chess and I hope a lot of you are able to play in the Greek Gift Tournament. See you over the board!

-Darren

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1/4/2014

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year from the L.A. Chess Ladder!

First of all, let’s greet some new members. Hello and welcome to Michael Galvin, Dustin Ransom, Sarah Deunay, and Steven Heisler. Thank you for joining us and enjoy your matches.

L.A. Chess Ladder

Michael

The L.A. Chess Ladder Masters Cup is coming up. The event will be played on Saturday, January 25th at 4 pm at the Faith Presbyterian Church located at 5000 Colfax Ave, North Hollywood, CA 91601. The tournament will feature the top 8 players on the ladder as of December 15th. They are:  Eric Schaefer, Frank Dankemeyer, Magic, Darren Himeles, Vincent Amaya, R.J Briggs, Jose Estrada, and Kevin Resnick. If any of you will not be able to make the event, please let me know as soon as possible so that your spot can be offered to the next highest ranked player.

We have a new world chess champion. Magnus Carlsen, the young Norwegian grandmaster, was able to defeat Viswanathan Anand in the World Chess Championship tournament. Check out the Grandmasters page to learn more about Magnus Carlsen and play through one of his games.

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Magnus Carlsen

Player Spotlight: Eric Schaefer! One of our more active members, Eric has had strong results as of late. In particular, he defeated Magic to become our #1 ranked player. He will be the #1 seed at our upcoming Masters Cup Tournament.

L.A. Chess Ladder

Eric Schaefer

Here is to a wonderful new year on the L.A. Chess Ladder! If anyone has any questions or concerns, please send me a message at lachessladder@yahoo.com. See you over the board!

-Darren

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11/9/2013

Hello Everyone,

It’s time for another L.A. Chess Ladder Newsletter. Our newest member is 8 year old Gannon Reed. He is currently the youngest player on the ladder and he is the son of one of our founding members, Marco Reed. He made his ladder debut last weekend at the Absolute Value Tournament. Let’s all wish him good luck!

L.A. Chess Ladder

Gannon

The L.A. Chess Ladder Absolute Value Tournament was a wonderful success. We had 11 spirited players and lots of competitive games. Special thanks to David DeVandry for hosting the event at Mathnasium. Congrats to everyone on a great event. Visit the Tournaments page for all the results.

L.A. Chess Ladder L.A. Chess LadderL.A. Chess Ladder L.A. Chess LadderL.A. Chess Ladder

It’s time to bid good journey to Uday Kanike, who has moved away from L.A. for a new job. He has an outstanding record on the ladder, coming in 1st place at many tournaments and losing only one game in the process. He was very generous in donating funds to the ladder and served as our official chess instructor. We will miss him and hope that he returns to the ladder in the future.

L.A. Chess Ladder

Uday

The position of official Chess instructor is currently filled by Darren Himeles. Visit the Chess Lessons page to learn how to set up a lesson. Proceeds go towards the L.A. Chess Ladder.

L.A. Chess Ladder

Darren

After tons of amazing challenges and fun tournaments, the year will commence with a final event that will feature the top 8 players on the ladder: The L.A. Chess Ladder Masters Cup! So, if you aren’t in the top 8, hurry and challenge your way up. Check out the tournament page for all the details.

Player Spotlight: Vincent Amaya! Vincent is a very strong chess player and a former #1 on the ladder. He has performed well in L.A. Chess Ladder tournaments including a 2nd place finish at last week’s Absolute Value Tournament. Vincent has been a huge supporter of the ladder. Vincent created the L.A. Chess Ladder Facebook page and he updates in regularly with ladder events, chess puzzles, and pictures. Vincent is a valuable member of our group and we expect him to make a great showing at the Masters Cup.

Vincent

Well, that’s about it. Good luck, have fun, and I’ll see you over the board.

-Darren

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10/12/2013

Hi Everyone,

This is your newest L.A. Chess Ladder Newsletter. Let’s all say hello to our newest member, Richard Poole. Richard hosted our Supersonic Tournament at the Faith Presbyterian Church. Let’s all give him a warm welcome to our chess community.

