Thursday, August 30, 2012

USA 3½ - Lithuania ½

Another Nakamura adventure

Ouch (from yesterday's Canada-Turkmenistan match)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

It's called "Labor Day Scholastic Tournament", but...

...the event (run in the same venue as the Illinois Open) is NOT on Labor Day, but on Saturday, September 1st!  So parents, have your child play chess on Saturday, swim on Sunday, and eat hot dogs on Monday.

You can enter online for $25 until 6 p.m. Friday!  Enter here.

Labor Day Scholastic Tournament, 9/1/12, DoubleTree Hotel: 1909 Spring Road, Oakbrook, Illinois 60523, (630) 472-6020, (630) 472-6000. $25 Discounted EF USPS by 8/28, $25 Discounted EF on-line until 8/31, 6 pm, $30 at door by 11:30 am, $35 after that, Rnds: 12-1-2-3-4, G/25 Delay 0, Open to under 18 years of age, 2 sections: U1200, U700, 10 individual trophies per section (team trophies not available), Participation award to each player. Bring sets-boards-clocks, none provided. All rules, regulations, and procedures may be superseded by announcements/postings at the site. Ent: Tim Just, 37165 Willow, Gurnee, IL 60031 Info only (847) 244-7954 before 6 PM. e-mail for info only (sorry, e-mail entries not available): , Checks payable to Chess For Life, LLC, info andPayPal discounted entries until 6 PM 8-31-12 NS, NC, W. 

More info here.

State championship in Oak Brook this Labor Day weekend!

Grandmasters Gurevich and Mitkov, as well as former state champions Aung Thant Zin, Albert Chow, and Angelo Young (apologies if I overlooked someone),  not to mention many strong young masters, are among the preregistrants.  Action begins Saturday, September 1st!

It's not too late to enter!

Sept 1-3. 2012 Illinois Open State Championship. 6R-SS. Open Section (40/90 SD/30 + 30/sec incr). Reserve and Booster Sections (G/90 + 30/sec incr). Doubletree Hotel 1909 Spring Road Oak Brook, IL 60523 - Phone 630-472-6000. $8500 Guaranteed + $250 Isaac Braswell Fighting Chess Award in Open Section

3 sections: Open, Reserve (U1800), Booster (U1400). Prizes (non-IL players eligible for max 3rd place in Overall Prizes and 2nd place prize for rating bracket prizes: Open - Overall: $1600-1000-300, (2399-2200): $350-275-200; (2199-2100): $250-200; (2099-2000): $200-100; (1999-1900): $200-100; (1899-1800): $200-100; Reserve (U1800) - Overall: $750-450-225; (1699-1600): $250-200-150; (1599-150): $150-100; (1499-1400): $150-100; Booster (U1400) - Overall: $250-125-75; (1299-1200) - $100-50; (1199-1100): $100-50. Open & Reserve FIDE Rated. Free Entry for IL FIDE titled players (WFM & above). 

EF: $64 by 08/04/2012, $96 by 08/18/2012, $128 thereafter and on-site. No checks at site, credit cards ok. Online registration preferred. No phone entries. Re-entry: $60 with 1/2 pt in first two rds only. Rd 6 bye must committ by end of Rd 2 otherwise zero pt. Players in contention for prizes must play final rd or have 1/2 pt bye committed to by the end of Rd 2 otherwise ineligible for prizes. Special Rules for Playing Up: $10 more if 150 pts or less from cut off of section, $25 more if 151-300 pts from cut-off, $50 more if 301+ pts from cut-off (Example: 1620 wants to play in open, 180 pts from cut-off, pay $25 more to play up).NOTE: Playing up fee paid in cash at the door - players will be registered in their normal rating section unless you come to the TD room to request playing up. 

Schedule: 10am and 4pm each day. Mailed entries: North American Chess Association 4957 Oakton Street Suite 113 Skokie IL 60077. All mailed entries must be received by 8/24/2012. Questions: No Phone Calls. Advance entries and online registration at:

Hotel: $91/night + tax. Ask for Chess Rate. 

Boards, Sets, Clocks Provided. Must use organizer provided equipment. Chess vendor onsite. August Rating Supplement. Special Workshops: Chess in Education plus TD/Rules Workshop. 1-day Scholastic Event. For registration on the 1-day scholastic event please visit

USCF and ICA mbrshp required for main event.

