Menon Approaches 2400 With Strong 2016 US Open Showing


Gopal Menon's 6.5/9 at the 117th US Open Championships in raised his rating to 2394, within a pawn's throw of the coveted 2400-mark.

With 24 Illinois entrants, 11 finished with plus-scores, five were even at 4.5 and three were just a half-point away with 4.0's. The nine-round tournament was hosted at the Marriott Indianapolis East completed August 7. Complete US Chess posting is here.

In the ninth round, Menon closed with a draw against IM Andrey Gorovets of Texas. He was perfect against six lower-rated opponents, losing only to a pair of grandmasters: Aleks Lendrman in the fourth round and California-based Melikset Khachiyan in the seventh round.

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Karagianis' "The Struggle" Wins Best Story from Chess Journalists; ICA Site Named Best Of USCF State Affiliates


Pete Karagianis wrote an amazing set of articles for the March 2016 edition of Chess Life, the US Chess monthly publication. "The Struggle" was a profound depiction of the sacrifices it takes to improve one's ratings and skills, and the vital role played by regional tournaments such as the Iowa Open.

The Bloomington-Normal area chess coach was rewarded for his efforts, not with rating points, but with the Chess Journalists of America's Award for Best Story of the Year... one of the top four prizes it selects annually.

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Illinois Loses Three US Chess Life Members


At the onset of the 2016 US Chess Delegates meeting, a memorium roll call is read and the assembled pay respects to those in the chess community who have passed away during the past year.

In addition to the way-too-early death of Sevan Muradian previously covered on this website, three Illinois gentlemen were identified.

Duane Muehler, Fred Braucher and Fred Ekstrom were all Life Members of US Chess.

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Denker, Barber, Girls and US Open Heading to Indy, Committees and Delegates Meet to Set Course of US Chess

Thanks to winning their respective Illinois invitational tournaments in May, soon-to-be IMSA Junior George Li will be representing the Land of Lincoln at the National Denker tournament kicking off this weekend in Indianapolis. Soon to be high-schooler Vincent Do represents Illinois in the Barber while Miranda Liu will be Illinois' representative in the National Girls event. Other Illinoisians will be representing the state in the US Open starting next week.

Others will be doing their representation away from the chess boards in meeting rooms as a series of Workshops and the Annual US Chess Board of Delegates meeting takes place August 3 through 7 at the Indianapolis Marriott East.

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One Way Chess Launches in Chicago, Champaign


Former ICA Board Member At Large and two-time Collegiate Final Four participant Michael Auger has developed a chess training company with some associates.

While conducting private lessons online to students around the country, the in-person lessons are mostly being offered in the Chicago and Champaign areas.

Michael was kind enough to respond to some questions posed by the ICA which appear below. We wish Michael well in his new endeavor. Details can be found at

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