Aria Hoesley Assures Land of Lincoln is Well-Represented at 2017 Polgar Girls Invitational; Perfect 20-for-20 in Puzzles


A lot of factors went into the selection of Aria Hoesley as Illinois' selection to the 2017 Susan Polgar Foundation Girls Invitational completed July 27 at Webster University in St. Louis.

The Chicago player -- and World Youth qualifier -- was not the highest-rated qualified female from Illinois but she had scored very well at the Illinois Youth Invitational held earlier in the year. That event wound up qualifying Marissa Li as the Illinois representative to the National All-Girls beginning this weekend in Virginia.

Ultimately, Illinois could not have asked for better representation at the Polgar event as Aria finished 4.0/6 -- including a perfect 3.0/3 score as white. 

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Wisniowski Places In Top 5 at North American U12 Girls


WCM Natalie Wisniowski of Chicago has placed in the top five at the 2017 North American Youth Open in New Jersey. Ms. Wisniowski compiled a 5.5/9 score in the Under 12 section, closing out with three straight wins.

The lone Illinois entrant in the event drew the eventual champion, Annapoorni Meiyappan, in the first round, and wound up with four wins and three draws out of nine rounds.

Ms. Wisniowski earned her Women's Candidate Master title from FIDE after participating in the 2016 event in Canada.

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Bian Wins '17 US Junior Open; Gurevich 2nd in Senior Open


Alex Bian trailed his higher-rated Pennsylvania opponent, Grant Xu, 4.5-5.0 heading into the final round of the 2017 US Junior Open, completed July 23 in Northfield, MN.

Observers indicate Alex was down several pawns -- and trailing on time. But king safety is often paramount, and Bian's triumph over Xu gave the Illinois high schooler uncontested first place in the top section of the six-round tournament. 

Xu finished second in the 51-player U21 section, followed by a three-pack of 4.5's. Shreyas Reddy finished in a multi-way tie for sixth place with 4.0.

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7 Illinois Juniors in June '17 US Top 10's; 28 in Top 50's


Dimitar Mardov is #2 in the country for players Aged 8 in the US as of the June, 2017 Official US Chess Ratings.

Aren Emrikian is #3 in the nation for players Ages 7 and Under. Ranking #6 are George Li for 17-year olds and Aydin Turgut for 12-year olds.

David Peng is the seventh rated 14-year old in the country. Both Alex Bian (16) and Arthur Xu (10) rank #10 in their respective age group.

Complete top 50 lists from the Illinois perspective are listed below.

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64-day Contest: How Are You at Solving Tactical Puzzles?


Chess knowledge is a wonderful thing: understanding strategic principles, the best way to deploy various piece combinations in end games, and how to optimize pawn structures.

But there is no substitute for pattern recognition, the ability to visualize how the pieces might be moved to capture a free piece or even make a checkmate!

There are numerous free websites where players can solve such tactical puzzles including Chess Tempo and the Chess Tactics Server.

As if the inherent reward from doing these puzzles weren't enough, a generous benefactor has offered to sponsor a puzzle contest specifically for Illinois youth (through age 18) this summer.

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