Saturday, May 25, 2013

Day two: much better!

Check out the photos on CCC's Facebook page.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Bid early, bid often

Three Kasparov classics, autographed by The Man.  All proceeds to Chicago Chess Center!

Today's Federal Plaza event called on account on wind

We could deal with rain just fine, but 50 mph gusts are another thing.  One of the tables became airborne, and our wise promoter pulled the plug for safety reasons.

We'll be here tomorrow!

Rain or & tomorrow at Federal Plaza



Federal Plaza
Dearborn and Adams Streets


This Thursday and Friday!
Thursday, May 23, 2013, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Friday, May 24, 2013, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
(You're welcome to stay as long you like)


Chicago Chess Center NFP Inc. is a new nonprofit with the mission of opening a chess center in the city, offering a full calendar of chess classes and USCF-rated tournaments. Learn more about us at


  • Come play skittles in the heart of the Loop
  • Teach a child the rules of the game
  • Demonstrate the smothered mate to a tourist
  • Do some sightseeing before and shopping afterward
  • Help the Chicago Chess Center's public outreach


  • See old friends and make new friends
  • Warm up for this weekend's Chicago Open
  • Demonstrate your support for the Chicago Chess Center's mission to make affordable chess instruction accessible to all Chicagoans
  • Have fun!


Contact us:
Chicago Chess Center NFP Inc.
230 W. Monroe St., Suite 330
Chicago, IL 60606

Bill Brock: (773) 294-1709

Winning a drawn game

In the following game, I could have played a promising exchange sac on move 11, and could have won a clear pawn on move 12. Instead, I played several inferior moves, giving White close to a winning position by move 18. White in turn played some inferior moves, allowing me to escape into what should have been a dead-drawn ending with rook and three pawns against rook and three pawns on the same same of the board. Oh well, beats a loss, right? But much to my surprise, White played extremely passively and I was able to eke out a win. I'm now 87-0-0 on GameKnot, though as I keep saying, my perfect score will come to an end soon. (This was one of the games that was supposed to end it.)

My opponent was no GM, to be sure, but even the best players can screw up simple rook endings. GM Alex Onischuk (in)famously lost a "dead drawn" 3 pawns versus 2 pawns ending at last year's Olympiad, and even then-World Champion Kasparov once lost a 4 pawns versus 3 pawns ending, another easy theoretical draw. On Facebook, NM Gopal Menon recently annotated his game against GM Alex Shabalov. After a long fight, Shabalov accepted Gopal's draw offer. When Gopal later analyzed the game, he was shocked to realize that Shabalov was completely winning in the final position! Chess is a hard game.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

2013 U.S. Open in Madison

114th United States Open
Chess Championship

27 July - August 4, 2013 · Madison, WI

Madison Marriott West
1313 John Q Hammons Drive
Middleton, WI 53562
Chess Rate:  $99 UNTIL 12 July 2013 THEN regular rates apply!!!
Hurry and book your hotel rooms now!

Entry Fee: $145 Online by Sunday, July 16, 2013,
$147 if mailed by Sunday, July 16, 2013, or
$150 by phone by Sunday, July 16, 2013

Half-Point Byes:
Must commit before Round 4 and MUST be submitted AT LEAST two hours before the round(s) in question.
Limit of one half-point bye in the last two rounds!

          Number of Half-Point Byes Available:
2000/up:                     Up to 3 half-point byes
1400-1999:                  Up to 2 half-point byes
Under 1400/UNR:      Up to 1 half-point bye

Zero point byes are always available in any round if requested at least two hours before the start of the desired round!

Entry Fee:
          Online: $145 by 6/16, $165 by 7/14, $185 after 7/14

By Mail: $147 postmarked by 6/16, $167 postmarked by 7/14, $187 postmarked by 7/21; DO NOT MAIL AFTER 7/21!

By Phone: $150 by 6/16, $170 by 7/14, $185 by 7/26. No phone entries after 7/26 (close of business at the USCF Office!)
                   Enter by Phone: 1-800-903-8723
At Site: $190
GMs are free, please call or mail-in entry.
All Entries must be made at least two hours prior to your first game played.     
Three different schedules for the first six rounds!:

Traditional: 40/2, SD/1 d5. [7/27] - [8/3] One round daily at 7PM then the final round [8/4] at 3PM.

6-day Option: 40/2, SD/1 d5. [7/30] 7PM; [7/31] to [8/2] Two games per day - one at 12 NOON and the second at 7PM.

4-day Option: G/60 d5. [8/1] 12 NOON, 3PM, 7PM, & 10PM; [8/2] at 12 NOON & 3PM.

