Chess Chatter


This page is for news and recent results of the local chess community.

 If you have news send it to, Bill at

FIDE Premier & USCF Open Oct. 14-15th LINK  

Senior Championship Oct.21-22nd  LINK

MN Class Championships Nov.11-12th LINK

September 18 The Northern Open was a huge success. 125 players total. Jack Bellinger ran a on time flawless tournament. Sammy Narayanan, state champ, and Ashton Jin were tied for first with 4.5/5. Charles Wynn was clear 3rd. It has been rated already.

September 15 The Senior Championships will be held at the Castle. There will be a young folks tournament running along side the Senior.   The Class Championships will be in Rochester at the same site as the Rochester Open. 

September 12 Alice Lee played board one on the Women's Team Championships played in Poland. The team was fourth and Alice won individual gold. Lots of coverage on Chessbase and USCF. My treadmill chess site, Agadmator, covered one of Alice's victories. The USA team will not be in the TCCL but hopefully someone has scooped Alice for their team. Details for this year's TCCL are on the MSCA site and above.

The Northern Open is going to be great. At 124 players lead by Iowan Joseph Wan you do not want to miss it. 

August 9 GM Andrew Tang won the US Open on tiebreak and will be in the US Closed Championships.  ARTICLE

Early entry to the Northern Open ends on the 16th for the lowest rate.  

August 3 The latest FIDE list is out and it shows Alice Lee as #61 on the Women's list and #6 on the girls. That makes her the top USA girl and 2nd USA Women. IM-pressive. :-)  Fun facts: Dan is her most played opponent at 33 games of which he won 12. I have 4 victories against her. Beat them when they are very young. 

July 29 If you want to follow the action at the US Open this is the site. Our State Representatives are there. 

July 24  The Catfish Days Tournament was a big success. Though some of the big guns withdrew the competition was strong. As Usual Okey Iwu and Andrew Titus finished on top. They were joined by a new friend from Manitoba, Theodore Wolchock. These guys did not lose a single game though some byes taken gave many players a chance to get through to the top. Sadly that did  not happen. Finishing at 5.5/7 was good enough for a crowded first place. There were 5 close behind at 5/7. It has been rated. Next up is some weekend events at the Castle and the last Grand Prix in September, the Northern Open. 

IM-Elect Alice Lee is cruising to first place in the US Girls Championship.   Interview one.   Interview two.   Interview Three

July 10  Once again NM Andrew Titus came through in the Grand Prix circuit. Going 4.5/5 in the Open section at Rochester. With a field rich with Masters this was impressive. Only NM Jackson Wahl could slow him with a draw. Michael Takahashi, form Iowa, joined Jackson in second place with 4/5. Local NM Matt Jensen, of Chess Goals fame, finished with 3.5/5. These guys were followed by 10 at 3 points. A very strong, even field. In the 32 player U1900 Victor Pesola and Ibrahim Bukhari Shared the top spot at 4.5/5 dashing John Blomer's hopes after a 4/4 start as he lost in the last round. It has been rated. 

If you would like to see some photos and possibly buy them go to this site. 

IM elect Alice Lee is in St. Louis for the US Girls Championship.  

June 26 NM Andrew Titus, after a scare from me in round one, pulled himself together and won the Superior Open with 4.5/5. The best anyone could do were the six bunched at 3.5 points. In the Under 1900 John Blomer was perfect with 5/5. Making his chess Mom so proud. He will soon be over 1900. In the Bantam improving players Brandon RichardWebster and Ryker Johnson scored 4/5. With 68 players the Superior Open is on the way back to Twin Ports glory days. The Site and directing were flawless. Thanks to Dane Zagar and Andy Grube. I will skip the dorms next year. Next up is Rochester and Catfish Days. Grand Prix Standings. 

As I await the results of the Superior Open I need to let you know how to get a room  for Catfish Days Tournament. Go directly to the casino website. Jackpot Junction Hotel. They have rooms available as of Monday morning. Early entry into the tournament ends July 1st. 

