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We had the company of the genial Wayne Berry for skittles games on the side.  Leach edged out Roger Blaine in a backgammon match after the chess was over.

  The weather has not been bad lately, so we'd like to encourage more players to come to the club on Thursday!  We can have a "wing-ding" of a tournament!  How about it?


2. Mat Leach                       4

3. Chris Hart                        3

4. Jeff Johnson                    2

5. Roger Blaine                    1

6. Mike Timmons               0.5

----> Come for chess fun at S.B.C.C., Thursday evenings 7-10 in the coffee-break area of the Meijer store, 5020 Grape Rd., Mishawaka.  Enjoy the ambience of the Produce department!   Usually we play some skittles and then start a free tourney about 7:40 p.m.

---->  Reports has it that St. Joe Grade School kids will descend on the Chicory Café this Monday, Jan. 29... and some of these young players are pretty good! 

  More chess fun Mondays, 6-9 p.m. at the Chicory Café, Michigan at Jefferson, downtown South Bend... featuring New Orleans-style food!   It's all informal games, mostly without clocks, and quite a variety of interesting people show up.  Sometimes a little backgammon on the side...

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1.  MAT LEACH                4

2-3.  Les Kistler               3

2-3.  Jason Bennetch     3

4.  Jeff Johnson               2.5

5-7.  Mike Timmons       2

5-7.  Jason Shi                 2

5-7.  Chris Hart               2

8.  Ron Plamowski          1.5

9-13.  Jason Reinoehl     1

9-13.  Roger Blaine         1

9-13.  Jeff Pinson            1*

9-13.  Chris Sayre            1*

9-13.  Kevin Shi                1

  *had to leave early.

---->  Chess fun at S.B.C.C., Thursday evenings 7-10 in the coffee-break area of the Meijer store, 5020 Grape Rd., Mishawaka.  Enjoy the ambience of the Produce department!   Usually we start a tourney about 7:40 p.m.


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New to this edition of this newsletter is a section for Hoosiers that won or performed well at out-of-state events, as well as your first glimpse at details for the ISCA Class Championships and Indianapolis Open this summer.

I. Tournament Recaps

31st Annual Scholastic and 6th Annual Adult Elkhart County Championships - March 11

Held concurrently at Elkhart Central High School, the annual Elkhart County Scholastic and Adult Championships collectively attracted 65 players this year.  The unrated scholastic section was the biggest draw, with 36 players competing for top prizes over six rounds.  Madison Elementary's Subbu Muthiah emerged as the clear winner of the section with a perfect 6-0 score, a full point ahead of his nearest competitors - Aiden Gill and Anton Alstrom.  Complete results for the section can be found at In the championship section, Lincoln Elementary's Max Vinkmeier and Concord High School's Hunter Gould finished with twin 3-1 scores to finish atop the leaderboard.  The USCF crosstable for this section can be found at In the adult section, Mat Leach finished a full point ahead of the pack with a perfect 4-0 score, but the story of the day was the impressive play of Stefani Vinkemeier.  Entering the tournament rated a mere 1056, she found herself paired with 3rd-seeded Les Kistler (1930) in round 1, and emerged victorious.  In round 2, she was paired with the talented Nika Arnold (1429) from Fort Wayne, and likewise upset her higher-rated opponent.  It wasn't until a long endgame against Mat Leach in round 3 that the Cinderella story for the event finally ended.  Nonetheless, she earned 150 rating points in the process!  The crosstable for this section can be found at

SCI Indiana Girls Championships - March 18
Hosted for the last several years in Indianapolis, the SCI Girls Championships hadn't attracted more than a dozen players in nearly a decade. However, with a change of format and move to Fort Wayne this year, the event more than doubled in size with 28 competitors.  In the unrated novice section, Shruthi Muthiah, Jessica Polovina and McKenna Tuggle each finished with 4-1 scores after they took turns beating each other rock-paper-scissors style.  In the rated primary section, top-seeded Julie Walatka finished with a perfect 5-0 score ahead of several older players, while last-seeded Rachel Greenlee had an impressive 4-1 performance to finish in the runner-up position. A similar story emerged in the championship section, where top-seeded Nika Arnold finished with a perfect 4-0 score to take her third title in the last four years.  She will represent Indiana in the National Girls Invitational and Polgar Invitational tournaments.  The standings for each section and links to the USCF crosstables can be found at

