|March 4, 2018. By Gerry Roberts. In this edition, read about the trio of Indiana players that checkmated their way to college scholarships, the International Master that drove across three states to defeat some of Indiana's best, and the 3rd/Under team who dominated their regional with a perfect 20-0 score!
On the horizon, the SCI Team Championships (March 24) and Indiana State Chess/Blitz Championships (April 20-22) promise even more excitement. In the meantime, there are more than a dozen other events in the coming months for adult and scholastic players alike. Get all of the latest tournament recaps, schedules, and registration details below.
I. Tournament Recaps
Sixth Annual Checkmate Hunger Chess Tournament (Warsaw, IN) - January 13
Warsaw Community Schools hosted this perennial favorite in which ALL PLAYERS went home with a trophy or medallion. Catering to players of all ages and skill levels, the event featured 122 players in six sections: Open Rated, Novice (U1200) Unrated, Adult Unrated, Grade 6-12 Unrated, Grade 4-5 Unrated, and K-3 Unrated.
In the K-3 section, second-grader Kai Brandt from Washington STEM impressed with a 4.5/5 performance. In the Grade 4-5 Unrated division, home-schooled fourth-grader Baylor Schoon posted a perfect 5/5 score, finishing a full point ahead of four others, including a pair of players from Lincoln Elementary. In the Grade 6-12 Unrated, youngster Aiden Carr bested a field of older players with a perfect score, earning the second top trophy of the day for Washington STEM. Meanwhile, in the Adult Unrated section, Tom Smith beat each of the three players immediately behind him in the crosstable to finish in clear first.
The rated divisions also proved to be very competitive, sporting 39 strong and active players from the Michiana region. In the U1200 section, a pair of middle school students - Bethany Christian's Cameron Heinisch and home-schooled Jordan Kaufman - were the lone remaining perfect scores after four rounds. In the dramatic finale, the section's top-rated player, Kaufman, proved his mettle en route to the victory. Last, but certainly not least, the strong Open Division featured two Class A players and an Expert, amongst others. However, the top-seeded Ben Bentrup and Mat Leach shared first after drawing each other in the penultimate round and finishing off the rest of the field with a flourish.
A complete crosstable with both rated and unrated sections can be found at http://chess.joepye.net/xtables/l180120.htm, while the USCF crosstable can be viewed at http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201801208242.0
SCI Individual State Championships - January 27
An astounding 836 players from across the state attended one of the five regional qualifying tournament, each vying for a coveted spot at the SCI Individual State Championships at Pike High School in Indianapolis. Only 333 of them made it to the main event, where trophies and scholarships awaited. The tournament was played in seven sections, divided by grade and rating.
In the U3 Division, the field of 78 players was effectively narrowed to two going into the final round, where lone perfect scores Rashan Raman and Gavin Lass had already leapfrogged several higher-rated players. After splitting the point, Rashan was awarded the top trophy on the strength of his tiebreaks.
A similar storyline emerged in the U6 JV division, where Luke Waters and Grace Tenbarge boasted twin scores before the last round, but needed to win, as Taiga Nashida was in the mix after a first round bye and four consecutive wins. In the end, Luke Waters delivered in only his fourth rated event. The drama continued in the U6 Championship section, where prohibitive pre-tournament rating favorites Grant Mu (1526) and Yashom Kapoor (1505) suffered early losses to Sam Liu (1047) and Therese Walatka (1029), respectively. In their stead, it was third-seeded Timothy Chien En Lim who paced the field with his perfect score. For his efforts, Timothy was awarded a $1000 scholarship.
Meanwhile, in the U8 JV division, Henry Adams not only broke through the 1000-rating barrier, but through his competition, as he defeated the only other perfect score, Abhinay Mundrigi, in the final round. Their championship-division counterparts were led by Max Egan and Braydon Povinelli, whose penultimate round draw and combined six victories forced a decision on tiebreak. Winning the $1000 scholarship and ticket to the Barber invitational tournament for state K-8 champions was Max Egan, but shout-out to Braydon Povinelli for an excellent display of resilience en route to his second consecutive runner-up finish.
