2016 IL Senior Open: Zin and Condron Co-Champions


The weekend of October 29 and 30 was about more than Halloween celebrations and presidential election home stretches.

In Illinois, it meant the third year in a row the Illinois Senior Open was held.

Aung Zin and James Condron were crowned co-champions, both with 3.5 out of 4 tallies.

A four-way tie for third place included Marvin Dandridge, Bill Brock, Ionel Dinca and Leslie Bale.

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Computer Chess Profiled In Wake Of Deep Blue Anniversary


As a former reporter and anchor in the NPR system, I've always liked National Public Radio (heard in Chicago on WBEZ, 91.5 FM, and around the state on other frequencies).

The outstanding "All Things Considered" show recently put together a piece as we approach the 20th anniversary of the Garry Kasparov match versus IBM's Deep Blue Computer.

Since that historic battle, computer algorithms have continued to get more efficient, and there is no doubt that even a modest open source "chess engine" running on a consumer model laptop can beat the best players in the world.

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28 IL Players Show 100+ Point Rating Bumps in November


David Cruz raised his rating an amazing 406 points playing in a series of small tournaments. 

Tournaments posted to US Chess from September 22 through October 19 were considered, counting towards October and November "official" ratings.

Nicholas Kim, although registered in Illinois, and having played in the Greater Chicago and Illinois K-8 Championships earlier this year, apparently has moved to New York state... and in three October tournaments raised his official rating 340 points (before dropping in a fourth event). Good luck in New York, Nicholas!

Andre Zhao raised his rating 336 points from success in the Midwest Class and in a dual-rated Knight's Quest.

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Tribune Profiles 104-Year Old Civil Rights Advocate Leighton


Harvard-educated lawyer George Leighton was a civil rights advocate... a legal inspiration to Barack Obama... a jurist on several judicial levels... a chess aficionado... and the namesake of the Chicago courthouse at 26th and California.

Mr. Leighton turns 104 this weekend and his long-time passion for chess was front and center in a Tribune profile currently posted at http://mobile.digitaledition.chicagotribune.com/infinity/article_popover_share.aspx?guid=5caf7f4a-c550-455f-ad1e-f31ec318da3c.

Sadly the article reveals the retired judge recently had to give up chess -- but is still "vibrant", living in the Boston area, and includes his favorite chess board among his dearest mementos -- along with a gold watch given him by mobster Sam Giancana, a former client.

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Top Increases Reflected in October Official Ratings


Yuvraj Chennareddy and William Olafsson were the two top Illinois-registered players on the rise with late-August through Mid-September activity in 2016.

Yuvraj, a Chicago youth, had an amazing enhancement from his September CCC Scholastic, winning four games and losing only one. His solid performance in the recent Midwest Class proved that rating was no fluke. (Sister Siri also made the list!)

William Olafsson posted a 4.5/6 in the Reserve Section of the September Illinois Open to help enhance his rating over 300 points in a month.

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