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.
Phone to reach the club - 651.280.5473 or e-mail at
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This site is for news and recent results of the local chess community. Mostly about the Chess Castle but including the state. If you have some news or an announcement you think local chess players would like to know about send it to Bill at
  The home of the Chess Castle.                      Andrew Tang once again the Champ                             Dan with coffee in Duluth.

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SUMMER CAMPS (4/18/2014)
I will be glad to post news about upcoming Summer Chess camps. There has been some talk of holding one or more at the Chess Castle. I received news of the annual St. Olaf College Chess camp and here.  It has gotten good reviews and some of our members have attended. Pictured are Jackson and Nastassja on the brochure.  Ask around if you are interested. John Bartholomew is listed as being one of the instructors again this year. Back to list.

APRIL NEWS (4/1/2014)
The State Scholastic Championships went very well with the help of Dan Voje's family. I would hate to think what would happen if they did not volunteer their time and now vast experience. It made the tournament fun! The results can be found on the MSCA site. The Crosstables here  (soon) . Team standings. With a big tie in the K-12 there has to be a playoff as the State Champ gets to participate in the National Championship with a college scholarship on the line. Kevin Bu had a tough time in the playoffs but did manage to take the title. Congratulations to the State Scholastic Champion and good luck in the national tournament.
Nate will be holding one of his Quads on April 19th. Details on the schedule page.
 Okoboji tournament coming up at the end of the month. Details below.
We will be having a  SMARTCHESS THINK for those not going to Iowa. Typical Think format sponsored by Andre Hortillosa's SmartChess. April 26-27th. Check it out here.
  Back to list.

MARCH NEWS (3/3/2014)
Hopefully all of you have been spending this Winter inside studying chess and staying warm. Now is the time to surface. The monthly tournaments start again! Check the Schedule page.  The State Championship Playoffs will be held at the Castle on March 14-16th,2014. Sean Nagle won the title of Champion again. It took a playoff of the playoff to defeat John Bartholomew. All the details and games on the MSCA site. The State Scholastic will be held on March 29-30th at Saint Catherine's University.
The Fide tournament was won by OK Iwu from Duluth. It was a very tough group!! Click results above.
There will be one of Nate's Exerciser Quads on Saturday as all the punks will be in St. Paul.  
Back to list.

FEBRUARY NEWS (1/30/2013)

Sean Nagle has written an article on Curt Brasket highlighting some of his best games. Curt was not only state champ16 times but also one of the top players in the nation. You can find it here.
The Rochester Winter (more than) Grand tournament has been rated. John Bartholomew went 5/5 to take first and increase his rating by two points. 73 players participated. Results. John will also be in Okoboji in April. Details for the Okoboji tournament below.
The new board of the MSCA is as follows:
David Kuhns, Dan Voje , Chris Kalina, Jiten Patel, Edward (Ned) Wahl, Zack Tverstol, and Matt Jensen.
The Minnesota Open has been rated. Congratulations to John Bartholomew for an undefeated first place finish. The official  playoff participants will be posted on the MSCA site.
Twin Ports dates are set: August 16-17th.
Check out our Monday night action quads!! We have a great mix of players with a wide range of ratings. Six under 1200 and some beatable  Experts last weekBack to list.

     The Chess Castle had a good year and once again crowned Andrew Tang club champ. Dan scored 6/7 only losing to Andrew to finish second. We all let Dan down. He did get his rating over 2100 in the process!! The Winter Open and Rochester events are fast approaching and can be entered on Sisira's site above. The State Open will be held in the suburbs with free parking!
We will be changing to a Google web site so you may see some glitches as we get used to it.
Pictured our very own club members at the World Youth Championships. Sonal, Nastassja and Andrew. Second photo is of Sonal and Garry. They all did well and maybe Andrew will send me his blog link.
He did and here it is BLOG.
The guys in Rochester  have setup a deal with the Econolodge in town for a $70 rate.Ask for the "Chess Tournament" rate, (507) 282-9905.
It is time to elect new board members to the State board. All the details are on the MSCA site. We have had some members leave due to life changes. All the candidates are good choices.
    Former State Chess Champion Curt Brasket has died. Obituary. Back to list.

