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MACA Chess Horizons Magazine Article
 Three Scholastic Qualifiers
 Bob Messenger
  November 2011

Each school year MACA holds four scholastic qualifier tournaments to allow players to win invitations to the state championship, the Barry S. Spiegel Cup. I reported on the 1st Qualifi er of 2011-12 in the July-October issue, which leaves three qualifi ers to be described here. There were no qualifi ers for the High School section since it was an open tournament this year, with all players in grades 9-12 or age 15 and over eligible to play in the finals. 

Of those qualifi ers, the most nerve-wracking from a tournament director’s point of view was the 2nd, held on October 30th at the Holiday Inn Select in Woburn. There was a freak snow storm the day before the tournament and there was some talk of canceling it. As it was, several parents called to drop their children out of the tournament, and there were some no-show forfeits; we ended up with 71 players not counting the dropouts and no-shows. Then there was a fi re alarm, which turned out to be a false alarm but delayed the tournament until the fi re department showed up. Finally the power went out, and it stayed off for a long time. We tournament directors had to decide what we would do if the power never came back on. Fortunately the power came back after 25 minutes so the players were able to complete the tournament. Charlie Fauman swept the 14 & Under section 4 - 0. There were two 4 - 0 scores in the 24-player 11 & Under section, with Eric Feng winning the blitz playoff against Sandeep Shankar to qualify for the fi nals. Eddie Wei won the 8 & Under section with 3½ - ½. Five players tied for fi rst in the Novice Under 800 section with 3 - 1 scores: Alex Zhang, Paulie Apostolicas, Daniel Wang, Giorgio Roscini, and Nicholas Woodman. Toby Shu won the Novice Under 400 section with a perfect 4 - 0 score.
The 3rd and 4th qualifi ers were both held at the Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel in Marlborough, with the 3rd Qualifi er being held on December 4th, with 75 players, and the 4th Qualifi er being held on January 15th, with 82 players. The winners of the 3rd Qualifi er were Siddharth Arun, who scored 4 - 0 in the 14 & Under; Tal Puhov and Justin Lin with 3½ - ½ in the 11 & Under, with Tal Puhov winning the blitz playoff; Jason Liang with 4 - 0 in the 8 & Under; Giorgio Roscini, with 4 - 0 in the Novice Under 800; and Claire Randolph, Julian Fefer, Tyler Wong, and Swapnesh Baguli with 3 - 0 in the Novice Under 400. The 4th Qualifier winners were Bowen Wang, with 4 - 0 in the 14 & Under; Alan Sikarov and Henry Liu with 3½ - ½ in the 11 & Under, with Alan Sikarov winning the blitz playoff; Maxwell Zhao with 4 - 0 in the 8 & Under; David Mc-Cabe and Noah Firmin with 3½ - ½ in the Novice U800; and Philip Adams with 3½ - ½ in the Novice U400.
All three qualifi ers were directed by Brian Mottershead and Bob Messenger, assisted at some of them by George Mirijanian and Steve Frymer.