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 


 Home of the Castle Chess Club,  Girls Scholastic Champ:Saikhanzaya.  Boys co-champs: Locker, Chakrasali, Dan, Wahl and Tang.
     Click here for Results of our tournaments.           Upcoming tournaments.            Online registration.   





MAY NEWS (5/4/2015)
A seven round Think event on May 23rd-24th for those not going to Chicago.
The Second Gopher Open is coming up in a few weeks. May 30-31st. Enter by May 6th and get $5 off. This looks to be a great tournament with advance entries that include our GM. Flores.
2. I suggest you book rooms for Twin Ports and Catfish after checking the cancellation policy so as not to be sleeping in your car
3. The start of another month means the monthly tournaments are starting. Check the schedule page for details.
4. Rochester Chess Club has picked the date for their new schedule of big tournaments. October 2-3rd. Should be the same format. I will post the details when I get them
 5. Sean Nagle had to share first place with Kevin Wasiluk in the Second Grand Prix. Both scored 4/5. The format did not draw well enough and there will be some changes made. Thanks to those two and OK Iwu for playing. RESULTS.
6. GM. Flores has written a book on pawn structures that has received great reviews. Chess Structures is the title. John Bartholomew gives a YouTube review of the book on his channel.
7. MSCA has posted their tournament schedule for the coming year. The big change is the TCCL will be at a new location.  The tournament details and the site: Fantasy Flight Game Center.
8. Magnus Carlson talks about how he decides on a move.
9. GM. Flores easily won the Wednesday Knighter with a perfect score. Nathan Hoover did likewise in the Thursday Knighter.
If you are looking for a chess camp for the Summer you will find a great one at the Castle. This will be the third year we have held one. The teachers are Masters:Michael Yang and Kevin Bu. They  have gotten great reviews. You can find the details here.     Back to list.  .

SPRING SEASON (4/19/2015)
1.At the left is Andrew Tang the State Scholastic Champ. He won the playoff with a score of 5.5/6. We wish him well at the Denker.
You can enter onlineRound one starts at 9:30. The State champ, Sean Nagle and Kevin Wasiluk and OK Iwu are playing.
3.An article from Dennis McGrath about Wesley So.  Here.
Ganbataar Saikhanzaya ( AKA Sia)  has decided to play in the Women's national tournament and is finalizing details.
5. Wesley So is playing in
the Vugar Gashimov Memorial,  being held in Shamkir, Azerbaijan. He is off to a good start and you can find the details on the Chessbase site.
   The Star Tribune has another article on Wesley So.
6. The Twin Ports information is here. Mark your calendar for August 14th-16th. You can make a hotel reservation and not be charged until you check out.
7. GM. Mauricio Flores easily won the Okoboji tournament. He was able to dodge our Masters from Duluth. 56 players total.
8.Still no word about Catfish Days. I booked a room with a cancellation option and recommend you do the same..
9. There will be another Wednesday Night tournament in May in case you missed the April edition.
10. Garry Kasparov and Nigel Short are playing a match in St. Louis. Day One and Day Two on YouTube.    Back to list.

SCHOLASTIC 2015 ( 3/29/2015)
  1. Again this year the State Scholastic was held at the St. Catherine University campus in St. Paul. The turnout was a little less but the competition was still fierce. In the K-12 we had a four way tie with the characters pictured at the top of the page. Maor Locker, Samarth Chakrasili, Jackson Wahl and Andrew Tang will play a playoff to decide who gets to represent the State in the Denker tournament for national honors and scholarships. Ganbaatar Saikhanzaya, an exchange student, created some excitement on her way to top Girl finish. Being unrated the boys took her lightly for the first four rounds. Now rated 2045 provisional.  They did not make that mistake in the last two rounds. She qualifies for the National Girls Tournament and will decide shortly if she can play in that. There will be a playoff for the second place girls at the club to pick an alternate. Our mean girls ( Nastassja, Gloria and Niki) at the club did well as we expected.
2. Samrug (Sammy) Narayanan won the K-9 championship and will represent the State in the Barber. Sammy plays at the club all the time and slipped by Master Andrew Titus to take clear first.
3. Thanks to Dan Voje and his extended family for once again running a great event. The scholastic would not run so smoothly with out them..
4. Check here when the tournament is rated.  Check back for more updates.
5. You can follow the US Championships and see how our own Wesley So is doing in his first of many attempts to become the US Champ. Scroll down once you get to the  game viewer and replay the games.
6. If you are looking for a chess camp for the Summer you will find a great one at the Castle. This will be the third year we have held one. The teachers are Masters:
Michael Yang and Kevin Bu. They  have gotten great reviews. You can find the details here.
Back to list.

