A Look Into July 2019

Will chess in Minnesota be the same again, have the shifting seasons and attitudes brought forth a wave of transition that hasn’t been seen before, how will everyone react to all of these changes that are coming our way…Chess being played outside, chess at the Mall of America, and a Scholastic based tournament next month?  Not to mention a tournament that will involve some of the most talented young players in US Chess.

Twin Cities Chess Club has started holding Blitz and Bughouse events at the Mall of America Gameworks (4th Floor) every other Monday, and the next one will be Monday, July 1st at 6pm.  There is no cost, and prizes for top teams/individuals.  Depending on the turnout on the given night(s), there will be some variance on how they will be formatted.

Minneapolis Chess, a 501 c3 foundation has started holding casual outdoor chess from 4-6pm at The Commons, in Minneapolis on Tuesdays.  While geared toward beginners,experienced players that attend are encouraged to mentor those who are starting out.

MN Blizzard Chess will host one of their typical recurring tournaments this weekend, but this one will be played in the presence of those looking to get one step closer to the title of International Master or perhaps Grand Master like Plymouth native Sean Nagle.  Best of luck!

Chess Castle will begin to make a push for more scholastic tournaments this summer with a Game 30 tournament that will include team based awards as well.  There is a plan to increase scholastic engagement, beginning with this one taking place on July 13th, and hope to see this trend continue.  I expect there will be a certain appeal to Tournaments directed at the Chess Castle.

This has been your Look into July, 2019.  Thank you for your time.

Opinions expressed in this communication are solely my own and do not necessarily express the direct views or opinions of the MSCA Board of Directors
Photos are courtesy of Riley Slavics at Minneapolis Chess

Chess Does Not End In May!

The Scholastic chess season is largely over, so I guess that means we have absolutely nothing to talk about these next several months, how shall we pass the time?  Allow me to come up with some talking points:

Romanian Deadlifts 
Spiderman Far From Home
Pascal Siakam
Spinner vs Roller Luggage
The Treaty of Versailles

Need I remind you that chess does not end in May?  Imagine if professional athletes stopped lifting weights, conditioning, and eating healthy when the season is over.  Being a lifelong Minnesotan, yes, the summer is great, and making the most of beautiful weather is something to look forward to, but there is still room for chess!

Again, Chess does not end in May!  Registration is now active for the Rochester Open.  Those looking to be just past the state lines, check out the Twin Ports Open.  Both will have a venue change, but they will be the same wonderful events you are used to.  The US Junior and Senior Open will also be coming back to the Midwest, this time in Naperville near Chicago.  Twin Ports will be in August, while both the Rochester Open and US Junior/Senior Open will take place later in June.

Also, the MSCA will put on a series of Scholastic tournaments, starting this summer at the Chess Castle.  They will be 5 rounds and G30/d5.  They are open to all, but also geared towards those still getting used to tournament play.  A rated tournament does not need to be seen as daunting or intimidating, and for those that have been given that impression by others, we apologize for that misinformation.  If there are questions or concerns, your feedback will be appreciated.  Give these new tournaments a shot, led by a young talented director in Saumik Narayanan.

More on these events in an upcoming email, there, possible format changes on the Scholastic Series, but links for the others are provided below.  There will be many more changes regarding the MSCA and Chess Castle coming soon, to be explained in future communications, and your ongoing support will be appreciated.  This has been your Look into Summer, 2019.  Thank you for your time.

A Look Into May 2019

Did Thanos ever think to himself…”Should I have snapped the other half instead?”  While two weeks is enough of a grace period, I won’t give any real spoilers here except for the following: The ship sinks in Titanic.

While in a fictional world half the world is presumably forgotten, the MSCA is helping to restore, honor, and cherish individuals that have been important to the Chess Community in Minnesota.  With special thanks to the Hall of Fame Committee for resurrecting the MSCA Hall of Fame last year, there has now been a tournament and formal ceremony created to honor the inductees for 2019. 

For those that cannot commit to both days, we have the following with 30 minute time controls:

Saturday Beginners/Novice
Sunday Tornado

The Hall of Fame Ceremony will take place at approximately 2:30 on Sunday, May 12.  The following individuals will be honored:
Victor Adler
John Bartholomew
Sean Nagle
Brian Ribnick

Details about the following are in the links below.

