1st Greater Baystate Open
Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel
181 Boston Post Road W
Marlborough, MA 01752
Send entry fee to: greater.baystate.chess@gmail.com

St. John's Lutheran Church
60 Broad St
Westfield, MA

GBCC Meets at 6:00 P.M.



    Our Unrated tournament was a success with a turnout of 14 players. Congratulations to the champions, Ilya Begilman and Alex Brancic who tied for 1st winning 3/3 games, splitting 1st & 2nd place prizes. Juan Jose Aguirre Laverde fought a hard, tough battle with Alex in the final round, and tied for 3rd. A huge congratulations is also in order to 10 year old Hailey Munoz, who had the second best score in the penultimate round with 1.5/2! She played some brilliant chess against Ilya in the last round, who commended her on her skill. Although she lost the game, Ilya was so impressed, he split his prize money with her!! As an expert and professional player from the Soviet school of chess, this has never been done by him for anyone! Excellent job Hailey!
The award for greatest shirt of the week goes to Rick Prince for his awesome Hawaiian shirt!
    Thank you to our new members, Jacob and Seungly for joining us!

    This coming week at the club, Candidate Master, and Club Vice President Robert Campbell will be giving a brief lecture on Rook & pawn endings for those interested. Chess games that end with rooks and pawns are the most common type of ending, occurring in about 8–10% of all games. Most rook and pawn endings with more pawns can be reduced to a rook and one pawn versus rook endgame. They are a must know for every chess player at any level.
    Bob has an amazing photographic memory for chess. To explain one example of this, he has memorized the revised 587 page "Basic Chess Endings" book, which was written by Grandmaster Reuben Fine, containing a whopping 1330 positions, most with diagrams! It is considered the first systematic and well-known book in English on the endgame phase of chess.
Casual skittles play, and all other club activities will proceed as well.

You can donate on our website,
directly by Venmo or PayPal to greater.baystate.chess@gmail.com., or at the club with cash or check.
You can now donate with checks payable to:
Greater Baystate Chess.
By mail to: Greater Baystate Chess
C/O Gaetano Bompastore
10 Conner Ave FL 2
Westfield, MA 01085

Thank you so much for your support!

*Huge Free parking lot in the rear of the church, well lit.
* DONATION based; no membership fees required.
* We only ask for donations to cover weekly rent & expenses.
*Donations Greatly Appreciated!
*US Chess Federation Affiliate
*Casual & professional players welcome at all levels, ages 5 and up.
*Fun family atmosphere. We strive to make it, so Everyone feels welcome!
*Productive, educational activities for children & adults alike.
*Chess equipment is provided, and you may bring your own if you like.
*Chess Club Library Books
*Rated & Unrated tournaments
*Simultaneous Exhibitions
*Basic lessons
*Analysis of games
*Chess puzzles to solve
*Make new friends, see old friends!
*Coffee, cold drinks & snacks available
*You may bring your own food
*Great lighting
*Separate Restrooms
*Many large tables
*Please be considerate & kind to everyone.


07/26/24 - 07/28/24 Bradley Open TLA MAP
08/15/24 - 08/18/24 54th Annual Continental Open TLA MAP
08/17/24 10th annual Continental Open Blitz Championship TLA MAP
08/25/24 59th Annual NBCC Summer Open TLA MAP
08/30/24 - 09/02/24 New York State Championship TLA MAP
09/14/24 16th W.M.C.A. Free TLA MAP
10/18/24 - 10/20/24 Hartford Open MAP
10/25/24 - 10/27/24 1st Origami Open! TLA MAP
01/03/25 - 01/05/25 Boston Chess Congress MAP
01/17/25 - 01/20/25 Liberty Bell Open MAP


Jul 142024

Sigrun Øen Carlsen (1963-2024)

The beautiful mother of the Mozart of Chess has left us to soon. She truly gave her life and love to him so he could become the greatest chess player in the world.

7/12/2024 – It was announced today that Magnus Carlsen’s mother, Sigrun Øen, died on Monday after a long illness surrounded by her family. Sigrun Øen was a chemist, but gave up her profession after the birth of her children, and accompanied her son Magnus Carlsen together with her husband and daughters to numerous chess tournaments. Sigrun Øen was 61 years old. 

We're deeply sorry, Magnus, for your loss.



Please help these beautiful chess kids!

Jun 62024

My friend, George Butau, in South Africa, teaches chess to 531 children there and in Zimbabwe. He sacrifices himself every day for them. 

He has a fundraiser going for them. He needs $3,000.00 for clothes, food, chairs, and tables. Right now, he teaches them on the ground. If you could please find it in your heart to help him, it would be a true blessing! We complain that our chairs are uncomfortable. These children just need chairs period.

Thank you. 




The Passing Of A Dear Friend

Mar 92024



    I am very sad to announce that my dear friend and chess mentor, Mr. Richard Zyra has passed away. He was 82 years young. I first met Richard at the Westfield (Mass) Chess Club in 2005. Here was a man of honor, respect, and integrity. He was the one of three US Chess rated players that taught me the fundamentals and rules of the game. (The other two being his brother, Michael Zyra, and my high school history teacher, Mr. Richard Pucko.) Richard Zyra gifted me my very first two chess books that I ever owned, " Basic Chess Openings" & "More Basic Chess Openings" by Hungarian GM Gábor Kállai. 

     He was a stern enforcer of applying the USCF rules of chess to every game, whether it be casual or rated, yet always the gentleman. Especially the "touch-move" rule! In this way he trained me to treat the game seriously and with respect so that I was prepared for formal competitions. I'm glad that he did. That's a painful rule that costed me several games. Mr. Zyra ingrained in me how to sit on my hands, be patient and think BEFORE I move a piece, which I struggled with because I always moved too fast, ending in many losses. I always looked forward to seeing him each week at the club on Wednesday nights, and later on, Monday nights at the Springfield Chess Club, in anticipation of what lessons he had for me next. 

    He not only taught me about chess, but also life itself. He put up with my bad attitude many times and adjusted it accordingly. He helped forge me into the chess player and man that I am today. I've now been running the Westfield Chess Club (now Greater Baystate Chess Club) that I met him at for the past 14 years. I've built it upon what he stood for and meant to me; unity and friendship. I will miss his laugh, his smile, our awesome chess games, and our phone conversations. Sometimes, I'd be down, especially after my car accident. Richard would lift me up and encourage to never give up. Now he's my chess angel. I can feel him giving me strength every game. I know it sounds strange, but 2 days after he left us, I swept an online tournament with a performance rating of 2295. I've never done that in my life! 

     He was a very good man, Richard Zyra. He is loved by many and will be sorely missed. I know he's in Heaven now, and I hope to see him there. And so, I only say Goodbye for now, Mr. Zyra. Rest in peace, sir. 

Here is the link to his obituary. Thank you for reading. 




By: Gaetano 

Student of Chess



International Master Jeremy Silman 1954 - 2023

Sep 272023



    Jeremy Silman reached his peak US Chess rating of 2593 on the May 1990 rating list. He won the American Open, the National Open, and the U.S. Open, and was the coach of the US junior national chess team. He attained the IM title in 1988. He wrote over 35 books, mostly on chess but also on casino gambling, as well as articles for chess magazines such as Chess Life and New in Chess. Follow this link to read more about his interesting life!