Joey Michael Kelly clinched his national master (NM) title at the CCSCSL when he defeated Danny Machuca in a non-ladder rated game. The game was played May 31st in the VIP Board Room. Kelly won the coin toss and quickly chose the white pieces. The game turned in Kelly’s favor early and he never backtracked. With the win, Kelly bolstered his rating over the 2200 barrier for the first time in his life.
Going into the Bill Wright Saint Louis Open in the middle of April, Joey was rated just 2100. He played superbly his first three rounds, drawing two NM’s and defeating Tom Polgar-Shutzman. In the final round, he swindled CCSCSL Board Member Doug Eckert in a completely lost position. He stood at 2151 after the event. Kelly refused to rest on his laurels. Driven by three friends achieving the NM title faster than him, Kelly revved-up his training regimen with GM Predrag Trajkovic over the Internet Chess Club.
Kelly traveled from his home base in Kansas City to Dallas to play in the 70th Annual Texas State and Amateur. He started the event well, drawing a 2300. After defeating his second NM of the event in round six, Kelly withdrew from the tourney thinking he had achieved his dream of becoming a chess master. Alas, he was a point short at 2199. That prompted him to come to the CCSCSL and seal the deal. Now, that he is a national master, he has his sights set on getting his FIDE master title. All of us at the Chess Club wish Kelly good luck in his ambitious endeavors!