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Southern Indiana Open (continued from home page)

The 1st round had several "upsets". FM Van Meter was held to a draw by Ben Foley and Expert Josh Bousum drew with Krikor Mnatzaganian who had played his 1st tournament in Evansville a month earlier.

In the end Andy Porter and our own ISCA President, Gerry Roberts went 4-0 to take 1st place. A dollars was split 7 ways between Alex Cordell, Hall Bjornstad, Max Egan, Jason Wycoff, Logan Cross, Mile Zabawa and John Roush.

Nahil Datar got 1st B money  and Richard Arnold was 2nd in B. C prize was split by Mohamed Elshazsly and youngster Aru Lin. Nathan Johnston took 1st D/E prize, with young  Dan Larsen was 2nd.

Thanks to all who came. Things went smoothly for the most part. We may go with an Open and Reserve next year to accommodate the turnout.

NEXT ISCA IS MAY 20th, the MEMORIAL TNMT in INDIANAPOLIS!


Craig Hines, Chief TD.



Evansville News
                   

July 16, 2016 - Evansville Summer Open
 

July 24, 2016. Andy Porter. Evansville is about a two hour drive from where I live, but I make the trip several times each year because Craig always does a great job as TD and the local players are always welcoming and friendly. This game from the Evansville Summer Open (July 16, 2016) was selected for publication primarily because of the intensely interesting and unusual material imbalance that occurred in the endgame. I have some personal experience competing against both of these players and was keeping an eye on the game’s progress throughout. Bill, a Kentucky resident, has recently achieved a peak rating of 1835 and when he’s playing up to his potential is capable of upsetting much more highly rated players. Dale is Hoosier and is currently rated in the low 1900’s. He has previously topped USCF 2000 and is always formidable and resourceful.  [Andy's analysis in italics - ed.]

 

Brooks, Bill (1764) - Pollitt, J. Dale (1881) [E10]

2016 Evansville Summer Open (2), 16.07.2016

 

1.d4 e6 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nf3

Black has adopted a very flexible system. After White’s third move, the game can transpose into a number of well known openings, including the Classical Queen’s Gambit Declined (3. ...d5), the Queen’s Indian (3. ...b6), the Bogo Indian (3. ...Bb4+), etc.

 

c5 4.d5 d6 5.Nc3

And we have a Benoni. While the system adopted by Black is not unsound, it does require some accurate positional play in order to achieve satisfactory middlegame counterplay against White’s superior space and mobility. Even minor inaccuracies will often lead to a cramped, difficult game for Black (Tal commented on this in his autobiography when he lamented his own choice of this opening!). For this reason, it is my view that this system should be employed by Black only after he has invested a fair amount of effort into studying its nuances. For those who wish to broaden your opening repertoire, one of the most effective ways of doing this is playing through high level GM games that employ the system you’re trying to learn (I recommend studying 50 games per variation). This takes a lot of time but the benefits will make it worth your while.

 

5. ...Be7

The King’s bishop is normally better placed on g7 in this system. As we will soon see, developing it to the e7-square leads to the aforementioned cramped position.

 

6.e4 e5 7.Be2 0–0 8.0–0 Ne8

Going for a quick ...f5 to gain some breathing room is understandable, but I think this is ill-advised in light of Black’s undeveloped queenside. It’s not too late for Black to unravel his pieces, but he needs to act purposefully. One idea here would have been to play for queenside activity with 8. ...Na6-c7 followed by Rb8, a6 and b5. Perhaps Black rejected this plan because it is so slow, but I think it deserved attention.

 

9.Be3 f5 10.exf5 Bxf5 11.Nd2 Bg5 12.Nde4 Be7

White’s edge is gaining momentum, and this retreat leads to tangible difficulties. Black probably didn’t want to part with the bishop pair, but his position is so cramped that mass trades should be appealing. The old axiom is still as true as ever: when you’re in a cramped position, trade pieces to free up some maneuvering space! Better was 12. ...Bxe4 13. Nxe4 Bxe3 14. fxe3 Rxf1+ 15. Qxf1 12...Bxe3 13.fxe3 Nf6, and if the white knight goes to e6 via g5, it will not get to keep its lovely outpost forever since Black can evict him with an eventual Nd7-f8.

 

13.Bg4 Qc8 14.Bxf5 Qxf5 15.Qd2 Nd7 16.f4 Qg6 17.fxe5

17.Qe2 was much stronger here. No reason to be so cooperative in handing Black the e5 outpost for his knight. Nevertheless, White still stands much better.

 

17...Nxe5 18.Rxf8+ Kxf8 19.Rf1+ Kg8 20.b3 Nf6 21.Ng5 Nfg4 22.Ne6 Bf6?

Blocking the dangerous-looking f-file, but this should have been a decisive mistake. White has played very well up to this point, and his next move is absolutely the right reply. The main point is that the g4-knight now has no good escape square and is soon forced to h6, which leads to the destruction of Black’s kingside pawn structure.

 

23.Bf4! Re8 24.h3! Nh6 25.Bxh6 gxh6 26.Nb5

26.Ne4 Qxe4 27.Rxf6+-

 

26...Nd3??

Having been under serious pressure for a long time, Black finally blunders, losing material.

 

27.Rxf6! Qxf6 28.Qxd3 Qa1+ 29.Kh2 a5 30.Qg3+ Kh8

On Kf6 would come Nxd6+. The text actually leads to a forced mate in six moves after Nxd6. Not easy to find over the board with the clock ticking. The time control was 70 minutes with 10-second delay, and both players were no doubt feeling the heat by now.

 

31.Qxd6 Rg8 32.Nxc5??

Careless. As Bill pointed out in his own analysis, 32.Nbd4! would have won handily because it cuts off the black queen from the critical defensive long diagonal and leads to a beautiful checkmate (I’ll leave it to the reader to find this one!)

 

32...Qb2!

And now the tables have turned! The evaluation shifts from +5.37 to -2.26 and White is the one fighting for the draw. The point is that he must part with his queen to avoid mate on g2!

 

33.Qg3 Rxg3 34.Kxg3

We have arrived at the endgame position that captured the attention of just about everyone in the playing hall. White has two finely posted knights, a mass of connected queenside pawns, a passed d-pawn, and a safe king. Black has the mighty queen and some anemic pawns (and most of the winning chances).

 

24. ...Qe5+?

Bill correctly points out that 34...Qxa2! was much stronger since Black needs to feed on the white pawns as soon as possible to kill his counterplay and undermine the support points for the white knights. The text move gives White some drawing chances because of the passed d-pawn.

 

35.Kf3 b6 36.Ne4 Kg7 37.Nec3

37.Nbc3! and White looks to set up a defensive fortress. Black is better, but it’s not easy to find a clear winning strategy if White just sits there. Even if he loses most of his queenside pawns, White will still have his linked knights and protected d-pawn. Black, for his part, will have to part with his a-pawn to break White’s structure and will be left with a blockaded b-pawn. Moreover, the only way he can set up a mating net is to march his king up to board – he has only two pieces left and the queen can’t do it all by herself! And how, pray tell, is he supposed do this while also keeping an eye on the white d-pawn and avoiding the constant threat of forks from those pesky centralized knights?! White can simply shuffle his king. If Black is passive on the queenside (e.g., by trying to quickly set up a zugzwang position against the white king), White can advance his queenside pawns with a3-b4-etc. to liquidate that side of the board, further improving his drawing chances.

Part of the challenge of chess is the over-the-board struggle we have all faced when we have blown a winning position. In such cases, we have to bite the bullet and make the psychological adjustment to accept that our once winning position is no longer winning and that we are now fighting for a draw. Judging by White’s following play, I wonder if this is a factor. In any case, Dale employs nice technique to finish off the game in style.

 

37...Kf7 38.d6 Qf5+ 39.Ke3 Qg5+ 40.Kf3 Qd2 41.Kg3 Ke6 42.Nc7+ Kd7 43.N7b5 Qd3+ 44.Kf2 Kc6 45.Ke1 a4 46.Nxa4 Qb1+ 47.Kd2

Abandoning the kingside pawns is suicide. White’s last chance was to keep the king on the kingside and basically sit and wait, as discussed earlier.

 

47...Qxa2+ 48.Kc3 Qxg2 49.Nd4+ Kb7

49...Kxd6 was much stronger, but both players are in time pressure and can’t be expected to find best moves.

 

50.d7??

“The position was bad, and this mistake simply hastens the end.” [Bill] Not only that, but believe it or not, White actually could have forced a draw here with 50. ...c5!, after which it is Black who would have to tread carefully to avoid losing because of the fast running d-pawn! But after White’s 50th move, Black has no difficulties. The rest of the game needs no further comment.

 

50...Qxh3+ 51.Kb4 Qxd7 52.Nb5 h5 53.Nbc3 h4 54.Nd5 Qd6+ 55.Kb5 Qc6+ 56.Kb4 h3 57.Ndxb6 Qxb6+ 58.Nxb6 Kxb6 59.c5+ Kc6 60.Kc4 h2 61.b4 h1Q 62.b5+ Kc7 63.Kb4 Qe4+ 64.Ka5 Qe1+ 65.Ka4 Qa1+ 66.Kb4 Qb2+ 67.Kc4 Qe2+ 68.Kb4 h5 0–1

 
Bloomington Chess Newsletter
All articles by Gerry Roberts unless otherwise noted.
 

Indiana Chess Newsletter


March 10, 2017. Since the last edition, nearly one thousand students have participated in regional qualifiers for the SCI Team Championships held in Hammond later this month.  For those coaches, families, and players looking for additional practice before the main event, or to continue the momentum afterwards, read below for upcoming tournament opportunities.

As a gentle reminder, this will also be the last call for entries to the Elkhart County Scholastic and Adult Championships on March 11 (register by tomorrow, March 9), the SCI Girls State Championships on March 18 (register by Thursday, March 16), and for K-8 qualifiers to the SCI Team State Championships on March 24 (register by Friday, March 10).

I. Tournament Recaps

Wabash Quads - February 5
The New England Patriots weren't the only big winners on Super Bowl Sunday - former ISCA President Gary Fox bested all comers at the bimonthly quads event Wabash, Indiana.  In addition to Gary finishing two full points ahead of the field in a three-round event, another oddity of this tournament was that the players collectively lost four rating points.  So much for ratings inflation!  The full crosstable can be found at http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201702074192

Team Practice Tournament - February 11
Held each year to help local scholastic teams solidify their rosters and iron out the details of team tournament play in a stress-free environment, this unrated event attracted 32 teams across three sections.  In the 8th/Under event, the Goshen Middle School "A" team took clear first with 3.5/4 match points, drawing against Bethany in round 2, but exacting revenge with a 4-0 sweep in a fourth-round rematch.  In the 6th/Under section, Washington STEM "A" finished atop the leaderboard with 4.5/5 match points.  The Washington STEM "B" team also impressed with a fourth place overall finish, ahead of five other schools' "A" teams.  Finally, in the 3rd/Under section, the story of the day was the domination of Lincoln Elementary.  With its "A" and "B" teams having won every game after three rounds, there was an all-Lincoln matchup in round 4 that was drawn.  Both teams then won their final round matches to finish tied for 1st place, a full point ahead of the field.  To see the complete crosstable, visit http://chess.joepye.net/xtables/l170211.htm

SCI Team Regionals
The Regional Qualifiers for the SCI Team Championships were held in Mt. Vernon (Feb. 18), Goshen (Feb. 25), Hammond (Feb. 25), Indianapolis (March 4), and Terre Haute (March 4).  To view the complete results, you can visit each regional crosstable at http://scichess.org/tournament-results/

However, as a preview to the SCI Team Championships later this month, let's highlight some of the outstanding performances from these events.  In the 8th/Under Sections this year, every team qualified for state.  Perennial favorites at Canterbury won the Goshen Regional with 3.5 more games won than their nearest competitors, while Munster's St. Thomas More "A" team will look to repeat the success they had in Hammond going 4.5/5 against the most hotly-contested regional field in the state.  In the 6th/Under Sections, perfect match scores were achieved by Martinsville Bell East "A" (Terre Haute regional), Sand Creek "A" (Indianapolis), Elliott Elementary (Hammond), and Mt. Vernon Jr. High (Mt. Vernon), but I wouldn't overlook strong performances from other schools like Washington STEM, Canterbury, Eads, University, or Binford.  In the 3rd/Under Sections, the favorite to win the state championships this year has to be Canterbury, whose "A" team won 19.5/20 games at the strong Goshen regional.  They will be challenged by the likes of regional winners Marrs Elementary (Mt. Vernon regional), Smokey Row (Terre Haute), Binford (Indianapolis), Childs (Indianapolis), Renaissance Academy (Hammond), St. Mary Crown Point, as well as a strong Lincoln team (Goshen) looking for revenge.  Good luck to all the teams traveling to Hammond for the finals!

