40 Illinois Girls Among US Top 100; 3 in Top 10


A huge thank you to Smitha Acharya for compiling these lists of Illinois girls among the top 100 of their respective age group nationwide.

US Chess recently started publishing these lists in hopes of rewarding and motivating more girls to thrive in chess competition.

If the recently-held National All-Girls is any indication, it's working!  The Chicago competition saw 89 additional entries this year, approximately 25% more than in 2015.

Marissa Li, age 13, leads all girls with a remarkable 1939 rating. Li won the National All-Girls U14's this past weekend.

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Illinois Chess Fixture Howard Cohen Passes Away


Long-time Illinois chess stalwart Howard Cohen has passed away.

A memorial service was held at Congregation Emanuel, 5959 N Sheridan Road in Chicago followed by a visitation. A visitation will also be conducted at Howard's sister's residence on Sunday, May 1 from 5pm to 8pm.

Howard's chess history, largely as a Class A player, spanned the entirety of the US Chess MSA compilation dating back to late 1991 -- but clearly he'd been playing formal chess for many years before that. In three monthly rating supplements he actually achieved Expert status with a peak rating of 2026 in November of 1996.

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Illinois Hosts 4 Junior Masters, 17 Experts Aged 11-18


Today marks the resumption of the publishing of a time-consuming but much-requested feature of the ICA website: a listing of the Illinois youth on the monthly top 100 lists of the US Chess Federation.

Many good players have come through these lists and enhanced their ratings over time. 48 youth managed to make one of these twelve lists this month.

The four US Chess Masters with ratings above 2200 are David Peng (Age 12), George Li (Age 16), and Jacob Furfine along with Alex Bian (both Age 15). Several other Experts (rated 2000+) are getting close to joining them.

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Li Is Under 14 National Girls' Champion, Liu 2nd in U16


Some times tiebreaks can be your best friend and some times they are your mortal enemy.

In the case of Marissa Li, she's probably a fan now after the 2016 National All-Girls completed April 24 at Chicago's McCormick Place. Despite losing her sixth-round match with Sophie Morris-Suzuki of New York, Marissa prevailed via tiebreaks over the challenger from the Empire State, to win the Under 14 National championship.

Shreya Mangalam -- and frequent Illinois player Ritika Pandey of Wisconsin -- both tied for third place, a half-point back (4.5), with Shreya taking fourth place hardware and Ritika fifth on tiebreaks.

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Whitney Young's Parker-Turner Wins $12,000 Scholarship


PPTWhitney Young's Phillip Parker-Turner has won a $12,000 college scholarship from the David R. MacDonald Foundation thanks to his winning performance at the Chicago Public School's MVP tournament.

The April 19th event was held at the Washington branch of the Chicago Public Library. The tournament was conducted in two high school and four K-8 sections with 118 players competing. 

Parker-Turner was a perfect five-for five. Mark Jungo finished second with 4.0/5, earning a $6,000 scholarship.

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State's GM Count Will Rise to Nine With Arrival of Texas Pair


Grandmasters Nadezhda Kosintseva and Leonid Kritz will soon augment an impressive lineup of grandmasters who call the Land of Lincoln home. The pair will join the likes of Gurevich, Shulman, Avrukh, Mitkov, Georgiev, Goldin, and Amanov, making Illinois one of the most popular home states for those with the prestigious title.

Recent graduates from the University of Texas at Dallas, Nadezhda and Leonid are relocating to the Chicago area next month with their two-year old daughter.

Nadezhda, 31, is the second female chess player in the US (along with Irina Krush) to hold a Grandmaster title. Her current FIDE rating is the highest among all female chess players in the US.

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Zach Coffman Tops Najdorf Memorial Game/90 in DeKalb


Upsets abounded as nine players rated at least 200-points lower than their opponent managed to defeat (or draw) their foe.

The DeKalb Chess Club tried to offer a little bit of something for everybody April 16 as many of its regular tournament attendees were off in Indianapolis at Junior High Nationals. The Najdorf Memorial marked the 50th regular-rated event in the club's six year history.

Zack Coffman, one of the three Class A players in the field, managed to win all three of his rounds in the "Long Timers" section featuring Game/90 with 5-second delay.

Four players tied for second place with 2.0's including Brian Gong, Marcus Stinson, Kevin Boskey and Kevin Taylor. All but Stinson were also eligible for the top score Under 1800 prize, resulting in a four-way distribution of the combined prize pools. 

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Illinois Earns 8 Individual Trophies at 2016 K-8 Nationals; Whitney Young Team 4th in K-9; Davis 2nd in K-9 Under 1250


Three Illinois players have tied for 11th place in the K-8 section at the National Junior High Championships completed April 17 in Indianapolis.

Ricky Wang (13th), Vincent Do (15th) and Shreya Mangalam (16th) all posted 5.5/7 and received trophies based on their tiebreak, but essentially tied for 11th out of 271 full-fledged entrants.

A half-point back, tying for 21st place with a 5.0 score, receiving 25th place trophies on tiebreaks were Kevin Ho, Siddharth Acharya, Jason Daniels, Peter Zheng and Patrick Rao.

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Illinois Nabs 7 of Top 10 at Junior High National Blitz; Nikhil Kalghatgi Wins National Title; Whitney Young Is Top Team


191 players from across the country faced off in the six-round, two-matches-per-round Blitz competition at the 2016 Junior High Nationals in Indianapolis held April 14.

Heading into the final match, a pair of Illinoisians were one-two with Nikhil Kalghatgi a perfect 10.0/10 and Aydin Turgut at 9.0/10. Aydin denied Nikhil a perfect score but couldn't deny Nikhil the match, 1.5 to 0.5, so the Whitney Young freshman is now National Blitz Champ!

Nikhil's brother, Akhil, placed second with the top tiebreak among a quartet of 10.0's. Aydin placed sixth with the top tiebreak among a fab five of 9.5's.

Rounding out the top 10 were Jason Daniels (10.0 for 5th), Vincent Do (9.5 for 7th), Matthew Stevens (9.5 for 9th), Siddharth Acharya (9.5 for 10th).

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Kalghatgi Twins Reprise National Bughouse Championship


With a perfect 10-for-10 effort, Whitney Young freshmen Akhil and Nikhil Kalghatgi earned the Bughouse Championship at the US Chess 2016 Junior High Nationals in Indianapolis.

This is the second National Bughouse Championship within a month for the 9th Grade Experts -- they won the same event at the 2016 High School Championships in Atlanta.

Leading 8.0 - 7.0, Akhil and Nikhil faced off in the final round against fellow Illinoisians Jason Daniels and Aydin Turgut -- who themselves are defending National Bughouse Champions from the 2015 Elementary Nationals. By winning both games, the Kalghatgi's secured the championship while Jason and Aydin settled for third place.

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