Bian Wins '17 Junior Open; Gurevich 2nd in US Senior Open


Alex Bian trailed his higher-rated Pennsylvania opponent, Grant Xu, 4.5-5.0 heading into the final round of the 2017 US Junior Open, completed July 23 in Northfield, MN.

Observers indicate Alex was down several pawns -- and trailing on time. But king safety is often paramount, and Bian's triumph over Xu gave the Illinois high schooler uncontested first place in the top section of the six-round tournament. 

Xu finished second in the 51-player U21 section, followed by a three-pack of 4.5's. Shreyas Reddy finished in a multi-way tie for sixth place with 4.0.

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Rated Chess Tournament in Rockford Saturday 7/22


Rock River Chess is hosting its first-ever US Chess-rated tournament on Saturday, July 22nd, at the East Branch Library in Rockford, IL.

RRC is a new USCF -- and ICA -- affiliate that's working to bring chess back to the forefront of Rockford recreation. We're hoping to hold more USCF rated tournaments to supplement the plethora of non-rated chess activities in the area.

After hosting numerous chess events around town for the past year (chess at the city market, a chess parklet on the street, weekly chess at Prairie Street Brewing Co.), the time is right to get USCF-rated events back in Rockford.

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Kalghatgi Twins Profiled in Chicago News Service DNA Info


DNA Info, a Chicago-area news wire, has profiled the three-time National Bughouse Champions, Akhil and Nikhil Kalghatgi from Whitney Young.

Reporter Isra Rahman posted the delightful story July 17.

If you or your child is profiled in other media, please advise the ICA through This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. -- we love Illinois chess news!



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Grandy To Replace Daniels As WJS / Rising Stars Director


Pending ICA Executive Board approval, Rose Grandy will succeed Scott Daniels as the Director of Warren Junior Scholars and the ICA's Rising Stars programs.

Mr. Daniels did an amazing job guiding the programs through the 2016-2017 year, bringing vibrancy to a program which had been dormant for over a year.

Ms. Grandy has been an important part of a successful Wheaton-area chess program for the past several years and is the mother of active tournament players Sarah and Abigail Grandy.

Compilation of the 2017-2018 classes has been ongoing for several weeks but the ICA would like to afford potential participants a chance to contact the organization.

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Blitzers Opening Southside Chicago Chess Club July 1


If you follow the Chicago chess scene on Facebook, chances are that you have heard about the Chicago Chess Blitzers. Thanks to enthusiastic promotion by Nathan Kelly on YouTube and social media, word is spreading fast about this strong chess club on Chicago's southside.

While blitz players on Chicago's southside have been meeting at McDonald's at 95th and Halsted for a long time, ten Chicago Chess Blitzers recently pitched in to secure the lease on a storefront at 8622 S. Pulaski in Chicago.

The doors of the Chicago Chess Club will open on July 1, 2017 and will remain open from noon to midnight daily.

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Chicago Chess Center Distributes Almost $2,000 in Cash


The Chicago Chess Center is still in search of a permanent home but it's been an active organizer of tournaments.

At its June 24 Midsummer event on the UIC campus, 110 participated in three sections.

FM George Li and US Chess Expert Akhil Kalghatgi tied for top honors in the Open section with 3.5/4 scores. Nine players were a half-point back at 3.0.

The CCC reports $1320 was distributed in the Open and $660 in prizes were paid out in the Reserve which saw a three-way tie for first.  Deepak Salian, Monish Bhasin and Elijah Platnick each scored 3.5/4 in the Reserve.

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7 Illinois Juniors in June '17 US Top 10's; 28 in Top 50's


Dimitar Mardov is #2 in the country for players Aged 8 in the US as of the June, 2017 Official US Chess Ratings.

Aren Emrikian is #3 in the nation for players Ages 7 and Under. Ranking #6 are George Li for 17-year olds and Aydin Turgut for 12-year olds.

David Peng is the seventh rated 14-year old in the country. Both Alex Bian (16) and Arthur Xu (10) rank #10 in their respective age group.

Complete top 50 lists from the Illinois perspective are listed below.

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CCF Launches Coaching Marketplace Website


The Chicago Chess Foundation has launched a Coaching Marketplace under their existing website at

Coaches can submit their information -- and potential students can access the data -- for free.

The website is

The ICA maintains its own statewide listing of coaches -- and tournament staffing -- at

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64-day Contest: How Are You at Solving Tactical Puzzles?


Chess knowledge is a wonderful thing: understanding strategic principles, the best way to deploy various piece combinations in end games, and how to optimize pawn structures.

But there is no substitute for pattern recognition, the ability to visualize how the pieces might be moved to capture a free piece or even make a checkmate!

There are numerous free websites where players can solve such tactical puzzles including Chess Tempo and the Chess Tactics Server.

As if the inherent reward from doing these puzzles weren't enough, a generous benefactor has offered to sponsor a puzzle contest specifically for Illinois youth (through age 18) this summer.

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ICA Seeks Downstate Board Member


Although the ICA Board is nine members strong -- a step up from where we were in the prior year -- we're still one short according to ICA bylaws. While ICA President Bill Feldman has received several inquiries from individuals within Cook County and its six surrounding "collar" counties, there is a strong hope to find additional representation involving any of the other 95 Illinois counties.

At this point, the board is meeting telephonically on Wednesday evenings at 7:30 so that availability is important, along with a strong interest in expanding chess in Illinois and enhancing ICA services. Finances for the 56-year old 501 (c) (3) are incredibly solid, so we'd like to hear from folks willing to work cooperatively to guide a sea-worthy vessel.

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