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Selected Old Chess News (2020)

News items previously appearing on the Northwest Chess home page:

For NWC magazine contents and PDF files, see the magazine back issues page.

December magazine! The December issue of Northwest Chess was mailed on 12/1. It's a 32-page issue with "OCF Rejoins NWC" by Eric Holcomb, "Cousin Ken" by Karen Schmidt, "Readers’ Showcase" by Derin Goktepe and Jim Tarjan, "15th SPFNO," "2020 Washington Blitz Championship," "2020 Washington Game/60 Championship" and "Seattle Fall Open" by Josh Sinanan, "Washington Challenger’s Cup" and "Washington Women’s Championship" by Rekha Sagar, "Challenger’s Cup Scholastic" by Jacob Mayer, and a back-cover photo of "Bug-Eyed Knight" by Ralph Dubisch. Christmas cover art by Brian Berger, based on previous 2017 cover.

See "The Queen's Gambit: Meet the real life women chess stars" on BBC News. Also, a review of the wildly popular Netflix series The Queen's Gambit by local chess player and author Karen Schmidt is scheduled to appear in The Seattle Times - first online on Monday 11/30, and then in print in the Weekend Plus section on Friday 12/4. See the online article. Karen also reports that an interesting review ran in The Guardian - an excellent British publication.

Team WA on King5 - Be sure to check out the championship coverage of Team WA on King5 News, which aired on 11/20. - Captains Jacob, Josh, and Eddie.

November magazine! The November issue of Northwest Chess was mailed on 10/29. It's a 48-page issue again with "Teaching Others To Play Chess" by Karen Schmidt, "Recap For ICA Online Events" by Jeffrey Roland, "Seattle Chess Classic" by Josh Sinanan, "Seattle Classic Blitz Championship (Olympiad Fundraiser)" by Jacob Mayer, "Readers’ Showcase" by Jeffrey Roland, Book Review by Breck Haining, "Oregon Open" by Josh Sinanan, and a back-cover photo of "Ice White Queen" by Philip Peterson. Cover: Ice White Knight by Philip Peterson.

States Cup Update! Reported by WCF President Josh Sinanan: Last Saturday 11/7 Team WA scored a nail-biting victory over Iowa to win the semifinal match and advance to the States Cup Championship! Our team of Georgi, Derek, Rushaan, and Ananth picked up the pace in the 2nd round after a slow start and managed to trade blows with a very tough Iowa team leading into the final round, when it was all tied up. It was a thrill to watch this back and forth match, with many time pressure scrambles and double-edged positions along the way! Thanks to some clutch wins by Georgi and Rushaan, we edged out a narrow 8.5-7.5 victory, and now heading to the finals against Michigan. (Update: Team WA won the championship!)

Previous Updates:

  • On 10/31 Team WA scored a clutch victory over CA-N to win the Western Division Title and advance to the semifinals!
  • On 10/19 Team WA rode the wave to victory against an underrated Hawaiian team, thanks to a 3rd round 4-0 wipeout! We finished the regular season 5.5-1.5 and tied for first place in the Western Division with CA-N!
  • On 10/12, Team WA won a clutch match against the division-leading Oregon team by a score of 9.5-6.5, led by strong performances from our junior squad: Kyle Haining, Derek Zhang, Rushaan Mahajan, and Advaith Vijayakumar! Following this match, the team was 4.5-1.5 on the season and tied for first place in the Western Division! Live commentary of the WA-OR match was available on Nathan Wonder’s Twitch stream with guest commentator Carl Haessler. Or use these links to follow the games of Joshua Grabinsky, Matt Zavortink, Roshen Nair, and Zoey Tang on

PNWCC Jackpot tournaments featured in ChessBase news article! See Fedoseev wins Jackpot Blitz Tournament.

Junior Championship! Good luck to local IM Bryce Tiglon, who will compete in the upcoming U.S. Junior Championship, October 13-15! Bryce is a recent graduate of Lakeside School and now attends Stanford University. See: Official Site | Chessbase news release.

October magazine! The October issue of Northwest Chess was mailed on 9/21. It's a 48-page issue with "CJA Awards," "Still More Games From The Emerald City Open" by Various Players, "National Tournament Of State Senior Champions" by Mary Kuhner, "Susan Kantor (1955-2020)" by Jeffrey Roland, "Humor In Chess (Sequel)" by Karen Schmidt, "Readers’ Showcase" by Various Players, "Seattle Seafair Open" by Derek Zhang, "Vancouver Open" by Rekha Sagar, "Seattle Classic Scholastic" by Jacob Mayer, and a back-cover photo of "Lenderman’s Penultimate" by Philip Peterson. Cover: Queen And Pawn Death by Philip Peterson.

