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Indiana Chess Newsletter. *Published on 04/23/2017 by Gerry Roberts

We are nearly a month removed from the biggest state chess tournament of the year and the unofficial end of the scholastic chess season – the SCI Team Championships.  However, with great events like the Ben Harris Spring Chess Open (May 6, Bloomington), ISCA Memorial (May 20, Indianapolis), and Chicago Open (May 26-28, Wheeling, IL) on the horizon, there are plenty of opportunities for players young and old to keep busy during the “off-season.”  Registration is open and advanced entries are rolling in for these events, so read below to learn more while entry fees are still low.

New to this edition of this newsletter is a section for Hoosiers that won or performed well at out-of-state events, as well as your first glimpse at details for the ISCA Class Championships and Indianapolis Open this summer.

I. Tournament Recaps
31st Annual Scholastic and 6th Annual Adult Elkhart County Championships – March 11
Held concurrently at Elkhart Central High School, the annual Elkhart County Scholastic and Adult Championships collectively attracted 65 players this year.  The unrated scholastic section was the biggest draw, with 36 players competing for top prizes over six rounds.  Madison Elementary’s Subbu Muthiah emerged as the clear winner of the section with a perfect 6-0 score, a full point ahead of his nearest competitors – Aiden Gill and Anton Alstrom.  Complete results for the section can be found at http://chess.joepye.net/xtables/l170311.htm. In the championship section, Lincoln Elementary’s Max Vinkmeier and Concord High School’s Hunter Gould finished with twin 3-1 scores to finish atop the leaderboard.  The USCF crosstable for this section can be found at http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201703119452. In the adult section, Mat Leach finished a full point ahead of the pack with a perfect 4-0 score, but the story of the day was the impressive play of Stefani Vinkemeier.  Entering the tournament rated a mere 1056, she found herself paired with 3rd-seeded Les Kistler (1930) in round 1, and emerged victorious.  In round 2, she was paired with the talented Nika Arnold (1429) from Fort Wayne, and likewise upset her higher-rated opponent.  It wasn’t until a long endgame against Mat Leach in round 3 that the Cinderella story for the event finally ended.  Nonetheless, she earned 150 rating points in the process!  The crosstable for this section can be found at http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201703119482.SCI Indiana Girls Championships – March 18
Hosted for the last several years in Indianapolis, the SCI Girls Championships hadn’t attracted more than a dozen players in nearly a decade. However, with a change of format and move to Fort Wayne this year, the event more than doubled in size with 28 competitors.  In the unrated novice section, Shruthi Muthiah, Jessica Polovina and McKenna Tuggle each finished with 4-1 scores after they took turns beating each other rock-paper-scissors style.  In the rated primary section, top-seeded Julie Walatka finished with a perfect 5-0 score ahead of several older players, while last-seeded Rachel Greenlee had an impressive 4-1 performance to finish in the runner-up position. A similar story emerged in the championship section, where top-seeded Nika Arnold finished with a perfect 4-0 score to take her third title in the last four years.  She will represent Indiana in the National Girls Invitational and Polgar Invitational tournaments.  The standings for each section and links to the USCF crosstables can be found at http://chess.joepye.net/xtables/l170318.htm

March Madness – March 18
Consistent with other events held in West Lafayette over the past couple years, a very healthy total of 61 players attended this event at Purdue.  In the K-3 Section, top-rated Yewei Chen seemed to be on the way to a tournament victory until he faced off against a surging Benjamin Radefeld.  Despite being rated more than 300 points lower, Radefeld took the game and the first place trophy, earning nearly 200 rating points in the process.  In the 4-8 Section, both of the top two seeds, Naitik Rambhia and Sunary Konnur, had perfect 4-0 scores to win the event.  Finally, in the Open Section, a bi-modal rating distribution (six players between 1584-2000, ten players 1204 and below) delayed most of the serious fights until the third round.  In the end, it was Bernard Parham II finishing with a perfect 4-0 score ahead of new player Joshua Kyu-Ho Lee (3.5-0.5) and Bernard’s veteran father (3-1).  The full USCF crosstable can be found at http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201703182592.0

SCI Team Championships – March 24
A record-setting 700 scholastic players attended the SCI Team State Championships at Morton High School in Hammond.  In the 3rd/Under section, top-rated Smokey Row had a third-round draw against Canterbury that left both teams chasing Lincoln Elementary down the stretch.  Going into the final round, however, both teams had resumed their spots atop the leaderboard and just needed to win and hope for good tiebreaks.  Smokey Row held up their end of the bargain, sweeping Martinsville South on board 1, but Canterbury stumbled to a draw against 2nd-seeded College Wood.  Smokey Row was led to their championship by Edward Chen, who went undefeated on board 1.  Other individual perfect scores for the day were Carter Zieren (board 3, Mt. Vernon), Araceli Martinez (board 3, Renaissance Academy B), Aditya Poduval (board 3, Smokey Row), William Yi (board 1, University Elementary), and Jaron Courtois (board 4, Madison Elementary).

