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.

April 24 The Denker and Barber Playoffs were this past weekend. Not sure why some of our top players did not participate. The crosstable 
The Okoboji Open has not been rated and we would like to keep it a secret as the Minnesota players got crushed. Update: It appears the Iowa players are either underrated or rise to the occasion on their home boards. Okoboji results

Wesley finally loses a game. Dennis McGrath reports.

April 20 Wesley So is off to another tournament: 4th Gashimov Memorial Shamkir, Azerbaijan. A few of us are off to Okoboji for their annual tournament. There is the Denker /Barber playoffs at the Castle. I have no details on this. The following weekend the Castle is holding a Spring Think.
 Garry Kasparov's new book, Deep Thinking, will be in the Hennepin county Library soon. 

April 10 Wesley So won the playoff for US Champion. You can watch it

April 8 Dennis McGrath has traveled to St. Louis to watch the U.S. Championships live. His report for the Star Tribune.  He has an update.  You can watch it at Wesley is set for a playoff for the title on Monday.
Nastassja Matus and Alice Lee traveled to Chicago to play some Blitz this weekend. Nastassja finished tied for first with 9/10 and Alice with 6/10. This was a prelude to the All Girls National Championships. Final:  Alice 6/6 in under 8 and Nastassja 4/6 in under 18. 

April 1  John Bartholomew is playing in a GM norm invitational tournament. He fell short of a GM norm but did post his games.   He did beat GM Fishbein. He did an interview and explained the game on YouTube.  We had 30 players show up for the Saturday Quads.  
The State Scholastic has been rated.
A new Thursday Knighter starts April 6. Rumor is we have three Masters signed up for the Premier. 

March 29 The results of the State Scholastic Tournament are available.  In the K-12 section it was no surprise that State Champion IM Andrew Tang took first with 7/7. Our club members took 2-4th: Andrew Titus, Jackson  Wahl and Gloria Friedman. 130 in this section! In the K-8 Nastassja Matus and Sammy Narayanan were 1-2nd with 5.5/6. Nastassja won the playoff. There were 90 in this section. In the K-5 Uri Moon-rosha was clear first with 4.5/5. There were 26 in this section. In the K-3 Ethan Benjamin was clear first with 5/5 beating out 18 players. Wayzata High School won the K-12 team title. Wayzata Central Middle school won the K-8 team title.   It may take some time to have it rated as memberships have to be updated. Pictured are Sammy and Nastassja in the Blitz playoff. Titus vs Tang in the last round. Andrew Tang who added the K-12 Championship to his State title. 
Wesley So is playing in the US Championships in St. Louis this week. He won his first game.  John Bartholomew is going for a GM norm in Charlotte. 

March 25 A few of our club members are in St. Louis at the Mid-America tournament. 
If you are looking for some photos of the State Scholastic John Bartholomew has posted them on his Twitter page.  John also alerted us to a 60 Minutes segment on chess in Franklin County Mississippi.  

March 20 The closed lived up to its prediction of excitement. Dane Zagar came through and beat Frank Johnson. There were no draws in the section. Previous champ, IM Sean Nagle, ( the last 8 years) was unable to maintain his title. IM John Bartholomew and IM Andrew Tang shared first with 4/5. Tang won the Blitz playoff. John's game against Nagle Closed Crosstable
The Amateur section was won by Josiah Jorenby. The reserve was won by Logan Ferkinhoff and Joel Nathe. Dan put together an Expert invitational. Nastassja Matus and Sammy Narayanan tied for first with 3.5/5 with lots of hard draw. Mr Bill joined them with a forfeit win he was glad to get after his draw with Nastassja.  A game file will be available at a later date. 
Pictures from the closed.


Here is the official report from Dave Kuhns:


CONGRATULATIONS to the new Minnesota State Champion, IM Andrew Tang!

Andrew may be the youngest Minnesota Champion in the 124 year history of the MSCA. (I am trying to verify that)

The event was won in dramatic style.

Andrew defeated each of the previous champions (IM Sean Nagle and IM John Bartholomew) in their individual games in rounds 1 and 2, but then dropped a game to Frank Johnson.

Sean and John were paired in the final round, with the winner to advance to a tie with Andrew.

John won that game in a long, hard fought contest, forcing a blitz playoff, which Andrew won 1.5 – 0.5


Josiah Jorenby won the Amateur Championship with a 4-1 score

Logan Ferkinhoff tied with Joel Nathe at 4-1, with Logan taking the playoff 2-0.


A new event was introduced by Dan Voje. An Expert Championship section.

This year it was put together by Dan as an unofficial event, which ended in a three way tie.

The players involved chose not to participate in a tie-break playoff.

Samrug Narayanan, Nastassja Matus and Bill Murray tied with 3.5 points each

The Board of Directors of the MSCA will consider adding this as an official playoff and will finalize the qualification procedure for the event.

We will also consider making the results of this event as official inaugural champions.


Congratulations to all the winners!

March 19
The Minnesota Closed is quite exciting. After four rounds there are three IMs at 3/4. Will update when finished. Meanwhile John has posted his games. Tang, Hoover, Zagar, and Johnson.  

March 15 The Calendar is being filled in for the next three months. There may be some changes in the smaller events so double check the front page the week they are scheduled.  Of note is Rochester in June 23-24th with a first round option at the Castle. A Spring Think April 29-30th and the U.S. Amateur North Championships May 20-21st in Plymouth just before the Chicago Open. A FIDE Blizzard at the Castle on June 10-11th. Book your rooms for Twin Ports! Senior and Junior Championships at St. Olaf in Northfield. 

