1st Greater Baystate Spring Classic
St. John's Lutheran Church
60 Broad St
Westfield, MA 01085
Send entry fee to: greater.baystate.chess@gmail.com

St. John's Lutheran Church
60 Broad St
Westfield, MA

The club will be meeting next week. We'll have our third short class on basic chess tactics for those interested. The focus will be Knight forks. Classes are free. There will also be a discussion about the current status of the FIDE Candidates Tournament, and analysis of a game from it for those interested. The winner of the tournament earns the right to challenge World Champion, GM Ding Liren for the title later this year! Normal club activities will still be available for those opting not to participate.


04/14/24 UMass Spring Classic - Blitz TLA MAP
04/28/24 32nd Massachusetts G/60 Championship TLA MAP
05/11/24 Bennington Spring Open TLA MAP
06/07/24 - 06/09/24 Eastern Class Championships MAP
07/26/24 - 07/28/24 Bradley Open MAP

The Passing Of A Dear Friend

Mar 92024



    I am very sad to announce that my dear friend and chess mentor, Mr. Richard Zyra has passed away. He was 82 years young. I first met Richard at the Westfield (Mass) Chess Club in 2005. Here was a man of honor, respect, and integrity. He was the one of three US Chess rated players that taught me the fundamentals and rules of the game. (The other two being his brother, Michael Zyra, and my high school history teacher, Mr. Richard Pucko.) Richard Zyra gifted me my very first two chess books that I ever owned, " Basic Chess Openings" & "More Basic Chess Openings" by Hungarian GM Gábor Kállai. 

     He was a stern enforcer of applying the USCF rules of chess to every game, whether it be casual or rated, yet always the gentleman. Especially the "touch-move" rule! In this way he trained me to treat the game seriously and with respect so that I was prepared for formal competitions. I'm glad that he did. That's a painful rule that costed me several games. Mr. Zyra ingrained in me how to sit on my hands, be patient and think BEFORE I move a piece, which I struggled with because I always moved too fast, ending in many losses. I always looked forward to seeing him each week at the club on Wednesday nights, and later on, Monday nights at the Springfield Chess Club, in anticipation of what lessons he had for me next. 

    He not only taught me about chess, but also life itself. He put up with my bad attitude many times and adjusted it accordingly. He helped forge me into the chess player and man that I am today. I've now been running the Westfield Chess Club (now Greater Baystate Chess Club) that I met him at for the past 14 years. I've built it upon what he stood for and meant to me; unity and friendship. I will miss his laugh, his smile, our awesome chess games, and our phone conversations. Sometimes, I'd be down, especially after my car accident. Richard would lift me up and encourage to never give up. Now he's my chess angel. I can feel him giving me strength every game. I know it sounds strange, but 2 days after he left us, I swept an online tournament with a performance rating of 2295. I've never done that in my life! 

     He was a very good man, Richard Zyra. He is loved by many and will be sorely missed. I know he's in Heaven now, and I hope to see him there. And so, I only say Goodbye for now, Mr. Zyra. Rest in peace, sir. 

Here is the link to his obituary. Thank you for reading. 




By: Gaetano 

Student of Chess




Feb 92024

Ladies & Gentleman, boys and girls of Chess;

I'm proud to announce the Premier launching of a revamped chess organization and club; The GREATER BAYSTATE CHESS ASSOCIATION, Formerly the WESTFIELD CHESS CLUB (WCC)  has operated for over 50 years, we are now, a donation-based organization that focuses more on relationships and chess than politics and territorial division. 

    When I joined the club in 2005, it was in the side meeting room of Burger King in Westfield, MA. Today, we're in the beautiful fellowship Hall of St. John's Lutheran Church in Westfield, after many other restaurant locations over the years. As president of the club the last 14 years, with the support of the community, and some wonderful folks in the chess world, I've expanded the club to soon start holding US Chess rated scholastic and adult tournaments, at different venues statewide, the first one being right at our Club location in Spring!  

    For decades, chess organizers in the state of Massachusetts have been at war about territory and politics. All this has done is cause contention, derision, and division in the chess communities statewide, preventing some of the most wonderful and amazing minds from coming together. 

    It is my vision to take down the walls of division, and forge unity & friendships that transcend and bring together all races of peoples, all cultures and geographical boundaries, to share the beautiful game of chess with one another! I've made some wonderful and amazing friends from across the globe during my 15 years as a United States Chess Federation member and, I'm very excited to make many more! 

    And so, the GREATER BAYSTATE CHESS ASSOCIATION is born! I cordially invite ALL chess Players of ALL levels from ALL over the BAYSTATE of Massachusetts, and beyond to join us for some incredible chess experiences, the likes of which have never been achieved here! I welcome you all with an open heart and open arms to learn, share, teach, compete, and have the best time with chess you've ever had in your lives! This is my hope! The more we grow together, the bigger our club gets, the more equipment, books, and learning tools we can provide. More quality tournaments can be held, increasingly substantial prize funds, chess programs in the community and schools, and other clubs can grow! One person, One step, and one donation, at a time!

    I hope you will support my cause with your donations, participation in our Club meetings, tournaments, your ideas, and join the Greater Baystate Chess Club family if you're willing & able to!



 Respectfully yours in chess and in life,

    - Gaetano 

Greater Baystate Chess Association & Club President.

email: greater.baystate.chess@gmail.com 

Phone: (413)-356-0303