Sunday, September 9, 2012

Engel Trumps All at Star Trek Rated Four-Rounder

It had been 7 1/2 months since Will Engel had played in a USCF event. For some reason, a certain card game has attracted a little more of Will's time lately.

Nonetheless, Will went undefeated in four rounds Saturday to earn first place in DeKalb's Star Trek Rated Open. Perhaps this will spur a Will to maintain more sustained chess interest?

Chelsea Harper, playing her first DeKalb Club event, and in her first USCF-rated event in almost a year, took clear second with 3.0/4. We're hoping her bundle of joy, Max, the youngest USCF-member I know, didn't mind sharing Chelsea with us for a few hours.

Incoming NIU student Justin Suggs grabbed sole possession of Class C (1599-1400) prize money with a 2.5/4 score, and young James Zhang prevailed in the Under 1400.

Zhang raised his USCF rating over 100 points to a few points under 1000 while Suggs eclipsed 1500 and Engel surpassed 1700 for the first time in almost two years.

Despite one of the smaller turnouts in this affiliate's two-year history, $120 in cash prizes were distributed, continuing the proud tradition of providing the most generous prize pools among Northern Illinois events.

The Game/45, no delay format meant for shorter games but concluded in time to allow tournament-goers to attend the NIU football home opener (which the Huskies won, 35-7). The only other dual-rated event on the  ICA calendar this weekend charged a lot more money to enter and merely provided Amazon gift cards totaling a scant $100 as prizes.

Tournament organizers will give it one more shot Saturday, October 27, hoping local enthusiasts and others from across Northern Illinois will come out to support chess amid the cornfields. In the past two years, the DeKalb affiliate has attracted more than 150 different players to one of our 21 rated tournaments, averaging about 20 players per event.

However, WITHOUT A STRONG PRE-REGISTRATION for the October 27th event, this may have been the end of an era for tournament chess in this neck of the woods. Drop a note to if you plan to play on that day, or if you're willing to help out with some aspect of the event.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Star Trek Open Saturday

Saturday, September 8th marks the 46th anniversary of the epic TV show Star Trek's initial broadcast on NBC.

Even if you weren't around for that auspicious occasion, you're welcome to play four rounds of amazing chess, sponsored by the DeKalb Chess Club.

For those seeking USCF-rated play, first round will kick off at 10:30am (registration 10am-10:20am). Game/45 and no delay will allow us to get in four rounds. This will require a $15 entry fee ($20 at the door) with generous cash prizes. (Discounts available if wearing a Star Trek costume or if arriving by teleportation).

For folks who may or may not be USCF-members, there will also be an unrated tournament kicking off at 12:30 (registration noon-12:20pm). The time control for that will be shorter, Game/30. This will also be four rounds, but there will be medals/trophies instead of cash prizes, and the entry fee is only $7.

This set up should allow high school teams to kick off their year and get some experience. (This is NOT a team event, but team discounts will be provided). USCF members can play in the G/45 event, anyone may play in the G/30 event.

There will also be a skittles room available for kibbitzing and game analysis (and parental lounging).

The event should conclude by 5:30pm allowing folks to attend the NIU football home opener being held nearby.

Questions? To pre-register, send your name and USCF ID (if a USCF member) to