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.    How many IMs does it take to set a clock? Deep thought.

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          Upcoming tournaments.            Online registration.


LABOR DAY ( 8/29/2014)
.The Labor Day weekend is home to the Skelton Open. This year we have two GMs and three IMs along with lots of Masters. Wesley So has returned to defend his title. About 100 are registered so far. Back to List.

AUGUST ALREADY (8/3/2014) 

short article on our club champ.
Big news for Thursday night players coming soon. Check back.
Eric Bell won the Jackson U2000 event. He had a perfect 4/4. Crosstable.
Andrew Titus won his Quad in the Saturday Exerciser and is creeping up to 2200. 18 players competed.
 Twin Ports was a another great success! The great Danes and friends put on a better tournament than last year and that one was great. A bigger room with great lighting and 98 players! A few players were not intimidated by the IMs. Note Andrew Tang lost and John Bartholomew drew two games. This allowed Alex Richter to share first with them. A strong showing for a club regular. First in the large 66 player Reserve section was Kevin Gaustad with 10 tied for second. I bet they add another section next year. This was the third annual event and I hope you put it on your calendar for next year. Crosstable. Our Monday Quads have been drawing well with a wide range of players.
While Ahmet was breaking the Master barrier ( scoring 6.5/7 at the Think)  our club Champ Andrew Tang was at the North American Junior Championships. He finished in sole First place earning the IM title and a GM norm.  Twin Ports and the Skelton are going to be very strong tournaments!!
Just two weeks until Twin Ports. Then a week to the Jackson Open and another week until the Skelton. Check the online registration or the upcoming tournaments section for all the details.
There will be one more Chess Camp at the Castle this Summer. The other two were a success.
August 11th (Monday) through the 14th. Coordinator Tremayne Talbot, National Master Michael Yang, National Master Kevin Bu. Back to list.


Ahmet Shapiro-Erciyas squeaked over the 2200 barrier on Monday night. The true test will be this weekend at the Think Event. The Skelton details are listed below and you can register online with the link above. We expect GM Wesley So, and IMs Bartholomew and Nagle along with a $2000 guaranteed prize fund.
The Catfish Days tournament was held in two parts. The first day could be played in Franklin or at the Chess Castle. Due to hotel issues this was necessary and seemed to work out OK. The event was won by NM Alex Richter. Nate Hoover and Michael Dokken tied for 2nd-3rd. 31 players took advantage of the two schedules. Results at Nate's and USCF. A Think is planned for the weekend of August 2nd-3rd at the Chess Castle.
Jackson Wahl won the OleChess Summer tournament held in connection with their camp. 79 players showed and he was perfect,4/4. Meanwhile at the club OK Iwu won the Summer Classic easily. The club will be open on Sunday after the Catfish combination event. A Think Event is scheduled for August 2nd and 3rd.
Our little club champ is growing up. He was recently at the Marshall Chess Club in New York. He beat GM.
Mikheil Kekelidze and is attending the US Chess School. Behind him is the table used by Fischer and Capablanca.
 Some of our guys have made the trek to the World Open.  Andrew Tang scored 6.5/9. Dr. OK Iwu is at 2.5/3.  Sean Nagle has drawn two 2600 GMs and beat one. Finishing with 6/9.  Saumik and Samarth (6.5/9 )did well too. Website.
The schedule for August has been posted on the schedule page. There are other tournaments listed below in the Upcoming Tournaments section. Check back for possible event on  Sunday July 27th.
Another Inn for Twin Ports if you are have delayed making reservations here.
Bloomington Open news is posted below.
Back to list.

JUNE NEWS ( 6/1/2014)
The Rochester tournament went well. Jason Drake took clear first in a tough field. Results. Thanks to Matt Jensen and Dennis Mays for holding the event!
St. Olaf will be holding a tournament in conjunction with their chess camp on July 19th. Non campers are invited. Details.
Our club champ, Andrew Tang, had an impressive result in the North American Youth. Sharing 1st with two others, third on tie break, but earning his first IM norm and the FM title. Very tough competition. Results.

I have contacted James Kanne about the hotel accommodations for Catfish Days. Some of the hotels had no rooms available. ZZ Top is playing at the casino. He says some of the hotels may have a block reserved that will be released if not used. Check early and do not wait until the last minute. He also has this: I've checked out the hotel situation, some of the bookings are in blocks and openings will occur as the blocks are released.  Be sure to check with each hotel when a block will open up; for instance at the Redwood Valley Lodge there is a wedding that will close on their block on July 7th.  Also a lot of rooms are available at New Ulm, the Holiday Inn, a very nice location has rooms, 507-359-2941.  New Ulm is a little over a half hour away from Franklin.  Another choice would be The Sheep Shedde Inn in Olivia, 320-523-5000 is a little closer, under a half hour. As I said continuing to check local hotels will most likely yield results also if one is persistent.
And this just in:Good news on the housing front, a friend has a large house in Franklin and will welcome guests.  Up to 6 rooms are available, showers and a light breakfast will be provided.  They just bought the house so it is pretty much empty, guests will  need to bring an air mattress and any bedding they want. Cost will be on a gratuity basis; I'd suggest $25 a person a night.  First come first serve let me know if anyone is interested in this.
  James Kanne at 507-557-8334 or 507-430-6741, or email
Catfish Days announcement   Nate is taking registration here.

 Be sure to reserve your room for Twin Ports as Duluth will book up and you can not beat the rate Dane Zagar has secured.