Southern Indiana Open - February 18
Hosted for the third consecutive year at the Holiday Inn in Bloomington, this event has more than doubled in size over that span.  With a whopping 57 players competing in a single section, pairings for the first round were a bit lopsided on paper, but not in terms of results.  Former state champion and lifetime master Lester Van Meter was nicked for a draw by Bloomington high-schooler Ben Foley, despite the 700+ point rating differential.  Likewise, expert Josh Bousum ceded a half point that round to provisionally-rated Krikor Mnatzaganian.  Managing to take the full points from their significantly higher-rated opponent, however, were young Grant Mu (1314) against Bernard Parham II (1952), and Eric Henry (1337) against Dr. Arthur Galstian (1947).  From that point forward, though, the magnitude and frequency of upsets only diminished.  In the end, Andy Porter and Gerald Roberts were able to dispatch each of their lower-rated opponents en route to perfect 4/4 scores and $210 in prize money each.  The biggest ratings beneficiary of the day was Bloomington fourth grader Gael Medina, whose victories against Phillip Meyers and Grant Mu propelled him all the way to a 1099 rating.  Complete results can be found at http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201702188862

Memory Lane Invitational - February 18
Report provided courtesy of the Joepye Chess Newsletter (subscribe at joepye@pobox.com):


"Wow!  66 chess enthusiasts showed up for the Memory Lane Invitational tournament in rural Topeka on Saturday, February 18.  Play was in one section, six rounds using the Swiss System.  First place went to Ben
Bentrup, who rolled the field with a perfect 6-0.  Nipping at his heels were Mike Lambright and Jacob Slabaugh with 5-1 scores.  Ben took home a very nice wooden chess set and board for his efforts.  Top youth (8th
grade and under) was Kevin Shi.  Kevin can compete for this prize for a few more years - he's only 5 years old!  Kevin won a chess clock for his play.
 
The tournament was unrated, but complete results and estimated ratings can be found at http://chess.joepye.net/xtables/l170218.htm
 
Many thanks to host Calvin Miller, for organizing a most enjoyable event.  And thanks to Calvin's mom, for feeding us so well!  This was the kind of tournament where even the losers went home as winners. Looking forward to next year."


Presidents' Day Tournament - February 20
Held at the Zionsville Library, this event attracted 90 enthusiastic scholastic chess players who (hopefully) didn't have school on Presidents' Day.  After four rounds of play, each of the four sections was able to declare a winner with a perfect score.  In the 12th/Under section, Evan Wang returned to competitive chess after a four-year layoff and showed no signs of rust against several seasoned tournament players.  In the 6th/Under section, Martinsville Bell East 6th grader Kevin Huang strolled in and out of the building as the highest rated player, besting his teammate Ryan Pilat in the final round for first place honors.  Finishing between them in the standings was reigning state kindergarten champion Bright Zhang.  In the 3rd/Under section, Jeffrey Chen leveraged his tournament experience to go undefeated amongst a field comprised of many provisionally-rated players.  Yewei Chen then followed that same formula to win the 1st/Under section.  To view the tournament crosstable, visit http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201702209502.0

ISI Scholastic Tournament - February 25
The International School of Indiana set a new attendance record for its chess tournaments, with 56 players battling for five rounds of rated tournament chess.  In the 12th/Under Section, top-rated Anjali Mirmira overcame a penultimate round draw to finish half a point ahead of the field with a score of 4.5/5.  In the 6th/Under Section, Kevin Huang, Gael Medina, and Jerry Gu had a rock-paper-scissors scenario play itself out against the trio, finishing in a tie for first place with 4/5 points after taking turns beating one another.  Also making their way to the top of the leaderboard were Yves Guelce and Kellan Beesley.  In the 3rd/Under Section, Cameron Beesley of Martinsville South Elementary finished half a point ahead of field with 4.5/5, earning 171 rating points in the process!  Full results can be found at http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201702251522.0

II. Tournament Calendar
31st Annual Scholastic and 6th Annual Adult Elkhart County Championships - March 11
Information provided courtesy of the Joepye Chess Newsletter (subscribe at joepye@pobox.com):
"Elkhart Central High School is the place to be on March 11 for the Elkhart County Championships.  And don't let the 'Elkhart County' fool you - these tournaments are open to all.  Between the two tournaments, you will find a section just right for you, regardless of age or strength.  Check out the tournament web pages for complete details:

http://chess.joepye.net/6countyadult.htm and
http://chess.joepye.net/31county.htm

Entries to date can be found at
http://chess.joepye.net/xtables/l170311.htm and
http://chess.joepye.net/xtables/l170311a.htm

Kids, for those of you going to team state, this is a good chance for a little extra practice."

SCI Indiana Girls Championships - March 18
This state championship event moves to the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne this year.  Divided into three sections, entry fees are a modest $15.  The Championship section (4/SS, G/40) is rated, open to all girls K-12, and will determine Indiana's representative to the National Girls Invitation and Polgar Invitational tournaments.  The Primary section (5/SS, G/30) is rated and open to all girls K-3, while the Notive section (5/SS, G/30) is unrated and open to all girls K-12.  For complete details, download the official flyer at http://chess.joepye.net/2017SCIGirls.pdf or contact Joe Riegsecker at joepye@pobox.com.

March Madness - March 18 (rescheduled from March 11)
Hosted at the Purdue University Stewart Center in West Lafayette, this event has sections for players of all ages (K-3 Unrated, K-3 Rated, 4-8 Rated, HS Rated, and Open Rated).  Each section will play 4/SS, G/30.  Registration costs $20 for scholastic players and $10 for adults, and  can be completed at http://chessstart.org/MarchMadness.html or onsite before 10:30am.

SCI Team Championships - March 24
Online registrations for the 8th/Under, 6th/Under, and 3rd/Under teams that qualified at one of the five regional events are due this Friday, March 10.   12th/Under teams can still register online through March 17.  For those attending the event, remember that Hammond is on Central time, so please plan accordingly.  Teams should arrive at Morton High School no later than 8:30am.  Additional information may be found at http://scichess.org/2017-sci-team-championships/.

Wabash Quads - SUNDAY, April 2
On the first Sunday of even-numbered months, Terry LeMaster directs quads at The Access Youth Center in Wabash, Indiana (approximately halfway between Fort Wayne and Kokomo).  For those unfamiliar with the quad structure, all of the registered players are ordered by rating, grouped into sets of four players, and then paired against each other player in their section.  As opposed to large Swiss events, this means that you get three games against players with similar ratings to your own.  Time control is a leisurely G/85 with a 5-second delay with rounds beginning promptly at 10:00am.  Entries are $25, including lunch and prize fund, but must be submitted in advance by mail to 35 E Market St, Wabash, IN 46992, by email to terrylemaster@hotmail.com, or by phone to 260-571-7802.  Recent events have attracted upwards of 8 to 16 players, ranging from 1000's to 2100's (not limited to scholastic players), so consider making the trip.

Spring Fling - April 29
With an identical format and location to the March Madness event listed above, this tournament's registration page can be found at http://chessstart.org/SpringFling.html

Ben Harris Spring Chess Open - May 6
The Ben Harris Spring Chess returns to St. Marks United Methodist Church in Bloomington this year with sections for rated players of all ages.  The scholastic sections (1st/Under, 3rd/Under, 6th/Under) will each be 5/SS, G/30, while the Open section will be 4/SS, G/40.  Individual trophies will be awarded to the top 5 finishers in the 1st/Under and 3rd/Under sections, while the popular 6th/Under section will award 10 trophies.  Entry fees for scholastic players are $15 before April 15, $22 between April 15th and April 22nd, or $30 onsite before 8:30am.  Complete details can be found at http://biscc.org/ben-harris-spring-chess-open/, and the entry forms at http://biscc.org/ben-harris-tournament/.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at gerry_roberts@ymail.com.

14th Annual Great Lakes Open - May 5-7
For those in Northern Indiana unable or unwilling to make the trek to Bloomington for the Ben Harris Spring Chess Open, the 14th Annual Great Lakes Open is a mere 1.5 hours across the Michigan border in Battle Creek.  There are four sections (OPEN, U1800, U1400, U800).  The U800 section is 4/SS, G/25 d5 on Saturday, May 6, but the other sections have 2- and 3-day options played at a leisurely time control of 40/2, SD/30 for five rounds.  Entry fees are free for IM's/GM's, $83 for the mere mortals entering the Open section, $63 for U1800 players, $46 for U1400 players, and $12 for U800 players.  Substantial cash prizes will be awarded in the top 3 sections, with trophies given in the U800 section.  To register online, visit http://www.bccfoundation.org/event-registration/glopen.  To find additional information, see the official TLA at http://www.uschess.org/tlas/upcoming.php?STATE=MI.

SUPERNATIONALS VI - May 12-14
Once every four years, the Elementary Nationals, Junior High Nationals, and High School Nations are combined at the same venue - the Opryland Resort in Nashville, Tennessee - to form SuperNationals.  In 2013, more than 5300 players showed up to make it the largest rated chess tournament in history!  The event is always impeccably organized, and has side events and activities (bughouse, lectures, tournaments, simuls, book signings, etc.) for everyone.  Words cannot describe the awesome feeling of walking into a ballroom of 1000+ scholastic chess players and being able to hear a pin drop above the sound of their collective concentration.  Even better still is the camaraderie between the players, who will spontaneously set up their chessboards on any table, surface, or floor throughout the luxurious resort to play strangers in a game of skittles or bughouse.  I can give no higher endorsement to a chess tournament, and would encourage each and every scholastic chess family that can travel to Nashville to do so.

The event itself is divided into 25(!) sections, divided by age group and strength, so there are sections in which every child can be competitive with hopes of taking hope a larger-than-life trophy.  All sections will play 7 rounds over three days, with a time control of G/90 in the Elementary sections, and G/120 everywhere else.  There are between 10 and 35 individual trophies per section, and between 10-30 team trophies per section, so recruiting your friends is highly encouraged.

Entry fees are an extremely modest (for this type of event) $50 before April 24, $70 by May 5, $85 after May 5, or $90 onsite.  If you choose to stay onsite, US Chess has negotiated a favorable $161/night rate if you book through April 10.  There are also a number of other nearby hotels listed on the official tournament page: http://www.uschess.org/tournaments/2017/snvi/.  Should you have any questions, I am not affiliated in any way with SuperNationals, but I'd be delighted to answer them and tell you more about the SuperNationals experience.

ISCA Memorial - May 20
Returning for the second consecutive year to the Church of the Nativity in Indianapolis, the 2017 ISCA Memorial will be 4/SS, G/60 in two sections (Open, U1800).  Due to outstanding participation at last year's event, prizes this year have been increased from $1150 to $1400 b/50.  In addition to top overall and top class prizes in both sections, the top senior (60+) and scholastic player in each section will win a special prize of $50.  Entry fees are $40 by May 14 via mail or indianachess.org, or $60 cash/credit onsite (register before 9am).  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at gerry_roberts@ymail.com or the chief tournament director, Roger Norris, at rnorris@ma.rr.com.

