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Indiana Chess Newsletter




November 5, 2017 (Gerry Roberts). Fresh off the heels of the 76th Indiana State Chess Championship and K-12 State Grade Championships, the past few weeks have witnessed the crowning of 18 new official state champions. Meanwhile, the tournament calendar has been bursting at its seams with events both new and old, both scholastic and open. In this edition, get up to speed with all the latest results and plan your next few months' worth of tournament activity. And for members of ISCA, find exclusive links to the membership survey results, and a PGN containing 76 games from the 76th State Championships.

I. Tournament Recaps

Fall Festival Chess Tournament (Purdue University, West Lafayette) - October 7
This year's iteration of this popular event attracted 63 players to Northwest Indiana for four rounds of rated action (G/30) chess in three sections.  In the K-3rd Section, top-rated Vivek Apuri managed to avoid his nearest rivals after they were felled in the early rounds, and was never seriously challenged en route to a perfect 4-0 finish.  In the 4th-8th Section, the top-rated duo of Christopher Chow (1105) and Gael Medina (1063) steamrolled through each of their first three opponents before their final round clash resulted in a draw.  Managing to catch the leaders in the final standings was Annabelle Radefeld, whose strong performance (3.5/4) earned her 153 new rating points.  The Open Section was missing some of the usual suspects, paving the way for provisionally-rated Archit Mokashi (2007), Joshua Lee (1687), and Jeff Shen (1599) to finish with perfect 4-0 scores in the 20-man field, a rarity for similarly-sized four-round events. Full results can be found here.

Westfield Library Tournament (Westfield) - October 14
Descending upon the Westfield Public Library, 76 scholastic players battled through four rounds in four different sections.  In the 1st/Under Section, the most experienced player in the event was William Hu, with 18 rated games under his belt, while none of his nearest rivals had more than 8.  This experience proved to be the difference-maker, as William finished with a perfect 4-0 score and defeating the next three players on the final crosstable.  In the 3rd/Under Section, Michael Pu toppled two of the three higher-rated players in the section on his way to a perfect score and +173 rating.  In the largest section, 6th/Under, top-seeded Yash Bhargava (1182) was likewise perfect, but nipping at his heels half a point behind were Aditya Poduval (1012) and Jacob Logan (566!).  Finally, in the 12th/Under Section, more than half the field was provisionally-rated.  Emerging from their ranks to win the event ahead of several veteran players was Rohil Senapati, who broke the 1000-point rating barrier for the first time.  The USCF crosstable can be found here.

St. Joseph Grade School Tournament (South Bend) -  October 15
Drawing 52 adult and scholastic players alike, this Sunday Swiss was split into three sections by rating.  The most popular section of the day was U300, where Nathan Mustillo dominated the competition for a 5-0 performance that left him a full point and a half ahead of the field.  With a provisional rating of 747, this will undoubtedly be the last U300 event in his young career.  In the U800 section, top-rated Logan Miller of Goshen narrowly escaped his first round opponent (Aaron Diller), but picked up momentum thereafter en route to an undefeated 4.5/5 score.  In the Open section, Gerry Roberts finished with a perfect score, while Sam Patrick and Therese Walatka each finished a point behind.  The results can be found here, while details on the next event can be found below.

76th Annual Indiana State Chess Championship (Indianapolis) - October 20-22

In its largest event since 2004, the Indiana State Chess Association hosted the 76th Annual State Championships at the Crowne Plaza Indianapolis Airport.  With 91 players across the Open and Reserve (U1800) sections, there were must-see games in every round.  You can re-live some of these games in real time, as the top board in each section was streamed on YouTube, now viewable here.  For more, ISCA members can also download a PGN of 76 games from the membership site.

In the Open section, the first two rounds mostly followed expectations, as top-rated John Cole buried the lower-rated Nikhil Datar and Gerry Roberts.  However, a third-round matchup with young Ohio expert Elton Cao shocked viewers as Cole's strong initiative on move 25 slowly faded before allowing a fatal blow by Cao.  Other losses and draws by Indiana's top seeds resulted in Cao and another out-of-state player, Illinois's Jason Drake, playing for first place on board 1 in the final round.  Fighting for the state title on the lower boards were as many as a half-dozen players in three matchups: Mike Herron vs. John Cole, Alex Cibotarica vs. James Mills, and Lester Van Meter vs. Aidan Kaczanowski.  The battle of former champions, Herron and Cole, ended quickly and amicably.  This ensured that Herron would at least tie for the state title, but in the event of a three-way tie, only the player with the best tiebreaks would be named champion.  However, Herron's third title was secured when Kaczanowski agreed to a draw with Van Meter in a slightly-better position.  In the final moments of the round, however, it was unclear who - if anyone - would join Herron in the winner's circle.  Up a pawn in a rook + knight + pawns endgame, Mills was pressing against Cibotarica's stout defense.  As the players blitzed out the moves with only seconds remaining, Cibotarica seemed to find resources for a perpetual check.  Mills pursued seemingly the only line to avoid the draw, but promptly resigned when Cibotarica joyously played the first move of a forced mating net.  As a result, Herron and Cibotarica are co-champions for 2017, while Herron took home the plaque on tiebreaks.  Meanwhile, Drake drew Cao to take home the first place cash prize with a 4.5/5 score.

In the Reserve section, a rotating cast of characters found themselves on the top boards as the lead changed hands from round to round.  Top-rated Cliff Aker ceded half a point to ISCA Membership Director Roger Norris in round 2, whilst second-seeded Craig Hines succumbed to Mithran Periassamy and third-seeded Jeff Jackson lost to Charles Esan.  Roger Blaine and Andrew Friedman briefly entered the fray in round 3, but a split point left them both behind the leaders going in the penultimate round.  It was then that Anthony Woods began to pace himself from the pack as the lone perfect score going into the final round.  However, his loss against Friedman, a talented young player from Michigan, left the title of reserve champion in doubt.  Stephen Sims continued his streak of recent tournament success and joined Friedman in the winner's circle, but it was possible that either Aker or Blaine would join them.  In a lopsided rook and pawn endgame, it seemed that Aker was only moments away from victory.  It was at that moment that Blaine unleashed a desperado rook attempt.  Aker could have declined and won the ensuing pawn endgame, but in the stress of the time pressure, accepted the sacrifice to end the game in stalemate.  As a result, Friedman and Sims each took home $450, while Blaine, Aker, and others at 4/5 walked home empty handed.  Stephen Sims is the official reserve champion for 2017.

To those impacted by the early-round pairing issues, tournament director Terry Winchester offered the following statement: "I want to deeply apologize for my flaws to all those who suffered inconvenience. I promise I will do my utmost to correct those flaws for the future."  The crosstable for both sections can be viewed here.

On Saturday night of the tournament, we held our blitz championship.  With 20 players, there were five double rounds of G/5 d0.  John Cole again played the role of ratings favorite, but blitz specialists Mike Wiseman and Keith Swedo joined an impressive array of players itching for a chance to upset the leaderboard.  The first of the leaders to falter was Wiseman, who lost his second-round match 0.5-1.5 to Gerry Roberts.  In the fourth match, Swedo tried his luck against Cole, but was flat-footed in a 2-0 sweep.  In the final round, Cole (8-0) was paired against Roberts (7.5-0.5), while Wiseman (5.5-2.5) and Swedo (6-2) squared off on board 2.  Cole graciously offered a draw in an opposite-colored bishop endgame in which he had more time, but easily outplayed Roberts in the final game to take home the state title.  Meanwhile, a sweep by Wiseman on board 2 meant that Roberts finished in sole possession of 2nd place.  Video of boards 1 and 2 throughout the event can be viewed in this video, though you'll need to do some sleuthing to figure out who played on board 2 each round.  The official crosstable can be viewed here.

On Sunday afternoon, ISCA held its annual membership meeting.  President Gerry Roberts shared the results of the membership survey, which can be viewed by members here, and expressed an intention to experiment with membership requirements in the upcoming year.  However, the biggest agenda and discussion item of the day was the timing of the 2018 State Championships.  In an effort to avoid scheduling conflicts with football season, for example, the membership in attendance voted to return the state championship to the spring as it was initially conceived.  Therefore, the 77th Annual Indiana State Chess Championships are tentatively scheduled for April 2018.

Bethany Christian Open (Goshen) - October 28
With sections for both rated and unrated players, this popular event attracted 75 players from Northern Indiana.  In the unrated section, four players finished with identical 5-1 scores: Kayden Mayer, Alec LeDonne, Evan Brower, and Anton Alstrom.  In the rated reserve section, both Justin Seng and Cameron Heinisch impressed with 4.5-0.5 scores after their draw, each upsetting a higher-rated player and gaining over a hundred rating points in the process.  Finally, the open rated section was unusually strong for a regional event, attracting two experts and a trio of strong class A players.  Sharing the top prize were Ben Bentrup and Les Kistler with 3.5-0.5 scores, but among the players half a point behind was Doug Baker, rated just 1335 pre-tournament but with a history of producing very strong performances from time to time (e.g., this).  The USCF crosstable for the rated sections can be found here, while the full crosstable for all sections can be found here.

13th Annual Pike Scholastic (Indianapolis) - October 28
As the first major scholastic tournament of the year to award team trophies, the Pike Scholastic was well-attended again this year with 113 players across three sections.  In the 1st/Under section, William Hu entered and finished the event as the top seed, going 5-0 against his opposition. In the 3rd/Under section, though, provisionally-rated John Hawkins leapfrogged half a dozen players in the standings with his strong performance, going 4.5-0.5 to take first place over Vivek Apuri and Gavin Lass (each 4-1).  Pulling a similar feat in the 6th/Under section was Bloomington's Gael Medina, who defeated top-ranked Edward Chen in the penultimate round and finished alone atop the leaderboard when Yash Bhargava and Timothy Chien En Lim drew in the final round.  Gael has now gained nearly 400 points in the last year as he inches closer to Class D.  Finally, in the 12th/Under section, top seeds Mithran Periassamy and Mark Alvarez clashed in the penultimate round, with Periassamy emerging victorious.  His final round draw with Neel Bhate would seal his tournament victory.  To see the full crosstable, click here.

Bremen Library Tournament (Bremen) - October 28
In this inaugural event, more than half of the 23 competitors were playing in their first rated tournament.  In the K-3 section, tournament veteran Jacob Stump dispatched each of his three opponents to win with a perfect score. In the K-12 section, which was open only to U1200 players, the Stump family completed its sweep as Dustin Stump won each of his four games, no doubt making tournament director Bruce Stump proud.  The full crosstable can be found here.

SCI State Grade Championships (Fort Wayne) - November 4
Though attendance was down slightly year-over-year, this annual classic held at the Canterbury School still attracted 129 of the state's strongest scholastic players.  Players in K-6 were paired only against those in their respective grade, while sections merged for 7th-8th grades, and 9th-12th grades.  State champions are as follows:

 K  Nathan Walatka
5-0
1  Julie Walatka
5-0
 2  Yewei Chen
4.5-.5
 3  Gavin Lass
4.5-.5
 4  Timothy Chien En Lim
5-0
 5  Sam Liu
 5-0
 6  William Ruszkowsi
 5-0
 7  Connor Rybka, Edward Sun, Ben Finkel
 3-2
 8  Braydon Povinelli
 5-0
 9  Tyler Li, Mithran Periassamy
 2-2
 10  Kevin Wang
 4.5-.5
 11  Aiden Kaczanowski
 3.5-1.5
 12  Carson Pocock
 4.5-.5


The link to the full crosstable can be found here.

