Aurora Winter Solstice Tournament Report

12.12.22 With a nod to numerology, seventy-one (71) players turned up at the seventeenth (17) running of the Aurora Winter Solstice chess tournament in the tiny hamlet of Aurora, Maine on Saturday, December 11th. We wish to thank all who participated, organized, directed, and volunteered to make this event a great success. Here is the illustrated tournament report with US Chess crosstables.

U400 players show off their medals after competing in the 17th running of the Aurora Winter Solstice chess tournament.

US Chess Crosstable of this event

It was 2005 when the first Aurora Winter Solstice chess tournament was held at the Airline Community School in Aurora, Maine. Of the twenty-seven players who participated in that event, only one was also in attendance at the seventeenth edition of the AWS--J. Paul Ciarrocchi. Thanks to Paul for his steadfast support and participation in this tournament over these many years. US Chess Crosstable of the 2005 Aurora Winter Solstice

The 2022 Aurora Winter Solstice was played in four sections: U400, U800, U1200, and a combined U1600 and Open section.

US Chess expert and 2020 Maine State Co-Champion Wyatt Hendrix took first place in the Open section with a perfect three points in three games. Nathan Gates and Isaiah Fallon (who entered the Open section with a pre-tournament rating of 823) each put up 2.0 points to share second place.

Tony Freudig and Joshua Lorenzo tied for first and Tobias Dobson took third in the combined U1600 section.

Deer Isle-Stonington chess coach Andrew Miller blanked all comers in the U1200 section to take first with an unbeaten and untied score of 4.0 points. Just off the winner's pace were Filippo Falqui Cao, Jonah Dean, and Zachary Wilson who shared second place with 3.0 points apiece.

Evan Babcock topped the twenty-eight player (the tournament's largest) U800 section with perfect score of 4.0 points in four games. Babcock was trailed by Lilly Tripp and Noah Evans who shared second with 3.5 points.

A perfect score of 4.0 points was also needed to take first place in the U400 section. That's just what Samuel Gagnon came up with as he systematically won game after game to take top honors. Finn Monahan was just one draw off the lead with 3.5 points and second place. Airline Community School's own Angel Mejia, along with Oren Brown, Harrison Pennell, and Aiden Byrne finished equal third with 3.0 points.

Prizes included cash for the Open section, trophies to winners in the U1600 and U1200 sections, and chess sets, boards, and bags in the U800 and U400 sections. In addition, all U400 players received medals.

Again, thanks to all for continuing the tradition of the Aurora Winter Solstice chess tournament and a big shoutout to the Airline Community School for continuing to support both scholastic and adult chess in Maine.

Open section winner Wyatt Hendrix has become a dominant force in Maine chess.

Esteemed Airline Community School Alumnus Nathan Gates

Isaiah Fallon played up to the extreme by entering the open section.

Joshua Lorenzo

Tony Freudig

Tobias Dobson

U1200 section winner Andrew Miller

Filippo Falqui Cao topped the 3.0-point getters in the U1200 section to take the second-place trophy on tiebreaks.

The other players with 3.0 points in the U1200 section were: Jonah Dean and

Zachary Wilson.

Sam Miller put up 2.0 points in the U1200 section.

Declan Schilling also finished with 2.0 points in the U1200 section as did:

Rachel Norment and

Cloin McKay.

Ethan Marcus

Avery Zhang

Christian Zhang

J. Paul Ciarrocchi

Action in the U800 section

Many of the games in the U400 section were interesting tests of wills. This game attracted a small crowd.

The U1200 contingent

Some of the winners in the U800 section

Winners all in the U400 section

Thanks to the kitchen crew for providing delicious treats and hot coffee!

The chief tournament director is indebted to his two able assistants, Ruby DeLuca Lowell (left) and Tess Cekada, who oversaw many of the functions of a well-run tournament.

Checking for insights and possibilities between rounds

This artwork by the late Maine artist and chess player Dahlov Ipcar adorned the wall in the Open section. ChessMaine In Memory: Dahlov Ipcar.

We hope to see everyone back next year for the 18th Aurora Winter Solstice!


Awesome! Great to see the continued support for this tournament. I'm hoping to save the date for next year's event. Keep up the great work Dan!

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