June 18 With Alice out of town her big brother took advantage and crushed the Blitz field at the Minnesota State Championships. Scoring 15/18  for clear first. Second was Andrew Titus and Alex Aimdilokwong, from Iowa. The amazing record of 74 players was due to the explosion of online chess during the pandemic and great organizing by Tim Radermacher and the rest of MSCA. Sarah and Jackson did their usual job of great directing. We all liked the big screen posting of pairings and standings. Much of the field was first time OTB players. 

Matt Jensen did a study on how much blitz is good for one. Very interesting. He has lots of videos at his Chess Goals site. Check it out. 

June 12 Alice Lee has been busy. Traveling to Montreal for a very strong tournament she earned her third IM norm. She is now an IM-elect and WGM-elect. She is the youngest ever female IM in the USA (at the age of 13 years and 7 months), breaking the previous record held by Carissa Yip (at the age of 16 years and 1 month).Alice became one of three female chess players to achieve the title of IM at the age of 13 or younger, joining the ranks of Judit Polgar and Kateryna Lagno. . In this tournament, she defeated two GMs (including 2605-rated GM Arturs Neiksans) and drew four other GMs (including 2617-rated GM Lazaro Bruzon Batista). Details.        Chessbase can not get enough of her. 

If looking for more Minnesota chess news here is MSCA link.

Results for the Des Moines Open.

May 30 Getting caught up after the Chicago Open. Alice Lee has an interview posted on Chessbase. No one won a big prize in Chicago though John Blomer won some change in the Blitz. He will be at the State Blitz Championship. Fortunately there was a Culver's nearby for ice cream. 

May 25 If you want to follow your friends at the  Chicago Open here is the site

IM John Bartholomew is back at the board in Charlotte, NC. Playing some Rapid and Blitz. If he does well maybe he will have the courage to face us in the Minnesota Blitz Championships. John's Games. His first three games are also posted. 

May 24 The Minnesota Grand Prix results for the first tournament are posted. I am not sure how it works but will grill Tim this weekend. Very nice spread sheet. Remember the winners get money and some slots in the closed playoffs next Spring. The St. Cloud tournament has been rated. 70+ players attended and things ran very smooth. 

May 21 Just back from St. Cloud where Jackson Wahl finished clear first in the Open section. I booked a room at Jackpot Junction Casino for Catfish Days. I only found rooms at the Hotel's website.  The Morton Inn is where some players stay. I suggest you book early as you can cancel some reservations. Read the fine print. There are many hotels in Redwood Falls too. 

May 15 Early entry deadline for the Superior Open is June 1st. For the Rochester Open it is June 10th. For Catfish Days it is July 1st. For the Blitz it is online. Our friends in Iowa are having the Des Moines Open June 10th-11th. It does not conflict with our Grand Prix.

May 8 Another early entry date is May 10th for the St. Cloud Open. They are at 65 total with Andrew Titus leading the pack. The Lake Superior Open details are posted and the early entry deadline is June 1st. It will be at the University where the Twin Ports was held. Also the Rochester Open details are posted. Being held at the Mayo Civic Center with free parking and a nearby hotel. They have a history of great events and am glad I will be able to compete. Early entry June 10th. 

April 22 The new Minnesota Grand Prix is coming. A plan to promote outstate tournaments. There are prizes for each tournament and for the overall Grand Prix result. The big reward is a spot in the State Closed Playoffs. All the details are on the MSCA site. The first tournament is the revival of the St. Cloud Open May 2oth-21st. At the the River's Edge Convention Center in downtown St. Cloud. There is a hotel onsite with a block of rooms and free parking. Places to eat nearby. You can get an early entry discount by April 30th. The Grand Prix is not just for elite players so check the details. The details for the Lake Superior Open and the Rochester Open are posted on the registration page. 

A nice article on Alice in Chess Kids. She has two norms now. 

New issues of Minnesota Chess Journal is linked above.

May 1 Medhat Feshir won the Think on this past weekend. Eddie Wasserman was second.

April 13 The May schedule for the Castle is posted on the front page. 

