Chicago CC to host GM Ramirez

Daniel X Jones vs. Alejandro RamirezGM Alejandro Ramirez

Blitz Battle on January 27th!
Daniel X Jones vs. GM Alejandro Ramirez

The Chicago Chess Club will be hosting their first major event of the year when GM Alejandro Ramirez will be coming to the Windy City for a simultaneous exhibition and a match with Daniel X Jones. Promoter Nathan Kelly asserted that the match is the main event, but of course the Costa Rican born Grandmaster is a huge favorite to score an overwhelming result.

Jones has proven to be battle-tested, so he looks to make the match competitive. Will he shock the world? When The Chess Drum told Ramirez that losing to Jones would result in a worldwide broadcast, he took in in stride and said, “Haha, I don’t doubt that!”

There have been a number of highly-publicized cage matches featuring Jones who for the past month has been hosting an entertaining segment known as the “Midday Massacre.” These are short segments where he plays several 1-minute chess games with players from around the world. The games are dotted with colorful trash talk. Jones has been a member of the Chicago Chess Blitzers traveling team who have won three matches with a pending match against New York on March 3rd. He has also played three head-to-head matches with FM Jimmy Canty, NM Shawn Martinez and NM Jeff DeJesus.

Daniel X Jones vs. FM James Canty III

Jones takes on FM James Canty III in blitz battle!
Photo by Nathan Kelly

Ramirez is best known as a broadcaster in Grand Chess Tour events and U.S. Championships. He has also hosted the Spanish coverage for the St. Louis Chess Club where he is a Grandmaster-in-Residence. He also has produced ChessBase DVDs on the Benko Gambit and annotated one such game of Emory Tate’s in Triple Exclam. He is currently the coach of the St. Louis University Chess Team who recently qualified for the Pan-Am Intercollegiate “Final Four” tournament in the spring.

GM Alejandro Ramirez has fully deemed himself from last year's poor showing. He is still in the running for the title.

GM Alejandro Ramirez (left) in the 2013 U.S. Championship,
a tournament he came close to winning!
Photo by Daaim Shabazz

Ramirez first gained notoriety as a 14-year old by nearly beating Alexander Morozevich in the 2002 Olympiad in Bled, Slovenia. Then an IM, he scored 9/14 and caught the eyes of many. The young star was able to get some invitations and later qualified for the FIDE World Cup. In 2003, Ramirez became a Grandmaster at the age of 15 becoming the first Costa Rican to earn the coveted title. He was later able to secure a scholarship to University of Texas-Dallas and earned two degrees from the school. After a short stint in the video game industry, he decided to focus on chess full-time. In 2011, he switched his federation to the U.S.

It should be a good weekend for the Chess Chess Club. Spots for the simultaneous exhibition are $30 and the event will start at 11am before the big match. Lunch will be provided! Match will begin at 5pm. There will be 10 5-minute games and 11 3-minute games. Games will be broadcast on Facebook Live!


  1. GM Ramirez vanquishes CCC!

    GM Alejandro Ramirez flew into the “Windy City” from rival city St. Louis on the invitation to the Chicago Chess Club. Ramirez came to conduct a simultaneous exhibition and to play a chess cage match against Daniel X Jones. In the simul, he took on ten players (twice) and got a 19-1 verdict with Stephen Jennings getting the only win.

    Stephen Jennings starts out with the Smith Morra, but he actually plays 2…cxd4 3.Qxd4 (i.e., Center Game) instead of 3.c3.

    Thomas Murphy taking a glance in a critical position.
    Photos by Nathan Kelly

    In the blitz match, there was anticipation, but clearly many knew that a 400-point rating gap was a bit too much to overcome. Many of the Chicago chess players were hopeful and a couple even picked Jones to win the match! It is uncertain whether there were any wagers placed, but the social media buzz was on fire! When the time came, both men settled into their chairs. Alejandro was in a great mood as was being treated as a Grandmaster should. Hundreds of fans tuned in on Facebook Live and this is what happened…

    The outcome was expected and the two wins by Jones were well-earned. After losing the five-minute segment 10-0, fans started to wonder if the match would be a total loss. However, Jones broke through in game 17 making it 16-1. In the next four games, he got another win and the final count was 19-2.

    There was lots of praise given to Nathan Kelly who organized the event.

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