In the 6th/Under section, top-rated University Elementary avenged their 2nd place finish from 2016 by going undefeated for their first-ever championship.  They were led on board 1 by the section’s top-rated player, Bingrui Wang (4.5-0.5), who has now gone 14 straight games at team state championships without a loss.  Perfect 5-0 scores for the day belonged to Yuxuan “Richard” Xun (board 4, University Elementary), Yashom Kapoor (board 1, Eads Elementary), Therese Walatka (board 1, St. Joseph), Advik Lalam (board 3, Eads Elementary), Makaio Surendran (board 3, Canterbury Elementary), Jeffrey Chen (board 4, Dixie Bee), Luke Buksa (board 3, St. Thomas More), and Shruthia Muthiah (board 4, Madison Elementary).

In the 8th/Under section, top-rated West Lafayette Junior High ceded draws to both Creekside Middle School and Canterbury, making way for those teams to finish atop the leaderboard with 4.5-0.5 scores. Owing to the strength of their tiebreaks, however, Creekside Middle School was named the state champion.  They were led by a perfect score on board 1 by the section’s top-rated player, Bill Qian.  Other perfect scores belonged to Zach Tempel (board 2, Canterbury), Daniel Elizalde (board 2, Goshen), Jonah Reichenbach (board 3, Edgewood), and Celeste Recio (board 4, Gavit Middle School C).

In the 12th/Under section, top-rated Canterbury steamrolled the competition with a perfect 5-0 match score, losing only 1 of their 20 games.  Boards 3 and 4 for the team, Sam Witwer and Nika Arnold, respectively, both went 5-0 on the day.  The only other perfect individual performances belonged to Samuel Campbell (board 1, Mt. Vernon) and Gideon Joseph (board 3, Crown Point High School).  Congratulations to all the competitors for a job well done.  The full USCF crosstable for all secitons can be found at http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201703258822.0

Wabash Quads – April 2
Fourteen class players from across the state attended the latest iteration of the Wabash Quads.  In the upper section (with 6 players), a three-way tie emerged between Dennis Geisleman, John Roush, and Teddy Tsai at 2-1 each.  Without any major upsets, no player gained or lost more than 23 rating points.  In the middle quad, David Stader defeated two higher-rated players to win his section at 2.5-0.5 and gain 75 rating points.  In the lower quad, top-rated Nathan Runda ceded a draw to Jerry Gu, but otherwise had a perfect day to win the section.  He had the biggest rating swing of the section, ending with +22.  The full crosstable can be found at http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201704020722

Tolson Center Chess Tournament – April 22
The Tolson Center in Elkhart held its first unrated scholastic chess tournament this weekend, with half a dozen of the Center’s best facing off against a trio of Goshen players.  Quinn Sheiner Landes went a perfect 4-0 on the day to take the top prize, finishing a full 1.5 points ahead of his nearest rivals – Kyan Miller and Mark Hernandez.  The top finisher from the Tolson Center on tiebreaks was Alvernon Mitchell (2-2), who was awarded a one-year US Chess membership for his performance. Thanks to all of the participants and everyone at the Tolson Center for a very smooth event!

II. Tournament Calendar
Spring Fling – April 29
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/SpringFling.html or onsite before 10:30am.

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 $30 onsite before 8:30am.  The Open section is free, but donations are welcome.  Complete details can be found at http://biscc.org/ben-harris-spring-chess-open/, with entry forms and advanced entries 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.

Michiana Spring Championship – May 6
Hosted at the First Presbyterian Church at 401 Lincolnway East in Mishawaka, this inaugural unrated event is open to all children grades K-8.  Entry fees are a modest $5 per child, with trophies awarded to at least the top three individual finishers.  Entries must be submitted by May 3 using the form at http://michianachess.org/sites/all/images/site_links/May_Tournament.pdf.  With a time control of G/25, the 5-round event should conclude by 3:30pm.

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).  Advanced entries can be found at http://indianachess.org/content.aspx?page_id=262&club_id=169378&item_id=648312. 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

Wabash Quads – SUNDAY, June 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 upwards of 8 to 16 players, ranging from 1000’s to 2100’s (not limited to scholastic players), so consider making the trip.

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

ISCA Class Championships – July 22
Returning to the Indianapolis Airport Crowne Plaza, the ISCA Class Championships is changing formats this year to a one-day event with a time control of G/75 d5 for all sections.  Based on your rating (you can “play up” one class, if desired), you can compete in one of the following: Master/Expert, A, B, C, or D/below.  This will be the fourth and final leg of ISCA’s “Road to the Indianapolis Open,” with each point earned at the event counting double towards the overall standings.  Entry fees are $50 if received by 7/15, or $65 cash/credit onsite.  Prizes are $1800 b/50, with the top two finishers in each section taking home the big bucks. For more details or questions, contact me at gerry_roberts@ymail.com

12th Annual Indianapolis Open – August 25-27
Also returning to the Indianapolis Airport Crowne Plaza this year is the Continental Chess Association’s Indianapolis Open.  This 5-round event has a longer time control than most at 40/100, SD/30 d10, and a larger prize fund than any tournament in the state at a whopping $14,000.  There are sections for Open, U2000, U1600, and U1200, so almost everyone has the potential for a big check at the end.  Entry fees for the top three sections are $108 online at chessaction.com by August 23, with the U1200 section being $40 less.  If that sounds too expensive for you, remember that ISCA is awarding four free entry fees to this event for the top finishers at its Southern Indiana Open, Memorial Open, Northern Indiana Open, and Class Championship tournaments through its “Road to the Indianapolis Open” promotion.  For more details, visit http://www.indianpolisopen.com (please note that the site has not yet been updated from the 2016 version, but should be soon).

