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Selected Old Chess News (2017)

News items previously appearing on the Northwest Chess home page:

For NWC magazine contents and PDF files, see the magazine back issues page.
More old news will be added as the year progresses. Also see the home page.

In Memoriam - GM Arthur Bisguier, a largely self-taught U.S. chess grandmaster from the Bronx, New York. See the obituary in The New York Times; also John Henderson's blog.

U.S. Championships! The 2017 U.S. Chess Championship took place March 27 - April 10 at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, in a 12-Player Round Robin format with a prize fund of $194,000. See the overview page for more information and links, and congratulations to new U.S. chess champion GM Wesley So, who won a Monday playoff for the 2017 U.S. championship. He beat 2006 U.S. champion GM Alex Onischuk. The U.S. Women's Champion is WGM Sabina Foisor, originally from Romania, on her ninth attempt.

New FIDE Master! Anthony He became Washington State’s youngest ever FIDE Master on Feb. 20 by scoring 5.5/9 at the WA State Chess Championship in Redmond. See the blog post, and congratulations, Anthony!

IMPORTANT - PRINTING ERROR ALERT!! The Seattle Chess Club full-page ad in the April issue of Northwest Chess is in error - the 2016 ad was reprinted by mistake instead of the 2017 ad. Please disregard the printed version, and see this version of the SCC ad instead. The error has also been corrected in the teaser version (selected pages with color).

April magazine! The April issue of Northwest Chess was mailed on 3/29. It's a 48-page special issue with "Nikolay Minev (1931-2017) Initial Report," "Oregon State Championship" by Grisha Alpernas, "Washington State Championship" by Josh Sinanan, "Washington Closed Player Bios," "Idaho Closed State Championship" by Barry Eacker, "Changes In The ICA Point To A Bright Future" by Adam Porth, "Become A Prison Chess Volunteer" by Tom Booth, "February 2017 PCC Quad 45" by Brian Berger, "2017 Washington President’s Cup" by Duane Polich, "Bethel February Quads" by Owen McCoy, "John Donaldson Lecture" by Brian Berger, "February 2017 PCC Game 60" by Brian Berger, "25th Dave Collyer Memorial" by Kevin Korsmo, "5th Annual Presidents Weekend Tournament" by Owen McCoy, a "Miscellaneous Game," "Passing Of The Torch for Olympic Chess Club" by William Bodnar, "Bobby Fischer’s Resting Place" by Tom Booth, "Chess Princesses" by Mary McCoy, and a back-cover photo of "T-Shirt of Jeffrey Bret Hall at Idaho Closed" by Jeffrey Roland. Cover: 2017 State Champions (photos by Alpernas, Porth and Sinanan).

New National Master! Congratulations to Ethan Bashkansky, who reached a U.S. Chess National Master rating of 2200 at the Super Bowl Tornado on 2/5 in Seattle. Also see the Facebook post, and the family's Chess Travel blog post. Photo at left courtesy of the Bashkansky family.

GP Final Results! 2016 Richard Gutman Memorial Grand Prix final standings and results are available from links on the GP page. Checks have been mailed to all the winners (or some Idaho winners received only NWC subscriptions) - Congratulations if you're one of them!

In Memoriam - IM Nikolay Minev (1931-2017) - Hanon Russell reports on Facebook (Russell Enterprises, Inc.) that Minev passed away on the evening of March 10. He was born in Bulgaria in 1931, and was champion of his native country in 1953, 1965 and 1966. In the 1980s he emigrated to the United States and settled in the Seattle area. He was a regular contributor to Yasser Seirawan's fine magazine, Inside Chess. He was the author or co-author of over two dozen chess books. Among his best-known works were Mastering Tactical ideas and the outstanding two-volume biographical work on Akiva Rubinstein which he co-authored with John Donaldson. RIP Nikolay... See John Henderson's blog post about Minev, and see Donaldson's article in the May edition of Northwest Chess.

March magazine! The March issue of Northwest Chess was mailed on Feb. 22. It's a 32-page issue with "Ben Franklin Quote" by Sarah McCoy, "Remembering John Braley (1944-2017)" by John Donaldson, "Film Review: Pawn Sacrifice" by Mike Hasuike, "Anthony He wins 2017 Washington Jr. Closed" / "Washington Junior Open & Reserve" by Gary Dorfner and Josh Sinanan, "Eugene Winter Carnival" by Owen McCoy, a corrected game, "January PCC Quad 45" by Brian Berger, "Bethel January Quads" by Owen McCoy, "Coeur d’Alene Chess Club" by Greg Callen, "Washington State H.S. Individual Championship" by Gary Dorfner and Josh Sinanan,"January PCC Game 60" by Brian Berger, "Emerald City Chess Club Winter Open" by Owen McCoy, "BC and Washington Teams Meet In Historic Match" by Paul Leblanc, "He & Mukumbya Victorious at 4th Seattle Masters" by Gary Dorfner and Josh Sinanan, "2016 NW Grand Prix Final Report" by Murlin Varner, and a back-cover photo of "Adjacent chess automobiles from WA vs. BC Match" by Josh Sinanan. Cover: Anthony He, a 6th grader from Sammamish, at the fourth Seattle Masters tournament. Photo Credit: Josh Sinanan.