Also starting up at the Mall of America Gameworks is Bughouse and casual play on Monday nights, likely twice a month.  The first one happened this past Monday, and 6 teams competed.  More details will follow in a future email, and likely the MSCA Facebook page.  The Chess Castle will hold an Exerciser Quad on the 19th, and the Castle will not be planning an event over the holiday weekend in with several planning to compete at the Chicago Open.  If there are any questions about the the weekend or anything else this month, please let me know.  This has been your Look Into May 2019, thank you for your time.

And this is the Blitz, Blitz it up

Announcement 2: MSCA Update

To reach the next highest summit, one must step off the peak they are currently atop of.

I have informed the MSCA Board that I will be stepping down, effective immediately.  Put simply, after about 10 years, I am in need of a break.  New faces are needed, new ideas are needed, and a new start is needed.  I firmly believe that I do not need to be on the board to be effective; have comfort in that I will not relinquish my role as Scholastic Coordinator.  I will continue to lead from this capacity, and be involved in the directing of quality MSCA events. 

I want to prevent some rumors about this departure, and it is not due to physical health.  Many have seen a dramatic change in my appearance.  These are changes I made willingly on my own, and feel much better because of it; I simply needed to take better care of myself and took active measures to make this happen.

Additionally, I won’t be going away anytime soon, but for the next couple weeks, it will appear that I am going to be absent at events many “expect” to see me at without fail…I will be transparent about my whereabouts so you can rest assured.

March 9th: You would typically find me at the SCA tournament that day, but I will be helping out at one of the best tournaments you’ve never heard about, at Minneapolis Schools.

March 15th:This is the last round of TCCL, but I will be in Chicago instead, on staff for the High School Nationals in Chicago, IL.

All that said, I have committed to the event on March 23rdWayzata Team and Individual Actions, listed on the MSCA Homepage.  Attend if you can make it!

It was about two years ago I said I promise not to change who I am and what I am about, but instead evolve to who I want to be and what I want to become.  I may find myself easing back on a few things, recharge, and reemerge, while staying true to the above.  I have gained much by serving on the board, and it has been an honor to serve.  I felt I took my roles and responsibilities seriously and as best I can.  Thank you for your time.

Announcement 1: 2019 State Scholastic Results

Thank you for all who attended the State Scholastic Tournament this past weekend.  Thank you to the the TD’s on staff, and all who volunteered their time to make this a successful event.  None of this happens without your continued support of the MSCA, and there is no real way to express how important all of you are in making this possible.  We are also looking for ways to make this tournament better and will welcome feedback.

Also included are the links for the Individual and Team Standings for all sections.  Any individuals looking for more team play, the School Chess Association will host a Twin Cities Jr High Championship section this Saturday at Metcalf in addition to their standard sections.  Elementary players can also compete up in this section.  They often do so with the team element involved and strength of competition.

As indicated, this is “Announcement 1”, and there will be an “Announcement 2” to come later today of a different nature, so I felt it was better to make them separate.  Thank you again for your time.

Twenty Twenty Twenty Four Hours To Go

…I wanna be checkmated

The Ramones had a humble and unique embracing when it came to losses, that’s the only way we can learn and grow.  Other musicians have also secretly been expressing their love for chess, if you know where to look.

I get the impression that Drake does not win too often, expecting a lot of bad things…He would benefit greatly from our own International Master out of Eagan, John Bartholomew.  He has gained quite a following on his YouTube channel, and explains the game so well.  Everyone can benefit from this, please check it out!  Johns Plan…Johns Plan.

Members of N’Sync were avid chess players, but you will never see them in the first three rounds of a tournament, …ain’t no lie, they always request a Bye, Bye, Bye

The queen is the most powerful piece in the game and you often see it sweeping across the board to deliver checkmate.  Hall and Oates pay homage to this as well…Watch out boy, she’ll chew you up…Oh, here she comes (She’s a King eater).

Nine years running, but some hearing this for the first time.  Players, coaches, and parents admitted they have sung this in the shower the morning before the Scholastic.  Well…I do too.  Why refer it to “chess thing?”  It comes from this scene in Searching for Bobby Fischer  

Without further ado, I present to you John Denver with some final advice to you for this weekend.

[Chess] bags are packed and ready to go
And notation, and pencil, chess clock, ect.

I’m standin’ here outside your doorI hate to wake you up to say goodbye
Did you preregister?  Get some extra rest then.

