Harvard Chess Club News


2019 Spring Meetings Commence

This spring, we'll meet to play chess and hang out every Monday night from 7:30 PM to 9:00 PM in the Quincy House d-hall on Harvard University's campus. Our first meeting is this Monday, February 25!


Harvard Makes the Final Four

The Harvard chess team (GM Darwin Yang, IM Richard Wang, FM Varun Krishnan, NM Bryan Hu) just made the Final Four of collegiate chess at the 2018 Pan American Intercollegiate Championship. Official stories to come.


2018 Fall Meetings Concluded

Stay tuned for information about meetings in the Spring of 2019!


Harvard Beats Yale, 4-1, in 2018 Harvard-Yale Chess Match

The Harvard chess team beat Yale, 4-1, at the 2018 Harvard-Yale Chess match, held on Friday, November 16 at the Science Center. Playing for Harvard were Michael Isakov, Andrew Lu, Daniel Sutton, and Ella Papanek. Board 5 was declared a draw. Thanks to our Yale friends for coming to play!

Harvard Yale 2018


Recap: Ivy League Chess Challenge, Nov 9-11, 2018

The Harvard chess team finished tied for first, taking home second on tiebreaks, at the first Ivy League Chess Challenge, hosted by the University of Toronto, from November 9-11, 2018, in Toronto, Canada. Playing for Harvard were GM Darwin Yang, IM Richard Wang, FM Varun Krishnan, and NM Bryan Hu. We finished with a 4-1 match record, losing only to the eventual winners, Princeton, 1.5-2.5, who also finished 4-1. The Tigers ended up taking home first on tiebreaks; Michigan also finished 4-1 and finished third on tiebreaks. See full results and standings here.

We give a huge thanks to UofT, the Hart House Chess Club, Panayoti Tsialas, and the planning team for putting together a magnificent challenge featuring 30 incredibly strong players from Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Michigan, and the UofT A and B teams.

Harvard @ Ivy League Challenge 2018

Please read here a fantastic recap piece put together by the Hart House Chess Club.

See here a recap of the event on Chessbase written by WGM Qiyu Zhou.


Upcoming: Ivy League Chess Challenge, Nov 9-11, 2018

The Harvard chess team is looking forward to playing in the inaugural 2018 Ivy League Chess Challenge, hosted by the Hart House Chess Club, the official chess club of the University of Toronto. Harvard will play a match-style tournament against Michigan, Princeton, Yale, and UoT's A and B teams. Read more about the tournament here and follow live games here.

Ivy League Challenge

Please read more about this tournament at the Hart House Chess Club website.


Recap: Community Chess Weekend, Sept 21-23, 2018

Thank you to everyone who came out and made Harvard's first ever Community Chess Weekend a fantastic success! The newly-renovated Smith Center gave players and spectators alike the full experience of fun, friendly, competitive chess in historic Harvard Square. We had great turnouts for both Friday's open play and Saturday's simul with GM Larry Christiansen, but the real highlights were what followed. Forty players showed up to play in the Collins Cup Qualifier on Saturday afternoon for several hours of exciting, intense chess in the windy Square. After nine rounds of play, with the sun setting, Martin van Dommelen, Arne Hessenbrook, Joe Perl, and Richard Yi came out on top in their respective groups. Congratulations to Martin for winning the four-player playoff by defeating Joe in the finals!

With Joe seeded into Sunday's incredibly strong all-master Collins Cup Invitational tournament as Martin had prior commitments, 16 of Cambridge's strongest blitz players played a round-robin to determine the winner of the inaugural Collins Cup. Congratulations to HCC's own FM Varun Krishnan, who cleaved through the field with 13.0/15.0 to win by 1.5 points over second-place IM Alex Katz of MIT. Yours truly (NM Bryan Hu) came in third with 10.0/15.0. We thank the rest of the field for giving the Square its strongest gathering of chess players seen in quite some time!

Special thanks to Nathan Smolensky of MACA for providing impeccable direction and management for all four weekend events, as well as Harvard Common Spaces for providing the impetus for the execution of an event dedicated to the Harvard chess community.