September magazine! The September issue of Northwest Chess was mailed on 8/27, and should have been received. It's a 32-page issue with "Temporary Suspension Of SCC Ads" by Fred Kleist, "Where Art Thou OTB Games?" by Konner Feldman, "The 1966 Seattle U.S. Open" by John Donaldson, "More Games From Emerald City Open" by Various Players, "2020 Washington vs Oregon Chess Match" by Josh Sinanan, and "Humor In Chess" by Karen Schmidt. Covers (front and back): Chess Art by Philip Peterson.

Film Review! ‘Critical Thinking’ Review: John Leguizamo’s Inspirational High-School Chess Drama; Aug. 31 review on the Variety website. Also see the film trailer.

New Article! - "Playing chess at the park" by Pete O'Cain, staff writer, Aug. 22, 2020, The Wenatchee World.

August magazine! The August issue of Northwest Chess was mailed early on 7/23, and should have arrived! It's a 32-page issue with "Tips For The Aspiring King-Hunter" by Josh Sinanan, "Musings On Women In Chess" by Karen Schmidt, "Viktors Pupols Honored By US Chess" by John Donaldson, "WCF Online Chess Testimonials" by Kent McNall and Don Hack, "WA State Elementary Championship" by WSECC Organizers, "Washington Closed Brilliancy Prizes" by Samual He, Daniel He, Isaac Vega, and Brendan Zhang, "Emerald City Open" by Derek Zhang, "2020 Susan Polgar Foundation Girl's Invitational" by Minda Chen, and a back-cover photo of "Chess packrat nesting material" by Jeffrey Roland. Cover: Roger Hunter, Jef Leifeste, and Alex Machin by Jeffrey Roland.

Local juniors play in Team USA vs. Romania match! Anne-Marie, Sophie and Stephanie Velea played on Saturday, July 11, in an official tournament, with Team USA versus Romania. You can read about the match at The match was expected to be covered on Twitch TV. Update - Team USA won the match, and Stephanie had a great result with one win and one draw.

July magazine! The July issue of Northwest Chess was mailed on 6/23. It's a 32-page issue with "Northwest Regional Scholastic Chess Championships" by Josh Sinanan, "Zemgalis-Ulvestad Match" by John Donaldson, "Washington Open" by Josh Sinanan, "Northwest Chess Open" by Jacob Mayer, various ads and a back-cover photo of Duane Polich by Josh Sinanan. Cover: Josh Sinanan tries on his new chess face mask, designed and produced by Embroiderrific.

Testimonials about WCF online tournaments! See what Past WCF President Kent McNall and Don Hack, lifelong chess player from Surrey, B.C., have to say - Now in the August edition of Northwest Chess. See the teaser edition (selected pages with color).

Congratulations Vik! Longtime U.S. Chess Life Master and Washington State resident Viktors Pupols has received an Outstanding Player Achievement Award from U.S. Chess! See the 2020 award recipients page, which includes a photo of Vik from the March 2009 cover of NWC.

June magazine! The June issue of Northwest Chess was mailed on 5/29. It's a 32-page issue with "Hello To The Northwest Chess Community" by Kent McNall, "The Magic Year of 1971" by John Donaldson, "Seattle City Championships" by Mary K. Kuhner, "WA vs B.C. Intermat" by Josh Sinanan, "Washington Senior Championship" by Ani Barua, "Chouchan Airapetian Webinar Notes" by Valentin Razmov, Historic Image from February 1993, and a back-cover photo of "Social Distancing" by Philip Peterson. Cover: The Negative Effect of Social Distancing by Philip Peterson, Jeffrey Roland, and Ralph Dubisch.

International Student Exchange Opportunity - As we look forward to the return to life as we know it, students from around the world are excited to spend an academic year in the U.S. as high school exchange students! See the remainder of the story on the scholastic opportunities page.

May magazine! The May issue of Northwest Chess was mailed on 5/1. It's a 32-page issue with "Memories And Games Of Dennis Waterman" by John Donaldson, "May 2020 Chess Musings" by Karen Schmidt, "Recapping The Harmon Memorial" by Jacob Mayer, "2020 Washington State Championship" by Josh Sinanan, "Alexandra Botez Joins Susan Polgar Foundation Official Press Release," and a back-cover photo of "Paul Morphy Grave" by Philip Peterson. Cover: Cover Art by Philip Peterson.

Note: The Oct. 1973 edition of Northwest Chess has a photo of Dennis Waterman, Clark Harmon and William Bills, which has been updated using a scan of the original photo print. See page 12 of 32 for the photo and story.

Magnus Wins! The Magnus Carlsen Invitational, where the world chess champion challenged seven of his biggest rivals to a 2-week, $250,000 battle, starting April 18 on, and concluded May 3. The semifinals featured Nakamura vs. Caruana on May 1, and Liren vs. Carlsen on May 2. In the final on May 3, Carlsen defeated Nakamura. See John Henderson's blog post.