As the only top seed of the day to win his section with a perfect score, Ankush Dhawan beat the odds to take home the U12 JV title. Finally, in the U12 Championship section, Carson Pocock overcame a slow start after drawing his first game, putting himself in a position to win the tournament with a final round game against Elkhart's Aiden Kaczanowski. In true Hollywood fashion, Carson had found himself in an identical situation against Daniel Rickert in 2017 and faltered, but redeemed himself in a big way this year. With his victory, Carson not only sealed the first place trophy, but the $2000 scholarship and ticket to the Denker Tournament of K-12 Champions.
Congratulations to Carson and the rest of the competitors for a fantastic event! The full USCF crosstable can be viewed at http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201801272182.0, while the standings in tiebreak order can be accessed at http://www.scichess.org/2018/2018INDfinalsResults.TXT.
Southern Indiana Open/Reserve (Bloomington) - February 10
In its fourth appearance at the Holiday Inn in Bloomington, this year's edition of the Southern Indiana Open/Reserve attracted a record attendance of 69 players.
The Reserve section was added this year to much fanfare, with 41 players in its ranks. With an upper-rating limit of 1800, the section attracted several Class B players who were expected to compete for the top prize. However, it was Bloomington High School North's Alex Smith that surprised them all. Entering the tournament as a grossly-underrated 1272, Alex defeated four(!) consecutive higher-rated players en route to a perfect score, 290-point rating boost, and a check for $275.
Meanwhile, the story of the Open section was IM Ron Burnett. Hailing from Tennessee, Ron had pre-registered for the tournament, and was primed to be the first International Master to make an appearance at an ISCA-sanctioned event in many years. However, 35 minutes into his scheduled first round game, his would-be opponent, Hall Bjornstad of Bloomington, appeared to be on his way to a time forfeit. It was at that moment that Ron arrived, explaining that he didn't expect his trip north to be into a different time zone. That would be the closest anybody would come to defeating Ron on the day, as he dispatched his opponents in endgame after endgame. Finishing close behind, though, was NM Jim Mills, who was unable to break through Archit Mokashi's fortress in the final round and finished with 3.5/4.
Thanks to Chief Tournament Director Craig Hines for a smooth event, and to all the competitors for making it enjoyable for all. The full crosstable can be viewed at http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201802109402.0
ISI Championship (Indianapolis) - February 10
For the second consecutive scholastic season, the International School of Indiana has proved a capable host for some of the state's top K-12 players. Their latest two-section event attracted 40 players for four rounds of rated chess. In the K-3 division, Gabriel Klopper continued to exceed all expectations, as he won yet another event in his young career by perfect score. After starting as a provisionally-rated 354 in October, Gabriel climbed to a solid 904 post-event. In the Grade 4-8 division, Sam Liu defeated Lucas Ouimette in the final round to be the lone perfect score and take home the top prize. The USCF crosstable can be found at http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201802108692.0
SCI Team Regionals (Terre Haute, Mt. Vernon, Hammond, Goshen) - February 17 and 24
Regional Qualifiers for the SCI Team Championships were held on February 17 (Terre Haute, Mt. Vernon) and February 24 (Hammond, Goshen), attracting more than 200 teams in grades K-8. As always, 12th/Under teams do not need to qualify. While there were plenty of upsets, notable results, and dominant performances, none stood out as much as Canterbury's K-3 squad going 20-0 in its games at the tough Goshen Regional. Best of luck to all of the qualifying teams! Please see the tournament schedule below if you plan to compete at the state finals. Crosstables for each event can be found at http://scichess.org/tournament-results/
Memory Lane Invitational (Topeka, IN) - February 17
The report for this unrated event is provided by Joe Riegsecker's Joepye Chess Newsletter (subscribe at email@example.com):
Calvin Miller (and his family) put on another great tournament at his family home in rural Topeka. A little reconfiguration gave us a skittles area this year, the food was great as always, and the chess was fast and furious. Sixty-one entrants showed up (some from as far away as Illinois), but at the end of the day, the big winner was the same as last year. Ben Bentrup went 6-0 to take home top prize. Dan Shenk had the best tiebreaks among the 5 pointers to take the second place prize. Honorable mention goes to two youngsters in the 5-point group, Logan Miller and John Bentrup. They took the top prizes for players 8th grade and younger.
