Atlanta’s Troutman at 2019 Chicago Open

Charles Troutman III

Charles Troutman III had been one of the top 100 players in age categories between 9-11 years old. After a lull in his tournament play during 2017, he began playing more online activity and his classical chess began to improve. He’s on the verge of eclipsing the 2000 rating barrier.

He is the son of a tournament chess player (Charles Jr.) and lives in the Atlanta area. Now 15, Charles is one of the top 20 juniors in the state with a rating of 1992 and traveled to Wheeling to compete in the 2019 Chicago Open (under-2300 section). He ended on 3/7 with two wins over 2100-rated players. In fact, he had interesting encounter with Chicago’s Daniel X Jones, promoter of the National Blitz League (NBL). Playing white, he alertly won a pawn on the queenside, but the game took many twists and turns. Jones beat back a blistering attack and won the battle.

Charles Troutman (right) playing Daniel X Jones in the first round of the Chicago Open, under-2300 section. National Master Marvin Dandridge looks on while waiting for his opponent. Photo by Daaim Shabazz.

Charles lost that battle, but played in the blitz tournament on Sunday night and got 4.5/10 in the Open section. It’s puzzling because the cross table indicates that he drew his games against his first opponent when he clearly won the following game with 00:03 left on the clock. Was it a friendly?

This game against National Master Luke Calhoun of Arizona was out of a Blackmar-Diemar Gambit, an opening often used for shock value. This particular game saw black decline the gambit only to win a pawn later. Despite being a pawn down, white had more space and in order to free his position, black had to return the pawn. The game evolved into a very interesting pawn ending.

Video by Daaim Shabazz/The Chess Drum

Official Site:
Standings (Open):
Tournament Details:


  1. Hi Luke…

    With all due respect to you and the TD staff, they misrecorded the result. As you can see below both results were recorded as draws. Look at the other results… they recorded wins and losses where they applied.

    I have never (in my 40 years of chess) seen a TD record a draw for both games because the result was split (a win and a loss). It was a mistake. It was hard for me to figure out because I knew at least one game was decisive.

  2. Yeah, it was weird. They made an announcement at the beginning that it might appear as draw draw instead of win loss because it was all the same for ratings anyway (that’s why none of the first round pairings were recorded as win loss… all eight were draw draw). It was the way it was reported, where they had just a single line… so I wrote 1-1 an they interpreted that as draw-draw (as they did the other eight people). Notice that in the second round and beyond, they recorded it decisive-decisive regardless of the result (they never have a draw-draw in a win-loss round). It’s because they didn’t want to have to create another line on the pairing sheet and 1-1 could be win-loss or draw-draw. I agree with you though, that they should at least be consistent round to round, or have two slots for us to record both games.

    At any rate, I remember I won with the white pieces against Mr. Troutman in a King’s Indian (I think that was the opening) in a close rook and pawn endgame where he couldn’t stop a queening rook pawn. They recorded that game as a draw too. If I had thought this one was a draw, I would have recorded it as 1.5-0.5, but I marked it 1-1.

    And I agree with you: they should have had a part to mark it win loss or draw-draw because it’s confusing when looking at the crosstable, especially since they only marked splits as draw-draw during the the first round then started marking them win-loss!

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