26th Chicago Open - May 26-28
With an unconditionally-guaranteed $100,000 prize fund, the Continental Chess Association's Chicago Open is a favorite event of many Midwestern players each year.  Hosted at the Westin Chicago North Shore Hotel in Wheeling, Illinois over Memorial Day weekend, this event has a section and schedule for everyone.  The lower seven sections (U2300, U2100, U1900, U1700, U1500, U1300, U1000) will have seven rounds of 40/2 SD/30, while the Open section will have nine rounds of the same time control over five days to ensure that IM/GM norms are possible.  Players in the lower seven sections can opt to play their rounds over four days, three days, or two days, but will have shorter rounds to start and will merge with other sections in later rounds.  Entry fees are $207 online at chessaction.com by March 20, $227 online by May 24, or $250 onsite (must register 2 hours in advance).  For complete details, visit http://www.chesstour.com/chio17.htm

Northern Indiana Open - June 24
The Indiana State Chess Association will be heading to Elkhart for the first time in recent memory for the second consecutive Northern Indiana Open.  Hosted at the Hilton Garden Inn, conveniently located just off of the I-80/I-90 Toll Road, this event features a total prize fund of $1000 (b/30).  The event is also part of ISCA's "Road to the Indy Open" promotion that will award four free entries to the big-money Indianapolis Open event in late August to the top class finishers across the Southern Indiana Open, Memorial Open, Northern Indiana Open, and Class Championships. The tournament format will mimic the Southern Indiana Open, with 4 rounds of G/60 d10.  Entry fees are $40 in advance at indianachess.org or $55 cash/credit onsite.  For more details or questions, contact me at gerry_roberts@ymail.com

USCF Rated Online Chess - Every Week
The USCF runs rated blitz and quick tournaments on the chess.com servers.  And best of all, it's free for USCF members to play.  Every Monday night at 6pm, verified members can play in a 5-round, G/10 Swiss system tournament for real rating points.  If that's too early for you, there's also a 7-round G/5 tournament at 11pm. The blitz continues on Wednesdays, where players can sign up for a 7-round 3/2 tournament beginning at 8pm.  For those preferring slightly longer time controls, you can catch the 15/10 tournament on Friday nights at 8pm.  To be eligible to play, just fill out the verification form located here

III. Chess Clubs
South Bend Regional Chess Club - Thursdays at 7:00pm
Michiana's strongest chess club meets on Thursday nights from 7:00pm-10:00pm in the deli area of Meijer in Mishawaka.  There is an organized event every meeting, ranging from G/5 round robins to G/20 Swisses.  The standard deviation on attendance is high, with meetings ranging anywhere from 8 to 30 players, but with regular attendees including masters John Cole and Dennis Monokroussos, who can afford to miss out?

Chess Club at IU - Wednesdays at 7:00pm
The Chess Club at IU meets Wednesday nights from approximately 7:00pm-9:00pm in the Indiana Memorial Union near Baja Fresh.  The club is open to university students and the public alike, and always has a healthy share of competitive blitz and bughouse games for everyone to enjoy.  If you have any questions, contact club president Evan Spiegel at evdspieg@umail.iu.edu

BISCC Library Chapter – alternating Sundays at 1:30pm
The next meeting of the Bloomington Indiana Scholastic Chess Club’s library chapter will be this Sunday, March 12 from 1:30pm-3:30pm in rooms 1B/1C of the Monroe County Public Library. Several of the area's top scholastic players are regular attendees, but each session includes a lesson for beginners as well as a weekly activity.  Your first meeting is free to attend, so stop by to see if it would be a good fit for you and your child.  Head coach John Illg has been generating some rave reviews lately, so be sure to check out what all the hype is about.  For more details about the club, visit BISCC's revamped website at http://www.biscc.org, which now includes an option for online registration.

Bloomington Chess Club – Tuesdays at 7:00pm
The Bloomington Chess Club meets every Tuesday from 7:00pm-10:00pm at Buffa Louie's.  Come play in a relaxed environment while enjoying great food.  Games are frequently played at rapid time controls (G/20 or G/15), blitz (G/5), as well as un-timed, so there's a little bit of something for everybody.

Other Clubs in the State
For a non-exhaustive list of other city or regional clubs in the state, please visit http://www.indianachess.org/content.aspx?page_id=22&club_id=169378&module_id=93648.  Please note that the information listed there may not be up-to-date, so you should always contact a representative of the club in advance.  If you have trouble locating contact information, send me an email and I will do my utmost to connect you with the right person.

IV. In Other News
Have you seen "Queen of Katwe"?
On March 12 at 3:30pm in the Monroe County Public Library, the Bloomington Indiana Scholastic Chess Club (BISCC) will be hosting a screening of Disney's 2016 feature "Queen of Katwe," the colorful true story of a young girl selling corn on the streets of rural Uganda whose world rapidly changes when she is introduced to the game of chess.  The screening is free to the public, so bring all your friends for a great afternoon flick.  For questions, contact Cristian Medina at crmedina@gmail.com.


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November 27, 2016. As we are in the midst of the holiday season, I am thankful that there are so many great chess events being played and planned across the state.  There have been nearly a thousand rated games in the state since the last edition of our newsletter, so below we'll recap the biggest winners, movers, and shakers.  Looking ahead, next weekend's 10th Annual Bloomington Scholastic Tournament and the following weekend's tournament in Goshen figure to continue the trend of successful and exciting events, so find full registration details below.

I. Tournament Recaps
Indiana State K-12 Grade Chess Championships - November 5
In one of the state's largest annual tournaments, 159 talented young chess players made the trek to the Canterbury School's facilities in Fort Wayne seeking to become the official champions for their respective grade level.  Each grade played in a separate section, except that grades 6 and 7 were combined together, and grades 10, 11, and 12 were also combined.  Remarkably, across the ten sections, nine of them finished with a perfect score atop the crosstable (8th grade excluded), and all ten finished with a clear winner.  Six of these winners were pre-tournament favorites by rating: Bright Zang (K), Grant Mu (2), Yashom Kapoor (5), Akash Bhowmik (6/7), Nikhil Datar (8), and Teddy Tsai (9).  The other four all scored big upset wins to leapfrog in the standings: Yewei Chen (1), Edward Grandon (3), Therese Walatka (4), and Ricky Lou (10-12).  And while there were many big winners on the day from a ratings perspective, none was as impressive as Yewei Chen's 215 point outburst.  Congratulations to all the competitors!  The full crosstable can be found at http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201611053472.0

ISI Candidates Tournament - November 12
The International School of Indianapolis hosted its second event of the young school year, bringing in 45 players across three sections (K-3, 4-6, 7-12).  In the K-3 section, ratings-favorite Yewei Chen was unable to capitalize on the competition the way he had a week earlier in Fort Wayne (see above), finishing runner-up to Gavin Lass, whose perfect performance netted him nearly 200 rating points.  In the 4-6 section, there was only one word to describe the top of the leaderboard: chaos.  Four players tied with four wins and one loss each, and neither of the top two seeds were among them: Sunay Konnur, Gael Medina, Eric Jun, and Annabelle Radefeld.  In the 12th/Under section, Nikhil Datar swept the field with a perfect 5-0 score, which brings his streak of consecutive tournament games without a tournament loss to 17.  For the complete results, the crosstable can be found at http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201611126582.0

Checkmate Hunger - November 19
Report provided courtesy of the Joepye Chess Newsletter (subscribe at joepye@pobox.com):
A large but manageable crowd of 175 showed up for this year's edition of the Checkmate Hunger tournament at Madison Elementary in Warsaw on Saturday, November 19.  Unlike last year, when the facilities were way TOO full, this year they were just full, and things went reasonably smoothly.

The big news of the day was young Aidan Kaczanowski's sweep in the Open section.  Aidan, a sophomore at Penn High School, has been one of our most faithful Joepye regulars since first playing in one of our tournaments back in December of 2010.  He has shown slow but steady improvement until 2016, when he ditched the slow part!  Rated a modest 1293 in December of 2015, he shot up to 1733 after yesterday's results. Very impressive, and an example of what time, talent, work, and persistence can do.  Good job, Aidan!

Another youngster swept the Under 1200 section.  Teddy Grandon, Lincoln Elementary (Warsaw) third grader, went 5-0 to win it all.  Despite his youth, he was not an unexpected winner.  Earlier this month in Fort Wayne he won the state Grade 3 title.  This wasn't his first rodeo! Excellent work, Teddy!

The Novice sections produced a number of perfect scores, too.  Jacob Kissling (6-12 & Adults), Aidan Carr (Grade 5), and Jacob Stump (K-2) all were perfect on the day. You can find complete results and a link to the USCF crosstables at http://chess.joepye.net/xtables/l161119.htm

Thanks to Jay Bolduc and the fine folks in Warsaw for putting on a great event.  I believe there are plans to do it again next year.

II. Tournament Calendar
10th Annual Bloomington Scholastic Tournament, December 3
The next iteration of this popular event, held at University Elementary School in Bloomington, is coming next Saturday, and it's shaping up to be the best one yet.  Held in four sections (1st/Under, 3rd/Under, 6th/Under, 12th/Under), the tournament format will be similar to previous years, with five rounds of G/30 in the two lower sections and four rounds of G/40 in the two upper sections.  Trophies will be handed out to top individual finishers, as well as the top teams in each section.  Full details can be found at http://chess.filetap.com. At this late stage, the only registration methods are by emailing me directly at gerry_roberts@ymail.com for $20 (pay at site) or registering onsite from 7:30am-8:30am for $30.  Everyone else needs to check in by 8:30am so that the first round can begin promptly at 9:00am.  If you have any questions in the meantime, feel free to contact me at the above address.

Wabash Quads - SUNDAY, December 4
On the first Sunday of even-numbered months, Terry LeMaster directs quads at The Access Youth Center in Wabash, Indiana (approximately halfway between Fort Wayne and Kokomo).  For those unfamiliar with the quad structure, all of the registered players are ordered by rating, grouped into sets of four players, and then paired against each other player in their section.  As opposed to large Swiss events, this means that you get three games against players with similar ratings to your own.  Time control is a leisurely G/85 with a 5-second delay with rounds beginning promptly at 10:00am.  Entries are $25, including lunch and prize fund, but must be submitted in advance by mail to 35 E Market St, Wabash, IN 46992, by email to terrylemaster@hotmail.com, or by phone to 260-571-7802.  Recent events have attracted between 8 and 16 players, ranging from 1000's to 2100's (not limited to scholastic players), so consider making the trip.

Goshen Chess for Scholastic Success (CFSS) Winter Tournament - December 10

With sections for all ages and skill levels, this popular and well-organized event will be held at Goshen Middle School.  For rated players, there is both an Open and Reserve (U1200) section.  Unrated players are sorted by age, with sections for K-3, 4-6, and 7-12/adult.  The Open section is 4/SS with a time control of G/50, while the Reserve will play 5/SS using a time control of G/35.  To encourage maximum participation and efficiency, clocks will not be allowed or used in any of the unrated games, except where added at the director's discretion.  Instead, they will play six games as quickly as circumstances allow.  A trophy will be awarded to the top parent/child combination in any section, so make this an event for the whole family.  Regardless of section, entry fees are a modest $10, with an additional $2 discount for entering online.  Entries must be received by December 8. Last year's iteration attracted 189 players, and early registrants have started rolling in at http://chess.joepye.net/xtables/l161210.htm.  To register and/or see full details, visit http://chess.joepye.net/2016GWChess.htm.

