Youth Committee Sends Expanded Chicago Proposal to New Leaders

The Youth Committee has significantly expanded its proposal to upgrade the chess program in Chicago’s public schools and delivered the proposal to the city’s new leadership team last week. Copies went to Mayor Rahm Emanuel, CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard, members of the Board of Education, and some of their senior staff.

The proposal is available on this site. It summarizes the research on the benefits of chess for children and makes the case that Chicago’s youth program lags far behind other cities both in the number of kids who participate in organized programs and in the number who play in major competitions. Among the reasons for Chicago’s low numbers are low coach stipends and the absence of a coordinating center like those in other cities. The proposal includes a detailed Action Plan and a list of endorsements by members of Illinois’ chess community.

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Illinois Congratulates Its National High School and Elementary Champions!

NM Eric Rosen (photo by Marie Sprandel)Two major scholastic championships have just completed, and Illinois scholastic players took home national championship trophies, from first grade to high school, at both individual and team level. Well done!

The first event was the prestigious National High School Championship, held April 28-May 1, 2011, in Nashville, Tennessee. National Master Eric Rosen, a junior at Niles North High School, scored a perfect 7-0 to finish a full point ahead of the 295-player field and claim the National High School Individual title. (That's 295 players in the championship section alone: there were about 1300 students competing in all sections of this event.)

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Free Coach and TD Listings Now Available

ICA frequently receives inquiries from chess players, parents and clubs looking for coaches, and from coaches looking for teaching opportunities. We also receive inquiries from persons interested in hosting tournaments who need an experienced tournament director. In a new effort to link members of these groups together, we will offer coaches and TDs a free opportunity to advertise in a new section of this website called “Coach and TD Listings.”

To be listed, coaches and tournament directors need to be members of ICA. Members at the Affiliate and higher levels automatically receive a listing if they want one. Basic memberships cost $15.

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Sam Schmakel: Expert Soon to Be Master?

Sam Schmakel has been playing quite a bit of chess recently. Back in October 2010 he was rated around 2000 after that he

  • Tied for 1st place at the US Game 60 Championship 3.5/4
  • 1st place at the 9th grade section of All Grades IL tournament 4/4
  • Tied for 1st place at the 1st North American Amateur Closed tournament 6/9
  • Scored 3/4 at the 2010 IL Class Championship
  • Tied for 1st place in the 9th grade section of the 2010 National K12 Championship 5.5/7
  • Tied for 1st place at the 1st North American Amateur open 4/5 which included a win over IM Florin Felecan
  • A strong 3/5 at the Denker Invitational which indluded wins over NM's Eric Rosen and Trevor Magness
  • 1st place at the Scott Silverman Memorial tournament 4/4 which included 2 wins over Masters

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2012 K-8 Chess Championship Scheduled for Rockford

The Illinois Chess Association is pleased to announce that the 2012 Illinois K-8 State Chess Championship will be held in Rockford, Illinois at the Clock Tower Resort on March 2-4, 2012, with State Blitz and Bughouse Championships on the evening of March 2.

The ICA Board of Directors unanimously approved the ICA Bid Committee's recommendation of the bid from BubbaCat Chess and organizers Tim Just and Glenn Panner. Just and Panner are both USCF National Tournament Directors and have organized a variety of scholastic and open chess tournaments.

Rockford Area Chess will be assisting the event with volunteer support. The Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau and the City of Rockford have both extended an enthusiastic welcome to the event.