Friday, November 2, 2012

All Grade: team results

I'll be honest: I didn't even know this was a team event, too!  The top three finishers in each school determine the team results.  Full recap of prizewinners on the Illinois Chess Teachers website.

The All Grade is a premier event on the elementary calendar, and a relatively minor event on the high school calendar.  Still, it's impressive to see Benet Academy of Lisle finish ahead of Chicago's Whitney Young.  I would not have expected this, even though Zinski and Kranjc of Benet were the top two seeds, simply because of Whitney Young's depth.  Should be an interesting scholastic season!


1. McKenzie (Wilmette)
2. Indian Trail (Highland Park)

2nd Grade

1. Indian Trail (Highland Park)
2. Metcalf (Normal)
3. Wheaton Christian Grammar (Wheaton)
3. Avery Coonley (Downers Grove)

3rd Grade

1. Benjamin Elementary (Bloomington)
2. Indian Trail (Highland Park)
3. Decatur School (Chicago)

4th Grade

1. Ramona (Wilmette)
2. Dr. Howard Elementary (Champaign)
3. Avery Coonley (Downers Grove)

5th Grade

1. Dr. Howard Elementary (Champaign)
2. Indian Trail (Highland Park)
3. Alexander Graham Bell (Chicago)

6th Grade

1. Dunlap Middle School (Peoria)
2. South Loop (Chicago)
3. Prairie School (Barrington)

7th Grade

1. Dunlap Middle School (Peoria)
2. Wheaton Christian Grammar (Wheaton)
3. Thomas Middle School (Arlington Heights)

8th Grade

no team results

High School

1. Benet Academy (Lisle)
2. Whitney Young (Chicago)
3. Richwoods (Peoria)

All Grade - high school results

The high schoolers play in one combined section at the All Grade.  There was a tie for first between Nathaniel Kranjc (1946) and Penny Xu (1906), who won their first three games and drew the final round to score 3½-½ each.

Maximilian Zinski, Jimi Akintonde, Joey Bikus, Roshan Shankar, and Philip Parker-Turner tied for third in the 26-player field, all with 3-1 scores.

All Grade - 8th grade results

Anshul Adve (1886) was the class of the 10-player eighth-grade section, winning all four of his games.  Alex Feygin (1637) took clear second with 3-1.

Again, MSA crosstable is here.

All Grade results - 7th grade

Congratulations to Nicholas Bartochowski (1594), who swept the 24-player seventh-grade section 4-0.  Daniel Bronfeyn, Andrew Fei, Blair Hu, Jeff Bikus, Jack Thain, Yilang Li, and Mihir Bafna were in a massive pileup  for second at 3-1.

MSA results here!

Two consecutive music videos?

Via ChessBase, in an article announcing a May 2013 supertournament. Let's hope Hikaru Nakamura gets an invite.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

2012 Illinois Tour standings

Here are the complete standings with one event to go, the 2012 Illinois Class.

NM Tenzing Shaw and GM Nikola Mitkov lead the Open section with 22 points.  GM Dmitry Gurevich is right behind with 21½ points, and NM Jonathan Kogen and NM Sam Schmakel remain with striking distance of the title at 21 points.

Jim Froehlich seems very close to clinching the Reserve title at 28 points.  Joe Delay (23) and Michael Penway (22) are most likely battling for second.

And here are the leaders in the Reserve Scholastic section:

Andrew Fei

Maximilian Zinski

David Peng

Jason Daniels

Akshay Indusekar

Caeley Harihara

Ethan Brown

Aydin Turgut

Aakash Meduri


You still have time to change your fate (or, less dramatically, move up a couple notches in the standings): enter the Illinois Class!

Free tix for teachers in the trenches

We get email...

Dear Bill,

Great to catch up. As I mentioned, the new chess/education documentary "Brooklyn Castle”  is coming to the Landmark Century beginning this Friday November 2. We have just had a generous donor agree to underwrite the cost to give Free Tickets to Brooklyn Castle to any public school teacher in greater Chicago. Can we get your help in spreading this word to teachers and administrators (public, charter, archdiocese)?

Here are the details:
Brooklyn Castle will play at the Landmark Century

2828 North Clark Street, Chicago IL  60657

 for showtimes. 

From Friday, November 2 through Thursday, November 8, Chicago area teachers can get 1 free ticket by showing their valid Teacher Identification or Union ID Card at the box office. 

Brooklyn Castle follows the successes and challenges of IS 318 in Brooklyn, NY, the most successful middle school chess team in the nation. While working to excel at the chess board, the students and teachers face another major hurdle as cutbacks to after school programs threaten the very existence of their program. It's an inspiring story of what it takes to be a champion, on the chess board, and in life. The film opened in New York City to major press support from such diverse outlets as the the Today Show and the Hollywood Reporter, Sports Illustrated and Teen Vogue. You might like to see the review in the New York Times. Teachers might also like this one from

We hope this generous gift will help us expand awareness of the importance of after school programs, and of chess in education.

