FM Sam Schmakel, WIM Viktorija Ni Enter '17 Illinois Open; Mid-Level Entry Fee Remains Available for $10,000 Event; Author Tim Just to Present Free Organizer Workshop


With three GM's already signed up, FM Sam Schmakel and Women's International Master Viktorija Ni have thrown their hats into the ring for the 2017 Ilinois Open, a week and a day away.

The ICA is pleased to see 100 paid entries to date and expects to approximately double the size of the field before the tournament begins September 2 at the Crowne Plaza in Northbrook.

As a special feature, Organizer-Extraordinaire -- and US Chess Rulebook 6th Edition Editor Tim Just has agreed to conduct a free organizer workshop.

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Chicago Chess Initiative Hosts 2017 Chicago Cup


Chicago Chess Initiative (CCI) is hosting the two-day Chicago Cup tournament this weekend in the south loop of Chicago. The event is offering a $2,500 prize pool based on 80 entries. Details are posted on the ICA Calendar.

Organizer John Porter has ambitious ideas for the Chicago chess landscape and, while preparing for the Cup, was kind enough to respond to some questions from this reporter.

1. What was your concept for the Chicago Cup?

I created this tournament with the idea of having a chess event that represents our great city and shows the diversity that we have. I also wanted to share with the chess community a positive experience on the southside of Chicago!

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63rd Iowa Open: August 19-20; Reserve & RBO: 8/19 only


The Illinois Open -- and its related Blitz and Scholastic side events -- are Labor Day weekend -- but you shouldn't have to wait that long to play some quality chess.

Our neighbors to the west are helping Illinois promote our Open -- so I thought it only fair to give them a little love for the 63rd Iowa Open, August 19 - 20. Anything going for that long must be doing something right! And there are many things right about this weekend.

Organizer Mark Capron helped bring the event to one of my favorite chess venues of the Midwest chess calendar: the Marriot Hotel and Conference Center in Coralville, Iowa, near the beautiful University of Iowa Campus in nearby Iowa City. This is about an hour west of the Mississipi River.

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Earliest Registration Rate to 2017 Illinois Open Expires Friday at Midnight; Don't Be A Cinderella (She Delayed Castling)


Last year 186 daring souls waged chess battle Labor Day Weekend in the Chicago north suburb of Northbrook at an event known as the 2016 Illinois Open. 

It continued a tradition that predates the history of the US Chess MSA (back to 1992) tracing back to the mid-1970's. Coincidentally, the 2015 Illinois Open also attracted 186.

Will this year's IL Open crack 200 entrants? You too can be part of the fun -- but to do so at the lowest possible entry fee, you must register by midnight Friday, August 11.

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GM Mitkov Is All In On 2017 Illinois Open; Early Registration Discount Deadline Approaching: Friday, August 11


Grandmaster Nikola Mitkov is the third grandmaster to confirm participation in the 2017 Illinois Open scheduled to kick off September 2 in Northbrook.

The FIDE- and USCF-rated event offers an Open and a Reserve (Under 1800) section and two- and three-day options. (The two day option is Sunday 9/3 and Monday 9/4  -- sorry, you don't get to pick any two days as one registrant requested).

The lowest registration rate is $92 for ICA members -- $5 more for non-members -- but that rate goes away as of midnight Friday (8/11).

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Wanna Play a GM? Grandmasters Gurevich and Georgiev Sign Up for 2017 Illinois Open; Early Registration Until 8/11


Grandmasters Vlad Georgiev and Dmitry Gurevich are no strangers to the Illinois Open.

In fact the duo tied for the Illinois championship last year when the event was held at the same venue in Northbrook.

Gurevich -- fresh off his runner-up finish in the US Senior Open in Minnesota -- will be attempting to claim a share of the Illinois championship for a remarkable 10th time!

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Rated Chess Tournament in Rockford Saturday 7/22


Rock River Chess is hosting its first-ever US Chess-rated tournament on Saturday, July 22nd, at the East Branch Library in Rockford, IL.

RRC is a new USCF -- and ICA -- affiliate that's working to bring chess back to the forefront of Rockford recreation. We're hoping to hold more USCF rated tournaments to supplement the plethora of non-rated chess activities in the area.

After hosting numerous chess events around town for the past year (chess at the city market, a chess parklet on the street, weekly chess at Prairie Street Brewing Co.), the time is right to get USCF-rated events back in Rockford.

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