This page is for news and recent results of the local chess community. Mostly about the  Castle but including the state. If you have some news or an announcement you think local chess players would like to know about send it to Bill at: The State chess association has a Facebook page 

                       The club is closed until further notice. 
With the National tournaments cancelled USCF is selling sets and boards at a great price. 
MSCA is sponsoring a  Minnesota Online Grand Prix!
With everybody stuck at home due to social distancing policies, all the local chess clubs and events have shut down for the foreseeable future. In order to help everybody get their chess fix in, the MSCA has decided to create the Minnesota Weekly Online Grand Prix!

We will be organizing 12 to 14 online tournaments every week through Players will accumulate points for every tournament they play in, and $100 in cash prizes will be awarded at the end of each week! You don't have to play in every event in order to compete for Grand Prix prizes.
If you are new to online chess, as I am, Saumik has linked to some of the rules and pairings and scoring. Scroll down when you get there to see the info.
In a bit of good news Alice Lee has made Master. We all new it would happen. Congratulations. 
With all the cancellations of travel the good news is I have been able to get some refunds or credits on purchases. Sometimes hard to get through and hopefully the airlines will still be there in six months. Good time to read all those chess books I bought as I self isolate at home. 

New chess setup from FIDE.

March 17 Saumik wants the following advertised: The UMN Chess Club is holding Lichess arenas every Tuesday in place of their normal meetings. There will be 3 separate 1-hour arenas at 5pm, 6pm, and 7pm. Anybody is allowed to join! First one is tonight!  Link to join at

 The Minnesota Closed Playoffs have been postponed. 
US Chess is cancelling the National High School (K-12) Championship (NHS).Details.
TCCL has been postponed until further notice. More details will be announced as soon as possible. 
The Mid-America Open has been cancelled.

March 12  I received an E-mail about a norm tournament in the Toronto, Canada area. "We invite you to consider participating at our next IM Norm event from  Wednesday, June 10 to Sunday, June 14, 2020 in the Greater Toronto Area, Canada. You can find all the tournament details in the link below including registration fees, schedule and prize money: .  416-706-3491.



March 7
The Scholastic Championships select candidates for National tournaments to be held in conjunction with the US Open this Summer. I believe the following to be true and will update it if things change. It may take a few days to rate due to new memberships. 
Troy Cavanah won the K-8 section and will be the Barber representative. 
Masters Andrew Titus and Sammy Narayanan tied for the K-12 title. After a playoff one will be the Denker representative. 
Arvind Thiagarajan won the K-5 and will be the  representative for the John D Rockeller III tournament. This is a new event. 
Alyssa George won the K-3 section going undefeated!
Photos courtesy Arun Narayanan. 
Jeshwant Mohan and Yiping Wang tied for first in the K-12 U1200 section. 

MSCA  will be holding the first  Minnesota State Chess960 Championship on May 31. The first Minnesota State Bughouse Championship on May 30th. Details on Online 
Registration link above. 

March 5 After a sweep Monday night Alice Lee is 4 points shy of Master. She will probably set some kind of a record any day now. 
Norm Myrin won the February Thursday open section. Ethan Hunt won the Premier section.


March 2 I often wonder why I am not higher rated. Here are three recent examples of the reason. 

White (Radermacher) to play.                     White (Tramm) to play.                                   Black (Wasserman)to play.  
I overlooked my opponents threats. What did they see? Answer below Hall of Fame article. 

February 17
Pictured are three of the inductees to the Hall of Fame. Ted Haugan, Nels Truelson and Alex Balandin. Ed Conway was the fourth inductee. Click on photo to enlarge. For details on the inductees click on Hall of Fame.
The Minnesota Open drew 196 players in multiple sections. IM Sean Nagle and NM Ashton Jin were co-winners with 4/5. James Foster and Alex Braun won the Amateur with 4.5/5. The Bantam was a bright spot with 66 players. It looks like the top six players in the Open will be in the playoffs. Waiting for MSCA confirmation.
Dennis McGrath has posted a more thorough account of the tournament. 
Diagram one 22.Rxe8 Qxd3 23.Rxf8 Kxf8 24.Rxd3
Diagram two 21.Ne7+ Kh8 22.Nxc6 bxc6 23. Rxc6
Diagram three 22....Qg7.

