CHESS CASTLE OF MINNESOTA
BIG GUYS SHOWING UP SATURDAY
Kevin Wasiluk, Dr Iwu, and Samarth Chakrasali are among the early entrants for the FIDE tournament at the Castle this weekend. For those looking for easier fare, sweet old man Voje is also playing. When you click on the event in the right hand box, there is a key for advanced entries. Hope you can join us.
Looks to be a very
competitive field. Kevin Wasiluk is joining the guys
There is a quad at the
Castle on Saturday for the stay-at-homes.
UPDATE: We have just heard that Awonder Liang, the youngest master in the United States, is also coming to play.
ONLINE REGISTRATION FOR SCHOLASTIC IS CLOSED [Friday, March 23rd]
Don’t worry, you can always register in person
at the site. Just be sure to get to the registration
desk (NOT to the exit ramp into downtown
We have 191 players for both sections right now. That is already more than we had last year for the two high school sections.
If you are pre-registered, please take a moment to Click here (page down to the white “Advanced Entries” button for our event) and confirm that all of your information is correct (section, byes requested, etc). If there is any problem contact Dan Voje at email@example.com or 651.280.5473.
I intend to have pairings for the first round
posted here around seven tonight. If you see yourself
so paired, you can just go directly to your board
number on arriving at the
The online registration did not check for membership in the MSCA (Minnesota State Chess Association), the fine people who put on this event. So if you are NOT a MSCA member, and entered online, or mailed in your registration without the $5 fee, be prepared to be dunned for that amount this weekend. If this means we have to take your lunch money, we are OK with that.
You can also spring for the full annual membership in MSCA for $18 (we’ll upgrade anyone who paid the $5 event-only-fee for a extra $13). This will take care of you for a year of chess, including the Summer Blitz tournament, and the big Noel Skelton Open next Labor Day weekend. Grandmaster Wesley So is coming to our state for that event.
Click here for details on this weekend’s event, and to see the list of pre-registered people. (You do have to arrow down the page a bit, past about a dozen other tournaments - the white key will give you the list of pre-registered.) At least most of them, as I am still entering the mail-in players. I should have all of the guys up by tonight (Wednesday). You can still register online up to Friday afternoon, and, as true for all our tournaments, you can register at the site on Saturday morning.
Please note that anyone who
needs to drop out must do so two hours before the start
of round one to get a refund. Even then there will be a
three dollar fee for such a refund.
NOW I HAVE JUST ABOUT everyone in except Brian Ribnik's guys. Adding 25 from him, and we are at 190 players right now. List should be complete tonight.
E-MAIL ME at firstname.lastname@example.org
with any corrections or questions.
OKOBOJI COMING UP [3/6]
Details are up
here for next month's event.
CHECK YOURSELF FOR THE BIG EVENT [2/14]
Go here to see all of the pre-registered players for this weekend’s Minnesota Open (look for the white box labeled “Advanced Entries” further down the page). Admire the size and the strength of this field! The list now includes those that came by mail and in person, alone with the ones who signed up online. If you paid up, take a moment to confirm that you are indeed registered. Take care to verify that the section and schedule (2 day or 3 day) is correct, and that any byes you have requested are listed.
IF YOU ARE MISSING, call Dan at 651.280.5473 and chew him up. I already misplaced poor Eric Bell, but he signed up at Joe Sensors a few minutes before closing, so, really, he has no one to blame but himself.
Call me if any details are wrong or need to be changed.
QUICK CHESS ON SUPER SUNDAY [1/30]
Open at 11:00, start at noon. Ten games. You know the drill. It has taken awhile to decide on this, as I wasn’t sure how important the Super Bowl is to our clientele. But we will take no chances, and promise to get you out of here by four.
TRY THIS OUT! I yearn for the old days, at our earlier, second floor Nordeast address, when we would get both Victor Alder and a young John Bartholomew as regulars in this format. A treat, watching the big guys go at it, and the pieces flowing over the board. Unlike speed chess, you do have time for a couple of deep thinks lasting several minutes. No score sheets required, and no damage to your regular rating. Ten games gives you plenty of opportunity to try out new opening systems.
I’ll have the details up on the right later.
