2017 Illinois Open State Championship

An Illinois Chess Tour Event.

Saturday, Sept. 2 - Monday, Sept. 4 (Labor Day Weekend)

Register online at

$10,000 Guaranteed!

$9,400 tournament prize fund plus $600 in door prizes for ICA members!

Location: Crowne Plaza Hotel, 2875 N. Milwaukee Ave.,
Northbrook, IL 60062, (847) 298-2525.

Sections: Open (open to all) and Reserve (Under 1800 or unrated).
Both sections FIDE Rated - FIDE Laws of Chess will be followed.

Complete information at http://www.il-chess.org/ilopen2017

Chicago Chess Initiative Hosts 2017 Chicago Cup


Chicago Chess Initiative (CCI) is hosting the two-day Chicago Cup tournament this weekend in the south loop of Chicago. The event is offering a $2,500 prize pool based on 80 entries. Details are posted on the ICA Calendar.

Organizer John Porter has ambitious ideas for the Chicago chess landscape and, while preparing for the Cup, was kind enough to respond to some questions from this reporter.

1. What was your concept for the Chicago Cup?

I created this tournament with the idea of having a chess event that represents our great city and shows the diversity that we have. I also wanted to share with the chess community a positive experience on the southside of Chicago!

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Chicago High Schooler Creates Chess Documentary


Seniors at the Latin School of Chicago have an opportunity to learn through non-traditional means by completing a senior project focused on their individual passions.

To some students that meant designing a (computerized) virtual reality experience, to others it meant exploring molecular gastronomy, creating a wilderness survival video, or dispelling stereotypes of rap music. 

When presented with this opportunity, I immediately knew that mine would somehow revolve around my passion of chess. 

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ICA Membership Coordinator Carl Dolson Thankful For Rapid Off-Duty Policeman's Medical Attention; ICA Is Grateful Too!


Chess teaches us about the coordination of pieces and the need to respond to threats quickly.

Former ICA President, Treasurer and current Membership Coordinator Carl Dolson is living testimony to how those principles are vital in life away from the board.

Mr. Dolson posts on his Facbeook page:  "I'm the luckiest guy on earth right now."

"Thursday morning, while driving to a doctor's appointment, I passed out at a stop light with heart failure."

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63rd Iowa Open: August 19-20; Reserve & RBO: 8/19 only


The Illinois Open -- and its related Blitz and Scholastic side events -- are Labor Day weekend -- but you shouldn't have to wait that long to play some quality chess.

Our neighbors to the west are helping Illinois promote our Open -- so I thought it only fair to give them a little love for the 63rd Iowa Open, August 19 - 20. Anything going for that long must be doing something right! And there are many things right about this weekend.

Organizer Mark Capron helped bring the event to one of my favorite chess venues of the Midwest chess calendar: the Marriot Hotel and Conference Center in Coralville, Iowa, near the beautiful University of Iowa Campus in nearby Iowa City. This is about an hour west of the Mississipi River.

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Downstate Coach and Organizer Murrel Rhodes Earns US Chess Lifetime Achievement Award and ICA's Gratitude


US Chess awarded a select handful of deserving individuals lifetime achievement awards at the annual meetings in Virginia just concluded.

Patrick Cohen, Carl Dolson, Mike Leali and Wayne Zimmerle combined efforts to submit the following:

It is simply hard to imagine what chess in Peoria would look like without Murrel.

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Daniel Garrett Wins 2017 Peoria City Championship


Drama was the name of the game in the 2017 version of the Peoria City Championship. 

Twelve players qualify for the invitational by various means and are split into two evenly-divided groups divided by rating. The winner of each group then meet for a short match to determine the champion.

Although Daniel Garrett won all his games in Group A, it was not as easy as it might seem. Daniel met the ratings favorite, Mike Leali, in the last round.

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A Rook & A Quarter: A Classroom Setting


Setting: January 2017. A Beginners Chess Class.

Students setting up. Javier and Erik, friends, rivals, promising players, are eight moves into their game;  neither has castled.

I sit at their table. "Are either of you gentlemen planning to castle?"

"We like our kings in the middle," says Javier.

"Keeps your opponent guessing," says Erik.

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GM Mitkov Is All In On 2017 Illinois Open; Early Registration Discount Deadline Approaching: Friday, August 11


Grandmaster Nikola Mitkov is the third grandmaster to confirm participation in the 2017 Illinois Open scheduled to kick off September 2 in Northbrook.

The FIDE- and USCF-rated event offers an Open and a Reserve (Under 1800) section and two- and three-day options. (The two day option is Sunday 9/3 and Monday 9/4  -- sorry, you don't get to pick any two days as one registrant requested).

The lowest registration rate is $92 for ICA members -- $5 more for non-members -- but that rate goes away as of midnight Friday (8/11).

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IL-based National Master Warren Kreckler Fighting Cancer


National Master Warren Kreckler last played tournament chess in 1996, finishing 4.0/5 in the US Amateur Team Midwest. That 290-player event was directed by Alan Losoff and Walter Brown, Jr. who have both gone on to do amazing things in chess.

Kreckler writes into the ICA that he was active in chess in the 1960's through the 1990's, but that's he's currently facing an even more challenging battle at the moment: Stage Four cancer.

His companion of over two decades, Sophia Gates, writes about Kreckler's chess prowess: "He excelled at precise work and loved to solve problems – characteristics that echoed his expertise at chess. We used to sit up and argue about chess positions."

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Illinois Wins Combined Denker, Barber, Nat'l Girls Invitational Top State Distinction; George Li Is 2017 Denker Co-Champion


DBG17It took significant contributions from all three of Illinois' representatives as the state posted the top combined score at the 2017 Denker, Barber and National Girls Invitationals completed August 2 in Virginia.

George Li drew Praveen Balakrishan in the final round with both players winding up in a four-way tie for the championship with 5.0/6.

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