Illinois Team Got Mate? Wins 2016 National USAT Playoff


GotMate2016The Illinois foursome of Daniel Bronfeyn, Jacob Furfine, Vincent Do and Todd Freitag has won the US Amateur Team Playoff conducted April 9. 

The Got Mate? squad had won the USAT North competition and won both playoff rounds to claim the championship. 

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Updated: Karagianis Publishes Cover Article in Chess Life

Bloomington-Normal Area chess coach and US Chess-master level player Pete Karagianis has published the lead article in  month's (March 2016) Chess Life. The article is entitled, "The Struggle" --  well understood by anyone playing chess over the long haul.

"I have coached chess for nearly ten years and there is simply no way around it, to improve, you must play tournaments," says the well-respected coach who received a top Illinois coaching award at the 2014 K-8's.

Pete suggests he's given the same speech to thousands of students: "Chess is two parts: knowledge and playing tendencies. It is impossible to improve one without the other, and playing habits canonly truly be worked on within the confines and pressures of a tournament.

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George Li Perfect at 2016 Mid-America Blitz


With over two dozen competitors in the field, IMSA sophomore George Li blitzed through all eight games to win the 2016 Mid-America Blitz Championship. The side event was held after the third round of the Mid-America Open.

George took home $135 for his efforts. His brother, Roger, and Ishaar Ganesaan also brought home prize money from the Blitz.

FM David Peng is Illinois' top scorer so far in the Open section of the main event with 2.5/3. David's lone blemish was a second round draw against U of I's Aakaash Meduri.

The field includes six Grandmasters, only two of whom have perfect 3.0/3 scores. 56 are battling it out in the Open section with over 250 registered in all seven sections.

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Got Mate Wins '16 USAT North on Tiebreaks; Schmakel 5.0/5

Despite a fifth-round draw with the Goldin Shower squad, Got Mate pulled out the championship of the US Amateur Team event, edging (on tiebreaks) Sam's Scrubs which had an identical 4.5 score. The Got Mate squad included Jacob Furfine on 1st Board, Todd Freitag on 2nd, Vincent Do on 3rd and Daniel Bronfeyn on 4th.

The five-round event was held February 19 - 21 at the Hyatt Schaumburg, organized by Chess Weekend's Glenn Panner and the late Sevan Muradian. Mr. Muradian's untimely death February 17 was the chief topic of conversation between rounds and attendees recorded their thoughts on a pair of memory boards which were later presented to family.

There were six players with perfect 5-for-5 scores on the weekend; Sam Schmakel had the only one on board one; five players had perfect scores on board four.

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Sevan Muradian Passes Away (1975 - 2016)

A tireless supporter of Illinois chess has passed away at a young age. Sevan Muradian, 40, died of a heart attack February 17, according to family. The memorial and funeral were both held February 22, with the burial at Vernon Cemetery in Lincolnshire.

Mr. Muradian was a frequent organizer and tournament director in the Northern Illinois area. He was the creator of the eNotate product which allowed players to capture moves in an electronic format. He was the guiding force behind ChessIQ (formerly North Shore Chess Center) in Skokie, which frequently hosted Grandmasters from far and wide for all-day workshops followed by memorable simultaneous exhibitions.

Within one day, an online support campaign exceeded the $25,000 goal with over 100 contributors towards a college fund for the daughters. Contributions continue to pour in.

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