II. Hoosiers Win Abroad
Harold Steen Memorial (Dearborn, MI) - September 29 - October 1
With 93 players across three sections, this annual event featured three players rated 2300+ in its Open Section.  However, in the Reserve Section, it was Indiana's own Roger Blaine who paced the field with his perfect 5-0 score, gaining nearly 100 rating points in the process.  Congratulations to the "old codger" for the strong performance!  The full crosstable can be found here.

Toledo September Swiss (Toledo, OH) - October 14

As would befit his rating, Indiana's John Bidwell performed masterfully at this four-round event.  Earning a perfect 4-0 score, he upset the 2300-rated Ryan Clayton from Ohio in the final round to take home the top prize in the Open section.  Also performing admirably was Elkhart's Aidan Kaczanowski, whose only loss in his 2.5/4 performance was to Ohio NM David Allen.  Out of state players continued their domination in the U1800 section, where Michigan's Sanajan Ramesh finished a full point ahead of the field.  The buckeyes redeemed themselves in the U1400 section, though, where Daniel Blumenstein and Evan Taylor shared first prize after splitting a point with each other in the penultimate round.  The full crosstable can be found here, while information for the next monthly events can be found below.

Combined Membership Event (Louisville, KY) - October 14

Boasting 17 sections and 334 players, this massive collaboration from our neighbors to the south featured a handful of Hoosiers in disguise.  In the K8-K12 1st Section, Indiana's John Bentley finished in clear second with a 2.5-0.5 performance, earning a hefty 122 rating points in the process.  His performance was surpassed only by that of newcomer Simeon Porcius, who won the K8-K12 9th Section with a perfect 3-0 score.  The full crosstable can be viewed here.

III. Tournament Calendar

Greenfield Quick Tournament (Greenfield) - November 11
An event unlike any other in the state!  This tournament will feature four or five rounds of G/15 d5 quick chess at the Bradley Meth Church (210 W. Main, Greenfield, IN).  Enter onsite for $10 beginning at 9am, with rounds beginning at 10am and each hour thereafter until finished.  Prizes will be based on entries.  If you have questions, contact bob@mccorkles.org

Bremen Mighty Pawns Tournament (Bremen) - November 11
From the Joepye Chess Newsletter (subscribe at joepye@gmail.com):
"The Bremen chess team will be sponsoring a tournament on November 11 at the elementary school.  Open to all, adults and students, with rated and unrated sections.  There will be both individual and team prizes!  An online entry page with a link to the tournament flyer can be found at http://chess.joepye.net/2017BremenEntry.htm"

For convenience, here's the flyer in TLA format:
5/SS G/40 d5. Bremen Elementary School Cafeteria, 700 W. South St., Bremen, IN.  Sections: Open, U1200, K6 U1000, K3 U700, and Recreation (non-rated).  Prizes: Top three individuals in each section will receive Dairy Queen gift cards, top three teams in K3 and K6 sections receive trophies.  EF: free to Bremen Elementary team members, $8 for each member of a 3+ person team in a section, $10 all others.    ENT: Must register in advance by 11/6.  Rds: check-in by 8:30am, begin at 9am.

26th Annual Kings Island Open (Blue Ash, OH) - November 10-12

Just northeast of Cincinnati, this event is one of the Midwest's largest each year, with a prize fund of $30,000 and attendance approximating 350 players.  There are 7 sections (Open, U2100, U1900, U1700, U1500, U1250, U1000), each with at least five paid prizes, so there is an opportunity for everyone to emerge victorious.  The tournament boasts both a 3-day and 2-day schedule, with the former using a lengthy time control of 40/100 SD/30 d10 through the five rounds.  Entry fees are $118 by 11/8 or $140 onsite.  To register, or get additional information, visit chesstour.com.

Toledo November Swiss (Toledo, OH) - November 11

Hosted at the University of Toledo Health Science Campus (Mulford Library - Basement Cafe, 3000 Arlington Ave., Toledo, OH 43614), this recurring event has a time control of G/75 d5 for round 1, and G/85 d5 for rounds 2-4.  Onsite registration ($25) is available from 9:00am-10:00am, or you can register in advance for $20 by mail (see toledochess.org for the address or additional details).

2017 Late Fall Open (Evansville) - November 11

4SS, G/70, d/10, St. Mark`s Lutheran Church, 2300 Washington Ave, Evansville, IN., 47714 EF: $25,(No checks/cards at site), Reg: 8:30-9:15, 1st Rd 9:30, others ASAP. PF (based on 16) 1st $120,A, B,C,D/E, Each $60, ENTRIES: Craig Hines, 613 North Park Dr., Evansville, IN, 47710, , cell 812-618-8700,email:Mrsci2740@hotmail.com, 1 bye if before Rd.2, NO last rd. byes, NS,NC,W.

St. Joseph Grade School Open (South Bend) - November 19

Don't let the name fool you - this tournament is for players young and old alike!  This rated event will be held at the Ackles Center (711 E. Colfax Rd., South Bend, IN 46617).  The open section will be 4/SS with G/30 d5, the U800 section will be 4/SS or 5/SS with G/25 d5, and the U400 section will be 5/SS or 6/SS with G/25 d5.  The first round will begin promptly at 12pm, with everything expected to wrap up by 4pm.  For more details and to register ($10) before the cutoff on November 17, click here.

Women's Youth Championships (Chicago) - November 18-19

The All Americas Chess Women's Youth Championships will be held at the Sheraton Chicago O'Hare Airport in three sections (U25, U18, U12).  Information about the prizes (trophies and cash), free pizza buffet, and registration can all be found at http://scichess.org/2018/WomensYouthNov2017Chicago.pdf

Motor City Open (Dearborn, MI) - November 24-26

This event features a prize fund of $10,000 and four sections (Open, U1800, U1400, U800), each playing 6-SS (except U800 is 4-SS).  Entry fees vary by section.  Full details can be found in the official TLA here.

Indiana State Masters/Generations Championship (Columbus, IN) - December 2-3

It's back and better than ever!  On hiatus since 2009, this unique event returns to the ISCA calendar in glorious fashion.  Hosted at the beautiful Hotel Indigo Architectural Center in the heart of downtown Columbus, Indiana (400 Brown St., less than two blocks away from Zaharako's and The Commons) , this two-day event features three sections each playing 4/SS at the leisurely pace of 40/120 SD/30, d5.  The Masters Invitational event is open exclusively to former state champions and players rated 2200+.  The Senior Open is open to ages 50+, and will determine our state representative to the Tournament of State Senior Champions to be held concurrently with the US Open next year in Wisconsin.  For everyone else (ages 0-49, ratings 100-2199), the Amateur Section will feature class prizes and a cash prize for the top upset.  Entry fees are $55 in advance, or $70 onsite, with ISCA members getting $5 off -- *MEMBERSHIP NOT REQUIRED*. Hotel rates are $109, and are first-come, first-served by calling (812) 418-4886.  Online registration at indianachess.org is now available.  Feel free to email me with questions at gerry@roberts.legal.  I am incredibly excited for this event, and hope you'll all join me there!

Grandmaster Simul (Bloomington) - December 2
Webster University's Fidel Corrales, rated 2502, will visit the Monroe County Public Library for a simultaneous exhibition against local players.  Spots are limited and cost only $15.  For more information or to register, click here.

Winter Jam (West Lafayette) - December 2

Purdue University's Stewart Center will host this event for all ages in four sections (Unrated K-3, Rated K-3, Rated 4-6, Open). Both individual and team trophies will be awarded, depending on section, will full details listed at http://www.uschess.org/tlas/8437.tla.  Online registration is currently unavailable, but you can check back at http://chessstart.org/WinterJam.html for updates.

Wabash Quads (Wabash) - December 3
On the first Sunday of even-numbered months, Terry LeMaster directs quads at The Access Youth Center in Wabash, Indiana (approximately halfway between Fort Wayne and Kokomo).  For those unfamiliar with the quad structure, all of the registered players are ordered by rating, grouped into sets of four players, and then paired against each other player in their section.  As opposed to large Swiss events, this means that you get three games against players with similar ratings to your own.  Time control is a leisurely G/85 with a 5-second delay with rounds beginning promptly at 10:00am.  Entries are $25, including lunch and prize fund, but must be submitted in advance by mail to 35 E Market St, Wabash, IN 46992, by email to terrylemaster@hotmail.com, or by phone to 260-571-7802.  Recent events have attracted upwards of 8 to 16 players, ranging from 1000's to 2100's (not limited to scholastic players), so consider making the trip.

Bloomington Winter Scholastic (Bloomington) - December 9

This popular scholastic event is returning to University Elementary School in Bloomington, with sections for all ages (U1, U3, U6, U12).  With a format similar to recent years, there will be more than 50(!) trophies up for grabs to the top individual finishers, grade finishers, and team finishers across the sections.  Entry fees are a modest $17 by November 20, $20 by November 27, or $30 onsite.  For the registration form and complete details, click here.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at gerry@roberts.legal.

Goshen Winter Tournament (Goshen) - December 9
Mark your calendars and clear your schedules!  This annual event will undoubtedly feature rated and unrated sections for all.  Check back periodically at the Joepye site or the ISCA Calendar for more information before the next edition of the newsletter

Toledo December Swiss (Toledo, OH) - December 9

Hosted at the University of Toledo Health Science Campus (Mulford Library - Basement Cafe, 3000 Arlington Ave., Toledo, OH 43614), this recurring event has a time control of G/75 d5 for round 1, and G/85 d5 for rounds 2-4.  Onsite registration ($25) is available from 9:00am-10:00am, or you can register in advance for $20 by mail (see toledochess.org for the address or additional details).

Pan-Am Intercollegiate Championships (Columbus, OH) - December 9
As the name would imply, this national championship event is open to college students.  Here's the abbreviated TLA:
6/SS G/90 i30. FIDE-rated, using FIDE rules. Hyatt Regency, Greater Columbus Convention Center, 350 North High Street, Columbus, OH 43215.  HR: $115 at https://aws.passkey.com/go/2017Chess. Sections: One section, teams comprised of 4-players with up to 2 alternates.  Team must supply letter from university stating players meet eligibility requirements.  Prizes: Top 5 teams; Top Team U2200, U2000, U1800, U1600; Top International; Top Women's Team; Top Community College; Top 4-year Small College; Biggest Team Upset; Top Boards 1-4; Top Alternate; Biggest Individual Upset.   EF: $20 by 12/7, $25 onsite, $2 off for GTACC members.  ENT: mail entries to Jim Jagodzinski, 7031 Willowyck Rd., Maumee, OH 43537 (jagz47@hotmail.com) or register onsite by 10am.  Rds: 12/27 6pm, 12/28 10am & 5pm, 12/29 10am & 5pm, 12/30 9am.

