Thursday, June 13, 2013

2013 Illinois Open: Labor Day Weekend in Oak Brook!


A State Championship Event

30 Grand Prix Points

Aug 31 - Sep 2, 2013

2013 Illinois Open State Championship

Oak Brook, IL

6SS, G/90, 30 sec. inc., (2-day option, rds 1-3 G/45 d5).
Doubletree Hotel, 1909 Spring Rd., Oak Brook, IL 60523, (866) 812-3959, $95 room rate if reserved by 8/16, mention Illinois Chess Association block of rooms when registering. An Illinois Chess Tour Event. Prize Fund $7,000 b/150 paid entries.
In 2 sections, Open and Reserve. Open Section: $1,050-$735-$525 U2400 $490-$350-$245 U2200 $335-$260 U2000 $245-175. Reserve (U1800) Section: $700-$490-$350 U1600 $280-$210 U1400 $210-$140 U1200 $140-$70.
Unrateds qualify for top prizes only. $20 bookseller prize given to all participants finishing with 3.5 pts or more. EF: $94 USPS received by 8/26 and on-line by 8/30 6 PM, $115 at the door by 11:30 AM on 8/31 or 10:30 AM on 9/1.
Free to Illinois GMs, IMs, FMs. $5 discount to current ICA members for IL Open only (ICA annual dues $15 regular, $10 scholastic - obtain membership at
Register online at by 8/30 6 PM, or mail checks payable to Chess For Life, LLC to Chess For Life, c/o Tim Just, 37165 Willow, Gurnee, IL 60031 must be received by 8/26.
No phone entries. $20 extra to play up in Open Section with rating of 1799 and below.
Re-entries $50 with appropriate byes. 3-Day Schedule Saturday-Sunday 12 Noon and 6 pm, Monday 11 am and 4 pm. 2-Day Schedule Sunday 11 am, 1 pm, 3 pm, then merge with 3-day schedule at 6 pm, Monday 11 am and 4 pm.
Half-point byes ok all rounds, must commit by end of round 2.
Maximum 2 half-point byes. On-site registration 10-11:30 Saturday, 9-10:30 Sunday, Entries after that may be given ½ point byes for round 1.
Advance entries posted at Boards, sets, and clocks not provided, please bring your own.
All special rules, details, and tournament conditions are subject to change without notice and will be posted ASAP at the site/on-line.
Scholastic side event on 8/31, details and registration at
Info only: 847-773-7706 (before 6 PM).

The information shown above is based on information in USCF records prior to publication of the TLA in Chess Life (or Chess Life for Kids.)
As such, the information shown above is subject to change and any URLS may not yet be activated or may refer to other events.
Please check the TLA in Chess Life (or Chess Life for Kids) for any corrections, updates or other changes.
In special cases, changes that are made after the publication of Chess Life may be found on the Tournament Listings by State page.
Sponsoring Affiliate: T5009961, ILLINOIS CHESS ASSOCIATION.

Tell the TD you heard about this event via TLA Mail or saw it on the USCF website. TLA ID: 11555

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Crushing the Kopec

In the Kopec System against the Sicilian, White plays 3.c3 and the odd-looking 4.Bd3!?, intending to drop the bishop back to c2, followed in due course by d4. I've faced it many times in blitz games, always finding it a bit annoying. I'd usually play ...e5 at some point and we'd end up in a Ruy Lopez-type position, which I'm not used to defending as Black. During this correspondence game, I consulted the database and discovered that Black scores much better with 5...Bg4! Often he plays ...e6 and ...d5, setting up a French-type pawn structure where he has already developed his light-squared bishop outside the pawn chain.

This game gives me a 122-0-0 score on GameKnot and a rating of 2015.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

On Time Management

A noted economist once observed "If you never miss a flight, you are spending too much time sitting in airports."  The theory goes like this:  Suppose that by always leaving for the airport 2 hours before your flight, you  would average sitting 1 1/2 hours in the airport, but you would never miss a flight.  On the other hand, if you always left for the airport 1 1/2 hours before your flight, you would average 1 hour sitting in the airport, but you would miss 1 flight in 10 and you would have to wait 2 1/2 hours for the next flight.  By choosing the first option you would be spending 5 extra hours waiting before flights in order to avoid a single 2 1/2 hour wait as the result of a missed flight.  Ignoring the financial cost of missing your flight (which is exactly the kind of unrealistic assumption that noted economists are noted for making), the optimal time to leave for the airport is the one where you aren't spending any more extra time waiting before flights than the occasional missed flight would cost you,

Although it may not be possible to precisely determine the optimal time to leave, the noted economist's point is that if you never miss a flight, you can be pretty sure you haven't chosen it.

I tell the players I coach "If you never get in time trouble, you are probably moving too quickly."  My logic is the same as the economist's.  The more you think, the better moves you make and the more points you score.  Therefore, unused time costs you points.  On the other hand, time trouble also costs you points because you don't have adequate time to think and by using more time, you increase the risk of time trouble.  Your optimal average thinking time per move would be the one where your average point cost for unused time is equal to your average point cost for time trouble.  Move at a slower than optimal rate and points lost to time trouble outweigh points gained by thinking longer.  Faster than optimal and vicey-versey.   For a player who plays blitz well, the optimal average thinking time might result in time trouble once every three games while once in ten games might be the optimal for someone else.

Although there is no way to be sure that you have actually hit the optimal average thinking time, if you never  find yourself in time trouble you can be pretty sure that you can get closer to optimal by increasing your thinking time.