1.The Rochester Winter Open was a huge success. GM. Flores stopped by to class up the event and give our local Masters some competition. Taking first with 4.5/5 by drawing Jason Drake in the last round. Jason reentered after a sound thrashing by Dan on Thursday. Frank Johnson from up North and Scott Riester from Rochester along with Andrew Titus ( who joined the club) all lost at least one game. Jackson Wahl made it back to 2000 with his 4 wins and shared second with Maor Locker. Ian Stone won the Amateur. RESULTS. ROCHESTER CHESS CLUB. The next one will be in June so check back. Pictured are GM. Mauricio Flores and Matt Jensen.
2. It seems that John Bartholomew has been abducted by YouTube. While most people spend their time watching cat videos and pirated shows John has posted hundreds of chess videos. From commenting on his Bullet games while in progress to some lessons he covers a lot of material. I waste a lot of time watching Danny King's "game of the day" during big international tournaments but with John this has gone to a new level. If only I had known about this when I was working. So check it out.
3. If you want the games from the closed, MSCA has installed a game viewer on their site.

4. There will be a Wednesday night tournament starting in April. Check the schedule page for details.
5. Dennis McGrath has written an article about Wesley So for the StarTribune. You can read it online here. or find it in Wednesday's paper copy
.     Back to list.



1.The Castle Chess Club held its first Grand Prix tournament over the weekend. Sean Nagle scored a perfect 5/5 to take first and $250. Mr. Bill won the U2100 and $125. Dennis McGrath was the U1800 winner and took home $125. Roger Hale won $100 not for winning the U1500 but for making Sammy have to think for 52 minutes over one move! Sammy does not take that long for a whole game. Roger sacrificed a Knight to secure a draw in a tough position. Special thanks to all the Masters who showed up and went over their games even when they lost. I will post the details as soon as the date for the  next one is set..
2. The Rochester Grand Winter Open is in one week. March 20-21 depending on your schedule. Lots of schedule choices.  Masters play free.
NM. Frank Johnson has entered! Do you need a ride to Rochester? Dane Zagar will give you a ride. Down and back on Saturday. He is looking for someone to play on Friday in Minneapolis. Contact Dane at
218-409-5678 phone or text and work out the details. Tournament DETAILS.
3.  The round times for the closed are: 7pm Friday, 10 & 4:30 on Sat. Sun. Quiet spectators are welcome.
4. There will be a Wednesday night tournament starting in April. Check the schedule page for details.   ,
5. Sean Nagle repeats as State Champion scoring 4.5/5 in a tough field. Details.
Nate is holding a series of Quads on Saturday the 21st for those not going to Rochester. Check the Schedule page,
7. The University of Minnesota is holding their second Gopher Open  (or here) on May 30-31st. GM Flores and IM Bartholomew will be doing lectures and hanging out to add some extra class to the event. Several sections and a Sunday Game/45 at reduced entry. Dan Voje is directing.
8. I have reached out to James Kanne about Catfish Days, July 24-25th, but have not heard back. I suggest you reserve a room as you can cancel if you decide not to play.  There is the St. Olaf one day chess camp event on that Sat. so no matter what you will be able to play somewhere.
9.The Daily show did a piece on the US buying chess players to compete at the Olympiad. Not real funny. Of course they had the board set up wrong. HERE. The second part.  .   Back to list.  . 
1.The Minnesota Open was won by John Bartholomew and Kevin Wasiluk with four points each. They will join Wilson Gibbins and Sean Nagle in the closed playoffs along with Andrew Tang and Matt Dahl. RESULTS 3
Time to start planning for the Rochester Grand Winter Open and the State scholastic coming up in March. The club's first Grand Prix is also in March. First round starts at 9:30. 20 players signed up and remember the field is limited to 40.
3.Above is our club members at the Amateur Team tournament in Chicago. Report:
The Uncaptured Gang of Four, the only team from Minnesota attending the 2015 US Amateur Team North this past weekend in Chicago with a record 74 teams, tied for second
with 4 out of 5 and won the top junior team award! Entering as the 15th seed they upset the top seed in round one and only barely lost to an "amateur" team of three GMs in round
two. Above is a picture of the "gang" members Andrew Tang, Andrew Titus, Jackson Wahl and Nastassja Matus in action.
4.An article on Wesley So at Chessbase. Part two has now been posted.
5. The information for this year's Minnesota Scholastic Championship can be found here.
Tournament related questions should be directed to Dan Voje <651.280.5473.
6.The StarTribune wrote an article about Connor Quinn teaching seniors how to play chess
7. If you are looking for some photos of your favorite chess player you are in luck. Riaz has set up a site. It might take a while to load as there are a lot of photos. .
   Back to list..
GRAND PRIX (1/23/2015)
A new tournament will be starting in March at the Chess Castle. A year long Grand Prix with five tournaments culminating with a championship playoff in December. You can play all or just some of the events. There are prizes and drawings for all. The details are here. or below.The tournaments are limited to 40 players as the club has only so much space.There are twenty players entered and they are strong! Enter early and often. Each event is a great value based on entry to payout and the time controls at Game/90 +30 is one you can actually set on your clock. If you have questions contact Mike Svenson  or Dan Voje at the club.
The Winter Open was a success with 110 total players. Andrew Tang won the Open with 4.5/5 drawing Sean Nagle. Results I found a weighted Black Queen at the Winter Open. It can be claimed at the Castle on Saturday.
MSCA is holding its yearly election for board members. Details on their site.  . Back to list.

