Hall of Fame

Welcome to The Right Move Virtual Hall of Fame Scholastic Chess Museum. It is located in cyberspace so you can only visit us here on the web. It was founded in November 2007 by Brother John McManus, Scholastic advisor to the Eastern New York Chess Association, ENYCA (serving Eastern New York State and corresponding regions). For comments and suggestions, email brjohnmcmanus@yahoo.com

Hall of Fame Award

Hall of Fame Award is presented to individuals that provided exceptional service to accomplish the mission of the Right Move in the Capital District Area.

Coach of the Year

Presented to an individual who has been a role model to younger players through coaching or participation in chess activities

Player of the Year

Presented to Right Move Player that received highest number of points in a given school year following the rules established by the Board.

2018-2019Not AwardedOdin Pawlson Matthew Tether
Andrew Johnston
2017-2018Michael W. MocklerBenjamin SorrentinoJon S. Leisner
2016-2017Sandeep AlampalliAllen CrucettaPatrick Bergin
2015-2016Dr. Sreenivas AlampalliKarthik NarayanDavid Sterner
2014-2015Brother John McManusBalaji MahadevanMichael Klugman
2013-2014Ron LadouceurDeon SanthoshZachary Calderon
2012-2013Phillip Ferguson Harold WangPhillip Sells
2011-2012Bill TownsendSandeep AlampalliJohn and Vanessa D’Alonzo
2010-2011Ashok AaronSandeep AlampalliWilliam Matters
2009-2010Tom and Sue PacukSummanth Gajjala and Manuel AbrogarNate Stevens/Dwayne Boss
2008-2009Hermon CalderonNaren ManojDr. Liz Gialanella
2007-2008Karen MerkerCharlie ChenXiaoqing Zhang
2006-2007Kenneth EvansDeepak AaronDan Carroll
2005-2006----Brendan LeeEduardo Valverde-Salas



Hall of Fame Award is presented to individuals that provided exceptional service to accomplish the mission of the Right Move in the Capital District Area.

Michael (Walter) Mockler (2017-2018) Presented to Michael (Walter) Mockler, summa cum laude graduate of the School of Hard Knocks. Walter is a true champion of chess. He has tirelessly promoted chess for youth in the capital district. Walter has provided numerous books to the winners of rated sections at TRM tournaments. In addition to attending TRM tournaments, Walter attends local events to support Capital District scholastic TRM players. Walter cheerfully offers young players guidance and post-mortem game reviews. Congratulations Walter! (Presented at the CBA picnic on June 20, 2018)

Alampalli, Sandeep (2016-17)  Presented to Sandeep Alampalli, a sophomore from the Albany Academy, in recognition of the leadership role he played in advancing the Right Move mission of promoting chess. He was a motivation to all scholastic players at the Right Move with his volunteering and fund raising efforts as the President for the last three years. He was the Player of the Year in 2010-2011 and 2011-2012, the only player to win back-to-back titles so far. Sandeep is a USCF certified Senior Tournament Director and helped with the organization of several tournaments. He is representing New York State as a 2017 delegate to the US Chess Federation. Congratulations Sandeep! (Presented at the CBA picnic on June 21, 2017)

Alampalli, Sreenivas, Dr. (2015-16)  Presented to Sreenivas in recognition for his past and continued commitment and efforts to the success of the Right Move. He has been a role model to other volunteers as an an organizer, tournament director, web presence, and communications.  A constant push for establishing a structure and continued financial stability of the Right Move.

McManus, John Brother (2014-15) A force behind the Right Move organization since inception – organizer, coach, tournament director, and all. Without Brother John there might not have been a right move  organization for so many years. His efforts and constant push to scholastic chess activities in the Capital District as well as New York City area are the reason for many young kids reaching their heights in chess and subsequently in life.

Phillip Ferguson (2013-14) Motivator, Energizer, Chess Enthusiast par excellence. Phil has been instrumental in the establishment and continuing presence of the Eastern New York Chess Association, (ENYCA), which since 1996 has promoted excellence and commitment to chess happenings in the Northeastern part of New York State and surrounding areas.  Phil’s trips to foreign lands to compete are legendary: Carl Magnuson beware!! (Presented at the CBA picnic on June 16, 2013).

