CHESS CASTLE OF MINNESOTA
1121 Jackson Street NE, Suite #134, Minneapolis, MN 55413
In the red brick Waterbury building on the NW corner of Central and Broadway in the Nordeast.
ecPhone to reach the club - 651.280.5473 or e-mail at danvoje@chesscastle.com
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 THIS WEEKEND'S EVENT

August 2nd and 3rd
[Chess Castle]
AHMET'S STRESS TEST THINK    
Last Monday, our long-time club regular, Ahmet Shapiro-Erciyas, capped off a good run of winning chess, and boosted his rating to 2208. But do we really believe that he is a for-real master? Join us this weekend as we test that proposition, and the young man's metal. Let's see if the lad can really carry the freight.
Seven games, (4 games on Saturday, 3 games Sunday). Time control is game in an hour +15 second delay. Prize fund is 70 % of entries paid out, with several class prizes. Entry fee is $35 for club members, $45 others. Two half-point byes for any rounds; must be requested when entering. Register from 9-9:50 AM. Round times are 10-1-3:45-6:45, and on Sunday noon-2:45-5:15.  State and national memberships required.





CHESS CAMP AT THE CASTLE FOR THREE WEEKS THIS SUMMER
Click here for details. First camp starts Monday, June 30th. 
LOOKING FOR ANOTHER SET OF TOUGH GUYS [6/10]
Dr Sisira has already put together two sections of six players for this FIDE round robin this coming weekend. We know of several more players that were interested in that event. If we can find a few more, a third section is possible. Let us know at sisira@amarasinghe.com if that describes you. The other option is to play in the USCF rated event listed below.

YET EVEN MORE STRONG PLAYERS FOR THE GOPHER
Along with the two foreign headliners, and our current state championship, we now add Prashantha Amarasinghe, Zach Tverstol, Jackson Wahl, Ahmet Shapiro and Dane Zagar. There are not a huge number of entrants yet, which makes this an especially strong event, ideal for anyone looking for some hard battles.
If you can only play Sunday, come for the simul at one. The charge for the GM is only $15, and the WIM only $10.

Go here for details, and list of entrants.
Grandmaster Mauricio Flores is not only doing a simul during the Gopher Open this weekend; he is now committed to also play in the tournament, along with his lady friend, WIM Aura Salazar. So here is your chance to play a real GM without having to leave the state and paying a bundle. This challenge has inspired our current Minnesota State Champion Sean Nagle to also register


PLAY QUICK CHESS THIS SUNDAY!

A word of encouragement for you to try something new, this coming Sunday. It is inexpensive and fun, and there are no scoresheets to haunt you until the day you die. This is NOT blitz chess, and there will be time for a few big thinks. A chance to get in touch with your intuition, and forgo all of the endless calculations. Play like man and not a machine! With ten games, and no effect on your regular rating, it's a good chance to try out a new opening.

13 PLAYERS AT SMART CHESS THINK

The field is lead by Andrey Chernov and Andrew Titus. You  can still get in today (Saturday) with a bye at one, or two byes at 3:45. As is the case with any of our events, if you show up and we have an odd number, you can get a game or more as a houseman.
Tomorrow, the Gashimov Memorial will feature Nakamura vs Carlsen. Our boy only needs a half a point to join the leaders.

ANOTHER STRONG EVENT IN OKOBOJI
To register, or to see who is already registered, go to www.onlineregistration.cc.
Our own John Bartholomew will be leading Dr. Iwu, Kevin Wasiluk and Jason Drake down to northern Iowa to do battle with Chess Life cover boy, Awonder Liang. Good luck with that.  For those not fortunate to be joining them, there will be a local two day event at the Castle.

UPDATE: The pairings for round one. (note that if you have registered era
IF YOU FIND ANY MISTAKE, CALL DAN AT 651.280.5473. Feel free to call up to midnight, so I can fix any problems early. Last year I had several people walk up at the end of registration to inform me that one of the EARLY, ALREADY PAIRED, players was not showing up. Don't wait until then; tell me now. If you should be listed, but are missing, also call.
(Deb Floeder has already scored first by pointing out the duplicates on board 66 and 67.)
  These pairings are for everyone who registered early. You can still get into the tournament tomorrow morning, by showing up before nine o'clock at St Kates. But be sure to allow time to drive into the campus and get up to our site. Note the parking site I give directions to below may fill up earlier, and you might have to park in the O'Shaughnessy lot.
 

