Attention! Important Disclaimer!

While chillin' at the CCCR pool party in Vegas, admiring the flesh parade and pondering the wisdom of doubling down when the dealer shows a face card, it HIT ME ... CCCR is already a successful and popular chess club. They can do better. I offer modest improvments. They think I'm airing their dirty laundry and expressly decline to acknowledge or link to this website. "Acceptance, forgiveness and love" are my watchwords.

Contributions to this website become my property. While gratefully acknowledged, they don't constitute an endorsement and no association should be inferred.

Editorial content is generally authored by me, Randy MacKenzie.

Thanks to FIDE Master and USCF Senior Master Igor Nikolayev, FIDE Master and ICCM Isay Golyak, USCF National Master Matt Parry, and USCF National Master Stephen Capp for contributing many instructive games for publication.

See an error? Sorry about that. We're committed to keeping this information accurate. Report the error here and we'll get it fixed ASAP.

Friends say "Goodbye!" to Isay Golyak

Isay Golyak has relocated to Florida. An entire epoch of Rochester chess is over. He was a prominent nuclear physicist in the former Soviet Union before emigrating to the U.S.A. He became a high-energy research physicist at the University of Rochester, Department of Physics and Astronomy.

And for about 70 years he has displayed a great enjoyment of chess, for which he retains all his youthful enthusiasm. As a FIDE Master and International Correspondence Chess Master he has played thousands of games, many against legendary figures, some of whom he knew personally. His postal games are often cited as masterpieces of correspondence chess.

Never one to suffer fools gladly, he graciously revealed the deeper secrets of the royal game for a quarter century at the Rochester Chess Center. We will always remember Isay for his forceful demeanor and honest approach, as well as his devotion to chess. With an appreciative smile we wish him "Good Luck! and Good Chess!" in his new Southern U.S. location.


and now it's time to call it "quits"

It's been fun working on this website, especially with FM Igor Nikolayev supplying gamescores. I've succeeded in a limited sense as an unofficial CCCR alternative site webmaster. But, as a cub reporter airing the dirty laundry of others, I've hurt a lot of good people. My ill-fated quest for power was selfish and unnecessary. I'm truly sorry and I'd like to make amends.

First, it was wrong of me to operate a website bearing an organization's name without authorization or permission. That which, by rights, belongs to the real Community Chess Club of Rochester should not adorn my site's masthead or address bar. I will therefore direct my web-hosting service to discontinue hosting this dreadful website in four days.

After the first Saturday of next month, probably around August 1st, ownership of the "communitychessclub.com" domain will be transferred to the actual Community Chess Club as an act of contrition, after removal of all content which CCCR doesn't want. A $2,500.00 donation from me to the CCCR would help to defray their start-up costs for a new web server. It would also allow them to pay their webmaster a well-deserved monthly stipend for at least a year. And, as the days dwindle down to a precious few, let us delete this errant bookmark in our lives and return to the charming old CCCR website. Enough already! Let the healing begin.


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"Chess is so inspiring that I do not believe a good player is capable of having an evil thought during the game." (Wilhelm Steinitz)


blitz chess is evil incarnate but fun

Back in the 60's the Rochester Chess Club had a 10-second per move electric buzzer that was rarely used. Then we used chess clocks for 5-minute games. This remained popular for at least fifty years. Older players claimed it was harmful and ruined chess. Younger players scoffed and continued to win.

With the advent of the internet, chess servers are largely devoted to blitz and bullet games. ICC and FICS offer 5 0, 3 0, as well as 1 0 time limits.

5-minute chess is that fastest you can play without ruining your game. Most players who play 1 0 bullet chess find that their playing strength is permanently ruined. They will never be able to play good chess at standard OTB time limits again.

Lessons from blitz, Does playing blitz chess really hinder your progression (sic) as a chess player?, Blitz Chess - Is it Ruining Our Minds?, chess quotes about blitz.