Ladouceur, Ron (2012-13)

Townsend, William (2011-12)  Passionate, enthusiastic historian and entrepreneur, Bill serves as the classic role model for service as the Sunday Schenectady Gazette publishes a record of the many feats and accomplishments of the upcoming generation of Chessplayers. His Electric City Comics is a welcome respite and resource for many fans of imagination / creativity as is the Chess League which features weekly matches under his watchful gaze/guidance. (Presented 6/20/2012 by Sreenivas Alampalli at the CBA Picnic)

Aaron, Ashok (2010-11) Struggle, hope, and persevere!! Dream. Dedicated to family, community and of course, Chess.  Proctor’s and Schenectady Community Center fully benefit from his presence. Deepak, Deepti and Dilip are his grand delights. Son of Manual Aaron, India’s Champion, his whole family is returning to their native village in India this summer for competing in (Why yes!) Chess! The capital District eagerly awaits their return. (Presented at Christian Brothers Academy, 12 Airline Drive, Albany, NY. June 29, 2011)

Pacuk, Tom and Sue (2009-10) Coxsackie  -Athens Coach. On November 1, 2008 the Capital District Scholastic Championships (with Karl Heck, TD) came to an end as coach Tom and Sue Pacuk celebrated the end of thirteen glorious years hosting chess at Coxsackie. Their tournaments drew decent challengers, particularly with the popularity of the Mid-Hudson Chess League and the Saturday matches that pitted high schools from Newburgh and throughout the Kingston and Coxsackie region including, yes, Albany and beyond. Their after-school sessions were envied and modeled on proven methods. They wish all well and have set a high standard for all to follow. (June 23, 2010, CBA Picnic)

Calderon, Herman (2008-09) Giffen coach, parent, mentor, Assistant Tournament Director, etc. has achieved the premier status in The Right Move Virtual Chess Hall of Fame Scholastic Chess Museum for his persistent top level promotion of scholastic chess since September, 2000. First coach in the Albany area to bring Giffen’s Green collared uniform shirts to tournaments in the area, providing quick identity of his standout players. Photographer actively promoting all players and champions, he remains for all the awards, frequently even capturing faces as the champions try to escape the camera’s eye. ( Presented May 20, 2009 at CBA Picnic.)

Merker, Karen (2007-08) Chess Coach of the Mighty Pawns of St. Joseph’s, has been working with chess in the Kingston area for at least the last 17 years For the past 15 years, her Martin Luther King, Jr., Chess tournament has drawn large reviews as people come from afar to celebrate “black and white together” over a chessboard. She has even had to limit grade levels due to too large a turnout for the facilities!!! Preparations begin early each year as the day includes raffle prizes for all the players, as well as most generous trophies and awards. Many players from St. Joseph learn the game in the after-school program. Her teams have won numerous awards, and her recruiting of parents and instructors for the players is a good model for all to follow. (Presented 2008 at the June Picnic at CBA.)

Evans, Kenneth (2006-07) In November, 1972, a young chess playing physics teacher, Ken Evans, crystalized the fusion of past and future as he organized the First Kingston Chess Championship. Thirty-six years later, (2008) on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, his legacy continues in Chess Clubs, Leagues, Schools and Tournaments as many benefit from his guiding presence. Earlier generations will remember his index cards sliding pairings into his wife Mary’s home-sewn packets of the pairing charts. Her cheerful patterns still preside over the bags that collect the pieces after each of Ken’s tournaments. Ken has been most influential teaching chess in clubs and schools, camps and wherever he can find a chess set and board. He even painted the park tables!. (Presented 2007 at the June Dinner at Martel’s restaurant.)


