Illinois Youth in USCF Top 100 -- June 2014

Several changes in how the USCF processes its top 100 lists, as well as a change in personnel, lead to the delay in publication of this month's tallies. The rules also changed regarding the timing of the birthday calculation.

On the local front, numerous birthdays transitioned many top Illinois players to its incremental counterpart: Aaron Gan, Martin Stukan, David Peng, Shreya Mangalam, Edward Zhang, James Wei and Sam Schmakel. Happy Birthday to you all!

For David Korobov, turning 19 means the end of his run on the youth top 100 lists but I'm sure we'll continue to see great things from David, an expert, who tied for seventh out of 86 at the recent Fineberg Memorial. 

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Bids Requested for 2015 Illinois Senior Open

2015 will be the second year for the reborn Illinois Senior Open Chess Championship, the winner of which will be the 2015 Illinois Senior Champion.

Organizers are requested to submit bids for the tournament with a preferred 2-day, 4 to 5 round, slow-time control format to be held in June 2015. A smaller venue would work for this tournament, which had 12 participants in 2014. With a different entry fee structure and pre-event publicity, we expect the event may draw 20 to 30 players in 2015.

Creative organizers may suggest alternative formats, if they wish.

As this tournament does not have a long history, the Bid Committee may look favorably on a format that would enhance the likelihood of drawing greater player numbers.

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Brian Harrigan Wins Glenwood Club's Spring League

BHarrigan Glenwood 2014

Over-the-board chess competition is alive and well in Chicago's south suburbs. The Glenwood Chess Club recently completed a 10-week tournament -- and another six-week event is already underway.

The competed event ran on Thursday nights from February 6th to May 1st in a league format. Four sections played four-round Swiss competitions each night. The sections included elementary, junior high and high school aged players as well as an open section for adults. Points earned each night were accumulated and totaled for trophies on the tenth night.

Brian Harrigan, pictured here, was the champion in the adult section with 28 points, ahead of David Guidry with 24 and Theodore Whittier with 20. 

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Morgan Park, Naperville Attract Strong Fields June 21

Nothing says "first day of summer" better than a pair of competitive northern Illinois tournaments with sizeable fields. Both events attracted nearly 100 competitors. 

In the western suburbs, Elite Chess offered its Summer Open in conjunction with its camp season, featuring relatively quick time controls: Game/45 with a 5-second delay in four rated sections. There were also several unrated competitions held simultaneously. Naperville North High School Coach Jeff Di Orio's four-round tournament attracted 16 to the "Championship" section including two USCF-experts.

As the dust settled, Di Orio's past and present students nabbed three of the top four spots. Bradley Guan took clear first, beating Experts in the final two rounds. Anuj Dahiya and Tony Zhou finished in a three-way tie for second along with Guan's fourth-round victim, Greg Bungo.

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Arthur Xu Enhances OTB Rating at Online ChessKid Nationals

Arthur Xu, Supplied Photo, Dec 20137-year old Arthur Xu was one of 30 American juniors to participate in the Third Annual ChessKid National Invitational completed June 8. Arthur received his invitation before his most recent birthday and therefore competed in the 6-and-under section where he finished 2.5/5, raising his USCF rating 36 points.

Even though the event was held entirely online, the USCF sanctioned the round robin as if it were an over the board tournament. Juniors competed in five sections over three days.

In the final round, Arthur drew the section's runner up, Lucas Foerster-Yialamas of New York, despite being outrated by 300 points. 

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Alford, Bonwell Share '14 TCCC Championship

TCCC 2014 WinnersThe Bloomington-Normal Twin City Chess Club (TCCC) held their 2014 Championship May 31 - June 1. Under the coordination and kindness of Chris Morgan this event was an eight-person round robin held at the iEXCELL Education Center in Bloomington.

After reviewing previous events, this is believed to be the highest overall rating for the club championship.

Pete Karagianis came in as the odds-on favorite. He was challenged by Joe Alford, a previous two-time champion, and previous runner-ups Jon Bonwell and Surya Kopula. 

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Bids Requested for 2015 Illinois Open

Interested organizers are invited to submit bids for the 2015 Illinois Open State Chess Championship. The tournament will be held Labor Day weekend, September 5-7, 2015. The winner of the tournament will be the 2015 Illinois State Champion.

The tournament has historically been 6-rounds, slow time limit, with 2 sections (Open and Reserve (U1800)). A $5 discount to ICA members and free entry to GMs, WGMs, IMs, WIMs, FMs, and WFM should be offered. ICA will reimburse the organizer for FIDE-titled players’ entry fees, at the lowest pre-registration entry fee amount, and for the $5 ICA member discount.

Interested organizers should submit bids by July 20, 2014 to Jeff Wiewel, Chair of the ICA Bid Committee, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  with a copy to Carl Dolson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . The Bid Committee Chair may communicate with a bidding organizer for clarification of various aspects of the submitted bid. The successful bid will be announced by August 31.

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Illinois Competitors Shine at 2014 Chicago Open

While a pair of international entrants shared top honors in the Open Section, Illinois players will be cashing a number of checks from the 2014 Chicago Open which concluded May 26.

In particular, a number of Warren Junior Scholars did their host state -- and the Warren program -- proud, collecting over $12,500 in prize money.  34 Scholars participated in the Open, including 31 of 38 (82%) of those living in the Greater Chicago area.

The Continental Chess Association guaranteed $100,000 in prizes for the 22nd Annual Chicago Open, hosted for the seventh time at the Westin North Shore in Wheeling. Around 700 players competed in nine sections.

Amenian Grandmaster Gabriel Sargissian and Indian International Master Priyadharshan Kannappan (now based in Missouri) posted 7.0/9's to split first and second place prize money, $7500 a piece. Sargissian took home an additional $200 bonus for earning the higher tiebreak.

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6 Score from 4 States Compete For 2 Days at '14 Ice Harbor

Over 120 junior competitors from four states competed the weekend of May 17-18 at the Ice Harbor Scholastic in scenic Dubuque, IA. 11 entrants from Illinois walked away with nine individual trophies from the main event.

The field represented 50 more players than the previous Ice Harbor which debuted in 2013, conflicting with Mother’s Day weekend. Organizer James Hodina is already promising 2015 will be even bigger and better.

Wisconsin entrants won two of the three Open sections, and one of the two Under sections. A Minnesotan grabbed the K-6 Open while an Iowan nabbed the K-6 Under 800 via tiebreak. Illinois players managed ties for second in the K-12 Open and the K-6 Open.

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Illinois Youth in USCF Top 100 -- May 2014

Four Masters and 14 Experts top this month’s lists representing the most ever Illinois juniors USCF-rated at 2000 or above!

18-year olds David Korobov and Joe Fennessey are among them, David cracking 2000 for the first time, while Joe returned above 2K after a brief absence. Six others boast ratings above 1950 – on the cusp of experthood. Who will be next?

Joining the nation’s top 100 lists for the first time was 8-year old Patrick Rao; returning to the lists were Tuoyu Yang, Jayant Maheshwari, Rishi Naraynan and Andrew Fei.

Also for the first time since I started compiling these lists a year and a half ago, Illinois has six top 10 youth including Aaron Gan (age 7), Martin Stukan (age 8), Aydin Turgut (age 9), David Peng (age 10), Sam Schmakel (age 17) and Jonathan Kogan (age 18). 

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