SCI Individual Regionals - January 7 and 14

Registration details and links are now available for the 2017 SCI Individual Regional tournaments.  Hosted across the state on January 7 (Hammond, Mt. Vernon, Terre Haute) and January 14 (Goshen, Indianapolis), these events decide the qualifiers for the SCI Individual Championships in Indianapolis to be held on January 28.  Remember that this event not only decides who Indiana's representatives are to the Denker Tournament of High School Champions and Barber Tournament of K-8 Champions, but also awards scholarship money to the top finishers in the 6th/Under Championship, 8th/Under Championship, and 12th/Under Championship.  You can only play in one regional.  The regional events themselves are not rated, so USCF memberships are not required.  Instead, all it takes to play is $12 if you register before December 23, or $25 thereafter.  There are junior varsity sections (limited by ratings) for all grade levels except 3rd/Under, so there really are options for everyone to play and succeed.  For general information about the tournaments, visit http://scichess.org/2017-sci-individual-championships/.  To register, visit http://scichess.org/register/.  Online entries are immediately posted at http://scichess.org/register/2017-individual-regional-confirm/.

Southern Indiana Open - February 18
Hosted for the third consecutive year at the Holiday Inn in Bloomington (1710 N. Kinser Pike), this year's Southern Indiana Open follows a familiar format.  The tournament will be four rounds of G/60 d10 time control, with overall and class prizes awarded in a single section.  The prize fund is a combined $1100 based on a modest 40 entries.  Entry fees are $40 if received before February 15, or $55 onsite.  ISCA membership is also required, unless you are from out of state or under 10 years old.  Online registration will be available in the coming weeks at http://www.indianachess.org.  If you have any questions in the meantime, contact me or tournament organizer Craig Hines at mrsci2740@hotmail.com.

USCF Rated Online Chess - Every Week
For the past year or so, the USCF has been running rated blitz and quick tournaments on the chess.com servers.  And best of all, it's free for USCF members to play.  Every Monday night at 6pm, verified members can play in a 5-round, G/10 Swiss system tournament for real rating points.  If that's too early for you, there's also a 7-round G/5 tournament at 11pm. The blitz continues on Wednesdays, where players can sign up for a 7-round 3/2 tournament beginning at 8pm.  For those preferring slightly longer time controls, you can catch the 15/10 tournament on Friday nights at 8pm.  To be eligible to play, just fill out the verification form located here.

III. Chess Clubs
South Bend Regional Chess Club - Thursdays at 7:00pm

Michiana's strongest chess club meets on Thursday nights from 7:00pm-10:00pm in the deli area of Meijer in Mishawaka.  There is an organized event every meeting, ranging from G/5 round robins to G/20 Swisses.  The standard deviation on attendance is high, with meetings ranging anywhere from 8 to 30 players, but with regular attendees including masters John Cole and Dennis Monokroussos, who can afford to miss out?

Chess Club at IU - Wednesdays at 7:00pm
The Chess Club at IU meets Wednesday nights from approximately 7:00pm-9:00pm in the Indiana Memorial Union near Baja Fresh.  The club is open to university students and the public alike, and always has a healthy share of competitive blitz and bughouse games for everyone to enjoy.  If you have any questions, contact club president Evan Spiegel at evdspieg@umail.iu.edu

BISCC Library Chapter – alternating Sundays at 1:30pm
The next meeting of the Bloomington Indiana Scholastic Chess Club’s library chapter will be Sunday, October 2 from 1:30pm-3:30pm in rooms 1B/1C of the Monroe County Public Library. Several of the area's top scholastic players are regular attendees, but each session includes a lesson for beginners as well as a weekly activity.  Your first meeting is free to attend, so stop by to see if it would be a good fit for you and your child.  Head coach John Illg has been generating some rave reviews lately, so be sure to check out what all the hype is about.  For more details about the club, visit BISCC's revamped website at http://www.biscc.org, which now includes an option for online registration.

Bloomington Chess Club – Tuesdays at 7:00pm
The Bloomington Chess Club meets every Tuesday from 7:00pm-10:00pm at Buffa Louie's.  Come play in a relaxed environment while enjoying great food.  Games are frequently played at rapid time controls (G/20 or G/15), blitz (G/5), as well as un-timed, so there's a little bit of something for everybody.

Other Clubs in the State
For a non-exhaustive list of other city or regional clubs in the state, please visit http://www.indianachess.org/content.aspx?page_id=22&club_id=169378&module_id=93648.  Please note that the information listed there may not be up-to-date, so you should always contact a representative of the club in advance.  If you have trouble locating contact information, send me an email and I will do my utmost to connect you with the right person.

IV. In Other News
Who will be the next World Champion?
The World Chess Championship in New York wraps up this week, with the twelfth and final classical game being held Monday, November 28th at 2:00pm Eastern.
 
 
September 25, 2016. What an exciting time to be a chess player! With the first scholastic tournament of the school year officially on the books, the chess season in Indiana has officially begun. That means for the next several months, there will be tournament opportunities within the state no less frequently than every other weekend. At the same time, Americans are reveling in our recent victory at the Chess Olympiad and planning for a World Chess Championship on American soil for the first time in more than two decades.

In this edition, we'll recap the standings from the 11th Indianapolis Open, see the turnout for the inaugural editions of the International School of Indiana Invitational and the Northern Indiana Open held earlier this month, and provide all the details you need to plan your tournament calendar.
 
I. Tournament Recaps
Indianapolis Open - August 26 to 28
While attendance at the 11th edition of the Indianapolis Open was down slightly from 199 to 183 players this year, the $17,000 prize fund nonetheless ensured that there was plenty of excitement and competitive spirit.  The Open section of the event yet again attracted multiple Grandmasters from nearby states. And unsurprisingly, one of these Grandmasters, Fidel Corrales Jimenez, emerged as the sole victor with 4.5 points in 5 rounds, defeating Indiana's own Garrett Smith in the final game to secure his $1743 prize.  Sharing honors with Garrett for the top in-state performance was reigning state champion Andy Porter, both scoring 3.5/5 points.

Meanwhile, Indiana players dominated the lower sections. In the U2000 Section, former ISCA President Drew Hollinberger overcame a recent slate of disappointment tournament performances to finish with a perfect 5/5 score and take home the top prize. Keeping pace with Drew for most of the tournament was Bloomington native Matt Kubisch, whose perfect 3-0 performance on day 1 inched him ever closer to a 1900 rating despite a round 4 loss to the eventual second place finisher. And although he is not an Indiana native, I must point out the incredible performance of Michigan's Kirk Donovan in this section. Despite being rated 1366 before the tournament and electing to play up two sections, he started the event 3-0 against players each rated above 1800, a nearly impossible feat from a purely statistical perspective.  

In the U1600 Section, Illinois native Maxwell Heinrich went undefeated against the field. The best in-state performance was had by Arthur Wake (3.5/5). 
 
Finally, in the U1200 Section, Indiana's own Bradley Dickison won the event with a perfect 5/5 score, with a pair of fellows Hoosiers (Braydon Povinelli and Shuoyan Chen) on his heels at 4/5 points. Congratulations to all of the competitors, and enjoy your spoils of war! For complete results, see the crosstable at http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201609245702

International School of Indiana Invitational - September 10
As noted in the last edition of this newsletter, the first scholastic event of the new school year may have been a newcomer, but it was a successful one at that. The inaugural ISI Invitational Chess Tournament attracted 46 players across three sections. In the K-3 event, Kentucky's Edward Chen entered as the top seed, and went a perfect 4-0 against the field to boost his rating above 1000. In the U6 division, Fort Wayne's Ben Finkel shared top honors with Terre Haute's Ridge Holder after the two drew in the last round to finish with 3.5/4 points. And coming fresh off a summer in which he earned several hundred rating points, Bloomington's Gael Medina also had a good showing, finishing with 2.5/4 points.

Chess parent/correspondent Ron Povinelli breaks down the events in the top section:
"In the final game of the 7-12 grade division, Braydon Povinelli (1122) of Shelbyville played the white pieces to beat Mithran Periassamy (1273) of Brownsburg in a thrilling Caro-Kann game. Povinelli won First Place outright with 3.5. Pranav Jothirajah ended up with 3.0 points to take second, followed by Periassamy for third at 2.5."

Complete results for all three sections can be found at http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201609109092.

Northern Indiana Open - September 17
As an answer to Bloomington's annual Southern Indiana Open, ISCA board member and organizer Mat Leach directed the inaugural Northern Indiana Open this month at the Logansport Mall. Though the facilities apparently left much to be desired, there was no stopping the freight train that is competitive chess. In all, 19 players from across the state gathered for the four round Swiss event. Though there were three players rated above 1900 at the event's start, and collectively only lost a single game throughout the event, they surprisingly didn't have a single encounter against each other. The top seed, Aaron Dean, dominated in the first two rounds - as would befit his rating - but withdrew after that.  Meanwhile, second-seeded Les Kistler - a longtime expert and high school teacher - finished in a tie for second place after being upset in round 2 by the up-and-coming youngster Aidan Kaczanowski. That meant that the third seed, Dr. Arthur Galstian, was free to make a leapfrog maneuver in the standings after a 4-0 performance, clinching first place with his final round victory against Kaczanowski. For complete results, see the crosstable at http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201609173182.

II. Tournament Calendar
Wabash Quads - SUNDAY, October 2

On the first Sunday of even-numbered months, Terry LeMaster directs quads at The Access Youth Center in Wabash, Indiana (approximately halfway between Fort Wayne and Kokomo). For those unfamiliar with the quad structure, all of the registered players are ordered by rating, grouped into sets of four players, and then paired against each other player in their section. As opposed to large Swiss events, this means that you get three games against players with similar ratings to your own. Time control is a leisurely G/85 with a 5-second delay with rounds beginning promptly at 10:00am. Entries are $25, including lunch and prize fund, but must be submitted in advance by mail to 35 E Market St, Wabash, IN 46992, by email to terrylemaster@hotmail.com, or by phone to 260-571-7802. Recent events have attracted between 8 and 16 players, ranging from 1000's to 2100's (not limited to scholastic players), so consider making the trip.

Westfield Library Scholastic - October 8
Held at the Westfield Library, the next iteration of this popular scholastic event will be held on Saturday, October 8. Players are sorted by grade into one of four sections (U3, U6, U8, U12), and will each play four rounds of chess with a time control of G/30. Entry fees are $18 before October 1, or $23 thereafter.  For complete details, including the mailing address for entry fees, see the official flyer.


Indiana State Championships - October 21-23
In just four short weeks, Indiana will crown its 75th state champion at the Wyndham Indianapolis West hotel. To celebrate the dodranscentennial, this year's prize fund has been increased to $3000 guaranteed! Held in two sections Open and U1800), the event is a five round Swiss with a time control of G/120 d5. Players can elect to play in either the 3-day schedule (round 1 on Friday night at full time control) or 2-day schedule (round 1 on Saturday morning at G/60 time control) before merging in round 2. Also, before the final round, ISCA will hold its annual membership meeting, so plan accordingly. Entry fees are $50 before 10/18 or $65 onsite. However, players 13 years and younger can enter for $25 before 10/18 or $35 onsite. Complete details for the event, including online registration, can be found at http://www.indianachess.org. Advanced entries - which include yours truly and 5-time state champion Lester VanMeter - can be found at http://indianachess.org/content.aspx?page_id=262&club_id=169378&item_id=573610.

Bethany Christian School Fall Tournament - October 29

Save the date. Held at BCS in Goshen, this event keeps growing year after year.  Last year's edition featured 53 players in the two rated sections (Open and Reserve), and is open to all ages. More details should be forthcoming, but if it follows the same format as last year, the Open will be a 4/SS with G/45, and the Reserve will be a 5/SS with G/35.