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?

BISCC Library Chapter – alternating Sundays at 1:30pm
The next meeting of the Bloomington Indiana Scholastic Chess Club’s library chapter will be Sunday, May 7 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 foronline 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. Hoosiers Win Abroad
Arnold Schwarzenegger Open – Columbus, OH on March 3
At a mere 1399 rating, the young Grant Mu was not a favorite to win any prizes in the U1700 section of this annual event.  Nonetheless, he went an impressive 4.5-0.5 to win the section half a point ahead of the field and gain nearly 200 rating points in the process.  Congratulations, Grant!  The full crosstable for the event can be found at http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201703057132.0

Midwest Open Team Chess Festival (MOTCF) – Dayton, OH on March 11-12
Report courtesy of Roger Blaine:
“Our team ‘Zot Strikes Again’ won 2.5 out of 5 matches in the Midwest Open Team Chess Festival (MOTCF) in Dayton, Ohio, on Mar. 11-12, 2017.  The even score in a field heavy with Master players won us the $1,000 prize for Best Team Under 1800.  Our average was 1796, with Josh Bousum (2042), John Roush (1800), both of Kokomo;  Dick Arnold (1700) of Indy, and Roger Blaine (1642), Mishawaka. We started out with a 2-2 tie against a strong Columbus, Ohio, team of 2 Masters and 2 Experts, with Dick and Roger pulling upsets.  [T]here was the Indiana team called Element 56, featuring Masters and former State Champions Jim Mills and Lester VanMeter, both of Indianapolis;  Expert and former Chess in Indiana editor Jay Carr, Beech Grove; and up-and-coming 1900 Bobby Goddin, Bloomington.  The powerful squad scored 3-2, crunching lower-rated teams and losing to the all-Master no. 1 team and a 75%-Master team.”  The full crosstable can be found at http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201703121542

21st Annual Mid-America Open – Clayton, MO on March 24-26
Several Hoosiers made the trek to this St. Louis suburb, but none fared better than Braydon Povinelli, who won the U1500 section with a 4.5-0.5 performance.  For those keeping score at home, Braydon has climbed from a 901 rating to 1601 in the span of a year!  Just two more years like that and Braydon will be wrestling back the title from the world’s best computers.  Also performing well were Ben Foley (3rd place, U1500) and John Leighton (5th place, U2100).  The full crosstable can be found at http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201703267222.0

Regards,
Gerry Roberts

Indiana Chess Newsletter. *Published on 03/08/2017 by Gerry Roberts

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?201702074192Team 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.htmSCI 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.

Regards,
Gerry Roberts

 

 

Indiana Chess Newsletter. *Published on 02/04/2017 by Gerry Roberts

Thanks to so many well-organized and well-attended events, chess in Indiana seems to have made a seamless transition from 2016 to 2017.  From the Evansville Winter Open to the Goshen Winter Tournament, and from the SCI Regionals in Mt. Vernon to Hammond, there have been tournaments in every corner of the state for adults and scholastic players alike. In this edition of the newsletter, we’ll recap the events of the past two months, and preview what’s to come, including: the SCI Team Regionals and State Championships, the Southern Indiana Open, the ISCA Memorial, SuperNationals, and so much more.

  1. Tournament Recaps

10th Annual Bloomington Scholastic Tournament, December 3

On Saturday, December 3, 76 of the brightest young chess minds across the state descended on University Elementary School in Bloomington for the 10th Annual University Scholastic tournament.  Players were divided into four sections based on grade level, but were welcome to “play up” in higher sections.

 

In last year’s edition, 3-year-old Solomon Crum became the event’s youngest-ever participant, managing to play legal moves throughout, but losing all of his games.  As a 4-year-old participant in this year’s 1st/Under section, however, he flipped the script in a remarkable way, going an undefeated 4.5/5 points to win the section by a full 1.5 points!  On the strength of his, and his older brother Joseph’s, performance, the 1st/Under team trophy was awarded to “Homeschool.”

 

In the 3rd/Under section, the only player going undefeated (4/5 points) was University Elementary’s own Duc Parker.  Not only was Duc playing in his first-ever chess tournament, but he only learned how to play chess four weeks before the event.  He tied for first place, but took the 2nd-place trophy on tiebreaks, with Jeffrey Chen after beating him in the final round.  Duc did, however, lead his team a 1st place trophy.

 

In the 6th/Under Section, Martinsville Bell East’s Kevin Huang swept a competitive field, going 4-0 to take sole first place en route to breaking the 1000-rating barrier for the first time.  Canterbury’s Ben Finkel was also undefeated, but due to a penultimate round draw with Yuxuan “Richard” Xun, finished a half-point behind to take sole possession of 2nd place.  11 players finished right behind them in a tie for 3rd place, including Martinsville Bell East’s Ryan Pilat, which helped his team to a narrow 0.5 margin of victory over Binford (who themselves had a trio of 3-1 players in Rawden Harris, Younghoon Jung, and Kiefer Kettenis).

