Community Life: Checkmate!

When Harrison Russin—Dean’s Fellow and Lecturer in Liturgical Music here at St. Vladimir’s—inspected an aged trophy resting inconspicuously in the student lounge of the Houda Germack Building recently, he noted it listed champions for one of his own favorite pastimes: chess.

“The previous winners were seminarians from the early ’90s,” he remarked, “and I noted a ping-pong tournament trophy on the windowsill as well. Apparently these community events fell by the wayside over the years, and I wanted to bring back at least one of them.

“I had played chess a bit in college but then started playing more seriously in grad school,” he went on, “and now, I play in a local chess club.

“As well,” he continued, “Dima Rentel (son of faculty member Archpriest Alexander Rentel) and I actually played in a tournament in Manhattan last October; Dima finished with a respectable score, especially considering there were three grandmasters in that tournament!

“Since a few of us regularly play casually on campus, usually on Sundays after Divine Liturgy,” he explained, “I decided to revive the tournament here at SVOTS.”

So on Saturday, April 29, he did just that, inviting the “regulars” of the Coffee Hour games—from kids to adults—to tourney play. He himself faced off with “Defending Coffee Hour Champion” Rufus Behr (son of Dean John Behr), his continuing nemesis.

The group played 4 rounds of games in which each player got 15 minutes (= 30 minutes total), and the final standings (win = 2 points, loss = 0, draw = 1 point) were:

1. Priest Adrian Budica, Supervisor of Clinical Pastoral Education at SVOTS = 8 points
2. Rufus Behr = 7 points (won tiebreaker)
3. Harrison Russin = 6 points
T4. Julia Fields, 4 points (Tie for highest among children)
T4 Dr. Anca Sailer, 4 points
T4 Dn. Larry Soper, 4 points
T4 Raphael Sailer, 4 points (Tie for highest among children)
T8 Angelo Niqula, 2 points
T8 Daniel Rentel, 2 points
10 Jacob Fields, 2 points

The new Champion, Fr. Adrian, will get his name engraved on the SVOTS Chess Tournament Cup!

[photos: Anna Fields, Harrison Russin]