Pictured are participants from the first Alabama All Girls Chess Championship in 2018.

Women's Chess Grant

MCCL Group photoCROSSVILLE, TN: US Chess announced recipients of the US Chess Women???s Program Grant, funded by a generous gift in partnership with the Saint Louis Chess Club.

One of the recipients was Madison City Chess League. Ranae Bartlett, the league's Executive Director continues her efforts to bring more girls into the game. The grant includes funding for a trip to the 2020 KCF All-Girls Nationals in Chicago.

Alabama Championship Tournament Results

Quick Chess

June 29, 2019 - Yuri Barnakov is this year's Quick Chess Champion finishing with 4.5 / 5.0. The reserve section (under 1600) had a three-way tie between Joel Nick Friedman (winner on tie breaks), Logan Richey, and Victor Lundy.

Blitz Chess

June 29, 2019 - Yuri Barnakov also won the State Blitz Championship going 11.0 / 12 to pull away from the field of 18 players.


June 8, 2019 - Montevallo, AL - Brent Inman won the 2019 Alabama Senior Championship with 3.5/4.0, edging out Thomas Denton and Charles Meidinger finished in second and third with 3.0/4.0 in a 16-player field.

Featured Upcoming Events

  • July 20, 2019 - Montgomery, AL - The 2019 Alabama Dual-Rated Chess Championship returns to Montgomery this year. This tournament is a 4-round Swiss event with a time control of G/45 with a 10-second increment per move. Round times are 9:30, 11:30, 2:30, and 4:30. Flyer
  • August 10, 2019 - Montgomery, AL - The 15th AnnualChris Bond Memorial Tournament feature two rated and one non-rated sections. Flyer
  • August 30 - September 1, 2019 - Birmingham, AL - The 66th Annual Alabama State Chess Championship will be held at the Bruno Center in Birmingham. 2018 co-champions Scott Varagona and Tyler Freeman will seek to repeat.Flyer.
    • See the ACF Calendar for additional events.

      Chess Antics News

      Spring 2019 Issue Available - edited by NM Scott Varagona

      May 18, 2019 - The Spring Antics magazine features new articles from NM Bill Melvin, Brian Fraiser, Doug Strout, and Jonathan Rasberry, including the games that garnered Bill his fifth and final Master norm to earn him the US Chess Federation title of Life Master.

      Girls Chess

      Congratulations to Shreya Sunil, winner of the 2019 Alabama All Girls Chess Championship. Shreva will represent Alabama at the 2019 National Girls Tournament of Champions in Orlando, Florida in July.

      Sarah Elizabeth Peter (right) took third place trophy in the under 1000 K-3 at the 2019 National Elementary Championship held in Nashville in May.

      2019 Alabama State Scholastic Individual Championship Results

      Individual Championship

      March 2, 2019 - Fairfield, Alabama, Miles College.

      • Open Section: Zachary Snow II (pictured left) scored 4.0/5.0 to best a field of 26 players, with 6 players tying for positions two through seven. Zachary is Alabama's nominee to the 2019 Denker High School Tournament of Champions.
      • K-8 Section: Sarvagna Velidandla took first place in the K-8 Championship scoring 3.5 points, a full point ahead of three players tying for the next three positions. Sarvagna will play as the 2019 Barber Tournament of K-8 Champions nominee for Alabama.
      • Elementary: Parker Liu took clear first with 4.5 / 5 in a field of 32 players.
      • Primary: Laya Gowder scored a perfect 5.0 to win the first place trophy for the Primary Section in a field of 25 players.

      First place in the under sections went to Snekha Rajasekaran and Albert Chen in the Open U1000; to Advitiya Kana in the K-8 U800, and Sarah Peter, Daniel Zheng and Asterion Lee-Irwin in the K-6 U600.
      *** Individual Championship Crosstables ***

      Team Championship

      March 3, 2019 - Fairfield, Alabama, Miles College.

      • Open School Team Champion: Bob Jones High; Open Club Team Champion: Madison City Chess League
      • Jr. High School Team Champion: Discovery Middle; Jr/ High Club Team Champion: Chess Kids Nation
      • Elementary School Team Champion: Rainbow Elementary; Elementary Club Team Champion: Chess Kids Nation
      • Primary School Team Champion: Rainbow Elementary; Primary Club Team Champion: Chess Kids Nation
      *** Team Championship Crosstables ***

      ACF Secretary Appointed

      March 2, 2019 - Tyler Freeman has accepted an appointment by the Alabama Chess Federation Executive Committee to fill the vacant position of ACF Secretary. Tyler is a 2018 Alabama State Co-Champion and participated as a floor TD at the ASSCC. He lives in Tuscaloosa where he is undertaking a career shift to insurance. He has also started teaching chess locally. His term of office expires on September 30, 2020.

      Chess in Education

      Research Results Reaffirm ACIS Program Effectiveness

      February 10, 2019 - Independent researchers from Tennessee Tech University and the University of Alabama have released findings based on three years of data from the Alabama Chess in Schools (ACIS) program. The study is believed to be the largest of its kind in the United States to assess the benefits of a teacher-driven chess in education program. Click here for more on ACIS's impact on critical thinking, 21st Century Skills, Teachers' perceptions, and student perceptions.

      Get the full report: Teaching with Chess: Exploring the Relationship between Chess and Student Learning Outcomes - ACIS Years 1-3 Report 1

      Read Chess.com's Story on the ACIS Research

      Chess in Schools Announces Programs for 2019

      Chess in Schools LLC (CIS), the operational arm of ACF that manages ACIS, announced a set of new programs.