COURSE WE ARE CLOSED SATURDAY as we'll be at the
Rochester Grand Winter Tournament! Satellite round is at
the Castle tomorrow night. Call the above phone number if
you have any questions.
over a hundred players for the Winter Open at the
Just a reminder that the tournament this weekend at the Castle is not just for higher rated players looking for international ratings. As usual, Dr Sisira offers a section that is USCF rated and open to those under 2000. A great opportunity to get in the long time control chess you need to prep for the upcoming big state events. Note many people take a third round bye, for a early Saturday finish, to save their strength.
NO PHONE AT THE CASTLE [12/14]
At least not until Monday. I had a number of problems in Hawaii with my cell phone, and even more problems getting it replaced. If you have left Voje any messages in the last week, I will never see them. You can still reach me by e-mail at email@example.com.
CLASS COMING UP FAST [11/21]
Turnout looks pretty good. You can see the players who have registered online at Sisira's website. By tonight we will have added in all of the walk-and-mail in entries, either to that site, or fully listed here.
I would add one of the things that I like best about this annual tournament, and that is the lack of a late Saturday evening round. What with each rating class having it's own section, the fields are small enough to get by with four games instead of the usual five. That is two games each day, at ten and three.
The site is the same as for the Labor Day tournament, the Noel Skelton Open, which the participants liked very much.
FIDE THIS WEEKEND [11/14]
The cutoff for the early entries is tomorrow, Thursday. For those looking to play the strongest competition, the top section already has Kevin Wasiluk, Dr. Iwu, Samarth Chakrasali, and Prashantha Amarasinghe. And a reminder that there is a USCF under 2000 section. This will be a great warm-up for the important Class Championship next weekend.
UPCOMING EVENTS [9/7]
The weekend after next, Sept 15th and 16th is the next FIDE tournament at the Castle. The following Friday, September 21st is round one of this year's Twin Cities Chess League,and I trust the USA's recent victory over the mighty Russians at Istanbul has whetted everyone's desire to play team chess! The day after the Castle will have a Think format tournament.
PRE-REGISTERED LIST [8/31]
We are up to 85 players, including 11 over 2000. Click on the above and check for your name, if you have already registered. Call Dan Voje at 651.280.5473 with any problems.
65 PLAYERS ALREADY SIGNED UP [8/29]
For the three main sections in this weekend's Noel Skelton Open. You can still sign up using the Chess.MN site, and get the early registration rate. We could also use more players for the Grandmaster simul on Friday night at the Castle. As you all know my Dutch Defense is very shaky. I need a lot of players to distract Ben Finegold for long stretches, so he is not circling back to my board right away. Give me time to find all the patches my positions always seem to require.
ERROR IN THE SATURDAY UNRATED EVENT [8/28]
I'm embarrassed to report the time control listed for the Saturday Non-rated Tournament was listed as game in 60. Not sure how that crept in, as these particular events have always been played at game in thirty minutes. Heck, at game in an hour, it could take until ten at night to finish, which is not desirable for a beginner's tournament. Sorry for the error.
I GET A CRACK AT BIG BEN [8/22]
That’s right, even though my directorial duties preclude me from actually playing at the Noel Skelton Open, our esteemed guest, GM Ben Finegold, is starring in a simul at the Chess Castle on the Friday evening of August 31st. The cost is a mere $15, and we start at 5:30 PM, and one of the board’s belongs to me. If you are playing alongside the club manager, never fear that I’ll take an early draw and leave you facing the full GM fury. No, any plead for a draw will be met by “win or die!”
(I know, big talk! I would be more than happy with draw. Incidentally, did you see the photo in New In Chess Magazine some months back, showing Ben dancing with Irina Krush after the US Closed Championship? Clearly a fun guy.)
ENTER ONLINE thanks to Dr Sisira’s groundbreaking website. Our local guy is making it big, as the system that he set up to take early entries for his local FIDE events has been beefed-up. It is now being used by the Continental Chess Association for the biggest events in this country, with plans to go global. Congratulations to Sisira Amarasinghe, and thanks for helping to make this Labor Day Weekend Tournament a success.
BEN FINEGOLD TO HEADLINE AT THE NOEL SKELTON OPEN [8/18]
The well known American Grandmaster Ben Finegold has agreed to play in our Labor Day Weekend tournament. He is currently rated 2576 and residing in St. Louis, where he is the Grandmaster-in-Residence of the finest chess club in the country. We will be hosting a simul at the Castle the Friday night before.
