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

March 17 The 2019 Rochester Open Chess Tournament information is now posted on the online registration site. They have changed locations and made some other changes. The Castle will have some early rounds at the club like in the past. This has always been a great event and they deserve your support. 

March 14
 The Blizzard made the playoffs after winning the Pacific division. 
A few of our players went to the K-12 Championships in Chicago. You can check results on this site.
Studying the Scandi on vacation. 

March Think this weekend.




March 6 I had a millennial run into me at a stop light.  Very busy on his smart phone. This is the second time it has happened. 

Dennis McGrath wrote an article for Chess Life's March issue. Good advice.
He also sent along an article from the StarTribune. 
  
Time to reset your clocks. One hour ahead. Dan can help those of you who have Chronos clocks. 
If you are going to the Chicago Open, early entry deadline is approaching. If over 65 you get a discount. Check more than one hotel site to get the best rate. 

March 5 If you have time at work there are some interesting videos about AlpaZero's Opening Strategy. GM Matthew Sadler does a good job explaining the process.  

March 3 
The State Scholastic Championships are finished. To no surprise NM Andrew Titus won the K -12 section with 5.5/6 drawing second place NM Ashton Jin. In the K-8 section NM Samrug Narayanan was perfect with 6/6. Alice Lee, Jordan Timm and Harry Breheim were a point behind. Yusuf Khan won the K-5 and Aarti Kannan won the K-3. 239 youngsters took part. I think Niki Ringel was top girl. The Metcalf team with coaches Brian Ribnick and Mike Fellman.
February 18
The Minnesota Open drew 196 players in six sections. After six rounds GM Andrew Tang and IM Sean Nagle were on top. With Sean losing to Andrew and Andrew giving up two draws the last round saw them both needing wins. As usual they came through when the win was needed. Scoring 5/6 they are Open Co-champions. It looks like four of the following are qualified for the closed: Johnson, Iwu, Jin, Gibbins and Longen. When official I will update. There was a six way tie for the Class A title at 4.5/6: Gazula, Talghader, Li-Yang Tu, Traynor, Cannon and Nathe. Five of these will join Dan Voje who qualified from the Class Championships. Kevin Landman easily won the Reserve with 5.5/6, gaining 100 rating points. James Jaffe won the Sophmore. Thanks to MSCA and Dave Kuhns and Jiten Patel for a great job directing. 
The election results are as follows: David Kuhns, Chris Kalina, Saumik Narayanan and Dana Litman were elected to the board. Pictured are Dave, Sean, Andrew and Jiten on the left photo. In the middle is Vince Wisniewski playing Wes Cannon. On the right are Paul Keyworth and Todd Partington. The last picture is of Castle regulars: Charles,Andrew, Dan ,Bill, Eric and Daniel. 
The State Scholastic is early this year: March 2-3rd at DoubleTree by Hilton 7800 Normandale Blvd, Bloomington, MN.

February 17 I talked to James Kanne at the Open. He has scheduled the Catfish Days Chess Tournament for July 26-27th [REGISTER]. Remember this is Friday-Saturday. Check our calendar for details. 

February 13 On our front page Dan Voje has posted some important information. 
NOTE ON THE MINNESOTA CLOSED:  The information on the connection between the Minnesota Open and the Minnesota Closed is fairly sketchy on the official registration sites, but one thing I (Dan Voje) wish to add is that there WILL be an Expert Section in the Minnesota Closed. I took it upon myself to run one two years ago, and although they thought it a good idea back then, it wasn't added last year. So I will take care of it again in 2019. It is open to the top six finishers in the Open Section of next weekend's event who are not over 2200, but who weren't able to qualify for the elite top section. You don't have to be an expert to play in this; a Class A player playing up in the Minnesota Open would be eligible for this, just as they would for the top Closed Section.