DECEMBER NEWS(12/1/2013)
The Minneapolis Championship continued the trend of bringing out long lost chess players. Jason Drake showed to join Johnson, Kalina, Wahl, Hortillosa and Shapiro-Erciyas. Making this a very strong tournament. The tournament was won by Wahl and Kalina with last round wins, scoring 4/5. Crosstable. In the coming weeks we have the State Quick Chess Championship and back to back Think tournaments. Check with Dan to see if you are eligible to play in the coveted Club Championship on Jan. 4-5th.
Three of our club members are in Al Ain , U.A.E. for the World Youth Championships: Titus, Sonal and Nastassja.  I expect Andrew to send me a link to his blog. Check out how they are doing.

               Sean Nagle won the Masters/Experts section to secure another spot in the State playoffs. I think he will be selling it on EBAY. Pictured is Sean and his student Nastassja. Next is Samarth Chakrasali who just made Master. Three players qualified to have a playoff for the playoff spot. My opinion is this should be a five round tournament at least. Johnson, Wasiluk and Chakrasali are the three.For the other sections you can check the cross table. Directing and organizing again were great, thanks to Sisira and Dan.
 John Bartholomew won an invitational tournament in St. Louis, beating a Grand Master. The game was wild and he should annotate it in his blog soon. Or else I will post more baby pictures of him. Game
. Dennis McGrath sent along an article he wrote on the tournament.  Of course there is a You Tube video of the event.
The December schedule is posted.  A new month and time to check out our monthly Knighter tournaments.  Back to list.
The State Scholastic Championship is to be on March 29-30th at St. Kates in St. Paul.

The big news for November is two state wide tournaments: the Bloomington Open and the Class Championships. The Bloomington tournament is organized by Glenn Panner of Illinois. It is his first event in Minnesota and is not associated to my knowledge with MSCA. He is up to about 100 entries. Details below. The Class Championships to be held at the Crowne Plaza in Plymouth on Thanksgiving weekend was set up as a showcase for the states best players and to allow people to play folks there own rating level. Entry into the State playoffs is the big prize for the winners of the Master/Expert and A section.
Meanwhile at the Chess Castle we had two unexpected guests. Leonard Johnson dropped in to win the Think with ease. His 2300 rating still seems to be accurate! On Monday a fine gentleman from Germany went 3-0 in a quad. Patiently waiting for his opponents to crumble worked to perfection. Check out the all the results from the above link. Nate Hoover won the Wednesday Knighter and Jackson Wahl the Thursday Knighter.
A site I had not heard of was pointed out to me by Sean Nagle; They are going to have a lecture featuring a win by Curt Brasket at Lone Pine. It will air on Friday.
Chessbase has an article on the upcoming World Chess Championship with a short clip on Magnus Carlsen. Also if you are looking for Chess shows and tire of theoretical openings there is a series on Hulu. It is about a Former Chess Champion who solves mysteries from his hotel. He can not leave because he suffers from agoraphobia. It is called " Endgame".
The Bloomington Open was a big success. The site was fine and the turnout was 134. Sisira helped with the pairings and things ran smooth as expected. Nagle and Bartholomew were nicked for draws and finished with 4.5/5 to tie for first. Johnson and Amarasinghe finished at 4/5. A big tie in the Reserve section at 4.5/5. Another section would have helped to produce a clear winner. Andrew Titus won the Blitz. Glenn said he was pleased and may come back again next year. He is planning on holding more tournaments in the future elsewhere in the country. Results.
There was an article in the Star Tribune Sunday editorial page on our favorite chess girl. She is headed to the World Youth Championships. Dennis McGrath was the author and did a fine job. He knows a little about young girl chess players as his daughter was one.    Back to list.

OCTOBER NEWS (10/12/2013)
The State Senior Championship was held at the Chess Castle. 21 old guys fought for the coveted title. It was a joy to not have to play hyperactive kids. This allowed Mr. Bill to win the title for the second year. Crosstable. Back to list.
The Rochester Chess Club is planning the Winter Grand for 2014. John Bartholomew will be playing and giving a simul. These guys put on a great tournament with a big prize fund and deserve your support. Masters get free entry. You can play someone different too.Details below and on their web site.
The Winter is set for the Roseville Oval and the Minnesota Open for the Marriot Southwest.