DETAILS FOR THE SENIOR AND JACKSON UP [8/08]
Click on the Schedule key above to reach the details for the Minnesota Senior Championship (at the Castle) and the big Super Reserved Tournament (in Jackson Minnesota), both being held the weekend after next. You have to be 50 or older to play in the first, and rated under 2000 to play in the second. In my post below, I mentioned that the first prize at Jackson is guaranteed, but that is understating it, as ALL the five prizes in their tournament are guaranteed! Very generous. This annual event comes highly recommended by Riaz Khan, Minnesota's premier chess tourist. (He confirmed this title by driving up to Duluth last Sunday just to dine and spectate for awhile at the Twin Port Open.)
Upcoming Events [8/4]
Next weekend, August 11th and 12th will be a two-day, Think format event at the Caste. My apologies for the short notice. I was expecting to take a family trip those days, but the plans fell through, and I figure we need a bigger event to make up for the lost weekends when we were closed for Catfish and Duluth. And all you sweet old men, be aware that the following weekend is the Minnesota Senior Championship. This annual four round, two day tournament is restricted to those over 50, and is again played at the Chess Castle. The younger guys, at least those under 2000, can drive south to Jackson, Minnesota and compete for a guaranteed first prize of $300 at the Sixth Annual Jackson Super Reserve. They play one game Friday night (the 17th) and then three games on Saturday.
NEXT FIDE NEXT WEEK
You will find the link by clicking on the title on the right. Dr. Sisira has revamped his online registration software, so take a moment to admire it. Our turnout as been strong for the last month, so we are expecting a good turnout for this classic event.
ROCHESTER IS JUST A WEEK AWAY [6/12]
Just click on the above for details of their Grand Summer Open. As usual we will hold a satellite round at the Castle on Thursday, June 21st for the Metro area players. This will replace the Friday night round in Rochester, so our guys just have to show up for round two, Saturday morning, down at the Mayo cafeteria. These are among my favorite events! It is a short, nice ride down there. The site is utopian, the prize fund generous. Sisira is doing the directing, which means you can register online at the above site.
We will be closed the whole weekend. Saturday we’ll be in Rochester, and Sunday is the Minnesota Blitz championship at the Roseville Skating Center.
YES, WE WILL BE OPEN THE EVENING OF MEMORIAL DAY FOR THE USUAL MONDAY KNIGHTER
JOIN US IN
CELEBRATING DONDO'S LIFE [5/21]
On Thursday afternoon, we will be remembering our good friend, Don Aldrich, at an event being held at our chess club by his wife, Cynthia. It will run from 2:30 in the afternoon until five. Per Don’s wishes, there will be no flowers and no ties. We’ll just be getting together to recall our friend and share some sweets. Afterwards, people are invited to The Bulldog bar on 401 East Hennepin Ave, for an Irish wake, from five to seven. Hope to see you Thursday.
UPDATE: Don passed away at 1;30 this Tuesday afternoon.
SAYING GOODBYE TO OUR FRIEND DON [5/14]
Yesterday we heard the startling news that Don Aldrich, a long time and great friend of Minnesota Chess and Minnesota Chessplayers, is at the Hennepin Country Medical Center. Sadly his is unconscious and with seemingly no hope of recovery. He was at the Twins game on Friday night when he suffered a heart attack. Any of his friends who would want to say goodbye in person only have a couple of days to do so. Many of our younger players may not know Don well, as his health and his demanding career as a trial lawyer had restricted him to only several tournaments as year. The rest of us, who have spent any stretch of years in the game, know Don well. I personally knew him since 1970. He always made the Twin Cities Chess League (where he won his board trophy in the gold section) and the Senior Championship. He was the first one to step up and join the Chess Castle when we first pitched the annual memberships, that enable us to hold our current space. Our thoughts and prayers are with Don and his wife Cynthia.
The Twin Cities Chess
League will have its annual awards ceremony and
pizza party at the
It gets confusing with my announcing and cancelling events, but Dr. Sisira wanted a weekend for a couple of six player, FIDE rated round robins. They are invitational events, but along side them he is holding a five round USCF rated swiss tournament, that is open to all. Details on the right.
LIST OF ALL SCHOLASTIC PLAYERS THROUGH LAST NIGHT
Here is a long list of about 300 names. All four sections are stacked in one list, and sorted by rating. Please take the time to find your name and verify your information. Make sure that you are listed in the right section, and that it shows your grade after your name. You should see a code for your school if you are playing on a team. Only four people have requested a first round bye, and they are indicated, so if you asked for such a bye, be sure to check for it. You should confirm any other requested byes by checking the wallchart at the site tomorrow. If anything needs to be fixed, please contact Dan Voje at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651.280.5473.