SCI Individual Regionals (Hammond, Terre Haute, Evansville, Goshen, Indianapolis) - January 6 and 13
Registration details and links are now available for the 2018 SCI Individual Regional tournaments.  Hosted across the state on January 6 (Hammond, Terre Haute) and January 13 (Evansville, Goshen, Indianapolis), these events decide the qualifiers for the SCI Individual Championships in Indianapolis to be held on January 27.  Remember that this event not only decides who Indiana's representatives are to the Denker Tournament of High School Champions and Barber Tournament of K-8 Champions, but also awards scholarship money to the top finishers in the 6th/Under Championship, 8th/Under Championship, and 12th/Under Championship.  You can only play in one regional.  The regional events themselves are not rated, so USCF memberships are not required.  Instead, all it takes to play is $12 if you register before December 22, or $25 thereafter.  There are junior varsity sections (limited by ratings) for all grade levels except 3rd/Under, so there really are options for everyone to play and succeed.  For general information about the tournaments, click here.  To register, visit here.  Online entries are immediately posted here.

Toledo January Swiss (Toledo, OH) - January 13
Hosted at the University of Toledo Health Science Campus (Mulford Library - Basement Cafe, 3000 Arlington Ave., Toledo, OH 43614), this recurring event has a time control of G/75 d5 for round 1, and G/85 d5 for rounds 2-4.  Onsite registration ($25) is available from 9:00am-10:00am, or you can register in advance for $20 by mail (see toledochess.org for the address or additional details).

Southern Indiana Open/Reserve (Bloomington) - February 10

This event returns to the Holiday Inn in Bloomington with a drastically increased prize fund and a new section.  Given the overwhelming attendance last year, this year's iteration will feature a separate Reserve (U1800) section, with everyone playing 4-SS G/70 d5.  Also departing from recent practice, ISCA membership is NOT required to play in the event, but members' entry fees are reduced by $5.  Otherwise, entries are $45 in advance by February 6, or $60 onsite (before 9am).  For more information, visit the ISCA Tournament Calendar, or email director Craig Hines here.  Online registration will be available at indianachess.org after the Masters/Generations Championship on December 3.

SCI Team Regionals (Terre Haute, Mt. Vernon, Hammond, Goshen) - February 17 and 24

Regional Qualifiers for the SCI Team Championships will be held on February 17 (Terre Haute, Mt. Vernon) and February 24 (Hammon, Goshen) this year.  Teams can sign up for the 3rd/Under, 6th/Under, or 8th/Under sections, with top finishers awarded a spot at the State Finals in Terre Haute on March 24.  As always, 12th/Under teams do not need to qualify.  Registration is not yet available, but check back periodically here for more information.

U.S. Amateur Team Championship North (Schaumburg, IL) - February 16-18
Gather your favorite chess buddies and plan your trek to Chicagoland in February for this annual favorite.  Four-person teams with an average rating below 2200 will compete for an array of prizes (top overall, top class, best name, best costumes, etc.).  Full details are in the TLA here.

USCF Rated Online Chess - Every Week

The USCF runs rated blitz and quick tournaments on the chess.com servers.  And best of all, it's free for USCF members to play.  Every Monday night at 6pm, verified members can play in a 5-round, G/10 Swiss system tournament for real rating points.  If that's too early for you, there's also a 7-round G/5 tournament at 11pm. The blitz continues on Wednesdays, where players can sign up for a 7-round 3/2 tournament beginning at 8pm.  For those preferring slightly longer time controls, you can catch the 15/10 tournament on Friday nights at 8pm.  To be eligible to play, just fill out the verification form located here

IV. Chess Clubs

South Bend Regional Chess Club - Thursdays at 7:00pm
Michiana's strongest chess club meets on Thursday nights from 7:00pm-10:00pm in the deli area of Meijer on Grape Road in Mishawaka.  There is an organized event every meeting, ranging from G/5 round robins to G/20 Swisses.  The standard deviation on attendance is high, with meetings ranging anywhere from 8 to 30 players, but with regular attendees including masters John Cole and Dennis Monokroussos, who can afford to miss out?

Chicory Cafe Chess Club (South Bend) - Mondays from 6:00-8:00pm
Come and play some casual games of chess at the Chicory Cafe at the corner of Jefferson and Michigan in downtown South Bend.  While you're there, be sure to enjoy the New Orleans-style food and fun atmosphere for both young and old.

BISCC Library Chapter (Bloomington) – alternating Sundays at 1:30pm

The Bloomington Indiana Scholastic Chess Club’s library chapter meets on alternating Sundays from 1:30pm-3:30pm in rooms 1B/1C of the Monroe County Public Library. Several of the area's top scholastic players are regular attendees, but each session includes a lesson for beginners as well as a weekly activity.  Your first meeting is free to attend, so stop by to see if it would be a good fit for you and your child.  Head coach John Illg has been generating some rave reviews lately, so be sure to check out what all the hype is about.  For more details about the club, visit BISCC's revamped website at http://www.biscc.org, which now includes an option for online registration.

Bloomington Chess Club – Tuesdays at 7:00pm

The Bloomington Chess Club meets every Tuesday from 7:00pm-10:00pm at Buffa Louie's.  Come play in a relaxed environment while enjoying great food.  Games are frequently played at rapid time controls (G/20 or G/15), blitz (G/5), as well as un-timed, so there's a little bit of something for everybody.

Other Clubs in the State
For a non-exhaustive list of other city or regional clubs in the state, please visit http://www.indianachess.org/content.aspx?page_id=22&club_id=169378&module_id=93648.  Please note that the information listed there may not be up-to-date, so you should always contact a representative of the club in advance.  If you have trouble locating contact information, send me an email and I will do my utmost to connect you with the right person.


October 5, 2017.
The leaves are changing color and the weather is finally cooling, which can only mean one thing: chess season is in full swing! With more rated events in the state through the end of the year than there are weeks remaining, players of all ages can find something on the tournament calendar to their liking. While many of the old favorites return for another year (e.g, Bethany Christian, Pike Scholastic, Bloomington Winter), there are also plenty of newcomers to the schedule worth getting excited about (e.g., Bremen Public Library, Greenfield Quick). But perhaps best of all, the next eight weeks will see the crowning of at least 17 new state champions! Do you have what it takes to become one of them?

First, the ISCA State Championships (October 20-22, Indianapolis) will not only determine our state champion and reserve champions, but also an official blitz champion. Then, the SCI State Grade Championships (November 4, Fort Wayne) will determine scholastic bragging rights for the next year as each grade K through 12 will decide a champion. And last, but certainly not least, the Indiana State Masters/Generations Tournament (December 2-3, Columbus) returns for the first time this decade to name a state senior champion, while the Masters Invitational and Amateur sections of that event will provide plenty of excitement for the rest of us.

In this edition, relive all the events since the Indianapolis Open in August through the inaugural Kentuckiana Chess Tournament held in late September, and discover what the tournament calendar has to offer in the coming months.

I. Tournament Recaps

12th Annual Indianapolis Open - August 25-27
The Continental Chess Association's Indianapolis Open returned to the Crowne Plaza Airport Hotel this year, attracting 177 players from across the Midwest.  In the Open section, four out-of-state players shared first place honors and prizes after scoring 4/5.  On their heels half a point behind, though, were Lester Van Meter and Glenn Snow, neither of whom lost a game.  Also with a notable performance was Bernard Parham, whose notorious style gave him the only win in the tournament over any of the top-four finishers.  In the U2000 section, though, Indiana players really proved their mettle by nabbing the top two overall spots.  Both Dennis Geisleman and Nathaniel Criss finished with 4.5/5 after each defeating a fellow Hoosier in the final round.  In the U1600 section, Mithran Periassamy finished tied for 2nd place after posting a 4/5 performance and losing only to the eventual winner.  And in the U1200 section, provisionally-rated Indiana player Noah Lewis impressed with the only perfect score of the event, gaining 135 rating points in the process.  The full results of the tournament can be seen at http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201708273672.0

Held concurrently with the Indianapolis Open was a blitz tournament sporting four double rounds.  No Indiana player scored more than 50%, but something must be said for the impressive performance of Missouri-based Asish Panda.  Rated only 1577, Asish managed to score 6/8, placing him half a point ahead of the 2600+ Priyadharshad Kannappan!  Standings for that event can be seen at http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201708263292

St. Joseph Grade School Chess Tournament - September 9
More than 30 players of all ages journeyed to the Ackles Center for this one-day event.  In the top section, top-rated Doug Baker of Goshen flexed his rating advantage for a perfect 3-0 score -- the only one of the day.  In the intermediate section, Cormac Kennedy finished ahead of a pair of higher-rated players with his 3.5-0.5 performance, ceding only a draw to Connor Rybka.  Meanwhile, in the novice section, a pair of players finished with 4-1 scores: Elijah Diller and Nathan Walatka.   In so doing, Elijah nearly doubled his pre-tournament rating of 275, while Nathan's undefeated performance in only his third rated event propelled him to a similar post-event rating.  The crosstable can be viewed at http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201709097942.0.

International School of Indiana Chess Tournament - September 9
For the second consecutive year, ISI kicked off the scholastic chess season with 43 players spread across two divisions.  In the U3 group, relative-newcomer Karem Erbosin swept the field with a 4-0 score, leapfrogging the top-rated Vivek Apuri after the latter ceded a draw in the penultimate round.  In the U12 division, pre-tournament favorite Jerry Gu earned a perfect score to finish half a point ahead of Yves Guelce, who earned his first four-digit rating.  View the standings at http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201709098012.0

Evansville Fall Open - September 16
Entries exceeded expectations in Evansville, as 20 players ventured to St. Mark's Lutheran Church for this four-round Swiss event.  While former state champion Andy Porter claimed the top spot with a perfect 4-0 score, the biggest ratings beneficiary was just slightly further down the crosstable.  Finishing in a tie for 2nd place, Kentucky's Liam Chesemore proved he plays "chesemore" than you would think based on his pre-tournament rating, earning 116 points while going undefeated.  Full results without puns can be viewed at http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201709161402

Kentuckiana Chess Tournament (Jeffersonville) - September 23
Jeffersonville High School hosted this inaugural event for middle and high school players, attracting 21 players from both sides of our southern border.  A quartet comprised of equal parts Hoosier and Kentuckian finished with identical 4-1 scores to win the event: Suyash Uppal (IN), Tyler Weinzapfel (IN), Ethan Hand (KY), and Michael Barr (KY).  Of these, Tyler reentered the ranks of Class E players, while Michael was playing in his first rated event.  To see the crosstable, visit http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201709233862

II. Hoosiers Win Abroad
U.S. Senior Open - July 21-23
Overlooked in our last edition, this event was held in Northfield, Minnesota the week prior to the U.S. Open.  Among the 105 competitors were two Grandmasters and longtime (former) SCI President, Steve Steppe.   Scoring multiple upset victories, Steve managed to go 4/6 to tie for the 1st place U1800 prize and re-enter the domain of Class A players.  Congrats, Steve!  Full results can be found at http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201707238782-12332070, while prizes can be viewed at http://www.chessweekend.com/2017/2017-senior-open-final-standings-and-prize-winners/

Niles Library Tournament (Niles, MI) - September 2
Hosted just north of South Bend, this recurring event featured 15 players for three rounds of rated chess.  Top-seeded Shuoyan Chen paced the field with his perfect 3/3 score, with others finishing roughly in order of rating.  Full results can be found at http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201709026952

Toledo September Swiss (Toledo, OH) - September 9
Hosted at the University of Toledo Health Science Campus, this monthly affair in the Buckeye state featured 52 players from as far away as Indiana, Michigan, Ontario, and even Texas!  In the top section, National Master John Bidwell from Indiana proved victorious after defeating the top-rated Ryan Clayton in the 3rd round.  Michigander Gregory Bonvissuto and Ohioan Thomas Reusser shared first place honors in the U1800 seciton with 3.5/4 scores, but nipping at their proverbial heels was our own Braydon Povinelli with 3/4.  Meanwhile, in the U1400 section, Indiana's Ryan Alford held serve as the event's highest-rated player, going 4-0 to finish atop the standings.  Full standings can be found at http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201709098422.0

III. Tournament Calendar
Fall Festival Chess Tournament (Purdue University, West Lafayette) - October 7
Similar to other recent events in West Lafayette, this mixed adult/scholastic tournament will feature sections for K-3 unrated, K-3 rated, 4-8 rated, HS rated, and Open.  The 4/SS G/30 d5 tournament will have onsite registration available until 10:30am, with the first round beginning promptly at 11:00am.  Entry fees for scholastic players is $20, while the open section is $10; both can be submitted online at http://chessstart.org/FallFestival.html.