March Madness - March 18
Consistent with other events held in West Lafayette over the past couple years, a very healthy total of 61 players attended this event at Purdue.  In the K-3 Section, top-rated Yewei Chen seemed to be on the way to a tournament victory until he faced off against a surging Benjamin Radefeld.  Despite being rated more than 300 points lower, Radefeld took the game and the first place trophy, earning nearly 200 rating points in the process.  In the 4-8 Section, both of the top two seeds, Naitik Rambhia and Sunary Konnur, had perfect 4-0 scores to win the event.  Finally, in the Open Section, a bi-modal rating distribution (six players between 1584-2000, ten players 1204 and below) delayed most of the serious fights until the third round.  In the end, it was Bernard Parham II finishing with a perfect 4-0 score ahead of new player Joshua Kyu-Ho Lee (3.5-0.5) and Bernard's veteran father (3-1).  The full USCF crosstable can be found at

SCI Team Championships - March 24
A record-setting 700 scholastic players attended the SCI Team State Championships at Morton High School in Hammond.  In the 3rd/Under section, top-rated Smokey Row had a third-round draw against Canterbury that left both teams chasing Lincoln Elementary down the stretch.  Going into the final round, however, both teams had resumed their spots atop the leaderboard and just needed to win and hope for good tiebreaks.  Smokey Row held up their end of the bargain, sweeping Martinsville South on board 1, but Canterbury stumbled to a draw against 2nd-seeded College Wood.  Smokey Row was led to their championship by Edward Chen, who went undefeated on board 1.  Other individual perfect scores for the day were Carter Zieren (board 3, Mt. Vernon), Araceli Martinez (board 3, Renaissance Academy B), Aditya Poduval (board 3, Smokey Row), William Yi (board 1, University Elementary), and Jaron Courtois (board 4, Madison Elementary).

In the 6th/Under section, top-rated University Elementary avenged their 2nd place finish from 2016 by going undefeated for their first-ever championship.  They were led on board 1 by the section's top-rated player, Bingrui Wang (4.5-0.5), who has now gone 14 straight games at team state championships without a loss.  Perfect 5-0 scores for the day belonged to Yuxuan "Richard" Xun (board 4, University Elementary), Yashom Kapoor (board 1, Eads Elementary), Therese Walatka (board 1, St. Joseph), Advik Lalam (board 3, Eads Elementary), Makaio Surendran (board 3, Canterbury Elementary), Jeffrey Chen (board 4, Dixie Bee), Luke Buksa (board 3, St. Thomas More), and Shruthia Muthiah (board 4, Madison Elementary).

In the 8th/Under section, top-rated West Lafayette Junior High ceded draws to both Creekside Middle School and Canterbury, making way for those teams to finish atop the leaderboard with 4.5-0.5 scores. Owing to the strength of their tiebreaks, however, Creekside Middle School was named the state champion.  They were led by a perfect score on board 1 by the section's top-rated player, Bill Qian.  Other perfect scores belonged to Zach Tempel (board 2, Canterbury), Daniel Elizalde (board 2, Goshen), Jonah Reichenbach (board 3, Edgewood), and Celeste Recio (board 4, Gavit Middle School C).

