Sean’s Fund Dinner 2015

“Take me out to the ballgame, take me out on Saturday night to Robinson Ranch for Sean’s Fund annual fundraising dinner.”

This year’s theme is, you guessed it, Baseball. Sean’s favorite sport besides chess. We welcome all to attend Saturday September 26th at Robinson Ranch Country Club for a fun-filled night centered around America’s pastime. Dinner is at 7:30, but make sure to get there early for Appetizers and the Silent Auction starting at 6:00.

The money raised from this event will directly benefit Sean’s Fund, a non-profit organization in memory of Sean Christian Reader, one of the best players CYCL has ever had. Dedicated to providing chess education to families and schools experiencing tough times, Sean’s Fund also offers smiles, comfort, and chess as a mental stimulation and distraction to hospitalized children. Hundreds of traveling chess kits have been placed into the hands of these hospitalized children because of your donations. Additionally, with the funds raised from last year, Sean’s Fund was able to provide several tablets for our after school program as well as continuing to Sponsor the Master-Junior Simul and the new Super-Junior Simul.

Volunteers/Donated Items Needed!

Being a non-profit organization, Sean’s Fund relies on donations and volunteers to keep it going. Volunteers are crucial to the organizing and planning of events, while donations are fundamental for Sean’s Fund survival. Whether it be season tickets, a timeshare by the beach, or a simple gift card that has been sitting in your wallet for months, donations are always welcome and much appreciated. Donors will receive recognition in our program, a tax deduction, and our thanks.

If anyone is available to help out either before or on the day of the event, or has anything that they are willing to donate, please contact Michel Stallings at

Chess Camp 2015!

Mark your calendars! CYCL is planning to run its annual Chess Camp again this coming summer: June 22-26 and June 29-July 2. Date confirmation as well as location information coming soon!

CYCL 2015 SuperStates Report!

(For a look at the results/pairings, head on over to the Results page on

Download a PDF copy of this report.

SuperStatesChampionship Sections

Adam Draheim defeated three players who outrated him, including an Expert (rated 2049) in the
final round en route to an 11th Place finish in the State! He earned a trophy for Best Under 1800.

Dylan Gould won the Best Under 1500 trophy after beating a 1553-rated player. Alex Tsatryan
teamed with Dylan to earn a 3rd Place Club Team award for CYCL. Thanks guys!

Andrew Sung and Andrew Deedon teamed up to earn State K-6 School Champions for Trinity
Classical Academy. Andrew S beat a B player (rated 1607) and Andrew D defeated players in
the 1300’s and 1500’s despite being the lowest-rated player in the section.
Eric Luo beat two players rated above him and gained 35 rating points.

Shreyas Sakharkar, Landon Hu, and Lizzy Pope snagged the K-3 State School Team title for
Pico Canyon Elementary. Shreyas and Landon each had stellar performances (Shreyas beat
three players rated over 1000 on his way to earning the Best Under 1000 prize while Landon
took out a 1500 and 1300) but Lizzy had the best story!

In the final round, Lizzy faced an opponent who outrated her by over 400 points. After an epic
struggle, Lizzy found herself in an endgame in which both players had only a Queen and King.
Lizzy raised her hand and explained to the tournament director (an International Arbiter – the
highest level a director can be) that she was claiming a draw because the situation on the board
was a forced draw. Lizzy had learned well in class, but the arbiter could not recall if Queen &
King vs Queen & King was an official forced draw according to the rule book and he asked her
to play on. When Coach Jay heard about this, he went to grab the rule book. By the time he
returned with the page dog-eared, Lizzy had secured her draw. Way to go Lizzy!

Elbert Zeng and Nikhilesh Kalyaranaman took the 2nd Place School Team award for West Creek

Tamerlan Goglichidze and Adam Kharaev teamed up to win the State K-1 School Team
Championship for Tesoro del Valle Elementary! An unrated player, Tamerlan beat players rated
in the 300’s and 400’s among his 3 wins. Adam beat a player rated over 500 (whose only other
loss was to the champion).

Kindergarten twins Henry and Miranda Bowling proudly brought a 3rd Place School Team trophy
to West Creek Academy!