L.A. Chess Ladder

Richard

Speaking of which, the L.A. Chess Ladder Supersonic Tournament was a great success. We had a competitive field of 8 players and some really trilling games. After 5 rounds of great chess, there was a tie for first place between Uday Kanike and Darren Himeles. Grey Massey took home the prize for best outside the top 5 and Frank Dankemeyer finished best outside the top 10. For all the results of the tournament, visit our tournament page. Congratulations to everyone on a great tournament. I hope to see you all at our next event.

L.A. Chess Ladder photo 4photo 4 (1) photo (3)

And about that next tournament…The L.A. Chess Ladder Absolute Value Tournament is coming up on Saturday, November 2nd at 4 pm at Mathnasium, the math learning center run by L.A. Chess Ladder Member, David DeVandry. This will be an awesome event with food, prizes, and good times. Final standings in the tournament count as challenge match results. Check out our tournament page for all the details. Come one, come all!

L.A. Chess Ladder

David

The following are some quick reminders to all our members:

– Remember to report all challenge match results, even those that won’t change the ladder standings.

– Take a look at our Library. These books are available for all members to check out for free. If any of you have books you would like to donate, that would be greatly appreciated.

– We are always on the lookout for new members. Be sure to tell all your friends about the L.A. Chess Ladder. Remember, membership is free and open to players of all ages.

– Remember that speaking to your opponent during a challenge match is not allowed unless it is absolutely necessary. It can be greatly distracting to a player, especially since challenge matches are played with time control.

– The L.A. Chess Ladder is an evolving project. If any of you have ideas or suggestions on how to improve our organization, please let us know at lachessladder@yahoo.com.

That’s all folks. Good luck with your challenge matches. See you over the board.

-Darren

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8/31/2013

Greetings!

It’s time for another L.A. Chess Ladder Newsletter. Our newest member is Shafi Ullah. Good luck to him in his challenges.

L.A. Chess Ladder

Shafi

The L.A. Chess Ladder Supersonic Tournament is coming up on Saturday, September 21st at 12:30 pm at the Faith Presbyterian Church located at 5000 Colfax Ave, North Hollywood, CA 91601. This will be a speed tournament with a time control of G5 with a 3 second delay. All L.A. Chess Ladder Members are welcome to enter and it’s totally free. Trophies will be given for 1st and 2nd place as well as for other achievements. To enter the tournament, just contact Darren at lachessladder@yahoo.com. Check out our tournament page to learn more about this exciting event.

Player Spotlight: James Essex! James was one of the founding members of the L.A. Chess Ladder and is one of our most active players. James enjoys playing over the board as well as on chess.com. He has an imaginative style of play and he is always happy to take on a new challenge. Watch out for James in our upcoming Supersonic Tournament.

L.A. Chess Ladder

James

Good luck with your chess everyone. See you over the board.

-Darren

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7/29/2013

Hello Everybody,

I have a loaded L.A. Chess Ladder Newsletter for you. So, let’s get started. We have some new members to welcome. Let’s send a warm hello to Safir Wazed, David Cantor, Omeed Selbe, R.J. Briggs, and David DeVandry.

L.A. Chess Ladder     L.A. Chess Ladder

     David Cantor        David DeVandry

The Champion Edition Tournament was a blast. We had 9 players and lots of great matches. At the end of the day, it was Uday who won his second straight tournament and defended his position as #1 on the ladder. Check out the tournament page for the full results. Congrats to all the players! Stay tuned for the announcement of our next tournament.

L.A. Chess Ladder L.A. Chess LadderL.A. Chess Ladder L.A. Chess Ladder

We have 3 new pages for our website:

1) Announcing the grand opening of the L.A. Chess Ladder Library! We have a collection of chess books that any ladder member can check out. We only have a few books right now, but if any of you have chess books that you are willing to donate, please contact Darren at lachessladder@yahoo.com. Visit our library page to see what books are available.

2) It has come to my attention that many of our members like to use Chess.com to play chess, learn, and interact with other players. We now have a directory of Chess.com Usernames that our members can use to interact with each other on Chess.com. If you would like to see your Chess.com username in the directory, just let me know. The password for this username directory is the same as the password for the player directory.

3) We now have an official L.A. Chess Ladder Instructor, our own #1 Uday Kanike. If you are interested in receiving chess lessons, Uday is the man to call. He is an accomplished chess player with plenty of teaching experience and he would love to help you with your game.

