7 Illinois Juniors in June '17 US Top 10's; 28 in Top 50's


Dimitar Mardov is #2 in the country for players Aged 8 in the US as of the June, 2017 Official US Chess Ratings.

Aren Emrikian is #3 in the nation for players Ages 7 and Under. Ranking #6 are George Li for 17-year olds and Aydin Turgut for 12-year olds.

David Peng is the seventh rated 14-year old in the country. Both Alex Bian (16) and Arthur Xu (10) rank #10 in their respective age group.

Complete top 50 lists from the Illinois perspective are listed below.

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CCF Launches Coaching Marketplace Website


The Chicago Chess Foundation has launched a Coaching Marketplace under their existing website at ChicagoLandChess.org.

Coaches can submit their information -- and potential students can access the data -- for free.

The website is http://chicagolandchess.org/resources/marketplace/

The ICA maintains its own statewide listing of coaches -- and tournament staffing -- at http://il-chess.org/coaches-and-tds-155.

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64-day Contest: How Are You at Solving Tactical Puzzles?


Chess knowledge is a wonderful thing: understanding strategic principles, the best way to deploy various piece combinations in end games, and how to optimize pawn structures.

But there is no substitute for pattern recognition, the ability to visualize how the pieces might be moved to capture a free piece or even make a checkmate!

There are numerous free websites where players can solve such tactical puzzles including Chess Tempo and the Chess Tactics Server.

As if the inherent reward from doing these puzzles weren't enough, a generous benefactor has offered to sponsor a puzzle contest specifically for Illinois youth (through age 18) this summer.

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ICA Seeks Downstate Board Member


Although the ICA Board is nine members strong -- a step up from where we were in the prior year -- we're still one short according to ICA bylaws. While ICA President Bill Feldman has received several inquiries from individuals within Cook County and its six surrounding "collar" counties, there is a strong hope to find additional representation involving any of the other 95 Illinois counties.

At this point, the board is meeting telephonically on Wednesday evenings at 7:30 so that availability is important, along with a strong interest in expanding chess in Illinois and enhancing ICA services. Finances for the 56-year old 501 (c) (3) are incredibly solid, so we'd like to hear from folks willing to work cooperatively to guide a sea-worthy vessel.

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ICA Tour Standings Updated: Peoria Tournament Participants Holding Leads in Open, Reserve and Scholastic Sections


2017 ICA Tour Coordinator Bill Buklis has updated the Tour standings giving downstaters Pete Kariagianis and Jason Daniels the lead in the Open Section -- both with 13.0 tallies after the Chicago Open. 

Six more events remain on the Tour docket -- with the 7th Orwell Memorial coming up June 24 in DeKalb, followed by the Chicago Class in July. 

In order to be eligible for prizes, participants must have ICA memberships by the half-way point -- and must maintain their memberships throughout the remainder of the season.

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Illinois Players Top 5 of 8 Chicago Open Sections


Daniel Jones has tied for first place in the Under 2100 section at the 26th Chicago Open concluded Memorial Day, May 29. Jones was 6.0 as was his New York co-champion. Dimitar Mardov and Arendal Markovic were a half-point back with 5.5's, tying for third place.

Hiro Higuchi was one of five players tying for first in the U1900, all with 6.0's. Cameron Heino was a half-point back, tying for sixth place.

Three Illinois players tied for second place in the U1700's, all with 6.0's: Nathan Fong, Max Heinrich and Dexter Dale, Jr. Jonathan Lee was a half-point back to tie for fifth place. 

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26 Illinois Youth In US Top 50 Lists for May 2017


An amazing array of 26 Illinois juniors find themselves in the top 50 of their respective age group nationwide as the May 2017 ratings. These ratings reflect tournaments posted through the third week of April which did not yet include SuperNationals VI.

#1 in the lowest age category (7 & Under) is Aren Emrikian with Dimitar Mardov #2 in the Age 8 group. Aydin Turgut (8 in Age 12), David Peng (7 in Age 14), Jacob Furfine (10 in Age 15) and George Li (6 in Age 17) are the other Illinois top ten'ers.

New to this month's lists is Illinois K-1 Champion Anshul Shetty, coming in at #43 in the US for Age 7. The complete list is below:

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IM Shetty Wins CCC's May Plus-Score 9 Event at UIC


With the world's chess community traveling to Illinois for the $100,000 Chicago Open this weekend, warm up events were quite popular.

At the Chicago Chess Center's Plus Score #9 tournament held May 20, International Master Atulya Shetty wasn't able run the table, but he still managed to post a 3.5/4 tally, good enough for first place. Michigan-based Shetty was the clear K-12 National Champion at the 2013 SuperNationals V as a junior.

Hosted at the University of Illinois at Chicago, the event was worth $120 to Shetty, who defeated three opponents rated at least 286 points less than his 2518 rating. The IM also drew Senior Master Robert Perez.

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C-U Area School Gives "Treasure Chess" Fund to Charity


Since the advent of chess lessons, coaches have looked for ways to motivate students.

Champaign-Urbana area coach Rachel Schecter has devised an innovative -- and patent-pending -- approach: translating points earned through chess accomplishments into donations to local non-profits. This idea has been a huge hit with her Montessori school chess club.

She calls it "Treasure Chess" -- and it was the subject of a recent write up by the News Gazette.

(Editor's Caveat: when you click on the link, you may have to view a short ad delivered by the newspaper's site -- it appears to be harmless!)

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Skinner North Wins K-2, 3-4 at May YCFC / CCF Tournament; Harry Heller Wins Advanced; 234 Enjoy Nobel Hospitality


The Youth Chess Foundation of Chicago wrapped up its six event season with a 234 player tournament May 20 at Alfred Nobel Elementary on Chicago's north side. There were four Novice sections and an Advanced with a rich array of trophies awarded.

Harry Heller was once again a perfect five-for-five to take clear first place in the Advanced. Harry was also perfect in the prior YCFC event in April -- but lost out on the first place trophy due to tiebreaks -- to his younger brother of all people!

Skinner North managed to win two of the Novice section team trophies: K-2 and 3-4 with Lenart (5-6) and host Nobel (7-8) winning the other two.

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