 

In the 12th/Under Section, University Elementary 5th grader Bingrui “Tutu” Wang swept the field with a 4-0 score, breaking the 1400-rating barrier for the first time.  Finishing a full point behind him were Bloomington High School North’s Alex Smith, playing in his first event in five years, and Martinsville Wooden’s Drew Pilat, whose team took the event’s 1st place trophy.  For complete results, visit http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201612035242.0

 

Special thanks go to Michelle Burns and the entire Burns family, and assistant tournament directors Bobby Goddin and Michael Douglas, without whose efforts the event would not have been successful.

 

Winter Wonders – December 3

Also on December 3, but in West Lafayette, 74 players participated in a four-round showdown across three events at the Winter Wonders tournament.  In the 3rd/Under section, top-seeded Yewei Chen took on all comers, going undefeated in a field of 16 peers.  In the 8th/Under section, top-seeded Neel Bhate edged out Naitik Rambhia in the final round to finish with a perfect score, half a point ahead of Ridge Holder and Ankul More after those two drew against each other.  In the Open section, top seeds Bernard Parham and Bernard Parham II won their first three games, setting up an all-Parham, early-queen-maneuver-filled final.  Alas, the younger player proved victorious, leaving three of his four opponents of the day tied in 2nd place with 3/4 points (Nikhil Datar and Alicia Wang).  For complete results, visit http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201612035372.0

 

Wabash Quads – December 4

Hosted by Terry LeMaster at The Access Youth Center, last month’s iteration of the popular Wabash Quads event attracted ten class players from across the state.  In the upper quad, Jon Gotz went undefeated with 2.5/3 point against an experienced group of players in John Herr, John Roush, and Phillip Meyers.  In the lower quad, which became a hext(?) with six players, Joel Garcia scored an upset against top-seeded Nika Arnold en route to a perfect 5/5 score, while Nika finished in clear second with 4/5.  Full results can be found at http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201612046162

 

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

Report provided courtesy of the Joepye Chess Newsletter (subscribe at joepye@pobox.com):

 

A record-setting 212 chess players showed up for the 2016 Goshen Winter Tournament, held Saturday, December 10, at the Goshen Middle School.

 

There were some hiccups early on – 212 players may be a bit above my pay grade – but eventually we got underway and had a good day.  Play in 5 sections produced 6 perfect scores.  In the Open section, Les “Swiss King” Kistler took clear first with a 4-0 score, followed closely by Gerald Roberts and Mat Leach.  The Open section featured the return of two players who haven’t played in one of my tournaments in many years – James Ronco of Valpo and John Fallon of Fort Wayne.  Welcome back, guys!

 

The Reserve section featured two perfect scores – one by tournament newcomer James Miller, the other by veteran but infrequent player Seth Yoder.  Remarkably, there was not a single draw in this section of 33.

 

The Novice (unrated) Grades 7-12 & Adult section was topped by Penn HS senior Jason Reinoehl, followed closely by 3 adults, Tom Smith, Josh Keister, and David Oliver.  Kayden Mayer of Bethany swept the Novice 4-6 section with a 6-0 score.  Probably time to move up to rated play, Kayden!  Finally, in the K-3 section, youth was served.  Kindergarten student Kevin Shi of St. Joseph, MI, overpowered all his opponents to take clear first at 6-0.  Astonishingly, of the 5 students tied for 2nd-6th places, 3 of them were grade 1 or younger.

 

Tom and Griffen Smith and David and Ashlan Oliver tied for best Parent/Child team.  Dads Tom and David each went 4 of 5 in the oldest Novice group, and sons Griffen and Ashlan each were 5 of 6 in the Novice K-3 group.  Since we didn’t have a good way to break the tie, we flipped a coin and the Smiths took the trophy home.  The Olivers won the trophy last year.  Next year is the rubber match!

 

Complete results and links to the USCF crosstables can be found at http://chess.joepye.net/xtables/l161210.htm  Don’t forget to reload the page to make sure you get the latest version.

 

Thanks to all who helped make this happen, and thanks to all for your patience.  See you next year.

 

Warsaw Winter Open – January 21

Report provided courtesy of the Joepye Chess Newsletter (subscribe at joepye@pobox.com):

 

Jay Bolduc and the Warsaw crew did it again – another fine tournament! A total of 134 players showed up for the Warsaw Winter Open at Washington Elementary on January 21, playing in 6 sections.  Taking clear first in the Open section was perennial contender Mat Leach, who scored 3.5 (out of 4) to edge out Aidan Kaczanowski, Les Kistler, and Jon Gotz at 3. The Under 1200 section also produced a clear, but not perfect, winner.

 

Hunter Gould scored 4.5 (of 5) to finish ahead of Paul Warrick and Jason Reinoehl with 4.  The Novice sections each had a perfect winner – Peter Balke in Adult, Timothy Wielgot in Grades 7-12, Kayden Mayer in Grades 4-6, and Ashlan Oliver in Grades P-3.  Complete results and links to the USCF crosstable are at http://chess.joepye.net/xtables/l170121.htm

 

Congrats to all!

