New York bests other states at chess

by Alexey Root
8/4/2022 – New York won the state versus state championship at the national tournaments of state chess champions held July 30–August 2, 2022. Each state could send five representatives, and each representative played six games. Individual champions were also crowned. Woman International Master Alexey Root reports from the Rancho Mirage, California site, which also hosts the U.S. Open. | Photos: Alexey Root

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Tournaments of State Champions

Four of the five tournaments of state champions are for young players:

The fifth tournament, for players who are 50 years old or older, is the 

The time control for the five tournaments is G90 +30: 90 minutes base time with a 30-second increment added after each move.

State vs. State Championship

For the “State versus State Championship,” the state whose representatives have the highest combined scores are recognized. The top state overall is New York, which had the highest average US Chess rating, 2299, of any participating state in 2022.

The New York team members’ scores, out of six rounds:

  1. CM BREWINGTON HARDAWAY (2344) 5.5 in the Barber (Champion!)
  2. SAM LUGER (2048) 5.0 in the Rockefeller (Co-Champion!)
  3. WIM ELLEN LUOJIA WANG (2217) 4.5 in the Haring
  4. FM NICO CHASIN (2428) 4.0 in the Denker
  5. GM JOHN FEDOROWICZ (2458) 4.0 in the Irwin

Each Irwin player is considered the “honorary captain” of his state’s team. In 2022, as in 2021, all the Irwin players are men, so “his” is appropriate.

Individual Winners (Youngsters)

The three co-champions in the Denker, IM Arthur Guo (Georgia), GM Andrew Hong (Northern California), and FM Sandeep Sethuraman (Arizona), tied with a score of 5 out of 6 points. Guo had the best tiebreaks, so he earned the prizes associated with first place.

Arthur Guo, Georgia, Denker co-champion

The winner of the Barber was CM Brewington Hardaway (New York) with a score of 5.5.

Brewington Hardaway (New York), Barber Champion

The winner of the Haring was FM Ruiyang Yan (Northern California) with a score of 5.5.

Ruiyang Yan, Northern California, Haring Champion

The three co-champions in the Rockefeller, Andrew Jiang (Georgia), Benjamin Benchen Tang (Southern California), and Sam Luger (New York), tied with a score of 5 out of 6 points. Jiang had the best tiebreaks, so he earned the prizes associated with first place.

Andrew Jiang, Georgia, Rockefeller co-champion

Irwin Co-Champions

IM Doug Root (Texas) and GM Enrico Sevillano (Southern California) scored 5 points and are co-champions. Root had the better tie-breaks. Each player receives $2,000, a split of the $2,500 first place and $1,500 second place prize money amounts. Root additionally earns the Irwin qualifying spot for the 2023 U.S. Senior Championship, to be held at the Saint Louis Chess Club.

Doug Root (Texas), Irwin co-champion

Root annotates his game with IM Leonid Sokolin (New Jersey) from round 5. IM Elliott Winslow, the Northern California representative in the Irwin, provided additional comments.

Elliott Winslow, Northern California

Celebrity Sighting

James Altucher was a first-time participant in the John T. Irwin National Tournament of Senior State Champions. For many years a New Yorker, his essay “NYC is dead forever” went viral, earning a rebuttal from comedian Jerry Seinfeld. Altucher describes himself as an entrepreneur and angel investor. He is also the author of the Wall Street Journal bestselling book Choose Yourself.

James Altucher, Georgia, Irwin participant

Four months ago, Altucher moved to Johns Creek, near Duluth, Georgia. He represented Georgia in the Irwin. Altucher holds weekly chess club meetings at his home. His former coach is GM John Fedorowicz and his current coach is GM Jesse Kraai.

In 1986, Altucher was the New Jersey representative in the Denker. Altucher’s current chess goal is to get back to his US Chess rating peak of 2240.  He also plans to write a chess book tentatively titled 60 Memorable Losses. His favorite win in the Irwin was against Eric Cooke (Florida) in round 3; also included here is his round 5 loss to FM John Readey (Washington State).

U.S. Open: Meet the Authors!

While some chess authors left Rancho Mirage when the Invitationals concluded on August 2, several are still on site. GM Elshan Moradiabadi leads the traditional schedule of the U.S. Open. Moradiabadi and his co-author, WGM Sabina Foisor, will be signing their book Sherlock’s Method: The Working Tool for the Club Player. Foisor is not playing in the U.S. Open, but she is commentating on Twitch, along with FM Gauri Shankar, for US Chess. GM Eduardas Rozentalis will sign To Exchange or Not? The Ultimate Workbook and The Correct Exchange in the Endgame. The book signings for these three Thinkers Publishing authors (Moradiabadi, Foisor, and Rozentalis) are on Saturday, August 6, from noon to 2 p.m. The Managing Director for Thinkers Publishing, Daniël Vanheirzeele, is playing in the U.S. Open.

Dewain Barber is signing Humor in Chess and Humor in Chess II on Wednesday, August 3, at 6 p.m. All book signings are at the U.S. Open Boutique Chess Shop, within the Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa in Rancho Mirage.

Also at the Westin are FM Jim Eade, best known for Chess for Dummies; Harold Scott, who co-authored Winning the World Open with GM Joel Benjamin; IM Tim Taylor, author of Bird’s Opening; FM Sunil Weeramantry, who co-authored Best Lessons of a Chess Coach-Extended Edition with Edward Eusebi; and me. My latest book is United States Women's Chess Champions, 1937-2020.

two games by James Altucher, and an annotaed game by Doug Root


all available games



Alexey was the 1989 U.S. Women's Chess Champion and is a Woman International Master. She earned her bachelor’s degree in History at the University of Puget Sound and her doctoral degree in Education at The University of California, Los Angeles. She has been a Lecturer in Interdisciplinary Studies at UT Dallas since 1999 and is a prolific author.