Niles Library Tournament (Niles, MI) - October 7
Players of all ages and skill levels are invited to this free event at the Niles Libary in Michigan.  Doors open at 10:00am with the first round beginning promptly at 10:30am.  The event will be 3 rounds of G/45 with no delay. If you plan on attending, contact tournament director Martin Klubeck in advance at klubeck.1@nd.edu.

Westfield Library Tournament (Westfield) - October 14
Beginning at 10:30am, scholastic players of all ages and skill levels will start their clocks at the Westfield Library for another great tournament.  Held in four sections (U1, U3, U6, U12), everyone will play four rounds of G/30 for ratings, bragging rights, and trophies.  Entries are $20 by October 8, or $25 thereafter.  For full details and the registration form, visit http://www.scichess.org/2018/october14westfield.pdf

Toledo September Swiss (Toledo, OH) - October 14
Hosted at the University of Toledo Health Science Campus (Mulford Library - Basement Cafe, 3000 Arlington Ave., Toledo, OH 43614), this recurring event has a time control of G/75 d5 for round 1, and G/85 d5 for rounds 2-4.  Onsite registration ($25) is available from 9:00am-10:00am, or you can register in advance for $20 by mail (see toledochess.org for the address or additional details).

St. Joseph Grade School Tournament (South Bend) - SUNDAY, October 15
Don't let the name fool you - this tournament is for players young and old alike!  Unlike previous editions, the event will actually be held at the school (216 N Hill St, South Bend, IN 46617) and NOT at the Ackles Center.  The open section will be 3/SS with G/30 d5, the U800 section will be 4/SS or 5/SS with G/25 d5, and the U400 section will be 5/SS or 6/SS with G/25 d5.  The first round will begin promptly at 12pm, with everything expected to wrap up by 4pm.  For more details and to register ($10) before the cutoff on October 13, visit https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSca0GM703fgiS61QvijxroqruhyavDSy8iYihlIl2xr6oN8Bw/viewform

76th Annual Indiana State Chess Championship (Indianapolis) - October 20-22
As President of the Indiana State Chess Championship, I am pleased to invite you to the 76th running of our state championship.  With a $3000 guaranteed prize fund and sections for Open and Reserve (U1800) players, there are plenty of reasons to make the trek to the Crowne Plaza Indianapolis Airport (2501 S. High School Rd.) for a chance at being named the 2017 State Champion.  The top board in each section will be broadcast live at indianachess.org, and links will be provided to live pairings/standings.  Each section will be 5/SS using a time control of G/120 d5, unless you opt to play the 2-day schedule (Rd. 1 is G/60 d5).  Entry fees are $50 by 10/13 at indianachess.org, or $65 onsite, with ISCA membership required to play.  However, reentries and players 13 years and younger are $25 ($40 onsite for juniors).  

The Indiana State Blitz Championships will be held on Saturday night of the tournament, with a $500 guaranteed prize fund and $20 entry fee ($25 onsite).  Our annual membership meeting will be held on Sunday at 2:30pm.  For additional details about the tournaments, view the full TLA at http://www.uschess.org/tlas/upcoming.php?STATE=IN or send me an email at gerry@roberts.legal.

Bethany Christian Open (Goshen) - October 28
This ever-popular event is back again at Bethany Christian Schools (2904 S. Main St., Goshen, IN) with room for all players.  In the rated sections, there will be an Open (4/SS G/45 d5) and Reserve/U1200 (5/SS G/35 d5) option, while unrated players of all ages will have a section all their own (6/SS G/30).  Trophies will be awarded to the top players.  Entry fees are a modest $10 for each section, but must be received by October 26.  You can view the details and the printable registration form at http://chess.joepye.net/2017BCSentry.pdf, or you can register online and see advanced entries at http://chess.joepye.net/2017BCSentry.htm

13th Annual Pike Scholastic (Indianapolis) - October 28
The New Augusta North Public Academy (6450 Rodebough Rd., Indianapolis) will once again play host to one of the largest and most anticipated scholastic events of the season for the 13th Annual Pike Scholastic Tournament.  The top five overall finishers (and top unrated) for each section (U1, U3, U6, U12) will receive trophies, as well as the top three teams in the three older groups.  Each section will play five rounds, with the time control varying based on age.  Entry fees are $24 by October 23 or $28 thereafter (including onsite).  For full details, see the flyer at http://ritchieres.com/chess/PikeChessFallTournament2017/Pike_Chess_Fall_Scholastic_2017.pdf.  To register online, visit https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07eekjedmd3d6c2a92&oseq=&c=&ch=.  And to see the advanced entry list as it grows, check back periodically at http://ritchieres.com/chess/PikeChessFallTournament2017/2017Registration.html

Bremen Library Tournament (Bremen) - October 28
The Bremen Public Library (304 N. Jackson St., Bremen, IN) will play host to a rated scholastic event open to beginners (K-3 U500, K-12 U1200). Play will begin at 10am.  Entry is free, but must be completed in advance at the library's website (http://www.bremen.lib.in.us/) beginning on October 9. 

SCI State Grade Championships (Fort Wayne) - November 4
Mark your calendars!  Official details have not been released, but it appears that the SCI State Grade Championships will return to the Canterbury School in Fort Wayne this year.  This is an official state championship event, with a separate section for each grade level.  If it is anything like years past, there will be trophies aplenty for the best collection of chess talent that the state has to offer.  In case details are released before the next edition on this newsletter, check back periodically at http://scichess.org/tournament-calendar/ for more information.

Greenfield Quick Tournament (Greenfield) - November 11
An event unlike any other in the state!  This tournament will feature four or five rounds of G/15 d5 quick chess at the Bradley Meth Church (210 W. Main, Greenfield, IN).  Enter onsite for $10 beginning at 9am, with rounds beginning at 10am and each hour thereafter until finished.  Prizes will be based on entries.  If you have questions, contact bob@mccorkles.org

26th Annual Kings Island Open (Blue Ash, OH) - November 10-12
Just northeast of Cincinnati, this event is one of the Midwest's largest each year, with a prize fund of $30,000 and attendance approximating 350 players.  There are 7 sections (Open, U2100, U1900, U1700, U1500, U1250, U1000), each with at least five paid prizes, so there is an opportunity for everyone to emerge victorious.  The tournament boasts both a 3-day and 2-day schedule, with the former using a lengthy time control of 40/100 SD/30 d10 through the five rounds.  Entry fees are $118 by 11/8 or $140 onsite.  To register, or get additional information, visit chesstour.com.

Women's Youth Championships (Chicago) - November 18-19
The All Americas Chess Women's Youth Championships will be held at the Sheraton Chicago O'Hare Airport in three sections (U25, U18, U12).  Information about the prizes (trophies and cash), free pizza buffet, and registration can all be found at http://scichess.org/2018/WomensYouthNov2017Chicago.pdf

Indiana State Masters/Generations Championship (Columbus, IN) - December 2-3
It's back and better than ever!  On hiatus since 2009, this unique event returns to the ISCA calendar in glorious fashion.  Hosted at the beautiful Hotel Indigo Architectural Center in the heart of downtown Columbus, Indiana (400 Brown St., less than two blocks away from Zaharako's and The Commons) , this two-day event features three sections each playing 4/SS at the leisurely pace of 40/120 SD/30, d5.  The Masters Invitational event is open exclusively to former state champions and players rated 2200+.  The Senior Open is open to ages 50+, and will determine our state representative to the Tournament of State Senior Champions to be held concurrently with the US Open next year in Wisconsin.  For everyone else (ages 0-49, ratings 100-2199), the Amateur Section will feature class prizes and a cash prize for the top upset.  Entry fees are $55 in advance, or $70 onsite, with ISCA members getting $5 off -- *MEMBERSHIP NOT REQUIRED*. Hotel rates are $109, and are first-come, first-served by calling (812) 418-4886.  Online registration at indianachess.org will be available after the State Championships end October 22.  In the meantime, view full details at http://www.uschess.org/tlas/upcoming.php?STATE=IN, or email me with questions at gerry@roberts.legal.  I am incredibly excited for this event, and hope you'll all join me there!

Winter Jam (West Lafayette) - December 2
Purdue University's Stewart Center will host this event for all ages in four sections (Unrated K-3, Rated K-3, Rated 4-6, Open). Both individual and team trophies will be awarded, depending on section, will full details listed at http://www.uschess.org/tlas/8437.tla.  Online registration is currently unavailable, but you can check back at http://chessstart.org/WinterJam.html for updates.

Bloomington Winter Scholastic (Bloomington) - December 9
Mark your calendars and clear your schedules!  This scholastic event will return to University Elementary School in Bloomington this year, with sections for all ages (U3, U6, U12).  As usual, there will be plenty of individual and team trophies to go around.  Exact details will be released soon, and likely listed on the SCI Tournament Calendar at http://scichess.org/tournament-calendar/.  If you have any questions in the meantime, feel free to send me an email.

USCF Rated Online Chess - Every Week
The USCF runs rated blitz and quick tournaments on the chess.com servers.  And best of all, it's free for USCF members to play.  Every Monday night at 6pm, verified members can play in a 5-round, G/10 Swiss system tournament for real rating points.  If that's too early for you, there's also a 7-round G/5 tournament at 11pm. The blitz continues on Wednesdays, where players can sign up for a 7-round 3/2 tournament beginning at 8pm.  For those preferring slightly longer time controls, you can catch the 15/10 tournament on Friday nights at 8pm.  To be eligible to play, just fill out the verification form located here

IV. Chess Clubs
South Bend Regional Chess Club - Thursdays at 7:00pm
Michiana's strongest chess club meets on Thursday nights from 7:00pm-10:00pm in the deli area of Meijer on Grape Road in Mishawaka.  There is an organized event every meeting, ranging from G/5 round robins to G/20 Swisses.  The standard deviation on attendance is high, with meetings ranging anywhere from 8 to 30 players, but with regular attendees including masters John Cole and Dennis Monokroussos, who can afford to miss out?

