Fifth Grader Daniel Zhang is on quite a roll lately, going 5-0 at the Greater Chicago Championships in February and 6-1 at the ICA's K-8 Championships in early March.
Daniel kept it rolling by winning the Benito Juarez Spring Open at the Lozano Branch of the Chicago Public Library on March 21.
The five-round, dual-section event observed what would have been the 209th birthday of the five-term president of Mexico. The tournament was sponsored by El Campeon Pina Colada and organized by Hector Hernandez.
In the ages 14 and under section, Layla Rodriguez placed just ahead of Daniel Roman.
Go west, young man! And females! And older players too!
Rivermont Collegiate, a K-12 college prep school in Bettendorf, Iowa, is teaming up with the Illowa Bi-State Chess Club to stage a USCF-rated chess (scholastic) tournament on Saturday, April 11.
This event is open to all chess players from Kindergarten through 12th grade. All that is required is enough knowledge of chess to play the game. That is, you don't have to be an expert. All players will receive a chess memento. Top three in K-4, 5-8, 9-12 will receive trophies. If there are enough entrants, trophies will be added to the mix.
Four new Illinois names joined the US Top 100 lists this month: nine-year old Peter Zheng, eight year-old Eduard Danilyan, seven year-old John Bielobradek and six year-old David Yong.
Returning to the lists was Penny Xu after she competed in the rated Illini Blitz event in February. Penny played first board on her Urbana High School team this year, but hasn't played any regular-rated matches since the 2013 US Open. Penny compiled an impressive 6.0/7 at the IHSA finals in February, as did fellow top 100 listers George Li (New Trier), Max Zinski (Benet), Jonathan Hrach (Highland Park) and Spencer Lehman (Barrington).
Finishing tied for second place with 6.5 scores were listers Alex Bian of Stevenson and Daniel Bronfeyn of Mundelein.
Compiling 5.5's (tied for 17th) were listers Bradley Guan (State Champion Naperville North), Gavin McClanahan (Glenbrook South) and Andrew Fei (Dunlap).
Three youth invitationals organized by the ICA Warren Junior Program were held March 14th and 15th at ChessIQ under the direction of TD Sevan Muradian.
Top Illinois high school, elementary and girls players competed for an opportunity to represent the state at the National Barber, Denker and Girls competitions staged in conjunction with the 2015 U.S. Open.
In addition to winning the right to compete at the corresponding national event, each section winner received $250 towards chess lessons and a $500 travel stipend. Runners up also received $250 towards coaching. Prizes were made possible by a generous grant from the Walter S. Mander Foundation.
571 competed in four sections at the 2015 Illinois K-8 Championships completed March 8 in Normal, IL. All four sections had at least 100 entries with the Upper Primary (Grades 2-3) fielding 182 competitors.
Jacob Furfine defeated his bughouse partner Vincent Do in the seventh round to claim the Junior High championship. The two USCF Experts had partnered to win the bughouse competition held March 6.
Illinois hosts seven juniors rated above 2000 who were eligible for this competition, but Furfine and Do were the only two entering. In fact, Illinois' top-rated players from ages 7 through 12 (as of February ratings) were all notably absent from the event.
It's all systems go for the 2015 K-8 Championships March 7 and 8 at the Bone Center on the campus of Illinois State University. Registrations are being accepted up through 9pm Friday, March 6 either onsite or through the designated website.
More information is available on the Bloomington Normal Area Scholastic Chess organization's website.
Competition will kick off Friday with side events including Blitz and Bughouse.
The main event spans two days will include seven rounds of non-elimination competition in four sections, based on grade level: K-1, 2-3, 4-5 and 6-8. The event is USCF-rated.
Arthur Xu moved up one notch to become the second highest-rated seven and under player in America, joining 11 year-old David Peng with that distinction. 18-year old Sam Schmakel continues as the third highest 18-year old in the US. Marissa Li is the seventh-rated female under age 13, Aydin Turgut is eighth among 10 year-olds, and Jacob Furfine is tied for 9th among American 13 year olds.
Congratulations to Jack Curcio for hitting 2000 giving Illinois 21 junior experts and masters.
Sadly, the 19th birthdays of Duncan Shepherd and Joe Fennessey, both experts and long-time members of these top 100 lists, means the state total actually drops by one. We also bid so long to Edgar Talayko, a Class A player, who only recently joined the lists.
Also celebrating birthdays as of the February lists were Tom Bareket, Vincent Do, Jonathan Tan, George Li, Anshul Adve, Spencer Lehmann, Gavin McClanahan, and Eli Goering.