European tournament standards differ from American

In America, TD's are not held to the same annoyingly high standards as in Europe where all TD's are well-trained. You can't become a TD there by just paying fees. You study and pass multiple tests in front of a serious commission.

A chess TD in Europe is constantly vigilant and frequently intervenes, watching everything and noting violations, similar to American basketball, baseball, and football referees. But in American chess tournaments, the TD may see problems but doesn't interfere with play unless requested to by a player. Normal in USCF practice. It's practically a totally different chess culture in Europe.

Suppose a European Qualification Committee member, let's say in a Zurich chess club, noticed irregularities in a rated tournament. Players noisily eating potato chips, slurping soups over the board, almost using the board as a plate or a tray, talking during the game, not keeping score sheets, making moves with one hand and pressing the clock with the other, offering a draw more than once, etc. All of which regularly happens in RCC.

If the TD there condones that type of behavior, he would lose his TD certificate and the club would lose its license. They would be told, "You can have good time here socializing and playing chess, but forget about being affiliated with the national federation and FIDE. Just enjoy yourselves and you don't need any TDs at all."

The Rochester Chess Center must turn a profit to survive. But in a socialist country like Europe, businessmen are often well-dressed philanderers, supported by their rich contessa wives. What keeps the Rochester Chess Center afloat is snack bar sales. A genuine business, of course.

"Don't be so serious! It's only chess."

You'll hear this whenever someone discusses having elections, or adhering to USCF rules, or having club bylaws or a constitution, or open accounting books or at least a financial summary.

After the Awards Ceremony trumpeted a player's mediocre simul results, someone calculated that he won 15, drew 4 and lost 6 out of 25. So he scored 68%. He lost a third of his games. Hardly a stellar performance.

Accolades are awards or privileges granted as a special honor or as an acknowledgment of merit. But his result was statistically achieveable by any one of a dozen experts in the Greater Rochester area.

And for such a poor score, the CCCR bought a celebratory cake and issued the guy a Certificate of Excellence. Yes, today's feel good society awards mediocrity on par as excellence.

You might be a low master if you...

  • Play the first few rounds of a tournament then drop out to avoid meeting serious opposition.
  • Neglect post-mortem sessions which give duffers insight about your valuable, secret pet lines.
  • Believe that the key to winning chess games is automatic pawn exchanges.
  • Rely on computers assessments rather than doping it out yourself.
  • Trust the latest analysis from Moscow rather than your own instincts.
  • Scrutinize the player list to see if you will face serious opposition. And walk out if prospects look bleak.
  • Prefer grabbing material (mostly pawns) rather than playing good chess.
  • Consider yourself the custodian of your USCF rating, rather than simply enjoying chess.
  • Worry about dipping below 2200, because your USCF rating is the fashion statement that defines you.
  • Played a USCF-rated match with a player rated 150 points below you to safely push your rating over 2200.

You might be a high master if you...

  • Play to improve your position, following principles and themes, eschewing material loss or gain.
  • Routinely show others correct lines, knowing that you will have more ideas and lines later.
  • Acknowlege computer assessments, but realize that being up "+1.43" isn't really saying anything.
  • Willing to match anyone at any time.
  • Prefer playing real chess rather than bean-counting pawns and pieces.
  • Don't sweat dipping below 2200, because a USCF rating is just a number.

Is this the official CCCR website ?

Well, no. I'm 66.15 years old and a second-rate web developer. Too feeble to produce quality html code. In fact, under the aegis and expertise of the great Mike Lionti, the real CCCR website was honed to exacting W3C fidelity and top-notch creative standards. There's also the Rochester Chess Club Blog, which is excellent!

Most agree that his CCCR master site has a human touch that reveals a warmth, humanity and down-home, caring honesty. The sheer beauty and seamless eye-candy woven into the modern chess tapestry that becomes the perfect website is quintessentially bedazzling.

Did you know that the CCCR website contains some excellent chess poetry?

