Friday, March 1, 2013

Schmakel simul at Lincoln Square Marbles on March 10th

The 2012 Illinois Chess Tour champion, NM Sam Schmakel, will play 16 players simultaneously on March 10th at Marbles: the Brain Store.  You can play for free if you pre-register!

Mike Cardinale asked me whether I was sponsoring the event. Uh, no: the simul fee is very reasonable, but it ain't free.  Here's the correct info.
Players of all ages and abilities are welcome, with slots available for a nominal fee of $10.00 for adult players, or $5.00 for scholastic players. 100% of entry fees collected will be contributed to the Tour fund.
Details here!

Don't forget: $5 Evanston tourney tomorrow!

Details here

Co-blogger NM Frederick Rhine puts his non-floored 2201 rating on the line.  He may be rusty, but I wouldn't bet against him.

Chicago vs. Beijing on Livestream tonight

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


It looks like like Adarsh Jayakumar lost his 8th-round game yesterday as White against IM Martin Zumsande (2419). The game score does not appear to be available on the tournament's website. Maybe he still has a chance for his final IM norm if he wins his last two games. Go Adarsh!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Illinois Denker, Girls, Barber results

NM Jonathan Kogen wins the Denker Qualifier (the Illinois Chess Association High School Invitational Championship) with a perfect 5-0; NM Sam Schmakel takes second with 4-1, and Nathaniel Kranjc takes third with 2½-2½.

Madeline Reiches wins the Girls' Invitational with 4½-½. Miranda Liu takes second with 4-1, and Cassie Parent is clear third with 2½-2½.

David Peng wins the Barber Qualifier (K-8 Invitational Championship) with 4½-½, Alex Bian is clear second with 4-1, and George Li and Zachary Holocek tie for third with 3-2.

Thanks to Warren Junior Program chair Pattie Zinski for organizing on behalf of the Illinois Chess Association, and to Sevan Muradian and the North Shore Chess Center for donating space and directing services.

Crosstables are here: much more later.

Chicago Chess Center: fundraising update

No one likes fundraising appeals, so I'll try to keep this brief.

Our board has decided that once the Chicago Chess Center raises $30,000, we're going to open our nonprofit in to serve the people of Chicago.

It's my personal belief that once we raise $100,000, we're going to be open for a very long time. (Nothing is forever: in a few billion years, the sun will become a red giant and engulf Earth, and let's not talk about the latest Higgs news.)

Mr. Thermometer says that we've raised about 26% of what we need for our first goal. The sooner we get the rest, the sooner we open our doors.

 Here are ways you can help:

  • Or hit the darn Donate Now button administered by the fine folks at Network for Good to get the same cool premium.

  • Have you done well in the stock market since February 2009? Don't feel like paying 20% long-term capital gains rate plus 3.8% Medicare plus 5% Illinois income tax? Transfer your appreciated stock to Chicago Chess Center and save big on taxes. You won't pay tax on the gain, and you can write off the fair market value of your contribution on your 2013 tax return.                     
  • No money to spare? Consider auctioning some of your surplus "stuff" on eBay: you can earmark some or all of the proceeds to Chicago Chess Center via eBay Giving Works. This works for things as mundane as excess chess books (I'm selling some right now) to big-ticket items like used cars. Don't want to be bothered with an auction?  Please drop me a line and we'll be happy to sell for you directly.
  • In the very near future, we'll need donations for the Center's library. That won't help us open our door, but it sure will help us achieve our mission. Please keep us in mind!
  • No money, no securities, no stuff? We still need your support: please get on our email list and share this post with your friends. We particularly need masters who are willing to volunteer their time for events, volunteers to lend their expertise to the Board and committees, and just plain friends.

Startup nonprofits face a chicken-or-egg conundrum: it's hard to raise money unless you do good things for the public first, and it's hard to do good things without money. Look for news on this front in the very near future.

Again, thank you for your generosity to date!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Barber Invitational, Round 1

Here's yet another Najdorf nail-biter. In the position below, should Bryce McClanahan play 26...Bxe5? If not, what's Black's best move?

David Peng is becoming a problematic opponent for many of us :-)

Girls' Invitational, Round 1

Closer to home, here's some action from the North Shore Chess Center in Skokie. The Denker, Barber, and Girls' Invitationals will complete play later today.

It's a Najdorf, and White has done well out of the opening: is it OK to take on c5 and play Bxa6? 

Miranda Liu demonstrates why not....

Thanks to Vince Hart for sending game scores!

Quick draw in Reykjavik

Adarsh Jayakumar had a quick draw today as black against living legend Fridrik Olafsson (or Friðrik Ólafsson, as the tournament website has it). Olafsson, 78, played in the 1959 Bled-Zagreb-Belgrade Candidates Tournament (won by Tal ahead of Keres, Petrosian, Smyslov, Fischer, Gligoric, Olafsson, and Benko), and was President of FIDE from 1978 to 1982. (That was back in the olden days, when FIDE presidents were sane and well-respected people).

Olafsson's 3.cxd5?! is considered an inaccurate way of entering the Exchange Variation of the Queen's Gambit Declined because Black has an easy time developing his queen's bishop. The databases give Black a significant plus score after both 5...Bf5 and 5...Bd6. But Adarsh was content to allow transposition to a main line of the Exchange Variation. Olafsson's 11.Ne5 was unambitious, allowing Black to simplify with 11...Ng4. More common, and better-scoring for White, are 11.Rab1, Karpov's 11.h3, 11.Bxf6, and 11.Rae1. After seven more moves the players agreed to a draw.