February 12 If you followed the news about Alpha Zero and wanted to know more, Matthew Sadler has written a book on the subject. Since I am trying to control my book buying I ordered it from the Hennepin County Library. 
Those of you can not wait can watch an introductory video from John Bartholomew. His Chessable site has the book on the Chessable platform. I believe it is interactive.  You may see him at the MN Open.  
February 11 If you are thinking of going to the Chicago Open another option for lodging is Ramada Plaza by Wyndham Chicago North Shore. It is down the road a ways but cheaper and though not as nice as the Westin it may make the trip affordable. I Stayed there and found it to be fine. No guarantees. 

 February 10 It appears Ashton Jin has made Master. He beat Dan on Saturday in the first round of the Exerciser Quad. Landing at exactly 2200. Now when I play him at the Open I will not feel quite as bad when I lose to him, again. 
Stuart Konezny had another good day at Blitz. Beating up Jeff and Dan on his way to gaining 109 points. 
An interesting look at money in chess was posted.  It does not include appearance fees, book deals, free lodging, ETC.  They did not include America's Grand Prix circuit in the list. It is hard to say what a top Grandmaster makes. We will have to wait for Carlsen to release his tax returns.  
It is election time for the MSCA board. With four seats open seven choices it is important to vote. The details can be found on the MSCA website. The ballot is here
 
2019 Inductees Announced by MN Chess Hall of Fame Committee, Ceremony to be held May 12, 2019 in Bloomington, MN
Tim Radermacher is heading up the Minnesota Hall of Fame induction committee. They have picked four inductees: IM John Bartholomew, IM Sean Nagle, IM Victor Adler and Brian Ribnick. They have been documenting some of Minnesota's chess history. The display of past inductees can be seen at the Castle Chess Club. The biography of the inductees is  posted . 

 February 3 Charles Wynn who took a three year break from tournament chess has come back with a vengeance. Scoring 11 wins and one loss, to GM Tang, in two tournaments he is now Minnesota's newest Master.  Watch for him at the MN Open.  

 February 2 Roger Redmond , former MSCA treasurer, is living the good life in Colorado now. He reports that the Denver Chess Club is having a big chess tournament: the Denver Open. April 26-28th. Lots of strong players and a very friendly group. Airfare to Denver can be fairly cheap. 
January 27
GM Andrew Tang won the Winter Open. Andrew went 5/5 . Ashton Jin crushed me to take second place with 4.5/5.  Ashton is 4 points shy of a Master title. Mathur and Wynn were 3-4th with 4 /5.  42 players entered the strong Open section. In the Reserve section Daniel Nenneman was perfect with 5/5 above a crowd of 40.  Amar Dani and Jason Carlson won the Bantam with 4.5/5. The Bantam is popular with young players and newbies and with 50 the future looks good.  137 players in all, a record.  We may have outgrown the site. Thanks to Dave and Jiten for a smooth event.  Pictured are Tang and Wynn and Mike Trettel. Tournament chess is exhausting.  Winter Open results.
It is election time for the MSCA board. With four seats open seven choices it is important to vote. The details can be found on the MSCA website. The ballot is here

January 19 Troy Cavanah went 5/5 in today's tournament to break 2000. Not bad for an eleven year old.  
Sometimes I get E-mails asking about chess lessons and coaching. There is a chess course starting the end of January at Metcalf middle school. Teachers include NM Alex Balandin, Sima Sokolavskaya and Brian Ribnick. The groups are broken down by experience and it looks reasonably priced. There is a flyer at the Castle. You can also download the flyer here: Chess Lessons 2019.pdf
You can contact Alex at cynicalodessit@gmail.com.  Here is a link to the registration page with more information. 

There is an opportunity for a chess instructor in Mendota Heights.  Four days in April, once a week, as an after school program for elementary children.
This is a paid position. Contact me for details. 