12th Annual Pike Scholastic - October 29
Held on the same date but nearly three hours south of the tournament above, the New August North Public Academy in Indianapolis will yet again play host to one of the biggest scholastic tournaments of the year. Segmented into four sections (U1, U3, U6, U12), the tournament hopes to best its turnout of 142 players last year as it awards trophies to the top five individual performance per section, as well as the top 3 teams in the three upper sections (U3, U6, U12). And as opposed to most tournaments, which sort perfect scores by tiebreakers, this tournament has treated spectators to exciting playoff games in each of the past two years.  Everybody will play five games, with the time control ranging from G/30 to G/40, depending on which section you enter. Entry fees are $22 before October 24, and $26 thereafter. Registration can be completed online at https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07ed1v3rsm6d548d24&c=&ch= or by mail using the address listed on the official flyer. If you're on the fence about attending, see the list of advanced entries (14 players already as of September 12!) at http://ritchieres.com/chess/PikeChessFallTournament2016/2016Registration.html

Indiana State K-12 Grade Chess Championships - November 5
Remember, remember the 5th of November...because that is the date for this year's State Grade Championships. Unlike other events, in which participants may elect to play in higher sections, this tournament pits players in separate sections for each grade to determine the state's best. Last year, nearly 200 players from across the state made the trek to the Canterbury School's facilities in Fort Wayne. In addition to trophies for top performers, Amazon.com gift certificates are also awarded to first, second, and third place finishers in each grade. The tournament itself will be a five-round affair, with a time control of G/40 regardless of grade. Entry fees are $20 before October 28 or $25 thereafter, and can be sent either online at http://www.canterburychess.org/OnlineEntryForm.php3 or by mail to Eugene Tsai, 10631 Monte Vista Court, Fort Wayne, IN 46814. For additional details, visit the official website at http://www.canterburychess.org/.  There are no advanced entries yet, but be sure to check back periodically at http://www.canterburychess.org/AdvanceEntries.php3 to see which of your friends will be attending.

USCF Rated Online Chess - Every Week
For the past year or so, the USCF has been running rated blitz and quick tournaments on the chess.com servers. And best of all, it's free for USCF members to play. Every Monday night at 6pm, verified members can play in a 5-round, G/10 Swiss system tournament for real rating points. If that's too early for you, there's also a 7-round G/5 tournament at 11pm. The blitz continues on Wednesdays, where players can sign up for a 7-round 3/2 tournament beginning at 8pm. For those preferring slightly longer time controls, you can catch the 15/10 tournament on Friday nights at 8pm. To be eligible to play, just fill out the verification form located here

III. Chess Clubs
South Bend Regional Chess Club - Thursdays at 7:00pm

Michiana's strongest chess club meets on Thursday nights from 7:00pm-10:00pm in the deli area of Meijer in Mishawaka. There is an organized event every meeting, ranging from G/5 round robins to G/20 Swisses. The standard deviation on attendance is high, with meetings ranging anywhere from 8 to 30 players, but with regular attendees including masters John Cole and Dennis Monokroussos, who can afford to miss out?

Chess Club at IU - Wednesdays at 7:00pm
The Chess Club at IU meets Wednesday nights from approximately 7:00pm-9:00pm in the Indiana Memorial Union near Baja Fresh. The club is open to university students and the public alike, and always has a healthy share of competitive blitz and bughouse games for everyone to enjoy. If you have any questions, contact club president Evan Spiegel at evdspieg@umail.iu.edu

BISCC Library Chapter – alternating Sundays at 1:30pm
The next meeting of the Bloomington Indiana Scholastic Chess Club’s library chapter will be Sunday, October 2 from 1:30pm-3:30pm in rooms 1B/1C of the Monroe County Public Library. Several of the area's top scholastic players are regular attendees, but each session includes a lesson for beginners as well as a weekly activity. Your first meeting is free to attend, so stop by to see if it would be a good fit for you and your child. Head coach John Illg has been generating some rave reviews lately, so be sure to check out what all the hype is about. For more details about the club, visit BISCC's revamped website at http://www.biscc.org, which now includes an option for online registration.

Bloomington Chess Club – Tuesdays at 7:00pm
The Bloomington Chess Club meets every Tuesday from 7:00pm-10:00pm at Buffa Louie's. Come play in a relaxed environment while enjoying great food. Games are frequently played at rapid time controls (G/20 or G/15), blitz (G/5), as well as un-timed, so there's a little bit of something for everybody.

Other Clubs in the State
For a non-exhaustive list of other city or regional clubs in the state, please visit http://www.indianachess.org/content.aspx?page_id=22&club_id=169378&module_id=93648. Please note that the information listed there may not be up-to-date, so you should always contact a representative of the club in advance. If you have trouble locating contact information, send me an email and I will do my utmost to connect you with the right person.

IV. In Other News
USA Wins Chess Olympiad

On September 13, the United States won the Chess Olympiad in Baku, Azerbaijan.  Our team included three of the world's top ten players (Fabiano Caruana, Hikaru Nakamura, Wesley So) and did not lose a single match, but finished tied with Ukraine in match points after the 11th round. It wasn't until the lower boards finished that the tiebreaks clearly indicated an American victory - our first since 1976. For more information, read the New York Times Article at http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/14/sports/us-wins-chess-gold-with-help-of-imported-talent.html?_r=0 or view the full crosstable at http://chess-results.com/tnr232875.aspx?lan=1&art=0&rd=11&flag=30&wi=821

World Championships Coming to New York
The World Chess Championships will be held in the United States (New York, to be precise) from November 11-30.  The match, between reigning champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway and Russia's Sergey Karjakin, is the first championship on American soil since 1995.  If you are interested in attending, tickets will be available soon at https://worldchess.com/nyc2016/#championship
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Aug 22, 2016. With classes resuming in all but a few schools, we can hear the last roar of summer quietly retreating into the night, regardless of what the calendar says.  And, as we are all taught from preschool, after spring comes summer, and after summer comes...the new season of scholastic chess!  While the first local scholastic tournament of the year is still weeks away, those hoping to shake off their summer rust will have a great opportunity to do so at this weekend's Indianapolis Open.  But first, let's recap an unusually-active summer of chess in the state, including some outstanding performances by local players.

Please note that since the last edition of the newsletter, I have moved from Bloomington to Elkhart.  I am still involved with the chess scene in Bloomington, but you should expect future editions of this newsletter to have more of a bimodal or statewide coverage than before.  Now, without further ado...

I. Tournament Recaps
ISCA Class Championships - July 9 and 10
For the second consecutive year, the state class championships were held in Indianapolis. While the attendance of 60 players was down ever so slightly from last year's count of 62, the level of excitement during the games more than made up the difference.  In the Master/Expert section, Ohio's Pratik Shriwas - rated 2368 - did not disappoint as the top seed, ceding only a half point (to Jay Carr) en route to his 3.5/4 tournament victory.  In the Class A section, top-seeded Bernard Parham Jr. also managed to win his section with 3.5/4 points, but his half point deduction was for a bye in round 3.  For his efforts and performance, Parham won the Class A ticket to the US Open (but more on that further down). Of local interest, IU sophomore Bobby Goddin placed 3rd with 2.5/4 points, followed closely by Bloomington High School North sophomore Daniel Rickert at 2/4 points.  The Class B and C sections were combined and likewise saw the top seed, Richard Arnold, go 3.5/4 points despite ceding a first-round draw to the much lower rated Carl Dolson.  Local player John Illg finished in a tie for 10th place with 1.5/4.  The rating dominance continued in the Class D section, where Scott Pletka also managed to go 3.5/4 for a tournament victory.  And, in a rare occurrence that happens approximately once every 73 years (or something like that), top-seeded Raymond Martin also managed to win his section (Class E), though he was the lone perfect score of the tournament with 4/4 points.  It is long overdue by now, but a hearty congratulations to all of the participants.  The full crosstable for the event can be found at http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201607104232.0

US Open - July 30 through August 7
For the first time since 2009, the US Open was held in Indianapolis this year, bringing chess aficionados from all corners of the nation to the Circle City.  While official participation in the main event totaled 382 players, a good many more participated in daily quads, the weekend Swiss, the blitz championship, the scholastic championships, and the educational workshops, to name a few of the other attractions.

In the Barber Tournament of K-8 Champions, Indiana was able to have two entrants as the host state.  Owing to their performances at the SCI Individual State Championships in January, our representatives were Kevin Wang (T-35th place, 2/6 points) and Nikhil Datar (T-29th place, 2.5/6 points), while New Jersey's Brandon Jacobson (rated 2330) won the event by a full point.  Full results for that event are at
http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201608023272.

In the Denker Tournament of High School Champions, Canterbury School teammates Ricky Lou and Sam Witwer had twin scores of 2/6, finishing in a tie for 32nd place.  The tournament was won by Mike Brattain (rated 2465) of Massachusetts, earning a $5000 college scholarship in the process.  Full results can be found at
http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201608023262.

In the National Girls Tournament of Champions, Indiana's representative Nika Arnold finished in a tie for 18th place with 3/6 points, while Virginia's Jennifer Yu walked away with the trophy following a masterful 5.5/6 performance.  Full results for that event can be found at http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201608023282.

Held before the main event was in full swing, the US Open Scholastic Championships was, as its name implies, an open event with sections for elementary, elementary U/1000, junior high, and high school players.  Despite the geographically diverse lineup of players, Indiana was represented well, with current or former Hoosiers taking the crown in two of the four sections.  After his recent return to the United States, former Bloomingtonian Ben Webb has settled in South Carolina but returned to Indianapolis for 42 games of rated chess in a 9-day span.  Among his successes for the week was a perfect 4/4 performance in the Elementary section to become the US Open Elementary Champion.  The other triumphant Hoosier was Pranav Jothirajah, whose perfect performance in the Junior High section netted him nearly 200 rating points.  I think we can confidently say that there will be no more U1000 sections in his future! Full results for this event can be found at
http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201607312412.0.

The weekend Swiss, held concurrently with the main event, attracted 57 players for 5 rounds of intense chess.  While local and regional players peppered the crosstable, with the best finish by a Indiana native had jointly by Josh Bousum and Drew Hollinberger, with 3.5/5 each. To see the full list of Indiana players, the crosstable is at
http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201607312402.

The US Open Blitz championship likewise brought many Hoosier chess players out of the proverbial woodwork for an intense 14-round affair.  With 106 players, including several Grandmasters, competing in the same section, it was a hotly contested event.  While Mathew Leach had the best performance from within the state, at 8.5 points, there were several other notable results and finishes.  Amongst them were Daniel Rickert, who entered the event grossly underrated in blitz chess as a 1345 caterpillar only to emerge as a 1627 butterfly after finishing with 7.5 points, including a split match with a 2100 player.  Likewise, the aforementioned Ben Webb picked up a hefty 204 rating points after going 5.5 against the tough field.  For complete results of this event, which was won by Webster University's Illia Nyzhnyk, go to http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201608064392.

And finally, the main event of the week was the US Open championship itself. With previous winners including the likes of Bobby Fischer, Reuben Fine, and Sammy Reshevsky, the prestigious event attracts some of the best players across the country to a shot at the title and an automatic entry to the US Championships held in St. Louis.  Emerging atop the field of 382 players were Grandmasters Gil Popilski and Alexander Shabalov with 8/9 points each.  Notable performances by local players included the twice-aforementioned Benjamin Webb, who faced a familiar opponent in round one.  Beaten just the day before by Bernard Parham II in West Lafayette, Ben had the same color against this opponent to begin what would become a breakthrough performance.  After exacting his revenge and extracting the full point from Parham in round one, Ben also defeated players rated 1700+ and 1800+ later in the event.  When it was all said and done, he'd collected 312 rating points in 9 days.  For all of Ben's results, visit http://www.uschess.org/msa/MbrDtlTnmtHst.php?15253251.
Also having a busy and productive event was scholastic player Braydon Povinelli, whose 14 games in 4 days netted him 139 points. Representing other parts of the state, South Bend's Dennis Monokroussos finished with the best result amongst all Indiana players with 6.5/9 points, while another player from Northern Indiana, Logan Cross, impressed with his first round upset of a FIDE Master, eventually going 4.5/9 to jump his rating from 1684 to 1826. The full crosstable for the main event can be found at http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201608075002.1.

