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

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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Egerton Releases Business On The Board (Updated)


Longtime Illinois chess coach Jim Egerton has released his Business on the Board book through The ebook is available for free download for a limited time and a discounted rate for the print edition is offered.

The book looks at the intersection of business and chess principles.

By the end of the first day of publication, Sept. 19, Egerton reports the book was Amazon's top sellingn Professional Development and Education title and number two in the Business and Money category.

Egerton suggests a featuring of the book in the October edition of Chess Life "should be a big lift".

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