Ksenija if you are going to Chicago Open will you be my doubles partner?

If you are going to the Chicago Open you might want to book your hotel room. I got an Email that they may be sold out. We are staying at the Holiday Inn on Lake Cook Road. Continental Chess may add hotels with a discount rate. They added the Hyatt Deerfield with a chess rate. 

April 9 NM Nastassja Matus won the Girls K-12 Championship and will represent MN. in the Ruth Haring National tournament. She will join our other State champions at the US Open this Summer. Sammy, Vaibhav & Vihaan Won the Scholastic Playoffs and Advanced to Denker, Barber & Rockefeller Events. Tim will be the Senior representative and will report back with results and a picture. Vihaan Pendse and Jordan Timm tied for first in the Weekend Tornado. Irene Fei added Dave McNeil to her trophy wall. Right next me. 

March 27  Sammy Narayanan did not need a playoff this year to clinch the first of probably many State titles. He finished with 4.5/5 taking the title from IM Sean Nagle who was looking for 12th title. The games can be found on the link above. Thanks to Dane for giving up a weekend to direct and Tim for organizing . 

In the U2200 section Ionatan Giurgiu scored 3.5 for first. In the U2000 Eddie Wasserman was almost perfect at 4.5. In the U1700 Michael Haynes was perfect after four rounds clinching the title but faltered in the last round to end at 4 points.

If staying in St. Cloud for the Open Tim has reserved a block of rooms at the Kelly Inn. Onsite with free parking and free WIFI.  Entry goes up April 30th. A reminder the winner of the Grand Prix earns a spot in the closed. 

King Registration has posted some tournaments in Wisconsin that do not conflict with our Grand Prix. Green Bay Open and North Central Open. Also the Des Moines Open in Iowa.

March 22 MSCA has had a busy month. The Closed Playoffs are this weekend at the Crowne Plaza Plymouth. Tim Radermacher has been planning a Grand Prix  circuit for Minnesota. The details of the Grand Prix are posted with new tournaments in St. Cloud and Superior. Rochester, Franklin and the Northern Open round off the list. There are prizes for classes too. The other big change is the winners will qualify for the Closed. The year's schedule is posted on a  Spreadsheet . More information will come as we get near the first event. 

Alice played in the American Cup in St. Louis for the second year. This time scoring a win against GM Irina Krush. She finished in second place earning a cool $18,000. 

Alice Lee and Irina Krush | Photo: Saint Louis Chess Club / Lennart Ootes 

January 31  Alice Lee crushed it in another Norm tournament. She achieved another IM norm, her second. Her rating should be 2365 according to my sources. ( Another said 2359). She scored 7.5/9 in St. Louis. She needs one more norm and about 40 points to get the title. Congratulations to Team Alice. 

The Scholastic registration information is available. See link above.

 December 7 Dan Voje lost his 3000 game this weekend. He once again beat me but  Arvind Thiagarajan dealt Dan the painful blow. Dan will now start to work on getting his 4,000th win.  

This design was painted on our wall at Southdale just outside the club for all to see. Thanks to Dane and Brandon for getting the job done. It looks amazing.

The club championship will be held on Jan. 7-8th. As usual a Think format. The details are on the home page.

The Castle Chess Club will now be at the Southdale Mall in the basement. Enter at the Hennepin County Service Center entrance off of York and go down the stairs. We are located by the dance studio. 

     The picture is of the club. With sets and new chairs and good lighting and posters the place looks like a real club. There is more work to do but it is coming along very well. 

    The Grand Open Think had only 21 players. Vaibhav Kalpaka, a new player, won the event with 6/7. Medhat Feshir, whom we have not seen in a long while and Eddie Wasserman finished tied for 2nd-3rd. It has been rated. The pizza drew a crowd and Mrs. Dahl brought homemade cookies. Monday drew 10. 

Our Thursday night events drew 27 between the two sections. 

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. 

If you would like to follow the State Playoff Championship 

the games are on Lichess and the pairings on Google. 

Games download.