A very exciting Club Championship was held over the Jan. 3-4th weekend. Matt Dahl showed up from out of the wilderness, bought a membership and sat down to play. Welcome back! Dr. OK came down from Duluth bringing Dane Zagar and the Judge brought his son Jackson. Along with some hungry Experts and a couple of little girls the stage was set for blood bath. Fast forward to round seven. The three Masters are tied for first with five points but have all played each other. There are five at four points. This sets up a situation where the top three can claim the title with a win and only secure it with a draw if all the others draw. Very sadly all top boards ended in tough draws. We now have three Club Champions. If the Experts had all won we would have had Six Champs! The winners are all great guys and the shared title was well deserved. The two little girls, Gloria and Nastassja, are climbing up to the 1800 level. You have been warned.
There is a nice article on our hometown GM. Wesley So on the Chessbase site and part two. They forgot to mention his wins at the Skelton. Back to list

There is more than just the Twin Ports Open ( set for August 15-16th, 2015) going on in Duluth-Superior! They have a web page and some other tournaments. Check out the Twin Ports Chess Club.

HOLIDAY CHESS (11/24/2014)
The Rochester Chess club has finalized their plans for the Rochester Grand Winter Open. It will be held on March 20-21st with the usual schedules. Read carefully. This is one of the finest tournaments in the state and they deserve your support. Masters play free. The prize fund is huge. Online Registration, Below.
We have a full lineup of chess for the Thanksgiving to New Year's holiday season. The Class is a MSCA tournament with a chance to win an entry into the coveted closed playoffs for the Masters and A sections. There is a two day tournament scheduled for December 20-21st. This may be a FIDE event. Then back to back Think format tournaments. The one on January 3-4th is the Club Championship. The winner gets his or her name on the club trophy and will be the envy of all their friends. This is open to club members and club regulars. Check with Dan to see if you qualify.
If you are stumped as to what to get for that special chess player on your list a club membership could be win for everyone. The player gets reduced entry at all club events and you get them out of the house so you can enjoy your self. Players should have this on their list!
The guys from Duluth stuck around for the Rapid Championships. Taking first was the good Dr.
Okechukwu  Iwu. Going undefeated in 14 games giving up three draws. Results. Back to list.
The Class Championships were a hard fought success. Wilson Gibbins, the State Senior Champ, took clear first in the Master/Expert section. He is now seeded into the State Closed Playoffs. In the Class A there was a three way tie and a playoff for the ticket to the Closed will have to be held. Once again Dan Voje did a great job directing.  RESULTS