Check out a fantastic photo-piece recap of the event published by the Harvard Gazette here!

And another recap piece by the Boylston Chess Club here.



UPCOMING: Community Chess Weekend, Sept 21-23, 2018

Harvard University Common Spaces presents Community Chess Weekend at the newly-built Richard A. And Susan F. Smith Campus Center, September 21-23, 2018. Register for your spot in Saturday's Open Blitz Qualifier Tournament at MassChess.org today! Winners will be seeded into Sunday's Collins Cup Invitational Blitz Tournament, featuring the top masters of Harvard Square. If not, come by for open blitz play on Friday evening and a simul with three-time US Champion and GM Larry Christiansen on Saturday afternoon! See the flyer below and click here for more details.

Community Chess Weekend Flyer


Recap: The 2018 Harvard Open

Thank you to all who showed up to the 2018 Harvard Open to make it a great event! We had 87 registrants, including 7 masters, and 15 simul players filling up the spacious first floor of the SOCH. Congratulations to Lawyer Times and Juan Lizarazo for tying for first in the Open Section with 3.5/4.0, and to IM David Vigorito and Josue Velazquez Martinez for finishing tied for third with 3.0/4.0. In the U2000 section, Harvard undergrads David Stoner and Bary Lisak took home first-place honors, both with 3.5/4.0 points; behind them was a massive six-way tie for third. Oliver Spohngellert and Ian Van Hulle tied for first in the U1400, also with 3.5/4.0, and four players tied at the top in the U800: Ani Perl, Shouri Rao Mosaliganti, Brian Li, and Vinamra Jain. Congratulations to all winners of the 2018 Harvard Open!

We would like to give special thanks to several partners: the Currier House Faculty Deans (the masterminds who incepted the idea and brought it to life), Future Masters Chess Academy, and the Boylston Chess Club, all of whom played integrable roles in the successful relaunching of the Harvard Open. Many thanks as well to GM Darwin Yang for giving the simul in the morning. Stay tuned for a 2019 iteration of the Harvard Open!

Final Standings

Final Wallchart



UPCOMING: The 2018 Harvard Open on September 15

Harvard Chess Club, Boylston Chess Club, Future Masters Chess Academy, and Harvard Currier House present the 2018 Harvard Open on September 15, 2018 at the beautiful SOCH in Harvard’s Radcliffe Quadrangle. The one-day tournament will feature the top chess players in Massachusetts battling it out across four rounds of G/45 for their share of a $750 guaranteed prize fund. In addition, there will be a grandmaster simul in the morning and game analysis throughout the day for players of all levels. Register today for a day full of chess on Harvard’s historic campus! Register today at the Boylston Chess Club website and check out the Harvard Open tournament page for more details.

2018 Harvard Open


Congrats to the Winners of the Clash!

We congratulate GM-elect Aman Hambleton for a 7.5/8.0 score to win clear first in the Open section, while NM Sasha Shumaiev finished second a half point behind with 7.0/8.0. Finally, Sng Zheng Yang and Ella Papanek tied for third with 6.0/8.0. Open Section final standings

In the Reserve section, Anirudh Suresh won clear first with 7.5/8.0, while Christian Gaetz finished second a point behind with 6.5/8.0. Reserve Section final standings

Finally, we'd like to thank our Gold level sponsor, Citadel, for providing support and helping make the second Clash a smash-hit success. Be sure to check out our Photos page for pictures of the event!


UPCOMING: 2nd Annual Harvard Chess Clash

On April 7th, 2018, Harvard will host the 2nd Annual Harvard Chess Clash, a blitz chess tournament designed for students from the Harvard and Boston/Cambridge college communities to come together in a fun and competitive environment and compete for their share of prizes, paid out in Amazon Gift Cards. The best part? No entry fee! The tournament flyer can be found here and the registration form can be found here


Harvard Scores 4.0/6.0, Finishes as 7th best school at Pan-Ams

From Dec 27-30 2017, Harvard competed at the 2017 Pan-Am Intercollegiate Chess Championship in Columbus, Ohio against colleges featuring the world's elite players. The 2017-18 traveling team scored 4.0/6.0, good for =8th and 11th on tiebreaks. Most impressively, Harvard finished tied for the top spot out of non-chess-scholarship schools.

