Indiana's Parnham Wins Springfield National Chess Day Tournament Dedicated to Former SCC President Donelly


The Springfield Chess Club celebrated National Chess Day on October 14 with a tournament at Douglas United Methodist Church.

13 players participated. Bernard Parham, of Lafayette, Ind., swept the tournament with a perfect score of 4-0 to take first place.

Thomas Knoedler and Evan Gresen, both of Springfield, each scored 3-1 to share second place.

Read More

Grandmaster William Lombardy Passes Away at 79


[Editor's Note: Mike Klein has since updated his insightful piece and has included thoughts from many in the chess community including Bruce Pandolfini.]

Grandmaster William Lombardy has passed away at the age of 79. According to Mike Klein, reporting for, Lombardy had only recently moved to Caifornia, staying with friend Ralph Palmieri in the East Bay (east of San Francisco). According to Klein's source, Lombardy "collapsed and died" Friday, October 13 in Martinez, CA.

Lombardy was depicted in the 2014 movie Pawn Sacrifice, his character portrayed by Illinois-native Peter Sarsgaard (the priest serving as Fischer's coach during the legendary match with Boris Spassky). 

Read More

Illinois Full of Over the Board Opportunities for National Chess Day on Saturday, October 14


Wherever you are in the great state of Illinois, there are opportunities to play tournament chess in Illinois on Saturday, October 14. The day has been declared National Chess Day.

In Springfield, David Long is organizing the Springfield National Chess Day Open on behalf of the Springfield Chess Club. The four-round Swiss-paired event will feature Game/60; delay-5 time controls with a $20 entry fee and $400 in prizes based on 30 entries. Details are here.

Kankakee Chess Club is running its second-ever Open with a small cash prize fund and a $5 entry fee if reserved by Friday, October 13.... otherwise, $15 cash onsite. The event will be held at the Kankakee Public Library in the 3rd floor meeting room. Details are here, on US Chess.

Read More

Grandmasters Mitkov and Liang Win '17 Midwest Class


Although neither could achieve a perfect score, Grandmasters Nikola Mitkov and Awonder Liang (of Wisconsin) posted the top 4.5 scores at the 2017 Midwest Class completed October 8 in Wheeling.

Mitkov's draw came in the fourth round against GM Priyadharshan Kannappan (Missouri) while Liang's came in the second round against long-time rival David Peng. Liang and Peng have grown up appearing on the US Top 100 lists for the same age group, frequently one-two.

IM Eric Rosen and Jacob Furfine entered the final round tied with Mitkov and Liang in the 3.5/4 score group, but lost their respective matches to the GM's.

Mitkov and Liang split $3000 with Mitkov getting a $100 bonus for posting the higher tiebreak.

Aydin Turgut and Wisconsin's Anthony Parker split $1200 for high score among Under 2400's in the Premier section (3.5).

Read More

WJS and ICA Rising Stars Competing at 2017 Midwest Class


The 26th Midwest Class Championships kicked off October 6  -- but it's not too late to get in on the fun. The 2-day option kicks in today with the merge this evening -- and five rounds of play continuing through tomorrow. Once again, the Westin North Shore in Wheeling is the host site.

A prize pool of $20,000 is at stake across seven sections.

32 of the early entries playing in the top three 3-day sections are members of the prestigious Warren Junior Scholar and ICA Rising Stars programs.

In the Premier 3-day, FM's George Li and David Peng lead the Scholars. Jacob Furfine, Aydin Turgut, Matthew Stevens and his Whitney Young teammates Nikhil & Akhil Kalghatgi, Marissa Li, Ricky Wang, Abhy Venkat, Rishi Narayanan, Arthur Xu and Dimitar Mardov all vying for the $2000 first prize.

Read More

Shake Hands with National Tournament Director Tim Just


Retired Lake County school teacher and US Chess National Tournament Director Tim Just hasn't let retirement slow him down. 

Since then he's co-edited the Fifth Edition of the US Chess Rulebook, edited the Sixth Edition, co-authored with Wayne Clark "My Opponent is Eating A Doughnut" and authored "Just Law". "Doughnut" and "Just Law" deal with the idiocyncracies of tournament life and chess rules beyond the formal rulebook. Copies of both books are available through the ICA -- or through this thing called Amazon.