CHESS FOR FUN (11/3/2014)
John Bartholomew won the Bloomington Open with a 4.5/5 score. Giving up a draw to Sean Nagle. 126 players competed. The under 1800 section had three tied for first: Raghubar Tyagi, Ken Einarsson and the club's own Gloria Friedman. Glenn Panner was the organizer and director and did another fine job. He hopes to do this again next year, maybe in October with three sections. Stay tuned. Andrew Titus won the Blitz with a perfect score. Most of us had fun.
 Many times after a tournament our Moms or wives would ask if we had fun. At the club we joke about: did Carl Eller's Mom ask him if he had fun at the Super Bowl? If you are looking to reduce the stress of tournament chess or play for fun and creativity you can do that at the Castle. Nate Hoover has started a not-rated section in his Saturday Exerciser Quads. The result is not counted on your precious rating. Last week he had four Masters in the quad!  He will be holding another weekend Exerciser Quad in December. Check with him for details and low entry rates.  You can also stop by on Tuesdays for casual chess night. Pickup games and analysis. This is a good time for new players to get information on the Minnesota chess scene.
Check the schedule page for details for Sammy's Birthday Think, the Club Championship, the State Rapid Championship, a FIDE tournament and Exerciser Quads.   Back to list. .

FALL SEASON (10/1/2014)

There is a video of the Kasparov - Deep Blue match that is short. It seems so long ago.
The schedule for November has been posted. We have a Think planned  and a game/29 event that will not count on your regular rating.

Wilson Gibbins won the Senior Open held at the Chess Castle Sept. 13-14th. Noel Skelton and R.K. Johnson showed up to play thinking with Mr. Bill in Hawai'i they had a chance. Wilson, who crushed Mr. Bill at the Skelton, proved a solid barrier to their dreams going 4/4. Congratulations to Wilson! Crosstable.
  Another Thursday night event is starting with the new bonus for the under 1800 players. Explained on the home page. Monday nights have been drawing well with the Donahue boys coming back. The TCCL has started with 38 teams and still has room for a few more. Contact Dave Kuhns for details.
The Bloomington Open is just around the corner. Note it will be held at a different hotel.
The Bloomington Open has about 50 players entered with our three IMs leading the field. Enter before Nov. 3rd as rate increases.
Nate has another Exerciser Quad set for November 1st. These are drawing well and are cheap!
MSCA has scheduled the Class Championships for the Thanksgiving weekend again. This year it will be a 5 round tournament. Note the early start on Saturday. For all the
details.   Back to list.

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. Pictured is Noel Skelton of Erin Properties.


The Star Tribune has article thanks to Dennis McGrath.

The Senior Open is Sept. 13-14th at the Chess Castle.  Four round Swiss. Old people over 50. Chess punks can watch from the hall.
 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.



2nd Annual U of MN - TC Golden Gopher Open

The second Golden Gopher Open is back!

Come May 30-31st for another tournament put on by the Chess Club at the University of Minnesota!
We have greatly expanded the sections this year to encompass all levels! 

IMs and GMs enter free!

Location: Crowne Plaza Hotel in Plymouth

3131 Campus Drive, Plymouth, MN 55441

Open Section G/120 d/5 Saturday 9, 2, 7 Sunday 10 and 3 Flores lecture at 9am on Sunday. Entry Fee: $70, $80 on site Prize: 1st 2nd and 3rd 60% of cash prizes Class Prizes: U2200 & U2000 USCF membership required 5 rounds

U1800 G/90 d/5 Saturday 9, 1, 7 lecture at 6 Sunday Lecture at 9 am Games at 10 and 3 Entry Fee: $60, $70 on site Prize: 1st and 2nd 75% of cash prizes Class Prize: U1600 USCF membership required 5 rounds

U1400  G/90 d/5 Saturday 9, 1, 7 lecture at 6 Sunday Lecture at 9am Games at 10 and 3  Entry Fee: $50, $60 on site Prize: 1st and 2nd 60% of cash prizes Class Prizes: U1200 and U1000 USCF membership required

