Archive for the 'The Chess Drum' Category

.@Vachier_Lagrave at the closing ceremony #SinqefieldCup #GrandChessTour pic.twitter.com/2I4L8Yj7EU — Grand Chess Tour (@GrandChessTour) August 13, 2017 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave has had mixed results in the past year. In last year’s Sinquefield Cup, MVL, as he is known, was second in the world with a 2819 ELO and top seed. He finished on 50% and it started […]

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Jerald Times has been shuffling around the chess world for decades. He is known more as a coach than a player, but he has recently launched a new initiative with his inaugural “Hip Hop Chess Day” in the Bronx. Hip hop heads will know that the Bronx is where the roots of hip hop sprouted […]

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Team Captains: Tichawona Tony Troy (Cleveland) and Daniel X Jones (Chicago). Photo by Tichawona Tony Troy The “Best in the Midwest” rivalry continues to brew as the Chicago Chess Blitzers travels six hours (one way) to Cleveland to take on the Heavy Hitters at Case Western University. The event was designed to be a 15-players […]

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Blazing trails lead to St. Louis, the self-proclaimed “capital of chess” to host to 2017 Sinquefield Cup. As part of the third of five events of the Grand Chess Tour, it is a chance for players to ground on tour leader and World Champion Magnus Carlsen. According to tournament organizers… The 2017 Sinquefield Cup is […]

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Daniel X Jones with wife ZoraidaPhoto by Daniel X Jones In the past few years, Daniel X Jones has been a catalyst for chess growth in Chicago. While operating a martial arts dojo, he also hosts chess events to ignite enthusiasm that has been dormant on the south side for the past decade. He is […]

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The chess community is still buzzing after the Chicago-Memphis match and a number of videos of blitz battles have circulated around social media. A lot of inter-city trash-talking and sharp-witted banter has been bounced around and the result is the second team blitz match featuring Cleveland and Chicago. There was even a scouting visit by […]

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Since 2004 winning the African Juniors and earning the IM title and winning the following year, Bassem Amin has been on a steady track to become the strongest player in Egypt. He now has a chance to make history by being the first player of the African continent to make the iconic 2700 ELO mark. […]

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GM Pontus Carlsson (Sweden)Photo by Daaim Shabazz Ben Johnson contacted The Chess Drum a month ago to ask questions in preparation for his podcast with GM Pontus Carlsson. The directory of podcasts can be found here. These podcasts feature chess personalities from around the world in about a 60- to 90-minute format. Carlsson talked about […]

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Chess in Chicago has a long and venerable history. Chess on the southside of Chicago has a spotted history, but with no less pride. Over the years, players on the southside have played in burger joints, parks and coffee shops, but with the vision of 10 players, persistence has led to a permanent home. Roger […]

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Tom Murphy has been known in chess circles for four decades. More familiar with those who revel in the excitement of blitz in public places, Murphy has showcased his craft giving it a higher profile. As a result, he has been the subject of many interviews on the intrigue of the game. He also was […]

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New York players looking through Triple Exclam during the 2017 World Open. As the summer heat is in full swing, many chess players are choosing a variety of ways to stay cool. Sometimes the best way is to stay inside and play chess. The World Open is the largest open tournament in the U.S. routinely […]

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Farai Mandizha (Zimbabwe)Photo by David Llada Over the years, IM Farai Mandizha has made strides since coming from Zimbabwe nearly a decade ago. Initially, he developed a reputation for his blitz skills, but as he developed a plan for earning his titles, he focused more on incremental improvements. In this time he has earned his […]

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The premier chess event in America was held July 4th weekend beginning on June 30th in the iconic place of the country’s founding. Philadelphia is known for many things… Declaration of Independence, Rocky movie series, cheese steaks and soul music. For the past three decades, it has also become an institution in chess. The World […]

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The battle brewing over the past couple of weeks spilled out onto the board in at the opulent St. Louis Chess Club last weekend when 10-player teams from Chicago and Memphis met for a all-play-all battle. After the momentum built by the epic Daniel X Jones vs. FM Jimmy Canty match, the chatter is social […]

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Charles Kuwaza On April 18th, Charles Tawonerera Kuwaza fell to his death from the 9th-story of the Club Chambers building on the corner of 3rd Street and Nelson Mandela Avenue. The question of Kuwaza’s tragic death has been whether it was a suicide (as initially reported) or whether he was assassinated and pushed from the […]

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Lawyer Times has been a mainstay in the New England area for the past four decades and now he can lay claim to being the 2017 Massachusetts state champion. Times toppled past champions IM Dave Vigorito and GM Alexander Ivanov to take the title with 5/6. In 2nd-3rd were Farzad Abdi and Carissa Yip with […]

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Detroit and Chicago have a close relationship with both being home to hard-working migrants from the south in search of hope and opportunity. The Midwest was the destination for many Blacks due to the abundance of factory jobs in the steel mills, foundry, and stock yards. The determination to find good paying jobs required a […]

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The chess season is in full swing and in the heat of summer, chess players typically look to play in fun tournaments. The Chess Educators International Open is such a tournament in one of America’s vacation capitals, Orlando, Florida! The 5-round tournament has a possible prize fund of $10,000 (based on 160 entries) and serves […]

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Each city has its chess history. There are even genres within chess history. One of the most captivating (and overlooked) aspects of its history is street chess. Out of this community comes the life and dreams of every chess player to make a name for his or herself. The venues… barber shops, beaches, coffee shops, […]

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On the campus of University of Cape Town There are many ways to describe the African continent. Some know it as the “Cradle of Civilization” and by others as the “Dark Continent.” Rest assured, this massive land mass has a complicated history, but its complexity may be softened by the sheer diversity and beauty. Each […]

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The 2nd Emory Tate Memorial took place at the Lion’s Den Chess and Martial Arts Academy in Chicago on a gorgeous summer day. There was excitement building up for the tournament along with the buzz of the pending match between Daniel X Jones and FM James Canty. Excitement for chess is high these days on […]

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GM Pontus Carlsson facing off against Kennedy Shane in Lusaka, Zambia. During Pontus Carlsson’s trip to Zambia, he excitedly told me about an 8- year old player who had held a draw against him in a simul. He said, “The small boy that drew me in the simul is a coming star with the right […]

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The Chicago Chess Blitzers community will host the 2nd Emory Tate Memorial on June 10th, 2017 at Daniel Jones’ Lion’s Paw Chess Academy on the city’s south side. Last year’s inaugural event was surprisingly won by Gwayne Lambert. Given the excitement generated from the Chicago Open, the club hopes to draw a larger crowd than […]

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A total of 984 players showed up at the 2017 Chicago Open causing the organizers to scramble to arrange proper space. Having been edged out by a wedding, the tournament converted a skittles room into a playing hall and certainly created initial chaos, but the tournament was able to adjust. There was still the problem […]

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On the plane to Africa reading “Active Pieces: Practical Advice from America’s Most Relentless Tournament Player” by IM Jay Bonin While on my 15-hour flight for a four-country African tour (actually five), I read through Jay Bonin’s Active Pieces: Practical Advice from America’s Most Relentless Tournament Player, a book about his chess career. I don’t […]

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