Kassa Korley at Philly Congress

New York’s Kassa Korley has graced these pages several times, but he is perhaps known best for breaking the age record for a player of African desent to earn the National Master’s title. There are a lot of age records falling these days, but Kassa has moved on to vying for FIDE titles. Over the “Thanksgiving” weekend, he competed in the 2009 Philly Congress and put in a solid performance with 4/6. The tri-national (U.S., Denmark, Ghana) has his rating back over 2300.

In an interview with Chess Life, he made notable mention of his game with IM Bryan Smith… it was a game he lost! That’s humility. However, he was intrigued to be a part of a game where a brilliant idea was played. Korley scored a stunning victory over FM Oleg Zaikov (2388) and ended the tournament on a high note beating FM Rodion Rubenchik (2376). Smith took joint 1st with GM Alexander Stripunsky, GM-elect Alexander Lenderman and IM Irina Krush with 5/6. Here is a video with Kassa.

The Scoop with Kassa Korley


  1. Kassa Korley scored a very nice win over Oleg Zaikov (2388). He had several sacrifices including the brilliant 30.h4!! Game looks like one that IM Emory Tate would play. 🙂

    Here is the game with Bryan Smith’s nice …Rh1! sortie!

  2. I like the first game Korley v Zaikov. Played without fear and the retreat Be4 was as classy as the continuation into the endgame.
    Lovely vision.

  3. In Korley v Smith-a lack of computer-type depth in preparation is showing.That variation is a computer generated minefield. Korley needs to make important decisions about which variation to play based on the depth of his preparation. A Sicillian Dragon can be over 30 moves of theory and then some independent move.
    Good courage though.

  4. He missed a couple of shots, but Kassa definitely knows those lines. It’s a minefield for both, but I think Rxh5 is a bit too ambitious. I remember seeing these moves played in many blitz games and it never seemed to work.

  5. I appreciate the support! Its really a joy to have people that care about my chess. Moreover, I look foreword to hopefully having more opportunities to play in fide rated tournaments like this one. A very generous family sponsored my trip to Philadelphia. Anyway, my last round game vs Rodion Rubenchik was probably prettier than the one here and in the following days I’ll try to relay the moves to you!

    Best, Kassa Korley

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