ICA Bid and Election Notices

ICA is in the process of obtaining bids for tournaments in 2019, and holding an election for five at-large board members.

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Call for Bids for 2019 Illinois K-8 State Championships. Send completed bids to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Champaign-Urbana Sunday Chess Challenge A Success!

40 seats were available.  And 40 young chess players rose to the occasion of the Sunday Chess Challenge, held on back to back weekends (2/11 & 2/18) at the Champaign Public Library:   4 rounds, accelerated Swiss, g/30/ d/5.  Of the 40 players, K-8, 23 were USCF newcomers, flexing their rated chess muscles for the first time.  Welcome brave souls and kudos to all!  Here’s how it played:

Rated:  1st Pl Anthony Yang (4.0); 2nd Pl Navid Tajhorshid.  Six players tied for 3rd Pl, each scoring 3.0:  Joseph Torrellas, Jeffrey Yao, Kaylee Zheng, Jonah Singer, Dhiya Gopalakrishnan Sasikala, and Jonathan Ouyang. 

Unrated:  1st Pl Yao Chang (2.5).  Eight players tied for 2-3 Pl, each scoring 2.0:  Samuel Balogh, Jiwoo Kim, Tianyou Liu, Arya Thirodira, Alyssa Stevens, Raymond Zhang, Sohum Gurrapu, and Marshall-Flynn Mitchell. 

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Record Number of Girls Featured in Top 100 Lists

 

With a total of 50 girls, Illinois has a record number of female players in the top 100 lists compiled by US Chess. Thirty-six of the players have a rating above 1000 and three—Experts Marissa, Shreya and Miranda—are rated above 2000.

Nandini Prakash and Sukhi Doddi continue to rise up the ranks, with the seven-year olds now in 5th place and 55th place, respectively. This month, Illinois has 6 girls appearing in the Top 100 Age 7. Welcome back, Hili Bareket!

Our group of 8-year olds is headed up by Linda Pham. Linda’s rank at #24 this month does not yet include her good performance at the Jane Addams Memorial and CCC Plus-Score tournaments.

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January 2018 US Top 100 Lists For Girls

 

With the latest addition of Ankaa Gantulga and Bolor Sarah Lkhavgajav, Illinois now boasts 48 girls in the top 100 lists compiled by US Chess, with twelve young ladies featured in the top 20.

Nandine Prakash leads the 'Age 7' group with a solid 1156 rating (#9) followed by Sukhi Doddi, who also gained points over last month.

Linda Pham moved her rating back into the 4-digit territory with a string of good tournaments.

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In memoriam: James Robert Michalak (1941 - 2017)

by NM Len Weber

The Illinois chess scene has lost another longtime favorite.  In December, we lost James "Jimbo" Michalak, after a long health battle.  This writer first met Jim at the Homewood Flossmoor Park District Chess Club (defunct in 1984).  A "Fischer boomer", Jim reached over 1800 USCF, winning several notable prizes, before leaving the tournament scene in the mid-1980s.  In more recent years, "Jimbo" spent many warm weather days as a regular at the chess haunts in Chicago, including North Avenue Beach, where he taught lessons, played all comers, hustled and got hustled, earned wins against experts and masters, and traded fearless wit and clever barbs with even the most ferocious patrons.

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Illinois Chess Vets Christmas and Awards Party

The Illinois Chess Vets NFP (ICV) Christmas and Awards party was held on December 17, 2017 at the 2 Volcanoes Seafood Boil Buffet in Chicago. There were 45 attendees, to include ICA Metro VP Steven Plotnick, ICA Board Member Michael Lenox, Life Master Len Weber, and Master Nikhil Kalghatgi, enjoyed dinner, a presentation, a gift exchange, a blitz challenge board and conversation.

