Founders Meet Masters at UNAM Chicago

On May 11 and 12, Chicago Chess Center Founders' Court donors were invited to a preview event at which they got the opportunity to square off against local masters and junior experts. The two-day, four-round schedule was chosen to showcase a format that we've considered offering as a seasonal open tournament. The verdict? FM Carl Boor, one of the titled players in attendance, called it a weekend of "fun . . . full-blooded chess every game"!

Three of our founding members took part in the tournament: Vince Hart, Dante Silguero and James Hulsizer. Hart got to play against FM Eric Rosen and NM Danyul Lawrence, Silguero faced Rosen and expert player Michael Auger, and Hulsizer played expert Akshay Indusekar.

The third round seemed to be charmed, as all three Founders chose their games in that round as the ones they enjoyed most. Hart played Lawrence in a symmetrical English Opening in which he won on time after holding the advantage through a tactically tasty middlegame:

Silguero lost to Auger in a Caro-Kann, Silguero's "bread-and-butter opening," after what he called "a very instructional middlegame":

On the upper end, Boor and Rosen, who shared a top score of 3.5/4, played a 60-move game featuring an unorthodox opening followed by a high-level positional battle:

Rosen identified the game as his favorite of the weekend. Boor praised the game as well but cited the excitement of his fourth-round game against Auger, a touch-and-go Exchange Grünfeld that he characterized as "a swindle game," in choosing that one as his own favorite:

We can't thank our players enough for making the Chicago Chess Center's first event a success, not to mention our gracious hosts at the Chicago extension campus of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, who provided the space for free. Everyone agreed that the beautiful site enhanced the tournament experience. (Photos)

We're aware that several of our Founders' Court members had looked forward to playing this weekend but were unable to because of other commitments, so mark your calendars now: Our next preview event will be held Saturday, June 29. More details coming soon!

Click here for official tournament crosstable.

And let's not forget . . .

The purpose behind the CCC UNAM Invitational was to give our founding members and local titled players (and future titled players) a first taste of what the Chicago Chess Center will offer when we're up and running . . . and we still have a ways to go before we get there. We're more than a quarter of the way to our $30,000 startup fundraising goal -- which means we have nearly three-fourths of the way left to go! To open our doors by fall 2013, we need the immediate support of people like you. Please give now to help us bring the joys and benefits of chess to all Chicagoans.