 

SCI Individual Championships – January 28

A grand total of 774 scholastic players across the state attended regional qualifiers for the SCI Individual Championships on January 7 or 14 in Hammond, Mt. Vernon, Terre Haute, Goshen, and Indianapolis.  Of these, only 320 qualified to play in the main event at Pike High School on January 28.  This event was held in seven sections, grouped by age and rating, with some players choosing to “play up” in higher age or rating groups.

 

In the 3rd/Under section comprised of 64 players, second-seeded Edward Grandon overcame a second-round draw to finish half a point ahead of the field with 5.5/6 points after Bloomington’s Gabriel Cohen dispatched the top seed.  Those finishing in a tie for second place were top-seeded Timothy Chien En Lim, Ashlan Oliver, Bright Zhang, Asher Collins, and Vivek Apuri.  Vivek appears to have been the biggest beneficiary of rating points, jumping an astounding 352 points from his provision 407 rating.

 

In the 6th/Under JV section, Ajitesh Lalam went a perfect 6/6 in a field of 82 closely-matched competitors, finishing with a nice rating of 934.  Sorry, Ajitesh, but it appears there will be no more JV events in your future!  In the 6th/Under championship section, William Ruszkowski – rated only 964 before the tournament – made quite an impression with a perfect 5/5 score, finishing ahead of half a dozen 1000+ players and defeating the top seed (1419) in the process.  William’s first event was last year’s SCI Individual Championships in the 6th/Under JV section, so this represents quite an improvement.  For his efforts, William was awarded the $1000 Brian Yamin Scholarship and jumped his rating all the way to 1178.  Others breaking the 1000-barrier included Max Vinkemeier, Naitik Rambhia, Tyler Weinzapfel, Roch Egan, and Alastair Page.

 

In the 8th/Under JV section, tournament newcomer Gideon Fulton burst onto the scene with an undefeated 5/5 score to earn his first rating of 1365.  He may have been better suited for the 8th/Under Championship section, which was marked by several upsets.  It all began in round 2, when top seeds Max Egan and Bill Quian ceded draws to upstart Braydon Povinelli and 5th-grader Bingrui “Tutu” Wang.  Braydon continued the string of upsets into rounds 3 and 4, defeating Bill and 4th-seeded Srisanth Malpeddi to finish with 3.5/4.  Meanwhile, Nikhil Datar started the day with a perfect 3/3 before a final round encounter with Max Egan.  With both players playing with potential scholarship money on the line, a tense encounter ensued, but a draw was nonetheless agreed after a long fight.  Nikhil won the tiebreaker against Braydon to earn the $1000 Billy Colias Scholarship and his second consecutive ticket to the Dewain Barber Tournament of K-8 Champions, but Braydon won the ratings battle by jumping from 1328 to 1494.  Braydon has now climbed from a provisional rating of 901 to 1494 in the span of 9 months!

 

In the 12th/Under JV section, a final round draw between top-seeded Ankush Dhawan and Sunny Patel created a three-way tie at the top of the leaderboard along with Jonathan Finn, where Ankush emerged as the winner on tiebreaks.  In the 12th/Under Championship section, a first round upset by Frank Lien against top-seeded Jonathan Zhou made the field wide open.  Third-seeded Teddy Tsai was felled the next round by Carson Pocock, while second-seeded Matt Kubisch lost to Daniel Rickert in round 3.  In the final round, the only undefeated players remaining were Carson and Daniel, ensuring that one of them would win the $2000 Paul “Teddy” Jacobi Scholarship and punch a ticket as Indiana’s representative to the Arnold Denker Tournament of High School Champions this summer.  After a two-hour struggle, Bloomington High School North sophomore Daniel Rickert emerged victorious.  Daniel’s near 2300-performance rating also increased his actual rating to 1797.  Beware to all U1800 section competitors out there!

 

Congratulations to all the players, and a hearty thank you to the team of SCI and Pike officials who made the long day a smooth one.  Complete results can be found at http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201701288542.1

 

2. Tournament Calendar

Wabash Quads – SUNDAY, February 5

Does Super Bowl Sunday put you in a competitive spirit? If so, why not play some chess before tomorrow’s big game?  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.

 

Team Practice Tournament – February 11

The SCI Team Regional and State Championship events are just around the corner.  For those teams about to enter their first event, with new players, or for those looking for a tune-up session before everything is on the line, the Team Practice Tournament on February 11 at Prarie View Elementary School (Goshen) may be for you.  Each team will need four players, and will play five unrated rounds for the day.  Complete information, including advanced entries, is at http://chess.joepye.net/2017TPT.htm

 

SCI Team Championships

The Regional Qualifiers for the SCI Team Championships begin next weekend in Mt. Vernon (Feb. 18) and continue through March 4 in Goshen (Feb. 25), Hammond (Feb. 25), Indianapolis (March 4), and Terre Haute (March 4). Teams can sign up for the 3rd/Under, 6th/Under, or 8th/Under sections, with top finishers awarded a spot at the State Finals in Hammond on March 25.  As always, 12th/Under teams do not need to qualify.  The deadline for mailed registrations is February 9 for all regionals, but online entry will still be available up to two days before each regional, so be sure to submit your entry forms in time.  More information may be found at http://scichess.org/2017-sci-team-championships/.