I thank you for the consideration and appreciate the support,

Yours truly,

Robert McLellan


Robert McLellan
Director of Marketing
United States Chess Federation
Direct line: (865) 332-0382 or (818) 469-2063

The Halloween Gambit

Here's a game with that scariest of openings, the Halloween Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nxe5?!). It may be dubious if Black responds perfectly. But if not, White gets frightening attacking chances:

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Tomb Game

For Halloween, I present one of the most horrifying games ever - and played in the Halloween Open, no less. I refer, of course, to the dreaded Tomb Game: Harper-Zuk, Halloween Open 1971. If White's position doesn't give you nightmares, nothing will.

A trap in the London System

In the game below, 4...e5!, forking White's knight and bishop, wins a piece since Black's pawn, seemingly hanging, is indirectly guarded by ...Qa5+. My inspiration for this trap was NN-Pandolfini, a Kan Sicilian with the same motif: 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Bf4?? e5! The concept was also seen in Zaitsik-Zichulidze, Tiflis 1976 , which is the same as my game, but with colors reversed and White having the extra move g3.

Monday, October 29, 2012

"Early chess editors of the Chicago Tribune"

If you have any interest in Chicago history or chess history, go read this delightful post from the delightful blog (new to me!) A Chess Reader.

Take a bow, blogger!

Louis Uedemann Photo 1904
SDN-002332, Chicago Daily News negatives collection, Chicago History Museum.

Illinois Class Championships: Time running out for discounted entry

This is the last week for early entry in the Illinois Class Championships on Nov. 17 and 18! Register before Saturday to enter for $50 ($25 for the rated beginners' open on Nov. 17). Free entry for FIDE-titled players also expires Saturday, so send your requests to Play for $2,000 in guaranteed prizes and for 20 Grand Prix points and FIDE rating in the Master/Expert section.

Free parking on-site and a free shuttle from the nearest 'L'/Metra station. Also, register for the ICA Annual Meeting and Buffet Luncheon and celebrate the career of Jim Brotsos, winner of this year's Broughton Award for outstanding service to Illinois chess.

6th grade results - All Grade

Continuing the All Grade box scores by section (see last night for earlier posts)....

Matthew Stevens (1965) won the 32-player sixth-grade section, running the table with 4-0.  Akhil Kalghatgi and Maxwell Jong tied for second with 3½-½: Maxwell gained 89 rating points despite getting Black three times in four games. Jonathan Tan, Rishi Narayanan, Miranda Liu, Jacob Zhou, Ricky Roman tied for fourth with 3-1 scores. 

Here's the MSA crosstable and PlyCount report.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

All Grade - 5th grade results

Finally, a section without a clear winner: Nathaniel Sobery, Tej Rai, and Jeremy Margolin tied for first with 4½-½. Marissa Li, Adithya Chandramouli, Rithvik Musuku, and Daniel Leung tied for fourth with 4 points, and Zamaan Sami Qureshi and Brent Young each scored 3½-1½.  Again, some pretty good players were not among the prizewinners in this 43-player section.

MSA results here and PlyCount report here.

4th grade - another tough section

Alex Yasumoto (1265) won all five games in the 46-player fourth-grade section, winning his game against top seed Shreya Mangalam (1501) in the fourth round.  Shreya tied with Emmett Madigan, David Wallach, Aayan Patel, Edward Zhang, Jason Li for second with 4 points. Alan Wang, Shashank Hirani, Ryan Wong each scored 3½-1½.

In several of these sections, I'm seeing some pretty good players who are not among the top finishers....

Again, here are the MSA crosstable on the USCF site and the organizers' results on PlyCount

Shark tank (3rd grade section, All Grade)

Brian Hope Gong (1364) won the 47-player third-grade section with a perfect 5-0. 

Michael Jeffrey Geohas, Advaith Prabu, William Zhu, Suraj Ramanathan, and Jack Bradley tied for second with 4 points, closely followed by Adam Pastor, Jonah Karafiol, Fredrich Yuan, and Sahil Raj Conjeevaram with 3½-1½.

MSA crosstable here, organizer report here.

2012 All Grade: 2nd grade

Congratulations to Stefan Musikic (1377), who won the 2nd-grade section with a clean 5-0 score. Jai Mahajan and Patrick Rao tied for second with 4 points; Pierce McDade and Elijah Davis shared fourth with 3½ points.

Again, here are the links to the MSA crosstable and organizer results.

2012 Illinois All Grade results: K-1

280 young players made it all the way to West Chicago yesterday for the 2012 All Grade Championship.

Results for the 26-player kindergarten / first grade section:

Aaron Gan won with a perfect 5-0 score. (Aaron's post-tournament rating is a tentative 1147, about the same as my rating in 6th grade. Hmm.)

Samuel Pastor, Ashley Geohas, and Kamalesh Kumar Sureshkumar tied for second with 4-1. Nathan Lee and Zach Lichtman tied for fifth with 3½-1½.

USCF crosstable here and organizer results here.