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Illinois Chess Vets Christmas and Awards Party

The Illinois Chess Vets NFP (ICV) Christmas and Awards party was held on December 17, 2017 at the 2 Volcanoes Seafood Boil Buffet in Chicago. There were 45 attendees, to include ICA Metro VP Steven Plotnick, ICA Board Member Michael Lenox, Life Master Len Weber, and Master Nikhil Kalghatgi, enjoyed dinner, a presentation, a gift exchange, a blitz challenge board and conversation.

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2018 Illinois Invitational State Qualifier Tournament Dates Announced

The 2018 Illinois Invitational State Qualifier tournament will be held May 5-6, 2018 at the Hyatt Regency in Schaumburg.

This tournament determines which scholastic players will represent Illinois in the Barber, Denker, and National Girls’ Invitational Tournaments and SPF Girls’ Invitational Tournament.

Invitations will be sent out in early February.  As specified in the guidelines, invitation to this tournament is based on USCF rating from the January supplement.  Players who are currently in the Warren Junior Scholar or Rising Stars programs will automatically be considered.  Other players who are not currently in these programs who want to should be considered should email name, grade, gender and USCF number to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. no later than January 31, 2018.  All players must be current residents of Illinois.

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December 2017 US Top 100 Lists For Girls

 

Forty-seven Illinois girls have managed to earn spots on the most recent top 100 lists compiled by US Chess, which include the results of the 2017 Illinois All Grade in Peoria last month.

Almost all of the girls in the 'Age 7 and Under' group improved their ratings over the previous month. A big shout-out to newcomer Mehak Jiandani, who is 6 years old and ranks in 86th place nationwide after only a dozen tournaments.

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2018 Illinois Tour Schedule Announced

The ICA Board of Directors has approved the 2018 Illinois Tour Schedule. The Tim Just Winter Open will kick off the tour on January 6-7 and the Illinois Class will again conclude the tour. The David Mote Memorial held on March 3rd in Springfield is a newcomer to the schedule. Please see the complete schedule below.

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52 Players From Illinois Competed at the National K-12s in Orlando on December 8-10

Warren Junior Scholar, Matthew Stevens, from Whitney Young was the clear winner of the K-12 Blitz tournament with a score of 11.5.    Class trophies were awarded to Tristan Kenny, 2nd place for unrated and Luke Faxon, 3rd place for Ratings 1000-1199.    Team trophies were awarded to Whitney Young for 1st place and Glen Grove School for 5th.

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Hart,Vince (2025) - Ulrich,Tommy (2188) [A13]
Illinois Class Championships (4), 11.12.2011

[Brock,Bill]

 I really don't understand this game, so I hope the players and readers will forgive me for making sweeping assessments when I'm not sure that I'm right! But I have checked the six-piece positions on a tablebase, and was really taken by the beauty of some possible variations.

1.c4 Nf6 2.g3 e6 3.Bg2 d5 4.Nf3 dxc4 5.0–0 Nbd7 6.Qc2 Nb6 7.Na3 Qd5 8.b3 cxb3 9.axb3 Qd8 10.Bb2 Be7 11.Nb5 c6 12.Nxa7 Bd7 13.Ne5 0–0 14.Nxd7 Nbxd7 15.Bxc6?!

15...Qc7!

 If Black were to recapture with 15...bxc6 then 16.Nxc6 hits a8, d8, and e7. 16...Rc8 would be answered by 17.Rfc1!

16.Rfc1 bxc6 17.Nxc6 Nb6 18.Nxe7+ Qxe7 19.Qc6 Nfd7 20.Bd4 Rxa1 21.Rxa1 Qb4 22.Be3 Qxb3 23.Ra7 Rd8 24.Rb7 Qd5 25.Rxb6 Nxb6 26.Qxb6 Qa8 27.f3 Can White construct a fortress? 27...Rb8 28.Qd4 Rd8 29.Qb2

29...Qb8

I do not like this move: isn't White on the cusp of drawing now? [29...Rb8]

30.Qxb8 Rxb8 31.Bf4 Rb3 32.Kf2

Perhaps 32.g4 (to be followed by h3) improves: White welcomes pawn exchanges, but wants to keep symmetry in the pawn structure.]

