Chess Club News
Win a $15 Amazon Gift Card!

We are seeking photos of our club’s Featured Players, those who place in the Top 6 of the last tournament played. Every six weeks or so we update Section 03 of our website with featured player cards. Player cards include the player name, player photo and player rating. This is your chance to support the club with your photography skills, help improve our website and earn a $15 Amazon Gift Card! Please send all photos no later than Sept. 30, 2022.

Terms & Conditions:

  1. If a player is under the age of 18, you must obtain & provide written parental consent for use of the photo by San Gabriel Valley Chess Club for use on the club website.
  2. You may submit a picture of yourself.
  3. Name of player must not include “Karl”
  4. You must use the contact form on this website to tell us which player you’d like to submit a photo of, and also to which email we send your $15 Amazon Gift Card!

To opt-out of the Featured Player list, please Contact Us with your request and the player’s name.

LA Chess Social
Chess Club News
Chess Social!

(via @chess_social) — Today the Los Angeles Chess Social announced the July event will be held at Griffins of Kinsale in South Pasadena! “As usual, there will be ooooodles of chess, some new live music acts, adult liquids and food!” the announcement, which was sent via email explained. “Chess games will be held on the lower floor, but we may be able to grab some tables outside as well! This may be the last meet at Griffin’s for a while as a remodel is coming, so don’t miss out!”

  • Griffins of Kinsale  [1007 Mission St. South Pasadena 91030]
  • July 30th, 2022
  • 8:00pm-12:30am
  • 18+
  • $10 Suggested Donation

Please bring a mask!

David E. King Memorial Tournament
Chess Tournaments
Registration Opens for Dave E. King Memorial Tournament

Please join us as we celebrate the life of Dave King, beloved Arcadia Chess Club President/Tournament Director. He assumed the mantle after Mel Clark’s passing in 2012, and continued until his own sudden death in early 2020. Dave was a wonderful man who continues to be missed and remembered by the local chess community. His tireless efforts for the Arcadia Chess Club will not be forgotten. This tournament will run July 26-August 30th. Register now for the tournament at:

Dave E. King, Past President / Tournament Director of Arcadia Chess Club

This will be a six-round event in two sections with games on Tuesdays. Don’t forget! An active membership in USCF is required of every player. This is important because we are licensed through USCF. To join or renew your membership, please visit All players in the Upper section will play one game at G85/d5 time control. The u1000 section be a Double Swiss where each player will play two games against the same opponent at G40/d5 time control. Club doors open at 6pm and each Round will start at 6:45 pm. Cell phones are allowed, but must be silenced and placed on vibrate. 

Two 1/2 point byes are available. Byes should be requested before Sunday at 4:00 pm. Last-round byes must be requested before the start of Round 4. Entry fee is $40, paid online. Advance registration is advised since there will be a 68-player limit. If you have trouble registering online, please use the contact form on the SGV Chess Club website and a team member will get you registered. Any player who does not register before the day of the tournament might not get a game in Round 1. 

Players must be a member of San Gabriel Valley Chess Club to compete. New members can pay the annual dues ($30 per year) in person at the door. Prizes TBD based on entries.

2022 San Gabriel Valley Open Chess Tournament
Chess Feature
Exciting Finish to SGVCC Open!

The SGVCC Open drew 40 players and concluded on June 14, 2022. NM Karl Tolentino was the winner, but it took a last round win over front runner Alam LaCombe to seal the deal. The early story was the outstanding performances of Leo Wang (1849) and Manu Prasad (1590), who both upset higher-rated players and found themselves leading the field with perfect 3-0 scores. Leo Wang is the younger brother of local legend IM Annie Wang and had upset Tolentino while Prasad took down two strong 1900 players. Their Round 4 battle (Photo 1) ended in a draw, leaving them in a three-way tie with LaCombe at 3.5.

2022 San Gabriel Valley Open Chess Tournament
Karl Tolentino (L) and Alan LaCombe (R) battle for first place in Round 6

 But never count out the top players! Round 5 saw LaCombe beat Wang and Tolentino stop Prasad, setting up a last round game between them. Fittingly, it was the last game of the night and hard fought (see photo).

All eyes were on Leo Wang (foreground) and Manu Prasad (background) after they starred 3-0 and faced each other on Board 1.

So it was Tolentino clear first at 5, LaCombe, Wang and Craig Vierregg tied for second at 4.5. Vierreg continues to turn in good results and improve his rating, having risen to 1764 since first coming to SGVCC last October with an old 1517 rating. Other notable results were Rohan Daftuar, best U1400 with 4 and new members Neel Deshpande and Omkar Kanse winning best U1000 with 2 points each. 

Our latest event, Summer Fun, is currently underway and attracted a new record 51 players. Check out the standings at

LA Chess Social
Chess Club News
Summer Kickoff Party at Old Towne Pub!
LA Chess Social has announced the next chess social! At this “Summer Kickoff Party” there will be the oodles of casual chess, live music, catered food, and libations! This is for adults age 21 and over only. Organizers say the music will be especially unique and fantastic, with special guests Inflatable Planet and White Jagg!

