Illinois' neighbors to the west will be hosting a diverse chess weekend August 15-17 with something for everyone.
The Iowa State Chess Association, an affiliate of the Illinois Chess Association, is the sponsoring organization with Mark Capron and Bill Broich serving as Chief TD's. The events are being held at the Marriot Hotel and Conference Center in Coralville, IA, just northwest of Iowa City. Estimated travel time from Chicago is 3.5 hours.
Early registration discounts are still available through August 11 and IM's and GM's receive free entry into the Open (with entry fee deducted from winnings). Organizers are even offering discounts for out-of-state residents -- and waiving the membership requirement for the IASCA (although membership does have its privileges).
With a rapid draw in the fifth round, IM David Guerra of Missouri and Illinois' Tansel Turgut claimed top honors at the 2014 Chicago Class, both with 4.5/5. With a superior tiebreak, Dr. Turgut claimed the bonus prize, earning $1500.
Dr. Turgut's path to the co-championship was no easy one, as he defeated a pair of Grandmasters -- and the two highest-rated players in the event -- in the third and fourth rounds.
GM Dmitry Gurevich - Turgut's victim in the third round - finished tied for third with Missouri IM Priyadharshan Kannappan, both with 4.0's. Illinois' Zach Kasiurak had the same score, tying for the top U2400 prize.
Indiana's Sameer Manchanda won the Expert section with a 4.5/5, drawing Illinois' David Plotkin in the final round. Plotkin was among a six-pack with 4.0 in the section which also included Thomas Murphy, and three Illinois junior players: Anshul Adve, Jacob Furfine and Aydin Turgut. Manchanda pocketed $1400.
Several changes in how the USCF processes its top 100 lists, as well as a change in personnel, lead to the delay in publication of this month's tallies. The rules also changed regarding the timing of the birthday calculation.
On the local front, numerous birthdays transitioned many top Illinois players to its incremental counterpart: Aaron Gan, Martin Stukan, David Peng, Shreya Mangalam, Edward Zhang, James Wei and Sam Schmakel. Happy Birthday to you all!
For David Korobov, turning 19 means the end of his run on the youth top 100 lists but I'm sure we'll continue to see great things from David, an expert, who tied for seventh out of 86 at the recent Fineberg Memorial.
2015 will be the second year for the reborn Illinois Senior Open Chess Championship, the winner of which will be the 2015 Illinois Senior Champion.
Organizers are requested to submit bids for the tournament with a preferred 2-day, 4 to 5 round, slow-time control format to be held in June 2015. A smaller venue would work for this tournament, which had 12 participants in 2014. With a different entry fee structure and pre-event publicity, we expect the event may draw 20 to 30 players in 2015.
Creative organizers may suggest alternative formats, if they wish.
As this tournament does not have a long history, the Bid Committee may look favorably on a format that would enhance the likelihood of drawing greater player numbers.
Over-the-board chess competition is alive and well in Chicago's south suburbs. The Glenwood Chess Club recently completed a 10-week tournament -- and another six-week event is already underway.
The competed event ran on Thursday nights from February 6th to May 1st in a league format. Four sections played four-round Swiss competitions each night. The sections included elementary, junior high and high school aged players as well as an open section for adults. Points earned each night were accumulated and totaled for trophies on the tenth night.
Brian Harrigan, pictured here, was the champion in the adult section with 28 points, ahead of David Guidry with 24 and Theodore Whittier with 20.
Nothing says "first day of summer" better than a pair of competitive northern Illinois tournaments with sizeable fields. Both events attracted nearly 100 competitors.
In the western suburbs, Elite Chess offered its Summer Open in conjunction with its camp season, featuring relatively quick time controls: Game/45 with a 5-second delay in four rated sections. There were also several unrated competitions held simultaneously. Naperville North High School Coach Jeff Di Orio's four-round tournament attracted 16 to the "Championship" section including two USCF-experts.
As the dust settled, Di Orio's past and present students nabbed three of the top four spots. Bradley Guan took clear first, beating Experts in the final two rounds. Anuj Dahiya and Tony Zhou finished in a three-way tie for second along with Guan's fourth-round victim, Greg Bungo.
7-year old Arthur Xu was one of 30 American juniors to participate in the Third Annual ChessKid National Invitational completed June 8. Arthur received his invitation before his most recent birthday and therefore competed in the 6-and-under section where he finished 2.5/5, raising his USCF rating 36 points.
Even though the event was held entirely online, the USCF sanctioned the round robin as if it were an over the board tournament. Juniors competed in five sections over three days.
In the final round, Arthur drew the section's runner up, Lucas Foerster-Yialamas of New York, despite being outrated by 300 points.
The Bloomington-Normal Twin City Chess Club (TCCC) held their 2014 Championship May 31 - June 1. Under the coordination and kindness of Chris Morgan this event was an eight-person round robin held at the iEXCELL Education Center in Bloomington.
After reviewing previous events, this is believed to be the highest overall rating for the club championship.
Pete Karagianis came in as the odds-on favorite. He was challenged by Joe Alford, a previous two-time champion, and previous runner-ups Jon Bonwell and Surya Kopula.
Interested organizers are invited to submit bids for the 2015 Illinois Open State Chess Championship. The tournament will be held Labor Day weekend, September 5-7, 2015. The winner of the tournament will be the 2015 Illinois State Champion.
The tournament has historically been 6-rounds, slow time limit, with 2 sections (Open and Reserve (U1800)). A $5 discount to ICA members and free entry to GMs, WGMs, IMs, WIMs, FMs, and WFM should be offered. ICA will reimburse the organizer for FIDE-titled players’ entry fees, at the lowest pre-registration entry fee amount, and for the $5 ICA member discount.
While a pair of international entrants shared top honors in the Open Section, Illinois players will be cashing a number of checks from the 2014 Chicago Open which concluded May 26.
In particular, a number of Warren Junior Scholars did their host state -- and the Warren program -- proud, collecting over $12,500 in prize money. 34 Scholars participated in the Open, including 31 of 38 (82%) of those living in the Greater Chicago area.
The Continental Chess Association guaranteed $100,000 in prizes for the 22nd Annual Chicago Open, hosted for the seventh time at the Westin North Shore in Wheeling. Around 700 players competed in nine sections.
Amenian Grandmaster Gabriel Sargissian and Indian International Master Priyadharshan Kannappan (now based in Missouri) posted 7.0/9's to split first and second place prize money, $7500 a piece. Sargissian took home an additional $200 bonus for earning the higher tiebreak.