ICA Proposes Upgrade in Chicago Public Schools Chess Program

By Jerry Neugarten, Chair, ICA Youth Committee

ICA has proposed a major upgrade in the chess program in Chicago’s public schools and has offered to take the lead in planning a new program targeted to students in the city’s Title 1 schools. The proposal is outlined in a four-page report entitled “Why Not Chicago?” sent to the office of CEO Ron Huberman on July 9 and a copy is available here. The proposal had been requested by Mr. Huberman’s office on June 10.

The report, drafted by the ICA Youth Committee, outlines the research on the benefits of chess for kids and details thriving programs in other U.S. cities. Based on experience elsewhere, the proposal says the Chicago program could be run on a budget of $300,000 to $400,000, but would not require direct financial assistance from CPS or the city. It lists other organizations which have offered to partner with ICA in planning and running the program.

Bian Family Wins Big in Vegas; Other Illinois Players Also Hit Jackpot

Congratulations to Warren Scholars and siblings Victoria and Alex Bian, and their dad Mike, who all took or tied for first place in the sections they played in at the recently finished Las Vegas International Chess Festival.  Mike (Shaogang) scored 5.5/6 points in the U1400 section, winning clear first place and slightly more than $2,000.  Victoria scored 4 out of 5 points in the Susan Polgar World Chess Championship for Girls U14 division, good enough to share in a three-way tie for first place; and Alex, who played in the Susan Polgar World Chess Championship for Boys U11 division, was one of two boys in the section with a perfect score of 5/5. Warren Scholar Shayna Provine also did very well, coming in second in the Girls U11 division with 4/5. 


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Rachel Ulrich Invited to World Youth Championships

Photo by Betsy DynakoA hearty congratulations to Rachel Ulrich, who just learned that she will be invited to participate in the Girls U10 divisions of the 2010 World Youth Championships in Greece.  She is the only Illinois player to qualify.  Click here for a list of all invited U.S. players.  Rachel will also represent Illinois at the Susan Polgar Girls Invitational in Lubbock, Texas at the end of July.

Half Day Takes It All the Way

Lincolnshire School Team Wins K5 National Championship

The Half Day winning team (l to r): Haoyang Yu, James Wei, Jack XIao, Conrad Oberhaus and Alex BianThe five-member team from Half Day School in Lincolnshire are coming home with the first place trophy in the K5 Championship Division at the just concluded National Elementary Championships.  The top four scorers--Alex Bian, Conrad Oberhaus, James Wei and Jack Xiao--whose points are counted toward the team total, collectively had just two losses in the whole tournament.  All four are 2010 ICA Warren Scholars.  Their team record was 19 wins, 7 draws and 2 losses, giving them a total of 22.5 points and putting them in clear first by a full point over another powerhouse team, Stevenson Elementary in Bellevue, Washington.  The fifth player, Haoyang Yu, had a very respectable plus score of 4 points.  It's the second national championship for the Lincolnshire team.  Bian and Oberhaus had 6 points each, finishing on tiebreaks in third and fifth places, respectively.  Wei scored 5.5 points and finished 13th indivudually on tiebreaks, and Xiao, a third-grader and the team's youngest player, tied for 19th place (38 on tiebreaks) with five points.

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Youth Committee Undertakes an Ambitious Agenda

by Jerry Neugarten and Eileen Schmakel

The ICA Youth Committee, appointed in December, began meeting in January and is at work on a number of projects intended to spur the growth of youth chess in Illinois. The formation of the committee is described in a December article in these pages by Tom Sprandel (Announcements, "Cooperative Effort Leads to New ICA Committees"). Short bios of the Committee's 28 members appear in the Youth Committee section of this website.

In one of its first meetings, the Youth Committee adopted a mission statement which states, in part: "Every child should have the opportunity to learn and play chess." This grew out of our belief that chess is beneficial for every child, and a concern that chess programs are not available to many kids who could most benefit from them. Much of our work is therefore guided by a focus on inclusiveness.

Developing web resources to foster program development. Our primary focus during our first three months has been on two goals: compiling information to make it easier to start new chess programs, and providing resources to existing programs. Some of this will be done in new sections of this website.

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