All schedules MERGE after Round 6 and compete for the same prizes.

Round 7 [All schedules]: [8/2] 7PM.
Round 8 [All schedules]: [8/3] 7PM.
Round 9 [All schedules]: [8/4] 3PM.

Other National Tournaments at the U.S. Open

28 July: U.S. Open Scholastic - G/30 d5

31 July - 4 August: The 2013 U.S. Women’s Open - G/90+30 sec
Open to all female members of the U.S. Chess Federation

Side Events at the U.S. Open

27-28 July: U.S. Open Weekend Swiss - G/60 d5

27 July: U.S. Open Bughouse - G/5 d0

29, 30, & 31 July & 1 & 2 August: U.S. Open Quads - G/30 d5

31 July: U.S. Open G/15 Championship - G/15 d5

3 August: U.S. Open Blitz Championship - G/5 d0

All sections have a 5 second delay, except the Blitz and the Bughouse which have no delay and the U.S. Women’s Open is G/90+30 sec.

            The July Rating Supplement will be used.
            Current USCF membership through August 2013 required.
            This year’s U.S. Open will not be FIDE rated.
            Bring a clock - none supplied.
            Sets/Boards supplied for tournament, but not for skittles.

For more information or to register:

National Events Assistant, Ashley Knight: or 931-787-1234, ext. 138.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Save a buck: preregister for the Chicago Open

Today is the last day to enter the top seven sections for $227.  (Of course, you can still enter after today, but it'll cost you more.)

$18,000 guaranteed at Greater Midwest Classic July 5-7

And the advance entry fee is only $89: very reasonable! It's good to see Fred Gruenberg organizing in Illinois again....

The Greater Midwest Classic
$18,000 Guaranteed
to U2200 players!

July 5-6-7, 2013

Hyatt Regency O'hare
$99/room rates
Register online at
Simul with Grandmaster Sergey Kudrin!
Blitz Tournament!
Raffle Prizes!
Beginning a new tradition in Chicago and
Putting the Fun Back into Chess!

U2200 (FIDE rated): Overall - $1500-1200-1000-700; 1951-2100 - $400-200-100; 1800-1950 - $400-200-100; Biggest Upset - $200

U1800: Overall - $1500-1200-1000-700; Top 1551-1700 - $400-200-100; Top 1400-1550 - $400-200-100; Biggest Upset - $200

U1400: Overall - $1500-1200-1000-700; 1151-1300 - $400-200-100; 1150 and below - $400-200-100; Biggest Upset - $200

6R-SS Game-90 + 30/sec

Fri: 12pm and 5:30pm, Sat-Sun 10am & 3:30pm each day. 

On-site reg: 9:30-11:30am Fri or 8:30-9:30am Sat.

Limit 2 byes. Last rd. bye must commit prior to start of Rd 3. 

Side Events: Grandmaster Simul (9am Fri), Blitz Tournament Game-3 + 2/sec increment (8:30pm Sat). 
FREE raffle prizes before round 6 with free entry, free room and free airfare to 2014 tournament. 

Site: Hyatt Regency O’Hare, 9300 Bryn Mawr Ave., Rosemont, IL 60018. HR: $99/night – call 847-696-1234 and ask for CHESS rate. Reserve by June 1. 

Discounted parking – only $5. 10 minute walk from CTA Blue Line. FREE hotel shuttle from/to O’Hare airport. Rivers Casino in Des Plaines, less than one mile away. 
Entries for main event: If postmarked or online by 06/01 $89; $109 online or postmarked by 06/15; $129 thereafter. Re-entry $50. $25 to play up 1 section only; Credit Cards onsite OK. No checks onsite. 
Mail entries to: North American Chess Association (payable to), 4957 Oakton St., Suite 113, Skokie, IL 60077. Register online at

Other info: Boards, sets, and clocks provided. None for skittles. Must use organizer provided equipment. Chess store onsite. July rating supplement used. 

Questions: or 847-423-8626

Organizers: Sevan A. Muradian, Glenn Panner and Fred Gruenberg.

"Chess Program at Marshall, Faraday Has Been Crowning Success"

Read about Joseph Ocol's great work at Marshall and the talented young players at Marshall's sister school Faraday.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Chess tables to be removed in Wicker Park

Story at

Quoting from Alisa Hauser's article:
New tables without chess boards will be installed in various spots around the park, rather than clustered as they are now — a grouping that had led some to complain they were a magnet for people drinking, gambling and dealing drugs.
Spread the tables around the park, fine.  But are chess boards the gateway to dealing crack and heroin?