Rochester's best chess organizer

Michael Lionti is the guiding force of chess in Rochester. Thinking critically, he contributes to innovation. Communicating clearly, he solves complex problems. Working seamlessly with club members from diverse cultural backgrounds, his inclusive policies, ethical judgement and integrity endear him to all. And with a capacity for continued new learning and an indespensible familiarity with computers and technology, clearly .. one couldn't ask for a better person to run this or any chess club.

What I learned from Mike was that it is not innate abilities, IQ or affluence that accounts for success in life. Rather the keys to achievement are perseverance, curiosity, conscientiousness, optimism and self-control. Mike personifies this plain grit.

Why did you start this website?

I wanted a serious website for the CCCR, publishing a membership list, bylaws, news, tournament announcements, cancelations, and members' games. The local chess community needed a more reliable, timely source of information. I sought CCCR accreditation for this site and appointment as CCCR webmaster and Director of Media. At that time the CCCR's website was not actively maintained. But Mike has improved it and it looks passable now. But there is one problem.

Running a local chess website requires the participation and cooperation of local organizers. Collecting needed data for publication proved to be initially problematic. In hindsight it's clear that establishing and maintaining website content is better left to the official powers that be.

And the concensus was that my motives were somehow malevolent and that my calls for rigorously open, honest club government were "too negative." It's true that I come from a different era, ex-military. My values center on morality, literacy and excellence. Today that passes for "negativity."

In fairness they postponed judgement, and later advised me that an official CCCR web site could not include public disclosure of complaints. Completely understandable. It upsets the pansy of fraternity when one of their own is caught. Which is regularly.

What's not true is the rumor that I am airing negative aspects of the CCCR without cause. Progress occurs gradually as CCCR reads my commentary and makes improvements. For example, club memberships now expire six months or a year from the date of payment, not universally on 12/31/2015 as before. The membership list is quite an eye sore and you will not find many games in the games database.

At any rate, on September 30, 2008, about 6.82 years ago, I took the plunge and registered this domain. And I was stuck with the name.

About Community Chess Club

The CCCR is USCF Affiliate A6000220 and meets on Wednesday evenings (except holidays) from 7:00pm to 11:00pm at the Rochester Chess Center, 221 Norris Drive, Rochester, NY 14610 (585) 442-2430. A USCF-rated event is played every Wednesday at 7:30pm. The time control (TC) is game in 80 minutes. The entrance fee (EF) is $3.00 for CCCR members and $5.00 for non-members. USCF membership is required which gets you a USCF rating. [Upcoming USCF NYS tournaments]

Sets and boards are provided. If time and TD permit, you can play another rated game. Always report the result to the TD or post it on the pairing sheet. Yes, even if you lost.

Rates: CCCR annual membership dues are $25.00.

Officers: Donald Stubblebine (President); Doug Spencer (Vice-president); Mike Lionti (Treasurer); Dr. David Worl and Ken McBride (Secretaries)

What are the duties of the CCCR officers?

Please note that with the exception of treasurer, these offices appear to be ceremonial. There is no secretary keeping minutes of meetings because AFAIK there are no officer's meetings. The president has no duties because there are no club bylaws or constitution defining those duties, and no elections. We have officers because other chess clubs do and we think we probably should, too. This "election" nonsense, a remnant from a time when some people had critical thinking skills, is no longer necessary or meaningful.

These are politically charged times. Battle lines are drawn. We expect your indulgence, obedience and steadfast, unyielding loyalty. Please try to be loyal mean, or at least quiet, best you can.

Normally, I'd be a little concerned because, generally, appointing officers is done to avoid the appearance of impropriety and rubber stamp the decisions of the person that appointed them. But sometimes they are appointed as a matter of convenience and that is what has occurred in this case. Yes, that is what happened. I am sure of it.

Most of the members are not interested or capable of actively participating in running the club. Still, if a "club officer" told me today was Tuesday, I'd probably buy a calendar.

CCCR is more of a social club than a chess club. I hope you will like the "chess club" ... give it a chance. If it doesn't work, you can always go to the chessclub down the street.