January 15
Dan, Wilson, Chris Kalina and I went to Duluth to show the North guys what real chess looks like. Sadly we were the ones who got schooled. Chris and Wilson were too solid and sensible to take the trophy. With 4 draws they came up just a little short. Dan and Bill were in position to claim glory going into the last round but Dane Mattson and Dr. OK would triumph against our energetic ( unsound) play. This setup a playoff for the title and name on the trophy. After two drawn blitz games, an armageddon was used to finally reach a decision. Dane Mattson, the tall good looking guy in the picture,  was the winner in an exciting game.  The guys were gracious winners and the event was fun. The drive home on Monday was interesting  in the rain and ice. They are working on Twin Ports for this year and I will post if and when details become available. MLK RESULTS 

 January 9 The weather looks good for a trip to Superior to show those Great Danes and friends just how tough we are. The two day MLK tournament is this coming weekend. Details on the calendar. Hopefully Dane Mattson is ready. 
IM John Bartholomew posts his game against GM Ding Liren that was played in the PRO chess league. You can follow the Blizzard if you like.

January 6 34 players competed in the prestigious Castle Club Championship. The tournament had a lot of strong players and upsets were everywhere. Only the co-champions were able to finish without a loss. Drawing each other in round four they had to play hard to the very end to both score 6.5/7. The tense last round saw a possible four way tie. Sammy Narayanan was forced to beat his big brother to keep pace with Andrew Titus who faced Tim Radermacher. Troy Cavanah is one point short of making Expert. He could have quit after two rounds and made it, but the fighter that he is he will have to wait another week or two. Watch out. 
Congratulations to NM Andrew Titus and NM Samrug Narayanan and their support staff. Click on the Tournament Results link above for the crosstable. Another fine directing job by Dan Voje. 
 
     
December 30
GM Andrew Tang had the privilege to play the World Champion, Magnus Carlsen, in the World Rapid Championships. Though he lost, his performance at the event was incredible. Beating a 2700 and eating 2600 and 2500s for breakfast. A performance of 2660. USCF article.   . results link. He did well in the Blitz also. 
Some club members went to Vegas for the North American Open again: the Narayanan twins, Roger Hale , Tim Radermacher, Linden and Alice Lee, Stuart Konezny, and Mr. Bill. Waiting to see how Saumik made out on the money list ($933.00 ).  Luckily none of us had to play each other though we did sit next to each other on ocassion. The rest will leave their results a secret in Vegas. It seemed busier than usual.  The results are coming in and I missed the following:  Atharva Gorantiwar is also from MN. He won $6000 in the U1700 section. He went 6.5 out of 7.
 Dan Voje won the Holiday Classic at the Castle with a round to go after a 4/4 start. 

  December 25 Check out the strong Quick Chess event we held. These will be a once a month event at the club. Alex Richter and Ethan Hunt tied for first-second. 

December 18 The great Danes are holding their annual MLK tournament in Superior this year on January 12-13th. There is a simul with the Blizzard Champion on Friday. If you would like to play some different people this would be an opportunity. A low cost event. Details on our calendar. 

December 17 Our good Doctor from Duluth, OK Iwu, was clear first at the Blizzard Championships with 4.5/5. Giving up a draw to John Talghader. Dan Voje was second. Elijah Tramm and David Gardner tied for first in the Reserve.  
There will be an event on New Year's day at the club. Money Quad this coming Saturday and a Quick Chess event on Sunday. 

December 10 The old men ruled at the weekend Think. Andre Hortillosa was clear first while Dan and Bill were 2-3rd. Sadly Linden Li had the same score though he could only play one day due to school work. He was 4/4. Next weekend is the Annual Blizzard Championships. Named after our Sates chess team for online competition.  
If you are interested in the Alpha Zero games they can be downloaded.

December 2 Dan Voje won his playoff for a spot in the Class A championship. He tied for the chance with Sidarth Gazula at the US Class. On Saturday Troy Cavanah came within three points of the Expert level. Losing to Alice but beating Mr. Bill again. Revenge will hopefully be dished out this week. 
November 26 We had a good turnout for the Quick chess event on Sunday. Wilson Gibbins took first with 6.5/7  giving a draw to Linden Li. These events do not count on your precious regular standard rating. With a 15 minute time control it was a good way to spend a gloomy Sunday afternoon. The Minnesota Blizzard Championship will be December 15-16th. Will you be ready?
GM Andrew Tang was ready and tied for first at the National Chess Congress in Philadelphia over the holiday. Pictured with the shy GM Alex Lenderman whom he drew. A very tough field. 