Just a warning that for some players their USCF memberships expire tomorrow night. They WILL have to renew to play in this tournament. It is not enough to be current in March, you also need to be current for Sunday, April First.
I know you were promised pairings by now, but I'm going to give guys a couple of hours to point out any problems first. Besides, most of you veterans can figure out your most likely opponent just from looking at the above link. And does the poor chesspunk who is going to get Matt Dahl or Michael Yang really want to know about it now? That's not the way to get a good night's sleep. But if you have to know, check back at 7:30. And remember, if you are on the above list, you need not check in at the registation desk, but can just go right to your board number and get set up.
Good hunting to all. Or if that is too nasty, here's hoping you and your worthy opponent create a masterpiece.
NEXT FIDE EVENT IN TWO WEEKS
A heads up on our next serious two-day event at the Castle, which is another edition of Dr. Sisira's and David Kuhns FIDE tournament. Go here for details and to register online.
REGISTER THE EASY WAY [2/07]
is now available for the Minnesota Open. Just trying to
save you a stamp and make your life more modern and
ROCHESTER NEXT WEEKEND; MC3 QUICK CHESS ON SUNDAY [1/30]
Go here for details on the Grand Winter Open. These events are among my favorite of the year. It is a nice drive down to Rochester, and the site is matchless. Plenty of personal space at your board, carpeted floors, nearby vending machines. Prize fund is very generous; they must work at getting sponsors or the site free or something. A reminder that instead of playing the Friday night round down in Rochester, you can play it at the Castle on Thursday night. We open at six thirty, and start the games at 7:30. Call me at the above number if you have any questions.
On Super Bowl Sunday, we are holding a 12 round quick chess tournament at the Castle. We are starting early, opening at ten and starting play at 11, to be sure to get you out for the big game. What is MC cubed? Our fellow nerd Albert explained what mc2 is, but this? Another cryptic Castle tournament name, I guess.
Over a hundred and ten players at the Winter Open yesterday. The top prize was shared by Victor Adler and George Kane, who couldn’t beat each other, just everyone else.
LIST OF ENTRANTS FOR THIS WEEKEND'S BIG EVENT [1/26]
Find listed the 75 players that have signed up for the Winter Open at the Roseville Skating Oval. If you should be on this list, and are not, please e-mail Dan at email@example.com, or call me at 651.280.5473.
A few notes - Although it is missing in the announcement, anyone rated under 800 USCF can play in the unrated Saturday tournament. You can only get one half point bye in this event. We have several guys who can only get there in time for round three, and they will have to take one zero point bye.
It is 30 second increment and not delay, so work on setting your chess clock now. And the first round starts at a early 9:30. This is an MSCA event, so you do have to be an up-to-date member of our state association. It was my hope to get up a current member list, but all of the web problems have set this back. Be prepared to pay the $18 dues if you are lapsed.
Please note that the next Rochester event is coming up next weekend! Sorry to the southern boys that we have not gotten this details up yet, in all the chaos. Of course, the Castle will host the usual Thursday night satellite round. Go to 2012 Rochester Grand Winter Open for details.
BIG WEBSITE PROBLEMS [1/25]
Yes, our site has been blowing up. Vanishing and evaporating. After years of using the same software program to publish our content, the hosting service we use no longer accepts the files it generates. So the site is going to look pretty stark until we can come up with a solution.
The timing could hardly be worse, as we are three days away from the second biggest Open tournament on the State schedule, the Winter Open in Roseville. I have already received over 60 early entrants. Go to the State site (www.minnesotachess.org) for details. I hope to put up a list of the players, with John Baker's help, in the next two days.
NOW TO THE BIG NEWS. This year's Minnesota Open is NOT being played in Plymouth, as the early announcements stated. It had been held at that Crown Plaza Hotel for several years running. But, due to a conflict, it is being moved to the Crown Plaza in downtown St. Paul, right at the north end of the Wabasha Bridge. The same site as last year's Region Six. You may remember when it was a Radisson, and we played the 2000 US Open in the ballroom. That is the same space we'll be playing in February 17th through 19th.
FOR THOSE NEEDING A ROOM we have the same $89 rate as in Plymouth, but they are down to nine rooms this morning. The phone number is 877.270.1393.
I would like to put up a list of the players, and maybe with John Baker's help that can get done in the next two days.