The benefits of a kinder, gentler chess club

The good and kind gentleman who owns the Rochester Chess Center nobly protects the weak and innocent from the rigors and drudgery of real chess tournaments. And that means that sometimes the official U.S. Chess rules requiring writing down the moves during the game may occasionally be suspended for psychologically flawed players. No chit or medical variance is required. I follow his example and endeavor to show similar compassion and consideration to others in my daily life!

So maybe the official USCF rules are not always strictly followed. I'm OK with that, and you should be, too, as an American in 2015. The human approach, looser and less mechanical, is a perfectly acceptable way of running a club. So don't let the inability to keep an accurate gamescore prevent you from playing rated games at CCCR. Seriously... we don't care. We don't even check.

It's a chess club where people can play rated chess and men enjoy each other's company. So, kick back and enjoy the warm summer weather. Good luck! Support your local chess club!

Chess Center events and info

As a great American and U.S. Army veteran, 39-year-old Ron is also a former U.S. Amateur Chess Champion (1967), married with a son and a daughter. He was an avid bicycle racer and played some ice hockey at Clarkson College while earning an engineering degree. He worked at Kodak. In addition to being the "Chief TD" of RCC Saturday tournaments that he never attends, he enjoys playing in baseball leagues. His chess camp and scholastic youth programs are outstanding. The Rochester Chess Center sells discounted chess equipment and has a weekly event schedule.

Chess Center 2015 annual picnic

Mendon Ponds Park, East Lodge; Wednesday, July 15th. Directions: Go south on Clover Street, cross the NYS Thruway, enter the park (turn left) at the first entrance. The lodge is 1/2 mile on the left. Fires will be stoked up at 5:30pm, although the lodge is ours from 12:00pm on. Rain or shine, the lodge will be fine!

Rochester Chess Center provides the Chess Sets, soft drinks, and charcoal. Bring your own food to grill, plates, silverware, and sports equipment. This is a communal event, so please bring a dish to share. Last name A to M please bring a salad to pass, N to Z please bring a desert to share. Of course if you have that very special picnic goodie you always make, please bring that along instead.

Everyone is welcome, $5 per person, $15 maximum per family. Picnic is free to Chess Center members and their families. Catered by Red Light BBQ.

Why no wifi at chess center?

The internet is a foul place full of child pornography and dating. Fortunately, cops can catch perverts with IP logging. Websites log the IP of visitors and cops can trace individuals identities by contacting their ISP and proceeding accordingly. For example, your IP address is "54.82.86.242" and your ISP is "compute-1.amazonaws.com".

Yes, many restaurants have wifi for their customers. But the Chess Center takes a more proactive approach. They don't want people viewing "bad things" on the internet. So wifi is not permitted. Easier that way.


CCCR buys building in Rochester

Community Chess Club Headquarters

Community Chess Club has announced the acquisition of a building in downtown Roch­es­ter, Minnesota, an area with a more understanding tax environment. The concourse has shops, restaurants, and a health bar. One hundred and fifty individual units will house chessplayers at a room rate of $5.00 USD per day. Extended stays are OK, provided that your CCCR, RCC, and USCF memberships are current, and that your USCF rating doesn't decrease by more than fifty points in any three month period.

The present occupancy rate is 75%, and consists of businesses renting office space at premium prices, which defrays our costs. But chessplayers have exclusive use of seven floors for skittles, bughouse, serious tournament play, or just lounging around and eating pizza. No smoking, no alcohol, no drugs, no religion. Use of the sauna, steam room, jacuzzi, and wifi-ready recreation area is included.

Demographic projections show that a proposed Las Vegas-style Nightly Chess League (NCL) will draw a weekly total of a thousand (1000) players, Monday through Friday. It'll be played in three sections: open, under-1800, and unrated. We believe that an upscale clientele will prefer our events to the bar and restaurant scene in recessionary times. It's the tiered-top building, just left of the large rectangular structure in the center of the photo.

Do you compete with the CCCR?