PARKING AT ST KATES THIS WEEKEND

The site for this weekend's Scholastic Championship is the best one I have ever seen in my ten plus years of directing this tournament  Be forewarned that the staff and I will be very insistent on players behaving themselves; picking up their trash, and treating our space gently. We definitely want to leave and good impression, so as to return next year.
St. Catherine University is in the west side of St Paul, south of I-94. You can exit the freeway at Cretin or Snelling, and head for Fairview Avenue which is in between the two. Take Fairview south, cross Randolph, and the campus is on  your right. In the middle of the block, turn right into entrance number four. The O'Shaughnessy parking lot is on the left, but there is a closer lot to our site that should be big enough for our guys. So go pass that lot, and swing left around the water tower. There is a red brick building with a large, white clock above it. Continue past that, and we are in the tan brick building on the right. The good parking is at the end of road. We are up on the third floor, above the library and the cafeteria.

Pairings for the first round will be posted at this site tomorrow noon, for all who have registered online by today. Those registering later, or at the site, will be paired in a separate section. Both will be combined at round two. This is a good time to go to www.onlineregistration.cc to see the list of 249 players already signed up. All of the mail in entries should be there. Call Dan Voje at 651.280.5473 if you see any problems.


TWIN CITIES CHESS LEAGUE IS CANCELLED FOR TONIGHT, FEBRUARY 21ST
This is your chance to score significant Significant Other points. Just tell her " Gosh, dear, I just couldn't leave you on a day like today - I guess my teammates will just have to do without me!" Then cash in those points to play at the Castle this weekend. Or let them mature, into two day size, and turn 'em in for next weekend's Think!

During tomorrow's rapid tournament, the three guys who shared second place in the Masters/Experts Cup from last November will be playing their tiebreak match to see who gets a spot in the Closed. They are Kevin Wasiluk, Leonard Johnson and Samarth Chakrasali. They will also be playing game in 25 minutes with a ten second delay, in two games against each opponent. Come and play, or spectate. UPDATE: Leonard Johnson has his ticket punched to the Closed, but it took him four rapid games, two blitz games, and an Armageddon to do it.


YES, WE ARE OPEN IN THE COLD!
Inasmuch as our manager harkens back to a long-ago era when schools would never have thought to close for mere low temperatures, the Castle will be open for the usual Monday night Action Quads, and Tuesday Casual Chess.
Andrew Tang has won his first five games in this weekend's club championship, and it looks like he is destined for his third title in a row.  Another impressive, dominating effort.

JACKSON WAHL MAKES HIS MASTER RATING [12/17]

Congratulations to Minnesota's newly-minted Master! After two weekend events at the Castle, he stands at 2202, and just in time for the January supplement. This should put him in the top ten for 14 year-olds nationwide. Chris Kalina and him are the Minneapolis City Chess Champions, having tied with four out of five.

JOHN BARTHOLOMEW TO LECTURE AT CASTLE [12/02]

On Wednesday, the 18th of December, we are hosting the young international master, starting at 7:15. The subject will be the World Championship match in Chennai, and perhaps a look at his latest effort in St Louis, where John made a Grandmaster norm. This will be free for club members, $20 for adults, and $10 for juniors.

PLAY THE TOUGH GUYS!!!

If you are looking for serious chess, with slow time controls and strong opposition, come to the Castle this weekend and work on your international rating! Leonard Johnson, Dr Iwu, Prashantha Amarasinghe, Kyler Weatherspoon and a number of up-and-comers are already registered. Old Man Voje, the human full-point bye will also be playing, to give you a break amid the fierce battles.


the club is open Labor Day evening for the usual Monday night Action Quads.

YOU AND CHESS HISTORY?
I think we have all seen the famous video of a very young Bobby Fischer, playing a chess simul, in a plaid shirt. It was featured at the start of the Searching For Bobby Fischer movie. The chance to play future world champion in such an event is not to be missed. And, who knows, Wesley So might end up making that cut. After all, the world's strongest junior player is playing Anand for the title later this year, and our guest for this weekend's simul and tournament is next in line as the second strongest junior. His signature on your scoresheet alone could be worth the $20 fee for tomorrows simul at the Castle. We open at six, a will start at seven, so don't wait until the last minute to get your spot.

WESLEY SO SIMUL IS THIS THURSDAY NIGHT

The young man is flying  up here to play in the Noel Skelton Open , and is coming on Thursday to the Castle for a simul. The cost is a mere $20, quite the bargin to play one of the top Grandmasters in the world. We will be open at six in the evening, with the simul starting at seven, so get here early. Among players under twenty-one years of age, only Magnus Carlson is rated higher.