In the 12th/Under section, top-rated Canterbury steamrolled the competition with a perfect 5-0 match score, losing only 1 of their 20 games.  Boards 3 and 4 for the team, Sam Witwer and Nika Arnold, respectively, both went 5-0 on the day.  The only other perfect individual performances belonged to Samuel Campbell (board 1, Mt. Vernon) and Gideon Joseph (board 3, Crown Point High School).  Congratulations to all the competitors for a job well done.  The full USCF crosstable for all secitons can be found at

Wabash Quads - April 2
Fourteen class players from across the state attended the latest iteration of the Wabash Quads.  In the upper section (with 6 players), a three-way tie emerged between Dennis Geisleman, John Roush, and Teddy Tsai at 2-1 each.  Without any major upsets, no player gained or lost more than 23 rating points.  In the middle quad, David Stader defeated two higher-rated players to win his section at 2.5-0.5 and gain 75 rating points.  In the lower quad, top-rated Nathan Runda ceded a draw to Jerry Gu, but otherwise had a perfect day to win the section.  He had the biggest rating swing of the section, ending with +22.  The full crosstable can be found at

Tolson Center Chess Tournament - April 22
The Tolson Center in Elkhart held its first unrated scholastic chess tournament this weekend, with half a dozen of the Center's best facing off against a trio of Goshen players.  Quinn Sheiner Landes went a perfect 4-0 on the day to take the top prize, finishing a full 1.5 points ahead of his nearest rivals - Kyan Miller and Mark Hernandez.  The top finisher from the Tolson Center on tiebreaks was Alvernon Mitchell (2-2), who was awarded a one-year US Chess membership for his performance. Thanks to all of the participants and everyone at the Tolson Center for a very smooth event!

II. Tournament Calendar
Spring Fling - April 29
Hosted at the Purdue University Stewart Center in West Lafayette, this event has sections for players of all ages (K-3 Unrated, K-3 Rated, 4-8 Rated, HS Rated, and Open Rated).  Each section will play 4/SS, G/30.  Registration costs $20 for scholastic players and $10 for adults, and can be completed at or onsite before 10:30am.

Ben Harris Spring Chess Open - May 6
The Ben Harris Spring Chess returns to St. Marks United Methodist Church in Bloomington this year with sections for rated players of all ages.  The scholastic sections (1st/Under, 3rd/Under, 6th/Under) will each be 5/SS, G/30, while the Open section will be 4/SS, G/40.  Individual trophies will be awarded to the top 5 finishers in the 1st/Under and 3rd/Under sections, while the popular 6th/Under section will award 10 trophies.  Entry fees for scholastic players are $30 onsite before 8:30am.  The Open section is free, but donations are welcome.  Complete details can be found at, with entry forms and advanced entries at  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at

14th Annual Great Lakes Open - May 5-7
For those in Northern Indiana unable or unwilling to make the trek to Bloomington for the Ben Harris Spring Chess Open, the 14th Annual Great Lakes Open is a mere 1.5 hours across the Michigan border in Battle Creek.  There are four sections (OPEN, U1800, U1400, U800).  The U800 section is 4/SS, G/25 d5 on Saturday, May 6, but the other sections have 2- and 3-day options played at a leisurely time control of 40/2, SD/30 for five rounds.  Entry fees are free for IM's/GM's, $83 for the mere mortals entering the Open section, $63 for U1800 players, $46 for U1400 players, and $12 for U800 players.  Substantial cash prizes will be awarded in the top 3 sections, with trophies given in the U800 section.  To register online, visit  To find additional information, see the official TLA at

Michiana Spring Championship - May 6
Hosted at the First Presbyterian Church at 401 Lincolnway East in Mishawaka, this inaugural unrated event is open to all children grades K-8.  Entry fees are a modest $5 per child, with trophies awarded to at least the top three individual finishers.  Entries must be submitted by May 3 using the form at  With a time control of G/25, the 5-round event should conclude by 3:30pm.  

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.  In 2013, more than 5300 players showed up to make it the largest rated chess tournament in history!  The event is always impeccably organized, and has side events and activities (bughouse, lectures, tournaments, simuls, book signings, etc.) for everyone.  Words cannot describe the awesome feeling of walking into a ballroom of 1000+ scholastic chess players and being able to hear a pin drop above the sound of their collective concentration.  Even better still is the camaraderie between the players, who will spontaneously set up their chessboards on any table, surface, or floor throughout the luxurious resort to play strangers in a game of skittles or bughouse.  I can give no higher endorsement to a chess tournament, and would encourage each and every scholastic chess family that can travel to Nashville to do so.