Player Spotlight: Grey Massey! Grey is not even a teenager yet, but he is a very strong player. Grey plays both quickly and aggressively, often checkmating his opponents early in the game. He recently finished “best outside the top 10” at the Champion Edition Tournament. It is rare to find such a young chess player who is good enough to compete against adults. Grey and his family have been tremendous supporters of the L.A. Chess Ladder, hosting our last three tournaments at their home. Good luck to Grey as he continues to grow as a chess player and in life.

L.A. Chess Ladder

Grey

Well, that’s it for now. I wish you all the best of fun in your chess matches. See you over the board!

-Darren

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6/29/2013

Happy Summer Everyone,

It’s time for another L.A. Chess Ladder Newsletter. I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome our newest member, Heston Green.  Good luck to him in his chess challenges!

L.A. Chess Ladder

Heston

Our next tournament is just a few weeks away. The L.A. Chess Ladder Championship Edition Tournament is on Saturday, July 20th at 12:30 pm at the home of ladder player, Grey Massey. He lives in Sherman Oaks and the address will be given out later. The tournament will feature chess tournament software and prize money. There is a $10 entry fee that can be payed on-line by clicking the link below. You can also pay in person. Just send an e-mail to lachessladder@yahoo.com to enter.

Click above to pay the $10 entry fee.

The L.A. Chess Ladder is now on Facebook! Special thanks to Vincent Amaya for creating our Facebook page. Check us out at www.facebook.com/LaChessLadder.

So here is an interesting situation that has confused some ladder players in the past. You are playing a challenge match and the first game ended in a draw. Then, you win the second game. What happens now…? Actually, you just won the challenge by a score of 1.5 points to .5 points. Remember that a 3rd game is only played if the score is tied after 2 games. This makes for some interesting tactics. What if you win the 1st game and you see a chance to draw in the second game? Take it! You’ll win the challenge.

Player Spotlight: Jose Estrada! Jose has been the most active player in the last two months. He has played a whopping 24 challenge matches! He currently rests as #4 on the ladder. Jose joined the ladder in March and he has been a fantastic edition to our group. Good luck to him in his future matches.

L.A. Chess Ladder

Jose Estrada

Well that’s about it for now. I hope to see many of you at the Champion Edition Tournament. Stay cool, my friends. See you over the board.

-Darren

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5/15/2013

Greetings ladder players!

I’ve got an exciting newsletter for you. As always, let’s begin by introducing our newest member, Anthony Spagnolia. Anthony made his ladder debut at the 3rd Strike Tournament and now stands at #13 on the ladder.

L.A. Chess Ladder

Anthony

The 3rd Strike tournament was a wonderful success. We had 14 spirited players. In the end, two players were tied for 1st place and a tiebreaker game was needed to decide the winner. When the smoke cleared it was Uday Kanike who won the tournament and became the new #1 on the ladder. Congratulations to all the players for competing so hard. Also, a Special thanks to the Massey family for hosting the event. For all the results of the tournament, check out the Tournaments Page.

L.A. Chess Ladder L.A. Chess LadderL.A. Chess Ladder L.A. Chess LadderL.A. Chess Ladder L.A. Chess Ladder

A few new matches have been uploaded to the game viewer. A match between Grey Massey and Jose Estrada has been up for about a month, but I believe I forgot to announce it. Also, the final match of the 3rd Strike Tournament between Uday and Darren is posted. Enjoy the matches and see what you can learn.

I’ve added a new link to the Useful Links Page. One of the best ways to learn and study openings is with an opening database. Chessgames.com has one of the best opening databases around. I’ve studied their opening database for years and I definitely recommend taking a look. It’s free to look around a bit, but there is a fee to view the entire database. It is definitely worth the money.

Player Spotlight: Uday Kanike! Uday made his ladder debut at the 3rd Strike Tournament and won the tournament! By finishing ahead of Darren, he becomes the new #1 on the ladder. Good luck to him in his future matches.

L.A. Chess Ladder

Uday

That’s pretty much it, unless I forgot something. Stay tuned for an announcement about our next L.A. Chess Ladder tournament. See you over the board.