Unrated on Sunday  4/5 gets USCF membership + Trophy Entry Fee: $15, $20 on site , G/30 w/5  9, 10:30, 12:30, 2:00, 3:30 No USCF membership required 5 rounds

Junior Section: Grades K-8 Trophies for: Top 7 individuals Entry Fee: $15, $20 on site 
G/30 d/5  Round times: 9, 10:30, 12:30, 2:00, 3:30 No USCF membership required 5 rounds

Sunday Tornado G/45 w/5 9, 11, 1:30, 3:30, 5:30 Entry Fee: $30, $40 on site Prize Money: 1st and 2nd with 80 (50/30)% of cash prizes USCF membership required 5 rounds

This year GM Mauricio Flores will be lecturing during the tournament (Sunday at 9 am) to increase learning for all players involved, the lecture price is included in the tournament registration fee. Come learn something and then apply it to your games!

Note: IM John Bartholomew will also be lecturing for the sections U1800 and U1400 on Saturday at 6 pm, these sections will receive two lectures from titled players!

Senior TD: Dan Voje

Assistant TD: Zach Adams


Twin Ports Club site

Over $3,200 in prizes projected + U1200 back by popular demand!

The Suites Hotel in Canal Park, 325 Lake Avenue S. Duluth, MN 55802

The Twin Ports Open offers a fun family getaway during those hot summer months. It features an increment time control, a generous prize fund, and a site which overlooks Lake Superior. With our highest prize fund yet, you will not want to miss this year!

Friday Night Special Event: On Friday night (August 14), there will be a special chess event. Full details are coming soon and will be posted under Upcoming Tournaments on the News & Events page of, our new website!

Open: Entry fee is $60 by 8 August, $70 on site. Prize fund is (based on 40 participants) 1st $1,000, 2nd $500, 3rd $250; U2200 $125; U2000 $125; Scott Kittsley Upset Trophy.
Reserve (U1800): Entry fee is $50 by 8 August, $60 on site. Prize fund is (based on 40 participants) 1st $500 + Anarae Schunk Memorial Trophy, 2nd $250, 3rd $125; U1600 $100; U1400 $100; U1200 Trophy.
Bantam (U1200): Entry fee is $40 by August 8, $50 on site. Prize fund is (based on 15 participants) 1st $120, 2nd $60, 3rd $40 + Medals for the top 1st-3rd elementary students, and medals for the top 1st-3rd high school students.

All of the above: Five games, Swiss pairings. Time Control (note round 1 different from remaining rounds):
Round 1 is game in 60 minutes plus 30 second increment; Rounds 2-5 game in 90 minutes plus 30 second increment.
 Registration Sat 9:00-10:00am. Rounds: Sat 10:30-2-7; Sun 10-3. USCF membership is required.
 Advanced entries can be made online at or mailed: Dane Zagar 4454 Maki Rd, Brookston, MN 55711. Checks payable to: Twin Ports Open.
Hotel: All Rooms include a full breakfast buffet, served 7:00-10:00am daily, and complete kitchen with dishware. $110 chess rate at the Suites Hotel, contact the hotel directly for reservations. Tel.: (218)-727-4663, ask for the Chess Rate! Our block of rooms is held until July 10. After July 10, it will be hard to find a room, so book early!

Questions: Please contact Dane Zagar with any questions or concerns.
Email: Phone: (218)-409-5678


Labor Day weekend is the end of Summer in the United States and a big chess weekend for many states. Minnesota hosts the Skelton Open sponsored by Erin Properties at the Crowne Plaza Minneapolis North. For the second year GM Wesley So has been gracious enough to play. Taking time away from coaching the Olympic team and playing in world class round robin events, he was the featured player. His presence brought out GM. Mauricio Flores and three local IMs. Flores was board two for Chile at the Olympiad and a student at the University of Minnesota. We would like to thank the two GMs. for making the event such a memorable success and hope we can convince them to play again. 

Wesley So in round one.
GM. Mauricio Flores playing board two in Minnesota.

