October 7th saw chess players once again converge on the West Whiteland Township building for the 21st Holly Heisman Memorial. This event had a few years of bouncing around but has weathered the changes to become a staple of the area’s fall calendar in the Philly suburbs.
In the Open section, Matthew O’Brien won the event with a 4-1 score- he drew with Peter Minear and Karl Dehmelt, two of the three players who tied for second through fourth. The other player was Micah Simon Dubnoff, son of Mark Dubnoff- both are regular participants in this event. Last year’s winner, Tom Bartell, who runs Mainline Chess and Games in Paoli, finished with 2 1/2.
In the Under 1500 section, Matthew Rebisz, in his first tournament, drew Vu Le in the first game, then ripped off four straight wins to take first place with a 4.5-0.5 score. The only four-point score in this section was Jayden Yang, who lost in the second round to one of the many 3.5 players – Max Leung. Those finishing with 3 1/2 were Leung, Kevin Kennedy, Gideon Richard, Gregory Rudnytzky, Vu Le, Eeshan Kumbharathi, and Jeff Diebold.
In the under 900 section, Samuel Le, son of Vu, picked up 126 rating points, broke 1000 for the first time, and scored a perfect 4 – 0. Second and third were Akshaj Somisetty and Samika Nettem, who tied each other and won all their other games. In 4th to 8th places, all with 3-1 scores were Viraaj Jairath, Anya Kollur, Daniel Li, Aadhya Tati, and Pratik Fernandes.
This event gets tremendous help from the community and national (actually, international) organizations like Internet Chess Club ( and chess.com. We want to thank all of our sponsors. The complete list of those to whom we are grateful is as follows: Chess Openings Wizard, Tri-Bridges Chess Club, Chess.com, Mastermind’s Chess Club, Allentown Center City Chess Club, South Jersey Innovation Center, Main Line Chess and Games, Internet Chess Club, and Shining Knights.
We are delighted to announce that this event raised between $1500 and $2000 for this worthy charity. The exact amount is not easy to determine because, fortunately, the amount of money people donate online is significant, so it is hard to judge exactly how much comes directly from our event. (However, we know the total is around $20 to $25 per person.) We want to thank you all for coming out and helping us raise money for the Holly Heisman Fund, a part of the Philadelphia Foundation. We sincerely hope you enjoyed yourselves, and we’ll see you next year!