Aurora Winter Solstice Tournament Report

12.15.13 Thirty-five players competed in four sections at the 9th Annual Aurora Winter Solstice Tournament played at the Airline Community School in Aurora on Saturday, December 14th. Topping the crosstables were: Roger Morin and Aaron Spencer (Open), Ian Youth and Frank Collemer (U1400), Brendan Penfold (U1000) and Sam Fournier (U600 & Unrated). Thanks to all players, parents, coaches and volunteers for making this tournament a great success.

Thanks to the Airline Community School for hosting the 9th Annual Aurora Winter Solstice Tournament.

USCF crosstable of this event

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2013 Maine Chess Player of the Year Roger Morin shared first place in the Open section with

John Bapst Memorial High School Chess Coach Aaron Spencer. Both players scored 2.5 points in three rounds and drew their last round encounter.

Chester "Chess" Young shared second-third with

Gabe Borland.

Out of New Jersey: Zachary Bence (USCF 1960)

Playing up: Deer Isle-Stonington student Cameron Wendell (USCF 1270) had a nice first round win over

Lance Beloungie (USCF 1814).

Bangor player Corey Dunn is back over the board.

Bangor Chess Club organizer and director Brian Hurst

Scholastic player extraordinaire Ian Youth shared first place in the U1400 section with

Frank Collemer.

Greg Wadsworth (USCF 395) played with a performance rating of 1294!

Southwest Harbor chess dad and player Tony Freudig.

Medomak Middle School's Joseph Powell

John Jones

Perfect Penfold: Brendan Penfold put up the only perfect score of the tournament with 4.0 points in four games in the U1000 section.

Zack Grindal scored 3.0 points in the U1000 section to tie for second place with

John Tyler Lehman.

Nicholas Kawamura tied for fourth in the U1000 section with

Noah Munn.

Jay McIntire

33 1/3 % of Team Penfold: Ben Penfold took seventh in the U1000 section.

Current K-3 Individual Maine State Champion Cyrus Grindal

Lois Morin

Playing in her first USCF rated tournament: Jacqueline Rich

The U1000 section underway

U1000 players at the awards ceremony

Sam Fournier went undefeated with 3.5 points to win the U600 & Unrated section.

Fournier was closely followed by Sean Neal who scored 3.0 points to tie for second with

Colyn Rich.

Jakob McPhee scored 2.0 points in the U600 & Unrated section along with:

Ian Pomroy

Cody Jones and

Henry Penfold.

The only female player in the U600 & Unrated section: Teddie Petersen

Brady Smith

Ben McIntire

Winners all: The U600 & Unrated section

The day's greatest age difference match-up: Cyrus Grindal (age 9) vs. Lois Morin (age 39)!

After games players often partake in the age-old tradition of the postmortem. Here Roger Morin (left) and Chester Young discuss what might have been.

Brian Hurst (left) and Lance Beloungie do the same in the skittles room.

Aaron Spencer checks out the top board in the Open section.

An unexpected visitor stopped by the tournament.

One of the standouts of the Aurora Winter Solstice was the great food. Here's a homemade corn chowder with fresh baked bread.

Hope to see you at the 2014 Aurora Winter Solstice!


An interesting game! Well played, Chester! I certainly did feel confident in the middle game. Unfortunately (for me!), White started drifting with a3 and b4, giving black some all important tempos to shift forces to his somewhat compromised kingside. White might have improved with 14. Ne3, with the idea of hopping into d5 (a deadly threat) if black does not swap it off (giving white two bishops). Nh2-g4 ideas deserve inspection, as well. I also like Chester's suggestion of an immediate b4, perhaps followed by d4. At any rate, I look forward to our next chess duel. Till then!

Here's a comment you're unlikely to see often on ChessMaine: The game shown above was won by playing Kh8! While the mighty Kh8 didn't win by force (f3 would have held for White), it did set up a trap so sneaky that even my old Fritz 5.32 fell for it, making the same "obvious" e-pawn capture on move 22 that White made in the game. This would have led to a horrible losing position for Black if Black had recaptured on e5 and White had played Qe2, then Bf4 leading to Be5+ after the "forced" e4 by Black. Fritz had White as significantly ahead for the entire middlegame, and thought White was up half a pawn after the e-pawn capture, realizing only after Black's immediate g-pawn capture that White was instantly dead lost due to ...g3 after Nf4. The final move ...Bc6+ led to a forced mate in a few moves (why look elsewhere after you see a win?) but Fritz dutifully noted that Qf3+ actually would have led to an faster mate. Interestingly, over 2/3 of the moves by both players are the moves Fritz would have chosen, so it was well-played by both sides. The interesting part is that after 17...f5 BOTH sides thought they had the better game in light of the extreme complications to come! Both players needed the win to have even a chance at prize money, so it was fun to have this melee between 2 players playing to win at all costs!

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