Saturday, February 19, 2011

Evanston Chess Club email cut & paste

Levy Senior Center, 300 Dodge Ave, Evanston, IL 60202
Evanston Chess Presents:
Feb 22, 2011
7:15pm - 8:15 pm

Lecture: Taking It Up a Level

Our Evanston Chess Club simuls in September and December left some of our players asking, "How can I play better chess?" By popular demand, NM Jon Burgess will give an informal lecture on a variety of ways club players can improve their games. The lecture is free and open to those who are high school age and older.

Coming Events:
--Feb 22, 2011, Lecture: Taking It Up a Level
--Mar 05, 2011, 3SS G/65 Three x Three
--May 14, 2011, 4SS G/45 Tri-Level

See for details.

North Shore Chess Club tournament tomorrow

Another cut-and-paste from my email:
Game-45 Sunday Afternoon Tournament 2/20
We have our monthly Game-45 tournament on Sunday afternoon February 20 @ 1pm.
North Shore Chess Center G/45 - 4R-SS G/45 + 10/sec increment. North Shore Chess Center, 5500 West Touhy Ave Suite A, Skokie, IL 60077. 847.423.8626. EF: $20 for non-members of the chess center, $15 for members of the chess center received by 2/19. All $5 more onsite. Onsite registration - up to 15 minutes prior to round 1 or round 2. If registering prior to round 2, you will receive a half-point bye for round 1. Round times: 1pm for round one and then 15 minutes after final game from previous round completed. Half-point byes available in any round. Prizes: Book prizes for top three finishers. Biggest upset (150+ points): Free entry to following month G/45 + book prize.Parking: Free self-parking. Mail entries with registration information to: North American Chess Association (make checks payable to), 4957 Oakton Street Suite 113, Skokie, IL 60077. Online registration preferred. Additional questions email to: USCF rated. For online registration and list of more events please visit 
View the pre-registration list by clicking here.

Friday, February 18, 2011

State Blitz Championship tomorrow night!

Begins at 8 p.m. tomorrow in Northbrook!  Instead of watching a movie, play ten blitz games!

FEBRUARY 19, 2011

Crowne Plaza, 2875 N Milwaukee, Northbrook, Illinois 60062, (847) 298-2525,
$79 Room Rate (single, double, triple, quad) Includes FREE Breakfast Buffet!.

$79 Hotel Room Rates - Free Breakfast Buffet with room - And More...

Bring Sets, Boards, & Clocks

$500 b/30

1st: $150 & Title (determined by tiebreaks)
2nd: $125
3rd: $50

U2200: $47
U2000: $46
U1800: $45
U1600: $44
U1400: $43
UN can win top prizes only


$25 received by 2/16 USPS
$25 on-line by 2/18, 6 PM

$30 at the site

5 Rounds
2 Games with each opponent

Round 1: 8 pm
(and as available after that)
Byes Round 1 only

Chess Party of the Year starts tonight / tomorrow!

You still have a few hours to put together a team for the U.S. Amateur Team North (Crowne Plaza, 2875 N. Milwaukee, Northbrook).  Seriously....there's a split first round: if you can't play tonight at 7 p.m., your team can begin play tomorrow a.m.

Enter here!

Read all about it here!

Andi Rosen tells us that there's a Wisconsin team with GM Friedel on first board and former Wisconsin champion Alex Betaneli on third board!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

not directly about chess....

...but chess players who have experienced the amazing capacities and surprising limitations of chess engines can probably relate to IBM's Watson project better than most of the general public.

I've lived in Chicago all my adult life, and I'd always assumed that Midway Airport was named after the Midway Plaisance.  Oops!

P.S.  Others are seeing the relevance to chess, too: here, Kasparov is invoked to argue for human-cylon collaboration.

Scholastic national events coming up!

Our Twin Cities friend Mark Nibbelin reminds us to register for nationals. (pdf)
  • 2011 K-9 Championship,  April 15 - 17,  Columbus Ohio
  • 2011 National High School K-12 Championships,  April 29 - May 1,  Nashville, TN 
  • 2011 National Elementary K-6 Championships,  May 6 - 8,  Dallas TX 

Monday, February 14, 2011

There will be (G-rated, fake) blood in Bloomington this weekend

Next weekend, the Downstate action shifts from Peoria to the Twin Cities.  From today's Bloomington Pantagraph:
Almost 400 elementary students from 50 schools across Illinois will guard their kings and queens this week in a new competition at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington.

The Illinois Elementary School Association’s first state chess tournament will be Friday and Saturday.

Chess is one of two activities that IESA added to its official sports and activities list this year. Bowling is the other.

“It’s a great opportunity for a lot of kids,” said Pat Bodame, IESA administrative specialist. “We are all about providing as many opportunities as we can.”

There are seven rounds starting at noon on Friday. Individual and team awards will be given at a ceremony following the last round of competition on Saturday.

Online information is available at

Admission each day will be $5. Children younger that kindergarten age are free.
 The article continues with an overview of how Central Illinois schools did at the IHSA championships.

