Monday, December 28, 2015

It's On: 2016 Northern Illinois Kick-Off -- Round One: 11:30am, Round Two: Round 2nd: 1:02pm; Conclusion by 6pm

As we welcome 2016, what better way to do so than five rounds of rated chess?

After some concern over the length of some games, we'll be doing away with the Game/20; d16 time control and going with a more conventional Game/30 with NO DELAY. That's right, bring back those old manual clocks because THIS ONE is going without a delay timer.

We'll do five rounds to make the drive worth it... and we'll keep it cheap: $6.102 entry fee. That's right, 2016 backwards -- and you can round it down to the nearest penny unless you have some micro-cents handy.

First round will start at 11:30 am so those who are traveling far or sleeping in can take their time meandering to the cornfields... or the church... where we'll be gathering.

I'll provide all the equipment. Just bring your USCF membership card and $6.102 (ok, forget the micro part)  -- along with another $5 if you want some pizza after the first round, and show up by 11:15am and you'll be all set for a thrilling day of chess. 

If you wanna skip round one, show up six seconds after 1:02pm (in honor of the entry fee) and we'll get you paired for round two with a half-point bye. You'll still get in four rounds of rated games.

And we be all done out and out of there by 6:10 (and 2 seconds) so you can enjoy your Friday night. How's that for a plan?

Sunday, December 20, 2015

4th Home for the Holidays To Be Held Saturday, Dec. 26

Saturday December 26
at 1st Congregational Church, 615 N First St, DeKalb

Registration: 8:45-9:20am; after that: 1/2-point bye

Rounds: 9:30am / 11:35am / Lunch / 1:50pm / 3:55pm with conclusion anticipated before 6pm.

4 Sections: OpenReserve: U1600, Booster: 1000-1250,  SuperBooster: U1000, all subject to adjustment and combination at TD discretion.

Format: 4 Rounds, Game/55; delay 5 seconds

G/55 with 5 second delay. This means each player has 55 minutes to make all moves in a game and up to 5 additional seconds for each move. This means the event will be dual-rated and count towards both the US Chess regular and quick ratings.

Cost: $8 with advance registration, $12 otherwise, limited to first 64 entries. Payable at door.

All equipment provided. Entrant equipment not to be used without TD authorization in order to preserve the peace.

To pre-register: email name, USCF ID, and desired section to

Friday, December 18, 2015

Holiday Season Is Full of Tournaments

The DeKalb Chess Club will be hosting a slew of tournaments during the holiday season just to make sure that chess brains don't get all soft and mushy like Santa's belly. All events will be held at the First Congregational Church in DeKalb.

The line up includes events on Saturday, December 26 -- the (4th Annual Home for the Holidays Open), Friday, January 1 (The 2016 Northern Illinois Kick-Off) and Saturday, January 9 (The Lasker Memorial Open).

Entry fees vary as to the schedules. But all require USCF (aka US Chess) membership.

A discounted membership is available for $9 to players prior to their high school graduation. (Annual USCF membership is normally $22 for freshmen and $26 for sophomores on up -- so this is a GREAT deal).

Contact for further details on the USCF memberships and for information on the tournaments.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

BLACK FRIDAY OPEN Offers Alternative Nov 27

Why stand in those annoying pre-dawn lines when you can exercise your brain for only $1 an hour?

How does four rounds of chess sound to work off the turkey and stuffing? Four closely crafted sections to make sure you're playing folks with similar ratings.

$7 with advanced email registration... $10 at the door IF space is available. We're using the small room this time... so don't eat too much!   Limited to 32 entrants.

Downloadable flier has complete details or see announcement here.

Friday, August 14, 2015

3rd Steinitz Memorial on Saturday, 10am Start Time

It's all systems go for four rounds, Game/40 with a 5-second delay on Saturday, August 15.

Hope to see you at the church after 9:30am... first round will start at 10am.

Details posted on the Illinois Chess Association site:  << Click Here >>

Saturday, August 1, 2015

DeKalb Chess Club Observes MTV's Launch Anniversary

What a better way to observe the 34th anniversary of a cable channel's initial broadcast than a four-round, dual-rated chess tournament.

Beginning at 10am on August 1st, chess stalwarts will compete most likely without music playing, in fact humming is also discouraged. For those arriving late, a first round, half-point bye will set them up for the second round beginning at 11:45.