The event itself is divided into 25(!) sections, divided by age group and strength, so there are sections in which every child can be competitive with hopes of taking hope a larger-than-life trophy.  All sections will play 7 rounds over three days, with a time control of G/90 in the Elementary sections, and G/120 everywhere else.  There are between 10 and 35 individual trophies per section, and between 10-30 team trophies per section, so recruiting your friends is highly encouraged.

Entry fees are an extremely modest (for this type of event) $50 before April 24, $70 by May 5, $85 after May 5, or $90 onsite.  If you choose to stay onsite, US Chess has negotiated a favorable $161/night rate if you book through April 10.  There are also a number of other nearby hotels listed on the official tournament page:  Should you have any questions, I am not affiliated in any way with SuperNationals, but I'd be delighted to answer them and tell you more about the SuperNationals experience.

ISCA Memorial - May 20
Returning for the second consecutive year to the Church of the Nativity in Indianapolis, the 2017 ISCA Memorial will be 4/SS, G/60 in two sections (Open, U1800).  Due to outstanding participation at last year's event, prizes this year have been increased from $1150 to $1400 b/50.  In addition to top overall and top class prizes in both sections, the top senior (60+) and scholastic player in each section will win a special prize of $50.  Entry fees are $40 by May 14 via mail or, or $60 cash/credit onsite (register before 9am).  Advanced entries can be found at If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at or the chief tournament director, Roger Norris, at

26th Chicago Open - 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.  Hosted at the Westin Chicago North Shore Hotel in Wheeling, Illinois over Memorial Day weekend, this event has a section and schedule for everyone.  The lower seven sections (U2300, U2100, U1900, U1700, U1500, U1300, U1000) will have seven rounds of 40/2 SD/30, while the Open section will have nine rounds of the same time control over five days to ensure that IM/GM norms are possible.  Players in the lower seven sections can opt to play their rounds over four days, three days, or two days, but will have shorter rounds to start and will merge with other sections in later rounds.  Entry fees are $207 online at by March 20, $227 online by May 24, or $250 onsite (must register 2 hours in advance).  For complete details, visit

Wabash Quads - SUNDAY, June 4
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, 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.

Northern Indiana Open - June 24
The Indiana State Chess Association will be heading to Elkhart for the first time in recent memory for the second consecutive 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 to the top class finishers across the Southern Indiana Open, Memorial Open, Northern Indiana Open, and Class Championships. The tournament format will mimic the Southern Indiana Open, with 4 rounds of G/60 d10.  Entry fees are $40 in advance at or $55 cash/credit onsite.  For more details or questions, contact me at

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

12th Annual Indianapolis Open - August 25-27
Also returning to the Indianapolis Airport Crowne Plaza this year is the Continental Chess Association's Indianapolis Open.  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 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 (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 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 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?

BISCC Library Chapter – alternating Sundays at 1:30pm
The next meeting of the Bloomington Indiana Scholastic Chess Club’s library chapter will be Sunday, May 7 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, 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  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
Arnold Schwarzenegger Open - Columbus, OH on March 3
At a mere 1399 rating, the young Grant Mu was not a favorite to win any prizes in the U1700 section of this annual event.  Nonetheless, he went an impressive 4.5-0.5 to win the section half a point ahead of the field and gain nearly 200 rating points in the process.  Congratulations, Grant!  The full crosstable for the event can be found at

Midwest Open Team Chess Festival (MOTCF) - Dayton, OH on March 11-12
Report courtesy of Roger Blaine:
"Our team 'Zot Strikes Again' won 2.5 out of 5 matches in the Midwest Open Team Chess Festival (MOTCF) in Dayton, Ohio, on Mar. 11-12, 2017.  The even score in a field heavy with Master players won us the $1,000 prize for Best Team Under 1800.  Our average was 1796, with Josh Bousum (2042), John Roush (1800), both of Kokomo;  Dick Arnold (1700) of Indy, and Roger Blaine (1642), Mishawaka. We started out with a 2-2 tie against a strong Columbus, Ohio, team of 2 Masters and 2 Experts, with Dick and Roger pulling upsets.  [T]here was the Indiana team called Element 56, featuring Masters and former State Champions Jim Mills and Lester VanMeter, both of Indianapolis;  Expert and former Chess in Indiana editor Jay Carr, Beech Grove; and up-and-coming 1900 Bobby Goddin, Bloomington.  The powerful squad scored 3-2, crunching lower-rated teams and losing to the all-Master no. 1 team and a 75%-Master team."  The full crosstable can be found at