The movie "Brooklyn Castle" will be on Monday night Oct. 7th on channel 2 at 9:00pm. Check listings for cable. This is a movie about a New York school that won many national titles. If you miss it they sometimes run it again.
The weekend Think was well attended and had $160 first prize and about $500 total. Sadly Mr. Andrew Titus won it. Sadder still was how he won a Bishop vs.Knight ending from Mr. Bill.
MSCA has finally gotten their new website up and running. Check it out. The details of the Minnesota Class are there and below
The Twin Cities Chess League (TCCL) is ready to go again this year
It will start on September 20th at the Roseville Oval. Register at 6:30 and bring $80 per team and clocks and sets. Time control is Game 90/ 5 sec delay. Three sections: Gold, Silver and Bronze.
Gold and Silver 7RR by qualification based on last season results. Bronze (Open) section: 7SS.  Contact Dave Kuhns if you have questions. If you do not have a team show up and they will try to place you on a team or create one.  Show up early and come prepared.
34 teams have been formed for this year. They have room for six more teams. If you can get a team together contact Dave Kuhns and you could start in round two with a half point bye. October 25 is the date for round two.

The Bloomington Open entry fee increases on Nov. 1st. See details below.
Bartholomew and Nagle are entered.

Nate is holding a Exerciser Quad on the 19th. Details below.
Back to list.

       The Noel Skelton Open was won by GM. Wesley So with a perfect score. A draw in the last round was enough but he ground down Andrew Tang. Proving once again the Knight is mightier than the Bishop. Turn out was good and even the one day events pulled in some new players. Wesley played about 30 in the simul giving up two draws to Zach and Robert Plunkett. Nate Hoover was the only one to beat him. Thanks to Noel and Riaz for their fine organizing and Dan for another excellent directing job. Pictured are Noel and Wesley. Vernon and Nastassja who played to a draw. Two members of our club. Robert and Zach who drew Wesley.The tournament has been rated.

A FIDE event is planned for Sept. 21-22nd at the Castle. Details below.

The Senior Open will be held at the Castle on Oct 12-13th.  No chess punks just mature players over 50.

The Twin Cities Chess League dates are set.
TCCL Sep 20, Oct 25, Nov 22, Dec 20, Jan 10, Feb 21, Mar 21. Get your teams organized now.
Back to list.
The dates of the Midwest Class has changed.Full details here.

    The tournament was another success. GM Yermolinsky had the misfortune to run into a deer on the way to Duluth. Damage to his car prevented him from continuing to the site. John Bartholomew stepped in and played about 36 people in the simul. He lost one and drew a few. This did not tire him out enough as he went on to win the tournament with 4.5/5 giving Andrew Tang a draw. Wasiluk and Tang finished tied for 2-3rd. Ron Decker won the under 1800 and Beren Gunsolus won the Reserve. They are planning to hold the tournament again next year, maybe at another site.Pictured are Dan and Dane Zagar. Next is John.Then Dane Mattson who also helped.   Crosstable.   Back to list.

  18 players showed up for the Monday quads. A wide range of skill levels with plenty of lower rated players. Young and old too.

There is a new tournament posted below to be held in Nov. This is not an MSCA event and I will have more details later.

  GM Wesley So will be playing in the Skelton Open on Labor Day weekend. There is a $2000 prize fund for the Open section with $1000 for first. All the details can be found on the Schedule page or below. There is a $69 room rate at the Crowne Plaza which is the site. Details for Catfish Days and Twin Ports are also listed below. Details for all of the Catfish Days events. Please support these Minnesota tournaments as the sponsors work hard to put on great events.
There will be a FIDE Round Robin tournament on Aug. 10-11 at the Castle. Go to online registration to see who will be playing. It should host a strong field at slow time controls and be good preparation for Twin Ports and Skelton. E-mail Sisira for more details:  Cut and paste address to your E-mail account.
Justin Kleist won the Catfish tournament with a perfect score gaining 60 points on his path to Master.
Andrew Tang, our club champ, tied for first-fourth at the Barber Invitational. This is a national invitational of K-8 state champions. He represented Minnesota.
Samarth Chakrasali ran into some really strong players in the High School Championship. He scored 3/6. Saisree Ravi scored 3.5/6 in the girls championship. All are regular members at our club and did us proud. The details of the U.S. Open can be found here.
John Bartholomew has updated his blog about his coaching travels this Summer.  Back to list.