Game/45 with a 5-second delay will be the time control. No prizes, but the entry fee is only $6 so what the heck!

According to the information bible Wikipedia: On Saturday, August 1, 1981, at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Time. MTV launched with the words "Ladies and gentlemen, rock and roll....played over footage of the 1st space shuttle countdown (Columbia) which took place earlier that year... and of the launch of Apollo 11.

Those words were immediately followed by the original MTV theme song... playing over photos of the Apollo 11 moon landing, with the flag featuring MTV's logo changing various colors, textures, and designs. MTV producers .. used this public domain footage as a concession... they had originally planned to use Neil Armstrong's "One small step" quote, but lawyers said Armstrong owns his name and likeness, and Armstrong had refused, so the quote was replaced with a beeping sound.

The shuttle launch identification ran at the top of every hour in various forms from MTV's first day until it was pulled in early 1986, in the wake of the Challenger Disaster.

The first music video on MTV was the Buggles' Video Killed the Radio Star.

Probably more than most chess players want to know about MTV but it makes for a good excuse to hold a tournament on a hot day with summer winding down.

Monday, June 22, 2015

5th Orwell Memorial Coming Saturday

Update: We're over our "based on 40" so we've added an Under 2000 prize in addition to the Open Championship prize of $100 and the Under 1800 prize. Other sections have their own prizes. Believe it or not, what we're most in need of are players between 1249 and 600. Go figure!


The 2015 Illinois Chess Tour is coming to its halfway point as of the June 27th Orwell Memorial Open. This marks the 5th year for the event.

Four rounds of Game/60 chess (with a 5-second delay) will determine who wins the $100 championship prize with oodles of additional prizes available. Check out the ICA listing for complete details..

For those who haven't yet joined the ICA, by doing so, you're eligible to compete for Tour prizes including $500 for the Open and $200 each for the Reserve and Scholastic Reserve. Points going back to the beginning of the year will be included if you do join by the Orwell!  The Tour runs through the Illinois Class in November.

Registrations have been steady so should be a good turnout in all sections of the Orwell... and the $12 entry fee for ICA members is still available ($15 for non-members). Everything goes up $5 as of Thursday June 25 at midnight... which happens to be Orwell's official birthday.

Eric Blair (aka George Orwell) would have been 112, may he rest in peace.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

May 30 Tournament: 4 rounds, Game/55 with 5 second delay

Registrations are now open for the Lincoln Memorial Open to be held May 30 in DeKalb.

This marks the 93rd anniversary of the dedication of the Memorial in 1922.

Sections for all skill-levels. Sign up now!

The weather is supposed to be not so good... so what's better than a full day of chess?

Saturday, May 2, 2015

No Tournament May 2

Despite optimism expressed at the Exposition Flyer, there WILL BE NO TOURNAMENT on May 2nd.

The DeKalb Chess Club will be hosting tournaments on May 30 and June 27 -- stay tuned for details.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Experts Guan & Do Co-Champions at Three Mile Island Open; Matt Riddle, Philip Song, Abhi Prabhu Win Sections, 63 Play

63 players battled in four all-age sections at the 2015 Three Mile Island Open, held March 28 in DeKalb.

In the Open, Naperville North's Bradley Guan and Rockford middle-schooler Vincent Do drew in the fourth round to claim the co-championship. Both had gone a perfect 3-0 up until their match.

Due to a membership issue there was a delay in the posting of the updated USCF ratings, but that has now been resolved.

Sam Henderson and Glen Gratz tied for third with 3.0/4. Sam had the top score for U1800 players in the Open. Guan's teammate, Danny Emge had the top score among U1600's with 2.5.

Matt Riddle won the Reserve section with 3.5/4. Matt drew Jonathan Gaenzle in the third round before beating 8-year old Vrishank Ramnath in the final round. Jonathan, Vrishank, Geoffrey Trager and junior Alex Zhao all tied for second place with 3.0's. Geoffrey was returning to USCF play after 13 years!

All five players in the Reserve hit ratings milestones: Matt rose back above 1600, Jonathan eclipsed 1500, Vrishank surpassed 1400 for the first time (1434), Geoffrey went above 1400 for the second time in his life, and Alex saw his rating jump 147 points to an all-time best 1349.

Naperville North's Philip Song was perfect in the Booster Section (USCF-rated 1000-1250's), defeating teammate Harrison Loh in the final round. Loh and Joe Riddle tied for second in the section, both with 3.0's.

