84th Annual Western Mass / Connecticut Valley Championship Chess Tournament

Greetings to all of our loyal supporters!

I’m writing to let you know about a few important events both upcoming and in the past tense. First of all, the 84th(!!) version of the United States oldest “trophy-only” event, the Western Massachusetts/Connecticut Valley Championship will be taking place in two weeks, over the weekend of Feb. 21st-22nd. This event began as a checkers(?!) tournament back in 1921, then became the “official” Connecticut Valley Championship beginning in 1927 when New England chess pioneer Lenox Beech captured the title for the first time.

Over the years, many other western Mass. “household names” have claimed this crown (such as Eli Bourdon, Dr. Joe Platz, David Lees, John Ducharme, Stanley Targonski and Bob Campbell), while the tournament attendance was something to be envied; with the event drawing over a hundred contestants for close to ten years (back in the “glory days” of the 70’s to early 80’s).

Like a lot of chess events, despite its historical significance, attendance has fallen off drastically for this one, with the average contestants totaling around twenty for the last several years. So, time for a change… Despite the historical moniker that I’ve often quoted (“the longest running trophy-only event…”), unfortunately, this will be the last year that ‘trophies-only’ will be awarded. Beginning in 2010, this will be a cash event, with the revolving trophy going home with the overall champion. I’ve “upgraded” the class trophies for this last year to plaques (in gold and maple) suitable for wall mounting. So, I guess the long and short of this message is that if you wish to play in this last ‘pure’, “for trophies and honor” version, this will be your last chance. The 85th version will be to crown the W.MA/CT Valley champ with a trophy and some cash (with handsome cash prizes going to the top expert, top class A, B, C, etc.).

The event will be held at the plush accommodations of the Kittredge Center at Holyoke Community College in Holyoke, MA. Entry fees are $24 in advance (with your WMCA membership discount) and WMCA’s annual business meeting/”state of the union” address will be taking place in between rounds three and four on Sunday, February 22nd at 1:00 PM. I encourage you all to take part this year’s event, and have a chance to be a part of chess history!
Thank you for supporting western Mass. chess!

84th Annual Western Mass/Connecticut Valley Championship Chess Tournament
A HERITAGE EVENT!! (the longest running Trophy event in U.S.chess history!!)
Sponsored by the Western Massachusetts Chess Association
FEBRUARY 21st AND 22nd or FEBRUARY 22nd, 2009
The Kittredge Center at
303 Homestead Ave. (route 202)
Holyoke, MA

DIRECTIONS: From the Mass Turnpike (Route 90) take exit 4 to Route 91 North. Then from Route 91 heading north, take exit 15, then turn left onto Lower Westfield Road and right onto Homestead Avenue. Continue through the next set of lights and shortly you will see Holyoke Community College.
From Route 91 heading south, take exit 16. Then turn right onto Cherry Street, and an immediate left onto Homestead Avenue (Route 202 South/West).
PARKING: Enter the campus from Homestead Avenue, and then turn left. Park in Lot E at the bottom of the hill.
FORMAT: 5SS, G/90 One or Two day option available Rounds 1-2 in 1-day schedule G/40.
REGISTRATION: 2-day registration ends 10 AM on Saturday,
ROUND TIMES: 10:30 AM, 2 PM and 5:30 PM on Sat. 1:30 PM and 5 PM on Sunday.
1-day registration ends 9 AM on Sunday,
ROUND TIMES: 9:15 AM, 10:40 PM, 1/2 point bye, 1:30 PM and 5 PM on Sunday
SECTIONS // PRIZES: OPEN: Revolving trophy to 1st, trophy to top X, A, B, C, D, E and UNR
ENTRY FEE: Two day $26, or one day $24 mailed by 2/16/08, $29 at site.
EF DISCOUNTS: $2 less to WMCA members.

Mail check, payable to WMCA, and entry form to: Frank Kolasinski, 119 Brunswick St., Springfield MA 01108
Any questions? Contact Frank at 413-209-9450, or e-mail: horseyman5000@aol.com

Entry form


Name (First, Middle initial, Last)_____________________________________
USCF ID. No.________________ Expiration date________________
Rating________ 1/2 point byes (circle round/s) 1 2 3 4 5
Street______________________________________ City________________________ State____ ZIP_______
Phone #(______)________________ e-mail address___________________

Entry Fee: $________
USCF membership fee. (circle one) new or renewing: $________
TOTAL: $________

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Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar