Monday, January 24, 2011

Good Time to RSVP for Saturday Tourney

We're in the home stretch for registrations for the longest time-controlled tournament to be held in DeKalb in over a decade. Game/60... doesn't it just roll off the tongue?  Up to two hours for two opponents to decide one burning issue. Could it get any more exciting than this?

Please post a message below or drop an email to Include your USCF ID # and your name (or the person you wish to register for juniors).

Besides the lengthier game, this is on Saturday (the 29th) as opposed to our usual Sunday tournaments. And everything is pushed up a half hour (registration from 10:45 to 11:15am, first round at 11:30am, wrapping up by 6:15pm).

Hopefully this will allow all those church-goers to attend who were inconvenienced by our Sunday events (and those football fanatics too!). Our apologies to those observing the Jewish sabbath, but one thing I've learned from directing tournaments so far: you can never keep everyone happy all the time!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Club Play Back to Double Digits

Thanks to a couple new players and the return of a former local School Superintendent, club play today attracted double digits. Al showed off one of the more unique chess sets you'll ever see and continues to demonstrate improved play from working through a couple of my favorite books. Coach-extraordinaire Igor Khmelnitsky has authored the Chess Exam & Training Guide along with a similar volume dedicated to tactics. Looks like Al's hard work is paying off! Club members may borrow these books upon request.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Science Provides Important Chess Insight

As documented in last week's New York Times' article, an important principle in chess has been thoroughly researched and a strategy proposed by the Swedes. Please advise the author of this blog if the recommendation works for you in your next tournament setting.  NY Times article  I for one will be trying this out at our club sessions. Keep your eyes on the board, people! Focus on the game!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

January 17 attendence dips

Some inclement weather must have scared away the faint of heart and the out of towner crowd. Still, Mark, Bill F, Cliff, Don R, Don A, Greg and Al showed up to chess-dance the late afternoon away. We even explored some features of Fritz 12 as a tool for game analysis.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Jan 12 Open Play Pits Minion of 10

DeKalb Chess Club was out in fine form today with new attendees Tom & Darin in the house. Again we had the pleasure (or not) of both Bills and both Dons. Nick (in between graphic novels) managed to get in a game or two. Cliff, Al and Greg posed some stiff competition as we prepared for the Elgin tourney Saturday. Great to see some new faces! How long can we keep up this streak of double digit attendance?

Monday, January 10, 2011

January 10 Club Meeting Attracts Double Digits

John, Cliff, both Dons, both Bills along with Mark, Nathan, Phil, Al and Greg all competed at club today. Great competition and fellowship! Potential newcomer Peter offered his insights. (sent from cellphone)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Twenty-five compete at 2011 Illinois Kick-Off

While the rest of Illinois sacked out on couches passively watching football games,  feeding their faces with re-gifted fruitcakes and nursing New Years' hangovers, 25 fearless combatants made their way to the competitive chessboard Sunday.

For the first time at a DeKalb Chess Club tournament, entrants were split into two sections and this made for some fierce competition and surprising upsets. Not an easy feat to accommodate a range of 1600 rating points as well as the various team affiliations, but it's a wonder what a little last-minute reconfiguration and modern software can do in the hands of a trained operator.

In the upper section, a four-way tie saw DeKalb club members Mark Peterson, James Freestrom and Phil Jarrette along with junior Vincent Do all wind up with 3.0 out of 4. With tie-breaking algorithms, Mark nudged out the other three and walked away with a valued copy of Van Perlo's Endgame Tactics. All four players were awarded Borders Gift Cards.

Jeremy Silman's review of Van Perlo's Endgame Tactics

Both Mark and James saw their ratings eclipse the 1700 mark and the sky is the limit for both players in 2011. The average rating of the Leaders section was a respectable 1655.

In the Legends section (under 1500), we were privileged to host a slew of talented junior players who traveled far and wide for this event. 10-year old phenom Shayna Provine eviscerated her peers with the lone perfect score of the day, 4.0/4. Shayna selected Silman's Complete Book of Chess Strategy as her prize along with a gift card.

Review of Silman's Complete Book of Chess Strategy

Not a bad day considering 1) Shayna was the first female participant in any of our four open tournaments and 2) Shayna was able to give her full energies to the all-afternoon event even after playing in a soccer game that morning (her team managed to win 8-0!).

Talented junior Hanson Ho and our own Dr. John Schaeffer tied for second, and were rewarded with gift cards for their 3.0 out of 4 efforts.

Juniors Nathan Kozinski and Niranjin Panneerselvam and stalwart Gary Sargent just missed the money with 2.5 out of 4 achievements in a fourth through sixth place tie.

Junior John Werkheiser was awarded the "keep at it" prize, a concise yet insightful tome, the Tao of Chess, to study before his next tournament. We expect great things from John down the road.

While the club tournament director's learning curve was tested, we're appreciative of the field's tolerance of his growth. We're hosting our first Saturday tournament, January 29 (same location, 30 minutes earlier for both registration and start time). Due to requests for longer time controls, the next tourney will feature three rounds of Game/60 play, which should draw some new faces. More time to ponder positions, more time to enjoy an afternoon of over the board challenges, and hopefully a few less time control jams.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Funniest Chess Video Ever

For your Christmas viewing pleasure, I'm posting a link to one of the funniest chess videos ever. (It's okay for all ages). Woot is one of my shopping jaunts when I feel that urge to drop a little coin. Press the control key & click the link below, then switch to the YouTube tab: