Sunday, February 27, 2011

Newcomers Nab Top Spots

Three newcomers to the northern Illinois cornfields scored highest in the second "Last Saturday in DeKalb", held Feb. 26 in DeKalb.

Brian Villarreal went undefeated in three games to take top honors, breaking back over the USCF-1800 barrier in the process. Congratulations to Brian!

Chicago-area invaders Ted Mercer and Andrew Bell often play each other in casual games; the duo split second and third place honors with 2.5 out of three. Ted's only blemish was a draw against DeKalb member Phil Jarrette, while Andrew drew first-time tournament entrant Kyle Mathews from Aurora.

In his debut, Mathews also drew DeKalb phenom Nathan Kosinski in what may become an interesting rivalry between strong young players. Both excellent chess tacticians matriculated to college before driving age!

The upset prize of the day went to John Werkheiser for his astounding second-round triumph. Nabbing an opponents' queen early on tends to unrattle the competition. We all admire John's tenacious attitude at the board, and he's to be commended for his perseverance at chess.

Hope to see all the newcomers back again for more competition in the cornfields.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Fantastic New Location Secured

Thanks to Club Member's Greg Protano's assistance, the club has secured some wonderful facilities for casual play on Monday and Wednesday beginning today.  This will also be the site of the upcoming, 3-round Game/60 USCF-rated tournament this Saturday, February 26th.

We'll be downstairs at the First Congregational Church, 615 North First Street, in DeKalb. This lovely location is just north of the historic Ellwood House and directly across First Street from Clinton Rosette Middle School. Parking and entrance are in the rear. You'll want to enter under the blue awning and proceed downstairs.

Our casual play will allow for a new sense of concentration and chess discussion light years beyond what we had at Borders. What a truly lovely space we are fortunate to have been offered. Hopefully we'll be worthy stewards of the space!

Some logistical aspects remain to be worked out, but we hope to see you all there today at 3pm for a new era for DeKalb Chess Club!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Club Members Bring Home the Bucks

DeKalb Club members showed well at this weekend's McHenry Area Swiss held in Elgin.

In the 17-player Beta Section, Cliff Adams scored an impressive 3.0 out of 4 and brought home a share of second and third place prize money (4-way split).

In the Alpha Section, Mark Peterson raised his provisional rating above 1700 while edging out fellow club member Phil Jarrette in the fourth round for a half-share of third-place prize money.

A dozen players above the USCF 1400 rating threshold competed in the Alpha group. Madison (WI) area phenom, junior Awonder Liang, won the event with an undefeated 4.0 out of 4 score.

Borders Cafe Closes

DeKalb Chess Club has received a blow as its home away from home, Borders Books, Music & Cafe, has lost one of its appendages. Grab some discounted books and music while you still can!

Effective immediately the DeKalb Borders cafe has been closed as part of liquidation efforts. According to store personnel, all hands are to be on deck selling out the merchandise. Borders is closing approximately 200 of more than 600 stores nationwide.

Although I was assured that Borders of DeKalb would be remaining open until April, this unexpected development throws a wrinkle into the Club's tournament and open play schedules.

In the absence of any other ideas, your friendly club tournament director, webmaster, web content contributor, one-man advertising department, new member recruiter, treasurer, purchasing agent, outreach coordinator, executive board and, now, facilities scout has been busy fighting a wicked cold while searching for new homes. Any suggestions from the peanut gallery would be appreciated. (Please leave a comment below.)

The good news: We've now got locations lined up for our March 13, April 10 and April 30 events.

Update: We now have a location for the Feb. 26 location too! See listing at upper right!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Eight-year old Phenom Wins Back To Back Events

Once again, Vincent Do has emerged victorious against all-comers in today's inaugural Mid-Month Sunday Challenge. Vincent went undefeated in four rounds, beating out Phil Jarrette in an impressive final round dismantling. The young Mr. Do had also been undefeated in three rounds at our January 29th "Last Saturday" event. His proud father indicates Vincent is motivated to achieve an eye-popping 2000 rating by the end of 2011. Who is gonna stop him?

Phil finished in an incredible five-way tie for second with 3.0/4.  Out-of-towners, Guy Kittilsen and Will Engel, along with locals Bill Reed and Mark Peterson all tied with similar three out of four scores.

In 7th through 11th place, tying with 2.0 out of 4 scores were local newcomer Dale Fluegel, along with Darin Link, Steven Do, Sanjana Ramrajvel, and Jake Zarris.

In victory, Vincent walked away with an impressive array of Legos and Pokeman supplies of his choosing. Others in the top six finishers were provided Borders Gift cards, books, games and chocolate, thanks to Borders' incredible support.

We also appreciated the impressive play of local juniors Brian, Andrew and Allison as they squared off in an afternoon of unrated chess challenges. We hope to see more juniors in attendance for an upcoming juniors-only event March 12. Please drop a note to if a junior (generally under 18) might be interested. The format of that event will depend upon the advance notifications received.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

First RSVP's Received for Sunday G/40

Our first pre-registrations have started to trickle in for Sunday 2/13's G/40 tournament. Details are posted to the right of this writing.

Don't you want to be one of those kind persons who registers in advance? At least in theory, it makes the registration process on-site that much easier. No money is required to pre-register, but you'll put a smile on my face, and isn't that worth something?

Beginning with the April 30th tournament, registration will increase to $10 with a $2 discount for pre-registering, a $2 discount for DeKalb Club members, and a $2 discount for electronically submitting an analysis of a tournament game from an event here. (Up to 2 discounts allowed per entry). But for now, it's still only $8 to non-members, $5 to members with a $1 discount for submitting a game analysis. As far as we know, these events are the least expensive rated-open tournaments in Illinois providing prizes.

For those of you inconvenienced by the late USCF-posting of the January 29 tournament results, I do apologize. It took inordinate measures to get it all straightened out, and I assure you I have learned yet another valuable lesson in the never-ending battle to become an efficient tournament director.

Congratulations to Vincent Do for breaking the 1700 plateau... I'm sure it's not the last milestone we'll see from him in the next few years!

So post here or drop an email to and we look forward to seeing you Sunday. Play begins at noon.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Don't Believe Everything You Read

The Midweek, a free giveaway newspaper, profiled the club in an article this week.
They say all publicity is good publicity, but some days I wonder.  A quick reading revealed several inaccuracies and misattributions.

For example, the club meets from 3:30-5:30 which is afternoon by most accounts, but the Midweek considers this to be evening.

Nice picture of founding club members Cliff and Don. Other than that, read the article at your own risk.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Blizzard Conditions Cancel Wednesday Play

Not wanting to chance dangerous travel, DeKalb Chess Club will forgo its scheduled open play at Borders, Wednesday, Feb. 2nd.

Instead, club members are encouraged to work on submissions to the club's website, analyzing one of their tournament games or perhaps offering a review of one of their favorite chess books. Contributors may also craft a short essay on why chess rocks their world or recalling their most memorable chess game, earliest chess memory, or life lesson reinforced by chess principles. Find a chess video on YouTube and craft a little write up on what you got out of it. Everything is fair game in the chess blog world!

To submit material to this site, drop an email to the friendly webmaster at this domain. And stay safe out there, people!