CCL Dominates at 2014 Ohio Grade Levels – Again!

After last year’s total dominance at the Ohio Grade Levels, I was ready for a slight let down this year.  Wrong!  You almost never let me down finishing with what may be an even greater show of chess power than last year.  There were so many strong performances at the Grade Levels that it is impossible to report them all.  With the exception of one player (who scored 4-1) all of the CCL players were in grades 2 -9.  In those grades we won every grade level championship and when there were co-champions, every co-champion was a CCL player.   How clearly you have separated yourself from the rest of the state.  For the sake of modesty, I am only going to list the CCL grade level champions.

Grade 2 Champion = Ethan Fang

Grade 3 Champion = Jason Wang

Grade 4 Champion = Karthik Kallan (he just graduated from  Pre-CCL a week before the tournament!)

Grade 5 Co-Champions =  Yutong ‘Elton’ Cao, Evan Huang, Dominic Mayhew, Ethan Ferkins

Grade 6 Champion = Vincent Baker

Grade 7 Champion = Luke Xie

Grade 8 Champion = Anagh Kulkarni

Grade 9 Co-Champions = Jasen Lai, Kian Souayvixay, Viktor Lim, Akul Rajan

Complete tournament results are posted at

My favorite pictures from the tournament are of our 2nd grade participants.  The first one shows 2nd grade level champion Ethan Fang, shining like a bright light overrun by a mass of older and larger humanity.  Ethan is showing me that he has 4 points after the 4th round.  In the 2nd picture, clear 2nd place finisher Joseph Winkler tries to figure out a way to hold both his individual and team trophies.








Below are the pictures for the grade levels:

Luke Xie ties state record at the 2014 Grade Levels

Luke Xie tied the Ohio Grade Level Championship record by winning his 7th grade level championship, and Luke just did this in 7th grade! He tied the record that was solely held by Jonathan Hilton. This was a record that no one has come close to in the past. An amazing feat by USCF Expert, Lukie Dukie. He is expected to break the record next year at the 2015 Grade Level Championships.

Luke Xie -- 7 time  grade level champion
Luke Xie — 7 time
grade level champion

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