 

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 is now available at http://www.indianachess.org.  If you have any questions in the meantime, contact me or tournament organizer Craig Hines at mrsci2740@hotmail.com.

 

Topeka Chess Tournament – February 18

Report provided courtesy of the Joepye Chess Newsletter (subscribe at joepye@pobox.com):

 

That’s right.  Topeka, Indiana.  If you are looking for a different sort of tournament, you might want to play in the Topeka tournament on February 18.  The tournament will be held at an Amish homestead in rural Topeka.  The format is one section, 6-SS, G/30, and it will NOT be rated.  Calvin Miller will be the host – some of you may have met him recently at the Warsaw tournament.  Several Joepye regulars played in this event last year and reported having a blast.  If you are interested, email joepye@pobox.com and Joe will give you details.  Oh, did I mention lunch will be provided?!

 

Presidents’ Day Tournament – February 20

Hosted at the Zionsville Library on MONDAY, February 20, this USCF-rated scholastic event is back again this year with sections for 1st/Under, 3rd/Under, 6th/Under, and 12th/Under.  Each section will have 4/SS, G/30.  Individual trophies will be awarded at the end, with the possibility of blitz games to break ties.  Entry fees are $19 if received by February 13, or $24 thereafter (via check or PayPal).  For complete details and the registration form, visit http://www.scichess.org/2017/Feb20Zionsville.pdf

 

ISI Scholastic Tournament – February 25

Being the new kids on the block this year for organizing scholastic chess events hasn’t stopped the International School of Indiana from attracting big crowds to their tournaments.  Their first two events this school year attracted 46 and 47 strong players, so they are hoping to emulate that success on February 25 with the “ISI Indianapolis Scholastic Chess Tournament.”  There are four sections(K-3 Unrated, K-3 Rated, 4-6 Rated, 7-12 Rated), each playing 5/SS, G/30.  Entry fees are $25 and can be completed online at http://chessstart.org/ISIIndianapolis.html or onsite before 9am.

 

March Madness – 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 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.

 

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

 

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.

 

3. 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, February 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.

 

4. 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, visit http://biscc.org/queen-of-katwe/

 

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*Published on 11/27/2016 by Gerry Roberts

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 Fridaynights 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-9:00pmin 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, December 11 2016 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.  The Russian challenger, Sergey Karjakin, defeated the Norwegian reigning champion, Magnus Carlsen, as black in game 8 to take a 4.5-3.5 lead.  However, Magnus struck back in round 10 with white, leveling the score.  If the match remains tied after Monday’s games, the two players will play a series of rapid and blitz tiebreak games on Wednesday.  You can watch for free with live commentary at http://www.chess24.com.

Regards,
Gerry Roberts

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*Published on 11/03/2016 by Gerry Roberts

In this edition, find out who the new state champions are, where you can play in a tournament every weekend for the next month, and how you (or your child) can win a full college scholarship in just two days!
I. Tournament Recaps

Wabash Quads – October 2
The state’s only regularly-held quad event attracted eight strong class players at its most recent tournament. In the upper quad, tournament director Terry LeMaster finished in clear first with 2/3 points, overcoming a loss to the top-seeded, but otherwise luckless John Roush (1/3). The big surprise of the event, however, had to be the strong play of Nika Arnold, entering the event as a ~300 point underdog to each of her opponents, she nonetheless finished in a tie for 2nd place after upsetting Roush and nicking Phillip Meyers for a draw. For her efforts, she enters the 1500-club for the first time. In the lower quad, top-seeded Bradley Dickison overcame a tough first round loss to Owen Smith to finish atop the leaderboard with second-seeded Nathan Runda. To see the complete crosstable, go to http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201610021392

Westfield Library Scholastic – October 8
A full chessboard’s worth of scholastic players (64) were in attendance for this four-round action Swiss. With 36 players, the 8th/Under section was the mostly hotly contested of the day. As would befit their ratings, top seeds Jonathan Bowen and Edward Chen won their first three games, and faced off on board 1 in the final round. Edward Chen scored an upset victory, but finished tied for first with unheralded Anukul More (exactly 8 rated games before this event). In the 3rd/Under section, only 1 of the 15 players had an established USCF rating (non-provisional) before the event, so it is easy to gauge each player’s tournament experience purely by glancing at the crosstable. Unsurprising, two of the most experienced players in the group finished undefeated, with Shakthi Saravanan sporting a perfect 4-0 score to take first place honors, and Sameer Urs ceding two draws to finish 3-1 in a tie for second place. The 1st/Under section, with the remaining 13 players, was the most surprising of the day, with newcomer Alexander Zhao going 3.5-0.5 to take home the first place trophy in his first-ever event. The full crosstable can be found at http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201610080842.0