The folks in Jackson, Minnesota are having their event again. An Under 2000 tournament with a guaranteed prize fund.
2014 Jackson Open U2000

The first Golden Gopher Open was a modest success. With 41 players it was incredibly strong but could have had at least a hundred with more advanced planning. Andrew Tang was able to beat the GM and Ahmet
Shapiro-erciyas drew, missing a win. Hopefully this will be an annual event. Thanks to GM  Mauricio Flores for playing and we hope to see him at some other tournaments this Summer. Results.
Noel Skelton is again planning the Labor Day event and Wesley So has expressed an interest in returning.
Time also to start another of Nate's Thursday night tournaments.
There will be an Invitaional FIDE Round Robin on June 14th-15th, Check the schedule page for details.   Return to list.

SUMMER CAMPS (4/18/2014)
The Schedule for May is posted on the Schedule page.
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. There will be a tournament open to all too.
The MSCA website has been updated with national scholastic results. Andrew Tang and Nastassja have had great results lately. You have been warned.  MSCA site.
Rochester has decided on June 21st as the weekend for their Summer Tournament. Many schedules to choose from and a simul with John Bartholomew on Friday in Rochester. Registration and details. Back to list.

The guys in Duluth have finalized their event too. Twin Ports!

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.
  . 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.



August 30th-31st, 2014 (Labor Day Weekend)
[Crown Plaza Minneapolis West]


Our sponsor has committed funds to bring young Grandmaster Wesley So to Minnesota for a second year in a row! He is now rated 2755 on the August FIDE list, making him number 12 in the world! To top it off, Minnesotaís two highest rated players IM John Bartholomew and newly minted IM Sean Nagle are confirmed to play.

Friday GM Simul:
GM Wesley So will face all comers at the Chess Castle Friday night (August 29) at 7pm Reg. 6-7pm. This could be your chance to play a future World Champion, donít miss it!  
Five Sections:
Open to all. Entry fee: $55 advance if received by Aug 24th, $65 at site. Those rated under 1800 will be charged an extra $10.
First place a guaranteed $1000 and Second place a guaranteed $500
Other prizes (based on 30 participants) and U2200 and U2000 both $150.

: (Open to under 1800) Entry fee; $45 advance if received by Aug 24th, $55 at site. First place is a guaranteed $500. Other prizes are (based on 35 participants) second place $250, and U1600 and U1400, $100 each.
(Open to under 1200) Entry fee: $30 advance if received by Aug 24th, $35 at site. Prize fund (based on 35 participants) $150-100, and U1000 and Unrated, $70 each.
For above three sections: Five games, Swiss pairings. Time control is, for round 1: game in an hour plus a 15 second delay; for rounds 2 through 5: game in 90 minutes plus a 30 second increment.

 Registration is from 8:00-9:00 am Saturday. Round times are Saturday 9:30-12:30-6, and Sunday at 10 & 3. State (MSCA) and national (USCF) memberships required.

Five games, Swiss pairings. Game in an half an hour. Open to unrated players and to players rated under 800. Memberships for our state and national organizations NOT required. Entry fee is $15. Prizes: first place gets free entry to Sunday Side Tournament, and USCF & MSCA memberships for all players scoring 4 points in 5 rounds. Register Saturday, September third from 10:00-10:30 am. First round at 10:45. Games played ASAP, but with a break after game two for lunch.


Four games, Swiss pairings. Time control is game in an hour. Entry fee is $20 if received by Aug 24th, $25 at site. State (MSCA) and national (USCF) memberships required. Prize fund in a minimum 50% of entry fees returned, including prize for the top score in the lower half of field. Register Sunday, Sept 2nd, from 10:00-10:30 am. Rounds are played at 11-1:30-4:00-6:30.

Online at or mail to Chess Castle of Minnesota, 1121 Jackson St NE, #134, Minneapolis, MN 55413, with the checks made out to MSCA.

Site & Hotel:
We have an excellent chess room rate from this hotel of $69 per night. Phone: 763-559-6600 or 1-877-270-1393. Crown Plaza Minneapolis West, 3131 Campus Drive, Plymouth MN 55441.
Questions call Riaz Khan 612-501-8375 or e-mail to

Site:  Crowne Plaza Hotel and Suits MSP Airport/Mall of America, Three Appletree Square, Bloomington MN
 **Note different site from last year**

Hotel Rate:  $94 per night, single-quad
Prize fund:  $12,000 based on 200 players
Entry fee:  $89 by October 1st, $99 by November 3rd, $109 at site.

2 sections
Open  (Also is FIDE rated)
1st $1200, 2nd $700, 3rd $500, 4th 300
U2400 $600, $400, $200
U2200 $600, $400, $200
U2000 $600, $400, $200

Reserve (U1800)
1st  $800, 2nd $600, 3rd, $400, 4th 300
U1600 $500, $300, $200
U1400 $500, $300, $200
U1200 $400, $250, $150
U1000: $300-$150
Unrated $250

Playing Schedule:  5 round Swiss

3-day (time control G/120, 5 second delay)  Friday 7 pm,  Saturday 10 AM, 4 PM,  Sunday 10 AM, 3 PM

2-day (time control for 1st 2 rounds G/60, 5 second delay, then joins up with the 3- day schedule),  Saturday 10 AM, 1 PM, 4 PM, Sunday 10 AM, 3 PM

Register online at

Blitz tournament Saturday Night!