Chicory Cafe Chess Club (South Bend) - Mondays from 6:00-8:00pm
Come and play some casual games of chess at the Chicory Cafe at the corner of Jefferson and Michigan in downtown South Bend.  While you're there, be sure to enjoy the New Orleans-style food and fun atmosphere for both young and old.

BISCC Library Chapter (Bloomington) – alternating Sundays at 1:30pm
The Bloomington Indiana Scholastic Chess Club’s library chapter meets on alternating Sundays from 1:30pm-3:30pm in rooms 1B/1C of the Monroe County Public Library. Several of the area's top scholastic players are regular attendees, but each session includes a lesson for beginners as well as a weekly activity.  Your first meeting is free to attend, so stop by to see if it would be a good fit for you and your child.  Head coach John Illg has been generating some rave reviews lately, so be sure to check out what all the hype is about.  For more details about the club, visit BISCC's revamped website at http://www.biscc.org, which now includes an option for online registration.

Bloomington Chess Club – Tuesdays at 7:00pm
The Bloomington Chess Club meets every Tuesday from 7:00pm-10:00pm at Buffa Louie's.  Come play in a relaxed environment while enjoying great food.  Games are frequently played at rapid time controls (G/20 or G/15), blitz (G/5), as well as un-timed, so there's a little bit of something for everybody.

Other Clubs in the State
For a non-exhaustive list of other city or regional clubs in the state, please visit http://www.indianachess.org/content.aspx?page_id=22&club_id=169378&module_id=93648.  Please note that the information listed there may not be up-to-date, so you should always contact a representative of the club in advance.  If you have trouble locating contact information, send me an email and I will do my utmost to connect you with the right person.

Regards,
Gerry Roberts

August 20, 2017 (By Gerry Roberts)
 As the end of the summer nears and most schools resume session, there are several scholastic tournaments on the horizon. However, for those adults lamenting the changing of the chess seasons and for those scholastic players seeking fame and glory outside the realm of scholastic chess, fear not! Depending on where you live within the state and your willingness to travel a few miles, there are at least half a dozen tournaments in the state open to everyone in the coming months.
In this edition, we recap an action-packed summer of chess, including the performances of Indiana's players at some of the largest and most prestigious tournaments in the country.

I. Tournament Recaps

Northern Indiana Open - June 24
Hosted at the Hilton Garden Inn in Elkhart, this year's event broke the attendance record for the Northern Indiana Open, held in Gary back in 1998. Leading the field of 34 players were three players rated over 2000, including former state champion and current master Lester Van Meter.  Round by round, however, the top seeds lost traction against the field and paving the way for up-and-coming players to climb the leaderboard.  The first among them to fall was Peter Hess, playing in just his third event in twenty years, after he escaped with a draw against Goshen's Joe Riegsecker.  In the next round, Van Meter drew Jon Gotz while expert-ranked Joshua Bousum ceded half a point to James Ronco.  Entering round three, then, only four players had perfect scores: Bloomington's Daniel Rickert, Penn High School teacher Les Kistler, and the Konovalenko's (Nicholas and Sasha), sibling juniors who traveled down from Michigan.  Rickert would go on to win a long game against Sasha following a positional exchange sacrifice, while Kistler took advantage of an early blunder by Nicholas to net himself an extra queen within the first ten moves (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHtCBbcmaA8#t=08m54s).  After Rickert defeated Kistler in the final round, he was crowned the winner with the only perfect score of the event.  Finishing close behind were Van Meter and Mathew Leach with 3.5 points each, while Bousum and Gotz deserve a special mention for their undefeated 3.0 scores.  Video from the top two boards in each round can be replayed on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/grobchess, while the complete crosstable can be found at http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201706246172.

Evansville Summer Open - July 9
An equal mix of Hoosiers and Kentuckians came together for this four round Swiss event.  Kentucky's Robert Meachum and William Brooks shared first place honors, but neither managed a perfect score as they each were nicked for draws by Indiana's Dallas Loven (3/4, 3rd place).  Standings for the event, directed by Craig Hines, can be viewed at http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201707082622.

ISCA Class Championships - July 22
Returning to the Indianapolis Airport Crowne Plaza, the ISCA Class Championships experimented with a different format this year as a one-day event with a time control of G/75 d5 for all sections.  The 54 players were grouped by rating into their respective classes, each playing four games to decide the official class champions for 2017.  In the Class D & Under section, provisionally-rated Stephen Sims impressed with his perfect score, upsetting three higher-rated players and gaining 241 rating points.  The Class C section was decided in the final round, when Justin Smith's win over the previously-unbeaten Ted Swogger leapfrogged him in the standings, and catapulted his rating 154 points higher.  In the Class B section, incoming high school freshman Bill Qian may not have entered the section as the ratings favorite, but following his 3.5-0.5 performance, he boasted an 18 point edge over his nearest rival by the event's end.  Also going undefeated, including a draw against Qian, was Anthony Woods.  In the Class A section, our representative to the Barber Championship of K-8 Champions, Nikhil Datar, had a very productive sparring session preparing for that event, earning a perfect score against the likes of Dennis Geisleman, Bernard Parham II, Daniel Rickert, and Dallas Loven.  The win provided a capstone on Datar's impressive year in which he gained more than 300 rating points while winning several strong events.  Finally, in the Master/Expert section, current state champion Mike Herron distanced himself from the field with a 3.5/4.0 performance and a post-event rating inching him ever-closer to the master title.  Special thanks to Mat Leach for directing the event.  The full crosstable can be found at http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201707228462.0.

The Class Championships were the fourth and final leg of ISCA's "Road to the Indy Open" series.  Each of the following winners was awarded a free entry fee into the Indianapolis Open taking place next weekend: Drew Hollinberger, M/X; Bernard Parham II, Class A; Grant Mu, Class B; and Ted Swogger, Class C/Below.  Thanks for everyone who participated in ISCA's events this year, and congratulations to the winners!

St. Joseph Grade School Chess Tournament - July 29
Hosted at the Ackles Center in South Bend this event boasted sections open to both kids and adults.  In the Open section, top-seeded Aidan Kaczanowski bested all comers for a 3-0 tournament win.  Likewise, in the U1000 section, top-seeded Yash Bhargava proved unbeatable against his peers, going 4-0 on his way to a tournament victory and breaking the 1000-point barrier in the process.  And though all players in the K-3 U500 section were all either provisionally rated or unrated, top-ranked Catherine Lutz also managed to win her section, but with a tournament-best five wins.  To view the full crosstable, go to http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201707290872.0

Summer Stretch - August 5
Hosted at the Purdue University Stewart Center in West Lafayette, this tournament attracted 55 players in three sections.  In the Open section, the top-rated Parham duo avoided their usual clash of generations after Parham Sr. was felled by relative newcomer Michael Eikmeier in round 2.  Eikmeier would go on to beat strong Class A player Logan Cross in the penultimate round to reach the top board, but there endured the vengeance of the younger Parham.  As a result, Parham II won the event by a full point, while Eikmeier had to settle for a second place tie and a paltry 282 additional rating points.  In the K-3 section, Sri Surharshan Raguraman toppled the top three seeds in consecutive rounds to earn his first established rating and tournament victory.  Meanwhile, in the 4-8 section, Yash Bhargava notched his second victory in as many weekends, going a perfect 4-0 against a field of lower-rated players.  He was joined at the top by Christopher Chow, whose own perfect performance allowed him to shatter the 1000 rating barrier for the first time.  Full results can be found at http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201708054452.0

II. Hoosiers Win Abroad
10th Annual Chicago Class Tournament - July 14-16
This event boasted more than 400 players, including more than a handful of Hoosiers, but none fared better than Todd Walatka who went an undefeated 3.5/5.0 en route to a tie for fourth place in the Class C section.  Congrats, Todd!  Full results can be found at http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201707165932.0

Susan Polgar Foundation Girls' Invitational - July 22-27
Hosted at Webster University, this tournament boasted several of the nation's top female scholastic players.  Amongst them was Indiana's own Nika Arnold, who entered the event as one of the underdogs, but emerged with victories over several higher-rated players en route to a 3.5/6 score (T-18th) that earned her nearly 100 rating points.  The full crosstable can be found at http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201707279992-14942411.

National Girls Tournament of Champions, Barber Tournament of K-8 Champions, and the Denker Tournament of High School Champions - July 29-August 1
Earlier this year, Indiana's respective scholastic representatives to these prestigious national invitation tournaments were determined: Nika Arnold, for winning the Indiana Girls Championship in Fort Wayne; Nikhil Datar, for winning the K-8 Championship at the SCI State Finals in Indianapolis, and Daniel Rickert, for winning the K-12 Championship at the SCI State Finals.  These events are FIDE-rated and hosted concurrently with the first rounds of the US Open each year, with winners being awarded substantial scholarships.  This year, the organizers also had a prize for the best combined scores for each state from the three events.  Seeded 30th, the Indiana team managed to finish in 17th place overall and earn the 1st place U1800 prize, powered by strong individual performances by each player.  Playing in her fourth(!) NGIT, Nika Arnold had her best performance yet, upsetting two higher rated players on her way to a 4/6 score that left her in a tie for 6th place overall.  For her efforts, Nika's rating soared above 1700 for the first time, which is more than 300 points higher than it was 18 months ago.  In the Barber, Nikhil's only losses were to an expert and master, also finishing with 4/6 in a tie for 8th place.  Joining Nikhil in the Barber was South Carolina's champion and former Indiana resident, Ben Webb (2.5/6, T-30th).  Last but not least, Daniel Rickert's 2.5/6 performance was highlighted by his victory over New York's champion, rated 2245.  Finishing in a tie for 32nd place, Daniel was one of the top underdogs of the tournament, as no lower-rated players finished above him in the final standings.  A hearty congratulations is owed to our team of representatives, and best wishes to return next year!  The full standings for the tournaments can be found by clicking on the following: NGIT, Barber, Denker.  The state-by-state tallies can be viewed at http://www.denkerchess.com/wp-content/uploads/State-Team-Standings.pdf.

US Open Weekend Swiss - July 29-30
Held during the first weekend of the 9-day US Open, this event featured several masters and experts preparing for the main event.  Among them was Indiana's Drew Hollinberger, who tied for first place after ceding only half a point to his opponents over five rounds.  With his victory, Drew once again climbed his rating over 2100, representing a nearly 200 point gain in the past 15 months.  The full crosstable for the event can be found at http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201707301782.

