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 

January 19
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. 

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?

November 30 Alice Lee, whom I managed to draw recently, was highlighted in  Chess for Kid .

November 24 The 2019 Minnesota Quick Chess Championship will be next Sunday, December 1st, at the Castle. Details on the front page. This will be the same time control as some world playoff tournaments use and will count on your Quick rating. 
Tim Radermacher won the draw filled MN Class Championship top section. He earned a spot in the state playoffs. 

November 20 Our friends in Duluth have been busy planning next year's events. All the details will be on the calendar but here are the highlights: The Twin Ports Open will be held June 12 - 14, 2020 at the University of Wisconsin Superior Yellowjacket Union (the same venue as last year). IM John Bartholomew and Grandmaster Bryan Smith have already confirmed their participation. This was an excellent site and very affordable. 

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.

November 10
Long time Minnesota Chess player and Hall of Fame member George Tiers has died. He was 92. He was an active chess player right up to the end.

November 11 Sammy won his Birthday Blitz with 12/14 losing two to Ashton Jin. 

November 2 LInden Li has been nervous about making the Master norm. We all new he would and now he has. Peaking at 2200. Now he can go back to playing everything. 

 October 27 Our own Dan Voje easily cruised to the title of Minnesota State Senior Champion. Beating Radermacher and Zelkind to go undefeated. Dan is now rated 2099. Our chess punks at the club will be lining up to take some points off of the old man. Dennis McGrath, now retired, was second with three of four. 

October 13 Adriel Agam's first Chess for All tournament had 43 total players on Saturday in in Eden Prairie. He will be holding another one on November 9th. Tournament details. Tournament results.


Happy birthday to Dan and Alice. Alice will be 10 and Dan 70. Come on Sunday and celebrate with them playing blitz. 

October 9 I received the following job opportunity for a chess coach: "My name is Laura Sullivan with Chess Scholars and Afterschool Enrichment Solutions.  We 
provide after school enrichment programs nationwide. We have an immediate need f
or an instructor for a chess program in St. Francis MN Wednesdays 3:45 - 4:45 for our Fall session running through mid December.  Compensation is $40-$50/class and all materials, curriculum and online training is provided.  You can learn more about us at  Interested candidates can contact me at the number below or apply directly on our website. 847-861-2032"

 October 8 I have information about Iowa's Ice Harbor Scholastic on November 9th-10th. I have played there and the conditions were excellent. Special discounts for coaches who bring teams.

October 3 The Thursday Knighter will play on Thursday  October 31 which is Halloween. In November the 4th Thursday Knighter will be held on Wednesday the 27th. 
 The details for the Senior and Junior are posted on the calendar and on the registration site. Also the Minnesota Class Championships date is set for November 23-24th.

September 27  The Thursday night events drew a total of 38 players for September. Kyler Witherspoon won the Premier and Kevin landman won the Open. 
 September 23 The Golden Gopher Open drew 125 players in six sections. This was down a little from last year but the top section was tough. GM Fidel Corrales Jimenez finished first with 4.5/5. GMs Gareyev and Mitkov along with IM Bartholomew and Sammy Narayanan were in a pack for second. John got to play all three GMs and held the draw in all games. Maybe that Chessable stuff really works. Robert Newshutz won the U2000. 
The Senior Championship will be held at the same time and place as the MN. Youth and Collegiate according to the calendar. No details yet.  

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