March 15 Freeway I-94E will be undergoing some major repair starting on Monday. The Lowry Tunnel will also be affected. This will be an incredible mess. I advise one to avoid I-94 until at least September. For more details: MDOT

March 14 Since there is no Expert section in the Closed Playoffs some of us had a free weekend. Rather than spend it with family Dan has organized an Expert section Invitational. It will be the same schedule as the Closed. Sammy, Ashton, Nastassja, Dan, Murphy and Murray will play a round robin. 

March 12 The Castle will be holding the Closed Playoffs the weekend of the 17-19th. With three IMs and 2300 Frank Johnson the pressure will be on Hoover and Zagar. The top guys can not afford to give up even draws against these two. As they are club members and great guys we will be rooting for them to land an upset. Quiet spectators are welcome. 
While the kids are off the following weekend playing for trophies and glory in the State Scholastic the club will have a Maturity Quad on Sunday. Note the day change and early time for a Sunday. The Exerciser Quad drew Twenty and NM Andrew Titus broke 2300 going 3/3. 

March 7
 The Minneapolis Open drew 55 players in two sections. The strength of our young players is impressive. I remember when they ( Nastassja and Ashton ) were cute kids. No more. Nastassja finished tied with Saumik for first. Ashton stole a pawn and ground me down with out mercy. The upcoming State Scholastic will be very competitive. 
Since I have booked my rooms for the upcoming big chess tournaments I would like to remind you to do the same. The Barker's Inn in Superior has a low rate for Sunday night so some may wish to stay and avoid the "home from the lake" traffic on I-35. Twin Ports Open
 The Okoboji Open is only about six weeks away. 
There is an Exerciser Quad this weekend. 

February 25 If you wondered how IM John Bartholomew was able to win the Minnesota Open here are his games. Game One, Game Two, Game Three, Game Four, Game Five, Game Six. You can check his YouTube channel for more great videos. 
Minneapolis Open at the Castle Chess club this weekend.
February 23  The Minnesota Open has been rated. It looks like Bartholomew, Johnson, Hoover and Zagar qualified for the playoffs. It may depend on their schedules. Nagle and Tang are in the playoffs already. John Bartholomew won the Open with 5.5/6.  Sean Nagle was second with 4.5/6. Ivan Wijetunge and Justin Leighton tied for first in the Amateur section. 
 Thanks to William Broich from Iowa for helping out.  
The MSCA election results : John Thomson, Dave Kuhns, Nathan Hoover and D.J. Hooker were added to the board.  

February 23 MSCA board meeting at 7:30 PM, Wed Mar 1, Chess Castle of Minnesota.

ruary 21 Dane Zagar has released the information on this year's Twin Ports Open. Due to the Twin Ports title and increased costs in Duluth it has moved down the street to Superior. I will post more soon but for now this will be enough to get you exited.

On August 12th-13th, 2017, former Twin Ports Open Champion International Master John Bartholomew will return for a 6th consecutive year, and reigning Twin Ports Open Co-champions Grandmaster Alex Yermolinsky and Woman Grandmaster Camilla Baginskaite are defending their title! In perhaps a prelude to the tournament, John and Alex faceoff in a Chess 960 (Fischer Random) Consultation Match on Friday night! Furthermore, the Twin Ports Open's location has moved to Barkers Island Resort, which is just across the bridge from Duluth, and sits directly on Lake Superior (pictures:! This year's prize fund has increased to over $4,000. Register at and get a hotel before they are gone!

February 10
  The State Scholastic information is posted. A little different format for the top section but more choices than in the past. I remember when one size fit all and that was not ideal. 
Online registration is available for the Minnesota Open and the Scholastic. 
The Castle will be holding the Minneapolis Open and Reserve on March 4-5th at the club. We will get it up on  the onlineregistration site soon. Projected prize fund of $1200. Roger Hale will try to get a skittles room. Free parking and you can bring in food if you clean up after yourselves and offer some to the staff. Details posted on the calendar. 

January 30 Andrew Tang was perfect in another tournament: The Winter Open. Andrew Titus and Nathan Hoover took 2-3rd with 4 points. There were 114 players in three sections. Uri Moon-Rosha won the Reserve with 5/5. There is a Think at the club next weekend and the the Minnesota Open Two weeks later. 
Dane Zagar is planning the next Twin Ports Open for the second weekend in August. He hopes to have details by the end of the month.
January 29  
Some old guys were talking about the upcoming US Senior Open. It will be held at St. Olaf College in Northfield July 21-23.  Players must be 50 years old by July 21.  Sorry Tim.  For the chess punks there will be the US Junior Open. This is the same time of year that St. Olaf has a big chess camp. No details on camp plans yet. Glenn Panner is organizing the Senior. This is the same weekend as Catfish Days. 
The details for the upcoming MSCA elections are posted on the MSCA site. You can also vote at the Winter Open, see the director's helper. 
GM Wesley So wins Tata Steel with clear first!!!! Dennis McGrath skipped the Winter Open to write an article about Wesley's victory.  StarTribune.

January 27 While Wesley So puts the finishing touches on a great Tata Steel tournament in Europe over 100 players are set for the Winter Open. Wesley has announced that he now has a coach: Vladimir Tukmakov. NM Ed Zelkind won the Thursday night premier section. Reed Russell won the Regular section. 

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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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