-Darren

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4/20/2013

Howdy Chess Players,

Here is your latest L.A. Chess Ladder update! Let’s start off by saying hello to our three newest members: Mario Madrigal, Vincent Amaya, and Uday Kanike. Welcome to our chess community! All three of them are competing in our upcoming 3rd strike Tournament.

L.A. Chess Ladder     L.A. Chess Ladder     L.A. Chess Ladder

Mario                    Vincent                    Uday

Speaking of which, The L.A. Chess Ladder Third Strike Tournament is coming up on Saturday, May 11th at 1:30 pm at the home of ladder player Grey Massey in Sherman Oaks (address to be given out later). This is a free event and is open to all L.A. Chess Ladder players. We currently have 8 confirmed players. Come for great chess and great fun. Check out the tournaments page for more info on this exciting event. Hope to see you there! Also, if any of you are interested in hosting future tournaments, please let me know.

I’ve updated the standings page to show the city in which each player lives. This will make it easier to schedule challenges with other ladder players. I currently have locations for more than half of you. If you haven’t already, please send me the name of the city you live in so I can add it to the standings page. Thank you!

Speaking of pages, I’ve added a brand new page: Useful links! I’m sure most of you have noticed the various links I’ve been placing at the bottom of the pages of our site. I decided to compile them into one organized page to make things easier. The links include some fun places to play chess, chess organizations you might want to join, chess equipment and software you might want to purchase, and other useful resources. If any of you have another useful resource that you would like to see posted on the links page, do let me know.

Player Spotlight: Marco Reed! After placing 7th at the 2nd Impact Tournament, Marco turned things around by defeating Frank Dankemeyer 2-0 to take the #3 spot on the ladder. Marco currently stands at #4. Marco is improving quickly and it shows in his results. Marco and Frank are both regulars at the Carl’s Jr Tuesday night chess.

L.A. Chess Ladder

Marco

That’s all folks! I’m looking forward to the tournament and I hope many of you can play. See you over the board!

-Darren

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4/1/2013

Hi Everyone,

I regret to inform you that the L.A. Chess Ladder is shutting down. It was fun while it lasted, but the fact is that the site will be taken off the web in a few days 🙁

APRIL FOOLS! I have a big L.A. Chess Ladder update for you all. Our first order of business is to welcome our newest member, Jose Estrada. He made his ladder debut at the 2nd Impact Tournament and he now holds the #7 position on the ladder. 

L.A. Chess Ladder

Jose

Speaking of which, the L.A. Chess Ladder 2nd Impact tournament was a terrific success. We had lots of players, great matches, smiles, laughs, and whoopie pies! Special thanks to Grey Massey’s and his family for hosting the event. For the complete results, check out our tournament page. Congrats to all the players!

L.A. Chess Ladder L.A. Chess Ladder L.A. Chess Ladder L.A. Chess LadderL.A. Chess Ladder L.A. Chess Ladder

Following the success of our first two tournaments, I’m happy to announce the next tournament will be coming soon. The L.A. Chess Ladder 3rd Strike Tournament will be held on Saturday, May 11th at 1:30 pm at the home of ladder player, Grey Massey. This will be the second tournament in a row hosted by the Massey family. Come join us for chess, prizes, food, and great company. For more information on this upcoming event, check out our tournament page. To enter, please contact Darren at lachessladder@yahoo.com.

Player Spotlight: Frank Dankemeyer! Frank made his ladder debut at the 2nd Impact Tournament and what a showing he made! Frank finished 2nd place following his wins over Grey, Ashley, and Jose. He now stands at #3 on the ladder. Look for him to be a major contender for the top two spots.

L.A. Chess Ladder

Frank

Well that’s about it! Good luck with your chess, everyone! I hope many of you get to play in our 3rd Strike tournament in May. See you over the board!

-Darren

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3/22/2013

Howdy Everyone,

Here is your next L.A. Chess Ladder chess newsletter. Let’s all welcome our newest player, Frank Dankemeyer. Good luck to Frank, our 30th member!

The latest grand master to grace our website is Magnus Carlsen, the current world #1. Read about him and check out one of his games by visiting our Grandmaster Page.

