July Chess Fireworks Roundup

Ted Mercer at the Continental AmateurDuring July, you may think of the founding of our country, grilling, and the flag. A few hundred Illinois players also thought of chess. And the fireworks metaphor held up for a few of these players over the board. Here's a summary of some of the tournaments and results that happened around the state during the first couple weeks in July.

July 1-4 : 104 chess players travelled to Skokie, IL to participate in the Continental Americas Amateur Class Championships Tournament. Crosstable. 

July 2nd and 3rd: 47 people played in the All American Double Class Tournament in Oakbrook, IL. Crosstable.

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Wallach wins Highland Park, Liang takes second

Liang and NM WallachNM Ken Wallach, the perennial winner of Highland Park tournaments had no trouble in his games against his opponents in the last installment, which took place on April 24 at the Moose Lodge. There was one exception: when he sat across the board from Awonder Liang in the 3rd round. Ken and Awonder played to a draw the day before at Scott Silverman Memorial Tournament organized by Sevan Muradian. The 8 year-old from Wisconsin, who is ranked #1 nationally, fought bravely and wisely in this game as well, with the contest going down to the wire until he had only 6 minutes left to Wallach’s 1 minute in the G/45 event.

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Downers Grove Club Tournament Draws Strong Field

Downers Grove Chess Club hosted its 7th tournament this past Saturday April 9th. 40 players turned out for the occasion including 6 masters! The winner was Indiana FIDE Master Dennis Monokroussos with a perfect 4-0 score (defeating FM Aleksandar Stamnov in the final round) to take home the first place prize of $275. 2nd and 3rd was a tie between IM Florin Felecan and FM Albert Chow who drew each other in the final round during an immense time scramble for 3.5-.5 – each took home $138.

The tournament’s turnout was so great that the prizes were increased from 3 book prizes to 10 book prizes! Two of the winners of the upset prizes came in round one, Hao Hansen (1497) defeated DGCC member Daniel Dugovic (1984) and Sritej Vontikommu (1434) took home a win over Wisconsin player Phil Shields (1929). While the third upset prize was taken down by Luo Chengliang (1951) for his victory against FIDE Master Aung Thant Zin (2322). Click here to read about some of the games in the ICA Chess Blog.

Simul with IM Florin Felecan

On January 15, 10 brave souls came out to face International Master Florin Felecan in a simultaneous exhibition at the North Shore Chess Center. Gracious as he always is, Florin gave his opponents the option of what color they wanted to play with. Four of his six opponents braved further and took on the black pieces.

Our cast of players included: Cardiologist Dr. Hetal Gandhi and his son Om Gandhi, David Peng, Abe Sun, Kris Flaga, one of Chicago's Finest Dimitri Kosteris, the ever jubulent Vito Vitkauskas, Family Health Specialist Dr. Mark Coleman, the ever friendly Vlad Djordjevic, and one of Florin's old teammates from Evanston Township High School Matthew Pullin. In the background the parents of David Peng and Abe Sun relaxed and caught up on their work while their sons tumbled and rumbled with Florin.

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Not the End of the World: Free Tournament Will Study Armageddon Format

I have always thought that the standard time controls used in most Armageddon play-offs was too fast and an inaccurate way to determine a winner. In general the 6/5 Armageddon time control (6 minutes for White, 5 minutes for Black with draw odds) usually resulted in a “Win” for the Black side about 80 percent of the time. I recall that Bill Goichberg experimented with 7/5 Armageddon time controls, but this usually resulted in a “Win” for the White side about 70 percent of the time. Any percentage that is greater than a 60 percent advantage for either color I would consider to be inaccurate or a failure in terms of a true determining tie breaker.

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