GM Mitkov Wins 2017 Illinois Class Championship(s)


It's lonely at the top.

Grandmaster Nikola Mitkov was the lone GM entered in the 2017 Illinois Class Championship -- and he held form to win top honors at the one-day event held November 19 in the Chicago suburb of Lisle. 

GM Mitkov defeated Derek Paitrick a Wisconsin Expert, in the final round to close out the tournament in the Masters / Experts section, the top of seven divisions.

Wisconsin's Alex Velikanov took second place after requesting a half-point bye in the final round, finishing with 3.5. IMSA's George Li took clear third with 3.0/4, and presumably the 2017 Illinois Chess Tour top honors with his points from the event.

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Grandmasters Mitkov and Liang Win '17 Midwest Class


Although neither could achieve a perfect score, Grandmasters Nikola Mitkov and Awonder Liang (of Wisconsin) posted the top 4.5 scores at the 2017 Midwest Class completed October 8 in Wheeling.

Mitkov's draw came in the fourth round against GM Priyadharshan Kannappan (Missouri) while Liang's came in the second round against long-time rival David Peng. Liang and Peng have grown up appearing on the US Top 100 lists for the same age group, frequently one-two.

IM Eric Rosen and Jacob Furfine entered the final round tied with Mitkov and Liang in the 3.5/4 score group, but lost their respective matches to the GM's.

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ICA Tour Standings Updated: Peoria Tournament Participants Holding Leads in Open, Reserve and Scholastic Sections


2017 ICA Tour Coordinator Bill Buklis has updated the Tour standings giving downstaters Pete Kariagianis and Jason Daniels the lead in the Open Section -- both with 13.0 tallies after the Chicago Open. 

Six more events remain on the Tour docket -- with the 7th Orwell Memorial coming up June 24 in DeKalb, followed by the Chicago Class in July. 

In order to be eligible for prizes, participants must have ICA memberships by the half-way point -- and must maintain their memberships throughout the remainder of the season.

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Illinois Players Top 5 of 8 Chicago Open Sections


Daniel Jones has tied for first place in the Under 2100 section at the 26th Chicago Open concluded Memorial Day, May 29. Jones was 6.0 as was his New York co-champion. Dimitar Mardov and Arendal Markovic were a half-point back with 5.5's, tying for third place.

Hiro Higuchi was one of five players tying for first in the U1900, all with 6.0's. Cameron Heino was a half-point back, tying for sixth place.

Three Illinois players tied for second place in the U1700's, all with 6.0's: Nathan Fong, Max Heinrich and Dexter Dale, Jr. Jonathan Lee was a half-point back to tie for fifth place. 

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Four-Way Ties Atop 2017 Greater Peoria Open In Both Open and Reserve Sections; Kevin Ho Takes 2017 Tour Lead


Draws a-plenty meant no perfect scores at the 2017 Greater Peoria Open, the third of ten stops on the 2017 ICA Chess Tour.

Pete Karagianis, Tim McEntee, Robert Reynolds and Wisconsin's Hersh Singh all posted three wins and two draws for 4.0/5 totals.

Karagianis drew Singh in the third round and fellow Master McCentee in the fourth round before finishing out the event with a victory over a Class C opponent.

McEntee also drew the Class A Reynolds in the final round.

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Three Way Tie At 2017 Bradley Winter Open


It's not fun to play someone with whom you've enjoyed a coaching relationship. Pete Karagianis faced that challenge in the last round of the January 28 Bradley Winter Open, drawing with his one-time protege Jason Daniels.

Both competitors finished with 3.5/4's as did St. Louis area's Benjamin Shoykhet. Shokyet went three-for-three following an opening round half-point bye. Each of the trio was awarded $140 in prize money.

Overall, 49 participated in two sections at the event held at Bradley University in Peoria. The BWO represented the second stop on the 2017 Illinois Chess Tour.

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George Li Reigns at the 2017 Tim Just Winter Open


The 2017 Tim Just Winter Open marked the first event on the 2017 Illinois Tour Schedule. For the remaining events see the tour schedule page. This year's event was once again held at the Hyatt Regency in Schaumburg. The tournament drew a record crowd with 192 players competing - 99 in the open section and 93 in the reserve section along with an additional 83 juniors in the one day scholastic tournament.

In the main event FM George Li held off all challengers to win this year's Tim Just Winter Open. FM Sam Schmakel gave him a good fight in the last round, but George held him to a draw to finish with 4.5 points and sole possesion of the first place prize money. Sam (4.0 points) shared second place with 11 others.

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George Li Breaks 2400, Wins 2016 Illinois Class and $500


George Li had quite a day Sunday.

The IMSA-junior defeated two Masters and two Experts posting a perfect 4.0/4 score in the top of seven sections at the 2016 Illinois Class Championships held November 20.

For his efforts in the 21-player Masters / Experts section, he received a $500 award. The FIDE Master's USCF rating surpassed 2400 for the first time.

And he managed to secure a second place plaque in the Open section of the prestigious 10-event 2016 Illinois Chess Tour.

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Avrukh, Corrales Jimenez Top 2016 Midwest Class


With third-round draws against different opponents GM Boris Avrukh and Missouri GM Fidel Corrales Jimenez both posted 4.5/5 results to split the Premier Section championship of the 2016 Midwest Class.

The duo finished a full-point ahead of a six-pack of 3.5 finishers which included Illinois' Todd Freitag, Jacob Furfine and George Li.

Avrukh's draw came against fellow-GM Vladimir Georgiev while Jimenez could only muster 1/2 point against Furfine.

Michigan's Seth Homa and Ben Li and Missouri's Priyad Kannappan rounded out the 3.5 score group, with Homa posting three draws, a win versus Furfine and a full-point from an uplayed first-round game.

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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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2018 Tour Schedule

  1. Tim Just Winter Open, Jan. 6-7 results
  2. Bradley Winter Open, Jan. 27 results
  3. David Mote Memorial, Mar. 3 results
  4. Greater Peoria Open, April 7-8 results
  5. Chicago Open, May 24-28 results
  6. George Orwell Memorial Open, TBA results
  7. Chicago Class, TBA results
  8. Bradley Summer Open, TBA results
  9. Illinois Open, TBA results
  10. Midwest Class, TBA results
  11. Illinois Class, TBA results