We like to think of our Marshall Chess Club community as quite extensive, but sometimes, it is also just composed of a small knit community of dedicated individuals who frequently play at the club. One of those chess players was Mikhail/Michael Layevskiy. He recently passed away of cancer and his wake was held on December 8th, 2017.
Mikhail played his first tournament in 1996 as a scholastic player and played throughout high school. Before playing at the Marshall, he frequented the Manhattan Chess Club. He played at the Marshall regularly in 2002. Later, he became a Staten Island instructor for Premier Chess, which is headed by NM Evan Rabin.
A non chess related fun fact: Mikhail also loved to play checkers, which he sometimes played at the Marshall. TD Aaron Jacobson recalls, “I remember once he played GM Zviad Izoria in checkers and the grandmaster said, ‘I play checkers like you play chess!’ Mikhail kept beating Izoria in checkers.”
Mikhail Layevskiy will be greatly missed by the Marshall Chess Club and forever remembered as a regular and friend to the club.
While many Americans spent the past few days at giant Thanksgiving family gatherings and Black Friday shopping, many people dedicated to studying and playing chess made it to the Marshall Chess Club even on the busiest of holiday seasons. Some chess players tried their hand at the $500 FIDE Blitz or the Nathan Jackson Memorial tournament, but some, like Prospero Lugo, went to the club for a filler game. Reynaldo Ramos stayed behind after the Memorial tournament to play a few casual rounds. The spirit of chess proves itself to be never ending in ways like this.
The club did not expect to attract so many players this Thanksgiving weekend, as the annual National Chess Congress stole the attention of some grandmasters and regulars. However, Grandmaster Aleksandr Lenderman achieved quite an impressive feat of making it to both tournaments: after winning the $200 first prize of the FIDE Blitz, he headed off to Philadelphia for the Chess Congress. Other players also found advantages in the popularity of the National Chess Congress. In the FIDE Blitz, FM Levy Rozman scored 7 out of 9, ahead of GM Michael Rohde (6.5/9) and IM Alex Ostrovsky (6/9). Qindong Yang, Mikhail Koganov, and Niazul Haque Niaz won class prizes, and Anthony Kozikowski, Glenn Cabasso, and Anthony Norris had a three way tie for the U2000 prize. Overall, the tournament was relatively successful, with 26 players.
The Nathan Jackson Memorial Tournament offered $1,500 in prize money, with three place prizes and six class prizes. Rarely are U2400, 2200, 2000, 1800, 1600, and 1400 prizes all offered in a tournament at the Marshall. , Over 50 players showed up to play. One example of a player choosing the Marshall weekend tournament over the Philly one was Noah Flaum, a club regular, who preferred to play the Nathan Jackson Memorial instead of the Chess Congress at a faraway city.
It was IM Djurabek Khamrakulov, the top seed, who won the tournament, with only a single draw in the last round. A noticeable upset was Alan Morris Suzuki’s win over Hysen Boshnjakaj in the third round, with around a 400 point difference between them. For all inquiries of prize money, the following players won prizes:
IM Djurabek Khamrakulov, First place: $300
FM Kyron Griffith, 2nd Place/split U2400: $175
FM Asa Hoffman, 2nd Place/split U2400: $175
IM Yury Lapshun, 3rd Place/U2200: $50
FM Leif Pressman, 3rd Place/U2200: $50
Daniel Smith, 3rd Place/U2200: $50
Guillaume Gras, 3rd Place/U2200: $50
Eugene Yoo, 3rd Place/U2200: $50
Sami Sadiku, U2000:$50
Katrina Won, U2000: $50
Anthony Norris, U2000: $50
Kaden Pollard, U1800: $30
Vikram Rajmohan; U1800: $30
Noah Fawer, U1800: $30
Alan Morris-Suzuki, U1800: $30
Astor Gilberto, U1800: $30
Max Kozower, U1600: $150
The Marshall Chess Club is crowded with chess players many days of the year, but on Saturday, November 18, over 90 players packed into the two floors, wanting to play chess. There were so many people in the club, in fact, it could not accommodate all the registrants, as the physical space could not fit any more boards for the two ongoing tournaments!
The U2300 tournaments are frequently the most popular tournaments at the Marshall, but the U1800 attracted 28 players, a high rarely achieved.
The U1800 tournament featured many upsets accomplished by the lower half of the tournament, such as Litsi Aquilla, a player rated 999 who defeated Alexander Mash, a 1500 rated player, and Tim Liu, rated 1167, who beat the 7th seed, Edward Morales. Overall, the tournament seemed to be dominated by the Success Academy students, who have recently been showing up to the club in great numbers. This might even increase, as the school received a huge donation this week from a philanthropist to fund chess activities further. The happiest player of the day, though, had to be Krish Patni, who won first place with a perfect 4-0 and only a rating of 1400. Despite not finishing on Saturday, the U2300 yielded some interesting surprises, as well. Nazzareno Bertini drew FM Nico Chasin with almost a 500 point rating difference. The 3 day long tournament is sure to finish in an exciting race for first.
Looking forward, there are many tournaments to look forward to at the Marshall. The club is closed on Thanksgiving, but it hold the Nathan Jackson Memorial on November 25th and the William Lombardy Memorial and Blitz on November 28th, the last few exciting events in November. Make sure to check out our calendar for more information on these tournaments and others.