In Memoriam - John A. Braley, 1944-2017, former three-time Washington state chess champion (one tied) and Northwest Chess editor of 18 issues during 1983-1984. John passed away on the evening of Feb. 7 in Seattle. He had been seriously ill for some time. Photos: John Braley c. 1984, courtesy of IM John Donaldson. Also see a short remembrance of John Braley on the U.S. Chess website at https://new.uschess.org/news/john-braley-1944-2017/, and in the Mechanics' Institute Chess Room Newsletter #783.

Sluggers/Rain Update! The Seattle Sluggers, formerly one of the teams in the U.S. Chess League, became part of the PRO Chess League in January 2017 - see U.S. Chess League website. The Sluggers conducted a fundraiser to help cover the cost of the team's free agent GMs. See the team's GoFundMe page. Also, here is a season preview article written about the Sluggers on the chess.com news page. Portland also has a team in the PRO Chess League, named the Rain. NM Jason Cigan is on the Portland team; click the link to see his Facebook news feed.

Competition for both teams began on Wednesday 1/11. Matches took place on chess.com, with the Sluggers playing at the Orlov Chess Academy in Redmond, Washington. Matches had a time control of G/15 with a 2-second increment (4 games per player).

Sluggers match results: lost 5-11 to San Diego Surfers; won 12.5-3.5 against the Rain; lost a "nail-biter" against Dallas, 7.5-8.5; won against their old archrivals, the San Francisco Mechanics, by a score of 8.5-7.5; won against the Dublin Desperadoes from Ireland, 10-6; lost a tough match to the very strong Rio Grande (Texas) team by a score of 6.5-9.5; lost to the Las Vegas Desert Rats by a score of 7-9. After week 7, the team finished with 3 wins and 4 losses, tied with Minnesota, San Francisco, and Pittsburgh; see the league standings.

Benjamin Mukumbya (photo above left) is the newest member of the Seattle Sluggers chess team! Benjamin is a strong candidate master from Uganda who was featured in the recent Disney film Queen of Katwe. He recently graduated from high school and is visiting Seattle for six months pursuing the chess master title and studying for his college entrance exams. Benjamin hopes to attend college here in the states in order to become a neurosurgeon. Welcome, Benjamin!

In Memoriam - Kornelijs (Neil) Dale, 1933-2016, of Portland, Oregon. See the blog post and the February magazine below.

February magazine! The February issue of Northwest Chess was mailed on 1/25. It's a 32-page issue with "From the Editor’s Desk" by Jeffrey Roland, "A Remembrance of Kornelijs (Neil) Dale" by Brian Berger, "December 2016 PCC Quads 45" by Brian Berger, "Film Review: Queen to Play" by Mike Hasuike, "December 2016 PCC Game 60" by Brian Berger, "Gavin Zhang Wins in Las Vegas" by Casey Bush, "Tiglon, Raptis, and Collyer win Second Seattle Masters" by Josh Sinanan, "Northwest Chess Open" by Duane Polich, "FM Bryce Tiglon wins Third Seattle Masters" by Josh Sinanan, "2016 Washington Game/60 Championship" by Josh Sinanan, and a back-cover photo of "Nick Raptis in victory pose at Northwest Chess Open" by Josh Sinanan. Cover: Various photos of Neil Dale.

Recognition! On Monday, Jan. 30, the King County Council recognized Naomi Bashkansky for winning the 2016 World School Chess Championship in the Girls Under 13 category, held Dec. 2–12 in Sochi, Russia. (See 2016 news page for the original story.)

January magazine! The January issue of Northwest Chess was mailed. It's a 32-page issue with "Naomi Bashkansky takes first at World Schools Chess Championship Girls Under 13" by Alexander Kaplunov, "Fall Quarter at the Seattle Chess Club" by Carol and Fred Kleist, "Move Over Steinitz" by FM David Lucky, "5th Annual Clackamas K-12 Open" by Ed Addis, "November 2016 PCC Quads" by Brian Berger, "2016 Turkey Shoot Results" by Adam Porth,  "Breckenridge Rated Simul" by Brian Berger, Lennart Bjorksten, and Steven Breckenridge, "Fall Classic in Eugene" by Owen McCoy, "Explosive Growth Evident" by James Stripes, "November 2016 PCC Game 60" by Brian Berger, "Aaron Grabinsky Games" by Aaron Grabinsky, "2016 Washington State Blitz/Bughouse Championships" by Josh Sinanan, "Bethel December Quads" by Owen McCoy, "Tiglon, Raptis, and Collyer win Second Seattle Masters" by Josh Sinanan, "Portland Winter Open" by Brian Berger, "Washington Class Championship" by Gary Dorfner and Ralph Dubisch, "PRO Chess League" by Josh Sinanan and Jason Cigan, and a back-cover photo of "Aaron Fischer and George Oliver at SCC Extravaganza" by Matthew Tedesco. Cover: Naomi Bashkansky, a scholastic world champion, by Guy Bashkansky. (Also see 2016 news.)

Tournament NewsSee 2017 tournament news page