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 feellikeapawn@comcast.net. The State chess association has a Facebook page 

July 17 The USCF has published an article on the recent Minnesota Norm tournament. 

Just a heads up concerning the Jackson Open Super Reserve, which was planned for this August, down on the Iowa border. Sam Smith, who does such a good job on this annual event, is unable to hold it this year.
July 13
The US Junior Championship  and Girls Junior Championships are taking place in St. Louis. GM Andrew Tang and WFM/NM Nastassja Matus are playing. Tang had a bad move in game 2 that cost a point. Nastassja lost a pawn and got ground down in round two.  Very tough competition.  Chess life has two articles:  Girls and Juniors
August 17-19th the Castle will be holding a three day classic tournament. Check the calendar.
Our German friend, Joerg Wilke, is back and playing in the Think. 

July 1
  The Twin Ports Open just gets better and better. GM Illia Nyzhnyk was clear first with 4.5/5. This was the strongest field ever. Adriel Agam was first in the Reserve. Jackson Hillman and William Moe won the Bantam. The local news covered the tournament. 
KBJR  . FOX21  . Friday night lecture was John Bartholomew going over a few of his tactics from previous Twin Ports Opens. The attendance was good for the Simul/Pizza/Lecture. Only 1 draw in the Simul.


Eric Vigil from Iowa was the chief TD. He was entering some game scores, so we should see some games posted. The Superior Mayor played a few rounds.

Dane Mattson reports: The seventh annual Twin Ports Open was a great success, with a surprise appearance of Grandmaster Illia Nyzhnyk adding a fourth Grandmaster to the event. Illia won the event 4.5/5, drawing GM Alex Yermolinsky in the last round to secure outright first place. Adriel Agam won the Reserve section with 4.5/5. Superior Mayor Jim Paine not only made the ceremonial first move on Board One, he also participated in the Bantam section (see attached photo). Our second year in Superior attracted media attention from three different TV stations, and the overall community support was greatly noticed with 13 states represented in this year's event. 

 June 24 The Rochester Open drew a good crowd. Tim McEntee, from Iowa, and Nastassja and Linden Li from the club shared first place with 4/5. Michael Kern won the Amateur. Twin Ports next weekend.

June 19
The Minnesota Norm tournament did produce one GM norm. Evgeny Shtembuliak scored 6.5/9 to acquire a GM norm. It was a tough event as only  GM Tang could finish that high. The players are pictured far left. Thanks to IA Bill Broich and FA David Kuhns for running the event
I received a picture of Nastassja and Garry Kasparov from her training session. With help like this it is no wonder I can not beat her anymore. An article about the training.
June 18   GM. Illia Nyzhnyk, rated 2679,  won the Trinity rapid at the Castle.  Nastassja drew him.  Again. 
GM. Wesley So won the first leg of the Grand Chess Tour
 June 10 The Castle Summer Classic was won by Sai Srinivas Dasari and Henry Hutton. Both scored 4/5.  The sections were combined as not enough players were entered in the lower section. 

  June 8 The Minnesota Norm Tournament will run from Friday evening June 15th  until Tuesday June 19th. 9 rounds, Fri. June 15 6:00 pm, Sat-Tue. 10:00 am and 4:00 pm. The event will be at the Crowne Plaza Plymouth. The cross table is at the bottom of this page. John Bartholomew and Sean Nagle will be trying for GM norms. John may do some updates on his twitter/YouTube sites. GM Andrew Tang is playing. 
There is an Invitation Only side event. Quiet spectators welcome.

June 6
Saumik Narayanan organized the First Gopher Scholastic Championship. It was a huge success with 95 players and a Blitz event. Helping Saumik were Jacob Ritter, Isaac Carter, Kaushal Kalyanasundaram and Ian Moon. Pictured at left.  Dane Zagar and Jiten Patel helped TD.  Main event results and Blitz results. There was food, bowling and John Bartholomew. Congrats to Arvind Thiagarajan, the winner of the K-3 section, Ryan Shiroma, the winner of the 4-6 section, Aiden Finnegan, the winner of the 7-12 section, and Jordan Timm, the winner of the blitz tournament! Overall, we had 95 players in the main tournament, and 20 players in the blitz tournament. Facebook.
The Gopher club is holding another great event in September: 4th Golden Gopher Open, September 21-23, $10,000 Prizes Projected!