But the dawn is breakin’ it’s early morn’   The taxi’s waitin’ he’s blowin’ his horn
Probably feels like being a cab driver at times, eh?  Just remind them who keeps a roof over their head. 
Already I’m so lonesome I could die
Chess is not a spectator sport for most people, many find time chatting with fellow parents and really getting to know one another.

So kiss me and smile for meTell me that you’ll wait for me
Flattered, but I don’t know all of you that well.  I won’t whisper sweet nothings into your ear.   Maybe, I will ever so softly squeeze your shoulder, but nothing more!

Hold me like you’ll never let me go
They sure grow up fast, don’t they?

Cause I’m leavin’ for a [chess thing];Don’t know when I’ll be back again
Oh babe, I hate to go,
Congrats Seniors, and to all of you embarking on a new chapter in your lives. 

There’s so many times I’ve let you down; So many times I’ve played around
Many games are decided because of playing too fast, will it happen to you?

I tell you now, they don’t mean a thing;  Every place I go, I’ll think of you
Every song I sing, I’ll sing for you; When I come back, I’ll bring your wedding ring
Again, flattered, but I will gladly settle for a dark roast, no cream no sugar

Cause I’m leavin’ for a [chess thing];  Don’t know when I’ll be back again Oh babe, I hate to go
For those who have taken the time to read this till the end, this final line takes on a very real meaning, but more to come on this at a later time.

Good Luck to everyone playing, see you this weekend.

2019 Scholastic

Minnesota could use a little more national exposure when it comes to chess.
Alice Lee: Pause my chess clock

Congrats to Alice Lee being named to the US Team to compete in the 2019 World Cadet Championships in six months.  This is quite an honor, and Alice joins a list of many talented youths across the US.

Many other youths will have their sights set for the Bloomington DoubleTree this weekend.  The 2019 State Scholastic is fast approaching, so do not forget to sign up.  This weekend is the true State Scholastic and we are looking forward to all of you being a part of it.  Coaches, parents, and players, please verify the school you attend in addition to your schoolmates.  If they are not listed under with the same school or school code, email me (g10patel85@gmail.com) with the Subject Line: School Correction.  

For any updates regarding the State Scholastic, please refer to the Registration site.  If there are any other questions, please let us know.  Thank you for your time.

A Look Into December 2018

Like many, I have seen the trailer for Avengers several times already.  The title has instant chess appeal…will there be more references in this iconic film can be equated to the iconic game…I certainly hope they snap to it and pick up the gauntlet.  We are entering the Endgame of 2018, and what a year it has been.  My outlook on reality continues to revolve around the power of change; now is a fitting time to reflect, satiate the mind, appease an eager soul, and broaden the ways to incorporate chess beyond its current space.

The Castle will hold two more weekend tournaments to close out the year, a Blizzard Championship  on the 15th-16th, and a Holiday Classic, Dec 28th-30th with a 2-day option as well.  For those in the Twin Cities Chess League that might have trouble making it on the 21st, check with your opponents to see if the 14th at the Castle will work.  League standings and details about the 14th are posted on the TCCL page.  Speaking of leagues, contact Brian Ribnick if your school was interested in joining the Junior High Chess League.  Elementary Schools are eligible as well.

While the year is wrapping up, there may be a handful of emails going out, but I’ll try to limit the number of them to Infinity.  The length of the emails composed however…can you believe this current writing has already been snapped twice?  Be on the lookout for another one within the week.  This has been your Look Into December for 2018.  Thank you for your time.

A Look Into November 2018

Clocks were set back this week, but always keep forging ahead.  Every restful slumber, every waking hour, every gain and plunder, every grab of power.  Claim yours this weekend as the US Class Championships, there is still time to sign up.  It is not often a National tournament comes to MN, so this is your chance.  Be your own change, it was apparent this week.  Congrats to all who have served, continue to serve, and those who are newly elected.  

More changes ahead, and more to look forward to.  Next week the Castle will hold an Exerciser Quad, and the School Chess Association will hold a special All-Girls section in addition to their standard tournament structure.  The SCA has been doing this on an annual basis, and has been well attended in previous years.  

The Associations two largest tournaments will see a change of venue, we will be moving to the Bloomington DoubleTree. The MN Open will resume back to its usual date of Presidents Day Weekend, February 15-17, 2019, and the State Scholastic will be moved up to March 2-3, 2019.  Tournament information is listed, and close to being finalized.  More details will follow, but make sure you have these dates set.  This has been your Look Into November for 2018, thank you for your time.