      Interested in getting a Chess in Education program started at your school? Visit the Chess in Education website.

      Antics Preservation Project

      Thanks to the efforts of some dedicated volunteers including Charles Anthony, Ken Goodman, Scott Varagona and others, the Antics Preservation Project has finally borne fruit. Scroll to the bottom of the Magazine page to find not only classic Antics from past decades, but a summary of contents for all the Antics collected so far from 1977 to 2003.

      Alabama State Championship

      September 4, 2018 - Scott Varagona won the 2018 Alabama State Chess Championship trophy on tie breaks. Tyler Freeman continued his string of upsets (see story below on the Dual-Rated championship) to match Varagona's score of 5.0/6.0 to earn the title of co-champion. Alexander Kristjansson finished first in the Reserve section scoring 5.0/6.0.

      State Championship Crosstables

      Volunteers Wanted

      ACF relies on volunteers willing to commit time to keep our chess community active and vibrant. Opportunities for volunteers include:

      • webmaster / assistant webmaster
      • content-providers willing to provide copy and pictures from tournaments for the website and/or Facebook site

      If you have an interest in helping, please contact any of the current officers listed on the About Us page. Find out more about the ACF Board and its operation from the ACF Bylaws.

      Other Alabama State Championship Reports

      Dual-Rated Championship

      August 8, 2018 - Ranked 11th out of 12 competing players, Tyler Freeman (R: 1653; Q: 1519) upset a number of higher rated players to become the 2018 Alabama Dual-Rated Championship. Tyler scored 3.5 / 4.0 for clear first ahead of Joseph Jurjevich (R:2069; Q:2000), Aaron Decord (R:1915; Q:1816) and Christopher Trees (R:1937; Q:1693) who finished with 3.0 / 4.0. Tyler is new to the state chess scene having previously been a regular at Tennessee and Mississippi chess tournaments. Welcome, Tyler!

      Quick & Blitz Championships

      June 30, 2018 - Alabama's elite players squared off for rounds of fast chess on June 23 in Birmingham. Zachary Snow II (pictured right) earned his first state championship title in the Quick Chess Championship, tying perennial state champion Scott Varagona (left) with a score of (4.0 / 5.0) at the 2018 Alabama Quick Chess Championship held June 23, 2018. Arden Markin (Tuscaloosa) braved the challenge of fast time controls to take 3.0 points which was good enough to win the under 1800 [Quick Rating] prize. Tyler Freeman (Tuscaloosa) and Mohawk Agarwalla (Huntsville) shared first place in the Reserve section with 4.0 points. Hudson Markin (Tuscaloosa) won the U1300 prize.

      The 2018 Alabama Blitz co-champions are Stephen W. Adams (Birmingham) and Scott Varagona, scoring 5.0/6.0 in a field of 22 players.

      Falcon Chess Invitational

      June 23, 2018 - Jonathan Rasberry reports on the history and current winners of a tournament organized by and for Alabama's elite players: the Falcon Chess Invitational. Congratulations to this year's winners: Steven Graveling and Bill Melvin. More

      Alabama Chess Growth by the Numbers

      Rated Game Play in Alabama: 2010 - 2017

      The number of rated games dropped 8% from a record high in 2016. Still, 2017 had the second highest number of annual rated games for the decade.

      In another measure of chess activity that reflects growth in non-rated chess, Alabama Chess in Schools (ACIS) growth continued. While not shown in the following chart, the number of students participating has grown to approximately 2,700 in the 2018 school year.

      Friends of Chess in Schools

      1/1/2018 - We have exciting news to share about the Alabama Chess in Schools (ACIS) Initiative, the nation's only statewide, teacher-driven Chess in Schools program. Join Friends of Chess in Schools today to get news on ACIS as well as glimpses into CIS in other parts of the world from National Chess Education Consultant Jerry Nash (right) and others. Receive 2018 updates on:

      1. Just-released research results for Year two of the ACIS program
      2. Testimonials on the benefits of ACIS from parents and teachers
      3. ACIS fundraising and future plans for ACIS and Chess in Schools.
      4. How you can help promote chess in schools.
      5. A new website for ACF's Chess in Schools
      6. The 60 Minutes Chess in Schools story about Chess in Franklin County, Mississippi and connections to ACIS.

      Sign up to get this exclusive content.

      Sign Up Now

      Artificial Intelligence and Chess

      December 8, 2017 - "Imagine this: you tell a computer system how the pieces move - nothing more. Then you tell it to learn to play the game. A day later it has figured it out to the level that beats the strongest programs in the world. DeepMind, the company that recently created the strongest Go program in the world, turned its attention to chess, and came up with this spectacular result".

      Employing the late artificial intelligence advances, researchers are showing that the current crop of chess engines are about to become obsolete.

      What openings would such a computer gravitate to if it had to discover the merits and vulnerabilities of each opening on its own? What would it have to say about NM Scott Varagona's (semi-serious?) contention that the refutation to 1 e4 is 1... c6!? Read this story from Chess News, The future is here - AlphaZero learns chess.

      Chess News by Michael Ciamarra

      • October 30, 2017 - National Chess Day in Alabama, unique chess tournament coming up
      • October 8, 2017 - New Orleans chess master Jude Acers visits Birmingham, National Chess Day
      • August 30, 2017 - Alabama State Chess Championship preview, Sinquefield Cup brilliant game

      Home Grown Chess Web Sites

      Did you know that some Internet chess websites are authored here in Alabama? Besides ACF affiliate sites, you can improve your chess skills at sites like Logical Checks and Logical Chess both maintained by Huntsville's David Hayes.