$30 Entry Still Available for Nov 5 Illinois All-Grade


The Illinois All-Grade Championship is one of two US Chess-rated scholastic state championships conducted each school year. The 2017 K-8's will be held in Bloomington-Normal.

Naperville North High School will be the host location for the Saturday, November 5 All-Grade. Early registration is only $30 with the registration cost going up after Saturday, October 22.

15 team rooms are available for $99 for larger groups but generous amounts of skittles areas are available at the school.

Registration can be accomplished through the organizer website, Elite Chess. More information is available there as well as on the ICA calendar.

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Call for 2017 USCF Delegates


The ICA is calling for delegates to the 2017 USCF Annual Delegates Meeting, taking place August 5-6, 2017 in Norfolk, VA.

If you wish to serve, please submit your request to Bill Buklis, ICA President, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. no later than November 20, 2016.

The specific ICA Bylaws related to this appointment are provided below.

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Top Ratings Increases from August-September Activity


Yuvraj Chennareddy and William Olafsson were the two top Illinois-registered players on the rise with late-August through Mid-September activity in 2016.

Yuvraj, a Chicago youth, had an amazing enhancement from his September CCC Scholastic, winning four games and losing only one. His solid performance in the recent Midwest Class proved that rating was no fluke. (Sister Siri also made the list!)

William Olafsson posted a 4.5/6 in the Reserve Section of the September Illinois Open to help enhance his rating over 300 points in a month.

Sruthi Kumar and Emery Waterhouse also posted ratings increases above 250. 

Approximately 50 Illinois players upped their ratings more than 100 points in the month. That list is posted below.

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2016 - 2017 Warren Junior Scholars Officially Announced; Exciting New Rising Stars Qualifiers Now Posted (Updated)


 [Editor's note: we apologize that the lists do not render particularly well on mobile devices. The template we have been using for awhile is flawed and we hope to upgrade in the near future. Your membership and dues -- in addition to supporting the Scholars and the Stars programs -- will help support improvements to the award-winning website!]

The Warren Junior Scholar Class of 2016-2017 is listed below, followed by the class of the Rising Stars below that. In-person activities are planned both upstate and downstate with additional opportunities through online vehicles.

Congratulations to all the qualifiers. For those not on the list, don't despair. If you hit certain thresholds during the school year, you may be invited to participate in various training events with an official designation coming with next year's class. For complete details, refer to the WJS pages of this website.

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Avrukh, Corrales Jimenez Top 2016 Midwest Class


With third-round draws against different opponents GM Boris Avrukh and Missouri GM Fidel Corrales Jimenez both posted 4.5/5 results to split the Premier Section championship of the 2016 Midwest Class.

The duo finished a full-point ahead of a six-pack of 3.5 finishers which included Illinois' Todd Freitag, Jacob Furfine and George Li.

Avrukh's draw came against fellow-GM Vladimir Georgiev while Jimenez could only muster 1/2 point against Furfine.

Michigan's Seth Homa and Ben Li and Missouri's Priyad Kannappan rounded out the 3.5 score group, with Homa posting three draws, a win versus Furfine and a full-point from an uplayed first-round game.

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Skinner North, Bateman: Top Teams at '16 Cops & Kids


Moos1 webBy the narrowest of margins, 10.0 to 9.5, Skinner North edged Edison Gifted for top team honors in the Elementary School division of the 2016 Cops and Kids Tournament.

The October 8 National Chess Day event was hosted at Moos Elementary School on Chicago's northside and was the second incarnation of the event organized by Renaissance Knights Chess Foundation.

Jack Heller contributed his perfect 4-for-4 score along with 3.0's from brothers Andy and Leon Cao. Justin Chen of Chicago Grammar School was also 4.0/4, with Jack earning the higher tiebreak to claim the championship.

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Cops & Kids Tournament Observes National Chess Day

cops web

Around the country this weekend thousands will be chessing it up, observing National Chess Day (Saturday, October 8).

The third go-around of Millionaire Chess is already underway in Atlantic City with more than two dozen grandmasters and others of varied skill levels competing. The 25th Midwest Class Championships kick off later today (Friday, October 7) with a two-day option beginning Saturday. 

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Queen of Katwe Hits Chicago and Downstate Screens


To some, Disney is the purveyor of Steamboat Willie and Mickey Mouse, Pluto and Goofy, Bambi and Dumbo, the Lion King and Jungle Book, the underwater adventures of Nemo and the Little Mermaid, Sleeping Beauty and her USAT North dwarf teammates.

Unlike the imaginary backdrops of Frozen and Fantasia, a just-released Disney vehicle uses real-life Africa as a backdrop. Move over Woody from Toy Story, there's a new sheriff in town and she is the Queen of Katwe.

The two-hour film portrays one young girl's rise from poverty in the slums of Katwa in Uganda. 10-year old Phiona (wasn't Fiona the heroine's name in Shrek?) is introduced to chess by an amazing coach who seeks to provide an activity to the slum children beyond playing soccer in hard dirt fields. After some initial challenges, Phiona takes to the game as she starts to achieve some success, and in return, chess opens up the world to the young teen, providing travel and educational opportunities that would have otherwise been unavailable.

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Reduced Cost US Chess Scholastic Memberships Available


Scholastic chess wouldn't exist if not for the sacrifice of the legion of chess parents schlepping their beloveds to tournaments.

With an exciting chess event calendar this coming year I wanted to see what could be done to lighten the burden just a little bit.

Instead of paying $17, $22 or $26 for a scholastic, youth or young adult US Chess Regular membership, effective October 3 (2016) I am making available on a first-come, first-served basis a full year USCF membership for only $11. Regular membership does not come with the Chess Life For Kids magazine -- but some copies of the bi-monthly publication will be available at select events.

These memberships are good for one year from the date of redemption -- or more accurately the end of that month. 

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Eva Harrison Shocks GM Timur Gareev in Blindfold Blitz


IMG 59071Chicago's Eva Harrison, a chess mom and a top Illinois female player in her own right, "shocked" the chess world with an upset of Grandmaster Timur Gareev.

In an attempt at setting the Consecutive Blindfold Blitz record, GM Gareev played 64 opponents September 24, one right after the other for 10 hours, dueling away at a smorgasbord of rapid chess variants.

The fun took place at the Marriott Hotel and Convention Center in Coralville, Iowa and was sponsored by the Iowa Chess Association and organized by its President, Eric Vigil (who supplied the picture to the left).

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