Where? Old Towne Pub (66 N Fair Oaks Ave. Pasadena 91103)
When? June 24th, 2022
Time? 8:00pm-1:00pm 
Chess Tournaments
Registration for Summer Fun Opens

The tournament is scheduled for 06/21/2022 – 07/19/2022. Please register here:

“Summer Fun” a 4 round event with games on Tuesdays (except for July 5th due to the Holiday). FACE MASKS ARE RECOMMENDED BUT NOT REQUIRED. Each Round starts at 6:45 pm and the Club opens at 6:00. The time control is Game/85 min. with 5 second delay. Two 1/2 point byes are available. Byes should be requested by Mondays at 5:00 pm. Last round byes must be requested before the start of Round 3. The entry fee is $30 and should be paid online. Advance registration is strongly advised. If you have trouble registering online contact us (John or Axel) and we can register you and you can pay the registration fee before round one starts. Players that don’t register before the day of the tournament will have to pay a late fee and might not get a game in round one. Cell phones are allowed but must be placed on vibrate. All players must be SGVCC members. New members should pay in person. All prior memberships from our Sierra Madre location are still in good standing and will be honored. Prizes TBD based on entries. This tournament will be played in two sections. We meet at Altadena Community Church in Heicher Hall, located at 943 East Altadena Drive, Altadena, CA 91101 For more information contact us here:

Youth Chess
Chess Club News
Youth Chess Classes

Below are some after school and weekend youth chess programs in the San Gabriel Valley & adjacent areas. All information is current as of May 2022.

Arcadia Parks and Recreation – Even if you see a message about how the Summer / Spring classes are “full” still go ahead and click on the catalogue icon on upper left and filter by keyword “chess” to see the “Introduction to Chess” class offered by the Arcadia Community Center:

Diamond Bar – Wings Chess Academy

La Canada/Flintridge Community Center – Click on catalogue icon on upper left and filter by keyword “chess” to find the “Chess Nuts” class led by Clint Cooper in La Cañada Flintridge: 

Rowland Heights – Beyond Chess – Founded by IM Ben Deng and WIM Sarah Lu, both professional chess players and former members of China’s national team:

ChessKids 1-on-1 Virtual Chess Coaching

Chess Feature
Positional Finesse (1) – Opposite Colored Bishops

10th world chess champion Boris Spassky was on record for saying he and his first wife Larissa “were like bishops of opposite color.” Indeed, opposite bishops in chess act as if they live in parallel universes- neither one intrinsically better than the other, they follow similar movements only to never actually meet or share a common long term goal (Boris would marry three times, and unfortunately ended all three in divorce).

Boris and Larissa Spassky
(Photo by Harry Benson. Courtesy LIFE Magazine, Time Inc.)

Ok enough of the sappy stuff.

The mark of a good chess player has always been the ability to churn out winning ideas from a level playing field-given a similar amount of resources and time. How then, does one take the imbalance of opposite bishops and turn that into a winning advantage? After all, a light squared bishop can never hope to contest the same squares as its dark squared counterpart, and vice-versa. Do they invariably cancel out?

Let’s take a look at three instances where such a situation arises, first from Aaron Nimzowitsch vs Jose Raul Capablanca:

Second, let’s look at a game from the Magician of Riga-Mikhail Tal- and Ivan Radulov, in a pure bishop of opposite color face off:

Now for the third, and what I consider the apex, example. The following game is between two absolute legends: Anatoly Yevgenyevich Karpov (white) and Garry Kimovich Kasparov (black) during their titanic 1985 world championship match. In a clash of opposing styles (Kasparov is known for his tactical prowess and opening preparation with flashy attacks and sacrifices. Karpov is known for his positional grinding and exploiting small wrinkles in the position with minimal risk.), what better way to end on the topic of opposite bishops? It’s one of my personal favorite games and is appropriately dubbed: The White Key Symphony.

Kasparov (left) and Karpov (right) in their 1985 match

Absolute masterclass by Karpov! Despite this brilliant game, Garry would continue on to win a thrilling 24 game match which was a nail biter till the very end (for those interested, I would recommend The World Chess Championship, Karpov-Kasparov: Moscow 85 by Y. and Mark Taimanov Averbakh).

So what can be gleamed from this? In general terms, it’s fair to assess the following:

  • Opposite colored bishops favor the attacking side, since the defender essentially has one less piece to participate on key squares.
  • Use the uncontested color complex to induce positional weaknesses in a slow, gradual manner.
  • Keep heavy pieces on to maximize winning chances. Avoid trades/simplification until a tangible advantage is present.

I intend to continue this “series” with topics intended to broaden chess knowledge, cherry-picking ideas from chess lore and history. See you in the next one!