JULY NEWS (7/1/2013)
  The month starts off with another big Monday Quad. A wide range of players and some new victims this week. Be there before 7:00pm to get in the mix. Do not be late. Nate is running another Wednesday Knighter this month and the Thursday night event will play on Wednesday for the first round. Time to book your rooms and entry for Catfish Days. Only $35 for A and above and $25 for class B and below. Potluck too!!
The FIDE event at the Castle had a cast of 27 with Samarth Chakrasali taking clear first and boosting his rating to 2157 on his way to Master. Many of our younger players are having a rating surge. Alex Richter, Mike Fellman and Kyler Weatherspoon are all above 2100. Connor Quinn and Jackson Wahl broke thru the 2000 level. It is good to see that my rating points are going to such fine young men. Watch out for these guys at the upcoming big events.
John Bartholomew crushed the field in the Blitz tournament.  You can check out his blog about it here.
The schedule page has been redone and updated.
Mike Fellman won the Jackson Wahl Think with 6/7. Only Justin Kleist was able to beat him after thrashing Mr. Bill on his way to an Expert rating. Mike took home $170 for his efforts! Justin and Andrey Chernov tied for 2-3. Jackson's lovely Mom brought in a chess cake to celebrate his 14th birthday. You too can have a tournament named after you..... Back to list.

JUNE UPDATE (6/14/2013)

Lots of activity in the chess world this Summer. The State Blitz Championship is coming on Sunday June 23rd at the Oval. This is a MSCA event.  Nate Hoover is running another monthly Wednesday tournament. There is a FIDE event at the Castle on June 29-30th. Register at the online tournament link above. Details there and below. The Catfish Days is scheduled for July 26-27th. Friday -Saturday.Correct entry information below. The State Senior Championship should be Sept. 14-15th. The Summer concludes with the Skelton on Labor Day weekend. St. Olaf is running a chess camp again this year with John Bartholomew as a teacher. Two blogs you can check: Bartholomew and Titus. I have no word on the schedule for the Thursday night monthly tournament as the first Thursday is the Fourth of July Independence Day Holiday. Thanks to our friends in Rochester for another fine event. Crosstable. John Bartholomew crushed the field in the Blitz tournament.

April 25, 2014 - April 27, 2014 8th Annual Okoboji Open & Reserve(U1600) 

Arrowwood Resort & Conference Center, 1405 Highway 71 S, Okoboji,IA 51355
3 day schedule (Open and Reserve) - 5 Round Swiss G/90 for all rounds.
2 day schedule (Open and Reserve) - 5 Round Swiss G/90 for rounds 1 and 2 and G/120 for rounds 3-5.
2 day and 3 day schedules merge after round 2.
Make checks payable to Jodene Kruse. On site registration 5:00-5:45pm on 4-25 (3 day); 8:00-8;45am on 4-26 (2 day)
3 day schedule : Friday 6:00pm; Saturday 9:00am,4:30pm; Sunday 9:00am;2:30pm;
2 day schedule : Saturday 9:00am-1:00pm-4:30pm; Sunday 9:00am;2:30pm.
Entry Fee:
Open: $50 (juniors and seniors $40) if received by April 18th. $60 cash or $65 check onsite. GM's and IM's free entry.
Reserve: $40 if received by April 18th. $50 cash or $55 check onsite.
Prize Info:
Open: Top 3 (guaranteed) $500+Trophy-$350-$150. U2000, U1800, U1600 : $80-$50 (based on 30 players)
Reserve: $200+Trophy-$100-$50, U1400, U1250 : $75-$50. U1000 : $50 (based on 20 players)
Other Information:
US Chess Federation (USCF) membership required for Open and Reserve.
IASCA or other state association membership required for the open, $15, $10 Jr. or Sr.
Send Entry Fee to: Make checks payable to Jodene Kruse and mail to 934 6th Street Sibley, IA 51249 or email to
$71 Hotel rate if reserved by April 12th. Call the Arrowwood resort at 1-800-727-4561.
SIDE EVENT:IM John Bartholomew will be giving a simul on 4/25 at 4PM , Simul cost $10.   Back to list.


Once again this fine event will be held at the Suites Hotel in Canal Park on the shores of Lake Superior. Details are being finalized and will be posted soon.