Now US Chess is providing another outlet to enjoy the wisdom and experience of Mr. Just through their posting of snippets of "Rulebook Tactics" -- an effort with the national organization when it was still known as the USCF. The September posting discusses the idiocyncracy of that time-honored ritual which begins and ends many chess contests: the handshake.

Read More

Former ICA President, Treasurer Carl Dolson Passes Away


For a man with a lot of heart, it's hard to comprehend that his would give out. Former Illinois Chess Association President Carl Dolson passed away September 30 at the age of 61.

Readers of this site may recall that Mr. Dolson had recently passed out while driving and was fortunate to have been assisted by an off-duty police officer who secured prompt medical attention. Unfortunately, the incident was followed by others and he was considering a cardiac assistive device. After contemplating quality of life matters, Mr. Dolson had decided against that option -- and, according to his son, Chris -- it is now suspected that the senior Dolson would not have survived the surgery.

After dedicated service as Treasurer, Mr. Dolson became ICA President for almost two terms, relinquishing the position when he moved to Indiana with his wife in 2016, to be closer to his two young grandchildren.

Read More

242 IL Players Enhance Ratings in September; 3 Up 300+ !!!


Over 200 Illinois players enhanced their Regular USCF ratings in September, but none did so more than Abhi Majumdar.  Abhi more than doubled his rating from 333 to 716, a difference of 383 points!

Two more individuals, Siddharth Swaminathan and Nitin Ramesh also enhanced their ratings more than 300 points. 42 players bumped their ratings more than 100 points and an additional 16 players saw enhancements above 75 points.

Aria Hoesley grew her rating over 200 points to 1938 as she became a Class A player. Whitney Young's Deniz Guecyuz also joined Class A (1800-1999) with a 131 point bump to 1861.

Benjamin Chen crossed into Class B (1600-1799) with his 176 point improvement to 1670. Jack Santner (+158) also accomplished that feat as did Nicholas Allison (+130) and Michael Staples, Sr. (+102).

Read More

October 1st Deadline Approaching for Warren Junior Scholar and ICA Rising Star Programs; Exciting Year Planned


Announcements for the 2017-2018 Warren Junior Scholar class -- and the ICA's Rising Stars for the same academic year -- have gone out weeks ago. Sunday, October 1 is the deadline for parents to return the permission form and memorandum of understanding.

Although well over half of the designees have had their forms returned, there are dozens who have not yet responded.

The exciting programs are getting ready to launch -- so it's essential that all who intend to be included get their paperwork in by the October 1 deadline as requested.

WJS Program Director Rose Grandy has been hard at work developing the greatest possible program given budgetary constraints, but the 2017-2018 year promises to be quite rewarding to participants.

Read More

WCM Jacob Furfine Ties For 6th Place at 2017 World Youth in Under 16's in Uruguay; Aydin Turgut Ties for 9th in U14's


With an 11th round victory over India's Sarkar Rajdeep, Jacob Furfine secured a sixth-place tie in the Under 16 section at the 2017 World Youth.

The competition concluded September 26 in Montevideo, Uruguay.

At 7.5/11, Furfine was only a point back from the three-way co-champions who posted 8.5's.

Fellow Illinoisian Aydin Turgut posted 7.0/11 in the Under 14's, finishing in a ten-way tie for 9th place.

In the Under 14 Girls, Shreya Mangalam tied for 14th place with four others thanks to her 6.5/11 score. Aria Hoesley was only a point back with 5.5, tying for 27th out of more than 50 entries. WCM Marissa Li also posted 5.5 in the U16, tying for 25th place out of 60 entrants.

Read More

 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10 
Albert Chow

Albert Chow has notated a selection of the king pawn games from the Chicago Open. There is a good mix of master and grandmaster games as well as a wide range of openings. Most fall into Sicilian but the games presented offer a rich variety of variations within the opening.

Chicago Open 2012 in the ICA Games Db

As a player who doesn't play this opening much it's reassuring to see a master also face the wrong end of the Yugoslav attack. But there are other openings for those interested in the Center-Counter, Four Knights, Giuoco Piano and Ruy Lopez Openings. I hope you'll find as I did, that in this database of games, there are some great chess moments.