CCL goes to the Triangle

CCL went to “The Triangle” in North Carolina last weekend to visit my son and to promote CCL. On Saturday Atanas went to the Durham Chess Club with my son, Jason, to give a lecture followed by a simul. Goran and I went to the Carrboro Chess Club for some informal chess instruction. The main event was on Sunday in Chapel Hill, which is where the pictures in the below slideshow are from. That event started with me bragging about CCL and all that you have accomplished. It may have been unbelievable to them but it was all the truth. Your accomplishment surpass any realistic expectations. After I was done bragging, Atanas gave a lecture on Attacking Chess and then there were two simuls. Goran gave a blindfold 10 board simul (I moved the pieces) while Atanas played everyone else in the regular simul. Goran drew 2 games and won the rest, while I believe that Atanas drew 3 games and won the rest.  I don’t know if the regular newspapers covered us but we received coverage in Macedonia (click here)!  This may be because Atanas is an  ex-captain of the national team, ex-coach of the national team and from to time he plays for the national team.

Cleveland Classic

CCL Performs Well at the Lake

So many strong results at the Cleveland Classic

Open Section

It looked like Coach Goran was not going to win an Ohio tournament, after he blew a promising position to GM Bryan Smith, coming away with a zero. However, his students came to his rescue with 8th grader Maggie Feng drawing GM Smith in round 3 while 7th grader Luke Xie drew GM Smith in the final round.  When the smoke cleared, Goran was saved by his students and went on to tie for first with GM Smith.  Joining Maggie and Luke in a tie for 3rd place was 5th grader Chris Shen.   This was pretty much a reunion of the CCL team that won MOTCF earlier in the year.

These young CCL players just keep getting better and better. I keep thinking that there is an end to it but I guess that there may not be.  Maggie Feng and Luke Xie both drew GM Brian Smith.  Maggie is in 8th grade, Luke is in 7th grade, and Bryan Smith is an adult Grandmaster in his prime.  I am not knocking Bryan at all, he is a very strong player.  I am just stunned to see you all grow up so much, both in and outside of chess.


U-1400 Section

Galloping in from up north, Canadian CCL student Ethan Eckert came in clear 1st place in the U-1400 section, gaining 527 rating points in the process.  When I went to Ethan (aka Canadian Bacon) telling him that I was amazed with his results, he simply said, 'no big deal, Eh?'.  I guess that he was right as he repeatied this performance by winning the U-1400 section in out chess camp the following weekend.

Other strong results

Also strong CCL performances were posted by:

Victoria Baker +69/1160

Dominic Mayhew +59/1315

Cody Yang +26/1611




CCL Chess Camp 5 – An Emphasis on Endgames

Saturday and Sunday      November  1st – 2nd
(with extended times, now going until 5:30 PM)

This is the second in our series of Tag-Team chess camps.  There will be two International Master chess coaches giving the lessons, moving from group to group.  There is a greater value in this approach as the students can learn chess from two different accomplished coaches, who each have their own perspective on the game.   It is the CCL way to provide the very best in everything that we do.  In these camps, there will be a U-1400 and an O-1400 group, with 6 periods across the two days.   Please pack a lunch to eat during a game playing break in the middle of the camp.  These camps are only open to CCL, Pre-CCL, and the Mulligan Chess Clubs members.

Space is limited to these camps and they are both first come, first serve.

Date:  November  1st – 2nd (Saturday – Sunday)
Time:  9:30 – 5:30, total of 16 hours (two hours longer than previous camps)
Place:  Ramada Plaza Hotel and Convention Center; 4900 Sinclair Road; Columbus, Ohio   43229
Salon AB and Salon C

At every chess camp, we try to improve on the one before it.  At the last camp, the number one concern was the short time control for the tournament games (which start at a prescribed position).  I believe we had 10 rounds of g/10 games.   At this camp we will be having 8 rounds of g/20 d/5.  Although there will be two less games, the games will take a couple of more hours to complete, so we added two hours to the length of the camp so as not to effect the total amount of lecture time.  We also changed from 6 sessions to 4 sessions.  Since this camp is on endgames, a moderate level of depth into these topics may not be enough for a significant gain.  By extending the lecture times on these topics we feel much more comfortable that the students will leave this camp as significantly better endgame players than when they entered.  We also have a small period at the end of each camp where the students can come to the coaches with individual concerns and questions.  We will keep our tag-team approach from the last camp, where both coaches work with both groups, which we felt was very effective.  We value your feedback in helping us to continue to improve our processes.

50% discounts to 2nd child from the same family, retirees and to participants coming from outside of Ohio.

100% money back if you cannot make it to the camp, for any reason.

