New Record: 23 Illinois Juniors Rated Above 2000!


With the arrival of downstaters Caleb Denby and Andrew Fei, Illinois now has 23 juniors rated above 2000 as of the August official ratings. Five juniors are rated above 2200 and are considered "Masters". Between 2000 and 2199 is considered "Expert" territory.

Aren Emrikian jumped into the top five of the 7-and-unders (4th) -- and is the top six-year old in the nation.

Dimitar Mardov (7th), Aydin Turgut (4th), David Peng (5th), Jacob Furfine (10th), and George Li (9th) are also in the top 10 of their respective age groups.

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Girls in US Top 100 Lists for August, 2016: 44 Active Illinois Players Posted on Elite Lists, Li Striving to Join Liu as Expert


44 Illinois girls have managed to earn spots on this month's top 100 lists compiled by US Chess. Unfortunately, Illinois is without a qualifying 18 year old, but managed to have at least two active players on each of the other 11 lists.

Marissa Li is now within 25 points of joining Miranda Liu in the rarefied air of female Experts (rated 2000 or higher).

The lists are based on ratings achieved and processed by the third Wednesday of the prior month, in this case July 20, 2016.

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IL Trio Posts 4th Highest Total at Denker, Barber, NGIT


The elite team of George Li, Vincent Do and Miranda Liu admirably acquitted themselves at the 2016 Denker, Barber and National Girls Invitational Tournaments.

The competition concluded August 3 in Indianapolis, IN, including entries from all but four states while adding back a second team from California and an entry from Washington, DC.

The Illinois-based trio tied for fourth place with 12.5/18 combined, the same score as Wisconsin and Oklahoma, a half-point behind third place Virginia and 1.5 points behind the champion New Jersey squad.

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Illinois Youth: July Top 100 Listings


51 Illinois youth have made one of the dozen age-based Top 100 Lists for nationwide juniors.

This includes an all-time high five Masters and seventeen Experts, marking a total of 22 juniors rated 2000 or higher.

Vincent Do will be representing Illinois at the Barber Championships (for K-8's) in Indianapolis starting next week. George Li, on the cusp of 2400, will be representing Illinois at the Denker Championships (for high schoolers) also in Indianapolis.

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Liu: First Illinois Junior Female Expert In Recent Times

With an impressive performance at the National All-Girls Tournament, 14-year old Miranda Liu becomes the first Illinois female junior to achieve the US Chess Expert title in recent times. As of the official June 2016 ratings, she comes in at 2015.  Congratulations to Miranda!

An observant reader of the ICA site wrote in to correct a previous erroneous posting that Miranda was the first ever. Yelena Gorlin became an Expert in 1999 as a high school sophomore at Niles North. Sadly, it appears Ms. Gorlin stopped playing rated chess as of the 2002 Pan American Collegiates in Miami when Yelena was presumably a freshman in college. She went 3.5/6 to raise her rating to 2169. The event also included Yury Shulman, Jennifer Shahade, Eugene Perelshtyn, Irina Krush, and Alexander Onishchuk. It was also Illinois-based NM Hugo Padilla's first USCF-rated event.

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