It's too late to register for the IESA championships, but if you'd like to visit, you'll find more info on the ICA tournament calendar.

"In Chess, There Is No Penalty for Piling On"

White to play and mate quickly

Vince Hart chooses a few instructive moments from the games of Mike Monsen, 5th board for Prospect High School, which looks to have a very strong team next year!

Father of the Constitution, Chess Nerd

So says the Sun-Times.

"Stevenson High School finishes fifth in state"

Check out yesterday's Daily Herald article: there's a nice photo of Kent Cen.

While Stevenson is a big school (I think the enrollment is about the same as Chicago's Lane Tech HS), you wouldn't expect it to be able to compete successfully with schools like Whitney Young, which draws the best public school students from the entire city.  But it does, year after year....

From the article:

In fact, this year’s tournament was the biggest in its 37-year history, drawing teams from 132 high schools across the state. With eight players on each team, it meant 1,400 chess players and 200 coaches converged on Peoria’s civic center over the weekend.
Hmm, what does 132 x 8 equal?  And if each team brought two alternates, 132 x 10 = how many players?  (The Daily Herald may well be right, but I believe the nose count is closer to a still-phenomenal 1,100.  It may well be that 300 players were "DNP - coach's decision.")

"One Coach, Many Young Champions"

Michael Aigner (copyright New York Times)

I had the pleasure of meeting Michael Aigner at the 2010 Chicago Open.  Dylan Loeb McClain features Aigner's playing and teaching achievements in yesterday's New York Times column.

And the winner is...

Whitney Young High School wins the 2010-11 IHSA Team Championship!  In the final round Saturday at the Peoria Civic Centery, Whitney Young beat last year's champion, Niles North, 39-29.  (Scores on the higher boards in these eight-player matches are worth more: I'm guessing that board one is worth 12 points and board eight is worth 5 points.)

Congratulations to coach Paul Kash's team: Michael Auger, Sam Schmakel, Charles Swan, Kessidy Chan, Donovan Harris, Mark Waechter, Cristian Pena, and Brian Mei!

Here are the top teams, ranked in team tiebreak order:

1 7.0 161.5 Chicago (Whitney Young)

2 6.0 159.6 Skokie (Niles North)

3 6.0 155.8 Hinsdale (Central)

4 6.0 139.3 Urbana (University)

5 6.0 133.5 Lincolnshire (Stevenson)

6 6.0 133.1 Glenview (Glenbrook South)

7 6.0 132.6 Evanston (Twp.)

8 5.0 135.5 Chicago (Northside)

9 5.0 125.1 Aurora (Illinois Math and Science Academy)

10 5.0 117.8 New Lenox (Lincoln-Way Central)

11 5.0 115.9 Glen Ellyn (Glenbard West)

12 5.0 104.6 Naperville (North)

13 5.0 104.0 Naperville (Neuqua Valley)

14 5.0 100.2 Winnetka (New Trier)

15 5.0 97.1 Bloomington (H.S.)

16 5.0 93.5 Glen Ellyn (Glenbard South)

17 5.0 91.3 Darien (Hinsdale South)

18 5.0 86.2 Mt. Prospect (Prospect)

19 5.0 85.7 Naperville (Central)

20 5.0 81.1 Orland Park (Sandburg)

21 5.0 79.0 Bradley (B.-Bourbonnais)

22 5.0 78.4 Buffalo Grove

23 5.0 77.7 Oak Lawn (Richards)

24 5.0 68.0 Oak Park (O.P.-River Forest)

25 5.0 64.4 Aurora (Waubonsie Valley)

26 5.0 62.2 Hoffman Estates (H.S.)

27 5.0 54.1 Maple Park (Kaneland)

Here are the winners of the top board prizes (I've also listed all perfect scores):

Board 1
Gauri Manoj, Glenbrook South, 7-0

Board 2
Josh Dubin, Adlai Stevenson; Kaleb Schwaiger, Mahomet-Seymour, 7-0

Board 3
Ali Huseen, Andrew HS, 6½-½

Board 4
Paul Kim, New Trier; Adam Youman, Northridge Prep, 7-0

Board 5
Sean McKenzie, Lincoln-Way Central, 6½-½

Board 6
Yasheen Jadidi, New Trier, 6½-½

Board 7
Cristian Pena, Whitney Young; Shawn Beamon, Marshall, 7-0

Board 8
Brian Mei, Whitney Young; Kevin Midlash, Hinsdale Central; Jake Marshall, McHenry, 7-0

All these young players did well, but Illinois chess was the real winner. I'm not sure of the final headcount, as some teams had alternates, but there were more than 128 teams and more than 1028 players this weekend!  Proud daughter Betsy Dynako notes on her Facebook page that her father, Mike Zacate, founded this event 44 years ago.  It's been recognized by the IHSA for 37 years!

Vince Hart tells us that Zacate received a standing ovation before the final round.

Oh, and here are the final standings.