21st Annual Mid-America Open - Clayton, MO on March 24-26
Several Hoosiers made the trek to this St. Louis suburb, but none fared better than Braydon Povinelli, who won the U1500 section with a 4.5-0.5 performance.  For those keeping score at home, Braydon has climbed from a 901 rating to 1601 in the span of a year!  Just two more years like that and Braydon will be wrestling back the title from the world's best computers.  Also performing well were Ben Foley (3rd place, U1500) and John Leighton (5th place, U2100).  The full crosstable can be found at

Gerry Roberts


Mar 25, 2017.  Les Kistler steamrolled five opponents in a row to win the Double Blitz Swiss tourney at the South Bend Chess Club on Thursday, Mar. 24, 2017.  Each round consisted of two 5-minute games with the same opponent.  Les's 10-0 score was followed by Jeff Johnson, 8-2.  Roger Blaine was third with 6, primarily because tough contenders Aidan Kaczanowski and Chris Sayre both had to leave early.  Welcome back Cory Richards, who was a regular at the club about 20 years ago.

 1. LES KISTLER                 10
 2. Jeff Johnson                  8
 3. Roger Blaine                 6
4-6. Aidan Kaczanowski   5      (left after 4 rounds)
4-6. Chris Sayre                 5      (  "   "      "      " )
4-6. Mike Timmons          5
7-9. Cory Richards            4
7-9. Ron Plamowski          4
7-9. Jason Reinoehl          4
10. Ayden Kline                 3     (left after 3 rounds)
11. Sam Reinoehl              2
12. Harrison Sill                 0     (left after 3 rounds)

----> S.B.C.C. invites you Thursdays, 7-10 p.m. at the Meijer Store, 5020 Grape Rd.  We are in the coffee-break area past the Deli and Produce departments.  Organized tourney usually starts about 7:40.

----> Casual chess on Mondays, 6-8 p.m. at the Chicory Café, Jefferson at Michigan St. in downtown South Bend.  New Orleans-style food and a fun atmosphere.

Hoosiers at MOTCF --  In addition to our "Zot Strikes Again" team in the Midwest Open Team Chess Festival (MOTCF) in Dayton as we reported last week, there was the Indiana team called Element 56, featuring Masters and former State Champions Jim Mills and Lester VanMeter, both of Indianapolis;  Expert and former Chess in Indiana editor Jay Carr, Beech Grove;  and up-and-coming 1900 Bobby Goddin, Bloomington.  The powerful squad scored 3-2, crunching lower-rated teams and losing to the all-Master no. 1 team and a 75%-Master team.  Good work, gentlemen!
  By the way, we looked up Element no. 56 on the Periodic Table of Elements, and it seems to be Barium.

----> Elkhart, Dayton, and game, see below!


March 17, 2017.  Les Kistler dominated the proceedings at the South Bend Chess Club's 10-minute tourney on Thursday night, Mar. 16, 2017, running up a 7-0 score.  Aidan Kaczanowski was runner-up with 5.5, followed closely by Jeff Johnson with 5.  Welcome to first-time competitor Al Sikorski of South Bend.

1. LES KISTLER                 7

2. Aidan Kaczanowski    5.5

3. Jeff Johnson                5

4-5. Jason Reinoehl        3

4-5. Mike Timmons        3

6. Al Sikorski/Roger Blaine  2.5     (Al 0-3, "pinch hitter" Roger 2.5-1.5)

7. Stuart Krahn                2        (2-3, had to leave early)

8. Sam Reinoehl              0

----> S.B.C.C. invites you Thursdays, 7-10 p.m. at the Meijer Store, 5020 Grape Rd.  We are in the coffee-break area past the Deli and Produce departments.  Organized tourney usually starts about 7:40.

