Chess — Stephen Dann

The second Providence Invitational Open, this year in historical (1870s) Roger Williams Park a week ago yesterday, attracted 172 players of all ages in six sections. This writer was one of them, the first weekend event I’ve competed and finished as a player in more than 25 years.

Even though today is my 62nd birthday, I did compete in probably 50 rated events from 1968 to the mid- to late 1980s, when participation among adults, high school and college students in weekend events was much greater generally than it is today.

The first weekend one was in Providence in 1968 (Southeastern New England Open) at the Providence and Gambit chess clubs, sharing a floor at 23 Aborn St. in downtown Providence.

At 17, and with a new driver’s license, I drove to Rhode Island with fellow high school student Chris “Paul” Tyborowski, a Granite Street neighbor, and we stayed at the Providence YMCA during the three-day event. Paul had a much better tournament than I did.

The 2013 Rhode Island event brought back many memories, outside in a 435-acre park under one large tent. My absence of 25 years was nothing compared to some who had not competed in tournaments for a far longer period of time. There were 12 masters, more than 100 young students, and 70 or so from Massachusetts, including veteran John Curdo of Auburn and teen star Andrew Liu of Westboro.

What was most interesting were the 55 “new” or unrated players, almost an outreach miracle. Frank DelBonis, RICA president, and Frank Vogel, the chief TD, have vowed to present the crosstables at We’ll continue the story and even present instructive positions from at least one of my games captured by Tim Brennan, Colorado chess guru of

Watch today at for results of the seven-round, 128-player knockout event, with one American player, Gata Kamsky, remaining as of yesterday in Tromso, Norway. Today is round five tiebreak day. Tomorrow begins round six, and the final four-game match begins Friday and should end on Labor Day.

Pick of the week at is the 73rd New England Open at the Double Tree Hilton, formerly the Sheraton in Leominster. The Wachusett Chess Club returns Wednesday to the McKay Campus School of Fitchburg State University, details at

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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