Chicagoans in Istanbul

Gata Kamsky & Irina Krush
Tony Rich for St. Louis Chess Club / Chess Life Online
GM Yury Shulman of Barrington is not playing in the 2012 Olympiad; instead, he's the head coach!  The U.S. team (Nakamura, Kamsky, Akobian, Robson; third board Onischuk is cheerleading this round) is playing a strong team from Lithuania right now in round two.  Catch up on the U.S. team's round one results (both men and women) at Chess Life Online.

Sevan Muradian of Chicago (North Shore Chess Center / North American Chess Association) is also there, schmoozing away. Armenians are reminded to keep a low profile at the Bermuda Party, especially when rowdy Brits are around.

GM Mesgen Amanov of Glenview is once again playing first board for his native land, Turkmenistan.  As I write, Mesgen is playing Black against GM Bator Sambuev of Canada.  (Update 11:45 a.m.: the website reports that Mesgen lost. , but it looks to me like Black-Mesgen-won a pretty game with multiple queen promotions: confusing!  The broadcast gamescore was completely wrong.)

How old is this photo from the Olympiad website?

If you have more luck than I did, you may be able to follow live games here.  

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Fidel Serrano, Jr.

I'm sorry to report that we've lost another member of our community. Fidel Serrano was a paramedic for the Chicago Fire Department, one of the people who risk their own safety to protect us.

Details are sketchy, but I believe that Fidel passed away (reportedly from a heart attack) on Sunday, his 41st birthday, and possibly (this too is unconfirmed) in the line of duty. Our condolences to Fidel's family and many friends.

UPDATE:  Visitation will be at 8300 W. Lawrence in Norridge, 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. both Thursday and Friday.   Funeral Mass will be at 10 a.m Saturday, St. Eugene's, 7958 W. Foster, Chicago.  More info here.  Our deepest condolences to Fidel's parents and his brother.

Fidel G. Serrano Jr. Air Force Veteran, Died Suddenly August 26, 2012. Fidel was a Firefighter with the City of Chicago. He is survived by his parents, Venecia Nee GAL-LANG Serrano and Fidel H. Serrano Sr. and His Brother Alen Serrano. Visitation for Fidel will be Thursday and Friday from 3:00 - 9:00 p.m. and funeral prayers will be said Saturday at 9:00 a.m. at the funeral home, Preceeding to St. Eugene Catholic Church for mass at 10:00 a.m. Committal service and military Honors will follow at Acacia Park Cemetery Interment Chapel. 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Road trip to Indy

Chicago and Illinois players had outstanding results in last weekend's Indianapolis Open. GM Dmitry Gurevich won his second consecutive event with a 4½-½ score.  Gurevich's victims included GM Nikola Mitkov and NM Gopal Menon, both of whom tied for third with 3½ points.  FM Andrew Karklins and NM Jonathan Kogen, both undefeated, also tied for third.

Rene Anchata split first place in the Under 2100 section, while David Gilchrist and Matthew Holloway were part of a massive tie for the Under 1900 prize.

Andrew Fei, Ian Gilchrist, and Ube Leopoldo tied for third in the Under 1800 section, and Blair Hu won some Under 1600 money.  Shashank Bala and Yiliang Li tied for second in the Under 1500 section, and Aditya Sharma tied for fourth.

Matthew Demaro took top U800 and Brendan Brown was top U600.  Not bad, Illinois!

Prizewinners listed here; and post-tournament MSA rankings are here.

Bobby Fischer vs. Albert Sandrin, Milwaukee 1957

The fourteen-year-old Bobby had already won the Game of the Century, but he had not yet won his first U.S. Championship: that would come shortly after this game, in his miracle year 1958. Bobby didn't win the 1957 North Central Open, the traditional Turkey weekend event in Milwaukee, but he won this game against former U.S. Open champion Albert Sandrin of Chicago. Fischer was a virtuoso of the King's Indian Attack: this is a great early game that I'd never paid attention to before. Hat tip to Marty Wilber for calling it to our attention.
Fellow blogster NM Frederick Rhine has noted that the game shows Albert in a good light too, as Black had very real drawing chances in the opposite-color bishop ending. See the comments at