In the USA weekend tournaments are often 3 games on Saturday and 2 on Sunday making for a grueling weekend. Wesley was able to win the event with a 4.5/5 giving up a draw to IM Sean Nagle, our state champion. The game had a crazy start to get out of theory as Wesley did not want to give up any top flight secrets.   IM John Bartholomew played tough but was no match for a GM in the top 15. He was able to beat GM. Flores.

New IM Andrew Tang, IM Sean Nagle, Wesley So and IM John Bartholomew congratulating the winner.

The tournament was organized and directed by Riaz Khan and Dan Voje who did a great job as usual. Thanks to Noel Skelton of Erin Properties.

Some games: You can cut and paste these into Fritz very easily of course.
[Event "Noel Skelton Open"]
[Site "?"] 
[Date "2014.08.31"]
[Round "4"]
[White "So, Wesley"]
[Black "Nagle, Sean"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A01"]
[WhiteElo "2751"]
[BlackElo "2525"]
[PlyCount "72"]
1. b3 d5 2. Bb2 Bg4 3. f3 Bf5 4. g4 Bg6 5. h4 h5 6. g5 Qd6 7. e3 Qg3+ 8. Ke2
Nc6 9. d3 e6 10. Qe1 Qd6 11. Qf2 Nge7 12. Kd1 Nf5 13. Bh3 d4 14. Bxf5 dxe3 15.
Qxe3 Bxf5 16. Nd2 O-O-O 17. Ne2 Nb4 18. Nc4 Qa6 19. Nf4 Nd5 20. Nxd5 Rxd5 21.
Qe2 Bc5 22. Kc1 Rhd8 23. a4 Rxd3 24. cxd3 Rxd3 25. Rd1 Rxb3 26. Rd2 Bd3 27.
Rxd3 Qxc4+ 28. Qc2 Qxd3 29. Qxc5 Qf1+ 30. Kc2 Qd3+ 31. Kc1 Qxf3 32. Be5 Qf1+
33. Kc2 Qd3+ 34. Kc1 Qf1+ 35. Kc2 Qd3+ 36. Kc1 Qf1+ 1/2-1/2
[Event "Noel Skelton Open"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2014.08.31"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Bartholomew, John"]
[Black "Flores Rios, Mauricio"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A70"]
[WhiteElo "2534"]
[BlackElo "2561"]
[PlyCount "101"]
[SourceDate "2014.08.30"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nxc3 6. bxc3 Bg7 7. Nf3 O-O 8.
Be2 c5 9. O-O Qc7 10. Bg5 Nd7 11. Bxe7 Re8 12. d5 Qf4 13. d6 Bxc3 14. Qc1 Qxc1
15. Raxc1 Bb4 16. Rfd1 a6 17. Bc4 h6 18. Bb3 b5 19. Bd5 Ra7 20. Bc6 c4 21. a4
Ba3 22. Rc2 Rb7 23. axb5 axb5 24. Ra1 Bc5 25. Ra8 Rb6 26. Bxd7 Bxd7 27. Rxe8+
Bxe8 28. d7 Bxd7 29. Bxc5 Ra6 30. Rc1 Bc6 31. Nd4 Bxe4 32. Nxb5 Ra5 33. Nd6
Bxg2 34. Kxg2 Rxc5 35. Rxc4 Rg5+ 36. Kf3 Rd5 37. Ne4 Kg7 38. Rc7 Rf5+ 39. Kg3
g5 40. Nd6 Rf4 41. Rc4 Rxc4 42. Nxc4 f5 43. f4 Kg6 44. Ne5+ Kh5 45. Nf3 Kg6 46.
h4 gxf4+ 47. Kxf4 Kh5 48. Kg3 Kg6 49. Nd4 Kh5 50. Nxf5 Kg6 51. Kg4 1-0
[Event "Noel Skelton Open"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2014.08.31"]
[Round "5"]
[White "So, Wesley"]
[Black "Bartholomew, John"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D52"]
[WhiteElo "2751"]
[BlackElo "2534"]
[PlyCount "115"]
[SourceDate "2014.08.30"]
1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. c4 c6 4. Nc3 e6 5. Bg5 Nbd7 6. e3 Qa5 7. cxd5 Nxd5 8.
Qd2 Bb4 9. Rc1 Nxc3 10. bxc3 Ba3 11. Rc2 b6 12. Bd3 Ba6 13. O-O Bxd3 14. Qxd3
O-O 15. c4 Rfe8 16. Rd1 Rac8 17. Bf4 Be7 18. h3 Bf6 19. Qb3 Qf5 20. Rcd2 b5 21.
cxb5 Qxb5 22. Rc1 a5 23. Rdc2 Qa6 24. Qa4 Nb6 25. Qa3 Be7 26. Bd6 Bxd6 27. Qxd6
Red8 28. Qa3 Nd5 29. Rc5 f6 30. Rxa5 Qb7 31. Ra7 Qb4 32. Qxb4 Nxb4 33. a3 Nd5
34. Nd2 e5 35. dxe5 Nxe3 36. Ne4 Nd5 37. Nd6 Ra8 38. Rxa8 Rxa8 39. Rxc6 fxe5
40. Rc5 Nf6 41. a4 Kf8 42. a5 Ra6 43. Nc4 e4 44. Rc8+ Ke7 45. Rc7+ Kf8 46. Kh2
Ne8 47. Rb7 Rc6 48. Ne5 Ra6 49. Nc4 Rc6 50. Nb6 Nc7 51. Kg3 Na6 52. Ra7 Nb4 53.
Nd7+ Ke8 54. Nb8 Rc8 55. Rxg7 Rc3+ 56. Kh2 Ra3 57. a6 h5 58. a7 1-0
[Event "Noel Skelton Open"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2014.08.30"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Gibbins, Wilson"]
[Black "So, Wesley"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A28"]
[PlyCount "82"]