The L.A. Chess Ladder 2nd Impact Tournament is a week away. It’s free and open to all L.A. Chess Ladder members. We currently have 7 confirmed players and we can still take more. The tournament will be at Grey Massey’s house which is in Sherman Oaks (address will be given out later). Come join us Saturday, March 30th at 1:30 pm. To enter, please e-mail Darren at lachessladder@yahoo.com. Check out our Tournaments Page to learn more about this upcoming event.

Well, that’s about it. Hope to catch a lot of you at the tournament. Good luck and see you over the board.

-Darren

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3/8/2013

Greetings!

Here is your chess newsletter! Our first order of business is to welcome two new members: Frank Ramirez & Zhang Hanshi. Have fun & good luck to you both.

L.A. Chess Ladder

Frank Ramirez

The Inaugural L.A. Chess Ladder tournament was a great success. There were a lot of terrific matches and everyone had a great time. Click on the tournament page to get the results and the final standings for the tournament. Congratulations to all the players. Special thanks to Marco and his family for hosting the tournament. Stay tuned for more tournaments and other social events in the future.

More Games Darren & Eric - 1st & 2nd Place Inaugural L.A. Chess Ladder TournamentJames - Best Outside Top 5 L.A. Chess Ladder Tournament Jill - Best Outside Top 10

Player Spotlight: Eric Shaefer! Eric made his ladder debut at the Inaugural tournament last Saturday. He had a terrific performance, including wins over Marco Reed, James Essex, and Grey Massey. Eric finished 2nd place in the tournament and now stands at #3 on ladder. Good luck to him and good luck to those who will challenge him.

L.A. Chess Ladder

Check out our newest page, the Donations Page. As you all know, the ladder is free. If you are really enjoying the ladder, you might consider making a donation to help fund the organization. You can do that at our Donations page.

Well that’s about it for now. Have fun everyone! See you over the board!

-Darren

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2/15/2013

Happy Valentines Day Everyone!

We have more new members: Jorge Tarraso, Ben Richardson, Owen Anderson, Brian Grasso, and Eric Shaefer. Welcome to our growing L.A. Chess Ladder community. Good luck to you all.

L.A. Chess Ladder     L.A. Chess Ladder     L.A. Chess Ladder     L.A. Chess Ladder

Jorge                                        Ben                                   Owen                                      Brian

Player Spotlight: Magic! One of our founding members, Magic is one of the most active players on the ladder. His patient and creative style is very hard to beat. In fact, Darren is the only player to have beaten him at all. Formerly #1 on the ladder, he currently has a tight grip on the #2 spot.

L.A. Chess Ladder

Magic

The Inaugural L.A. Chess Ladder Tournament is coming. Mark your calenders for Saturday March 2nd at 3 pm at Marco Reed’s house in Valley Glen. The tournament is open to all L.A. Chess Ladder players and is totally free. It will be a Swiss tournament, which means everyone plays the same number of games regardless of how well they do. You may bring your own chess set and clock if you like. Otherwise, I’ll have lots of extra sets and clocks.There will be food too! I want to encourage all of you to enter, even if you are just a beginner.  This will be a great chance to meet other ladder players and improve your game. We currently have 6 confirmed players: Marco, Darren, James, Grey, Magic, Sankaran, and Eric. To Enter the tournament, just e-mail Darren at lachessladder@yahoo.com.

That’s about it, folks. Good luck with your matches and I’ll see you at the tournament.

-Darren

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1/22/2013

Howdy Everybody,

Let’s welcome our newest L.A. Chess Ladder members: Matt Mower, Ian Hite, & Dan Powers. May the wisdom of a hundred grandmasters guide you on your journey.

L.A. Chess Ladder          L.A. Chess Ladder          L.A. Chess Ladder

                                             Matt                                                Ian                                                Dan

We have some very exciting news. Our first tournament is on the horizon. The Inaugural L.A. Chess Ladder Tournament will be played on Saturday, March 2nd at the home of Marco Reed. Check out our new Tournament page to read more about this upcoming competition. Entry is free & open to all L.A. Chess Ladder members. Contact Darren at lachessladder@yahoo.com to reserve your spot.

We have had lots of challenges this month! A few players you should look out for: Marco Reed & Sankaran Ramakrishnan. One of our founding members, Marco has become quite active lately, contesting challenges against Grey Massey, Magic, & Darren Himeles all in one week! He currently stands at #4. Sankaran is moving his way up the rankings. He recently took the #7 spot after a close win over Chase Kopecky.