Registration is now open

Cost per camp:

Two day = $219
One day = $119

Registration with credit cards online at ‎ or with check via mail to:

Alan Casden
7520 Deer Crossing Court
Worthington, Ohio   43085

Any questions can be addressed to:
(614) 561-2718


Coach Hans and CCL shines at Ohio Chess Congress

o   First of all, congratulations to Coach Hans for winning the State Championship (and $1000) this year and keeping it as a CCL tradition for the 4th straight year.  Although this was Han’s first state championship he looked like someone who wins it every year.  He took a 1st round bye then won 4 in a row before giving up a ‘clinch the tournament’ draw in the last round.  From what I could see, he never seemed in trouble throughout the event, playing relaxed and with focus.

o   On a personal note, I had a rough going. I decided not to take morning byes and consequently was paired against CCL players Noah Keating-Adams and Blake Baumgartner on two consecutive mornings.  They both simply outworked me, making me feel like the old man that I am becoming.  I was torn between being disgusted and proud, saddened and happy.  It stinks to lose but there is also an immense joy that I experience when I see how well you are all playing.  I dropped out of the tournament in the last round and watched your games.  I cannot express in words how impressed and blissful I felt watching you play.  You have come so far and you are so young.  So mature beyond your years.  I tried to hold back my smiles, not wanting to appear like a father who thought that their kids were the best ‘Sneetches on the Beaches’.   I am so proud of you, and of the excellent coaching staff that we have at CCL.  I doubt that there is anything, anywhere, quite like what we are doing now.  It is an honor to be part of this experience.

o  IMG_3531

o   They had a ceremony before the last round where they singled out 5 kids as being the future of chess in Ohio.  They were CCL players (l-r) Dakshin Pisini, Vincent Baker, Alan Zhang, Jason Wang, and Emma Cheng.  Chris Shen was wondering why he was not chosen since he is so young and higher rated than anyone else in that group.  That is obvious, it is because Chris is not part of the future of chess in Ohio, he is part of the present!

o   You all played so well that I hate to single out just a few but I will

  • 2014 – 2015 State of Ohio Chess Champion = Coach Hans Multhopp
  • U – 2000 Clear 2nd place = Abhi Ramaswamy
  • U-1400 was dominated by the CCL girls:
    • Clear 1st place = Stella Huang
    • Clear 2nd place = Emma Cheng
    • Clear top U-1100 = Victoria Baker
  • Gained most rating point (143) = Dakshin Pisini

–          The 25 Club

o   Dakshin Pisini              +143    1496    Ohio Chess Congress

o   Emma Cheng              +100    1324    Ohio Chess Congress (2nd Place U-1400 $350)

o   Elton Cao                     +93      1613    Ohio Chess Congress (2-way tie for 3rd place in U-1700 $125)

o   Stella Huang                +75      1429    Ohio Chess Congress (1st Place U-1400 $650)

o   Kevin Wang                 +59      1654    Tennessee Open

o   Austin Yan                   +36      1775    Southwest Open

o   Vikram Srivastava       +35      2037    Ohio Chess Congress (2 way tie for u-2200 money – $225??)

o   Luke Xie                       +33      2095    Ohio Chess Congress

o   Abhi Ramaswamy       +28      2001    Ohio Chess Congress (2nd in U-2000 $500 ??)

o   Sujan Rachuri              +26      1660    Ohio Chess Congress (top U-1700

o   Almost (Alan Z, +19, Victoria +20 (won U-1100 money in U-1400 section $200), Nolan +20, Blake +23, Joshua +23)

o   Noah Keating-Adams  –  (2 way tie for u-2200 money – $225??)

o   Coach Hans – $1000 and title of State of Ohio Chess Champion

Abhi Ramaswamy becomes 13th CCL Graduate

Abhi Ramaswamy (left) drawing CCL graduate Anagh Kulkarni at the 2014 Ohio Chess Congress

Congratulations to our latest and 13th CCL graduate, Abhi Ramaswamy.

  • Abhi earned his graduation at the Ohio Chess Congress, last weekend,  coming in 2nd place in the U-2000 section (details on this tournament will be posted in a couple of days)
  • Abhi has just started 9th grade.
  • This Who’s Who chess list has been growing with great talent at an increasing fast rate.  Abhi has worked extremely hard for this honor, as has all of our CCL graduates.  They have all learned the value of perseverance and hard work.
  • What is a CCL graduate?  It is an honorary degree that we give to any CCL player who has worked their way through the ranks while in CCL and has made a USCF experts rating (>= 2000).   This group is becoming a who’s who of the top young talent around.  It entitles them to lifetime membership in CCL, based on good behavior, without the requirements of taking lessons.  They are allowed to receive email spam from me for the rest of their lives!!
  • Who will be next?
  • CCL graduates are (in order of obtainment):
    • John Hughes
    • Walker Griggs
    • Maggie Feng
    • Rahul Ramaswamy
    • Annorjan Naguleswaran
    • Luke Xie
    • Chris Shen
    • Noah Keating-Adams
    • Sam Massick
    • Anagh Kulkarni
    • Vikram Srivastava
    • Aristo Liu
    • Abhi Ramaswamy