This page is for news and recent results of the local chess community. Mostly about the Chess 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          


March 20 Update.  IM John Bartholomew, with a fresh haircut, streamed the games from the match.  The Minnesota Blizzard in the PRO chess league have a big match against the St. Louis Archbishops on March 21. The Pairings. You can follow them on Facebook. GM. Mauricio Flores had a great result with 3/4 against Webster.  Article.  
March 18
  The two favorites met in round 3. Andrew Tang, last year's champ, won.  He went on to win the title with a 5/5 score. Sean Nagle, eight time champ, finished with 3/5 losing to Kevin Wasiluk. Joe Longen was able to draw three games. 1.5/5. :-)   Ashton Jin as the low rated in the group did well to score 1.5/5. In the Amateur Eddie Wasserman was first with 3.5/5. In the Reserve Jack Reichert was first with 4/5. In a side match Alice Lee scored 2/2 against Dane Zagar. Crosstable.
The State Scholastic Championships are this coming weekend. 

March 14 Saumik is organizing another tournament at the University of Minnesota. A Scholastic Championship on June 2. Details on the calendar or Online Registration. Also in June is Rochester and Twin Ports. 
In a truly epic rematch Minnesota Blizzard won with the slimmest margin of 8.5 to 7.5 against Webster Windmills and reached the Atlantic Division final!  Check their Facebook page for details.
March 12 If you ever wondered what chess players do to relax the picture shows the answer. Click on picture to enlarge. 
Meanwhile Wesley So is struggling in Berlin. Off to 1-4 start he still has time to recover. John Bartholomew is facing the challenge of a large open tournament. Grandmaster one round and then much lower the next. He finished at 6/9. He will be in Charlotte on the 28th for a Round Robin Norm event. 
The closed is this coming weekend at the Chess Castle. Quiet visitors welcome. 
The Blizzard is in the playoffs of the PRO chess league. Facing Webster on Tuesday. You can follow them on Facebook. 

March 9 USCF has a scholarship for chess players.
March 5  MSCA has elected its officers: John Thomson President, Jiten Patel Vice President, Dane Zager Treasurer, Richard Weber  Secretary.  At Large: Nate Hoover, David Kuhns and D.J. Hooker.    This weekend's Rethink has decided to play the third round each day at 5:30. This gives people a dinner break.     Matt Jensen has posted this year's Rochester Open on the online registration site.  It will be June 22-23 with probably a game at the Castle on Wednesday. Check closer to the date. Meanwhile John is in Iceland chasing a GM norm. Wesley So will play in the Candidates starting March 10 in Berlin. 

March 4 A Blizzard update from Patrick Tang: "Our four players GM-elect Andrew Tang, GM Akshat Chandra, IM John Bartholomew, and IM Sean Nagle overcame a 5-7 deficit after round 3 and went 4-0 in the last round beating Miami 9-7 and made history to secure a playoff spot with one match to spare! Our last regular season match will be against Montclair Sopranos on Wednesday March 7 at 4:45pm. The first and second playoff matches will be on March 13 and 21. It is single elimination and the semifinal and final will be held in San Francisco on April 7 and 8. I published the following news on Facebook"

February 27 The following have qualified for the Closed Championship Playoffs: Nagle, Tang, Wasiluk, Longen, Hoover and Iwu. Ashton Jin is the alternate. 

 Some news from MSCA. Dane Zagar and Richard Weber are the new board members. We all know Dane. Richard has been active in SCA and has playing sons. The voting age for board members is now 16.  NM Tom Britt has moved from Ohio and hopes to play here. There was discussion about who would be eligible for the title of State Champion. Should there be co-champions. Should out of state players be allowed to play in the closed. No decision was made. There was talk of restarting the Minnesota Chess Journal. 

Our Dad is the best!!
February 26 The Minnesota Open drew 186 players. IM Sean Nagle , many time state champ, was again in form. He went 6/6 beating GM-elect Andrew Tang. With two heavy hitters on the top boards. A score of 4 will let some in the playoffs. It is rated.  More to follow.

A committee, Radermacher, Longen, Truelson and Adams, has established a MSCA hall of fame. A special induction ceremony was held where the inductees were honored. Ed Zelkind, Larry Lampert and George Barnes were this years deserved choices. Ed was joined with family and friends for the occasion. Larry is deceased and his family accepted the award in his honor.  

