Community Chess Weekend, September 21-23, 2018
Thank you to everyone who came out and made Harvard's first ever Community Chess Weekend a fantastic success! The newly-renovated Smith Center gave players and spectators alike the full experience of fun, friendly, competitive chess in historic Harvard Square. We had great turnouts for both Friday's open play and Saturday's simul with GM Larry Christiansen, but the real highlights were what followed. Forty players showed up to play in the Collins Cup Qualifier on Saturday afternoon for several hours of exciting, intense chess in the windy Square. After nine rounds of play, with the sun setting, Martin van Dommelen, Arne Hessenbrook, Joe Perl, and Richard Yi came out on top in their respective groups. Congratulations to Martin for winning the four-player playoff by defeating Joe in the finals!
With Joe seeded into Sunday's incredibly strong all-master Collins Cup Invitational tournament as Martin had prior commitments, 16 of Cambridge's strongest blitz players played a round-robin to determine the winner of the inaugural Collins Cup. Congratulations to HCC's own FM Varun Krishnan, who cleaved through the field with 13.0/15.0 to win by 1.5 points over second-place IM Alex Katz of MIT. Yours truly (NM Bryan Hu) came in third with 10.0/15.0. We thank the rest of the field for giving the Square its strongest gathering of chess players seen in quite some time!
Special thanks to Nathan Smolensky of MACA for providing impeccable direction and management for all four weekend events, as well as Harvard Common Spaces for providing the impetus for the execution of an event dedicated to the Harvard chess community.