Mike and I have different styles of webmasterin'. He prefers to do everything himself. That way he knows everything will get done. As a tyro, I rely on a coterie of helpers and assistance in a wide range of areas: layout, color selection, dhtml, gamescores and analysis. But, yes, we compete. Check out this googlefight with the CCCR Official website or the one with the CCCR Blog.

Mike ain't much of a coder. Takes major exception to guys ragging on him about how CCCR should be run. But he's a good guy and we all love him because he's brought stability and structure to our chess community. Yes, errors to the main website abound. And the blog needs corrections, too. But they work.

Grandmaster Kenneth Rogoff

American chess grandmaster Kenneth Rogoff grew up a mile from the Rochester Chess Center. His comments on his chess career and chess games are available. The Boylston Chess Club Weblog has an Up Close & Personal story.

He was chief economist of the International Monetary Fund from 2001 to 2003, and is now an economist at Harvard University. His views on the current (2008) financial crisis and other financial matters are widely aired on National Public Radio and the BBC Radio World Service. His economic insights appear regularly in Newsweek, New York Times, and The Financial Times. He served as an economics adviser to the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, U.S. Senator John McCain.

In 2010 he co-authored This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly with Carmen M. Reinhart, reviewed by the New York Times Business and Economy section. Elsewhere he writes of the imminent Chinese Property Collapse and wonders, "Can Good Emerge From the BP Oil Spill?"

On April 27, 2010 the National Academy of Sciences announced the election of 72 new members, including Professor Kenneth Rogoff of Harvard's Department of Economics. Professor Rogoff will join the Academy's 2,097 active members as advisers to the nation on science, engineering, and medicine. Bloomberg has some accounts of Rogoff's recent activities.

Matt Parry plays chess in Vung Tau, Vietnam

[Oct. 4, 2008 Matt Parry Vietnam Tournament] Show your support for Matt's upcoming trip representing the USA at the World Junior Chess Ch. in Vung Tau, Vietnam. Three round Swiss System (2pm, 4pm, 6pm) G/60. Special Entry Fee $20.00, $10 donated to the Parry family, $10 to prizes. Your last chance to see Matt before he leaves for Vietnam for two weeks. Pizza and snacks provided, but bring a dish to share, if possible. Update: Matt won the tournament, the cash prize and got $200.00 to help defray costs of the trip. Congrats, Matt! We all hope you do well in the World Junior Chess Championship! Update 10/24/2008: At the event midpoint, Matt is doing well, winning when expected to, and losing games to much higher rated titled players, GM/IM/FM. He finished with +5 =0 -6.

Matt Parry has contributed his trip summary from the 2008 World Junior Chess Ch. in Vung Tau, Vietnam.

Is being a webmaster difficult?

Being a webmaster without a computer is difficult. I plan to buy a nice one in late 2015, finances permitting. For now this means a slog of some five miles, twice a week. I walk through snow and cold in winter, the rains of April, and the searing heat of summer. Arriving at the Henrietta Public Library, I use a free computer. Bus service is sporatic.

The hardest thing is supervising, training and selecting staff. Sometimes you've got to be cruel to be kind. And it breaks my heart to reject players' game submissions, but I must maintain high standards.

I learned HTML in the mid-1990's after procrastinating for months. It's a mark-up language originally designed for non-technical acedemics to create web pages. I have no formal training.

While playing chess on FICS, I met JohnnyRio, who said he had worked in an illegal auto chop shop, stripping down stolen cars for parts. While serving thirty-seven months in an Oregon State Prison for Grand Theft Auto (GTA), or soon thereafter, he created a Bobby Fischer fan web site. It was a simple web page and had a little table with an "x" marked for months that he had Chess Life magazine issues. Thrilling, isn't it?

A convicted felon had a web page. I had none and had recently been cleared of all charges. Something about they never found the head. Whatever. After this lucky break, I resolved to learn HTML. Maintaining this web site has necessitated updating those rusty HTML coding skills, first to XHTML and then to HTML5. That taught me to be more thoughtful and careful in producing good code.

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Last modified: July 11 2015 01:15:19.