Registrations Over 600 For 2016 Chicago Open


With more than 20 Grandmasters already signed up, registrations are mounting for the Memorial Day Weekend's Chicago Open.

As of Tuesday, May 24, the overall number has eclipsed 600 and will likely approach 700 when all is said and done.

The eight-section event has already guaranteed a $100,000 prize fund. The Westin North Shore is the host site for the Continental Chess Association event.

Yangyi Yu, Alex Shimanov, Varuz Akobian and Tigran Petrosian have all pledged to spend five days playing at the Open, beginnning Thursday, May 26.

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Illinois Chess Contributors To Be Recognized By US Chess

Four long-time contributors to Illinois chess will be recognized by US Chess during a special luncheon held in conjunction with the 2016 US Open. This year's awards will be presented Saturday, August 6 in Indianapolis. 

Former ICA President Carl Dolson has been tabbed for Outstanding Career Achievement.

David and Sheila Heiser of Renaissance Knights will receive the Special Services Award.

The late Sevan Muradian will be acknowledged with a Tournament Director Lifetime Achievement Award.

Congratulations to all recipients.

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YCFC 2015-2016 Season Concludes at Chicago's Burbank; Bateman, Burbank and Skinner North Take Sections


The Youth Chess Foundation of Chicago concluded its 2015-2016 season with a May 14 five-round, three-section tournament at Burbank Elementary School in northwest Chicago with 219 competing.

According to organizer Mike Cardinale, this brought the season totals across the six events to 1,834 entries, for an average of 306 players per event. All the events provided free entry with a generous line up of trophies thanks to donations and countless hours of volunteer time. This is Cardinale's 14th year organizing the events.

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Illinois Juniors Amass Hardware Arsenal at Ice Harbor


Competing in five rated sections, Illinois players brought home an impressive array of trophies from the 4th Ice Harbor Scholastic held May 13-15 in Dubuque, Iowa at the Grand Harbor Resort.

In the K-12 Open section St. Charles East's Ryan Chimienti and Naperville North's Richard Zhang both posted 4.0/5's to tie for second place. Ryan gave section champion Abhy Shukla his lone blemish with a fifth round draw. Richard overcame an opening match loss, posting four subsequent wins. 46 players competed in the section. On tiebreaks, Ryan collected 4th place hardware while Richard was awarded fifth.

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Li, Do, and Liu Earn Tickets to Indy: Denker, Barber and Girls


Coming from behind is not something IMSA's George Li has to do often.

George drew Daniel Bronfeyn in the opening match of the Illinois Denker Invitational before finishing strong with four victories.

His 4.5 tally placed the highest-rated high school invitee in clear first place, earning him a spot in the prestigious national Denker competition late this summer in Indianapolis.

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Last Call for $107 Hotel Rate for Chicago Open; $2000 Guaranteed Prize Fund Offered For Sunday Night Blitz


An email from the Continental Chess Association reminds the community that Friday, May 13 may be the last day for the deeply-discounted $107 hotel rate for Chicago Open players. After today, the Westin North Shore has the right to bump up the nightly room rate. 

Already some room configurations are no longer available for the Memorial Day Weekend event at the posh Westin in Wheeling.

The Chicago Open kicks off May 26 with nine rounds for the Open Section, with other sections providing seven rounds and the option of either a three-day or two-day schedule.

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ICA Selects Bloomington Normal to Host 2017 K-8 Event; 2016-2017 Scholastic Year Calendar Shaping Up


After an exhaustive examination of alternatives, the Illinois Chess Association has accepted a bid from the Bloomington Normal Area Scholastic Chess (BNASC) to host the Illinois K-8 championship for the 2016-2017 school year.

BNASC President Amy Green expressed pride in the decision to offer the hosting rights to her organization. She indicates the competitive dates for the events itself will be Saturday and Sunday, March 11-12, with wild-and-crazy Bughouse (two-person teams) and faster-than-the-speed-of-light Blitz on that Friday.

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8 Illinois Juniors Within Top 10 on Ties at '16 Elementary Nationals; Avery Coonley School Earns Three Team Trophies

The beauty of a Swiss-paired chess tournament is that after a few rounds, players start to compete against others of a similar level. And when that happens, draws become more likely.

In the K-6 Championship section of the 2016 US Elementary Nationals, a pair of late draws deprived Aydin Turgut from top honors after five straight wins out of the gate.

Finishing in a six-way tie for second with 6.0/7, the Decatur-area 6th grader took home third place hardware on tiebreaks.

Chicago's Aria Hoesley (coincidentally from Decatur School) finished strong with three straight triumphs to join the 6.0-score group, taking sixth place hardware on tiebreaks.

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V. Oberai Wins Lozano Spring Scholastic; Lara Nabs Classic


With a perfect five-for-five outing, third-grader Vikram Oberai has won the 2016 Lozano Spring Scholastic, held at the Rudy Lozano Branch of the Chicago Public Library on May 7.

The free non-rated event honored chess moms -- and mothers everywhere -- as players crafted Mothers Day cards between rounds.

Andrey Novikov, Vikram's final round victim, took second place among Grades 2-3 competitors while Virkam's brother, Aditya, took third place. Both Andrey and Aditya compiled 4.0's.

Daniel Roman -- who also fell to Vikram in the fourth round -- had the highest score among Grades 4-5 players. 

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Dimitar Mardov Wins K-3 Blitz at 2016 National Elementary; Aydin Turgut Is Runner Up in K-6 Blitz, 5th in Bughouse


Illinois 7-year old Dimitar Mardov has won another national title -- this time prevailing as the K-3 Blitz Champion at the US Chess National Elementary Championships in Nashville, TN. The competition was held at the Opryland Resort on May 5.

This was Dimitar's very first rated blitz event -- and he was a late registrant who needed to coax his way into the competition!

Dimitar was the only competitor with a perfect 10 out of 10 heading into the final match. With two draws against Alexander Rutten of Georgia, Dimitar cemented the championship with 11.0 points.

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