CYCL was the 4th Place Club Team (just out of trophy range) thanks to the valiant efforts of
Lincoln Pope and Advait Krishnamoorthy

Junior Varsity Sections

K-12 Under 1200
Some of Coach Jay’s most veteran students competed in this top JV division. In the end,
Stephen De Vita won his final 6 games after a 2-2 start to earn 2nd Place! Mitali Sakharkar
pushed her rating up to 1135 with an impressive 6.5 points. Leo Ouyang, Tobin Thannickal, Joe
Brennan, Ben Hartley, and Ross Pope were on the CYCL team that earned a 2nd Place Club
Team award.

K-8 Under 1000
Shaun Thomas, Ethan Bowling, and Alexander Lapsley from West Creek Academy earned the
3rd Place School Team trophy. Shaun gained over 100 rating points!

Natasha & Dmitri Mertens nearly brought their Montessori school its first team trophy, but had to
settle for 4th Place team. Natasha finished just a half-point ahead of her brother (5.5 compared
to 5.0).

K-6 Under 750
Dylan Helms snagged 6.5 points in this huge division (141 players) which was good enough for
22nd Place. His West Creek Academy teammate, Tiffany Liu, competing in her first USCF event
surprised everyone by winning 6 games and taking home the 1st Place Unrated award. Their
efforts, combined with those of Elijah Lim, Justin Almeida, Marcus Salvador, JJ Pohlot, Austin
Diaz, and Isabelle Almeida translated into a 3rd Place School Team award.

The 2nd Place School Team went to Pico Canyon Elementary (on tie-breaks over West Creek)
which was led by Lucas Venditti (6 points), Shane Aukamp (5.5 points and a 4th Place Unrated
trophy), Jake Vojtech, Brody Glass, Angelique Guan, Shazaib Lalani, and Timothy Kim.

CYCL’s Club Team finished just a single point behind 3rd Place. Mahesh Arunachalam and Ishita
Juluru (6.0 and 5.5, respectively) had strong tournaments. Splitting wins and losses evenly (5
out of 10) were Hardhik Ram, Kevin Justin, and Laura Brennan (who raised her rating 168
points!). Collin Tang and Samuel Arreaza were right behind with 4.5.

K-3 Under 400
Two of CYCL’s biggest surprise performances came from Micah Margolin (7.5 out of 10) and
Gavin Holmes (7.0). Micah, in his first USCF tournament could be slowed down only by Gavin
(who took 1.5 out of 2 from him) on his way to 9th Place (he took a Round 2 bye also). Gavin’s
final round opponent won the 100-player section with 8.5, and Gavin salvaged a draw to take
11th overall. Prithvi Prasad (7.0) was 17th, and Kendrick Lee’s 6.5 was good enough for 23rd

Srinidhi Srinivasasubbu (5.5) and Michael Shubert (5.0) rounded out the CYCL team with Micah
and Prithvi en route to bringing a 3rd Place Club Team award back to CYCL!

Vaneeza Lalani’s 5-5 score earned her a 2nd Under 200 trophy (we just realized this) and, along
with Dylan Stier, Sanjay Reddy, and Nathan Kim, a 2nd Place School Team trophy for Pico

By virtue of two strong performances (Gavin and Anthony Lapsley), West Creek’s 2-man team
earned 4th Place School Team.

Please Read: New Credit Card Payment Process for CYCL

Dear CYCL Families,
As you may know, we have recently switched credit card processing companies due to rate hikes. After a short transition period, we now have our system up and running again.
To Pay for Classes with a Credit Card, please follow these short steps.
1. Follow the attached link to our Intuit payment site.
2. For Invoice/Reference#: Please put your child’s LAST NAME and school (EX: Smith/School)
3. For Payment Amount: Insert the amount for your child(s) class. Please double check the amount you insert BEFORE you continue. 
4. Fill out the credit card information below and submit.

Pay for Classes

If you have ANY questions, please do not hesitate to contact Coach John at We understand that this new setup may be a bit confusing at first.

Thank you for support,

California Youth Chess League

CYCL May Quads!!

Hello Chess Families,

Registration for CYCL Quads has opened for this Saturday May 31st. As usual, you can play morning and/or afternoon! Please register by going to our Tournaments page and use the registration box located on the left of the page.

Also please try to register before 9 PM on Friday night so we can place players into their appropriate quad levels!

Thank you!