Presented to an individual who has been a role model to younger players through coaching or participation in chess activities

Jon S. Leisner (2017-2018)  Jon Leisner has been volunteering as a chess coach at the Latham Ridge Elementary School for the last four years and his team has been competing at the Right Move for the last two years. His team has consistently done well in the tournaments they participated in and have been in the top 10 last year and this year. Mr. Leisner also became an USCF certified club TD this year. Congratulations Mr. Leisner! (Presented at the CBA picnic on June 20, 2018)

Bergin, Patrick (2016-17)  Patrick is a teacher and chess coach at the Central Park Middle School. He has been promoting chess as a teacher and chess coach at MLK Magnet Elementary School until moving to the Central Park MS last year. His team has consistently done well in the tournaments they participated in. He has also been instrumental in hosting Right Move tournaments at both the schools. Congratulations Mr. Bergin! (Presented at the CBA picnic on June 21, 2017)

Sterner, David (2015-16)  David has been coaching and promoting chess at Albany High School. He has worked with Albany High School for the past three years on a volunteer basis.  He provides weekly lessons, reviews games, attends tournaments, and has been a mentor and positive role model for AHS students. Mr. Sterner is an accomplished local chess player and knows a great deal about the history of the game.  He is able to teach in a way that inspires beginners and motivates more advanced players.

Klugman, Michael (2014-15)

Calderon, Zachary (2013-14)

Sells, Phillip (2012-13)

D’Alonzo, John and Vanessa (2011-12)  Providing access for growth through Chess in a caring, nurturing environment: Jonathan, Joseph and Jovanna led The Right Move all season long in their grade level achievement. At season’s end Jonathan defeated Brother John while Joseph allowed a narrow escape that sealed his own doom. Saratoga and Division Street thrived thands to much commitment and hard work, coming in a strong Second Place in the Team standings with 120 points. (Presented 6/20/2012 by Dr. Sreenivas Alampalli at the CBA Picnic)

Matters, Bill “Everything” (2010-11) Imbued with tenacious audacity, Bill risked all in putting his East Greenbush Chess Club on the map. His attention to detail made newcomers welcome at his club in East Greenbush, and his commute to tournaments always contained a full complement of players eager to advance their skill level.  For his insistence on having as many join the chess federation (USCF) and take notation to improve their skills, his club has consistently ranked in the top place in the area schools on all grade levels, including the Awe and down to the Pawn sections.

Boss, Dwayne (2009-10) A man of conviction and dedication, Dwayne worked in various capacities at Trinity and then at New Covenant Charter School, always presenting a positive role model and encouraging students in all facets of life. Luckily that included chess instruction and competition. His players excelled when given the chance to compete on a regular basis. He was often the impetus behind the scenes helping organize the community to serve the children in many ways. (June 23, 2010 at CBA Picnic)

Stevens, Nate (2009-10) Continuous chess coach and role model at New Covenant Charter School, Nate played and won the A section at the June, 2010 TRM Individual and Team Championships held at St. Pius X in Loudonville on June 6. His insistence on excellence from his students both on the chessboard and away from it, particularly in leading in the community, says volumes about his work. (June 23, 2010 at CBA Picnic)

Gialanella, Dr. Elizabeth (2008-09) Dr. G, as she is sometimes known at Albany High, where she recently reestablished her school as the best in the area, has a generous and gracious spirit that invites many high school players to participate and enjoy the royal game of chess. Coach of the Year 2008, she has hosted three tournaments at Albany High, wherein the students run many activities and learn many skills (setting up and selling food to keep all the players happy, placing out materials for all, especially the younger children (Erecto blocks), and has sponsored several players into the USCF, where they can challenge their skills against many of the more established players in the area. (CBA, Albany, 5/20/2009).

Zhang, Xiaoqing (2007-08) Her efforts to gather the members of the Chinese Community Center, 11 Avis Drive, Latham, into the most powerful team of 15 young chess players in the area has worked marvelous things. Her secret is the family unit, which strongly supports educational ventures, and is highly visible at many tournaments in the area. The Chinese Community Center is open to all, offers the chance to learn Chinese as well as chess, and continues to reach out and serve the community at large. She was selected to be honored at the Chess Awards picnic held at Christian Brothers Academy on May 21, 2008.

Carroll, Dan (2006-07) Helped widen the spread of scholastic chess by bringing Menands School into the spectrum of places to play competitive chess. Organized and promoted scholastic chess at Menands School, and successfully hosted two scholastic chess tournaments there in the spring of 2007.

