Sunday, January 06, 2008

Wisconsin's newest Expert

Updated 1/10/2007 : Added these two links:Vince Hart's account of the event , 2004 interview with Alexander.
Sasha being interviewed by Roshan

Congratulations to ten year old Alexander Velikanov, Wisconsin's newest and youngest Expert. Any bets on how long it will take him to get to Master?

He achieved a rating of 2013 with a performance rating of 2396! at the TIM JUST WINTER OPEN XXII (IL)

Round by round

2) Win vs PATRICK LACEY 2121
3) Bye
4) Win vs VINCENT HART 2048
5) Loss vs IM MESGEN AMANOV 2365

Vince Hart's account of the event

He should also move to the #3 spot in the USCF age 10 list:

Top age 10

1) Yang, Darwin (12945617) TX 2129
2) Luo, Brian J (12910173) WI 2088
3) Velikanov, Alexander (12879882) WI 2013

Here is a 2004 interview with Alexander.


  1. Congratulations to Alexander!

  2. Congrats to Sasha!!! A tournament result that I won't mind having myself! Having two WI youngsters at the top of a National list is a strong statement. Congrats to Ashish, who coaches Sasha well.

    Incidentally, after the re-rate of the Eastern Open in DC the "other Sasha" crossed 2300 barrier. :-)

    Alex Betaneli

  3. Yes, congratulations to Alexander. He is a very good player. It seems that over the last couple years, there has been increasing quality here in Wisconsin. I base that on the number of high quality Expert and Class A level players and the emergence of young new Master level players. --Tom Fogec

  4. Yes, also congratulations to Mr. Betaneli on reaching 2300!

  5. But he's been over 2300 many times before.

    He needs to make it past 2400!

  6. Alex "Sasha" Betaneli,
    Congratulations to you for making it to 2300. And thanks for continuing to play in WI circuit. I know you hardly gain any rating points in beating people like us but we do get an opportunity to experience high quality chess with out travelling outiside the state. Hope you will now go for the Fide IM norms. All the best.

    Peter Velikanov,
    If you are reading this, I must congratulate you for your passion and hard work in promoting Sasha this far. Wish we can be equally encouraging parent. Please pass on my wishes to Sasha and Ashish.


  7. Ivan,

    How do I add the team event to the website?

    I plan to get to 2400 in 2008 and thus refute the folks who think I am on the way down. :-)

    As for Sasha, he would gain another 100 points if he just starts eating tomato each day. :-)


  8. For the wisconsin website you need to contact Arlen Walker.

    I will send you his email address.

  9. I say Sasha will be an expert in 12 months.

  10. I believe you are 12 months late in making that prediction!

  11. I meant to say Master

  12. Looks like two other WI youngsters gained lots of rating points: Derek Sachs adn John Veech. The only thing these two have in common with Sasha is that the attended WI CHESS ACADEMY summer chess camp in 2007. :-)


  13. Alex,
    is the Blitz even at the
    Amateur Team Championships North a team or indvidual event?

    Can one paricipate in the Blitz only if he so chooses?


  14. Blitz is open to all, not rated, individual event. Thanks.

  15. Thanks for the comment on my blog. If you'd like to include me on your list, most of my info can be deduced by the industrious but I'll make it easy on you:
    blog: The Back Rank
    Country: USA
    State: Florida
    City: Tallahassee
    FICS, CTS, ChessTempo, Loomis
    FIDE Estimate: 1629 (USCF - 100)

  16. I can only play in the Blitz, what time should I show up


  17. Alex,

    The above message pertains to:

    Amateur Team Championships North

  18. I am not sure yet when exactly blitz would begin, but somewhere around 9-10pm on Saturday.

  19. Very good job to both Sasha and Alex. I strongly believe that Mr. Betaneli will be able to make his 2008 goal, and hopefully our strong youngsters will get stronger and be followed by others.

    On a side note to Alex, is there really some sort of magical substance in tomatoes that helps boost concentration...or was your comment an inside joke. I know that there is a significant amount of vitamins (especially in the skin) of tomatoes, and that lycopene fights different types of cancer. Your comment really intrigued me.

  20. Jim,

    I thank you for your confidence in me. :-) As for tomato/day comment, it was meant as joke: this is the ONLY food Sasha truly hates... so much so that his dad has a standing $300 offer to the person who concinces his son to eat a tomato without using brutal force. That being said, THEY are good as cancer-prevention (especially for men).

    Concentration seems to be improved by blueberries and 1-2 cups of coffee (provided you don't have ADHD and are not a kid). Research on other foods is inconclusive.


  21. Next time I meet Alexander I will offer him $200 to eat a tomato!

  22. Thanks for the reply Alex. I'll try some blueberries and test the results.....although, your initial comment did raise my hunger for grape tomatoes and V8 juice lol.

  23. Lol, we tried offering him money already.


  24. alex aspires to be a pathologist, right? not a nutritionist.