US Open - July 29-August 6
The 118th U.S. Open was hosted in Norfolk, Virginia this year, with nearly 400 players competing for a qualification spot in the US Championships and prize money.  The top-rated and top-finishing player from Indiana was none other than Jim Dean (6.5/9, T-18th), who tied for the U2400 class prize.  Joining him in the winner's circle from Indiana were Nikhil Datar (5.5/9, T-3rd Class A) and Ben Foley (4.5/9, T-2nd Class C).  Congratulations to all of them for representing Indiana well.  The complete crosstable can be found at http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201708065052.0

Niles Library Tournament - August 5
The Niles Community Chess Club (Michigan) hosted another event at the Niles District Public Library with three rounds of G/45 d0.  Making the trek across state lines to finish with undefeated scores were Dan Shenk and Joe Riegsecker, both of Goshen.  Complete results can be found at http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201708056862

Toledo August Swiss - August 12
For those players in Northern and Eastern Indiana, consider making the trek to the Toledo Chess Club's monthly Swiss events.  Boasting strong competition, the events regularly attract more than 50 players.  In August's iteration, Penn High School student Aidan Kaczanowski could have entered the event's U1800 section but opted to try his luck in the Open.  Four rounds later, he had finished with an impressive 2.5/4 points (T-4th) against two Masters and two Class A players, boosting his rating to 1850.  For those keeping track at home, Aidan has now climbed more than 500 rating points over the past two years.  Also finishing with 2.5/4 points in the Open section was Indiana Master John Bidwell.  The full crosstable for all sections can be found at http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201708128002.0.

III. Tournament Calendar
12th Annual Indianapolis Open - August 25-27
The Continental Chess Association's Indianapolis Open returns to the Crowne Plaza Airport Hotel this year.  This 5-round event has a longer time control than most at 40/100, SD/30 d10, and a larger prize fund than any tournament in the state at a whopping $14,000.  There are sections for Open, U2000, U1600, and U1200, so almost everyone has the potential for a big check at the end.  Entry fees for the top three sections are $108 online at chessaction.com by August 23, with the U1200 section being $40 less. For more details, visit http://www.indianpolisopen.com.

Cafe Chess Fall Casual Tournament (South Bend) - August 26
The Chicory Cafe Chess Club (105 E. Jefferson Blvd. #103, South Bend, IN 46601) is hosting an unrated event with two sections (Open, Novice) with a time control of G/15.  Entry fees are a modest $5, with space limited to the first 30 participants, so RSVP is required at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdV1Zg5CJM69-q8hkOq_-0L0FZcwBmIVFN0vUh96Dl1rvbN4Q/viewform or by emailing michianachess@gmail.com.  Registration and check-in will be available from 9:30am-9:55am.

Niles Library Tournament (Niles, MI) - September 2
This rated event will be similar to previous versions, with 3/SS G/45 d0 and free entry to all!  Doors to the library open at 10:00am, with the first round beginning promptly at 10:30am.  Register in advance by emailing klubeck.1@nd.edu.

St. Joseph Grade School Chess Tournament (South Bend) - September 9
Hosted at the Ackles Center at 711 E. Colfax Ave. in South Bend, this event will feature rated sections open to both kids and adults.  The Open section will be 3/SS with a time control of G/55 d5.  The U1000 section will be 4/SS with a time control of G/40 d5.  Finally, the U500 section will be 5/SS with a time control of G/25 d5.  Trophies will be awarded to the top finishers in the lower sections, while the Open section winner and runner-up will split 60% of the Open section sign-up fees.  The tournament is limited to the first 50 entries, which can be viewed at https://www.google.com/url?q=https://docs.google.com/document/d/1I-3BMl_8rCYlBfqzZUjR71piZdK8jKja5xhoAgG1evo/edit?usp%3Dsharing&sa=D&ust=1503256193482000&usg=AFQjCNGbmjf4q8HDZ8G6NAsoM-RfEon6Yg, so sign up in advance (and no later than September 7th).  The doors will open at 8:30am for a first round starting time at 9:00am.  Entry fees are a modest $10 and can be paid onsite by cash or check after registering at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeO6JZEdnEgiPK8K4rUyQMMQ1Nw_Mf_H5SLvX8jPmxUiAZ72Q/viewform.

International School of Indiana Chess Tournament (Indianapolis) - September 9
For the second consecutive year, ISI (200 W. 49th Street) will kick off the scholastic chess season in Indiana with an event featuring four sections, including both rated and unrated.  All sections (K-3 rated, K-3 unrated, 4-6 rated, 7-12 rated) will be 5/SS with a time control of G/30 d5, with trophies awarded to at least the top five individual finishers and to the top teams.  Entry fees are $15 by September 1, $20 by September 8, or $25 onsite before 9:00am.  Rounds will begin promptly at 9:30am.  For more information or to register, visit http://chessstart.org/ISIChessChallenge.html.

Toledo September Swiss (Toledo, OH) - September 9
Hosted at the University of Toledo Health Science Campus (Mulford Library - Basement Cafe, 3000 Arlington Ave., Toledo, OH 43614), this recurring event has a time control of G/75 d5 for round 1, and G/85 d5 for rounds 2-4.  Onsite registration ($25) is available from 9:00am-10:00am, or you can register in advance for $20 by mail (see toledochess.org for the address or additional details).

Evansville Fall Open - September 16
This 4/SS, G/70 d10 event will be held at St. Mark's Lutheran Church, 2300 Washington Ave. in Evansville.  Based on 16 entries, prizes will be $120 for 1st place overall, with $60 class prizes to each of the top A, B, C, D/below groups.  Onsite registration will be open from 8:30am-9:15am, but credit cards and checks will not be accepted onsite.  To register, ask questions, or get additional information, contact Craig Hines at mrsci2740@hotmail.com.

Kentuckiana Chess Tournament (Jeffersonville) - September 23
Jeffersonville High School (2315 Allison Ln.) will host this individual scholastic tournament for anyone in 7th-12th grade.  The event will be 5/SS with a time control of G/45 d5.  Registration is $12 in advance to the address listed above or $17 onsite (8:30am-9:00am).  For additional information, view the registration form at https://docs.google.com/document/d/1VTk-uiPFDvmuiqwL4hhvMndD58VE1J6wEuNHOpDpxJg/edit.

Fall Festival Chess Tournament (Purdue University, West Lafayette) - October 7
Similar to other recent events in West Lafayette, this mixed adult/scholastic tournament will feature sections for K-3 unrated, K-3 rated, 4-8 rated, HS rated, and Open.  The 4/SS G/30 d5 tournament will have onsite registration available until 10:30am, with the first round beginning promptly at 11:00am.  Entry fees for scholastic players is $20, while the open section is $10; both can be submitted online at http://chessstart.org/FallFestival.html.

76th Annual Indiana State Chess Championship (Indianapolis) - October 20-22
As President of the Indiana State Chess Championship, I am pleased to invite you to the 76th running of our state championship.  With a $3000 guaranteed prize fund and sections for Open and Reserve (U1800) players, there are plenty of reasons to make the trek to the Crowne Plaza Indianapolis Airport (2501 S. High School Rd.) for a chance at being named the 2017 State Champion.  The top board in each section will be broadcast live at indianachess.org, and links will be provided to live pairings/standings.  Each section will be 5/SS using a time control of G/120 d5, unless you opt to play the 2-day schedule (Rd. 1 is G/60 d5).  Entry fees are $50 by 10/13 at indianachess.org, or $65 onsite, with ISCA membership required to play.  However, reentries and players 13 years and younger are $25 ($40 onsite for juniors).  

The Indiana State Blitz Championships will be held on Saturday night of the tournament, with a $500 guaranteed prize fund and $20 entry fee ($25 onsite).  Our annual membership meeting will be held on Sunday at 2:30pm.  For additional details about the tournaments, view the full TLA at http://www.uschess.org/tlas/upcoming.php?STATE=IN or send me an email at gerry@roberts.legal.

26th Annual Kings Island Open (Blue Ash, OH) - November 10-12
Just northeast of Cincinnati, this event is one of the Midwest's largest each year, with a prize fund of $30,000 and attendance approximating 350 players.  There are 7 sections (Open, U2100, U1900, U1700, U1500, U1250, U1000), each with at least five paid prizes, so there is an opportunity for everyone to emerge victorious.  The tournament boasts both a 3-day and 2-day schedule, with the former using a lengthy time control of 40/100 SD/30 d10 through the five rounds.  Entry fees are $118 by 11/8 or $140 onsite.  To register, or get additional information, visit chesstour.com.

USCF Rated Online Chess - Every Week
The USCF runs rated blitz and quick tournaments on the chess.com servers.  And best of all, it's free for USCF members to play.  Every Monday night at 6pm, verified members can play in a 5-round, G/10 Swiss system tournament for real rating points.  If that's too early for you, there's also a 7-round G/5 tournament at 11pm. The blitz continues on Wednesdays, where players can sign up for a 7-round 3/2 tournament beginning at 8pm.  For those preferring slightly longer time controls, you can catch the 15/10 tournament on Friday nights at 8pm.  To be eligible to play, just fill out the verification form located here

IV. Chess Clubs
South Bend Regional Chess Club - Thursdays at 7:00pm
Michiana's strongest chess club meets on Thursday nights from 7:00pm-10:00pm in the deli area of Meijer on Grape Road in Mishawaka.  There is an organized event every meeting, ranging from G/5 round robins to G/20 Swisses.  The standard deviation on attendance is high, with meetings ranging anywhere from 8 to 30 players, but with regular attendees including masters John Cole and Dennis Monokroussos, who can afford to miss out?

Chicory Cafe Chess Club (South Bend) - Mondays from 6:00-8:00pm
Come and play some casual games of chess at the Chicory Cafe at the corner of Jefferson and Michigan in downtown South Bend.  While you're there, be sure to enjoy the New Orleans-style food and fun atmosphere for both young and old.

BISCC Library Chapter (Bloomington) – alternating Sundays at 1:30pm
The Bloomington Indiana Scholastic Chess Club’s library chapter meets on alternating Sundays from 1:30pm-3:30pm in rooms 1B/1C of the Monroe County Public Library. Several of the area's top scholastic players are regular attendees, but each session includes a lesson for beginners as well as a weekly activity.  Your first meeting is free to attend, so stop by to see if it would be a good fit for you and your child.  Head coach John Illg has been generating some rave reviews lately, so be sure to check out what all the hype is about.  For more details about the club, visit BISCC's revamped website at http://www.biscc.org, which now includes an option for online registration.

Bloomington Chess Club – Tuesdays at 7:00pm
The Bloomington Chess Club meets every Tuesday from 7:00pm-10:00pm at Buffa Louie's.  Come play in a relaxed environment while enjoying great food.  Games are frequently played at rapid time controls (G/20 or G/15), blitz (G/5), as well as un-timed, so there's a little bit of something for everybody.

Other Clubs in the State
For a non-exhaustive list of other city or regional clubs in the state, please visit http://www.indianachess.org/content.aspx?page_id=22&club_id=169378&module_id=93648.  Please note that the information listed there may not be up-to-date, so you should always contact a representative of the club in advance.  If you have trouble locating contact information, send me an email and I will do my utmost to connect you with the right person.
~

Schools may officially be out of session in most parts of the state, but there are still plenty of opportunities to "school" your opponents in tournament chess over the next few months.Starting with the Northern Indiana Open in Elkhart on June 24, there are no less than four open events across the state ahead of August's popular Indianapolis Open.For those longing to play in the Indianapolis Open, but shying away from the large entry fee, there is still plenty of time to earn points in the Indiana State Chess Association's "Road to the Indianapolis Open" by playing in the Northern Indiana Open and Class Championships.Full details and standings for the promotion are below.

