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Space City Chess Club plans tourney

Space City Chess Club will host a nationally rated tournament on Jan. 16 at Hitachi Consulting in Huntsville. CONTRIBUTED
Space City Chess Club will host a nationally rated tournament on Jan. 16 at Hitachi Consulting in Huntsville. CONTRIBUTED

MADISON – In its inaugural year, Space City Chess Club enjoyed a successful run.

Looking to 2016, the club will sponsor its next nationally rated tournament on Jan. 16 at Hitachi Consulting, 1500 Perimeter Pkwy NW, Suite 100 in Huntsville. This tournament is affiliated with U.S. Chess Federation and requires USCF and Alabama Chess Federation membership.

Games will start at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. First-place prize will be $225; second, $155; and third, $95. Entry fee is $30 in advance or $45 on site.

For advance registration, mail entries to Huntsville/Space City Chess Club, 13082 Virginia Court, Madison AL 35756. To register online, visit hnewquii.com/store/straw-man-monthly-january-2016.

Tournament sponsors are Sunny Street Cafe and the House of Staunton.

Currently, Sunny Street Cafe Grand Prix leaders are Luis Morenilla at 12 points and Josh McClellan, 9 points.

Club manager Don Maddox said the club has three primary missions:

* To create opportunities for local adults to play chess informally.

* To provide regular opportunities to play nationally rated games.

* To bridge area adult players and scholastic players.

“In July, area players caught a significant break when retired NASA engineer Frank Camaratta volunteered to resurrect an idea, ‘Organized Chess for Fun,’ he had successfully implemented 35 years before in another Madison … Connecticut,” Maddox said.

The simple idea involves an internal club rating. Pairs closest in rating are divided into Quads (groups of four) with Grand Prix points awarded for each section’s top four places. Camaratta dubbed the competition, The MadVille Quads, honoring Madison and Huntsville.

In 1990, Camaratta founded The House of Staunton, widely recognized as the world’s premier chess set designer and distributor, located in Huntsville.

In first place, 12-year-old Joel Friedman leads national expert Josh McClellan by a half-point. Patrick Dowd, Don Maddox, Paul Mulqueen, Campbell Dobbs and Larisa Friedman are jockeying within 1.5 points for third place.

In the Kids Quads, Timothy Zhu and Puja Chopade own first and second places.

Space City Chess Club meets at Sunny Street Cafe, 7143-B U.S. 72 W. in Madison on Mondays. For a weekly club bulletin, email ddmaddox@hotmail.com.

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