Going into the last round, our four-person team had 4.0/5.0 match points and a chance to qualify for the Final Four of College Chess, but we couldn’t pull off the upset against #2-seeded St. Louis University, which featured an average USCF rating of 2702.

Congrats to both GM Darwin Yang and IM  Richard Wang for drawing super-GMs rated in the top-100 in the world in the last round! Congrats as well to FM Varun Krishnan and NM Bryan Hu for scoring key victories in our match victory against the University of Michigan.

Full results can be found here and USCF’s recap story can be found here.


Harvard Ties Yale, 2.5-2.5, in 2017 Harvard-Yale Match

Playing for Harvard were NM Bryan Hu, Kendrick Nguyen, Bary Lisak, Annie Zhao, and Alex Su. Congrats to Yale on a hard-fought match and thank you to our Bulldog chess friends for hosting!


UPCOMING: 2017 Pan-Am Intercollegiate Chess Championships!

Ohio State University will be hosting the 2017 Pan-Am Intercollegiate Chess Championship from December 27-30, 2017.

As the 2017-18 roster of the travelling Harvard Chess Club team members is the strongest undergraduate lineup Harvard has even seen in its long and storied history, we are looking to compete in Pan-Ams and establish Harvard as a chess power. In order to do so, we need to raise funds for travel, lodging, and entry fees.

Stay tuned for updates on our progress through our journey to bring collegiate chess glory back to Cambridge, MA!


2017-18 Harvard Chess Club Shirts Open to Purchase

This year's exclusive HCC shirts have arrived and are open to purchase! Please see the T-Shirts tab under the Team page for more information and contact Bryan Hu at bhu01@college.harvard.edu to place your order. There are a limited quantity available, so get yours before they run out. *please note that shirts are now sold out - BH*

Please include "Harvard Chess Club Shirts" in the subject line and choose a shirt size of S, M, or L. All proceeds will help fund the team's travel to 2017 Pan-Ams.


The 1st Annual Harvard Chess Clash: February 18, 2017

Harvard Chess Club ran and hosted the inaugural Harvard Chess Clash, a G/20, four-round Swiss tournament with a $100 prize fund, played in the Bullitt Room of Quincy House. 

Congratulations to Brian Salomon for a perfect 4.0/4.0 in the Open section, while Holger Droessler and Ofer tied for second place a point behind. The Reserve section witnessed a four-way tie for first place, as Sam Bieler, Steve Stepak, Lan Leschly, and Belino Xhafa all posted 3.0/4.0.

Read a recap of the event with pictures here, kindly put together by Steve Stepak of the Boylston Chess Club.

Be sure to check out the Club photos page to see some pics from the 1st Clash!


Harvard Blanks Yale, 5-0, in 2016 Harvard-Yale Match

For the third year in a row, Harvard has won the annual Harvard-Yale match, this time by a score of 5-0. This marks the first time in recorded history that the match has ended in a whitewash.

Playing for Harvard were GM Darwin Yang, IM Richard Wang, NM Varun Krishnan, NM Bryan Hu, and Ellen Xiang. Congrats to the Harvard team for yet another victory!


Harvard Beats Yale, Again, in 2015 Harvard-Yale Match

On the eve of the Harvard-Yale football game, a much different version of The Game takes place: five chess players each of the best that the Crimson and Bulldogs have to offer go head-to-head in a five-board chess match. The tradition dates back for decades.

In 2015, Harvard defeated Yale in New Haven by a score of 4-1 to take the Wolff Cup. Playing for the Crimson were NM Varun Krishnan, NM Bryan Hu, Ellen Xiang, Taylor Bagley, and George Qi. This marks the second year in a row that Harvard has defeated Yale!


Harvard Beats Yale in 2014 Harvard-Yale Match

On November 21, 2014, the Friday night before the Harvard-Yale football game, Harvard's chess team faced Yale's team. The match and football game took place at Harvard this year.