February 25 There will be another U.S. Amateur North Championship on May 19-20th at the Crowne Plaza Plymouth. There will also be a Master's section. Details soon.
A scholastic tournament at the UofM. 

Twin Ports Open has moved to June 30th -July 1st, 2018. Friday pizza party too.  Information is posted on the Online Registration site. 

Patrick Tang reports;"
Thanks to our four players for the hard fought games last Wednesday but this time luck was not on our side. We lost with the smallest margin 7.5 to 8.5 to much higher rated Webster Windmills, giving the leader of the league a very respectable challenge. This is definitely the toughest match we ever played. Not only they had a super GM who performed very well and by using a strong female player on board 4 they fielded an exceptionally strong lineup because her rating was counted 100 points less. She also performed well enough to make the difference. Also their recent ratings are higher than their September ratings. They are lucky that their September ratings made them just below the limit. If we keep playing like this we can beat any team in the league! 

Look forward to the super Saturday match today at 1:30pm Central! Our lineup is: GM Mauricio Flores, GM-elect Andrew Tang, GM Akshat Chandra, IM Daniel Gurevich, who will take on @NorwayGnomes lead by World Champion Magnus Carlsen in round 1 and other Eastern/Central teams!

February 23 I have been told there will not be a Catfish Tournament in 2018.
 Ivan Wijetunge has started a GoFundMe  fund to sponsor the 2019 event. You can talk to Ivan at the MN. Open. 
February 23 
The Chess Castle of Minnesota won third place at US Amateur Team North in Chicago during the President's Day weekend. The team consisted of Andrew Tang, Andrew Titus, Jackson Wahl and Stuart Konezny. As one of the top teams they got upset in round 2 by University of Chicago A but won other matches with big advantages achieving the best tie breaker. Andrew won the blitz tournament. The complete standings can be found at: TEAM 
Blizzard update: The Minnesota Blizzard lost narrowly 7.5 to 8.5 to the much higher rated Webster Windmills lead by super GM Le Quang Liem last Wednesday. The talented young GM Akshat Chandra made his debut for Blizzard. The Blizzard currently is in the third place in the Atlantic division and will play the second super Saturday match this Saturday at 1:30pm.

February 20  A new format for the Think series at the club. Dane Zagar is trying a six round tournament in two sections at Game 60 with 30 increment. We are calling this a Rethink as one will have extra time to rethink their moves. Also the Minneapolis Open has moved to April 28-29th. 

Entries for the Minnesota Open are up to 118. It looks to be quite a strong event. The annual membership meeting will be held at 6:00 pm. on Friday before the first round. 

IM John Barthlomew has been busy chasing another GM norm. He has played some good chess but became ill in Texas. You can keep up on his travels on Twitter. Sammy was at the Southwest Class also. He drew a 2558, lost to a 2500+ and two 2400+. He beat some Masters to finish with 4.5/9 and is once again solidly above 2200. His twin brother Saumik played in the Expert section finishing with 3.5/7.

February 12  The Library is getting into the chess scene. Another site.
A chess group in St. Paul is active. LINK
Another meeting: The chess meetup is every Monday from 4:30-6pm @ Town Hall Station (4500 Valley View Rd, Edina 55424). Attendees should bring their own chess set. Kid meals are free w/ the purchase of an entree. 
February 9 Patrick Tang reports: "
The Minnesota Blizzard won the battle of the Dutch against Montreal Chessbrahs as our board 4 IM Thomas Beerdsen of Netherlands scored 1.5 against his fellow countrymen GMs Robin van Kampen and Jorden van Foreest! Board 3 GM Nikola Mitkov also scored 1.5 against them! We won an incredible match 10.5 to 5.5!
Board 3 and 4 of the Blizzard contributed 5.5 points and board 1 and 2 contributed 5 points to the total 10.5 points: GM Mauricio Flores 2, GM-elect Andrew Tang 3, GM Nikola Mitkov 3 and IM Thomas Beerdsen 2.5!"
GM Wesley So has done two DVDs for Chessbase. One on 1.b3 and another on The Italian.
John lost his first game in St. Louis. Watch it here.

