Glen Gratz, Alex Lim Top 2016 Northern IL Wrap Up


Nobody's perfect -- and 2016 was far from a perfect year.

The final event on the Illinois chess docket for 2016 demonstrated that adage in more ways than one.

North Boone High School coach Glen Gratz and Nequa Valley player Alex Lim battled to a time-influenced but theoretical draw in the first round of the 2016 Northern Illinois Wrap Up hosted by the DeKalb Chess Club.

Both players went on to win their other two matches to claim top honors in the Open section with matching 2.5/3's. Overall 39 participated in three sections.

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South Suburban Chess Wars XVIII

On November 20, 2016, the Glenwood Chess Club hosted Chess Wars XVIII.

Although the ICA was holding the Illinois Class Championships 44 miles away, we had this tournament in consideration for those for those living in closer proximity.

Sam Henderson once again was the first place winner with Leroy Sims and this writer tied for second and third place.

However, newcomer, Ethan Salazar scored the upset of the day as he defeated Henderson in the last round.

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Warren Junior Scholar Tom Bareket Eclipses 2000 At CCC


Sometimes you hit a milestone -- and you just want to take a step back and bask in the glory.

15 months after eclipsing the 1900-mark at a September 2015 Caveman event, Warren Junior Scholar Tom Bareket finally became a US Chess Candidate Master (aka Expert), crossing over a 2000 US Chess rating.

With first and second round victories over Class A players at the December 10 Chicago Chess Club event, Bareket called it a day after the two wins.

National Master Raul Aillon, who recently returned to rated chess after a two-year hiatus, was the lone four-for-four finisher in the Open Section of the CCC Plus Score #6.

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Zekaj and Gratz Co-Champions at Northern IL Fall Classic


The Fox Valley Chess Club hosted its first tournament since its rename (from Aurora Naperville Chess Club) and a pair of experts achieved top honors in the Open Section.

The Northern Illinois Fall Classic was held October 30 in Aurora with 44 competing in three sections.

Dritan Zekaj and Glen Gratz both went undefeated with three wins and a single draw to post 3.5/4's, but a couple of top Illinois juniors denied them both perfect scores.

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Fox Valley Chess Club To Celebrate Diwali Tuesday Nov. 1


Thanks to the enthusiasm of a few chess parents, the Fox Valley Chess Club will be observing the Indian tradition of Diwali in a special way, Tuesday, November 1.

The Fox Valley club is the new name of the Aurora Naperville Chess Club -- which meets regularly at the Aurora Turners on Tuesdays at 7:15 pm. The club generally offers open game play in a very family-friendly, kid-welcoming environment.

For Diwali, the club will host a free blitz tournament with trophies for several top designations. Even if you are not a regular -- or member of the club -- and even if you're not from Indian heritage, everyone is invited to this special family-friend and FREE event!

But chess may not be the main attraction on this night...

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