Playing on Harvard's team were (in order of board number): NM Jake Miller, Michael Thaler, George Qi, Aaron Landesman, and Joanne Koong. Holger Droessler played for tiebreaks. Playing on Yale's team (in order of board number): Robert Hess, Mitchell Powell, Josh Divine, Achutha Raman, and Melina Sanchez, with Ian Gonzalez playing for tiebreaks. 

Michael Thaler, Aaron Landesman, and Joanne Koong won which gave Harvard a 3-2 win. Additionally, Holger Droessler won his board. A huge congrats to the Harvard chess team on their fine victory!


Harvard Beats MIT

Harvard inched out MIT 8-7 in the Harvard vs. MIT chess match that took place on MIT's campus on November 9, 2014. 

Playing for Harvard were: George Qi, Aaron Landesman, Holger Droessler, Vincent Nguyen, Mike Griffin, Steve Stepak, Rugsit Kanan, Jon Ascherman, Connor Roberts, Alexander Su, Deng-Tung Wang, Yue Huang, Raghu Dhara, Cole Henderson, and Henry Yi.


Harvard vs. MIT Match

Tomorrow, Harvard will face MIT in a chess match at the MIT Stratton Student Center (W20-208). The event will take place from 2:00 - 5:00 PM. We wish our players the best of luck! Stay tuned for results.


First 2014-15 Meeting

We will be having our first meeting of the year this upcoming Wednesday, September 10 in Quincy Dining Hall from 8-10 pm. Newcomers, oldtimers, we hope to see you all there! For directions or further questions, please refer to the meetings page.

2014 Activities Fair

Come check out the Harvard Chess Club at the Activities Fair on Friday, September 5 from 4pm-7pm. Officers will be present to discuss information regarding meetings, tournaments, and more! Boards will be set up for casual blitz play. If you're interested, definitely pay us a visit!


Mixed Doubles Champions at 2014 World Amateur Team & U.S. Team East

Harvard's chess team won clear first for Mixed Doubles Champions at the 2014 World Amateur & U.S. Team East in New Jersey. Congratulations to Almir Dzhumaev, Joanne Koong, Nisha Deolalikar, and Rugsit Kanan for their hard work. Full results can be viewed at the tournament website.


Harvard Wins First Place in Division III at Pan Ams

Earning 3 points out of 6 with 3 wins and 3 loses, Harvard received first place U2000 at the annual Pan American Intercollegiate Chess Championship in Lubbock, Texas held over December 27-100. This year marked the 60th anniversary of the intercollegiate tournament. There were 42 teams and 175 players in competition. Congratulations to Aaron Landesman, Jake Miller, Vincent Nguyen, and Indira Puri for their hard work! Full results can be viewed at the tournament website.


Harvard Defeats Yale at Pan-Ams

The Harvard chess squad pulled off a 3.5 - 0.5 win over Yale in Lubbock, Texas at the annual Pan American Intercollegiate Chess Championship held over December 27-100. The top three boards secured stunning victories along with a draw on the fourth board to solidify the triumph. Full results for the tournament will be posted soon!


First 2013-14 Meeting

We will be having our first meeting of the year this Wednesday in Quincy Dining Hall from 8-10 pm. Newcomers, oldtimers, we hope to see you all there! For directions or further questions, please refer to the meetings page.


2013 Activities Fair

Come check out the Harvard Chess Club at the Activities Fair today from 4pm - 7pm. Officers will be present to discuss information regarding meetings, tournaments, and more! Boards will be set up for casual blitz play. If you're interested, definitely pay us a visit!


The Provisional Schedule Has Arrived!

      October 18-20, Eastern Team Championships, Stamford, CT
      November 22: Annual Harvard-Yale Intercollegiate Wolff Cup, Yale University
      December 27-30: Pan-American Championships, Texas Tech University
      February 15-17: World Amateur Team, Parsippany, NJ
      February 28-March 1: Inter-Ivy Tournament, Columbia University (Date not official).