For the first time in history, Illinois hosts 20 juniors at or above the Expert mark, thanks to the addition of Akhil Kalghatgi. Quite a way to celebrate turning 13!
All tolled, Illinois has 101 USCF-rated players with recent activity and ratings above 2000.
Joining (or re-entering) the ranks of the national Top 100 lists for the first time this month were Naperville North's Bradley Guan and IMSA's Timothy Zhou, along with Aiden Carey and Brian Gong.
Zhou had been a regular on the lists before a 13-month absence from rated-play. After the cut-off date for this list, Zhou surpassed the 2000-mark himself with his performance at the 2014 Illinois Open.
Illinoisans David Peng and Aydin Turgut are among 70 youth from the United States now in Durban, South Africa competing in the 2014 World Youth Championships. The tournament begins September 20th and continues through September 29th.
Candidate Master Peng (FIDE 2011) is competing against 111 others, including a dozen entrants from the US, in the U12 Open section of the tournament. Top rated in that section is Wisconsan Awonder Liang (FIDE 2323). Peng won the U10 Open section silver medal, behind Liang, at the 2013 World Youth Championships in the United Arab Emirates.
Turgut (FIDE 1851) is the official US representative in the U10 Open section, competing in his third World Youth Championships. His FIDE rating places him 14th among all competitors, second amongst Americans behind CaliFornian Andrew Hong.
Rockford Guilford High School has not had a chess program for a few years but thanks to second-year teacher Erik Czerwin, the Vikings will be competing in the Northern Illinois Chess League (NICL) in 2014-2015.
Czerwin was named the Illinois Chess Coaches Association "Coach of the Year" in 2012 when he was coaching at Marengo High School. Since then, Coach Czerwin has compiled some of his first-rate training materials into an instructive book being published today by Everyman Press.
A description and an exerpt can be found here. The book is subtitled: From Beginner to Winner.
Heading into the sixth and final round of the 2014 Illinois Open, Illinois FM Sam Schmakel had the only perfect score atop a field of 80 including four Grandmasters and four International Masters.
Unfortunately for the soon-to-be UIC freshman, Schamkel succomb to GM Vladimir Georgiev in the final match, giving Georgiev the tournament and the 2014 Illinois Champion title. Georgiev had previously been co-champion of the event in 2005.
GM Georgiev finished with 5.5. Schmakel had to settle for a share of second place with Illinois-newcomer GM Boris Avrukh, both with 5.0/6 scores.
USCF Crosstables can be viewed here while tiebreak-ordered results can be seen here.
It took perfect scores to win both sections of the 2014 Labor Day Scholastic, held August 30 in Northbrook. 63 players competed in the five-round Quick-Rated event, organized by Chess For Life at the site of the 2014 Illnois Open.
The Illinois Chess Association received a generous portion of the event proceeds. Results can viewed in tiebreak order here and in pre-event rating order here.
In the Under 1200 section, Micah Hill prevailed head-to-head over previously undefeated Evan Liu to earn top honors. All of Evan's opponents on the day had plus-scores (3.0 or better) giving him the top tiebreak of four 4.0 scorers to place second.
Micah raised his USCF Quick Rating 162 points to 1165 while Evan went up 114 points to 1105.
The leaders of each of the three performance prize divisions of the 2014 Illinois Chess Tour have established daunting leads, chiefly by playing in six of the eight completed Tour events.
With just four events remaining, beginning with the Illinois Open over the upcoming holiday weekend, players pursuing the leaders will need to excel in multiple events down the stretch to pressure the frontrunners. But just beneath the leaders in the standings, the fight for prizes in positions 2-5 is extremely tight.
Both Pete Karagianis and Andrew Fei missed the Tour opener, the Tim Just Winter Open, but haven’t missed a beat since, playing in six of the next seven events, both downstate and in the Chicago metro area.
More than 20 junior competitors battled it out in three sections at the Oak Park Library in a four-round event August 23.
The tournament was directed by Keith Ammann.
In the 18-and-under section, 16-year old Mark Jungo of Chicago posted the top score, 3.5/4. Mark had recently competed at the World Open in Virginia. Darak Nowak of Park Ridge took second with a 3.0 result and local Oak Parker Philip Linninger, 18, nabbed third place honors.
In the 13-and-under division, Aidan Carey went undefeated with three wins and a draw for a 3.5 result. Aidan is also from Oak Park. Desi Nainar of Lake Bluff had 3.0/4 while 7-year old William Cahill of Wheaton was 2.5/4.
A fourth-round head-to-head draw gave two Bloomington-Normal area players the co-championship at the 51st Bradley Summer Open, held August 16 in Peoria.
Junior Jason Daniels and Scott Schmidt entered the final round with perfect 3-0 scores. Both blostered their post-event ratings above 1900 for the first time.
USCF Master Pete Karagianis and USCF Expert Bill Brock tied for third place with 3.0/4 scores, a half-point back. Karagianis drew Peoria-area junior Andrew Fei in the second round and took a half-point bye in the final round. Brock defeated Fei, a two-time Peoria City Champion, in the third round, recovering from a loss to Daniels in the second round.
Missouri's Michael Brooks repeated as the undisputed champion of the Iowa Open, defeating Illinois' Angelo Young in the final round. Going into their game, Young had been leading the tournament with the only 4-0 record.
Brooks had begun the two-day, five-round event with a draw, finishing 4.5. Young's 4.0/5 resulted in a four-way tie for second with Awonder Liang (WI), Robert Keating (IA) and Arshaq Saleem (IA).
Young, Liang and Keating had all been runners up to Brooks in the 59th Iowa Open in 2013. Brooks was also the co-champion in 2012.
The tournament was hosted at the Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in Coralville, IA, completed August 17. Crosstables viewable here.
IM Florin Felecan rode three victories and two draws to a stake in the co-championship of the Continental Chess Association's 2014 Cleveland Open. All six of the 4.0/5 scorers came from different states.
Felecan is currently the seventh- or eighth-rated active player in Illinois based on USCF ratings depending on which list is consulted.
Illinois' Zach Kasiurak finished in an eight-way tie for 10th place with 3.0/5. Kasiurak drew co-champion GM Sergey Kudrin in the second round.