Chess Chatter

This page is for news and recent results of the local chess community. If you have news send it to,
Bill at

Rochester Open July 9th-10th LINK

Catfish Days Open July 22nd-24th, Flyer

MN. Blitz Championship August 13th LINK

Minnesota Chess Festival August 19-24th LINK, LINK

Northern Open Sept. 17th-18th


June 27 The U.S. Amateur was a huge success. The site was well located in Bloomington with free parking and good food. A very nice hotel. The tournament has been rated. Peyton Smith coming off a layoff was clear first with 4.5/5 good for $800. Four were bunched at 4/5: Radermacher, Murray, Vanory and new player Schabert. In the Reserve Mikhail Dossenko of North Dakota, another new player, was clear first with 4.5/5.In the Bantam, Brandon Welter still another new player was perfect with5/5. In the Masters NM Ashton Jin broke 2300 by scoring 4/5 in a strong field. 163 players in all filled out the field. Thanks to Dane Zagar for bringing a National tournament to Minnesota. Thanks too to Bill broich from coming in from Iowa to chief TD.

The May issue of the Minnesota Chess Journal is now posted on the MSCA site.

Games from the Closed Playoffs

Games from Nagle -Narayanan tie break.

June 4 IM Sean Nagle won the State Champion title once again. Sammy gave him a tough battle splitting their Game/90 games and only losing as the games speeded up to rapid. Dane Zagar setup the DGT boards and captured some of the games. See above.

NM Ethan Hunt won the playoff for the Expert Invitational ahead of Cub Noble from Iowa. NM Joseph Truelson won the FIDE with NM Okey Iwu finishing 2nd. In the Open Aidan Sneller was clear first. Not sure why the low turnout but fighting chess was evident.

June 1 FIDE Master Alice Lee has been awarded her first Samford Fellowship. This prestigious grant worth $10,000 in the first year can be awarded yearly. The article on USCF explains it all. This reflects her potential as determined based on her chess talent, work ethic, dedication and accomplishments. Looking at the other Samford winners you will see she is with some awesome talent. Congratulations to Alice and team Lee. Samford article.

May 27 Follow your friends at the Chicago Open. It looks like no one cashed at Chicago. They had a good turnout as usual and masks were optional. Pairings came by texts and that was a nice improvement.

May 10 Catfish Days poster at bottom of this page.

. May 2 NM Troy Cavanah just competed in the National Middle School Chess Championships in Texas and is a co-champion. Over 150 players in his section. From USCF: "In round 5, Troy was paired against 8th-grader Aritro Chakravarty who was also holding a perfect 4/4. In a King's Indian Defense, Troy was able to keep his opponent from gaining initiative through the middle game, then infiltrated an under-defended kingside for the point."

"Now, heading into round 6 this morning, there is only one middle schooler with a perfect 5/5 in the Championship bracket: Minnesota 7th grader Troy Cavanah. "

Troy lost in round six to a 2337 player but bounced back in round 7 with a win. Congratulations to Troy and family.

At the Chicago Open masks required for the unvaccinated.

April 28 FM Alice Lee took a break from MN. chess to compete in the American Cup at the St. Louis Chess Club. She defeated three players to enter the Championship round against GM Irina Krush. Krush was too experienced and won 1.5/2. With the new format Alice battled back for another chance and again the crafty veteran was able to win 1.5/2. Alice finished second overall with a nice payday and some very valuable high level experience. Congratulations to Alice for her fine performance. I enjoyed her games. Recaps are at Chessbase. Recaps at St. Louis Chess Club. Alice is scheduled to play in an IM norm event there in May.

April 25 The playoffs were very balanced this year. IM and previous State Champion Sean Nagle tied with FM Samrug Narayanan with 4/5. They drew their game after a very long hard fight. With Nagle behind after a draw with NM Radermacher it looked like it was time for a new champion. NM Andrew Sheehan changed that by drawing Samrug. They will now have to play again.

The Experts were more balanced and had Cub Noble, NM Ethan Hunt and Puwit Moerlin tie at 3.5/5. Joe Nathe was clear first with 4.5 in the class A and popped over 2000. Alexander Augustine wan the Class B with 4/5. Thanks to Dane for giving up a weekend and directing. Tim Radermacher from MSCA organized.

April 20 Above are listed our big tournaments for the coming Summer. Note the dates are not the usual due to site availability. Details on the calendar.

April 16 NM Okey Iwu continued his winning ways by capturing clear first at the FIDE event.

April 3 FM Alice Lee will represent Minnesota at the Ruth Haring National Tournament of Girls State Champions. NM Nastassja Matus was her main rival but could not stop her. 10 girls participated. Good to see.

NM Ethan Hunt won the Thursday night tournament and Eddie Wassermann the Wednesday night event. Jackson Wahl the Saturday Tornado.