L.A. Chess Ladder          L.A. Chess Ladder

                                                                       Marco                                      Sankaran

I’m really glad to see so many people enjoying the ladder. Good luck & I’ll see you over the board.

-Darren

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1/10/2013

Happy New Year Everybody!

Another short update. First of all, let’s welcome our newest members: Peter Selvin, Jill Landefeld, and Benjamin Kaveladze. Good luck to all of you. Remember that the L.A. Chess Ladder is open to anyone, so be sure to tell your chess playing friends about the ladder.

L.A. Chess Ladder          L.A. Chess Ladder

                                                        Jill                                Benjamin

The newest grandmaster to make it to our website is the current world champion, Viswanathan Anand. Read all about him and check out one of his games at the Grandmasters page.

Good luck with your matches, everyone. See you over the board.

-Darren

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12/29/2012

Happy Holidays from the L.A. Chess Ladder!

I hope y’all are enjoying this festive season. Let’s welcome our new member, Matthew McGee, to our group. I wonder who he will challenge first.

I’ve continued to work diligently on our site. I’ve finished our How to Play Chess page. Here, you will find a thorough explanation of the rules of chess along with interactive diagrams illustrating how the pieces move and other key concepts. You’ll also find that I’ve added some useful links and fun media to various ladder pages. Enjoy! Expect more additions to the ladder in the coming weeks. See you over the board!

-Darren

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12/15/2012

Salutations and Greetings to you all,

Here is the latest L.A. Chess Ladder update. We have another new member. Let’s all welcome Ashley Guinn to our chess community and make her feel right at home.

L.A. Chess Ladder

The next grandmaster to grace our website is none other than the great Bobby Fischer. Read all about him and play through his “Game of the Century” by visiting our Grandmaster page.

I’ve been doing lots of maintenance on our site. Links on the bottoms of pages, improved tables, better quality photos in the gallery, and more consistent page formatting are some of the changes I’ve made. Enjoy, everyone! Expect continued “beautification” and more features to be added in the future.

Grey Massey, one of our newest members, made a big splash on Friday by beating James Essex to take the #5 spot on the ladder.

L.A. Chess Ladder          vs          L.A. Chess Ladder

The first game saw James checkmate the 11-year old in less than 20 moves! Impressively, Grey bounced back to mate James in only 9 moves! The final game was a titanic battle that was quite close until the very end. Check out the decisive game of their match by visiting our Game Viewer. In the end, Grey won the day with a 2-1 victory over one of the most active L.A. Chess Ladder players.

Enjoy the holiday season everyone. See you over the board!

-Darren

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12/8/2012

Another Quick Update,

Just a few things. Everyone welcome new ladder player Grey Massey. He may be young, but he beats his mom all the time.

L.A. Chess Ladder
Grey

Also, check out our newest page: Grandmasters! On this page, you will find short bios of history’s greatest players along with a sample game for each player. The first grandmaster to make our website is Garry Kasparov, probably the greatest player in history.

Finally, some logistical matters. For those of you who don’t have a picture in the photo gallery, please send one to me at lachessladder@yahoo.com. Also, if any of your contact info needs to be updated, let me know and I’ll take care of it.

Thanks a lot everyone. Have fun!

-Darren

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12/4/2012

Greetings Friends,

Here is your next L.A. Chess Ladder update! First of all, I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome our 4 newest members: Sankaran Ramakrishnan, Jared Plotkin, Kevin Resnick, and Michele Seipp. Have fun and good luck with your matches!

L.A. Chess Ladder
Kevin

Second, I’d like to share some of the projects I’ll be working on for our website. In the next several weeks I plan to add several features to the site that I hope you will all find useful. These features include:

1) Mini-bios of some of history’s greatest chess players as well as sample games for us to play through.

2) A tactics and strategy page to illustrate winning chess ideas.

3) A unabridged presentation of the rules of chess.

4) An overview of the best ways to improve your game.

Lastly, we had another great chess duel today:

L.A. Chess Ladder          vs          L.A. Chess Ladder

In a rematch of their close encounter last week, James Essex challenged magic in what turned out to be another tight contest. This time it was magic who won the first game. James was able to rebound and claim the second game. For the second week in a row, magic won the deciding game to complete a 2-1 win. Magic leads the head to head with James by a score of 2 to 0. This will surely continue to be an intriguing rivalry.

