Friday, July 22, 2011

Upcoming Event Summary

Saturday August 6
DeKalb Area Junior Open, First Congregational Church (DeKalb)
Cost: $5; Sections K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12. This is NOT a USCF-rated event. Format: Three or four rounds, G/20 for lower sections, G/30 for high schoolers; Prizes: Chess books for ALL participants, medals for 1st, 2nd and 3rd in each section; Registration: 10am-10:20am, Tournament Play 10:30am
Sunday August 7 
Lincoln Penny Cash Challenge,  American National Bank (Sycamore)
Cost: $15; up-to-date USCF membership required. Format: Three rounds, G/65 plus 5 second delay; Prizes: $100 guaranteed to winner, additional cash prizes expected to Class B, C, D, E/Unrated top scorer; Registration: 10am-10:15am, Tournament Play 10:30am, 1pm, 3:30pm.
Sunday August 7
Lincoln Penny Rated Scholastic, American National Bank (Sycamore)
Cost: $6; USCF membership required (available on-site); Format: Four rounds, G/30, Sections: K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12 (subject to consolidation); Prizes: Chess books for all participants, medals for 1st, 2nd and 3rd in each section; Registration: 10am-10:20am, Tournament Play 10:35am (until 3:30).

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<< Please see posting below for narrative>>

Exciting August Events Planned

We've passed the halfway point of summer and despite the 100 degree heat, we're in the home stretch of everyone's favorite season.

DeKalb Chess Club has been active in the community, supporting several summer camps with chess programs. Dozens of new potential chess players have been exposed to the game, learning the piece names and movements, the board set up, the basics of checkmate and its dreaded arch-rival, stalemate. We've covered the many ways a game can end in a draw and explored the basic opening principles and a smattering of tactics.

Ranging in age from 5 to 14, a lot of these newcomers have hopefully established a foundation of a pastime that they will enjoy for many years to come.

In order to foster that chess appreciation and enhance the full range of competitive experience, the club will host a few tournaments in early August.

On Saturday, August 6 at the First Congregational Church in DeKalb, junior players will face off in a four round event, the DeKalb Area Junior Open. We're hoping there are enough combatants for four sections:
  • Kindergarten through 2nd Grade
  • 3rd Grade through 5th Grade
  • 6th Grade through 8th Grade
  • 9th Grade through 12th Grade.
In the event we don't have sufficient turnout in a section, there may be some consolidation. The goal is to provide everyone a pleasant few hours of chess games against a variety of opponents. Most likely everyone will win some and lose some, but hopefully everyone will come away with an appreciation for what chess competition is like.

The younger age groups will play 20 minute games (time allowed for one player to make all moves). The high school group will play 30 minute games. It is hoped that the high schoolers will keep notation but it is not required. Equipment will be provided by the DeKalb Chess Club, but you are welcome to bring your own as well (chess clocks particularly!).

There is a $5 entry fee and all entrants and all entrants will receive a free chess book. First three places in each section will receive medals.

Advance registration is available by emailing name and grade level to Please identify if any special needs are required and we'll try to accommodate.

On Sunday, August 7, the DeKalb club will host a US Chess Federation rated event for all ages. This is being called the Lincoln Penny Cash Challenge. Regardless of registration, a $100 cash prize has been guaranteed to the overall winner. This event is being held at American National Bank, 1985 DeKalb Avenue, Sycamore.

Although 50 entries is considered capacity, based on 40 entries, the prize breakdown would be as follows:
  • Winner $150, 2nd overall $100, 3rd overall $50
  • Class B, Class C, Class D top score - $50
  • Class E or Unrated top score - $50.
A complete chart of projected entrants / payouts will be provided in a separate posting.There will be a $15 entry fee to enter. This event features three rounds of G/65 plus 5 second delay.

At this same site (American National Bank) and time, a USCF-rated scholastic event will be held (assuming five registrations). This event will be four rounds of Game/30 -- 30 minutes per player to make all moves in a game.  Cost is $6 and entrants will be eligible for medal and book prizes. USCF membership is required and everyone will be on their way to obtaining an official USCF-rating.

On-site registration will run from 10:00am to 10:15am for the main event, until 10:20am for the scholastic event. Tournament play will begin at 10:30am with the scholastic event starting moments later.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Chess Education Mandatory in Armenia -- America Next?

  • “There is not a single parent in Armenia who wouldn’t like their child to learn how to play chess,” asserted Narine Hovhannisian, director of the Ministry of Education and Science’s Department of Secondary Education.
  • Starting September 1, second-grade pupils in 1,400 schools will be taught chess twice a week; the subject later will become mandatory for third- and fourth-grade students.
  • “Chess will develop children’s logic, memory, imagination and willpower, their ability to think...”

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Could you imagine this in America?

1000 chess players competing in a tournament over two weeks? We can only dream, my friends.
On the other hand, given the state of British cuisine, I'm not giving up my American citizenship any time soon. And I'm sure when Sasha and Malia eventually get married, it'll be a bigger deal than that little Kate & William thing.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

George Orwell Memorial Features 24

Two dozen combatants from three states faced off over four rounds Saturday. The event honored the memory of British author George Orwell's birthday. He would have been 108. In honor of the author's acclaimed book 1984, entrants with USCF ratings above that milestone enjoyed free entry.

A newcomer to DeKalb events, Mikhail Korenman, nabbed the top spot of ten players in the upper "Team 1984" section. Mr. Korenman, a respected chess trainer, scored 3.5 out of 4 in the Orwell event. His lone blemish was a second round draw with young Adream Liang.

Adream and his younger brother, Awonder, tied for second place in the upper division with 2.5 out of four scores. If my calculations are correct, Adream went on to win $1000 as the Class B top scorer at the Continental Americas Championship over 4th of July weekend. Way to go, Adream!

For his efforts, Mr. Korenman walked away with the excellent three part "Chess College" series by GM Efstratios Grivas. We are honored that Mr. Korenman took time out from his summer teaching schedule to enter his first DeKalb event and hope he won't be a stranger to the cornfields.

In the Animal Farm section,  DeKalb Chess Club member and Elgin resident Jake Zarris smoked the field, going undefeated in four rounds. Jake walked away with a trio of Yasser Seirawan's excellent books. If he works through these insightful volumes, we're all going to be in trouble and there will be no stopping Jake!

First-timer Dane Bell and "veteran" Kyle Mathews tied for second with 3.0/4 scores. Ed Bustamante and Keith Amman tied for fourth with 2.5/4 scores. Impressive finishes in a 14-person field.

The next day, Ed went on to tie for first in the Highland Park June Under 1400. Way to go, Ed!

I recognize that getting to DeKalb events requires a little car time for most entrants but it is your attendance that is keeping these events coming. While we've offered some modest cash prizes up until now, most of our events to date have featured book prizes. But to honor the end of our first season, the DeKalb club is proud to announce its first big cash event coming August 7. Stay tuned to this site for more details.