Midway Chess Club Now Going Strong

Many people have asked me how the club got started. When I look back I wonder that too. Just like a river it started very small and as tributaries joined in (people, ideas and opportunities) we have become much larger. But, the club is not at the ocean yet.

Let me back track a bit. I started chess as a child and was soundly beaten by my cousin many times. It was very discouraging to me. But, I was given many chess sets from my grandmother from her travels and was exposed to college level players and saw that there was something there that I could enjoy. But, at that time my love was soccer. I ate, slept and breathed it! Until I was injured in the Army I continued to play competitively. After that I was too busy trying to keep a job and deal with life.

About 10 years ago I ended up in Naperville working in Lombard as an engineer, with lots of travel and on-site work. It was at this time that I could no longer continue working through the pain that I was suffering, both mentally and physically. I was fortunate enough to meet my darling wife Renee, and move to Chicago, who supported me in pursuing my disability compensation from the Veterans Administration. The company I worked for had long-term disability insurance so we had income and... Well, 5 years later I am still fighting the VA, but Social Security came through in six months. During this time I returned to school on the VocRehab program from the VA and attended Saint Xavier University. I loved going to school and really enjoyed the professors. One day, three years ago, I got an email about the SXU Chess Club and decided to join.

Our first event was a ladder tournament. This was my first ever tournament and I ended up tied for second. I started playing chess online and taking lessons. I was going to class and my appointments at the VA every day but chess was somehow eating up more of the day all the time. I was going to the VA for help with chronic pain and help with my PTSD and had been going to biofeedback and other therapies to help with this and none of them helped but I noticed that when playing chess I was calmer and less stressed. I discussed this with my MD and she felt that perhaps I could use my time better studying chess as therapy instead of the ones they were using as the were not working for me. So my chess life began in earnest.

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Three free ways clubs can advertise

Do you run a chess club? Are you looking to spread the word? There are three ways to advertise your club and your events on our website.

Post on the Forum. The Clubs and Club News section is a great place to start. Register for a free account and post your information.

List your events on Events. Plan an event and send the details to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

The ICA makes this service free to all chess organizers, schools and individuals. It's one of the principle missions of the association. You need not be an ICA member or affiliate to use it. Your events need not be USCF rated.

Affiliate with the ICA. Help support the coummunity. It's only $25 a year, and we offer a free six month, trial period. We'll put you on our Affiliates List and give you "Author" access to our web page. As an author, you can run an introductory article and post your tournament results. Results stay on our front page for about a week and then move to the "Club News" section.

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Midway CC 2nd Tournament a Success.

The Midway Chess Club is a young club but we are growing fast. Last month was our first tournament and while it was a little bumpy but the second tournament went much better. We opened on time, lots of preregistrations, good games and lots of fun. Once again thank you to John and Terry of "A Place for Us." and their providing such great food.

This time we had more players with lots of new faces. We were pleased to see Victoria Bian who recently finished 10th at the Susan Polgar National Invitational for Girls. We were also visited by Chicago State University team Captain William Blackman. The new faces were excited to see the nice venue and to have food on the premises.

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Midway Chess Club runs First Tournament

The Midway Chess Club had its first tournament and it went well. It was my first promotion event ever and we had a few issues. But, after the bumpy start it all worked out and we had a great tournament with 24 players, quite a few above 1600.

The clear winner was Matthew Wilber with a 4.0 score. Second place was a six way tie with the players having a score of 3.0. Third place had a eight way tie with the score of 2.0. Fourth place had a three way tie with a 1.5 score (I was in this group).

First Place received the DGT 960 folding clock. While, second and third each received an EndGame t-shirt. We also had a drawing for a $10 gift certificate from "A Place For Us"

Our next tournament will be on Aug 15th so please come on out and play. For more information visit midwaychessclub.org


First Published 29-July-2009

Highland Park Chess Inaugural Tournament

Leo Vilker ran his first rated scholastic tournament last Saturday at the Bethany Methodist Church in Highland park. Thirty-two players competed in two sections. The top section was won by Abe Sun with 3.5/4.0. Shanya Provine and Eamonn Moore both scored 3.0/4.0.The lower section was won by Matthew Strehler with 3.5/4.0. At 3.0/4.0 were Josiah Davis, Susie Ulrich, Miranda Liu, and Mark Noonan.

Highland Park Chess is running an open tournament August 1st. Be sure to watch our Events Page for more of Leo's tournaments.


First published 29-July-2009

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