32...h5 33.h4 f6 34.g4 hxg4 35.fxg4


White now has two pawn islands and has traded h-pawn for f-pawn. (It would have been better to trade h-pawn for h-pawn.)

35...Kf7 36.h5 g6 37.hxg6+ Kxg6 38.d3 Rb7 39.Be3 Rh7 40.Kg3 Rh8 41.Kg2 Kf7 42.Kg3 e5 43.d4! Ke6 44.dxe5 Kxe5


Even so, I'm pretty sure this is a dead draw: the bishops and pawns cover lots of squares together.

45.Bf4+ Ke4 46.e3

But this weakens the light squares. 46.Bd2! looks like a fortress draw to me: does White even need the g-pawn?

46...Rg8! 47.Bh6 f5 48.g5

48...Kxe3?

48...Rg6! kills the bishop's future. 49.Kh4 (49.Kf2 Ra6 50.Kg3 Kxe3 51.g6+ Ke4 52.g7 Rg6+ 53.Kf2 f4 with zugzwang to follow.) 49...Kxe3 is lost per the tablebase. 50.Kh5 Rg8 51.g6+ f4 52.g7

Black to play (variation)

52...Rxg7!! 53.Bxg7 f3 54.Bf8 Kd4

49.g6+ = Ke4 50.g7 Ke5 51.Kh4! Kf6 52.Kh5 Ra8

 

53.Bf4?

53.Bd2!! Kxg7 54.Kg5 Rf8 55.Bc1 Rf7 56.Kd2 Kf8 57.Bb4+ Ke8 58.Kf4 Kd7 59.Ke5! f4 (or 59...Kc6 60.Bd2 Kc5 61.Bf4 Kc4 62.Ke6 Rf8 63.Ke7 Ra8 64.Ke6 Ra5 65.Be5) 60.Bc5 f3 61.Bf2 with a del Rio fortress.

53...Kxg7 0–1

A difficult ending!

 

Liang,Awonder (2091) - Bungo,Greg (2034) [B31]

Illinois Class Championships (3), 11.12.2011

[Brock,Bill]

In the perennial Youth vs. Experience battle, it's usually Youth that gets an overwhelming position, only to have the tables turned by the wily elder. Awonder Liang shows NM Greg Bungo that eight-year-olds can be wily fighters, too.

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 g6 4.Bxc6 dxc6 5.h3 Bg7 6.0–0 e5 7.d3 Qe7 8.Be3 Nf6 9.Nbd2 Nd7 10.Re1 0–0 11.c3 Rd8 12.Qc2 Nf8 13.Nb3 Ne6 14.Rad1 b6 15.d4 cxd4 16.cxd4 exd4 17.Nfxd4 Bb7 18.Nxe6 Qxe6 19.Nd4 Qe8


Black seems to have solved all opening problems.

20.f3 c5 21.Nb3 Qe7 22.Bf4 Qf6 23.Bc1 Rac8 24.Qc4 Qh4 25.Rf1 Qg3


And when I kibitzed at this momemt, I thought that Bungo was in full control.

26.Qe2 Be5 27.f4 Rxd1 28.Qxd1 Bf6 29.Rf3 Qh4 30.Qe2 Re8 31.e5 Bxf3 32.Qxf3 Qe1+ 33.Kh2 Bh4 34.g3 Be7 35.Bd2 Qb1 36.Qb7 Qxa2

When your game is hopeless, why not attack?

37.Qd7 Kf8 38.f5! Qxb2 39.f6! Bd8 40.e6!


Black is still winning, but now has to find the only winning move.

40...Be7??

Black should win after 40...Rxe6! 41.Qxd8+ Re8 42.Qd7 a5 and if White tries to prepare Bh6+ with 43.Kh1 , then simply 43...Qe5.

41.fxe7+ Rxe7 42.Qd8+ Re8 43.e7+ Kg7 44.Qxe8 Qxb3 45.Qf8+ 1–0