In this edition, learn about a scholastic player whose perseverance led him to tournament victory after suffering a crushing first round defeat, an adult who entered one of the state's strongest competitions as the third-lowest seed but nonetheless found himself in the winner's circle, and the names of three young Hoosiers who finished in the top 10 of their sections at the largest chess tournament in history.
I. Tournament Recaps
Spring Fling - April 29
Across three sections (K-3, 4-8, Open), 63 players descended upon the Purdue University Stewart Center in West Lafayette for a four-round rated event.  In the K-3 section, young Jeffrey Chen entered the event as the highest rated player by a significant margin, and went duly undefeated.  He was joined atop the crosstable by another perfect score -- Jacob Brashear, who is still provisionally rated but obviously no newcomer to the game.  In the 4-8 division, Yash Bhargava began the day squarely in the middle of the pack, such that he was pitted against the top seed in the first round.  However, for reasons unknown to the author, Yash won the game by forfeit.  Showing that the win was no fluke, he then went to to defeat three more higher rated players en route to a perfect 4-0 score.  While his forfeit win may not have counted for rating purposes, he still managed to gain a staggering 241 points in just three games.  Finally, in the Open section, the legendary Bernard Parham overcame the top seeded Archit Mokashi in the penultimate round to set up an encounter against the only other undefeated player of the day - Logan Cross.  After that game ended in a draw, the two shared first place honors half a point ahead of the field. To see the full crosstable, visit http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201704292532.0


Ben Harris Spring Chess Open - May 6
Continuing its annual growth trajectory, this year's Ben Harris Spring Chess Open in Bloomington attracted a record 44 players in three section (U3, U6, Open).  In the U3 Section, the top two seeds - Gabriel Cohen and Jeffrey Chen - won each of their first three games of the five round event, setting up a powerful fourth round encounter.  After a tense encounter, Gabriel emerged victorious and then held serve against upstart Sara Rieti on board 1 in the final round to take the top trophy.  For those keeping score at home, Gabriel has now gained more than 200 rating points in the first half of the year.  In the U6 section, a rather unusual situation emerged as top-seeded Gael Medina was felled in the first round against the capable mind of An Kieu.  However, he maintained his fighting spirit and clawed his way back to the top board by the final round.  There, he faced off against University Elementary teammate Yuxuan "Richard" Xun and won a game that took them both to the brink of the time control.  As a result, Gael, Richard, An, and Christopher Chow were tied with identical 3-1 scores.  On tiebreaks, Gael emerged victorious by the thinnest of margins. To all the coaches out there in need of inspirational tales to tell students after a tough loss, you may want to include Gael's persistence in your stump speeches.  Finally, in the Open section, top-rated Hall Bjornstad emerged unscathed after four rounds of play, but not without encountering stiff resistance from each of his opponents.  The real story of the day, however, was the impressive play of IU student Mikel Frausto.  Six years removed from his most recent tournament, Mikel entered the event rated a meager 1032.  After impressive wins over Ben Foley (1545), John Illg (1511), and Mithran Periassamy (1402), however, he jumped to an impressive post-tournament rating of 1299.  To see the full crosstable for the event, visit http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201705066032.0


IM John Donaldson's Simultaneous Exhibition - May 14
The Bloomington Indiana Scholastic Chess Club invited IM John Donaldson to give a lecture at the Monroe County Public Library about his experiences coaching the gold medalist US chess olympiad team.  After the lecture, he took on 23 of Bloomington's strongest adult and scholastic players in a simultaneous exhibition.  Despite tough opposition, he emerged victorious in every game, with scholastic coach Jimmy Brown being the last survivor.  The entire event can be viewed in a three-minute time-lapse video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QuH36kUmV_8.


ISCA Memorial Open - May 20
Held at the Church of the Nativity in Indianapolis, participation at this event exceeded expectations again this year, with 56 players playing across two sections (Open, U1800).  Due to the number of entries, pairings were accelerated in both sections, creating tough match-ups for the top seeds in every round.  The top board in each section was streamed live on YouTube, allowing you to relive the games at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8NSzFNB9fk. In the U1800 section, upsets were in fashion as nobody rated 1600+ finished in the top 3 places.  While the strong performances of scholastic players Akash Bhowmik and Grant Mu surprised few, they were joined atop the leaderboard by a rather unexpected player who also had 3.5/4 points - Greg Marshall.  Entering the event as the 3rd-lowest seed with a pre-tournament rating of 942, he defied the rating expectancy tables on his way to a +314 performance!  There were no perfect scores in the Open section, either, as the only players with two victories after the accelerated pairings - Garrett Smith and Michael Wiseman - reached a quick draw in the penultimate round.  They were among four players entering the final round with 2.5 points, but of these, only Garrett was able to convert the full point.  For his efforts, he not only won the bulk of the prize money, but also reentered the ranks of National Master, jumping his rating from 2181 to 2201.  The event was part of ISCA's "Road to the Indianapolis Open" promotion, which will award free entries to the popular CCA event in August to the top cumulative scorers in four rating classes from its events.  Current leaders are Gerry Roberts (Master/Expert, 7 points), Drew Hollinberger (Class A, 5.5 points), Ken Guan (Class B, 4.0 points), and Nathan Johnston (Class C/below, 5.5 points).  Complete standings are live at indianachess.org, or can be accessed directly at http://indianachess.org/docs.ashx?id=318992.  The full crosstable for this event can be found at http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201705202012.0.

II. Tournament Calendar
Northern Indiana Open - June 24
Early registration has officially opened for the second annual Northern Indiana Open.  Hosted at the Hilton Garden Inn, conveniently located just off of the I-80/I-90 Toll Road, this event features a total prize fund of $1000 (b/30).  The event is also part of ISCA's "Road to the Indy Open" promotion that will award four free entries to the big-money Indianapolis Open event in late August (see below) to the top class finishers across the Southern Indiana Open, Memorial Open, Northern Indiana Open, and Class Championships (current standings can be found at http://indianachess.org/docs.ashx?id=318992). The tournament format will mimic the Southern Indiana Open, with 4 rounds of G/60 d10.  Entry fees are $40 by 6/18 at indianachess.org or $55 cash/credit onsite (reg. 8:15am-9:00am).  Advanced entries have started trickling in, and can be viewed at http://indianachess.org/content.aspx?page_id=262&club_id=169378&item_id=670335. For more details or questions, contact me at gerry_roberts@ymail.com

ISCA Class Championships - July 22
Returning to the Indianapolis Airport Crowne Plaza, the ISCA Class Championships is changing formats this year to a one-day event with a time control of G/75 d5 for all sections.  Based on your rating (you can "play up" one class, if desired), you can compete in one of the following: Master/Expert, A, B, C, or D/below.  This will be the fourth and final leg of ISCA's "Road to the Indianapolis Open," with each point earned at the event counting double towards the overall standings.  Entry fees are $50 if received by 7/15, or $65 cash/credit onsite.  Prizes are $1800 b/50, with the top two finishers in each section taking home the big bucks. For more details or questions, contact me at gerry_roberts@ymail.com

St. Joseph Grade School Chess Tournament - July 29
The Ackles Center at 711 E. Colfax Ave. in South Bend will host a rated tournament open to both kids and adults.  Beginning at 9am, there will be sections for U500 (K-3 only), U1000, and Open, with escalating time controls based on rating (5/SS G/25, 4/SS G/40, 3/SS G/55, respectively).  The two lower sections will award trophies to 1st and 2nd place, while the Open section will award a designated share of the entry fees to the top two players.   Registration is limited to 50 players, and must be completed by July 27th at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScHqJGa0rzL4BXRhnKNC9t_UVzKdcR_VNP2ZbqX8nn-mfwioQ/viewform. If you have any questions, contact Todd Walatka at todd.walatka.1@nd.edu.

Summer Stretch - July 29
Hosted at the Purdue University Stewart Center, this event's format should be familiar to anyone that has played chess in West Lafayette the past couple of years.  There will be four sections (K-3 unrated, K-3 rated, 4-8 rated, Open rated), each of which will play four rounds of G/30 d5.  Scholastic registration is $20, while adults are a meager $10.  These events regularly attract upward of 60 players, including several strong class players, so expect a well-contested event regardless of rating.  Onsite registration is open until 10:30am, or you can register in advance at http://chessstart.org/SummerStretch.html

12th Annual Indianapolis Open - August 25-27
The Continental Chess Association's Indianapolis Open returns to the Crowne Plaza Airport Hotel this year.  This 5-round event has a longer time control than most at 40/100, SD/30 d10, and a larger prize fund than any tournament in the state at a whopping $14,000.  There are sections for Open, U2000, U1600, and U1200, so almost everyone has the potential for a big check at the end.  Entry fees for the top three sections are $108 online at chessaction.com by August 23, with the U1200 section being $40 less.  If that sounds too expensive for you, remember that ISCA is awarding four free entry fees to this event for the top finishers at its Southern Indiana Open, Memorial Open, Northern Indiana Open, and Class Championship tournaments through its "Road to the Indianapolis Open" promotion.  For more details, visit http://www.indianpolisopen.com (please note that the site has not yet been updated from the 2016 version, but should be soon).

USCF Rated Online Chess - Every Week
The USCF runs rated blitz and quick tournaments on the chess.com servers.  And best of all, it's free for USCF members to play.  Every Monday night at 6pm, verified members can play in a 5-round, G/10 Swiss system tournament for real rating points.  If that's too early for you, there's also a 7-round G/5 tournament at 11pm. The blitz continues on Wednesdays, where players can sign up for a 7-round 3/2 tournament beginning at 8pm.  For those preferring slightly longer time controls, you can catch the 15/10 tournament on Friday nights at 8pm.  To be eligible to play, just fill out the verification form located here

III. Chess Clubs
South Bend Regional Chess Club - Thursdays at 7:00pm
Michiana's strongest chess club meets on Thursday nights from 7:00pm-10:00pm in the deli area of Meijer on Grape Road in Mishawaka.  There is an organized event every meeting, ranging from G/5 round robins to G/20 Swisses.  The standard deviation on attendance is high, with meetings ranging anywhere from 8 to 30 players, but with regular attendees including masters John Cole and Dennis Monokroussos, who can afford to miss out?

Chicory Cafe Chess Club (South Bend) - Mondays from 6:00-8:00pm
Come and play some casual games of chess at the Chicory Cafe at the corner of Jefferson and Michigan in downtown South Bend.  While you're there, be sure to enjoy the New Orleans-style food and fun atmosphere for both young and old.

BISCC Library Chapter (Bloomington) – alternating Sundays at 1:30pm
The next meeting of the Bloomington Indiana Scholastic Chess Club’s library chapter will be Sunday, June 11 from 1:30pm-3:30pm in rooms 1B/1C of the Monroe County Public Library. Several of the area's top scholastic players are regular attendees, but each session includes a lesson for beginners as well as a weekly activity.  Your first meeting is free to attend, so stop by to see if it would be a good fit for you and your child.  Head coach John Illg has been generating some rave reviews lately, so be sure to check out what all the hype is about.  For more details about the club, visit BISCC's revamped website at http://www.biscc.org, which now includes an option for online registration.