----> Casual chess on Mondays, 6-8 p.m. at the Chicory Café, Jefferson at Michigan St. in downtown South Bend.  New Orleans-style food and a fun atmosphere.

ELKHART COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIPS  --  report by Joe Riegsecker

 Hunter Gould, a Concord High School freshman, is the new Elkhart County Scholastic Chess Champion.  Hunter took the crown at last Saturday's (Mar. 11, 2017) Elkhart County Championships at Elkhart Central High School.  Hunter and Max Vinkemeir of Warsaw tied for 1-2 in the Championship section, but since Max lives and attends school outside of Elkhart County, he was not eligible for the title.  Hunter becomes the 20th person to hold the title in the last 31 years.  (see the list at )

 Subbu Muthiah of Warsaw swept the Novice section, besting 35 other entrants with his 6-0 score.

 In the adult portion of the event, Mat Leach went 4-0 to take clear first.  Stefani Vinkemeir created some waves with two big upsets in the first two rounds.  Even though she came back down to earth the last two rounds, it was a good day for her.

Complete results and links to USCF crosstables can be found at and

  HOOSIERS IN DAYTON--Our team "Zot Strikes Again" won 2.5 out of 5 matches in the Midwest Open Team Chess Festival (MOTCF) in Dayton, Ohio, on Mar. 11-12, 2017.  The even score in a field heavy with Master players won us the $1,000 prize for Best Team Under 1800.  Our average was 1796, with Josh Bousum (2042), John Roush (1800), both of Kokomo;  Dick Arnold (1700) of Indy, and Roger Blaine (1642), Mishawaka.

  We started out with a 2-2 tie against a strong Columbus, Ohio, team of 2 Masters and 2 Experts, with Dick and Roger pulling upsets.  Their team name, "Preparation H," was appropriate given all the action on the h-file in this cliffhanger of a game:

  Roger Blaine (1642) "Zot Strikes Again" - Murat Baughman (2055) "Preparation H"   MOTCF Rd. 1, Mar. 11, 2017    Bird's Opening 

1. f4  d5   2. Nf3  Bg4   3. e3  Nd7   4. Be2  c6   5. b3  Bxf3   6. Bxf3  e5   7. fxe  Nxe5   8. Bb2  Bd6   9. 0-0  Nf6   10. d3  Qe7    11. Qe2  0-0-0   12. Nd2  h5   13. e4  d4   14. Nc4  Nxc4   15. bxc4  Qe5   16. g3  h4   17. g4  Nh7   18. Bc1  Ng5   19. Bxg5  Qxg5   20. Bg2  h3   21. Bh1  Bf4   22. Bf3  Rde8   23. Kh1 Re5   24. Qf2  Rh4   25. Be2  Be3   26. Qxf7  Rxg4   27. Qf8+  Kc7   28. Bxg4  Qxg4   29. Rf7+  Kb6   30. Rxg7*  Qh5  31. Rb1+  Ka6   32. Rgxb7  Rb5   33. cxb5+  Kxb7   34. bxc6+  Kxc6   35. Qf6+  Kc7   36. Qe7+  Kc8   37. Qb7+  Kd8   38. Qb8+  Ke7   39. Rb7+  Kf6   40. Qf8+  Ke6   41. Qe7 mate,  1-0.  

*At first I thought that I had to keep the Black K in check every move or else I would get mated myself, for example  30. Rb1+ Ka6,  31. Qa3+ Ra5 and now I have no checks.  But then I noticed that Rxg7 stops the one mate while my Queen still on the f-file stops the other--a little room to breathe!


Warsaw, see below


25 January 2017.  Mat Leach scored 7 out of 8 to win the South Bend Chess Club's 5-minute Blitz tourney on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017.  Three tied with 5 points:  Les KistlerMike Vidulich, and Roger Blaine.  (Les took over in the middle from Ayden Kline and won all 5 he played.)