West Lafayette Fall Classic – October 22
Held in three sections (3rd/Under, 8th/Under, Open), this action time control (G/30) tournament played counterpart to the longer time control State Championships (G/120) held concurrently that weekend. Of the 55 players, 12 entered the 3rd/Under section, with Miguel Cabrera (not the baseball player) and Aaron Du sharing first place honors after sharing the full point on board 1 in the final round. The 8th/Under section was the largest of the day, and was won by Rohan Shah with a perfect 4-0 performance as the top seed. Strangely, despite being the top seed before the event and winning with a perfect score, Rohan (925) was not the top-rated player in the section after the event, as that honor belonged to newcomer Jennifer Yu (970) after two byes and two wins. In the Open section, Bernard Parham II defeated all comers who challenged him on board 1, finishing a full point ahead of the field en route to a perfect score. For complete results, see the crosstables at http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201610227492.0

Indiana State Championships – October 21-23
Boasting a field of 78 players and a guaranteed prize fund of $3000, the 75th Indiana State Championships were held at the luxurious Wyndham hotel in Indianapolis late last month. Among the participants were the reigning state champion (Andy Porter), several former winners (Lester Van Meter, Jim Mills, John Cole, Bernard Parham, Garrett Smith, and Mike Herron), and a prodigy fresh off his first draw against a Grandmaster (Christopher Yuo-Shuo Shen). Throughout the event, boards 1 and 2 of the Open section were streamed live via YouTube, so some memorable moments captured on film are included below.

There were a smattering of upset draws and wins in the first couple rounds, but none which resonated quite as loudly as what would come in round 3. Despite some early shenanigans by Drew Hollinberger, the tenor of the Saturday night games turned serious in a hurry. On board 2, an offbeat Scandinavian left Garrett Smith temporarily rattled, but he managed to maintain the balance en route to a picturesque stalemate almost exactly three hours later. Meanwhile, on board 1, top-seeded John Cole had masterfully maneuvered his rook into the bowels of Mike Herron’s position in an endgame, only to be turned on the defensive in time pressure a mere five moves later. After an ensuing blunder, Cole had to extend his hand in resignation to the new tournament co-leader (the other being Jay Carr).

After a tense draw between Herron and Carr in round 4, as many as 9 players had a chance to win the title going into the final round if neither Herron nor Carr won their games. More than four hours into the round, the result was every bit as uncertain. Carr had succumbed to Cole, but Herron was battling Lester Van Meter in mutual time pressure on the top board in the only game remaining. A loss by Mike would secure a four-way tie atop the leaderboard, but an ill-advised …Be6 by Van Meter was quickly punished with the loss of a piece, and the result was clear: Mike Herron would be the 2016 Indiana State Chess Champion!

In the Reserve Section, Joseph Zandstra – a student of Bernard Parham – had a perfect 5-0 tournament, upsetting three higher-rated players in the process. He was not the only undefeated player, however, as Bloomington’s Daniel Rickert managed to go 4.5-0.5 en route to a clear second place finish. Ratings-wise, the biggest beneficiary of the section was Braydon Povinelli (3-2, +137 points), who has now gained 347 points in the past three months.

Before the final round of the tournament, the annual membership meeting of ISCA was held. At the meeting, vice president and tournament director Mat Leach suggested moving the state championships to the spring to avoid potential scheduling conflicts with football games and other autumn activities. The ensuing vote decided to shelve the conversation until the next edition of the state championships. Two-term president Craig Hines announced that he would not be seeking a third term despite his tremendous success. Gerry Roberts was nominated to be the new president, with Deadwood Chess Club founder Bob Banta tapped to fill the vacant director-at-large position.

To see the complete crosstable for the event, go to http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201610238222.0

Bethany Christian School Fall Tournament – October 29
This report was submitted courtesy of tournament director Joe Riegsecker. For those in Northern Indiana, Joe not only organizes and directs great tournaments, but has a wonderful newsletter. Requests to be added to the distribution list can be forwarded to joepye@pobox.com

“The local chess season got underway Saturday, October 29, at Bethany Christian Schools in Goshen. 81 chess gladiators showed up for the action, and when it was all over, only one competitor was perfect for the day. In the Novice section, Kameron Anderson of Bethany went 6-0 to finish all alone on top. Good job, Kameron! Veteran Les Kistler topped the Open section with 3 wins and a draw in 4 games. He bested 2 other A players and 2 Experts – and a C player, Nika Arnold! – by half a point.

In the Reserve, Brenton Pham and Felix Perez-Diener tied at the top with 4 points (in 5 games). Felix took first on tiebreaks, but Brenton won the rating sweepstakes. He gained almost 200 rating points!

You can find complete results, as well as links to the USCF crosstable, at http://chess.joepye.net/xtables/l161029.htm

Thanks to all attendees for their cooperation, and thanks to Eric Kaufmann and Bethany for hosting.”