Waubonsie's Abhi Prabhu was 4-0 in the U1000 Super-Booster section, defeating Indian Creek's Sean Insley in the final round. Sean, along with Arin Nair and Steven Ma, both of Naperville North, all finished with three points to tie for second.

Abhi was participating in his first rated event ever, as was Steven and his Naperville North teammate Maya Ross, Cortland's Will Olson and Malta's Chris Wellendorf.  High schooler Michael Ruiz was also facing USCF competition for the first time, entering the Booster section.

Nikhil Kuricheti of Bloomington-Normal, Bryce Lawson of Rockford and Stephen Brazier of Sycamore posted the best scores among U800 players with 2.5's.

Amrutha Venkat took top honors among U600 entrants.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Core Registrations Getting Dangerously Hot for 3 Mile Island

UPDATED: You can't even see a first-run movie these days for $5 but the DeKalb Chess Club will be hosting another full day of rated chess matches Saturday at a family-friendly price.

8 hours of entertainment for $5? Such a deal! ($10 as of noon Friday).

Complete details can be found on the ICA calendar. Registrations for other sections are looking solid -- we could use a few more USCF Experts and Class A Players to join us.

So far, Vincent Do and Bradley Guan have signed up -- Vincent recently turned 13 and is ranked 27th in the country for that age. Bradley was first board on the state champion Naperville North High School team and was the top-ranked 17-year old in Illinois as of March listings.

As things stand now -- subject to change -- I am looking at splitting the Booster into an Under 1100 section and a 1000-1250 section, allowing folks to move where they are comfortable and eligible to play. As of 7:00 am Friday, this would give us 10-12-12-14 in the four proposed sections. But the day is young, right?

Last month's M*A*S*H event attracted 50 players but it's looking as if we'll surpass this. Capacity is limited to 64 players to keep player comfort at an optimal level. Advance registration is STRONGLY recommended, particularly if you are coming as a group.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Marshall, Kauffman, Cahill Victors at M*A*S*H Memorial

A third round victory over Wisconsin junior Ritika Pandey gave James Marshall clear first place at the M*A*S*H Memorial Open. A fourth-round draw against fellow-Illini alum Glen Gratz secured top honors for Marshall with 3.5/4.0.

Ritika, appearing in her first DeKalb tournament, took clear second place with 3.0.

Glen and Leslie Bale tied for third place with 2.5 scores.

The February 28th event attracted 50 players primarily competing in three sections. USCF Crosstables are available here.

In the 20-player Reserve section, Zachary Kauffman, now a Freeport High School senior, compiled a 3.5/4 score to claim first,  His only blemish was a second round draw versus Indian Creek chess coach Dane Bell.

Rockford Guilford coach Erik Czerwin and Jonathan Gaenzle tied for second place in the Reserve, both with 3.0 scores. Erik surrounded three victories with a third-round loss against Zach while Jonathan finished out his day with a pair of draws after two victories.

In the Booster, William Cahill compiled the tournament's lone perfect score, going 4.0/4. William was a half-point better than James Marchert who posted a 3.5.

Zhu Zhu Cai, Ben Rodriguez and Jim Stack all tied for third place with 3.0/4, all three playing in DeKalb events for the first time.

For Ben and Jim, it was their first USCF-rated event ever, posting provisional ratings in the mid 800's out of the box. Keep it up, guys!

The M*A*S*H event observed the anniversary of the airing of the last episode of the long-running Korean Conflict-set television series.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Registrations Flowing in For M*A*S*H Memorial Open

With two days / one day to go before the early registration discount expires  a little over 24 hours to go,  19  30  34  38 players have pre-registered for the four-round extravaganza. Registration will be accepted at the door at the same $5 rate on Saturday, February 28. (although an advance email before 6am on the day of the tournament is APPRECIATED.). Note: due to limited entries in the non-rated competition, there may not be sufficient entries for that. But discounted USCF memberships will be available for K-12).

Players will get a whole hour to make their moves with an additional 5-seconds before the clock starts each time.

Multiple sections should keep the match ups tight with Open, Reserve -- Under 1600 and Booster -- Under 1200 sections, subject to change depending on the registrations received.

DeKalb events typically honor the midpoints of the section as well with awards: Under 1800 in the Open, Under 1400 in the Reserve and Under 1000 in the Booster (it looks like Under 800 too!).