Wednesday, October 17, 2012

$10 plus-score open this weekend in River North

Based in Mexico City, the National Autonomous University of Mexico (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) has a strong tradition of supporting chess. The university has an on-campus chess center offering courses in recreational and competitive chess, and in 2010 it hosted an international chess festival that featured simultaneous exhibitions by Anatoly Karpov and Garry Kasparov. The university's goal is "that all of UNAM plays chess and that every plantel [college within the university] has a teacher," says Astrid Martín del Campo, president of the University Chess Association at UNAM. "This way, the seedbed will grow."

Here in Chicago, UNAM has a satellite campus in River North, where it has formed a chess club as an extension of the university's mission of support for chess. The club meets on the first floor of the UNAM Chicago building, 350 W. Erie St. in River North, Wednesdays from 6 to 8:30 PM.

Recently, Hector Hernandez of the Knight Moves Chess Club in Pilsen introduced me to Arturo Castro, a great guy who holds the cumbersome title of Cultural, Business Development and Special Projects Coordinator at UNAM Chicago. Castro told me about UNAM's relationship with chess and about his campus's chess club, and he offered his building as a site for a tournament. It's a nice building, so I said yes.

This Saturday, Oct. 20, I'm directing a four-round plus-score open at UNAM Chicago. Time control is G/45 + d5, with rounds at 10 AM and 12:15, 2 and 3:45 PM. Entry fee is $10; prize schedule is $55 for a final score of 4.0, $35 for 3.5, $20 for 3.0 and $10 for 2.5. UNAM is also offering certificates for one free and one half-price Spanish language or Mexican culture course, which will be given away in a door prize drawing. UNAM Chicago chess instructor and USCF Expert Honorius Constantin will be on hand to provide postgame analysis. Registration is from 9 to 9:45 AM. Sets will be provided; bring clocks.

There is one catch (pāce suburbanites): Parking in the area is not good. On-street parking is governed by the deplorable LAZ pay boxes, and the private lot around the corner at Sedgwick and Huron costs about what you'd expect (though carpooling and splitting the cost may be a reasonable option). Better you know this now than arrive and be surprised and frustrated. On the flip side, the campus is an easy five-minute walk from the Chicago/Franklin station on the Brown Line, and there are plenty of lunch options within walking distance.

The weather forecast for Saturday is partly sunny, with a high near 57. I love fall in Chicago.

1 comment:

Keith Ammann said...

Fourteen players -- not bad for an untried site! Tam Nguyen was the clear winner, with 4.0/4.