With so much chess at all of the events and side events, I know that I must have missed some noteworthy performances in my report, so I apologize to all of those deserving special recognition who did not receive it here.  Congratulations to everyone who participated and showing the rest of the nation how great of a place Indiana is for chess tournaments.

II. Tournament Calendar
Indianapolis Open - August 26 to 28
The 11th edition of the Indianapolis Open returns to the Crowne Plaza hotel near the airport this year.  Like last year, the event will have four sections (Open, U2000, U1600, and U1200) with schedules for 2-day and 3-day, depending on whether you want to play your first round on Friday night or Saturday morning.  The $17,000 combined prize fund is large in comparison to the $108 entry fee online by 8/24, or the $120 entry fee onsite, so consider signing up early as more than 100 players already have.  Also, entries to the U1200 section are $40 less, but still sport a $700 prize for first place.  The Continental Chess Association comes to Indiana but once a year, so if you want to compete for high-stakes prizes without having to board a flight to do it, this is your opportunity.  Online registration is at
while last year's results can be found at
http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201508307732.

International School of Indiana Invitational - September 10
It appears that the first scholastic event of the new school year is itself a newcomer. The inaugural ISI Invitational Chess Tournament will be held on Saturday, September 10 in Indianapolis. Divided into four sections (K-3 Unrated, K-3 Rated, K-6 Rated, 7-12 Rated), the event will be a four round Swiss system using a time control of G/30. No details on trophies are available yet, but check back on the official site for more details later. Entry fees are $15 in advance and can be submitted through the registration form at the above link.

Northern Indiana Open - September 17
Also new to the tournament calendar this year is the ISCA's Northern Indiana Open, to be held at the Logansport Mall (a quiet meeting room, not a shopping area) on Saturday, September 17.  The tournament will be a single section affair with four rounds using a time control of G/60 d10.  Entry fees are $40 in advance at http://www.indianachess.org, or $50 onsite.  For more details, contact tournament director Mat Leach at leachmat@gmail.com

III. USCF-Rated Online Chess
For the past year or so, the USCF has been running rated blitz and quick tournaments on the chess.com servers.  And best of all, it's free for USCF members to play.  Every Monday night at 6pm, verified members can play in a 5-round, G/10 Swiss system tournament for real rating points.  If that's too early for you, there's also a 7-round G/5 tournament at 11pm. The blitz continues on Wednesdays, where players can sign up for a 7-round 3/2 tournament beginning at 8pm.  For those preferring slightly longer time controls, you can catch the 15/10 tournament on Friday nights at 8pm.  To be eligible to play, just fill out the verification form located here.

IV. Chess Clubs
Chess Club at IU
On break for the summer.  Check back in the next edition for meeting times and locations.

BISCC Library Chapter – alternating Sundays at 1:30pm
The next meeting of the Bloomington Indiana Scholastic Chess Club’s library chapter will be Sunday, August 28th from 1:30pm-3:30pm in rooms 1B/1C of the Monroe County Public Library. Several of the area's top scholastic players are regular attendees, but each session includes a lesson for beginners as well as a weekly activity.  Your first meeting is free to attend, so stop by to see if it would be a good fit for you and your child.  Head coach John Illg has been generating some rave reviews lately, so be sure to check out what all the hype is about.  For more details about the club, contact me or visit BISCC's website at http://www.biscc.org.

Bloomington Chess Club – Tuesdays at 7:00pm
The Bloomington Chess Club meets every Tuesday from 7:00pm-10:00pm at Buffa Louie's. Come play in a relaxed environment while enjoying great food. Games are frequently played at rapid time controls (G/20 or G/15), blitz (G/5), as well as un-timed, so there's a little bit of something for everybody.

South Bend Regional Chess Club - Thursdays at 7:00pm
Michiana's strongest chess club meets on Thursday nights from 7:00pm-10:00pm in the deli area of Meijer's in Mishawaka.  There is an organized event every meeting, ranging from G/5 round robins to G/20 Swisses.  The standard deviation on attendance is high, with meetings ranging anywhere from 8 to 30 players, but with regular attendees including masters John Cole and Dennis Monokroussos, who can afford to miss out?

IV. Worthy Cause
If you've made it this far down the newsletter, you are no doubt a lover of all things chess.  Why not share that love with the Bloomington community and sign BISCC-parent Cristian Medina's petition to add chess tables to public spaces in the city?  The petition has 109 supporters at present, so let your voice be heard and join the call at https://www.change.org/p/city-of-bloomington-indiana-build-chess-tables-at-public-spaces-in-blooming

Regards,
Gerry Roberts
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June 5, 2016. While many clubs are on hiatus for the summer months, resulting in fewer organized events, there are still some major opportunities to play tournament chess within an hour's drive during the "lull."  In this edition, we recap the ISCA Memorial Open, IU Blitz Tournament, and Ben Harris Open, in addition to providing details about the upcoming ISCA Class Championships and U.S. Open.

I. Tournament Recaps
ISCA Memorial Open - April 23
Held at the Church of the Nativity in Indianapolis, the second leg of this year's "Road to the U.S. Open" - which will award a free entry to the U.S. Open in Indianapolis this summer to each of the top finishers in the Master/Expert, Class A, Class B, and Class C/below groups - attracted a record attendance of 60 players.  The players were evenly split between the Open and U1800 sections, which both had four rounds of G/60 d10 games.  In the U1800 section, the crosstable was shaken from the very start, when both of the top seeds ceded draws to lower-rated opponents in the first round, while the third and fourth seeds both lost.  This allowed sixth-seeded Richard Arnold to quickly climb the leaderboard with win after win, finishing in sole first with 4/4 points.  Second place went to C. Melton Doxey with 3.5/4 points, playing in only his third rated event and earning more than 200 rating points in the process.  Local players in this section included Ben Foley and John Illg, both finishing with 2/4 points.  In the Open section, top-rated Chao Zhang finished in first place with a perfect 4/4 score, but the rest of the standings weren't as predictable.  Owing to the large number of entries, the tournament was run as an accelerated Swiss, meaning that the top players had tougher pairings in the first round than they might have anticipated.  Emerging nearly unscathed from all this carnage, with 3.5/4 points, was Andrew Pheasant of West Lafayette, gaining 46 rating points and breaking into the Expert ranks for his efforts. Among those sharing third place honors were local players Gerry Roberts and Bobby Goddin (who won the U2000 prize).  The full crosstable can be found at http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201604238982.0.  Current standings for the Road to the Open can be found at http://indianachess.clubexpress.com/docs.ashx?id=259476, but the current leaders are Gerry Roberts (Master/Expert), Andrew Pheasant (Class A), Bobby Goddin (Class B), and Ben Pitchkites (Class C/below).

Blitz Tournament - April 29
The Chess Club at IU held its second and final blitz event of the 2015-2016 academic year on the tables outside the IMU.  Attendance was down from the first event, with only eight players fighting in a round-robin event of G/5 d2 chess.  Top seeds Gavin McClanahan and Gerry Roberts lost in the second round to Tianjiao Luan and Bobby Goddin, respectively, leaving a six-way tie for 2nd place afterwards. As the lone remaining perfect score, Bobby Goddin's reign alone at the top did not last long, however, when he suffered a defeat at the hands of Gavin in the very next round.  After the penultimate round, however, Bobby remained tied for first with yours truly with 5/6 points.  As fate would have it, both players found themselves in lost positions in the final round.  Facing off against Jimmy Brown, Bobby put up a strong fight, but eventually lost under time pressure.  At the same time, I found myself in a losing endgame with three pawns apiece, but down a knight.  However, under mutual time pressure, Tianjiao failed to find the best continuation, and all the pawns disappeared from the board, resulting in an instant draw by insufficient mating material.  As a result, I finished in sole first place with 5.5/7 points, with Bobby and Gavin right behind with 5 points each.  The full crosstable can be found here.

National Elementary (K-6) Championships - May 6-8
The National Elementary Championships returned to the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee this year, attracting an incredible 2260 players across all sections. Bloomington was represented well in the K-3 Championship section by Marlin Elementary's Joe Luther, who scored 1/7 points against some of the best young players the country has to offer - including an upset victory over a 1050-rated player.  Full standings for all sections can be found at http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201605087722.2
 
Ben Harris Spring Open - May 14
Attracting a record attendance of 41 entries across its four sections (Open, U6, U3, U1), this year's Ben Harris Spring Open featured plenty of excitement for the final scholastic tournament of the school year. In the U1 section, the five registrants effectively played a round robin, with each pair of players meeting exactly once over the board.  After all the games had finished, two players remained in a tie atop the leaderboard with 3/4 points - Seth Goldstein (3 wins, 1 loss) and Jimmy Croll (2 wins, 2 draws).  Oddly, the players had exactly the same tiebreak scores, and so a coin toss was done to determine the order of trophies, with Seth being the beneficiary of the first place trophy.

While the top seeds in the U1 section finished roughly in order of rating, the U3 section's crosstable was not as predictable.  While top seed Yuxuan "Richard" Xun had a good day with 4/5 points, earning nine rating points in the process, the big story of the day was the performance of Gael Medina, whose perfect 5/5 score (including four wins over higher-rated players) earned him a hefty 307 points and first-place honors.  In the U6 section, top-rated Braydon Povinelli ceded a draw to Bloomington's Nate Abdullah in the third round, but otherwise ran the gauntlet on the way to a first-place, 4.5/5 performance.  Among his victims was Christopher Chow, who nonetheless impressed with his own 4/5 performance which was good enough for sole possession of second place.

Finally, the Open section featured players of all ages, including both scholastic and adult.  Despite the wide variance in ratings, all of the games were very competitive, as demonstrated by the high number of upset draws and wins.  Among these results were Daniel Rickert's (1619) draw of top-seeded Aaron Dean (2000) in the opening round, Roger Norris's (1571) win over Jason Wycoff (1901) a few minutes afterward, and Bingrui "Tutu" Wang's (1329) win over Steve Steppe (1818) in the penultimate round.  On the top boards, Evan Spiegel lost to Roman Ivanovitch in round 3 as the lone perfect scores going into the game, but Evan's final round victory combined with Daniel Rickert's upset over Roman resulted in a tie for 1st-2nd place between Evan and Roman with 3/4 poitns.  Thanks to all the competitors for making the trek to Bloomington and doing everything they could to make things run smoothly.  The crosstable for all sections can be found at http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201605149592.0
 
II. Tournament Calendar
ISCA Class Championships (Indianapolis) - July 9-10
For those who regularly attend the Continental Chess Association's annual Indianapolis Open, this year's location of the ISCA Class Championships - the Crown Plaza at the airport - will be a familiar and welcome sight.  Serving as the third and final leg of the "Road to the U.S. Open", with DOUBLE POINTS awarded, the event will be a four-round affair, with all sections playing at G/120 d5.  As a class championship, there will be six sections (Master/Expert, A, B, C, D, E) in which you can only move up one section (e.g., a Class C player must play in either Class C or Class B). With the slower time controls, the tournament will be split between Saturday and Sunday (except for Class E, see below) with rounds at 10am, 3pm, 10am, and 2:30pm, respectively. Entry fees for the top five sections are $50 if received by July 5 or $65 on-site.  The Class  E tournament will be a little bit different, as its games will be G/60 d5 and all played on Saturday.  The entry fee for that section is $20.  Advanced registration for all sections can be completed online at http://www.indianachess.org

117th Annual US Open (Indianapolis) - July 30-August 7
One of the biggest chess events of the year is coming to Indianapolis this summer - the U.S. Open!  As an open event, everyone - from beginner to Grandmaster - plays in a single section.  The last time the event came to the Hoosier state, in 2009, a whopping 456 players vied for the top spot since the winner automatically qualifies for the prestigious U.S. Championships.  As such, more than 500 players are expected in the main event this year.  If massive Open sections aren't your proverbial cup of tea, fret not, as the U.S. Open has plenty of other options for participation, including: (1) bughouse, (2) blitz, (3) weekend Swiss, (4) quads, (4) scholastic-only tournament, (5) G/15 championships, (6) classes, and even a (7) golf tournament.  Full details for all of these events can be found at http://www.uschess.org/tournaments/2016/usopen/, but below are the pertinent details for the main event.