Pictured are Joseph Truelson and the hooded Andrew Titus. Next is Isaac Traynor and Kevin Landman.

February 16 For those looking for a fun scholastic  team event check the calendar on March 28th. Wayzata Chess Action will be held at the Wayzata High School. Contact James Titus at .

February 14 Dane Mattson has sent me the flyer for the Twin Ports Open. The dates are June 12th-14th, 2020. Once again in Superior at the University of Wisconsin. A terrific site. Dorm rooms are available.

 February 4 Repeating: Tim Radermacher has sent me the following: "Minnesota Chess Hall of Fame welcomes Nels Truelson, Alex Balandin, Ted Haugan, and Ed Conway as 2020 inductees.  Induction ceremony will be Sunday February 16th before the last round of the MN Open. I have posted the information on each inductee at  Hall of Fame.

January 31
Ethan Hunt has made Master following some great results on Thursday night. Dennis McGrath won the Open section on Thursday. 

After finishing his 200+ videos on "100 Endgames You Must Know" John took some time to explain the Lucena position to a new student. Check out Chessable. Introduction on YouTube.  
Magnus does an endgame test and talks about his training. 

January 29 I was informed that Mike Wangen has passed away after an illness. Mike last played in 2013. Due to his job in the Theater he was unable to be an active player. Older players will remember him. Elizabeth 612-859-4581 informed me of this. Article on Mikes life.  I knew Mike did lighting but had no idea he was such an accomplished artist at it. 

January 28 The club will start a Blitz night on Wednesday February 5th. Format: Weekly double round USCF rated swiss blitz tournament Time Control: Game in 5 with 3 second delay (G/5;d3) Schedule: Wednesdays 7:00 to 9:30 pm 
Entry Fee: $7/member, $10/non-member. Prizes: Winner gets free entry next week. Class prizes at TD discretion.

January 27 The Winter Open drew 147 total players in all sections. The Open was won by Joseph Truelson and Dr. Iwu. Both with 4.5/5.  Kyler Weatherspoon made Master!! All the details

January 16 The Twin Ports Chess Club will host its 16th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration Tournament January 18 - 19, 2020. On Friday, January 17th, National Master Dr. Okey Iwu, the highest rated member of the Twin Ports Chess Club, will host a simultaneous exhibition at 7pm. National Master Dane Mattson will host an interactive chess lecture at 6:15pm. Doors of the Twin Ports Chess Club will open at 6pm.  1527 Tower Ave, Superior, WI 54880.. Details on the calendar.  

January 14 Metcalf is having chess lessons again this year. Alex Balandin, Sima Sokolovskaya & Brian Ribnick. Click on the link:  Lessons   
January 12 The Denver Open has settled on May 14-17th for the dates of  their festival.
GM. Wesley So won a wild game in the Tata Steel tournament in the Wijk aan Zee. Daniel King explains.

January 10 For those older players who bought chess books I have sad news. Bob Long was murdered in his home during a home invasion. A nice review of his life and businesses can be found on Chess Life Online...
Alice Lee has been training with Garry Kasparov. Be afraid.

January 9 This was found on John's Twitter site: Dan and the Judge should take note.

January 8 I received the following information from MSCA:  "The 2020 MSCA elections are fast approaching! This year, there will be 3 open board positions, and any MSCA member 16 years or older is eligible to serve on the MSCA Board.

If you are interested in running for the board, you can declare your candidacy by submitting a 150 word statement containing a short bio and your reasons for running. This statement can be emailed to Submissions are due January 17th. Ballots will be available for voting at the 2020 Winter Open on January 25/26, and TCCL on February 7th.
Please don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions about being a board member or the election process."