1. MAT LEACH                 7

2-4. Les Kistler/Ayden Kline  5       (Ayden 0-3, Les 5-0)

2-4. Mike Vidulich          5

2-4. Roger Blaine            5

5. Aidan Kaczanowski    4.5

6-7. Sean Duffy               3

6-7. Justin Seng              3

8. Mike Timmons           2.5

9. Jason Reinoehl           1


SOUTH BEND CHESS CLUB invites you Thursdays, 7-10 p.m. at the Meijer store, 5020 Grape Rd., Mishawaka.  Usually we organized a timed tournament about 7:40 p.m.  Enjoy the ambience of the Produce department!

CHICORY CAFE, Jefferson at Michigan St., downtown South Bend, has a fun chess club Mondays, 6-8 p.m.  Great New Orleans style food & drink too!

----Additional congratulations to Mat Leach for winning the Open section of the Warsaw Winter tourney on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017, with 3.5 out of 4.   Aidan Kaczanowski was the only one to hold Mat to a draw in a slam-bang thriller, and Aidan, Les Kistler, and John Gotz tied for second at 3-1.    Hunter Gould took top spot in the Under 1200 rated division with 4.5 out of 5.  

More sections too... complete results and links to the USCF crosstable are at
Congrats to all!

By Roger Blaine.

October 23, 2016.    Notre Dame student and chess Expert John LeightonJeff Hilliard of LaPorte, and Roger Blaine, Mishawaka, tied for first in the South Bend Chess Club's Quick Chess tourney on Thursday night, Oct. 20, 2016, all with 3-1 scores.  John handily dispatched Roger, and Mat Leach did the same to Jeff, but Mat and Harold Henderson both drew with John and tied for 4th at 2.5.   Sam Patrick pulled an upset of Leach, but then had to leave early.  We welcomed first-time contestant Ron Swank to the club.  Blaine directed the Swiss System.

Totals in tie-break order:

1. JOHN LEIGHTON          3

2. JEFF HILLIARD             3

3. ROGER BLAINE            3

4. Mat Leach                    2.5

5. Harold Henderson       2.5

6. Sam Patrick                   2    (played only 2)

7. Isaiah Rose                   2

8. Sean Duffy                  1.5

9. Jeremiah Rose           1.5

10. Stephen Housman      1

11. Noah Rose                  1

12. Ron Swank                  1

13. Jonathan Rose            0

---> S.B.C.C. Thursdays 7-10 p.m. at the Meijer store,, 5020 Grape Rd., Mishawaka.  Head for the Produce department, just past the Deli.  Usually a tournament starts about 7:40.

---->Chess fun Mondays, 6-9 p.m. at the Chicory Café, 105 E. Jefferson at Michigan St. in downtown South Bend!

9/17/2016 Northern Indiana Open Logansport 
By Roger Blaine
August 12, 2016.  Big-shot Master John Cole mopped up everyone in the South Bend Chess Club's 5-minute tourney on Thursday, Aug. 11, 2016, a single round robin.  Mat Leach was second, and also directed the single round robin. 
  The crowd was nowhere near the size of the previous week's wing-ding, but the players were tough and we were surprised by the presence of Expert Gerry Roberts, who recently moved back to Elkhart after several years in Bloomington.  Welcome back, Gerry!
2 Mat Leach 6
3 Les Kistler 5
4 Gerry Roberts 4
 5-6 Eric Miller 2
5-6 Aidan Kaczanowski 2
7 Roger Blaine  1.5
8 Sean Duffy  0.5

--->  SBCC Thursdays, 7-10 p.m. at the Meijer store, 5020 Grape Rd., Mishawaka!  Come enjoy the ambience of the Produce department!
---->  Chicory Café chess for fun Mondays, 6-9 p.m. at Jefferson & Michigan St., downtown South Bend!