November 12
GM Andrew Tang was the winner of the US Class Championship scoring 5/5.  NM Aura Salazar was second with 4/5.  Anish Lodh, from Iowa,  was the Class A winner with 5/5 easily beating me. Dan and Bill met in round four. Pictured at left. A rare draw due to neither one playing well enough to win. Game 196 between us.   Andrew Kozich, also from Iowa, won the Class B with 5/5.
The club has a full schedule for the Thanksgiving weekend starting on Friday. Dan is now directing the Exerciser Quads. 

November 10 If you have a half hour to spare at work or between games at the US Class you can catch IM John Bartholomew's recap of game one of the World Chess Championship. I watched parts on Chess 24 with Peter Svidler.  6 hours is a long time to watch, I took a nap, so the recap is a good idea.  

November 5 Dan Voje was almost perfect this past weekend at the Return of Medhat Think. Named after Medhat Feshir a long time state player that showed up to play. Dan was cruising at 6/6 and only lost to Jeff Chandler in the last round. 
Alice Lee is featured in Chess Life Online as she earned her Expert rating.  They show a game she played against Dan. 

Sammy Narayanan earned the title of FIDE Candidate Master at the Spice Cup. That is a 2200 rating. With so many players with low FIDE ratings this is quite an accomplishment.  

November 1 New in Chess has a free PDF on the World Championship Match.  Remember to set you clocks back this weekend. 

October 29 NM Wilson Gibbins won the Senior Championship with 3.5/4. Holding a draw against Tim Radermacher in the last round. He's going to Disney World.  He will be the state representative in the National Championship. 

  October 18 The US Class Championship will be held here in Minnesota on November 9th -11th. Entry fee break down: Classes M/EX, A, B, & C: Entry $95 by 10/20/18, $105 by 11/8/18, $120 thereafter and at site. Classes D, E, & Unr: Entry $65 by 10/20/18, $75 by 11/8/18, $90 thereafter and at site.

October 15 Dr. OK Iwu and Ashton Jin tied for first in the Blizzard Open with 4/5. Troy Cavanah is following Alice's example and closing in on the Expert rating by beating old men. There were only 5 in the Reserve section. Morgan Bozeman and Elijah Tramm were tied for first. 


October 9
Ashton Jin easily took the Birthday Blitz. Scoring 12.5/14. Linden li was second with 10.5/14.  Alice shared her birthday cake with all. I am looking forward to the Senior Open where I will have a chance. The kids will have their own section. 

September 25 Alice Lee is looking for some top tier victims. The Li family has raised the prize fund of Alice's Birthday Blitz by $100. Set aside October 7th to help celebrate Alice's Birthday. 
Her proud parents report: Thank you for playing in the exerciser quad with Alice. ( I was held to a draw by some fine play by her.) She reached 2000 for the first time. She is the 2nd youngest female in the US to reach expert rating, bettering the previous record holder Carrisa Yip. The youngest is Texas’s Rachael Li, who reached 2000 the evening before Alice did.  

Occasionally I receive E-mails from people or groups looking for coaches or instructors. This is one: "I was wondering if you had any recommendations for people who coach chess in the area that might be interested in teaching some of our programs in the area. We are looking for more instructors - and would appreciate any referrals. Thank you so much!   Dylan Quercia, Metropolitan Chess Inc.. www.metrochessla.com (323) 639-3318 "   ankit.gupta@metrochessla.com 

September 23
GM Timur Gareyev and  GM Ashwin Jayaram tied for first at the Golden Gopher Open with 4.5/5. GMs Tang and Jimenez were 3-4th with 4/5. Daniel Deutsch and Atharva Gorantiwar tied for first in the U1800 with 4/5. There were 164 players total. Thanks to Dave Kuhns, Jiten Patel and Saumik Narayanan for running a great event. 







 

       

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 
info@chesscastle.com
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