There are nine rounds, but you can pick how fast you want to play for the earlier rounds and how many days you want to play (options range from 3 days to 9 days), with all sections merging for the final rounds.  The entry fee for the main event is $145 if received by June 20, and then increases up to $185 for onsite registration.  The U.S. Open doubles as an annual membership meeting for the U.S. Chess Federation, so even if you don't come to play, you may want to come anyways to see old friends and new ones.  I am not involved in the organization of the event, but if you have any questions, feel free to contact me at gerry_roberts@ymail.com

III. USCF-Rated Online Chess
For the past year or so, the USCF has been running rated blitz and quick tournaments on the chess.com servers.  And best of all, it's free for USCF members to play.  Every Monday night at 6pm, verified members can play in a 5-round, G/10 Swiss system tournament for real rating points.  If that's too early for you, there's also a 7-round G/5 tournament at 11pm. The blitz continues on Wednesdays, where players can sign up for a 7-round 3/2 tournament beginning at 8pm.  For those preferring slightly longer time controls, you can catch the 15/10 tournament on Friday nights at 8pm.  To be eligible to play, just fill out the verification form located here.

IV. Chess Clubs
Chess Club at IU On break for the summer.  Check back in August for meeting times and locations.

BISCC Library Chapter – alternating Sundays at 1:30pm
The next meeting of the Bloomington Indiana Scholastic Chess Club’s library chapter will be Sunday, June 12th from 1:30pm-3:30pm in rooms 1B/1C of the Monroe County Public Library. Several of the area's top scholastic players are regular attendees, but each session includes a lesson for beginners as well as a weekly activity.  Your first meeting is free to attend, so stop by to see if it would be a good fit for you and your child.  The next meeting will feature new coach John Illg, but I will return for a final lesson on July 10th.  For more details about the club, contact me or visit BISCC's website at http://www.biscc.org.

Bloomington Chess Club – Tuesdays at 7:00pm
The Bloomington Chess Club meets every Tuesday from 7:00pm-10:00pm at Buffa Louie's.  Come play in a relaxed environment while enjoying great food.  Games are frequently played at rapid time controls (G/20 or G/15), blitz (G/5), as well as un-timed, so there's a little bit of something for everybody.

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May 11, 2016. The registration deadline for this Saturday's Ben Harris Spring Open has been extended until tomorrow night, May 12th, at midnight.  With 37 entries so far, this is already shaping up to be the best-attended edition of this event ever. Send your last-minute entry details to me at gerry_roberts@ymail.com, and for the scholastic sections, bring your entry fee to the tournament site on Saturday morning.  Full details can be found below.  I look forward to seeing everyone there!

Ben Harris Spring Open - May 14
The 2016 Ben Harris Spring Open will again be held at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church, 100 N. State Road 46 in Bloomington on Saturday, May 14.  The event will have four sections (Open, U6, U3, U1), using a time control of G/30 d5 for the scholastic sections (5 rounds) and G/40 d5 for the Open section (4 rounds).  Check-in will go from 8:00-8:30am, with the first round beginning promptly at 9:00am.  Trophies will be awarded in the scholastic sections to the top five individual finishers in each. Entry fees for the scholastic sections are $25. The Open section will have neither entry fees nor prizes. Regardless of the section, there will be no onsite registration available.  Registration information can be sent to gerry_roberts@ymail.com, but payment should be sent to BISCC, ATTN: Neal Abdullah, PO Box 8422, Bloomington, IN 47407 with checks made payable to Bloomington Indiana Scholastic Chess Club.  USCF membership is required, so be sure to include USCF information and membership fee if you are a new or inactive member.  If you have questions, you can download the official flyer here, or contact me at gerry_roberts@ymail.com. The list of advanced entries can be found here, and will be updated more frequently as the event nears.

Apr. 21, 2016.
As the nation's best chess players are gathered in St. Louis for the U.S. Championships, manylocal players have been busy playing and/or preparing for tournaments of their own. From last weekend's National Junior High Championships in Indianapolis to this weekend's ISCA Memorial Open in the same city, there's been plenty of action for local chess enthusiasts lately and lots to still look forward to.

I. Tournament Recaps
Blitz Tournament - March 24
The Chess Club at IU hosted an unrated blitz tournament at the IMU last month, attracting 13 of the city's strongest players.  Top-rated Hall Bjornstad overcame a first round loss to Roy "Jimmy" Brown to go undefeated thereafter, finishing with 4.5 points in 6 games.  However, he was not alone atop the leaderboard, as Jimmy also finished with 4.5 points following a loss to Matt Kubisch.  For their efforts, the winners earned $20 apiece.  The full crosstable can be viewed here.

National Junior High (K-9) Championship - April 15-17
For the first time ever, the National Junior High Championships were held in Indianapolis, attracting an impressive 1138 players from all corners of the nation.  Festivities began Thursday afternoon with a bughouse tournament.  Teaming up for the event were 7th graders Andrew Pilat of Martinsville and Thaddeus Cole of Bloomington.  Losing only a single round, they impressed by finishing in a tie for fifth place (see the results here).  Seeking to continue the momentum, they both also signed up for the blitz tournament that evening with some of the top junior players in the country.  Thaddeus finished the event with 5/12 points while Drew managed to score 3.5 points (full USCF crosstable here).

The championships proper began the next morning across six sections (K-9 Championships, K-8 Championships, K-9 U1250, K-9 U1000, K-9 U750, K-9 unrated).  Thaddeus, participating in the K-9 U1250 section, went 3-1 from his first four games.  Meanwhile, his coach (yours truly) went 3-1 in the side event for "Family and Friends."  Combining the scores for the four rounds, he and I won the first place trophy for top coach/student.  Thaddeus finished his section with 4/7 points, earning a handful of rating points in the process.  Meanwhile, other local participants included Bingrui "Tutu" Wang in the K-8 Championship section. Playing in only four of the seven rounds, he managed to win half of his games in a grueling section.  Notably, Maggie Feng of Ohio went 6.5/7.0 in the K-9 Championship section, becoming the first ever female national junior high champion!  To see all of the results, view the crosstable here.

II. Tournament Calendar
ISCA Memorial Open - April 23
In the second leg of this year's "Road to the Open," which will award a free entry to the highest finisher in each of the Master/Expert, Class A, Class B, and Class C/below sections across four ISCA events, the Memorial Open will be held this Saturday at the Church of the Nativity in Indianapolis.  Held in two sections (Open, U1800), the tournament will be a 4-round Swiss event with a time control of G/60 d10.  Cash prizes will be awarded to the top overall and class finishers in each section.  Other than the State Championships, this is typically the strongest and best attended ISCA event on the calendar each year, so don't miss the opportunity to test your skills against the best the state has to offer.  So far, there are nearly 50 advanced entries.  Check out the full list here.  If you want to sign up, on-site registration will be available from 8:15-9:00am for $55.  I'll see you all bright and early Saturday morning for the first round at 9:30am!

All-Girls National Championships - April 22-24
Hosted at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place in Chicago, this year's All-Girls National Championships will be held this weekend. The event, a 6-round Swiss system using a time control of G/90 d5, will have six sections according to age group as of January 1st (U18, U16, U14, U12, U10, and U8).  The first place finisher in each section will qualify to represent the USA at the 2016 World Youth/Cadets Championships. Entry fees are $55 if received by 3/28, $75 by 4/11, or $95 after. To register, or for additional information, visit http://rknights.org/registration/tournaments/all-girls-nationals/

Blitz Tournament - April 29
The Chess Club at IU will be holding another unrated blitz tournament next Friday at 7pm-10pm at the IMU in the area behind Baja Fresh near the ATMs.  The tournament will be identical to the previous one (see tournament recap above), with 6 rounds of G/5 with a 2-second delay per move.  The entry fee will be $8, pizza and drinks will be provided, and there will be cash prizes for winners.  All ages and skill levels are welcome to attend.  If you have any questions, you can contact club president Evan Spiegel at evdspieg@umail.iu.edu.

National Elementary (K-6) Championships - May 6-8
The National Elementary Championships are returning to the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee this year.  This is the same facility that hosts the SuperNationals every four years, and promises to be a fantastic venue for chess players and their families.  The tournament is 7SS, G/120 d5 except for the K-1 sections, which play at a slightly faster G/90 d5. There are 9 sections, sorted by age group and strength, so if you're willing to travel the four hours from Bloomington, there is a spot for everybody. Entry fees are $50 in advance before 4/4, $70 by 4/25, $85 by 5/4, or $90 onsite.  For more information or to register, visit www.uschess.org/tournaments/2016/elem/ or contact Susan Kantor at skantor@uschess.org

Ben Harris Spring Open - May 14
The 2016 Ben Harris Spring Open will again be held at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church, 100 N. State Road 46 in Bloomington on Saturday, May 14.  The event will have four sections (Open, U6, U3, U1), using a time control of G/30 d5 for the scholastic sections (5 rounds) and G/40 d5 for the Open section (4 rounds).  Check-in will go from 8:00-8:30am, with the first round beginning promptly at 9:00am.  Trophies will be awarded in the scholastic sections to the top five individual finishers in each.  Entry fees for the scholastic sections are $15 before April 30, or $25 by May 4. The Open section will have neither entry fees nor prizes.  Regardless of the section, there will be no onsite registration available.  Registration information can be sent to gerry_roberts@ymail.com, but payment should be sent to BISCC, ATTN: Neal Abdullah, PO Box 8422, Bloomington, IN 47407 with checks made payable to Bloomington Indiana Scholastic Chess Club.  USCF membership is required, so be sure to include USCF information and membership fee if you are a new or inactive member.  If you have questions, you can download the official flyer here, or contact me at gerry_roberts@ymail.com. The list of advanced entries can be found here, and will be updated more frequently as the event nears.

III. USCF-Rated Online Chess
For the past year or so, the USCF has been running rated blitz and quick tournaments on the chess.com servers.  And best of all, it's free for USCF members to play.  Every Monday night at 6pm, verified members can play in a 5-round, G/10 Swiss system tournament for real rating points.  If that's too early for you, there's also a 7-round G/5 tournament at 11pm. The blitz continues on Wednesdays, where players can sign up for a 7-round 3/2 tournament beginning at 8pm.  For those preferring slightly longer time controls, you can catch the 15/10 tournament on Friday nights at 8pm.  To be eligible to play, just fill out the verification form located here.

IV. Chess Clubs
Chess Club at IU – Wednesdays at 7:00pm
The IU Chess Club meets on Wednesdays from 7:00pm-9:00pm by the Burger King in the Indiana Memorial Union.  Players of all strengths and ages, regardless of university affiliation, are welcome to attend.  Questions can be forwarded through the group's Facebook page, or by contacting president Evan Spiegel at evdspieg@umail.iu.edu.