View complete results at http://chess.joepye.net/xtables/l180217.htm
The top prize was a very nice wooden board and set. The gentleman who made it was present with some of his other work. If any chess set collectors are out there and you would like to add a locally-made (Etna Green) set to your collection, contact Matthew Schwartz at 574-642-1101
Ext 6. Sorry, as far as I know, he doesn't have an internet presence.
Bremen Library Winter Chess (Bremen, IN) - February 17
Relative tournament newcomer Nicholas Medich bested the field of 16 with a perfect 4-0 score, earning himself a provisional rating above 1000. The complete results can be found at http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201802171972
President's Day Tournament (Zionsville) - February 19
At least 83 scholastic chess players in Indiana didn't have school this President's Day, as attendance at the Zionsville Public Library reached impressive heights. Held in four sections, the event featured four rounds of rated chess. In the 1st/Under section, experience won out, as the player with the most rated games - Madison Brown - won the even with a perfect score. In the 3rd/Under section, it was rating that proved most predictive, with top-rated Michael Pu posting a 4-0 score. In the 6th/Under section, Jacob Brashear nicked top-rated Edward Chen for a draw in round 3, paving the way for Sunay Konnur to finish in clear first. Finally, in the 12th/Under section, Charissa Chow was bested by top-rated Noah Lewis in round 2, but was avenged by her brother Christopher in the last round, ending the event in a three-way tie at 3-1. The complete crosstable can be found at http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201802193362.0
II. Hoosiers Play Abroad
Toledo January Swiss (Toledo, OH) - January 13
Congratulations to Indiana's John Bidwell, who upended Ohio's Ryan Clayton in the penultimate round on his way to a perfect 4-0 score in the event's Open section. The crosstable can be found at http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201801135202.0
Cardinal Open (Columbus, OH) - January 26-28
Finishing in a tie for 6th place in the Open section with 3/5 points, Indiana's Lester Van Meter was our top finisher in this event. Fellow master Jim Mills, however, lurked only half a point behind in a tie for 16th place. View the crosstable at http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201801282912.0
Toledo January Swiss (Toledo, OH) - February 10
Similar to January's edition, masters John Bidwell and Ryan Clayton faced off in a round 3 matchup which most would expect to decide first and second place. After they drew, Clayton upheld his end of the bargain, but Bidwell was upset by the young Aiden Kaczanowski, also of Indiana. As a result, Kaczanowski finished in clear second place, and notched his highest-ever rating as he prepares to enter the ranks of expert. Find the full crosstable at http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201802109212.0
U.S. Amateur Team Championship North (Schaumburg, IL) - February 16-18
With 366 players comprising 85 teams, the USAT North was as hotly contested this year as any in recent memory. The top-finishing team from Indiana was The Zwischenthugs (3/5, T-20th), comprised of Les Kistler, Aidan Kaczanowski, Stuart Krahn, and Dan Watson. Les and Dan had the best individual performances for the team, each finishing with 3.5/5. To see team standings and board prizes, go to http://www.chessweekend.com/2018/2018-us-amateur-team-north-final-standings/, or view the individual standings and rated crosstable at http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201802183262.1
III. Tournament Calendar
March Madness (West Lafayette) - March 10
Purdue University's Stewart Center will host this event for all ages in five sections (Unrated K-3, Rated K-3, Rated 4-6, Rated High School, Open). Both individual and team trophies will be awarded, depending on section, will full details listed at http://www.uschess.org/tlas/6427.tla, and online registration at http://chessstart.org/MarchMadness.html. Registration is $25 for scholastic players and $10 for adults.