March 31 Starting on April 12 the Castle will be open Tuesday for a return of their casual night. Lots of Blitz and banter. See our front page for more details.

March 28 NM Linden Lee struggled in a tough field but did manage to win the spot for the Denker Invitational. NM Troy Cavanah was perfect in winning the Barber playoff. Both players will be great representatives for the State at the National stage this Summer. Both were club champions. NM Tim Radermacher is the Senior candidate.

March 13 Tim Radermacher has posted the results of this weekend's State Scholastic Championship. NM Linden Lee won the K-12, NM Troy Cavanah won the K-8, Alan Xu the K-5 and Ksenija Matus (Nastassja's sister) the K-3. It has been rated. Nastassja was the top women finisher with 5/6 losing to Ashton Jin.

Continental Chess will be back in Iowa in June for the Midwest Chess Congress on June 17th-19th. One week before our big tournament. Mask may be required though Iowa has not required them in the past.

February 28 Some games from the MN. Open courtesy of Nathan Hoover. The tournament has been rated. 179 players over 5 sections made it the biggest tournament in the last two years. Kevin Wasiluk and Dr. Okey Iwu tied for 1st-2nd in the Open and are co-champions. The good doctor started with 4 hard fought wins and played like a GM in the last round. Kevin drew Andrew Sheehan in round four and this setup a must win game for him and Leonard Johnson who had two draws. Tim Radermacher, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame, joined Andrew in the playoffs. Previously qualified are Samrug Narayanan and IM Sean Nagle making this a strong playoff later this year.

In the U2000 Joel Nathe was clear first with 4.5/5. Michael Hentges was 2nd and Barry Lazurus and Dan Voje at 3.5/5. These four should make the playoffs.

Thanks to Dane Zagar and Sarah Emmons for running another fine tournament.

February23 Though many of us have curtailed travel the past two years Alice Lee found the time and energy to got to Texas for the Southwest Class. She was at the top of the class, first place, after seven rounds. She then ran into a 2630 and a 2580 rated opponents. She finished with 6/9 and earned an IM norm and WGM norm. She also broke 2300 FIDE making her a FIDE Master. Her family thanks the Chess Castle and MN. Chess for their support.

February 14 The FIDE tournament at the Castle was interesting even with a small field. The young John Talghader had done his calculation and won two games and withdrew securing his national master title. Lucky I beat him when he was young. The event was riddled with byes and withdraws and upsets. NM Iwu lost his first game and then got serious to notch 4 victories in a row for first place. Mike Schlecter beat the Dr. in the first round but could not handle Dan and me. He along with Eddie Wasserman, after losing his first two, tied for second-third. Both gained rating points. Gauri Menon came from Milwaukee to scoop some points as is becoming a trend I do not like. I avoided her and broke 2000 once again. Dane Mattson made a rare return to MN. and promised to be back for the Open where his dad will be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

January 24 The Winter Open was a huge success with 109 players competing. This is our biggest event since the pandemic started. As usual the Roseville Oval was the site and it was cold and snowy. As is common now youth was served. NM Troy Cavanah and NM Alice Lee tied for first. Troy ( 2240 )had two draws and Alice (2302 )actually lost a game to John Talghader who fell 6 points shy of making Master. We assume he will continue the tradition of winning two games next event and withdrawing as others have done before him. This is not necessary as I am confident he will far surpass 2200. Dan and I have learned a cruel lesson from these kids: beat them early. Taking this to extreme we both defeated, and made cry, little Irene Fei from Iowa who is sporting a 1678 rating. The fact we were both in trouble shows to us just how bright her future is. You have been warned.

There were five at 3.5/5 for 3-7th place and I took U2100. Eric Gahlon, Ahmed Ilyasov and Theodore Su tied for first in the U1900. In the U1400 Ismael Mendez-Perez and Jack Bellinger were at the top with 4.5/5. Thanks to Dane and Sarah for directing and Tim Radermacher for organizing.

Nathan Hoover brought some DGT boards and some games were recorded, see link.

Alice Lee was also busy winning another Girls U-12 section of the 2021 FIDE Online Cadets & Youth Rapid Super Final in December 2021. This was her third title and was hard fought online. She has a nice article about it on Chess Kids.

Chess Castle Championship 2021

The club held our yearly championship this past weekend. Not bitter cold or covid could keep 22 brave souls from the competition. Going into the last round winner NM Troy Cavanah was being chased by Jackson Wahl and John Talghader both a half point behind his 5/6. They had all played so a win was needed for Troy to clinch the title. This he did by beating the fast playing Jordan Timm. This pushed him back over 2200 where I am sure he has found a home. Congratulations.

If you want to see some games from the Winter Open: DGT games.

The next MCJ is now available on the MSCA site.

If you would like to follow the State Playoff Championship

the games are on Lichess and the pairings on Google.

Games download.

Catfish Days Poster

Catfish chess poster 2022.pdf