BISCC Library Chapter – alternating Sundays at 1:30pm
The next meeting of the Bloomington Indiana Scholastic Chess Club’s library chapter will be Sunday, April 10 from 1:30pm-3:30pm at the First United Methodist Church, one block south of the Monroe County Public Library. Several of the area's top scholastic players are regular attendees, but each session includes a lesson for beginners as well as a weekly activity.  Your first meeting is free to attend, so stop by to see if it would be a good fit for you and your child. For more details about the club, contact me or visit BISCC's website at http://www.biscc.org.

Crestmont Castles Chess Club – Sundays at 3:00pm
Sponsored by Bloomington Parks & Recreation, this group meets from 3:00pm-4:30pm at the Crestmont Community Center (1002 Summit Street).  It is free to attend and welcome to all ages and playing strengths.  Players both young and old have been frequenting the club, so stop by on your next lazy Sunday and discover what the hype is all about.  For more information, download the flyer, or feel free to contact Michael May at (812) 606-7152(812) 606-7152(812) 606-7152(812) 606-7152, michael@interiormythos.com.

Bloomington Chess Club – Tuesdays at 7:00pm
The Bloomington Chess Club meets every Tuesday from 7:00pm-10:00pm at Buffa Louie's. Come play in a relaxed environment while enjoying great food.  Games are frequently played at rapid time controls (G/20 or G/15), blitz (G/5), as well as un-timed, so there's a little bit of something for everybody.

V. Save the Dates
July 9-10: ISCA Class Championships (Indianapolis, IN)
July 30-August 7: 117th Annual US Open (Indianapolis, IN)

 
[June 26, 2015]

The throes of summer, with its lack of nearby chess tournaments, is upon us. But fear not, there is hope on the horizon. In less than a month's time, local chess will be back in full swing, beginning with the 2nd Annual Bloomington Summer Blitz on July 25. Full details, registration link, and flyer are below. Also, beginning with this edition of the newsletter, there is a featured game at the end of the e-mail.

I. Tournament Recaps 3rd Annual Bloomington Spring Tournament On Saturday, May 2nd, 22 players of all ages gathered at the Monroe County Public Library for this event. In the Open section, incredible upsets abounded. In round 1, Jackson Creek Middle School student Tony Yu managed to beat Kevin Clark, despite being rated nearly 700 points lower than his esteemed opponent. Not to be outdone, Daniel Rickert nicked expert-rated Joshua Bousum for a draw in round 3 despite being 830 points lower rated. This game is featured at the bottom of the newsletter. Daniel then followed up his impressive performance in round 4 with a victory over the aforementioned Kevin Clark. Both Tony and Daniel had performance ratings so high for the event that the USCF required me to verify that I actually had the right names. As impressive as these results were, none was more so than Matt Kubisch's day, as he managed to go undefeated against stiff opposition and winning the tournament with 3.5/4.0. For his efforts, Matt was rewarded with his first rating over 1900 (to be precise, 1903).


In the Reserve section, John Illg won his first rated event with a convincing four wins out of four games. Rena Cohen finished close behind with 3.0/4.0 points to take the second-place trophy. A clear winner, however, did not emerge from the Unrated section, where three of the four players finished in a logjam with 2.0/3.0 points. Annie Tran walked away with the first-place trophy on tiebreaks over Wayne Young and Sean Borneman. Congratulations to all of the competitors, and thanks for making the event a smooth one.

Results for the rated sections can be found here.

National Elementary Championships

Held at the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville, Tennessee from May 8-10, the National Elementary Championship attracted more than 2200 players from across the country, including local scholastic standout Thaddeus Cole. Playing in event's top section, Thaddeus was up against players rated more than 1400 for most of the rounds. Nonetheless, he scored 2.5 points over the 7 rounds, drawing one of the 1400 players in the process by having a better understanding of the three-move repetition rule. Congratulations on representing Bloomington scholastic chess so well, and holding your own against the nation's best.


Indiana Memorial

The Indiana State Chess Association held a one-day, 4-round, G/60 d10 event in Indianapolis on May 9. In the Open section, Master James Mills topped a field of several experts and Class A players with 3.5/4.0 points. Recent Bloomington High School North graduate Bobby Goddin also played in this section, losing all of his games against higher rated opponents, and winning his game against a lower rated opponent. In the Reserve section, Steve Steppe and Larry Boswell drew in the last round after winning each of their previous games, splitting first place in the process. Tony Yu continued his string of impressive upsets with a draw against second-seeded Terry Lemaster. This capped off an incredible 14-day run in which Tony gained more than 250 rating points! Full crosstable can be found here.


II. 2nd Annual Bloomington Summer Blitz – Saturday, July 25

Come join the fun in Meeting Rooms 1B/1C of the Monroe County Public Library in Bloomington as players exhaust themselves with 18 consecutive blitz games. The tournament will be a 9 round Swiss system with double rounds, meaning you play both white and black against the same opponent. The time control will be G/5 with no delay, meaning the whole affair shouldn't take more than a few hours. There will be separate sections for U1000 and Open. This will be a USCF-rated event, so you must have an active membership to play. Guaranteed trophies awarded to top 3 players in each section. To register in advance, go to http://chess.filetap.com. All advanced entries will be listed on that site, as well. Or, register on-site from 10:30am-11:00am. Rounds begin promptly at 11:00am. More information is included on the official flyer. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at gerry_roberts@ymail.com.


If you have never been a USCF member and want to give rated chess a try, the USCF is allowing certain affiliates to collect a $6 fee for your first tournament in lieu of obtaining a full membership. I need to submit special paperwork for that option, so please let me know if you are interested.


III. USCF-Rated Online Chess

For the past few months, the USCF has been running rated blitz and quick tournaments on the chess.com servers. And best of all, it's free for USCF members to play. Every Monday night at 6pm, verified members can play in a 5-round, G/10 Swiss system tournament for real rating points. If that's too early for you, there's also a 7-round G/5 tournament at 11pm. The blitz continues on Wednesdays, where players can sign up for a 7-round 3/2 tournament beginning at 8pm. For those preferring slightly longer time controls, you can catch the 15/10 tournament on Friday nights at 8pm. To be eligible to play, just fill out the verification form located here.


IV. Indiana Class Championships – August 1-2

On the southwest side of Indianapolis, no more than an hour away from Bloomington, the Indiana Class Championships will be held the first weekend of August. This is the same event that came to the Holiday Inn in Bloomington last August, and the structure this year is nearly identical. Players play only those players in their rating class, unless you voluntarily want to move up one section. Everybody rated higher than 1200 will be playing a 4 round tournament with a time control of G/120 d5 over two days. Advanced entry for these sections is $40, or $50 on-site, and cash prizes will be awarded to the top finishers. For players rated below 1200, the tournament is a one day affair, with the time control split in half (G/60 d5). Entry fee for this section is a modest $20, with trophies being awarded to the top 10 finishers. For more information, see the complete TLA below. Let me know if you need help deciphering this or other TLAs. 4SS, G/120 d5. Clarion Hotel, 2930 Waterfront Pkwy., West Dr., Indianapolis, IN 46214. Ph: 317-299-8400317-299-8400. HR:$82 (book by July 1). In 6 Sections: Master/Expert, A, B, C, D (See Class E below). May play up one class. Sections combined if necessary. Prizes (50% gtd): $$1700, b/50 paid entries, M/X $250, $150, A,B,C,D $200, $125. Reg.: 8:30-9:45. Rds.: Sat 10-3 & Sun 10-2:30. EF: $40 if rec’d by 7/28, $50 on-site. ISCA Memb. req’d, OSA. 1 bye if before RD.2, NO LAST RD. BYES. Ent: On-line, indianachess.org or mail to: Craig Hines, 613 North Park Dr., Evansville, IN 47710, 812-423-2996812-423-2996, (cell)812-618-8700812-618-8700, July ratings used. Class E: August 1st only. 4SS, G/60 d5. Rds.: 10, 12:30, 3, 5. EF: $20.Trophies 1-10 places.

V. Indiananapolis Open – August 29-30

The Continental Chess Association, which organizes nearly all of the largest open tournaments across the country, is coming back to Indiana for the 10th consecutive year. Last year's edition featured nearly 200 players, including three Grandmasters, across the five rating sections. The structure this year has been slimmed just slightly to be a double-class tournament (Open, U2000, U1600, U1200). The top three sections cost $99 to register in advance at chessaction.com, with cash prizes in each section as high as $2000. Meanwhile the U1200 section will cost $59 to register in advance, and cash prizes going as high as $600 for the winner. Regardless of the section you enter, the tournament will be a 5-round Swiss system tournament. If you want to play the full weekend (including Friday), each round will be 40/110, SD 30 d10 (each player has 110 minutes to make their first forty moves, but are awarded an additional 30 minutes after reaching move forty; there is a 10 second delay for all moves). Otherwise, if you choose to only play on Saturday and Sunday, your first two rounds will be G/60 d10. Full details can be found here.

VI. Crestmont Castles Chess Club – Sundays at 3:00pm

Sponsored by Bloomington Parks & Recreation, this group meets from 3:00pm-5:00pm at the Crestmont Community Center (1002 Summit Street). It is free to attend and welcome to all ages and playing strengths. Players both young and old have been frequenting the club, so stop by on your next lazy Sunday and discover what the hype is all about. For more information, download the flyer, or feel free to contact Michael May at (812) 606-7152(812) 606-7152(812) 606-7152(812) 606-7152(812) 606-7152(812) 606-7152(812) 606-7152(812) 606-7152, michael@storywarrior.net.



VII. Bloomington Chess Club – Tuesdays at 7:00pm

The Bloomington Chess Club meets every Tuesday from 7:00pm-10:00pm at Buffa Louie's. Come play in a relaxed environment while enjoying great food. Games are frequently played at rapid time controls (G/20 or G/15), blitz (G/5), as well as un-timed, so there's a little bit of something for everybody.

VIII. BISCC Library Chapter – alternating Sundays at 1:30pm

The next meeting of the Bloomington Indiana Scholastic Chess Club’s library chapter will be Sunday, July 12 from 1:30pm-3:30pm in Meeting Rooms 1B & 1C of the Monroe County Public Library. Several of the area's top scholastic players are regular attendees, but each session includes a lesson for beginners as well as a weekly activity. This next meeting is free for everyone to attend, so stop by to see if it would be a good fit for you and your child. For more details about the club, contact me or visit BISCC's website at http://www.biscc.org.



      
  IX. Featured Game
  [Event "3rd Bloomington Spring"]
  [Round "3"]
  [White "Bousum, Josh"]
  [White Elo "2020"]
  [Black "Rickert, Daniel"]
  [Black Elo "1190"]
  [Result "1/2-1/2"]
  [ECO "D06"]
    
  1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 Bf5 3. c4 e6 4. Nc3 Nf6 5. e3 c5 6. Qb3 Qb6
  7. cxd5 Qxb3 8. axb3 exd5 9. Nb5 Kd8 10. Ne5 Be6 11. Nxa7
  Na6 12. Bxa6? Rxa7 13. Nc6+ bxc6 14. Bd2 Bd6 15. O-O Ke7
  16. dxc5 Bxc5 17. b4 Bb6 18. b5 Rha8 19. Rac1 c5 20. b4 c4
  21. Bc3 Bc8 22. Rfd1 Ke6 23. Bxf6 gxf6 24. e4 Rd7 25. exd5+
  Rxd5 26. Re1+ Kd7 27. Rxc4 Bxa6 28. bxa6 Rxa6 29. g3 Bd4
  30. Kg2 Ra2 31. Kf3  Bxf2 32. Rec1 Bb6  33. Rc6 Bd8 34. Ke4
  Rad2 35. R1c4 R2d4+ 36. Kf3 Rd3+ 37. Ke4 R3d4+ {Daniel had
  less than a minute remaining on his clock}
    1/2-1/2

If you would like one of your games featured in the next newsletter, please send your notation and/or annotations to gerry_roberts@ymail.com. The best game I receive will be selected for publication.