Gordon Boomstra, Anthony Yang win at Rated Beginners' Open #13

Rated Beginners' Open #13 drew 22 players to UIC's Student Center East on December 9th. Gordon Boomstra won the Under 1200 Section, scoring a perfect 5-0 and increasing his provisional rating to 1374 after only 14 games. (In case you're wondering, eligibility for this event is always based on the current month's official US Chess ratings) Jared Slucter, Jack Glerum, and Matthew Chang tied for second with 3½.

In the Under 800 section, Anthony Dan Yang swept the field 5-0. Aya Bareket lost only to the winner and scored 3½.

Kirti Sanchana directed for Chicago Chess Center.

The section winners received a chess clock and their choice of chess book. All participants received their choice of chess book.

We were pushing Murray Chandler's How to Beat Your Dad at Chess. The most frequent comment from players claiming their prizes was (of course), "I don't need that book, I already know how to beat my dad!" For marketing purposes, the Oedipal title works (How to Beat Your Dad has probably supplanted Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess as the bestselling chess book in the USA). Players are often surprised to find out what's in the book, however: How to Beat Your Dad is actually a guide to using some of the most common checkmating patterns.

There's a lot more to tactics than knowing the basic checkmates, but we all have to start somewhere!

Here's a nice example from the final round of the U1200 section:

 Genil - Meharenna, Chicago 2017 White to play and mate  

 Genil - Meharenna, Chicago 2017

White to play and mate






Velikanov & Paitrick win Plus-Score 15; Elijah Platnick sweeps U1800

The Milwaukee duo of FM Alexander Velikanov (2413) and Derek Paitrick (2092) scored 3½-½ to earn $120 each at the Chicago Chess Center's Plus-Score 15, held December 9th at the University of Illinois's Student Center East. IN the final round, Velikanov was pressing against IM Angelo Young (2314) for the full point, which would have earned him $240 for a perfect 4-0 score. Young defended comfotrtably; he, Adam Chambers (1979), and Bill Smythe (1860) tied for third: each won $60. Tom Bareket and Natalie Wisniowski each won $30 for scoring +1.

Notable rating performances were turned in by Bill Smythe , who picked up 60 points in a mere four games at the age of 74-ish. and Wisnowski, who was playing for a share of first in the final round. My personal hero of the day was Anastasiia Radiushyna, who had not played since she was an 11-year-old First Category Player in Ukraine! She did not win any games, but finished with a  more than respectable 1719 performance rating.

Elijah Platnick (1604) was the big prize winner of the day, as his perfect 4-0 in the Under 1800 section earned him $160 and a 102-point jump in Elo. James Webb (1634) earned $80 for 3½ points, while Andrew Cook and Andres Mauricio Celis each won $40 for their 3-1 scores. Four players scored +1 and won $20 each: Toby Yang, Malik Brewley, Kevin Behrendt, and Daniel Lee.

The full crosstables are available on the US Chess website.

Daniel Parmet directed the 40-player event for Chicago Chess Center.

Happy 30th birthday, Hikaru Nakamura!

Happy 30th birthday, Hikaru Nakamura!

Nakamura failed to covert a piece-up ending against Magnus Carlsen today. (These endings are surprisingly tough: Kramnik failed to convert a similar piece-up ending in his World Championship match with Kasparov.) Doubtless, Hikaru would have had no problem converting this ending had it been played on Saturday, when he will be thirty years old and therefore infinitely wiser.

Celebrate Hikaru's birthday (or, more likely, the weekend) by playing chess! 

FM Alexander Velikanov leads the list of entries for tomorrow's Plus-Score 15. Still time to register here!

Reminder: if you are a GM, IM, WGM, WIM, or rated 2400+, you can enter any of our Plus-Score events for just $1! (Pay the full EF online, and we refund all but $1 via PayPal.)

And we've got 22 players so far in the Rated Beginners' Open. Why not register here?