May 29
An update from Chicago: Only one of the Minnesota group was among the money winners. NM OK Iwu will cash a $400 check.  Zagar played Jin and Li played Murray. The old guys lost. Very sad. I kidded Alice Lee that she should of had me as a doubles partner not knowing I would have to face her brother. Good choice Alice. Several of our players were a half point short of the money. For those on a budget, you could check out the Ramada nearby with a rate of about $70-80 a night.
There is the First Gopher Scholastic Championship tournament this weekend organized by Saumik Narayanan at the University of MN. 
After that is the  Rochester Open  tournament with the first round at the Castle option. 
The 7th Twin Ports Open is looking like a top heavy event once again. The Duluth guys work hard at to make this event special and deserve you support. 
Just posted on the calendar is the 4th Golden Gopher Open in September that looks like it will be great. Grandmasters Alex Yermolinsky, Ashwin Jayaram, Denes Boros, Fidel Corrales, and Timur Gareyev have all confirmed to play!

May 24 You can keep tabs on your friends at the Chicago Open here. I could use a female doubles partner if any one is interested. 20,000 deer were killed by autos in Wisconsin last year. Drive safe. 

May 22 Doug Olson has relayed that NM Robert K (RK) Johnson has died. Robert passed away on Sunday, May 20, 2018. Robert was a resident of Robbinsdale, Minnesota at the time of passing. U.S. Army Veteran. Memorial Service will be June 2 at 11 am Elim Lutheran Church, 3978 W. Broadway Ave., Robbinsdale with visitation 1 hr before at church. He played a few Senior events in the past few years. 
Monday's action Quads will start at 6:00 pm. 
May 20 The U.S. Amateur North was won easily by Ashton Jin with 4.5/5. In the Reserve section Morgan Bozeman cruised to a 4.5/5 result and first place. The Minnesota Masters was shortened to a one day quad as only three Master entered. Expert Dane Zagar filled out the field. Alex Richter and Steven Cooklev tied with 2.5/3. 
Weekend events posted on the home/front page.
May 18 
Chess Castle member Stuart Strack was the Co-Champion in the K-5 U900 section at the National Elementary Championships in Nashville last weekend. He is pictured on the left with GM Irina Krush. Stuart went 7/7 in a field of 370.
Others in Minnesota that won awards at the Elementary Champions were:
Kartik Saravanapandi - Champion K-6 Unrated
K-6 U1400 - Harry Breheim- 3rd Place
K6 U1000 - Marshall Tsai- 2nd Place
K-3 Unrated - Grace Emerson - Champion, Rose Freiberg - 2nd Place, Mateo Cancino - 3rd Place — Along with Xavier Emerson they also won the team championship.
There were over 2000 players in 14 sections.
If you have time to kill between rounds at the Amateur this weekend, two new videos from IM Bartholomew: One and Two. John you need to create a separate playlist for them.

May 16 The St. Paul Park and Recreation Dept is looking for someone to work with youth in a after school chess program starting in the Fall. It is a paid position and they will supply boards and pieces. All the details need to be worked out.  Contact me and I will get you in touch with the person in charge. 
May 14
The May Think was won by NM Steven Cooklev with 6.5/7. Niki Ringel won the Girls and Women's  tournament with 4/4. She has accepted the invitation and will be our representative to the NGIT. She is to the left.

May 4  Dane Mattson reports: Grandmaster Alex Yermolinsky and WGM Camilla Baginskaite confirmed their participation in Twin Ports Open this year!  We'd also like to remind people to register before May 20th, as the registration fee will increase and hotel rooms will become increasingly more difficult to find. 

May 3 The USCF site is undergoing maintenance and the Minneapolis Open should be rated today, Thursday. And now it is rated. Congratulations to Dr. Iwu and Steven Cooklev for their first place tie.
The Summer calendar is being filled in with great events. Of note is the new Classic Tournament that can be stretched over three days or played quickly in two and then merged. Also note that Thursday and Monday are again very popular at the Castle. Be on time. 

