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MACA Chess Horizons Magazine Article
 News in Brief
 Nathan Smolensky
  December 2015

The 84th Massachusetts Open was held May 23rd through the 25th in Marlborough. GM Alexander Ivanov won, incredibly, his 21st state title with an outright victory in his section. 236 players participated in the event, besting the recent high set in 2014.  

The milestone 75th New England Open was held September 5th – 7th in Boxborough, and saw its Championship section split by FM Steven Winer and FM Mika Brattain. 131 players participated in the adult events, while an impressive 94 came for the booming scholastic offering.

The 82nd Greater Boston Open, held in Marlborough on October 18th, saw five players tie for first in the top section with 3.5 points out of a possible four. 2014 cochampions GM Alexander Ivanov and NM Michael Vilenchuk, FM Steven Winer, NM Michael Chen, and Joseph Perl – who gained over 60 rating points for his strong outing – shared the top prize. 110 people attended the tournament. 

December 6th saw the H.N. Pillsbury Memorial in Marlborough. IM David Vigorito and NM Alex Cherniack tied for tops in the top section in the 73-person event. 

At the Fall Team Tournament on November 22nd in Boxborough, the team from Newton South High School – Alan Sikarov, James Rao, Nicholas Komarovsky, and Samuel Burnham took first in the K-12 section. The K-6 was taken by “Rook and Roll” – Krishna Mutnuri, Meghana Kancharla, Arjun Girish, and Venkatraman Varatharajan. And for the K-3 section was BCCUW – Joshua Verhoest, Hernan FitzGerald-Lara, Henri Medernach, and Isabella Sawicka

In individual achievements, Andover superstar NM Carissa Yip broke 2300 on December 12th at the Boylston Chess Club. She also tied for first, losing on tiebreakers, at the Under 12 section of the World Youth Chess Championships held in Greece in November. 

A three day stretch in December saw the passing of not only Massachusetts icon Harold Dondis, who is discussed later in the issue, but of Stephen Brandwein, who passed away in San Francisco on December 12th at the age of 73. Brandwein rose to prominence as a chess master in Boston in the 1960’s, but had been living out west for some decades.