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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Queen of Katwe Hits Chicago and Downstate Screens


To some, Disney is the purveyor of Steamboat Willie and Mickey Mouse, Pluto and Goofy, Bambi and Dumbo, the Lion King and Jungle Book, the underwater adventures of Nemo and the Little Mermaid, Sleeping Beauty and her USAT North dwarf teammates.

Unlike the imaginary backdrops of Frozen and Fantasia, a just-released Disney vehicle uses real-life Africa as a backdrop. Move over Woody from Toy Story, there's a new sheriff in town and she is the Queen of Katwe.

The two-hour film portrays one young girl's rise from poverty in the slums of Katwa in Uganda. 10-year old Phiona (wasn't Fiona the heroine's name in Shrek?) is introduced to chess by an amazing coach who seeks to provide an activity to the slum children beyond playing soccer in hard dirt fields. After some initial challenges, Phiona takes to the game as she starts to achieve some success, and in return, chess opens up the world to the young teen, providing travel and educational opportunities that would have otherwise been unavailable.

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Eva Harrison Shocks GM Timur Gareev in Blindfold Blitz


IMG 59071Chicago's Eva Harrison, a chess mom and a top Illinois female player in her own right, "shocked" the chess world with an upset of Grandmaster Timur Gareev.

In an attempt at setting the Consecutive Blindfold Blitz record, GM Gareev played 64 opponents September 24, one right after the other for 10 hours, dueling away at a smorgasbord of rapid chess variants.

The fun took place at the Marriott Hotel and Convention Center in Coralville, Iowa and was sponsored by the Iowa Chess Association and organized by its President, Eric Vigil (who supplied the picture to the left).

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