February 7
Tim Radermacher has been working on the Hall of Fame for Minnesota chess. He has created a wall at the Castle with the first inductees. There will be a ceremony at 3:30 pm on February 25 before round six of the Open. We will be inducting our 2018 new members into the MN Chess Hall of Fame in a ceremony.
The Blizzard continue winning in the PRO chess league. Details

John Bartholomew is continuing his GM norm hunt. He will be in St. Louis first. More details on his Twitter site. 
The entry for the Minnesota Open goes up on the 17th.
A Think tournament this weekend at the Castle.
February 5 The Blizzard came up just a little short yesterday and did not get any match point though we won and drew some nice matches against those super strong teams. We just needed 1.5 more game points get get half of a match point. Thanks to our four players for the hard fought battles against much higher opponents and we will be back on Feb 7 at 4:45pm against Montreal Chessbrahs!
Andrew's move is nominated for the move of the week. If you have Twitter please vote for him below Andrew's Move 

January 28
I often get inquires for a chess coach. We have some names on the  New Players page but I think there are more. If you would like your name added let me know. If you specialize in one kind of player that should be included. 

GM Elect Andrew Tang easily won the Winter Open with 4.5/5. Five players were second with 4.  The big news was the re-emergence of NM Allan Storbakken who was in that group, losing to Tang. Robert Klein was perfect in the reserve with 5/5. Weiwen Leung and Soren Wiedmann, two new players to rated chess, won the 47 person Bantam. 130 players total took part. Thanks to Dave Kuhns for directing. 

Note: The Minnesota Open Entry Fee: $85 by 2/16; $95 by 2/21; $100 on site. GMs, IMs FREE. 
Looking for a chess related college scholarship?  Click Here USCF

 January 25 The Blizzard will play the Buenos Aires tonight at 5:50pm. GM Mauricio Flores will debut in the season tonight with GM-elect Andrew Tang, IM Daniel Gurevich and IM Sean Nagle. Go Blizzard!!! PRO Chess League home. Blizzard Wins!!
The Winter Open first round time is 9:30.
The Minnesota Open announcement is posted on the Online Registration page. Link above. 

January 22 Pictures from the MLK tournament in Duluth.  The Great Danes changed their yearly one day a month tournament to a  weekend one. Hoping to play some different folks and get another shot at Wilson Gibbins I traveled North. Kevin Wasiluk easily won the event with 5/5 and will have his name put on the trophy. Wilson and I (Bill) placed second though he had the tougher opponents. Several out of towners were put up at local homes or for free at Black Bear Casino. Mom Zagar and my wife prepared food for between rounds and kept the coffee pot full. The Danes are planning the yearly Twin Ports tournament and I will post when the details are final. Thanks to Marv Mattson for keeping the Duluth club going strong. 
Local: The Winter Open first round time is 9:30.  Alice Lee broke 1800. No word on the details for the yearly election of board members. 

January 19 Minnesota Blizzard pulled off an unbelievable Thursday against the defending champion St. Louis Archbishops just like the Vikings! St. Louis used one super GM, two 2600+ FIDE GMs and one 1900 FIDE player, hoping their three strong GMs will take care of the business. Minnesota had four IMs in the lineup (IM/GM-elect Andrew Tang, IM Daniel Gurevich, IM John Bartholomew and IM Sean Nagle). At the end GM-elect Andrew Tang defeated two GMs over 2600 FIDE and drew their super GM in the last round. Our free agent IM Daniel Gurevich scored a huge upset win over their 2600+ GM in the last round and drew the super GM earlier. IM Sean Nagle also drew one of the 2600+ GMs in round two. All of our players defeated their lowest player. The Blizzard won with the slimmest margin of 8.5 to 7.5! Minnesota Blizzard will face Buenos Aires Krakens on Thursday January 25 at 5:50pm.  

January 16 Wasiluk, Gibbins, Mattson, Iwu, Zagar and Voje will be in Duluth.  Weather looks good for the weekend. 
The Blizzard will play their first match of PRO Chess League tomorrow at 6 pm on They signed free agent IM Daniel Gurevich to help Andrew, Sean and John.

January 13 John has fallen a 1/2 point short in Charlotte. He did win the tournament but too many draws left him with 6/9. 
Dane Zagar won the Hot Cocoa Classic with 4/4. 

