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More Chess

We will be playing chess around town. The Master Challenge will resume in May with new time control. Don’t forget to visit the Georgia Chess website for details on other events.



Ironman Free Chess Club 1st and 3rd Tuesday each month, starts 7:00. Best club in GA for Scholastic players.

Church at Decatur Heights, 735 Sycamore Drive, Decatur, GA 30030.

Contact Coach Tim Brookshear 770-633-6718

 Map it!


Plycounter Electronic Score sheet Review




PlyCounter is an electronic score sheet designed to record chess games. Moves are entered on the touch screen that displays the board and pieces, using the included stylus. The algebraic notation of the last moves is displayed on the lower part of the board and the complete game notation is also available.

The Plycounter electronic score sheet is about the size of the old Palm Pilot PDA system and uses a similar stylus. The screen is equivalent to that of the average smartphone.

313798_489378931122867_1091540794_nThe Plycounter seen here on the left next to my old iPhone 3G.

The Plycounter has a sturdy feel to it. I initially considered getting some type of case for it but I no longer think there is a need. The screen is slightly recessed which keeps casual contact down to a minimum.

One of the early observations I had about the Plycounter is the simplicity of the device. There are no complicated features or buttons to get lost in.

I believe even the first time tournament director would have no trouble navigating around this device.

The device has been submitted to the USCF for certification and I would anticipate a rapid approval.

There is no reason why this device would fail the certification process, giving the past devices that have been certified.

One feature that is required by the USCF (United States Chess Federation), is illegal move allowance. No player wants to consciously make an illegal move, but since the rules dictate that you can receive no help from the device, illegal moves must be permitted.  During my tournament test, I found myself a couple of times trying to move a little fast. One time I tried to move for my opponent twice and skip my move. I don’t think that worked, however, it will let you drop a pawn almost anywhere you would like.

I have been looking into extra stylus options. I just feel like that the stylus is something that will get lost eventually. I found myself laying the stylus on top of the Plycounter between moves.525338_516405685077912_2124886772_n

I will probably end up getting one of those stylus/pen combinations from the office supply store or ebay.  I am sure they are pretty cheap now.

Another actual tournament experience using the Plycounter was during sudden death or less than 5 minutes on the clock. I am pleased to report that I was able to easily record my moves without scrambling.  This ability should greatly improve my personal game record keeping going forward.

I did not have any problems with the local tournament directors letting me use the device. Part of that acceptance could have been reputation however. I recommend that you read up on the USCF’s policy for electronic score sheets and be prepared to remind the tournament director that it is up to them. It helps to alert them to the fact that their is no chess engine or any other type of assisting technology in the device.  I would go as far as also letting them know that their is no wifi transmitting/receiving capability either.

558023_489336544460439_1035412764_n There are a couple of nice features built into the user interface of the Plycounter. The first is the colored box indicator letting you know whose move it is. This box is somewhat universal with chess puzzles. Also, the battery monitor is always visible, just in case you are getting low. Which brings up another important feature.  The Plycounter is not meant to be always on. You should take advantage of the button at the bottom of the device that will put it in sleep mode. Using the sleep button is critical to extending the rechargeable battery life.

The Plycounter is $199 and available via



MAR. 16 Master Challenge #4

Round 5
White, Lawrence 2128.5Peatman, Carter 1798.5
Piper, Alan 20101Johnson, Frank 19700
Shaw, Eddie 18481Lattier, John 19940
Tsao, Kevis 19550Purnell, George 18101
Remick, William 18200Linde, Darcy 19281
Banta, Jeremy 1810Bye

Round 4
White, Lawrence 21281Shaw, Eddie 18480
Lattier, John 1994.5Piper, Alan 2010.5
Peatman, Carter 17981Linde, Darcy 19280
Tsao, Kevis 19550Johnson, Frank 19701
Purnell, George 18101Banta, Jeremy 18100
Remick, William 1820Bye

Round 3
Piper, Alan 20100White, Lawrence 21281
Johnson, Frank 1970.5Lattier, John 1994.5
Linde, Darcy 1928.5Tsao, Kevis 1955.5
Banta, Jeremy 18100Peatman, Carter 17981
Shaw, Eddie 18481Remick, William 18200
Purnell, George 1810Bye

Round 2
White, Lawrence 21281Johnson, Frank 19700
Lattier, John 19941Banta, Jeremy 18100
Tsao, Kevis 19601Remick, William 18200
Purnell, George 18100Linde, Darcy 19281
Peatman, Carter 17980Piper, Alan 20101
Shaw, EddieBye

Master Challenge #4

Round 1
Linde, Darcy 19280White, Lawrence 21281
Piper, Alan 20101Shaw, Eddie 18480
Remick, William 1820.5Lattier, John 1994.5
Peatman, Carter 17981Tsao, Kevis 19550
Johnson, Frank 19701Purnell, George 18100
Banta, Jeremy 1810Bye

MAR. 16 Master Challenge #4
64 Squares Chess Club presents the Master Challenge. 5SS, G/30;d/5, 64 Squares Chess Club, 1083 Austin Ave., NE, Atlanta, GA 30307. Open to minimum 1800 rating. Must have 1800 rating or above. USCF rated. EF: $40 online; $45 onsite. $20 for 64 Squares Chess Club Members. No checks onsite, Credit Cards okay. $$b/32: $200-100-50. u2200 $100, u2000 $100, biggest upset $75. Reg.: 8:15-8:45am. Rds.: 9,10:15,11:30,12: 45,2:00. One half point bye allowed during registration. ENT: 404-492-9039. INFO: Frank Johnson frankjohnson@chess-coach.net

March u1800 Shootout #2

Mar. 16, 2013

March u1800 Shootout #1

4SS G/30; d/5. Players must bring their own clocks. Boards will be provided. Registration 3pm-4pm. Entry Fee $25 online; $30 on site. No checks onsite, Credit Cards okay.

First round 4:15pm.

64 Squares Chess Club, 1083 Austin Ave., NE, Atlanta, GA 30307. Open to maximum 1799 rating. Must have 1799 rating or below. USCF rated.

One half point bye allowed during registration. ENT: 404-492-9039. INFO: Frank Johnson

Pay and register here.


Announcing the availability of the USCF Blitz Rating System!

Announcing the availability of the USCF Blitz Rating System!

chess_clock_chronos_blitz_ivory_600As of March 1, 2013, the USCF has a Blitz rating system!
Events that start on or after March 1, 2013, and that have a total time per player of between 5 and 10 minutes are now automatically part of the Blitz rating system.

Add the minutes of time plus the seconds of delay/increment to determine the total time per player.

For Blitz events, the fastest available time control is G/3;d2 (Game in 3 minutes with 2 seconds of delay) and the slowest available time control is G/10;d0 (Game in 10 minutes with no increment or delay.)

All rounds and games in a Blitz event must use the same time control. If an event would have previously qualified as a Quick-Rated-Only event but is within the 5 to 10 minute range for Blitz events, it will be a Blitz event.

For more information, see the Update to the USCF rulebook.