That’s about it, everyone. See y’all over the board.

-Darren

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11/29/2012

Howdy Chess Players,

Hope all your games are going well. I have a few things to share with you in this update.

First off, the ladder is now free! I’m very happy for this change. This is how it really should have been from the start. Be sure to pass this on to all your chess playing friends. As always, the ladder is open to everyone.

Second, we have a new member. Everyone welcome Robert Masson to the L.A. Ladder. I wonder who will be his first challenge…

L.A. Chess Ladder          vs          L.A. Chess Ladder

And Finally, I’d like to share a very intriguing match that took place Monday. James Essex challenged Magic for the #2 spot on the ladder. The first game saw James display aggressive play with an early bishop sacrifice. He showed steady play from then on to claim the first point. You can view this game on the Game Viewer. Magic, patient as ever, rebounded in the second game to even the score. The crucial 3rd game saw James put together a 2 pawn lead. But, an unfortunate slip saw James lose his rook and ultimately the match. Congrats to Magic on toughing out a hard fought 2-1 victory.

Keep up the good play everyone. See you over the board.

-Darren

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11/12/2012

Hi Everyone,

I’ve got some great news. It took lots of work, but we now have a Game Viewer for the site. Now any ladder member can look over chess games that have been uploaded to the site.  The first game that I uploaded was a great game between Magic and Darren from this last weekend. You can view it now. If any of you play a game that you would like to see uploaded to the site, send me the moves and I’ll upload it to the game viewer. Here is an overview of some challenges that were played over the weekend:

 
L.A. Chess Ladder          vs          L.A. Chess Ladder
 

On Friday, James Challenged Darren for the 4th time. Darren maintained his strong form with a 2-0 victory.

 
L.A. Chess Ladder          vs          L.A. Chess Ladder
 

In one of the closest matches played on the ladder so far, #2 Magic challenged #1 Darren. Magic crushed Darren with a ferocious king side attack to claim the 1st game. You can view this game now on the game viewer. Darren fought hard to win the second game. In the decisive 3rd game, tactics were flying and Darren squeezed out a win to complete a hard fought 2-1 victory.

Keep up the good work everyone. Good luck with your challenges.

-Darren

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11/4/12

Howdy everyone,

A few players challenged Darren for the #1 spot on the L.A. Chess Ladder. Here is how they fared:

 
L.A. Chess Ladder          vs          L.A. Chess Ladder 
 

On Friday, James challenged Darren for the 3rd time. Darren continued his strong play against James with a 2-0 win.

 
L.A. Chess Ladder          vs          L.A. Chess Ladder 
 

Then on Sunday, Rob challenged Darren for the #1 spot. They had just finished a L.A. Tennis Ladder challenge match earlier that day. Darren secured a 2-0 result in what was their 1st meeting on the L.A. Chess Ladder.

For complete results and standings as well as an explanation of the rules, visit lachessladder.com. Good luck with your chess everyone. I look forward to seeing you over the board.

-Darren

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10/9/12

Hello Everyone,

I hope you’re enjoying the new L.A. Chess Ladder. We had some interesting challenges this last week:

 
L.A. Chess Ladder          vs          L.A. Chess Ladder 
 

On Thursday, Darren challenged Magic for the #1 spot on the ladder. After some interesting games, Darren finished on top by a score of 2-0 to take #1.

 
 L.A. Chess Ladder          vs          L.A. Chess Ladder
 

Then on Sunday, Chase and James faced each other for the first time. When the smoke cleared, it was James who earned a 2-0 win to keep his position at #5.

Good luck with your chess everyone. I will continue to update the ladder to show your results and you can expect more update letters like this one in the future. I’m also promoting the ladder at various chess spots in L.A. Still, nothing beats word of mouth. With that in mind, I’d like to encourage all of you to tell your chess playing friends about the ladder and ask them to check us out at lachessladder.com. See you all over the board!

-Darren

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Questions? Concerns? Want to join the L.A. Chess Ladder?

Contact Darren at lachessladder@yahoo.com

L.A. Chess Ladder Chess Newsletter