May 1 GM Andrew Tang played a match against the AI computer program, Leela Chess Zero, in an attempt to defend humans. You can see how he did on Lichess

April 26 We have heard the very sad, very unexpected,  news from Ms. Katmerka Tabakovic that her son, Muhamed passed away at his home last weekend. Chess was very important to her boy, and she wanted us to know. More recent members of our chess community might not be familiar with this strong master-level player unless they've played in the Gold Section o: the chess league, or in the coffeehouses of south Minneapolis. He had only played several rated tournaments in the last 15 years, but before that, he was quite active at the Chess Castle (mostly at our old, original address in the Midway area of St Paul) since his first tournament in 1993. He was an extremely intense and competitive player, very good at tactics, and willing to play chess at any speed.
Pictured are Muhamed in action and his family: Parents, Ibro and Katerka Tabakovic, and his brother, Mirza, in back.
  April 23
Lots of news from the weekend. Wesley is in first place in the U.S. Championships. Somplayers from the club went to Okoboji Iowa and then played each other.  Sammy got to play a GM and Stuart got to play me. Pictured from left: Roger, Sammy, Lynn, Bill, John and Stuart in front. 
The 2018 KCF All Girls National Championship was held in Chicago.
Nastassja Matus won clear first with 5.5/6 in the U18 section. Alice Lee did well in the Blitz and U14 section.  
Minneapolis Open this coming weekend at the club.

Patrick Tang reports:
 Sorry for the long delay in sending you this update. It was an incredible journey this season for the Minnesota Blizzard, way beyond everyone's expectation, and thanks to all of you for your enormous support to the team. In the rematch against St. Louis Archbishops in the Atlantic division final we had a good start leading 2.5 to 1.5 after round 1. However in round 2 we lost two winning games, tuning a potential 3 to 1 score to 1 to 3. This was a huge psychologically blow to the team as we became desperate to try to win games (St. Louis had the draw odds). Mauricio had an incredible performance with 3.5 out of 4 (2800+ performance rating?) but we could not catch up trying to force wins against very strong opponents. Mauricio had been a hero in several matches and all our players made their best efforts in every match. Though a loss in a match in which we had real chances hurt a little and we were not far from going to the semifinal in San Francisco, we can be proud of ourselves for being one of the best teams in the league! "Minnesota" and "Blizzard" have become "buzz" words in the global chess community :).
Pictured are the original Blizzard team: GM Flores, GM Tang, IM Bartholomew and IM Nagle. 

The Blizzard will be involved in the second GM norm tournament in Minnesota at Plymouth Crowne Plaza from 6/15 to 6/19 and will also hold the Minnesota Blizzard Championship during the National Chess Day weekend of Oct 13 to 14. Again thanks to all of you for supporting Minnesota Blizzard!            

 April 18 The U.S. Championships has finally started in St. Louis. Go Wesley!! Mr Bill returned from Denver after finishing in the middle and missing the blizzard.  Now off to Okoboji. There is a GM entered. 

 April 9 Fortunately for Mr. Bill, Alice Lee did not play the last round of the April Think. This allowed him to take first place after beating her earlier and losing to Eddie Wasserman. Alice was at 5/6 after beating four strong club regulars. She boosts her rating to 1949.  The victims can be found in the crosstable.  
Coming up: Okoboji, and the Minneapolis Open and 2018 U.S. Amateur North Championship and the First Gopher Scholastic and the Rochester Open and finally the Twin Ports Open. Check the online registration page.

April 1 The MSCA board will be posting a statement concerning events that took place at the Minnesota Scholastic Championship. Check their website.
March 28 Dennis McGrath wrote an article for the StarTribune about Fabiano Caruana winning the Candidates. You may need a subscription to read it. 
IM John Bartholomew is in Charlotte, NC for another norm event. 
NM Andrew Titus is our 2018 K-12 High School Champion
Noah Muller won the K-12 under 1200 with 5.5/6.He bested a field of 75 
NM Nastassja Matus won the K-8 section beating NM Samrug Narayanan in round 5. Nastassja was perfect at 6/6 though she had some tense moments pushing in every game. This was another section of 75 players. 
Jordan Timm was perfect in the K-5 section with 5/5. Jordan sports 1800 rating!! 
The K-3 section players seemed to enjoy themselves the most. Arvind Thiagarajan cruised to a 4/4 result. 
Team Standings page. In all there were 242 players. Dan Voje's family came thru again with a fine job running the tournament. Thanks to the Judge for watching the K-3 kids and John Thomson's help with credit cards. Jackson Wahl and Dan Voje did a smooth job directing.  
You can click on the Facebook link above to see 5 pictures. If proud parents took some I will try to post them. 

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. 

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