Illinois Players On Top Of the World (Open) 2016, Claim $36K


Illinois-based Ionatan Giurgiu won the Under 2000 section of the 2016 World Open completed last week in Philadelphia. Giurgiu won $12,000 with eight wins in eight games -- not even playing in the 9th round as the title was already secure. Ionatan had played nine events at Chess IQ from 2012-2014 and even played in the Illinois Open back in 2012. 

Downstater Caleb Denby tied for 10th in the section with a 6.5/9 tally.

Boguslaw Niemczewski claimed the Under 1600 section with a 8.0/9 score. Niemczewski took a half point draw in the last round with the title -- and a $10,000 first prize -- secured. Niemczewski has played in many Chicago Opens including 2003-2009 consecutively. 

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Lenox Advocates Chess For Veterans, Physically-Challenged


The Illinois Chess Vets spread the word about chess at the Chicago Abilities Expo from June 24 to 26. ICA Veterans Committee Chairman Michael Lenox estimated there were as many as 5000 attendees across the three days.

Lenox broadcast play-by-play announcements of blitz games using a wireless microphone and PA system, attracting visitors to the group's display. The Vets hosted 2014 US Blind Champion Jim Thoune who had driven up from Bowling Green, KY. 

Thoune won games against all challengers, except for that of Robert Stoltz -- who was somewhat of a ringer.

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Santner Bumps Rating 395 Points! Wagner, Tipirneni Up 300+


Playing in only his third US Chess-rated tournament, Jack Santner enhanced his rating 395 points from the June 12 Knights Quest event hosted by the Renaissanace Knights in Northbrook. Jack returned to rated chess earlier this year after a five-year absence. His only other tournament before this year was the 2011 IL K-8 Championships.

21 Illinois players had ratings jumps of at least 150 points this month.

In June's event, Santner went four for four to claim the U1000 co-championship along with Sriram Tipirneni. Sriram raised his rating an impressive 314 points with his perfect score.

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Warning: Notes and Analysis Restricted During US Chess Tournament Play, Keep It in Your Brain, Not Your Scorebook


Chess is all about context.  A competitive chess player takes to heart -- and usually indestructable memory -- a long list of solid principles to be followed almost universally.

But depending upon the specific situation on the board, those tried and true principles can lead to disaster for the myopic player. Exceptions abound!

Similarly, there are two recommendations I have for all players, young and old: notation and analysis. DO take notation of all your tournament games and DO use that record later to analyze what might have been at various junctures of the completed contest. There is no better way to improve at chess; how often the patterns and positions repeat.

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IL Players Show Significant Ratings Jumps As of June


Thanks to his co-championship of the K-12 U1200 section at April's National High School Championships in Atlanta, Jeffrey Guerrero saw his rating climb from a provisional 1061 to an established 1367, a whopping 306 enhancement! Jeff played 5th Board on the Highland Park team which finished 4th in the state this year.

With a sharp showing at May's National Elementary Championships in Tennessee, Ayush Banerjee's rating climbed 276 points. Ayush earned 4.5/7 in the K-5 section.

Naperville North's Ryan Guan demonstrated he's not the only serious chess player in the family with a 6.0 showing in the same section as Jeffrey. With 357 players competing, Ryan finished in a nine-way tie for third place to up his rating 261 points. 

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