109 Illinois Players Increase Ratings 150+ Points in March


Congratulations to Abhiram Karnatapu of the Bloomington Normal area for having the highest ratings differential in Illinois from February to March! Abhiram was one of 10 Illinois players with ratings bumps of 300 points or more!

Abhiram has never been an official member of US Chess but has played three scholastic tournaments in 2017 under the auspices of the Bloomington Normal Area Scholastic Chess group. Under the US Chess JTP Program, players are allowed to compete in certain rated events without an official membership through third grade. This program is designed to allow young players to sample rated chess without having to incur the burden of membership dues.

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GM Perspective: USAT-N -- Battle of the Quarterbacks -- and Queen + Pawn versus Queen endings

The 2017 U.S. Amateur Team North Chess Championship, held February 17-19 at the Hyatt Regency Schaumburg, set new records, with 78 teams and over 320 individual participants.

Two teams tied for first: “Fake Moves” (pictured) led by FM Sam Schmakel, and “How to Train Your Sicilian Dragon” with IM Eric Rosen on the first board (pictured with second board Tansel Turgut). 

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"Fake Moves" Edges "How To Train Your Sicilian Dragon" in 2017 USAT North Team; Rosen & Jayaram Are Top Board 1's


 With 4.5/5 scores, Fake Moves and How To Train Your Sicilian Dragon both had their way with the 78-team field at the 2017 US Amateur Team North.

The five round tournament concluded February 19 at the Schaumburg Hyatt with over 320 competing.

How To Train's first board Eric Rosen had a perfect 5.0 score, as did Nice To Mate You's Ashwin Jayaram. Both received Amazon gift cards for their perfecto's -- with Rosen earning the slightly higher tiebreak.

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New ICA Board Conducts First Board Meeting; Peoria's Patrick Cohen Assumes Duties as Downstate Vice-President


After assuming office February 1, the ICA Board held its first telephonic meeting Wednesday, Feb. 8. A quorum was established shortly after 7:30 and while little business was accomplished, board members were able to get acclimated to the procedings and agreed to meet again March 8.

Metro Vice President Kevin Taylor has asked that the boad undertake a SWOT assessment -- looking at strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats relating to the 55-year old 501 (c) (3) as the Illinois affiliate to US Chess.  The board is being tasked to complete a survey addressing these ideas when prepared by President Bill Feldman.

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Four Tie at Howard Cohen Memorial

22 players turned out on Saturday February 11, 2017 to help honor the memory of Howard Cohen, a long-time Illinois chess player who passed away last April at the age of 62. 
My brother Howard would have been 63 on February 8, so with the help of the Glenwood Chess Club I put on a tournament to honor his memory. 
All of the participants went away with a doorprize of one or more of Howard's books or pamphlets. 

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