1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. d3 d5 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. e3 Be6 7. Be2
Be7 8. a3
O-O 9. O-O a5 10. Qc2 (10. e4 Nf4 11. Bxf4 exf4 12. d4 Bg4 13. Nb5)
10... f5
11. Rd1 Kh8 12. Rb1 (12. d4) 12... Qe8 13. b3 $2 (13. Bd2) 13... Nxc3
14. Qxc3
e4 15. Nd2 exd3 16. Bxd3 Rd8 17. Nf3 $2 (17. Qc2) 17... Bd5 $15 18. Bb2
$6 (18.
Ne1 Bf6 (18... Qg6 19. Bb2 Bd6 $15) 19. Qc2 Qf7 20. Bxf5 Bh4 21. g3 Bxg3
hxg3 Qxf5 23. Qxf5 Rxf5) 18... Bf6 19. Qc2 Bxb2 20. Rxb2 Bxf3 21. gxf3
Qh5 22.
Be2 f4 23. Rbb1 $2 (23. Rxd8 Rxd8 24. Kh1 Qe5 $15) 23... Qg5+ $17 (23...
24. e4 $2 Rf6) 24. Kh1 fxe3 25. fxe3 Qxe3 26. Qe4 Rxd1+ 27. Rxd1 Qxb3
28. Rd7
Qxa3 29. Rxc7 Qc1+ 30. Kg2 Qg5+ 31. Kh1 (31. Kf1) 31... Nd8 32. Bd3 Qh5
g6 $1 {according to Houdini, but it sets up the Rxh7+ threat if black's
moves away.}) 33. Be2 $2 (33. Rd7) (33. Rc8) (33. Re7 {all limit
advantage.}) 33... h6 $2 (33... Qh6) (33... Qg5) 34. Re7 $11 Nc6 (34...
Qg5 35.
Bd3 g6 36. Qd4+ Qf6 37. Qxf6+ Rxf6 38. Re8+ Kg7 39. Rxd8 Rxf3 $13) 35.
Rxb7 $2
(35. f4 Qc5 (35... Qf5 36. Qxf5 Rxf5 37. Re8+ Kh7 38. Bd3 g6 39. Bxf5
gxf5 40.
Rc8 Kg6 $13) 36. Bd3 Qc1+ 37. Kg2 Qd2+ 38. Kh3 Qxd3+ 39. Qxd3 Nxe7 $13)
Re8 36. Qc4 Qe5 37. Bd3 Qe1+ 38. Kg2 Ne5 39. Qb5 $2 (39. Qc7 Rg8 40. Be4
39... Nxd3 $13 40. Qxd3 Re2+ 41. Kh3 Qf1+ 0-1