ICA Fall 2008 Scholastic Sections Review
Posted: 10/27/2008

Annual ICA Fall Tournament Proves Importance Of ICA Summer Camp!


It may sound like a broken record trying to replay the traditional ICA bit about self-hype, and self-promotion, but it is honest.  In other words, sure listening to Beethoven’s 9th is satisfying, and even if it drives a crazy man nuts after being played 100 times over in a Gitmo interrogation, it doesn’t change the beautiful nature of the composition itself. Therefore and thus so it is with the ICA and the incessant articles mentioning how great we are and what great feats we accomplish on a daily basis.


It does make sense though.  Many students who went to this year’s summer camp received a full dose of chess-wisdom not long before this tournament.  With history, video games, and other school, and none-school related subjects only having a rough month and half to beat down the door to their memory and sanity, our campers didn’t yet have a sufficient enough time frame to forget every single thing they learned this summer.  Perhaps for the winter, or spring tournament they may pick up a rook and ask, “what is this?” all the while reciting the seven presidents preceding Lincoln, but that was not the case here.  Instead, we are relieved to report that they knew the Gambits, before they knew that General Sherman set fire to the South in an attempt to decisively win the American Civil War.


Anyway, here is the short end breakdown of what happened:


Section 3 (K-2 UNRATED)


I was not very surprised to find that Liyan Cheung won first place among the 32 youngsters that competed here.  Liyan is a very developed and focused little guy, who not only plays well, doesn’t complain, but also listens intently without interruption, all the while exhibiting a full sense of participation.  He enjoys what he does in playing chess.  On a further note, it is really fun to see him jump up and down when he realizes there is a good combination of moves on the board.


Liyan finished with a perfect score of four out of four, beating out #18th place finisher Lilla Cabrera, #15th place finisher Phillip Lee, #5 finisher Michael Sun-Huang, and #8th placed Aman Gupta.  


In second, and third place respectively, were Clement Shao, and Zachary Love, both with 3.5 out of 4 points.  Clement, Zachary, and Liyan were tied for first on points after three rounds but because tie-breaks put Liyan in third, the computer matched Clement and Zachary who fought to a stalemate in the last round, thereby paving the way for Liyan’s victory.


Section 4 (K – 12 UNRATED)


Section four pitted 47 un-rated players from kindergarten all the way up to the 12th grade in high school.  Two kids who I am unfamiliar with, named Daniel Zharzhavsky, and Peter Shim (D.T.: both Students of  ICA) , respectively took the first, and second place positions.  Both finished with a perfect score of four out of four points.  Since Daniel beat the averaged out overall higher placed opposition over four rounds winning against the 33rd, 17th, 23rd, and 6th place finishers, he was awarded top honors.  Peter won against the 45th, 35th, 20th and 5th placed finishers, just missing first because his first and second round opponents ended up in significantly lower places than did Daniel’s.


As with the youngest section, the race for first place here, was also contested by three players going into the last round.  Benjamin Mankowitz, a resident camp-goer of multiple years, actually held the lead after three rounds.  His first round opponent, 32nd placed Victor Tao, finished better than either Daniel’s or Peter’s, while his second, and third round opponents, 12th placing Christopher Shao, and 19th placer Timothy Bogdanov, were also better than were the opponents of the other two top finishers.  Unfortunately, in the last round even though Benjamin played eventual 9th placed finisher Chris Lee, another ardent camp-goer, who was lower ranked than the final round opponents of Daniel and Peter, Benji could only muster a draw thereby finishing in third place with three and a half out of four points.


Section 1 (USCF Rated K – 12 Under 1200)


In general section one is where a constant observer begins to see a trend of more veteran camp-goers who have been with us for more than one or two years.  With thirty participants in this one Charles Shvartsman took home first place. Charles was the only player to finish with a perfect score beating out his closest competitor Beata Gelman in the last game.  Beata, who held even with Charles for three rounds, and was the only other player in a position to take first after three, was forced to settle for fourth place because of the loss to Charles. 


Rajendran, Rishi who won his first two rounds fell out of contention for first because of a draw

with eventual ninth place finisher Markenzon, Aleksandr. Had Rajendran won though it is difficult to say

whether he would have taken first or challenged Charles because his opponent for the last round may have

been different, or perhaps he would be given the opportunity to win outright against the 1st place finisher. 

Part of the problem with providing analysis beyond the last round is there are many changes that the

computer would make to the pairings based on where the players look to be heading in terms of their final

rankings as the rounds progress. 


Elie Kapengut finished in third place among five players with three out of four points based on tie-breaks.

She lost to Charles in the second round but beat out fifth placer, my buddy Hillel Koslowe, in the first, and

Ryan Hoang, and Michael Aksen in the third and fourth rounds to finish in third place.


Section 2 (USCF Rated K-12 Under 1600)


With twenty-two players entered this was the toughest section and the only one from the whole tournament

where the winner did not finish with a perfect score.  Jonathan Chan was perfect for the first three rounds

and held the lead after that point.  His closest competitor 2nd placed Jayenth Mayur, an old-school ICA’er,

needed nothing short of victory to overtake Jonathan.  Jayenth who also drew with eventual tenth place

finisher Maxim Farberov, could only squeeze out a half point and settle for second comforting himself that

he ruined Jonathan’s string of consecutive victories.


Kiernan McVay, another long-time protégé of the ICA, took home third, drawing his first two games against

The 6th and 15th placed finishers, while beating 11th placed Garrett Chu, and 9th placed, ICA counselor, Genry

Krichevsky, in the final two rounds respectively