Maine vs Primorsky Krai Scholastic Chess Match Report

02.09.19 On Friday, February 8th at 6:00 p.m. eastern U.S. time, ten scholastic chess players from Maine took part in an online chess match with ten players from the Primorsky Region of far eastern Russia. This first of its kind match was played on the lichess server and broadcast live on the Internet with commentary provided by Maine Chess Champion and National Master Matthew Fishbein. Here's the match report with games, results, and images from the day.

The Maine vs Primorsky Krai, Russia Scholastic Chess Match
traversed 6,250 miles and 15 times zones!

Our thanks to all who made this match possible:

First and foremost the chess players from Maine and Primorsky Krai and their parents and coaches
Vladimir Chukhachev, President, Primorsky Krai Chess Federation
Michael Dudley, President, Maine Chess Association
Dr. Pavel Sulyandziga, Visiting Professor at Dartmouth College and Native of Primorsky Krai
Ruben Babayan, English-Russian Interpreter
Oisin O'Searcoid, Online Broadcast Technical Support
Matthew Fishbein, Maine Chess Champion and Match Commentator
Dan DeLuca, Vice President, Maine Chess Association
Barry Magda, Match Planning Committee
Bonny Eagle Middle School Host Site
John Bapst Memorial High School Host Site

Organizing, directing, playing, and broadcasting a match with players at a distance of 6,250 miles and 15 times zones apart did present some technical, linguistic, and cultural challenges. Nevertheless, our sincere thanks to all who participated in this great event. The entire experience, from the first email received from Dr. Pavel Sulyandziga suggesting the match to the virtual handshake at the conclusion of the last game, was a learning experience for all involved.

The Maine-Primorsky Krai Scholastic Chess Match consisted of two ten-person teams playing from just about as far away from each other as mathematically possible on planet Earth.

Each player contested two games, one with each color, at a time control of G/15 +5 with their board-ordered opponent. The games were played on the lichess server.

Here are the board number placements and ratings of the players.

Primorski Krai

1. Ignat Samadov (FIDE 1274)
2. Rodion Ryabtsev (FIDE 1257)
3. Mikhail Muravskii (FIDE 1186)
4. Arsenii Piatkin (FIDE 1476)
5. Dmitriy Kravtsov (FIDE 1425)
6. Nikita Komissarov (FIDE 1286)
7. Maksim Koval (FIDE 1366)
8. Yaroslav Mekhanov (FIDE 1097)
9. Mariya Karpekina (FIDE 1085)
10. Asia Savchenko (FIDE 1146)

Team Primorsky Krai Average Rating FIDE 1260

State of Maine

1. Tristan Cousineau (USCF 1466)
2. Evan Annis (USCF 1300)
3. Aidan Thomas (USCF 1280)
4. Benjamin Penfold (USCF 1044)
5. Sebastian Johns (USCF 1031)
6. Declan Thomas (USCF 950)
7. Zachary Brislin (USCF 838)
8. Clara Parker (USCF (792)
9. Tala Bayless (USCF 773)
10. Henry Penfold (USCF 739)

Team Maine Average Rating USCF 1021

The final score of the Match was Primorsky Krai 15.5 Maine 4.5.

Point getters for the Maine team were:

Sebastian Johns 1.5
Ben Penfold 1.0
Henry Penfold 1.0
Evan Annis 0.5
Tristan Cousineau 0.5

Here are links to all twenty games in board order.

Board 1 Tristan Cousineau (USCF 1466) - Ignat Samadov (FIDE 1274)

Board 1 Game 1
Board 1 Game 2

Board 2 Evan Annis (USCF 1300) - Rodion Ryabtsev (FIDE 1257)

Board 2 Game 1
Board 2 Game 2

Board 3 Aidan Thomas (USCF 1280) - Mikhail Muravskii (FIDE 1186)

Board 3 Game 1
Board 3 Game 2

Board 4 Benjamin Penfold (USCF 1044) - Arsenii Piatkin (FIDE 1476)

Board 4 Game 1
Board 4 Game 2

Board 5 Sebastian Johns (USCF 1031) - Dmitriy Kravtsov (FIDE 1425)

Board 5 Game 1
Board 5 Game 2

Board 6 Declan Thomas (USCF 950) - Nikita Komissarov (FIDE 1286)

Board 6 Game 1
Board 6 Game 2

Board 7 Zachary Brislin (USCF 838) - Maksim Koval (FIDE 1366)

Board 7 Game 1
Board 7 Game 2

Board 8 Clara Parker (USCF (792) - 8. Yaroslav Mekhanov (FIDE 1097)

Board 8 Game 1
Board 8 Game 2

Board 9 Tala Bayless (USCF 773) - Mariya Karpekina (FIDE 1085)

Board 9 Game 1
Board 9 Game 2

Board 10 Henry Penfold (USCF 739) - Asia Savchenko (FIDE 1146)

Board 10 Game 1
Board 10 Game 2

Although the online live broadcast did have technical glitches, we broke new ground, learned from the experience, and are determined to increase the quality of the broadcast for future matches.

The Match format

Broadcast hosts Dan DeLuca (left) and Matthew Fishbein commented on the match in progress.

Using the lichess analysis board, NM Fishbein was able to provide his insights on various games.

Round 1 pairings

Round 1 results: Team Russia got off to a running start.

A comparison of the two regions

We hope to bring you more of these events in the future. Thank you for your support!


Thanks a lot from Primorye to Dr. Pavel Sulyandziga, all organizers, players and commentators for this match. It was very good idea to organize such great event. I hope it was not the lonely one match. I want to believe this first game will be the beginning of a series of regular games between our regions.

Thank you to our superb hosts, Dan DeLuca and Matthew Fishbein, for bringing us this groundbreaking broadcast. It has certainly heightened the international nature of our sport. Congratulations to all the Maine kids and chess ambassadors that played. Let's prepare for the rematch.

Just a marvelous idea!! Congratulations to all that played and brought this to fruition! If this can continue, and expand for all of Maine, this would be wonderful!
Again, kudos to you for bringing about this terrific idea.

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