FIDE Candidates Tournament in Yekaterinburg, Russia suspended halfway through the event due to Russian travel restrictions - see John Henderson's blog post.

April magazine! The April issue of Northwest Chess was mailed on 4/2 after a delay. It's a 32-page issue with "Chess During The Pandemic" by James Stripes, "Idaho Closed State Championship" by Jeffrey Roland, "Michael Schemm (1947-2019)" by John Donaldson,  "Oregon Chess News" by Frank Niro, "Singer Hill Sunday Update" by Brian Berger, "Dave Collyer Memorial" by Kevin Korsmo, "Presidential Scholastic" by Josh Sinanan, "Washington President's Cup" by Travis Olson, "Washington Girls Championship" by Jacob Mayer, "Yermo Annotates MLK Games" by Alex Yermolinsky, Chess Vignette "Peter's Story" by Karen Schmidt, and a back-cover photo of Luke Wei by Jeffrey Roland. Cover: Chesstoon by oil-painting Brian Berger.

March magazine! The March issue of Northwest Chess was mailed on Monday 3/2. It's a 32-page issue with "Susan Polgar Comes To Town" by Frank Niro, "Idaho (+ Eastern Oregon) Chess News" by various authors, "Washington Junior Open" and "High School State Individual Championship" by Josh Sinanan, "PNWCC MLK FIDE Open" and "Oregon Chess News" by Frank Niro, "BC vs. Washington Match BCCF Bulletin" by Stephen Wright, Editor, "Victoria Open" by Paul LeBlanc, "Chess Vignette - Randy's Story" by Karen Schmidt, "Mike Neeley" by Ralph Dubisch, and a back-cover photo of Lisa Xu by Frank Niro. Cover: Collin Dang vs Jan Buzek (at Washington State High School Individual Championship) by Josh Sinanan.

GP Final Results! 2019 Glen Buckendorf and Buz Eddy Memorial Grand Prix final standings and results are available from links on the GP page. Checks have been mailed to all of the winners, or some winners received NWC subscriptions if not currently subscribing. Congratulations if you're one of the winners!

February magazine! The February issue of Northwest Chess was mailed on 1/31. It's a 32-page issue with Letter To The Editor by Owen McCoy, "Oregon Chess News (with a wide variety of coverage)" by Frank Niro including also the "Neil Dale Memorial" by Mike Morris, "Open Letter To The WCF" by Cleveland Johnson, "Kings vs. Princes VII Match" by Josh Sinanan, "Junior Closed And Invitational" by Jacob Mayer, "Extravaganza" by Carol and Fred Kleist, "Western Idaho Open" by Jeffrey Roland, and a back-cover photo of "Lincoln Whitney at Western Idaho Open" by Jeffrey Roland. Cover: IM Aaron Grabinsky of Webster University.

New! PNWCC recognized by US Chess for "Chess Renaissance in Seattle." See the article, which is specifically about the Winter of Washington (WOW) event held just before the end of 2019. A couple of high-level games (including a GM and a GM norm game) are included.

New/Old! More Fischer stuff - The exhibition A Memorable Life: A Glimpse into the Complex Mind of Bobby Fischer was on display at the World Chess Hall of Fame in St. Louis back in 2014-15. Fortunately, an article with photos and descriptions of the items on display is available on the WCHoF website: (Thanks to Rusty Miller for discovering this.)

January magazine! The January issue of Northwest Chess was mailed on 12/30. It's a 32-page issue with "Toasting The Host (Chess Poem)" by Glen O'Harra, "Samuel Clemons Tournament Game" by Alex Machin, "Chess Vignette - Abdul's Story" by Karen Schmidt, "Oregon Chess News (with a wide variety of coverage)" by Frank Niro, "Washington Class Championship," "Thanksgiving Scholastic," "Chess Workshop For Women And Girls" and "Washington Class Blitz" by Josh Sinanan, "Washington Class Games" (various), "Girls And Women's Workshop" by Angela Agaian, and a back-cover photo of Stephanie Velea, Monica Olaru and Andrei Botez by Paul Truong. Cover: Megan Lee and Ignacio Perez by Josh Sinanan.

Ratings! How to check US Chess ratings and "Top 100" lists - From the US Chess homepage (, select "Players/Ratings Look-Up" under "Ratings." That will take you to the page Once you're there, you'll see a "Click here" link to search for individual player ratings, and a "VIEW THE TOP 100 LISTS" button. Many of the top 100 lists are already linked, or you can choose "Top Players By State" to create a list for a particular state. Doing this for Washington for all players with recent activity, you should see one GM, several IMs, a WIM and quite a few FMs. There are eight players rated 2400+, and 16 rated 2300+.

Tournament NewsSee 2020 tournament news page