Bloomington Chess Club – Tuesdays at 7:00pm
The Bloomington Chess Club meets every Tuesday from 7:00pm-10:00pm at Buffa Louie's.  Come play in a relaxed environment while enjoying great food.  Games are frequently played at rapid time controls (G/20 or G/15), blitz (G/5), as well as un-timed, so there's a little bit of something for everybody.

Other Clubs in the State
For a non-exhaustive list of other city or regional clubs in the state, please visit http://www.indianachess.org/content.aspx?page_id=22&club_id=169378&module_id=93648.  Please note that the information listed there may not be up-to-date, so you should always contact a representative of the club in advance.  If you have trouble locating contact information, send me an email and I will do my utmost to connect you with the right person.

IV. Hoosiers Win Abroad
14th Annual Great Lakes Open - Battle Creek, MI (May 5-7)
A handful of Hoosiers trekked across our northern border to play in this popular event, but none was more successful than the aptly-named Connor Rybka.  He went undefeated in the event's Novice (U800) section, capping an amazing one year stretch of chess in which he gained nearly 700 rating points.

SUPERNATIONALS VI - Nashville, TN (May 12-14)
Once every four years, the Elementary Nationals, Junior High Nationals, and High School Nations are combined at the same venue - the Opryland Resort in Nashville, Tennessee - to form SuperNationals.  This year's event attracted a world record 5575 players for a rated tournament across 25 sections.  Indiana representatives earning rating points were:

NAME (SECTION, POINTS, PLACE, RATING INCREASE)
Yashom Kapoor (K12 U1600, 5.5/7, T-12th, +101)
Gavin Duffy (K12 U1600, T-280th, +6)
Thaddeus Cole (K12 U1200, 5/7, T-26th, +40)
Elizabeth Schmidt (K12 U1200, 1.5/7, T-339th, +6)
Prince Wilson (K12 Unrated, 4.5/7, T-6th, +166)
Kevin Wang (K9 Champ, 4.5/7, T-16th, +61)
Brendan Duffy (K9 U1250, 4/7, T-58th, +67)
Max Egan (K8 Champ, 5.5/7, T-9th, +60)
Nikhil Datar (K8 Champ, 5/7, T-16th, +59)
Paul Campbell (K8 U1000, 5.5/7, T-9th, +112)
Lilia Wolf (K8 U750 , 3.5/7, T-169th, +82)
Carson Tucker (K6 U1400, 4.5/7, T-26th, +143)
Brayden Warren (K6 U1000, 3/7, T-157th, +25)
Sam Liu (K5 U900, 5/7, T-42nd, +59)
Jacob Phillips (K5 U900, 3/7, T-289th, +22)
Edward Chen (K3 Champ, 4/7, T-61st, +135)
John Bentrup (K3 Champ, 4/7, T-61st, +90)
Aditya Poduval (K3 Champ, 3.5/7, T-96th, +158)
Jacob Brashear (K3 U700, 5/7, T-27th, +73)
Emma Kincaid (K3 U700, 5/7, T-27th, +29)
Jacob Stump (K3 U700, 4/7, T-86th, +167)
Sri Raguraman (K3 U700, 3.5/7, T-156th, +16)
Bright Zang (K1 Champ, 5/7, T-15th, +77)
Benjamin Radefeld (K1 Champ, 4/7, T-50th, +32)
Renner Holland (K1 Champ, 2/7, T-156th, +2)
Mazie Hoffman (K1 U500, 4/7, T-52nd, +195)

Congratulations to all of the competitors!  Full results can be found at http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201705149762.0

26th Chicago Open - Wheeling, IL (May 26-28)
With an unconditionally-guaranteed $100,000 prize fund, the Continental Chess Association's Chicago Open is a favorite event of many Midwestern players each year.  This year, 29 players from Indiana ventured to the event, but none was more successful than Terre Haute's Jason Wycoff.  Despite a loss in round 3 of the U1900 section, Jason finished in a tie for first place with 6/7 points, earning himself a cool $2020 in prizes.  The prize money is particularly significant, as US Chess awards rating floors whenever you win more than $2000 in a class section.  Thus, even though Jason's post-tournament rating of 1938 suggests that he won't be using rating floors any time soon, he is now ensured a lifetime rating above 1900.  To see the full crosstable for the event, go to http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201705295692.0.





ISCA and THACC Taking Chess to Those in Prison
By Roger Norris

Nov 26, 2016. Hi all, a few months ago, ISCA and THACC (Terre Haute Adult Chess Club) received a request from the Federal Prison in Terre Haute to help build a chess club and tournament program in the Maximum security wing of the prison.  The requestor was Ms. Amy Adams, who leads the recreation program at the prison and she also is heavily involved in education programs for the prisoners.  She is all about providing education and programs that allow for rehabilitation.

ISCA's membership director Roger Norris lives in Terre Haute and is a member of THACC.  He worked with THACC's leader Steve Steppe (former officer in ISCA) and met with Amy about how to structure tournaments.  In September, background checks were completed on Steve and Roger and they entered the facility to meet with those interested in playing and learning more about chess.  To enter the prison, we are allowed to take a single key to our vehicle and our drivers license as ID and the clothes on our back.  The key and license are left at the main security check.  We go through a security device and then through a series of gates to go the recreation area.  It is deep behind the prison walls.  We go through approximately 8 locked gates to get to the rec area.  We pass through 'the yard' and the outdoor rec fields (soccer, football, handball) to get to the rec area.

The rec area consists of a class room, a large open room with ping pong, pool and chess/checker tables, a basketball court, an art room (the art here is amazingly good, some incredible talent), a music room, a ceramics room and a leather working room.  The initial meeting was in the ceramics room.  In attendance were Steve, Roger, Amy and a guard along with 33 inmates.  This is a maximum security prison, so the inmates have committed some rough crimes.  Steve presented the rules by which we would run a round robin tournament within the housing wings in the prison.  Each housing unit would have an inmate with some chess experience as a tutor and then players with various experience levels who would compete for the chance to play in the final four championship tournament in November with Steve and Roger directing.  The basics were presented and then questions were called for...many questions were answered and Steve and Roger knew from the questions, there was some real talent in the room...the questions were beyond the basics and how do we keep the tournament fair.  Steve and Roger played a demo quick game to show folks how the games would work with a clock governing time.

Fairness is important to the inmates.  There is racial diversity in the prison.  We had Blacks, Hispanics, Whites, and Native Americans in the group.  Due to gang memberships and just long personal histories, some of the racial groups truly hate each other.  So, keeping the tournament rules as fair as possible is critical.

In November, Steve and Roger returned to find that the structure set up by Steve had not been exactly executed as planned to get to four wing champs playing each other.  We had two tournaments with 10 tutors and 12 players (players was what Amy suggested we call the inmates) who wanted to play or had qualified to play in the tournament instead of four players.  Steve created a two Swiss tournaments by hand, one for the tutors and one for the players.  Roger acted as floor TD.  Steve ran pairings.  Each section had a clear, undefeated winner.  We had to spend some time explaining how the Swiss system worked.  We had a group of men who were extremely appreciative of folks who played and lived "on the street" spending time with them.

We observed folks of racial groups who have been trained to hate each other matching wits in a strategy game, shaking hands and congratulating each other on games well played.  One of the inmates had created a beautiful ceramic chess set that was just stunning for the tournament.  We had questions about USCF ratings for those in prison and for good resources that they can use within the rules of the prison so they can improve.  The tournament day was a very good day.  We had other inmates sitting in the main rec room observing, so it looks like the number of players may grow.  One of the tutors had taken Steve's basic table for a 4-5 round, round robin tournament and expanded it to accommodate the 24 players from his wing who wished to play.  He did this by hand, as internet access and pairing software are not available.  Steve checked it and said he had done it correctly with color balance.  Pretty amazing to do that by hand...very bright man.  In the event that we did not show up, he had a plan in place to run the two tournaments (tutors and players) as well.

On December 10th, the THACC will go into the rec area and play games with the tutors and players.  We have 8 people through security checks ready to go in.  We are working on the structure of play, but the plan at present is to play quick chess games and let the tutors and players try to beat the folks from the street.  When a game is complete, the next tutor or player will rotate in and try to beat the guys from the street.


 

Indiana State Championships - October 21-23, 2016

By Gerry Roberts, President

November 3, 2016.
Boasting a field of 78 players and a guaranteed prize fund of $3000, the 75th Indiana State Championships were held at the luxurious Wyndham hotel in Indianapolis late last month.  Among the participants were the reigning state champion (Andy Porter), several former winners (Lester Van Meter, Jim Mills, John Cole, Bernard Parham, Garrett Smith, and Mike Herron), and a prodigy fresh off his first draw against a Grandmaster (Christopher Yuo-Shuo Shen).  Throughout the event, boards 1 and 2 of the Open section were streamed live via YouTube, so some memorable moments captured on film are included below. 

There were a smattering of upset draws and wins in the first couple rounds, but none which resonated quite as loudly as what would come in round 3.  Despite some early shenanigans by Drew Hollinberger, the tenor of the Saturday night games turned serious in a hurry.  On board 2, an offbeat Scandinavian left Garrett Smith temporarily rattled, but he managed to maintain the balance en route to a picturesque stalemate almost exactly three hours later.  Meanwhile, on board 1, top-seeded John Cole had masterly manuevered his rook into the bowels of Mike Herron's position in an endgame, only to be turned on the defensive in time pressure a mere five moves later.  After an ensuing blunder, Cole had to extend his hand in resignation to the new tournament co-leader (the other being Jay Carr).

After a tense draw between Herron and Carr in round 4, as many as 9 players had a chance to win the title going into the final round if neither Herron nor Carr won their games.  More than four hours into the round, the result was every bit as uncertain.  Carr had succumbed to Cole, but Herron was battling Lester Van Meter in mutual time pressure on the top board in the only game remaining.  A loss by Mike would secure a four-way tie atop the leaderboard, but an ill-advised ...Be6 by Van Meter was quickly punished with the loss of a piece, and the result was clear: Mike Herron would be the 2016 Indiana State Chess Champion!  

In the Reserve Section, Joseph Zandstra - a student of Bernard Parham - had a perfect 5-0 tournament, upsetting three higher-rated players in the process.  He was not the only undefeated player, however, as Bloomington's Daniel Rickert managed to go 4.5-0.5 en route to a clear second place finish.  Ratings-wise, the biggest beneficiary of the section was Braydon Povinelli (3-2, +137 points), who has now gained 347 points in the past three months.

Before the final round of the tournament, the annual membership meeting of ISCA was held.  At the meeting, vice president and tournament director Mat Leach suggested moving the state championships to the spring to avoid potential scheduling conflicts with football games and other autumn activities.  The ensuing vote decided to shelve the conversation until the next edition of the state championships.  Two-term president Craig Hines announced that he would not be seeking a third term despite his tremendous success.  Gerry Roberts was nominated to be the new president, with Deadwood Chess Club founder Bob Banta tapped to fill the vacant director-at-large position.

To see the complete crosstable for the event, go to http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?201610238222.0
 
 
Mike Herron (2116) vs. John Cole (2406)
Indiana State Championship