Rochelle Wu, in Two Sigma apparel, Photo GM Irina Krush.

Rochelle Wu wins Gold at World Cadets International Competition

October 30, 2016 - After winning Alabama's 2016 Elementary School Champion, Rochelle Wu is making her presence known in national and international competition. After taking third in the National Girls Invitational Tournament of Champions in August (first among girls under 13), Rochelle earned a gold medal in the Girls Under 10 section this week at the World Cadets in Batumi, Georgia. Click here for a US Chess Federation newsflash and one of Rochelle's games.

Featured Events

  • December 10, 2016 - Birmingham - The Birmingham City Classic II takes place at Sun Valley Elementary School. It features one rated and two non-rated sections. Flyer
  • December 30, 2016 - Birmingham - The Magic City Classic will have four rated and one non-rated section. Note that it is scheduled on a Friday. Flyer
For more tournaments, see the ACF Calendar

New ACF Board of Directors Elected

October 10, 2016 - ACF welcomes three new officers to its Executive Board. The new positions are the result of elections at the ACF Membership meeting and a subsequent meeting of the new Executive Board on October 9 to fill vacant offices. Officers and members of the new Executive Board are:

  • President: Neil Dietsch
  • Vice-President: Charles A. Smith
  • Secretary, Director of Public Relations: Michael Ciamarra
  • Treasurer: Paul Nager
  • Education Vice-President: Nancy Johnson
  • Scholastic Vice-President: William Nash

In other positions Gerald Larson was elected as the state's US Chess Federation delegate. Scott Varagona continues as Antics Editor. Jonathan Rasberry is ACF's Membership Administrator. Neil Dietsch continues to fill the roles of webmaster and content manager.

The Education Vice-President is a new office created in response to the growing importance of the Alabama Chess in Schools program, the office will focus on oversight of scholastic chess programs, coordination of chess education programs across the state. The Scholastic VP is responsible for the organization of ACF-sponsored scholastic individual and team events. The intent to split these duties was originally announced at the annual ACF membership meeting.

Paul Nager was originally elected Secretary at the annual ACF Membership meeting, but the position of Treasurer was left vacant. At the October 9 meeting of the new ACF Executive Board, Paul was elected to fill the vacant Treasurer position. He resigned as Secretary. Michael Ciamarra was then elected by the Board to fill the Secretary position.

Chess News by Michael Ciamarra

  • December 1, 2016 - World champion Magnus Carlsen wins tiebreaks, retains world chess title
  • November 23, 2016 - Challenger Sergey Karjakin defeats world champion Carlsen, takes lead in Chess Championship Match
  • October 23, 2016 - All the right moves on National Chess Day, Alabama chess calendar

Alabama State Championship Results

Open Section: Bill Melvin is the 2016 Alabama State Chess Champion.


September 8, 2016 - Huntsville - Between 1990 and 2001 Melvin was the top active player in the state, claiming the state championship title seven times, making him the current record holder for most Alabama state championships. At this year's event, fifteen years after his last state championship, Bill extended his record to eight, winning clear first with a score of 5.5/6.

The final round drama featured Melvin defeating six-time champion Scott Varagona. Mathew Puckett finished second.


Reserve Section: Why is Krishin Yerabolu Smiling?

There was drama in the reserve section as well as Krishin Yerabolu ranked 28th in a field of 30, took first place with a score of 5.0/6.0 to become this year's Reserve champion. Krishin's rating rises an astounding 324 points in one tournament!

More State Championship Coverage

The Madison City Chess League provided a great facility and coverage of the state championship. Check out their report and photos as well as Michael Ciamarra's detailed coverage of the event

Chess Antics by Scott Varagona

August 14, 2016 - The Summer Antics magazine features three games from some of Alabama's top players.