Toledo January Swiss (Toledo, OH) - March 10
Hosted at the University of Toledo Health Science Campus (Mulford Library - Basement Cafe, 3000 Arlington Ave., Toledo, OH 43614), this recurring event has a time control of G/75 d5 for round 1, and G/85 d5 for rounds 2-4. Onsite registration ($25) is available from 9:00am-10:00am, or you can register in advance for $20 by mail (see toledochess.org for the address or additional details).
SJGS Open Tournament (South Bend) - SUNDAY, March 11
Saint Joseph Grade School is hosting another great event at the Ackles Center (711 E. Colfax Ave., South Bend, IN) for players of all ages and skill levels. Best of all, the entry fee is only $10! Time controls and number of rounds vary by section (U300, U800, Open), but are designed for everyone to start by 12pm and finish by 4pm. Trophies are awarded in the lower sections, with modest cash prizes in the Open section(s). These events are getting stronger and stronger with each iteration, so consider dedicating your Sunday afternoon to supporting a great program. For additional details and to register, visit https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfX7OgobJcFJ3pE-Uy-U6cQAYUabzCfqp5IMnjL_qUb3tC6ow/viewform. The facilities can only accommodate about 60 people, so reserve your spot early!
Elkhart County Scholastic and Adult Championships (Elkhart) - March 17
Please join me at Elkhart Central High School (1 Blazer Blvd., Elkhart, IN) for the 32nd Annual Elkhart County Scholastic and 7th Annual Elkhart County Adult Championships.
The scholastic event invites all K-12 players to participate, and will be split into rated and non-rated sections. The rated section will be 4/SS, G/45 d5, while the unrated section(s) will play six rounds at G/30. More than 15 trophies will be awarded, including special prizes for some of the top Elkhart County and Elkhart Community Schools finishers. Sets, boards, and clocks will all be provided, with concessions available onsite. Entry fees are an extremely-modest $8, so get all the details and register online at http://chess.joepye.net/32county.htm.
The adult open will be held concurrently at the same site, but in two separate rated divisions (Open, U1400). Each section will be three rounds of G/60 d5, with modest cash prizes awarded to the winners. Get all the information you need, and register online, at http://chess.joepye.net/7countyadult.htm. Entries for all sections are due by March 14, so don't delay!
SCI Team Championships (Hammond) - March 24
For K-8 teams that qualified one or more teams at a regional event, online registration for the state finals at Morton High School in Hammond ends on March 12 at http://www.scichess.org/register. Please note that you must complete the registration process if you qualified. As a reminder, all 3rd/Under teams that completed a regional are qualified to attend, as are any 12th/Under teams that want to play. All players must have USCF ID numbers, and any players competing in a division higher than 3rd/Under must have current USCF memberships. If you have any questions, contact Scott Reisinger at MReisinger@yahoo.com. Best of luck to all the teams competing!
Evansville Spring Open (Evansville) - March 31
Hosted at St. Marks Lutheran Church (2300 Washington Ave., Evansville, IN), this tournament will be 4/SS with G/70 d10. With a modest entry fee of $25, cash prizes will be awarded to the top overall and class finishers. Onsite registration is available from 8:30am-9:15am, with the tournament beginning at 9:30am. For more details, visit http://www.uschess.org/tlas/9339.tla
Wabash Quads (Wabash) - SUNDAY, April 1
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.
77th Indiana State Chess Championships and Blitz Championships (Indianapolis) - April 20-22
The recent fall classic has returned to its original season, as the Indiana State Chess Association prepares for its second state championship in just six months. Owing to member feedback, the Open section will feature a longer time control this year, with 5/SS 30/90 SD/60 d5, while the Reserve (U1800) section boasts a quicker G/90 d5. The tournament will boast an impressive $3000 prize fund based on 80 entries, with plaques awarded to the top Indiana finishers in each section. Players may opt for the 2-day or 3-day schedule, with sections merging in round 3 on Saturday afternoon. Special entry fees are available for ISCA members, early registrations (by 4/13), and juniors (U13), so check out http://indianachess.org/content.aspx?page_id=87&club_id=169378&item_id=783387 for all the registration details and links.