How about one more tournament before the summer is over? Please pass the word around!
Aug 20th ... Niles District Library, Niles, Mich.
10:00 Show Time ... End when done (three rounds) (usually around 1 PM)
USCF membership required ... Game in 45 Minutes ... Free as always!
Will break into sections based on ratings of players (usually U1000 and U1600 sections)
Martin Klubeck, MA

Product Management, Metrics and Measures for Improvement

Office of Information Technologies

200A ITC University of Notre Dame 
Notre Dame, IN 46556 

By Roger Blaine

June 10, 2016.  Les Kistler stomped everyone to make a perfect 5-0 in the South Bend Chess Club's 10-minute Quick tourney on Thursday, June 9, 2016.   Stuart Krahn was second with 3.5 in the 5-round Swiss System.  Both players nicked strongman Mat Leach, who tied for third.  
   Welcome to new competitors from the Rose family, father Jonathan and sons JeremiahNoah, and Isaiah.  Roger Blaine was director.

1. LES KISTLER               5
2. Stuart Krahn             3.5
3-6. Mat Leach              3
3-6. Kola Oyekole         3
3-6. Eric Miller              3
3-6. Noah Rose             3
7. Aidan Kaczanowski  2.5
8-10. Pete Markowski  2
8-10. Mike Day              2
8-10. Jonathan Rose     2
11. Jeremiah Rose         1
12-13. Isaiah Rose         1
12-13. Roger Blaine       0  (played only 1)

---->  Club championship coming July 16!    South Bend Regional Chess Club championship tourney has been set for Saturday, July 16, 2016, at Bethel United Methodist Church, 1200 N. Michigan St. in Elkhart.  (the date and location have been changed, so it will not be Sunday, July 17 at the Matterhorn Restaurant as you may have heard previously)
  More details coming in our next message...!

----> S.B.C.C. for chess fun and free tournament every Thursday, 7-10 p.m. at the Meijer store, 5020 Grape Rd., Mishawaka.

----> Fun chess at the Chicory Café, every Monday, 6-9 p.m. Jefferson & Michigan St. in downtown South Bend.  Some games played, weather permitting, on the giant set with built-in chessboard across the street in Studebaker Plaza.
---   ---   ---

   Yours truly (Roger) played in the Gem City Open in Dayton, Ohio, June 3-5, beating 3 lower-rated players and losing to 2 higher-rated ones.  Didn’t prove much, perhaps, but the games were not dull.  Here is one which I fully expected to lose, but White’s dreaded attack petered out.


Gem City Open, Under 1800 section, Round 4, June 5, 2016

Skylar Garrett 1558, Columbus, OH – Roger Blaine, 1654, Mishawaka, IN

French Defense, Exchange Variation


1. e4  e6   2. d4  d5   3. exd  exd   4. Nf3  Bd6   5. Nc3  c6   6. Be3  Bg4   7. h3  Bh5   8. Bd3  Nf6   9. g4  Bg6   10. Nh4  Qc7   11. Nxg6  hxg6   12. Qe2  Kd8   13. 0-0-0  Nbd7   14. Qd2  Nf8   15. f4  Ne6   16. Rdf1  Kd7   17. f5  gxf   18. Bxf5  Rae8   19. Bxe6+  fxe6   20. g5  Nh5   21. Rf7+  Re7   22. Qf2  Ng3   23. Rh2  Nf5   24. Rxf5  exf5   25. Qxf5+  Ke8   26. Re2  Rf8   27. Qg4  Bf4   28. Nd1  Bxe3+   29. Rxe3  Qf4   30. Qxf4  Rxf4   31. Rxe7+  Kxe7   32. Ne3  Kf7   33. c3  Kg6   34. Ng4  Kxg5   35. Ne5  Kf5   36. Nf7  Rh5   37. Nd6+  Kf4   38. Nxb7  Rxh3   39. Na5  Rh6   40. Nb3  g5   41. Kd1  g4   42. Ke1  g3   43. Nd2  Rh1+   44. Ke2  Rh2+   45. Ke1  Rxd2   White resigns,  0-1.

My usual disclaimer:  anyone who would like this game in “PGN” or “Descriptive” or whatever is welcome to convert it into such format.
Page updated: Jan 26, 2018.