IF YOU STILL NEED A HOTEL ROOM, the $69 rate is still available at the Crowne Plaza, but you will have to call the desk directly at 763.559.6600.
JACKSON OPEN STARTS THIS FRIDAY
A great opportunity for under 2000 players looking for a nice chess road trip. Hosted by the great Sam Smith, they play one game Friday night, and three Saturday. Details and registration is at https://onlineregistration.cc, or you can click on the above Chess Chatter link for particulars. Nestled in the Des Moines river valley, the last chess outpost of Minnesota before South Dakota and Iowa. Eric Bell, Dane Zagar, Dan Voje and Riaz Khan are all committed to playing in this fine tournament. NOTE that the entire $750 prize fund is guarenteed!!!
Hotels in the area: Econo Lodge Jackson (507.847.3110), Super 8 Jackson (507.847.3498), and Prairie Wind Jackson (507.847.2020).

NOEL SKELTON IS THE FOLLOWING (LABOR DAY) WEEKEND, and is also listed on Dr. Sisira's online site.
WESLEY SO IN THE WORLD CUP
128 of the top players in the world started this knock-out tournament in Tromso, Norway, and half have already been eliminated. Wesley So, our Grandmaster guest for this year's Noel Skelton Open, survived the first round, as is paired against the Russian Evgeny Tomashevsky in round two. You can fine details at the chessbase.com site.


BIGGEST CHESS EVENTS COMING UP

In the past, winter was our main chess season, with the Winter Open and the Minnesota Open being our largest and most prestigious chess tournaments. That seems to be changing, and from now until Labor Day, there will be a series of great events. Perhaps none of them with be as large as the state open, but several will feature Grandmaster opponents, and fine sites. That is not even including this year’s US Open being played in nearby Madison, Wisconsin, starting next Saturday.
First up is the Catfish Days in Franklin, Minnesota this Friday and Saturday. Two weekends after that, the guys up in Duluth are hosting the second edition of the Twin Ports Open. And two weeks later, Labor Day Weekend is the second edition of the Noel Skelton Open at the Crown Plaza in Plymouth. The guest star of this event is world class player, Grandmaster Wesley So. We are looking to have a simul at the Castle the Thursday before, so you can be assured of facing him.
All of these tournaments can be found at https://onlineregistration.cc/, Dr Sisira’s site for early registration for events all over the country. You can find the tournament details there, see who is pre-registered, and sign up yourself.
Also note there is an excellent room rate for the Noel Skelton of $69 a night, a figure you’ll find hard to top for such fine lodging.


SEAN NAGLE WINS MINI-MATCH FOR CLEAR STATE TITLE [7/08]

This year, the Minnesota State Chess Association tried something new with respect to tied top scores in the prestigious Closed Playoff. Before, we called such players co-champions, and seeded them both into next year's tournament. But we just started giving a spot in the playoffs to the winner of the Minnesota Class Championship (for the top two sections), which is held in November, and there was the feeling that too many tickets were being punched to the big event, before the Minnesota Open was even started. Now only one spot is reserved for last year's champion, and we are requiring the co-champions to play a one day match for the honor.
Last March, both Sean Nagle and Kevin Wasiluk finished with four out of five, and Saturday at the Castle was the day for clear first. They played two slow games, and split those. Then  followed two quick chess games (game in 15 minutes), also divided evenly. The last contest was a five minute Armageddon game, with victory, the match and the title going to Nagle.


ANOTHER BIG TURNOUT FOR THE ACTION QUADS [6/18]
 
For the third straight Monday, we get 16 players, enough for four quads. Robert Plunkett dropped in to headline and win the top quad. Jackson Wahl,  like Robert, won all three games in the second section, with the Narayanan brothers taking the bottom two. A welcome to Thorne Peter Dosdall, who played his first rated tournament.

Thanks to Tom Fischer, who dropped off two grocery bags of chess books on Saturday, including several of the very fine opening surveys from New In Chess. We appreciate the contribution to our library. In the same vein, our good friend Mike Trettel mailed us the last three copies of New In Chess magazine. 


BIG TURNOUT FOR THE ACTION QUADS [6/12]
On each of the last two Monday's, we had 16 players show up for Action Chess. This gives us four quads, ranging from a top one of all experts, to a bottom quad featuring beginners and lower rated players. Very nice to see so many chess players, including an expert visitor from Massachusetts, a father and son pair, and someone playing in their first rated event. Only $12 for non-club members.

Michael Yang, Kevin Bu and Tremayne Talbot are planning a chess camp at the Castle this summer. Look for details soon. It is a rookie effort for them, but you can hardly go wrong with such a fine group.

Wesley So, the young Grandmaster who is the featured attraction at the next Noel Skelton Open, has a posting on the front page of the USCF website. A big plus for this Labor Day Weekend tournament is the excellent room rate that Riaz Khan has gotten us, and mere $69 a night for the Crown Plaza in Plymouth.