January 12 John is in Balmy Charlotte NC. for another GM norm attempt. 35-45* Wesley So in Wijk aan Zee (35-40*)for the Tata Steel tournament. All the big guys will be there. The Duluth guys will hold a tournament next week ( 20*). All the cool guys will be there. 
Links:  Charlotte   Tata Steel   Duluth   
January 7
NM Andrew Titus continued his winning ways. He is the new Club Champion scoring 6/7 without a loss. NM Okey Iwu needed a win against Nastassja to tie for the title. They drew. The results are on the front page courtesy of Nate.  
IM John Bartholomew will play something called a "Death Match" on against Lawrence Trent. 
Log on to or on Tuesday, January 9 at  3 p.m.  to catch all the action live. IM Danny Rensch will merely moderate the match as Trent and Bartholomew commentate their own battle! John usually posts it to YouTube later.

January 3 NM Andrew Titus won the most Exerciser Quads and received a club membership. He did this and maintained a 2300+ rating. The calendar has been updated for the next three months. Dane Zagar will be directing the March Think. He has made changes and it will be called a Rethink. Six rounds and game 60 with 30 increment. RDs. 10-1-3:30 both days. Remember to check the front page as things can change. 

Roger Hale announced the following:  As of Jan 1, Dan Voje has returned as Chess Castle Manager.  Jiten Patel has helped immensely during the past two years but now has other work commitments that reduce his availability.  However, Jiten will continue to be involved with the Chess Castle as a valuable volunteer.  We welcome back Dan, a true mainstay of chess in Minnesota and a TD par excellence.”

December 30  What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. ( At least until the tournament is rated.)  The Minnesota contingent had a good time though did not win any money. The North American Open is a brutal 7 to 9 round event. 805 players took part. Our new Masters were there for some tough competition and they found it. Sammy went 4.5/9,  Nastassja went 3/9, Tim went 4/7, Bill went 3.5/7 and Roger was 2.5/7. Las Vegas was busy and with the New Year's Eve party coming it was good to leave. Sunny and 60*.  Tim Lee's son, Calvin, moneyed in the U1500. Our good friends from a few years ago Karthik and Akshay Padmanabahn also played in Vegas. Karthik played in the u2300. Akshay, the older brother on the right, moneyed in the U2100 to the tune of $1020. They will be in the Boston area after a few years in California.  Next up is the Castle Championship.

The club Championship is January 6-7th. This is for club members and frequent guests. Check with Dan to see if you are eligible. 

December 24 The Duluth guys are holding a January Chess Tournament on the 20-21st. A five round classic time controls.  This is a good warm up for MSCA's big events. Check the calendar or online registration. 
The site for the Minnesota Open is the Crowne Plaza Plymouth. A week later this year so Mr. Bill can play. February 23-25th. 

December 17
The FIDE Blizzard Open was a big success. It drew a new player:
 WIM Aura Cristina Salazar. Nastassja was the only one to defeat her in a crazy Queen ending. They tied for first with 4/5. Sammy and Dane Zagar were next with 3.5/5.  James Ellis won the reserve with 4.5/5.  Thanks to Dave and Jiten for directing. 
The Holiday Quads are next Saturday with an enhanced prize fund thanks to Vince Berg. 
The Blizzard Holiday party will take place on December 22. Let Patrick Tang know if you plan to attend so he can order enough pizzas. A Blitz tournament follows the lecture. Details on the calendar.

  December 15 Dennis McGrath, famed Star Tribune reporter, has written an article about our titled youth. Nastassja, Sammy and Andrew all gained titles recently. Sammy and Nastassja are playing this weekend. 

December 11 IM John Bartholomew played well but fell short at the London Classic FIDE Open in his quest for GM norms. GM Wesley So finally won a game in round 9. The event was plagued by a high draw rate. 
Chessbase has an article about Deep Mind Artificial Intelligence project that is rocking the chess world. It crushed Stockfish in a match. 
Club members get a discount for the weekend's Minnesota Blizzard FIDE Open. A club membership would make a great Christmas gift. 

December 7 Tom Babcock is featured in The 
December Check Is in the Mail by Alex Dunne on the US Chess site.  Article Here
December 4 Andrew Tang was perfect at the Minnesota Blitz Championships:18/18. Another strong player has shown up: Alexander Opitz. He is an Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota. 

John Bartholomew is in London chasing the GM norms. He is off to a good start: 3.5/4. Wesley So is playing in the London Classic leg of the Grand Chess tour. 

December 3 Congratulations to Sammy Narayanan for squeaking over 2200 and becoming a Master. Now I wont feel so bad when he beats me. 

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
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