Miranda Liu Is First Illinois Junior Female Expert


With an impressive performance at the National All-Girls Tournament, 14-year old Miranda Liu becomes the first Illinois female junior to achieve the US Chess Expert title. As of the official June 2016 ratings, she comes in at 2015.

Congratulations to Miranda!

Complete table is listed below including 47 Illinois players.

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Warning: Notes and Analysis Restricted During US Chess Tournament Play, Keep It in Your Brain, Not Your Scorebook


Chess is all about context.  A competitive chess player takes to heart -- and usually indestructable memory -- a long list of solid principles to be followed almost universally.

But depending upon the specific situation on the board, those tried and true principles can lead to disaster for the myopic player. Exceptions abound!

Similarly, there are two recommendations I have for all players, young and old: notation and analysis. DO take notation of all your tournament games and DO use that record later to analyze what might have been at various junctures of the completed contest. There is no better way to improve at chess; how often the patterns and positions repeat.

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IL Players Show Significant Ratings Jumps As of June


Thanks to his co-championship of the K-12 U1200 section at April's National High School Championships in Atlanta, Jeffrey Guerrero saw his rating climb from a provisional 1061 to an established 1367, a whopping 306 enhancement! Jeff played 5th Board on the Highland Park team which finished 4th in the state this year.

With a sharp showing at May's National Elementary Championships in Tennessee, Ayush Banerjee's rating climbed 276 points. Ayush earned 4.5/7 in the K-5 section.

Naperville North's Ryan Guan demonstrated he's not the only serious chess player in the family with a 6.0 showing in the same section as Jeffrey. With 357 players competing, Ryan finished in a nine-way tie for third place to up his rating 261 points. 

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May 2016 US Top 100 Lists For Girls


22 female juniors have surpassed the 1000 mark as of the May 2016 ratings... with three girls rated above 1900. Actually, one has gone over the magic 2000-mark thanks to her championship performance at the National All-Girls in late April... but you'll have to tune in to a subsequent article to see if that is forever recorded in the June rating supplement.

Tournaments as of April 20 were included in this compilation.

39 appear on one of the Top 100 lists for their respective age group nationwide with eight young ladies in the top 20.

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ICA Tour Coming Back to Life, Partial Updates Posted


Thanks to the efforts of ICA President Bill Buklis, the ICA Tour is on its way to renewal for the 2016 calendar year.

Through three events, Jason Daniels is leading the Open section with 7.5, a half-point better than Arthur Hughes. David Rockwell is leading the Adult Reserve with 5.0, a half-point better than Eva Harrison and Sam Henderson. Rahul Bammidi leads the Scholastic Reserve with 7.0, a full point and a half better than Nicholas Ladan. 

Chicago Open results have not been added to these calculations -- and are likely to shift things drastically. The Chicago Open represents the fourth of ten events scheduled for this year with the 6th Orwell Memorial slated as the endpoint of the first half, June 18.

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GM Belous Wins '16 Chicago Open; Li Earns FIDE Norm

With a ninth-round draw, Russian Grandmaster Vlad Belous secured the 2016 Chicago Open and the first place award of $10,000 -- plus $300 for a clear first score. This was Belous' fourth regularly-rated US Chess event, all since March, and all but one saw him tie for first or win the event outright.

His 7.5/9 score was a half-point better than the tallies from a three-pack of GM's: Varuz Akobian (US-registered), Vasif Durarbayli (Azerbazin) and Wenjun Ju (China). Each of the trio collected just under $3000.

Three Illinois-based players posted 5.0's including GM Boris Avrukh, FM Sam Schmakel and IMSA's George Li. Li earned his first FIDE-norm from the event.

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Registrations Over 700 (now 750!) For 2016 Chicago Open


With more than two dozen Grandmasters already signed up, registrations are mounting for the Memorial Day Weekend's Chicago Open.

As of  this hour, the overall number has eclipsed 600 700 750 and may approach or exceed 800 when all is said and done. (Last year's event included 826 including re-entries).

The eight-section event has already guaranteed a $100,000 prize fund. The Westin North Shore is the host site for the Continental Chess Association event.

Yangyi Yu (US Chess rated 2787!) , Varuz Akobian and Tigran Petrosian have all pledged to spend five days playing at the Open, beginnning Thursday, May 26.

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Dimitar Mardov Now Second Ranked Under 7 in US


Dimitar Mardov is the number two junior in the US aged 7-and-under as of the May 2016 ratings lists!

Aren Emrikian is ranked 20th in that age group... but is also the fourth-ranked six-year old in the US.

Illinois' two other top 10 players are David Peng, sixth in Age 13, and Jacob Furfine, seventh in Age 14.

The complete table of all 48 Top 100's is below the jump.

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Illinois Chess Contributors To Be Recognized By US Chess

Four long-time contributors to Illinois chess will be recognized by US Chess during a special luncheon held in conjunction with the 2016 US Open. This year's awards will be presented Saturday, August 6 in Indianapolis. 

Former ICA President Carl Dolson has been tabbed for Outstanding Career Achievement.

David and Sheila Heiser of Renaissance Knights will receive the Special Services Award.

The late Sevan Muradian will be acknowledged with a Tournament Director Lifetime Achievement Award.

Congratulations to all recipients.

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YCFC 2015-2016 Season Concludes at Chicago's Burbank; Bateman, Burbank and Skinner North Take Sections


The Youth Chess Foundation of Chicago concluded its 2015-2016 season with a May 14 five-round, three-section tournament at Burbank Elementary School in northwest Chicago with 219 competing.

According to organizer Mike Cardinale, this brought the season totals across the six events to 1,834 entries, for an average of 306 players per event. All the events provided free entry with a generous line up of trophies thanks to donations and countless hours of volunteer time. This is Cardinale's 14th year organizing the events.

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