January 6 The Castle Championship was a draw filled affair. This resulted in a five way tie for the title. Dan will most likely have some kind of playoff. Check link above for the crosstable."

January 3 Some of you may have seen the interesting Carlsen vs Firouza game in the World Blitz Championships. He was able to win a game on time with only a Bishop and King. I was surprised and so was his opponent. Know your Blitz rules.  USCF rules.  Video of the game.  Enjoy.

January 3
Saumik reports: "
The University of Minnesota Chess Team had a great performance at the 2019 Pan-American Intercollegiate Championships! The UMN B-Team won the 1st Place Prize for Division IV, which I believe is the first time a UMN team has won a prize at Panams since we won it all back in 1992!
Cole Medin won 3rd place for top overall alternate player. Several players on the A-Team had strong performances, with Roshan Rangarajan drawing GM Ulvi Bajarani and IM Stavroula Tsolakidou, Brendan Zhang drawing GM Carlos Hevia, and Andrew Sheehan drawing FM Ezra Paul Chambers."

December 24 Connor Quinn used to be a regular at the Castle. After a few years at Stanford he was back for the holidays. He picked up chess again and won the Holiday Classic. Beating Saumik and Zagar and drawing  Dr. Iwu to finish 4.5/5. That left Sammy and OK in second.  Perry Zentner, Mathew Koppinger and Madur Menghani tied in the Reserve. 

December 22 If you are looking for an out of town chess event the Denver Open might be a good choice. May 14-17th, 2020. (Date has changed)  They bring in some top talent and make a festival out of it. Details later. 

Repeating: Tim Radermacher has sent me the following: "Minnesota Chess Hall of Fame welcomes Nels Truelson, Alex Balandin, Ted Haugan, and Ed Conway as 2020 inductees.  Induction ceremony will be Sunday February 16th before the last round of the MN Open.. I have posted the information on each inductee at  Hall of Fame.  

 December 20 Paul Carr won the free membership by scoring best in the Exerciser Quads. 4.5 Quad wins. Congratulations.

December 17 I received an E-mail about a norm tournament in Ontario in February. They are looking for two more players rated at least 2180 FIDE. If interested click on Elevate My Chess. Will give allowance to IM or GM willing to play.

December 15 Samrug Narayanan is the State Blitz champion. Scoring 16/20 just ahead of Linden Li at 15/20. 

There was a delay in rating the Think. Alice won with out a loss at 6/7. She and Tim Radermacher are on a race to Master. Tim of course has been there before. Blitz Championship this Sunday at the Castle.

December 9
I do not normally post game stuff but this past weekend's Think had lots of fighting chess. In the last round, Alice Lee vs Dr. Iwu, was a real crowd-pleaser. I believe what follows is correct. Black had a pawn on a2 for some time and White finally won it remaining a piece up. Still trying to win White played 1.Ra2. There followed 1...c3+ 2. Kc2 Rb2 3. Rxb2 cxb2 4. Kxb2 Ke3. 

With no increment and time very short this is not the position one should want. According to my silicon friend 5.Bd1 Kd2 6. Bb3 Ke2, as played, wins for White. But 5Bd1 Kf2 wins for Black. Black should not take the f3 pawn as it obstructs the Bishop. Even 5. Bc4 wins for Black. He should take the f3 pawn in that line. There are some only moves and even a Queen ending in some lines. You endgame guys can put it in your computers and see all the lines.  Black lost on time after 7.Kc2 Kxf3 8. Kd3 Kg2
These two will be ready for the club championship, will you?

If you are interested in the Alpha Zero games they can be downloaded. 


In the red brick Waterbury building on the NW corner of Central and Broadway in the Nordeast.
Phone to reach the club - 612.478.9934 or e-mail at
Club Champions