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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Aidan Carey Sweeps Field of DeKalb's Nevermind Classic


Oak Park's Aidan Carey won all five of his quick chess matches as he was crowned champion of the 2016 Nevermind Classic in DeKalb September 24.

The event honored the 25th anniversary of the "drop" of the classic Nirvana album on 9/24/91. (What's an album, right?)

Fellow juniors Shreyas Reddy and David Chen both compiled strong 2.5 scores to split the top Under 1400 prize.

Although the Game/25; zero-delay time control only impacted "quick" ratings, regular ratings were used for pairing and prize purposes.

Rockford Jefferson High School Senior Nate Blair played in his first US Chess event, receiving a USCF-membership scholarship for the year!

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Egerton Releases Business On The Board (Updated)


Longtime Illinois chess coach Jim Egerton has released his Business on the Board book through Amazon.com. The ebook is available for free download for a limited time and a discounted rate for the print edition is offered.

The book looks at the intersection of business and chess principles.

By the end of the first day of publication, Sept. 19, Egerton reports the book was Amazon's top sellingn Professional Development and Education title and number two in the Business and Money category.

Egerton suggests a featuring of the book in the October edition of Chess Life "should be a big lift".

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Wisniowski Earns Bronze, Awaits WCM Title From FIDE


667Natalie Wisniowski will soon be able to put a few letters in front of her name thanks to her bronze medal performance at the North American Youth Chess Championship (NAYCC) held in Windsor, Canada, August 7-11.

The Chicagoan earned the title "Women's Candidate Master" (WCM) finishing in clear third in the Under 10 group, with 6.5, a half-point behind the two section leaders. With five wins and three draws in nine rounds, Natalie's only loss came to champion Atmika Gorti in the seventh round.

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Chess Moves Against Violence in Ogden Park


Players are invited to compete Saturday, September 17 in both an Open Section and a K-8 section at Ogden Park, 6500 South Racine in Chicago. This is a Chicago Park District Facility although the event is being organized by an outside entity, Not Before My Parents.

Oodles of trophies will be awarded with an entry fee of a mere $10 donation. The event is not rated by US Chess but participants will have a chance to mix discussion of social issues with an afternoon playing their favorite board game.

All event information is posted in both the Open and Scholastic sections of the ICA calendar.

The tournament is the brainchild of Raydell Lacey, a chess parent who lost her grandson to senseless gun violence. The ICA caught up with her while she is making 101 arrangements for the tournament.

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Bill Smythe Wins DeKalb's Judd Lauger Memorial Classic


With an exciting endgame finale, Bill Smythe edged Joe Zemgulys to close out the Judd Lauger Memorial Classic with a perfect 3.0/3 score. Smythe earned a crisp $100 bill (or its equivalent) for the Open section championship.

David Yong and Alex Zhao split the Under 1800 prize fund, both with 2.0/3 scores.

In a theoretical draw, Josh Kueker managed to make his three clock seconds last long enough to prevail over previously-unbeaten Jonathan Gaenzle, winning the Reserve Section. In a fascinating pawns and bishop vs. pawns and rook endgame, Kueker wound up sacrificing his rook to get the job done. 

Kueker repeatedly made moves within the five-second delay to keep the game alive.

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Family Honors Son Through Tournament Sponsorship


It's been six years since the Lauger family lost their son Judd to a tragic car accident. But Barbara and Steve Lauger are perpetuating their son's memory -- and his love of chess -- through sponsorship of the Lauger Memorial Classic September 10 in DeKalb.

The DeKalb club often honors chess luminaries through events like the Steinitz, Grunfeld, Lasker, Tarrasch, Alekhine and Najdorf. For six years the club has even recognized George Orwell who purportedly played chess with shopmates at his first job clerking at a London bookstore. Now Judd Lauger's name is added to the list of Memorial tournaments in DeKalb.

Says his mother Barbara: "My son Judd loved chess — he got the chess gene that runs in both sides of the family, from two grandfathers."

"He loved to play it, study it, ponder it, discuss it and compete in it. Chess was serious business to Judd and he expected people to understand that."

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GM's Georgiev and Gurevich Win '16 Illinois Open


A tightly bunched field topped the standings at the 2016 Illinois Open completed Sept. 5 at the Crowne Plaza, Deerfield. Illinois-based Grandmasters Vlad Georgiev and Dmitry Gurevich both finished with 5.5/6 to go down in history as co-champions.

Both players will be cashing $1200 checks for their efforts.

David Peng was the common ingredient in denying both GM's perfect scores; David drew GM Gurevich in the fourth round and GM Georgiev in the final round.

David finished with 5.0/6, tying with Angelo Young and Hugo Padilla for third place.

Pending re-rate, it looks like Aydin Turgut has achieved a Master rating of 2200 from the event. Aydin finished with 4.0, tying with eight others for the best score of players who started the event with a published rating of Under 2200.

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Ravisundar, Kodipparambil Win '16 Labor Day Scholastic


16LDS U1200winnerWith a flawless 5-for-5 performance, Rahul Ravisundar won the 2016 Labor Day Scholastic U1200 with 24 participants. The event was held September 3 in conjunction with the Illinois Open occuring in Northbrook.

In the U700 section, Advaith Kodipparambil posted the high score.

In the upper section, a three-way tie for second place included Jonathan Lou, Kai Dubauskas and Pranay Prabhakar, all with 4.0's. On tiebreaks, Kai took second and Jonathan third. 

Ravisundar defeated Kai in the final match and Jonathan in the penultimate round.

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Toby Ching and Parker Sorenson Post Strong Months


Toby Ching and Parker Sorenson had the largest ratings bumps of any Illinois players in August.

Toby raised his rating 335 points to 821. Parker upped his rating 317 points.

Toby did very well in the "Oh My's" section of the Berkeley Summer Camp tournament in Tampa Bay, FL at the end of July. Toby came in second place out of 10 participants, with 4.0/5. His only loss was to section winner, Wolfe Hudepohl, a 1200-player from Florida.

Parker tied for first in the U1000 section at the August 14 Knights Quest, going four-for-four. All five of Parker's rated events have been Knights Quest tournaments.

Jack Heller (+251) and Elton Huang (+222) also showed strong gains.

24 others had increases greater than 100 points!

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