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 yet again played host to one of the biggest scholastic tournaments of the year. Segmented into four sections (U1, U3, U6, U12), the tournament attracted 119 scholastic players from across the state. In the U1 section, there were no perfect scores, but two undefeated players at the top of the crosstable: Spencer Mehringer (4.5/5) and pre-tournament favorite Alexander Zhao (4/5). In the U3 section, Timothy Chien En Lim impressed in his first-ever tournament, running the gauntlet against all three of the top-rated players and finishing a perfect 5-0 to earn a provisional rating of 1129. In the U6 section, Canterbury’s Ben Finkel started and ended the day atop the crosstable of 53 players, finishing with his first ever rating above 1000 and a 5-0 score. And last, but certainly not least, the U12 section featured the only first-place tie for the day, with top seed Nikhil Datar and Thaddeus Cole splitting the point against each other and defeating all others. Datar won the trophy on tiebreaks, but Cole easily won the ratings battle: -9 to +102 in his favor. To see the complete crosstable, go to http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201610291172.0

 

II. Tournament Calendar

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 $25, and can be sent online at http://www.canterburychess.org/OnlineEntryForm.php3 if received by tomorrow (Friday, November 4). For additional details, visit the official website at http://www.canterburychess.org/. There are 162 advanced entries according to the last update at http://www.canterburychess.org/AdvanceEntries.php3, so check to see which of your friends will be attending.

ISI Candidates Tournament – November 12
Just a couple months ago, the International School of Indianapolis hosted its first chess event, bringing in a great crowd of 46 kids and their families. And next weekend, they’ll be back at it with a very similar tournament structure: 5 sections (K-3 unrated, 4-6 unrated, K-3 rated, 4-6 rated, 12th/Under rated), 5 rounds, G/30. Registration is $20 in advance at http://chessstart.org/ISICandidatesChess.html, or $25 onsite before 9:00am (round 1 at 9:30am). Trophies will be awarded to at least the top 5 finishers in each section, as well as top team performances. For additional details, visit http://www.uschess.org/tlas/7221.tla

25th Annual King’s Island Open (OHIO) – November 11-13
Those adults in central and southern Indiana who are unable to play at the ISI scholastic tournament may want to make the drive to nearby Blue Ash, Ohio (near Cincinnati) for this Continental Chess Association event. As is typical of CCA events, there is a substantial prize fund ($30,000) divided amongst several sections (Open, U2100, U1900, U1700, U1500, U1250, U1000). The tournament is a 5-round Swiss with a leisurely time control of 40/100 SD/30. Entry fees are $118 before November 8 at chessaction.com, or $130 onsite. For full details, visit http://www.chesstour.com/kio16.htm

12th Susan Polgar Foundation World Open for Boys and Girls (KENTUCKY) – November 19-20
Held in memory of longtime organizer Steve Dillard, this event returns to Louisville this year to award more than $100,000 in prizes and scholarships. That’s right: the top finisher in both the boys and girls 12th/Under section will win full scholarships to Webster University in St. Louis! Last year, both of these scholarships went to class A players (1800-2000), so this really is a tremendous opportunity. The event is held in 8 sections, sorted by gender (K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12), and is a 5/SS with G/60. Aside from the main event, there will be a blitz tournament, a puzzle solving competition, and a 25-board simul. Entries to each event are $35 in advance or $45 onsite, with discounts for multiple events. To see the complete details and to register, visit http://www.spfwo.com/spf-world-open

Motor City Open (MICHIGAN) – November 25-27
For those in northern Indiana willing to make a 2-2.5 hour drive, a six-round G/115 event will be held at the Edward Village Hotel in Dearborn, Michigan (outside Detroit). Across the four sections (Open, U1800, U1400, U1000), there is a $10,000 prize fund. Entry fees before November 16 start at $112 for the top three sections, with onsite registration up to $133. The U1000 section will have a shorter time control (G/45), fewer rounds (4/SS), smaller entry fee ($30), and will play on Saturday only. For questions and entry instructions, please email allthekingsmench@gmail.com

10th Annual Bloomington Scholastic Tournament, December 3
The next iteration of this popular event, held at University Elementary School in Bloomington, is just around the corner! Held in four sections (1st/Under, 3rd/Under, 6th/Under, 12th/Under), the tournament format will be similar to previous years, with at least five rounds of G/30 in the two lower sections and at least four rounds of G/40 in the two upper sections. The entry form and registration information will be released within the next couple days at http://chess.filetap.com, so check back to get all the details (in the meantime, it’ll just redirect to Google). I’ll be directing the event again this year, so feel free to contact me with any and all questions you may have at gerry_roberts@ymail.com

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.

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

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 are now available at http://www.ticketfly.com/venue/24715

Regards,
Gerry Roberts

*****************************************************************************************

*Published on 09/25/2016 by Gerry Roberts

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 inaugual 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

Regards,

Gerry Roberts

 

*Published on 08/22/2016, by Gerry Roberts

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 athttp://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201607104232.0US 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 athttp://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201608023272In 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?201608023262In 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?201608023282Held 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?201607312412.0The 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?201607312402The 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 WebsterUniversity’s Illia Nyzhnyk, go to http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201608064392And 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?201608075002.1With 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 CalendarIndianapolis 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 athttps://www.chessaction.com/index.php?vendor=Continental%20Chess%20Association  while last year’s results can be found athttp://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201508307732International 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 theofficial 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) onSaturday, 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 athttp://www.indianachess.org, or $50 onsite.  For more details, contact tournament director Mat Leach at leachmat@gmail.comIII. 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 Fridaynights 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?V. 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-bloomingtonRegards,
Gerry Roberts

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