ChessBase HTML output

(32) Bykhovsky,Anatoly (2502) - Bartholomew,John (2425) [A06]
2013 Saint Louis Classic (4.3), 23.11.2013

1.Nf3 d5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 c6 4.0-0 Bf5 5.c4 e6 6.d3 Be7 7.Qb3 Qc8 8.Nc3 h6 9.cxd5 exd5 10.e4 dxe4 11.dxe4 Be6 12.Qc2 c5 13.Bf4 0-0 14.Rad1 Nh5 15.Be3 Nd7 16.Nd5 Bd8 17.h3 Re8 18.g4 Bxd5 19.exd5 Nhf6 20.d6 b5 21.g5 hxg5 22.Nxg5 g6 23.Bxa8 Qxa8 24.Qb3 c4 25.Qxb5 Re5 26.Qa4 Bb6 27.Bf4 Rf5 28.Qxc4 Ne5 29.Qe2  Black to play and win

Rxg5+ 30.Bxg5 Nf3+ 31.Kh1 Nd4+ 32.f3 Nxe2 33.Bxf6 Ng3+ 34.Kg2 Nxf1 35.d7 Ne3+ 0-1


Congratulations to International Master John Bartholomew, who took a big step last week towards becoming a Grandmaster!  John won an invitational tournament in St. Louis, and by doing so he earned his first Grandmaster norm.

John won the 2013 St. Louis Classic, a GM and IM norm invitational tournament held at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis from Nov. 21 to Nov. 27.  He had a score of 6.5 out of 9, giving him first place by a full point over a field of three Grandmasters and six other IM’s.  

To give you an idea of just how difficult it is to earn a GM norm, the field John played against had an average rating of 2453, which meant John had to score at least 6.5 out of 9 to earn the norm.  “I hit that score on the button,” he said.

John had four wins, including one against a GM, five draws and no losses. His nine opponents included players from Brazil, India, Israel, Hungary and Canada.

“It was a pretty neat experience, and certainly the best tournament I've had to date,” he said.

John’s result (and a tournament performance rating of 2619) boosted his FIDE rating from 2425 to 2452. To earn the GM title, he’ll have to notch two more norms and raise his FIDE rating to 2500.

John is making his living as a chess professional, so if you’re looking for lessons, want to hire him for a simul or otherwise help him pay the bills while he aims for his next two norms, you can reach him at

Here’s the final crosstab for the tournament:

Congrats again to our hopefully soon-to-be GM Bartholomew!

Curt Brasket

Brasket, Curt J. Curt Justin Brasket, Jr., 81, passed away in his sleep January 24, 2014. Born in Tracy, MN on December 7, 1932, Curt was the sixth of eight children. He graduated valedictorian from his high school and furthered his education at the University of Minnesota and St. John's University in Collegeville, MN, earning degrees in mathematics and French. Upon completing college, Curt enlisted in the US Army and served two years overseas in Japan. After being honorably discharged, Curt gained employment with Univac/Unisys as a computer programmer for which he continued to work his entire career. In 1963, Curt married Rita Bronk, and they resided in Bloomington, MN. They were married 50 years and together had three daughters and sons-in-law, and eight grandchildren. Curt had many interests including Gene Autry, candy, comic books, and big little books, but his greatest passion was chess. He was the US National Junior Chess Champion, the MN State Chess Champion 16 times, and an International FIDE Master. This past summer Curt was awarded the US Chess Federation Outstanding Career Achievement Award. For almost 40 years Curt suffered with Parkinson's Disease for which we never heard him mention or complain, and for the past three years he was under the attentive care of the MN VA Home's staff. Curt was preceded in death by his parents, Curt and Mary, and siblings, Clement, Estella, Cyril, and Denis. He is survived by his wife, Rita, of Bloomington, MN; daughters, Monica (Chuck) Wedin of Litchfield, MN, Barbara (Dan) Romanelli of Edina, MN, and Rebecca (Joseph) Leahy of Houston, TX; grandchildren, Charissa, Curt, Ella, Matthew, Nate, Lily, Justin, and M'adeline; siblings, Doris Peluzzo of Washington, D.C., Richard (Lorraine) of Eden Prairie, MN, and Patricia (Gene) Klawitter of Champlin, MN; and many other nieces, nephews, and relatives. Blessed be his memory. Visitation will be at St. Bonaventure Church in Bloomington, MN on Tuesday, Jan. 28 at 10 a.m. followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00. Luncheon reception following service.