Valverde-Salas, Eduardo (2005-06) Eduardo brought together many parents and players at Arbor Hill and School 16 into serious chess competition. His enthusiasm and instruction sparked many into animated levels of play. He was elected by popular vote of all the coaches and parents present at the First Annual Dinner at Maggie’s Restaurant on Western Avenue in May, 2006. (11/11/07) ** A fire caused the closing of Maggie’s Restaurant the following year, so the dinner was moved to Martel’s Restaurant at Capital Hills in 2007.


Presented to an individual who has been a role model to younger players through coaching or participation in chess activities

Benjamin Sorrentino (2017-2018)

Crucetta, Allen (2016-17)

Narayan, Karthik (2015-16)

Mahadevan, Balaji  (2014-15)

Santhosh, Deon (2013-14)

Wang, Harold (2012-13)

Alampalli, Sandeep (2011-12). A sixth grader from Albany Academy.  Never say Never!  Sandeep set his sights on winning his second Player of the Year Award from The Right Move, and he has emerged victorious as he progressed to 936 USCF rating, scoring 34 points for the season! As he met stronger competition he set higher goals to accomplish this task. With great pride and dignity he has truly earned his reputation, and he is the first player to win back-to-back titles. (Presented 6/20/2012 by Dr. Sreenivas Alampalli at the CBA Picnic)

Alampalli, Sandeep (2010-11) This fifth grader from Woodland Hill Montessori ES single handedly took on all the powers of chess as he finished the season with 30 out of a possible 40 points.  He brought his team to the top ten despite the lack of a strong contingent of players.  His perseverance and persistence are noble characteristics, and his winning has set a high standard for all to follow. (CBA Picnic, June 29, 2011)

Abrogar, Manuel (2009-10) Single-handedly took on all opposition from former power school Delaware Community School. Scored 23.5 points during the season (with only four wins possible at every tournament, down from five games the years previously). Won his first championship in June, moving his rating up over 100 points. Encourages many to get involved in chess, and plays in the street fairs and park tournament. Won the PAL championship from the Albany area in 2010. (June 23, 2010 at the CBA Picnic)

Gajjala, Summanth (2009-10)  Ready to represent Menands at all chess events, this fifth grader reached out to play and improve his chess at every opportunity. He led the Chess Tour pretty much from the beginning, and never looked back. His 23.5 points represents solid performance, persistence and excellence. (June 23, 2010 at CBA Picnic)

Manoj, Naren (2008-09) Naren (6th Grade) and his brother Pavan (1st Grade) came on the chess scene for the first time this year and eagerly thrived on the chess opportunities in the area. Naren gained a record 40 points in tournaments this scholastic year, and upon entering the USCF was able to garner a 962 rating by June of 2009! He is a credit to Glenmont, and played in several simuls against GM Ronan Har-Zvi. (5/20/09 CBA, Albany.) -moved to North Carolina. Good luck!

Chen, Charlie (2007-08) This sixth grade student loves to play chess, and enjoys helping players on all levels. He won membership in the USCF for his commitment, dedication and help. He was elected to be honored at the First Annual Picnic, held at Christian Brothers Academy (CBA, Albany) on May 21, 2008.

Aaron, Deepak (2006-07)  Winner of the Schenectady Chess Club title in 2007, and also champion of six Right Move tournaments over the past year. As an eighth grader he has shown himself to be a fierce competitor, awesome at quick chess. For this he was chosen to be honored by his peers at the Second Annual Dinner held at Martel’s in May 2007.  (PS- Won NYS HS Scholastic Championship 2009, 2010 and 2012 played in Saratoga. Many awards and Honors in Chess!!!)

Lee, Brendan (2005-06) This twelfth grade student was the winner of many of The Right Move tournaments held during the year 2005 – 2006. Due to his attention, Shaker High School hosted a three-man team competition that helped get a dream league of three divisions under way. Brendan was the only player to beat Jennifer Shahade in the simul exhibition held in Washington Park in May 2006. He has been chosen to be honored by his peers at the First Annual Dinner at Maggie’s Restaurant in May 2006. Brendan is also a coach, coordinator, player, and founder of the Shaker High School Chess Team.