After round 3 on Saturday night (9pm), ISCA will also be hosting the State Blitz Championships onsite. The format has been altered slightly this year, with 7/SS, G/3 + 2s. increment. The prize fund has been increased this year to $600 b/32, with prizes for 1st-2nd-U2000-U1700-U1400. The TLA and registration information can be found in the link above.
Last, but certainly not least, the annual membership meeting will be held at 2:30pm on Sunday. If you have any ideas on how to improve ISCA events, or further its mission to spread chess throughout the state, please plan to attend and share your thoughts. If you have any questions, email me at email@example.com
2018 All-Girls National Championships presented by the Kasparov Chess Foundation in association with the Renaissance Knights Chess Foundation & US Chess (Chicago, IL) - April 20-22
Details at http://www.uschess.org/tlas/upcoming.php?CAT=NAT and http://rknights.org/registration/tournaments/all-girls-nationals/
Pushy Pawns (West Lafayette) - April 21
Purdue University's Stewart Center will host this event for all ages in four sections (Unrated K-3, Rated K-3, Rated 4-6, Rated High School, Open). Both individual and team trophies will be awarded, depending on section, will full details listed at http://www.uschess.org/tlas/6558.tla, and online registration at http://chessstart.org/PushyPawns.html. Registration is $20 for scholastic players and $10 for adults.
2018 National High School (K-12) Championship (Columbus, OH) - April 27-29
Details at http://www.uschess.org/tlas/upcoming.php?CAT=NAT and http://www.uschess.org/tournaments/2018/hs/
Ben Harris Spring Open (Bloomington) - May 5
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 each scholastic section. Entry fees for scholastic players are $15 before April 20, $25 after April 20, or $30 onsite before 8:30am. Entry is free for the Open section. Complete details and online registration can be found at http://biscc.org/ben-harris-tournament/. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spring Fling (West Lafayette) - May 12
Purdue University's Stewart Center will host this event for all ages in four sections (Unrated K-3, Rated K-3, Rated 4-6, Rated High School, Open). Both individual and team trophies will be awarded, depending on section, will full details listed at http://www.uschess.org/tlas/8035.tla, and online registration at http://chessstart.org/SpringFling.html. Registration is $20 for scholastic players and $10 for adults.
2018 National Elementary (K-6) Championship (Nashville, TN) - May 11-13
Hosted at the luxurious Gaylord Opryland Resort, this national championships event features a number of sections, side-events, and other features guaranteed to satisfy any chess family. Details at http://www.uschess.org/tlas/upcoming.php?CAT=NAT and http://www.uschess.org/tournaments/2018/elem/
Chicago Open (Wheeling, IL) - May 24-28
With a $100,000 guaranteed prize fund, this is one of the most prestigious and well-attended events on the calendar. Details at http://www.uschess.org/tlas/upcoming.php?CAT=GP#39056 and http://chessevents.com/chicagoopen/
Northern Indiana Open (Elkhart) - June 9
The Hilton Garden Inn (3401 Plaza Ct., Elkhart, IN) will host the Northern Indiana Open for the second consecutive year, with an increased prize fund of $1200 b/40. Among the prizes are class prizes all the way down to Class D (below 1400), and prizes for the top junior and senior players. The event will mirror its Southern Indiana counterpart with 4/SS G/70 d5, but in a single section. ISCA members can register for as little as $40 by 5/9 using our early bird discount, with entry fees higher for later registrations and non-members. For full details and to register, visit http://indianachess.org/content.aspx?page_id=87&club_id=169378&item_id=786108 or email questions to email@example.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.
IV. 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 on Grape Road 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?
Chicory Cafe Chess Club (South Bend) - Mondays from 6:00-8:00pm
Come and play some casual games of chess at the Chicory Cafe at the corner of Jefferson and Michigan in downtown South Bend. While you're there, be sure to enjoy the New Orleans-style food and fun atmosphere for both young and old.
BISCC Library Chapter (Bloomington) – alternating Sundays at 1:30pm
The Bloomington Indiana Scholastic Chess Club’s library chapter meets on alternating Sundays 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. 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.