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 the south side of Chicago. Unfortunately, the turnout was not as large as expected. Initially, eight players registered with Zambia’s Kela Kaulule being the top seed. Twelve players in total participated. Gwayne Lambert won last year’s event of 14 players.
Zambia’s Kela Kay Kaulule
Kaulule has been in Chicago the last month visiting a relative and has been adjusting to the U.S. chess scene. While stating that he played “badly” in the Chicago Open, he scored a respectable 4.5/7 in the under-2300 section. The Zambian native was challenged by the second-seeded Daniel X Jones. Jones, a third-degree black belt and owner of the martial arts studio, has been a positive force on the southside for mentoring his students and for promoting both chess and martial arts.
Jones, who is married with three children, told The Chess Drum that the recent buzz in Chicago chess is certainly helping to lift the profile of the game. “I love the ideas Maurice Ashley put on the table, and I want to partake in revolutionizing chess. So much so that chess “professionals” can be devoted and make a living full time,” said Jones. The Tate Memorials have certainly been a boost, but of course, the groundswell is still in its formative stages on the southside.
Tom Murphy (2085) with an optimistic glance against George David (1752)
Stephen Faulkner of Louisville, Kentucky
There were some very tense moments in the tournament including the second round showdown between Kaulule (2240) and Jones (2074). Jones, playing black, won a pawn right out of the opening and seemed to be holding his advantage throughout the middlegame.
In the second round marquee matchup Kaulule-Jones, black sacrificed a piece for a dangerous passed pawn. After …Nd4, white has to proceed with caution since Kf2?? would lose to c1(Q)! What to do?
In the third round, Jones-Murphy and Ford-Kaulule were going to be grueling battles and would most likely set the stage for who would take the top positions. Jones prevailed over Murphy while Kaulule was in a pitched battle with Chicago’s blitz legend, Sam Ford (1929).
Sam Ford (left) on the move and possibly examining e5! He didn’t play it, but it would have led to dynamic complications.
Shabazz spent time recounting key moments in Emory’s life as well as some of the highlights of the book. There was a bit of nostalgia in giving tribute to one of the most colorful and artful figures in America’s chess history. The recurring theme was Emory’s contribution of chess as an art form and his eagerness to show its infinite beauty.
Angelo Armistead came to the tournament to get his signed copy! Both Armistead and Shabazz competed in tournaments together back in the 80s. Armistead is one day older!
In the final round, Jones would face Donnahue who had beaten Madison Loftis and William Cuevas. Kaulule would play Murphy who was trying to recover from a tough loss in the previous round to Jones. Tension was thick in the air, and there were spectators milling around the boards.
Things heated up in the final round as National Master Marvin Dandridge (standing left) looked on intently. Tom Murphy faced Kela Kaulule and Daniel Jones took on Tim Donnahue.
Tension was thick!
2nd Emory Tate Memorial
Lion’s Paw Chess and Martial Arts Academy
7928 S. King Dr., Chicago, Illinois
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