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.

June 18
There was a chess festival with norm chances in Wisconsin. Andrew Titus held his lofty 2300 rating. Sammy gained 27 points on his way to 2200. Ashton gained 25 points and should break 2000 soon. Do not forget Rochester Open. There is an Exerciser Quad at the club. 
IM Andrew Tang scored 7.5 out of 11 at American Continental Championship in Medellin, Colombia from June 10 to June 18. He narrowly missed two GM norm opportunities in round 9 and 10. After a great performance in the first 8 rounds, Andrew only needed a draw in the 9th round to achieve his last GM norm against the second seed GM Axel Bachmann (FIDE 2653) but lost at the very end. He needed a win in round 10 against IM Alejandro Rios but could not break through. He will try again at World Open. Andrew will also compete for the first time in the U.S. Junior Championships in St. Louis from July 8 to 18 (

June 13 The great Danes are bringing GM Timur Gareyev to Duluth ( Actually Superior this year) for the Twin Ports Open. Timur recently set the World Blindfold record in Vegas. This makes 4 GMs entered!! Timur will be doing something special, details to follow. Book your rooms as Duluth will fill.  Barker's Island Inn. Other choices in Superior

June 12 The FIDE Blizzard was won by Missaka Warusawitharana with a score of 4.5/5. If he plans on winning again we will need a short nickname for him. The reserve was won by Adriel Agam with 4.5/5. Just two weeks until the Rochester Open tournament. 
There will be a Graduation Blitz and party honoring Jackson Wahl at the Castle at 4:00 pm on the 25th after Linden Li's Birthday Blitz. Apparently there is no such thing as too much Blitz. 
There are some big plans for the end of August and early September. Details being finalized. 

June 4 As Dan Voje and Jeff Chandler close in on their 300th battle against each other it seemed only fitting to celebrate this achievement with a tournament. Dan is working up a format that will enhance his chances for victory so check back . The date is June 17th.
Update: Dan has found a format. Daytime slow and Blitz at 7:00 pm.  Check the Calendar. 

GM. Wesley So is featured in an article at Chessbase. He is also playing in Norway this week. Peter Svidler and Daniel King are doing game of the day from the tournament. Check YouTube.  
Nastassja finished tied for 3rd in her section at the 1st World Cadets Rapid & Blitz Chess Championships 2017 in Minsk a few weeks ago. 
June 2 If anyone would like to sponsor a female exchange student from Krygyzstan that plays chess contact me and I will send the information. 
 May 31 As anyone who drove to Chicago knows it might be scenic but also a little dangerous. There are 18,000 ( 49 a day) deer -car accidents a year in Wisconsin. This compares to Michigan which has 60,000 ( 164 a day) accidents a year. GM Yermolinsky can attest that it does not end well for either party as he experienced this on his way to Twin Ports one year. And people are afraid of sharks. 
 May 30  Our weary players are returning from Chicago where only a few cashed. OK Iwu and Sammy Narayanan came home with some gas money in the U2300 section. Peyton Smith took back the price of a meal in the U2100. Linden Li got a little change in the U1900. Alice Lee was tied for 4th in the U1500. Alice and Linden, on the left, shared first place in the Mixed Doubles. $1167.  WOW.  Some of our guys had good starts to talk about but faded near the finish. I was called home for a family emergency. I did get my picture taken with my wife before losing my first game. John Leighton, Notre Dame graduate, looked on patiently.  ( I withdrew in time but Goichberg did not bother to change the pairings). Rated results. Chicago Results.  
Next up is the 3rd Minnesota Blizzard - FIDE Open at the club. 

May 22 The North Amateur had a small turnout but that did not stop the upsets from happening. Missaka Warusawitharana, who I believe is from the East Coast, was clear first with 4.5/5. Using the old man bye he still defeated Sammy and Dane Zagar. In the Reserve section Marcus Gardner was clear first with 4.5/5 and gained 110 rating points. Thanks to Glenn Panner for organizing and Dave and Jiten for directing. The Minnesota Masters was missing the states top players but that did not stop Alex Richter from deserving first place with a solid performance. Tim Radermacher filled in for a round and beat Jackson Wahl. 
The next big local tournament is the 3rd Minnesota Blizzard FIDE Open to be held at the Castle. Enter online. 

May 19 To the left is the skyline of Chicago. Many of us are going to the annual Chicago Open and we expect big things from our chess punks. Mr Bill is looking for a female doubles partner. It is free to enter and the prizes are substantial. You do not have to be in the same section. E-mail me if interested. 

May 17 Ashton and Nastassja clean up bigly in the Saturday Quads. Both are entered in the North Amateur Championships. With the Narayanan twins also entered it could be long weekend for the old men. Cary Utterberg faces Nastassja on Thursday night. You have been warned. 
The summer schedule for the club has been posted on our calendar.

May 16  Dr. Ekrem Gozum died a few days ago. Visitation tomorrow, May 17th, at 10am, service at 11am. St Patrick's Catholic Church, Edina. Obituary. He led a very interesting life. 

May 13 The Star Tribune has an article about IM John Bartholomew's Chessable project. It is a program to facilitate the learning and more importantly the remembering of chess.  Originally just for openings, with new funding the site has grown and deserves a second look. As with anything John does it is well done. 
 Andrew Tang tied for 1-6th at the Super Nationals in the K-12 section. There were 272 in that section.  If looking for results from the Super Nationals you can find them here. 

May 10
Big news from the Big Lake: Superior.  Dane Zagar is proud to announce that he has hooked another GM. Not only has he landed GM Yermolinsky and GM Smith. Netted small fry IM Bartholomew and WGM Baginskate but GM Vladimir Georgiev is also on board. We can now see why GM Wesley So has been ducking this tournament. Reserve your room!!

Attention to downtown chess players. A small company in the US Bank Plaza, GWG, is looking for a chess coach to stay after work once a week to attend their chess club. You can contact them at :mmracek@ They are new to chess and looking to get better.

The North Amateur Championships are May 20-21st in Plymouth. 
May 9 At least 80 kids from Minnesota are off to Super Nationals May 11-14th. Good luck and have fun.

May 5 The Spring isssue of American Chess Magazine has articles on GM Wesley So and IM Andrew Tang. Andrew's coach GM Nikola Mitkov wrote an artcle about Andrew's experience in Greece. He has two GM norms and will be playing in Columbia in the Continental American Championships. Nastassja is going to Minsk. I am going to Plymouth. Sad. 
45 players in two sections are set for Thursday nights.  Five Masters. 

May 1 The Spring Think drew a good crowd but the stronger players and usual suspects stayed away. Peyton Smith was not too proud to cash about a $180 check. The Thursday Knighter was won by Reed Russell and the Premier by Nate Hoover, again. 
Wesley finished tied for second in the Gashimov Memorial after ending his streak. Next for him is 2017 Altibox Norway Chess Tournament.
Another plug for Twin Ports. Get your room reserved!!  
Next up is the 2017 Amateur North Championship May 20-21st at the Crowne Plaza Plymouth. 

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. 

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.  

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!

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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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