Friday, February 3, 2012

Job listing crossposted from craigslist

This is a cut and paste: no endorsement, express or implied, and I don't recall having met the owner.

But Les Bale (who also has nothing to do with the following, and who's a Baptist!) was telling me great things yesterday about the Archdiocese of Chicago's "Protecting God's Children" course, and he strongly recommends it for all chess instructors working with young people.

Original ad with contact info here.
kids think inc. is a small company offering after school chess programs to K-8 kids in Chicago and the suburbs. We are looking for chess instructors who have a strong background in and love of chess, and who also have experience teaching or tutoring children. We will provide you with a well developed curriculum, all teaching materials, and training. You will need your own very reliable automobile transportation. You will need to pass a federal background check and must attend the "Protecting God's Children" course sponsored by the Archdiocese of Chicago. This is a part time job, limited to between 1 and 5 hours each week during the school year.

We currently have openings in Lemont and Elmhurst. Hourly rate (contact time) is $50 - $75.

Patience, humor, and the ability to instruct and encourage children are necessary traits of successful chess teachers. A strong presence in the classroom is very valuable. If you are interested and feel you have the skills needed, please include the following information in your response:

• Your level of chess knowledge and ability
• Your experience with children - teaching or tutoring
• Your resume
• The area in which you live and how far you would be comfortable traveling
• Which days you are available, and how many days you would like to teach
• Whether you would be available for the entire school year or only part of the year

We also have summer opportunities for chess and other "camps". Let us know if you are interested in working during the day during June and July.

Join our small but growing company in making a positive impact in the lives of small but growing children!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Evanston Chess: Unrated & Quick Quads this Saturday

Another email cut-and-paste.  Both events charge the usual $5 entry fee, experts and above play for free.

Levy Senior Center, 300 Dodge Ave, Evanston, IL 60202
Evanston Chess Presents:
Feb. 4, 2012, 9:00am-1:00pm
Rapid, 5SS G/26+3 second delay
Quads, Non-Rated

This is our experimental tournament. We're trying two things:

"Quick quads" — a format that allows players to fit in three games and still have Saturday afternoon free.

"Unrated" — Have you never been USCF rated? Have you never played a tournament? Were you rated in the past, but haven't played a tournament in years? This is your chance to test (or re-test) the waters of tournament play, without having to make a major investment in time and cash. We will play in regular tournament conditions, and we will follow USCF rules.

Published USCF Regular Rating (or tournament director's estimate, if the player is not USCF-rated) determines player seeding. Players will be grouped into 4-player quads starting with the top-seeded player. If the bottom group has between 5 and 7 players, the bottom group will be paired as a Swiss section. No byes. Please come planning to play three rounds.

Three rounds. Digital clocks are required and will be set to G/26 plus 3 seconds delay. Some club clocks are available for use by players who do not own clocks.

Schedule: Registration from 9:00 to 9:30 am. Registration/sign-in for pre-registered players will close and quads will be formed at 9:30 a.m. sharp. First Round 9:45 am, rest of rounds ASAP (estimated ending time 12:30 p.m.).

No byes, no lunch break. Out of consideration for your quad-mates, please plan on playing all three rounds.
Send name, USCF number (if you have one), and telephone number to

Junior players (under fourteen years) rated USCF 900+ are welcome. Sorry, but we do not accept junior players rated under USCF 900. Must be accompanied by a parent throughout the event.

Bring clocks -- Wheelchair accessible -- No Smoking.

Greater Chicago Primary & Junior High Championships

This Saturday at the Hilton Northbrook.  Details on ICA website.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Spassky turns 75

Today (already yesterday in France) is/was Boris Spassky's 75th birthday!

Here's a ChessBase interview (still in German for the time being; Google Translate version here). Spassky is now confined to a wheelchair, but he reports that his second stroke only affected one hemisphere, and that he can still speak and think. With a self-deprecating laugh, he adds, "Above all, the side responsible for chess works, and is as reliable as before."

I met Spassky in a Mandarin restaurant in Grenoble in the summer of 1978.  It was Spassky who started making small talk with me: perhaps he caught my shock of recognition (I wasn't sure it was Boris, and only found out later that he and Marina indeed lived in Grenoble).  Perhaps he simply wondered what a grubby American college student was doing there.  I remember that I had mu shu pork, that he asked about my studies, and that we didn't talk about chess. He seemed like a very kind man.

More games from Tim Just Winter Open

FM Albert Chow annotates more games from the Illinois Tour for ICA's Chess Blog. Featured players include NM Gopal Menon, Robert Moskwa, NM Alexander Velikanov, Patrice Connelly, NM Mark Marovitch, Jonathan Kogen, and Chow himself.

Welcome to the blogosphere

Three-time Wisconsin state champion Jeremy Kane (now out East) has a new blog. Check out Minor Pieces.

Just another silly Internet game

As usual, the hapless NN proves unable to cope with the Black Knights' Tango. A double rook sacrifice ends the game. In the final position, I was expecting White to try 18.Nf4 exf4 19.Rae1+, when 19...Be3! ends matters. Instead, he resigned.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Three Americans in the top 14!

OK, one of them is a dual citizen who plays for Italy: #10 Fabiano Caruana, who is also the strongest teenager in the world after Anish Giri's collapse. for more details and full list

Hikaru Nakamura and Gata Kamsky both recovered from slow starts at Wijk aan Zee to finish in the top half of the Tata Steel crosstable: Nakamura is now #6 in the world and Kamsky (who truly has solved his Topalov problem) is #14.