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Winners of the Cumberland County Chess Championship, from left, are 2019 Champion William Flynn; second place via tiebreaks Ben Gernt; third place Logan Blankenship; fourth place Alexander Donnan; fifth place Alan Kantor; and Top G category Silas McClung and Frank Brindisi. Tournament winners not pictured are Top F Category Lyric Authier and Top Unrated Category Nathan Lawson.

William Flynn of Crossville was named Chess Champion after winning the 48th annual Cumberland County Chess Championship earlier in December.

Cumberland County Chess Club President, Susan Kantor spoke at the closing ceremony.

“This is his [W. Flynn] first time getting his name on the plaque, and he’s hoping to do it many more times,” she said.

Each year the winner’s name is engraved onto a plaque that hangs on the wall of Bank of Putnam County on West Ave. in Crossville.

The tournament hosted 24 players, with several past champions competing for the title.

It was the first County Championship held without the presence of Harry Sabine, long-time tournament director and president. Sabine passed away earlier this year.

Round one’s matchup between last year’s champion, Alan Kantor, and the reigning Cumberland County Scholastic Champion, Silas McClung, was an exciting battle in which both players finished low on time. 

Kantor won with a beautiful mating setup on the kingside.

With many of the pre-tournament favorites facing trouble as early as the third round, the heat was on for the fight for first place and the title of county champion.

Going into the fourth round were three players with a perfect score. By the end of the next hour, and heading into the fifth and final round, only Flynn remained unbeaten.

The final round saw Kantor and Flynn clash, a rematch between the two who tied for first place last year. 

With the black pieces, Flynn quickly gained an advantage through dynamic opening play and managed to convert for the full point in 37 moves.

The event is sponsored by the Bank of Putnam County and takes place at the Cumberland County Community Complex.

For more information about future tournaments or weekly chess club meetings, please email

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