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2014 annual business meeting

Minutes were recorded by Mark Flowers, secretary.

Minutes of the Illowa Chess Club meeting held TuesdayMarch 4, 2014

Vice President John Beydler opened a meeting called to elect new officers.

Attending:George Meister, Roger Stanfield, Rick Rector, Ed Reedy, Roger Kromphardt, Luis Peralta, Brian Archibald, Ben Nordick, Gary Nordick, Mark Flowers, Isaac Newton, Don Bruemmer, Artur Mueller, Joe Willett, John Beydler, Micah Gilbertson, Ryan Gilbertson

Nominations for President were opened. Beydler nominated Killian for a new term. Rector seconded. Meister nominated Gary Nordick, Flowers seconded. Gary Nordick was elected on a hand vote 8 to 6.

Nominations for Vice President were opened. Stanfield nominated Beydler, Bruemmer seconded. No further nominations were made. Beydler was elected on a hand vote, without dissent.

Nominations for treasurer were opened. Gary Nordick nominated Rector, Ben Nordick seconded. No further nominations were made. Rector was elected on a hand vote, without dissent.

Nominations for secretary were opened. Kromphardt nominated Flowers, Rector seconded. No further nominations were made. Flowers elected on a hand vote, without dissent.

Officers will serve a one year term.

Discussion: Should we change pairing system to standard swiss only? No motion.

Discussion: Should we use incremental time control part of the time. No motion.

Discussion:Should we change the number of open months? No motion.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.

Mark Engel won first place in the middle school section at a recent Prince of Peace tournament in Clinton, the trophy for which he showed off at the meeting:



Club to offer free one-year trial memberships to IASCA for eligible club members - club wants to encourage newer players to get out there and play

In the interest of encouraging all our newer and less experienced players to play in outside tournaments, the club elders have decided to institute a policy that might help reduce the financial burden of playing in Iowa tournaments that require IASCA membership (the state chess organization) to play.

IASCA promotes chess in Iowa, publishes a quarterly newsletter that features games by Iowa players and provides news about upcoming events. They also maintain a website that publicizes upcoming tournaments.

IASCA also sponsors the annual Iowa Closed Championship. One qualifies for that tournament by earning "Qualifying Points" when playing in Iowa tournaments that offer Qualifying Points. If a tournament in Iowa is advertised as a "Qualifier" or "Mini-Qualifier" or a "Grand Prix" event, IASCA membership will be required to play. That's where your chess club will come to the rescue.

The requirements for a “free one-year trial membership” would be these:

  • Club member’s name shows up on ANY tournament crosstable that required IASCA membership to play (e.g. the recent Iowa City Open, a mini-qualifier, or the Open section of the upcoming Marshalltown tournament on the 30th);
  • Club member must be a first-time member of IASCA, i.e. the policy does not include reinstatements of previous memberships in IASCA or renewals of current memberships. It is intended only for club members who have never belonged to IASCA in the past;
  • Club member is defined as anyone who has completed one monthly Illowa Club tourney in the last 12 months. Playing in one of our two annual tourneys does not constitute membership in the club.  Only the monthly tourneys count.

The player would be reimbursed by the club for his IASCA fee (or we would pay it for him for one of our own annual tourneys). 

So we hope this helps a little in getting you out into the Iowa chess scene, play some new faces, and gain valuable tournament experience.

May you have White for all your games!



Kevin Megill thanks club members

The club received the following e-mail from Kevin Megill this week:

Roman, Steve, and members of Illowa Chess Club

First, I apologize for not contacting you earlier to confirm that we were NOT going to be there this month.

Second, we wanted to thank you all for a really enjoyable month. My sons and I loved it. I wish we had time for more, but this month didn't work out for us and after this I will be teaching on Tuesday nights. Tell everyone we appreciated the warm reception and interesting games.

If you sponsor another one day tournament anytime soon, I'm definitely interested. After being a few hundred points too low, my provisional rating is now a few hundred points too high and I should bring it down into the zone of reality sometime!

Kevin Megill (and Joel and Micah)

Thank you, Kevin. And we hope you play again soon. In fact, you have no idea how much some players want you to play again soon...



New pairing method proposed - proposal to go back to USCF standard pairings with option for Reserve section

Due to the growth of the club with a terrific influx of beginning players, it has been proposed that we return to the standard USCF pairing method (top half of same score players against bottom half) rather than our current method (adjacent rated same score players paired).

In addition to that, with all the beginners we now have, we have enough players to have a Reserve section tourney in parallel with the Open tourney. The Reserve section tourney would be only for players below a certain rating, e.g. below 1200, but any player could play in the Open section if he wanted.

Points earned in the Reserve section would not count toward the Club Championship, since they would be points earned against weaker players than points earned in the Open section. However, we could start a Reserve section ladder for those players like the one we have now.

Please send your comments or questions on this proposal to me.

We will also discuss this at our next meeting, so please come at 6:30 if you want to talk about it. Unless we need more time to think it over and discuss further, we will probably vote on the proposal next Tuesday.



Volunteer needed for chess at Family Museum - club looking to re-establish Saturday chess in Bettendorf

I've been getting a lot of e-mails from people who are looking for a place where their kids can play chess or where adults can just play casual chess.

Therefore we're investigating whether we can start our Family Museum skittles (casual chess) up again. The hours are every Saturday afternoon from 1 PM to 2:30 PM. We currently have three volunteers to open up and shut down. With one more, it would mean a commitment of one Saturday a month. We will send out a schedule so the volunteers would know exacty when they will be needed.

If you can do it, please e-mail me so we can get this started.


Club members try to conquer the world - attend tourneys in Cedar Rapids, Peoria

Luis Peralta led the charge for our club at both the January Tornado in Peoria and at the Cedar Rapids Leatherjackets tournament. Luis finished 3rd of 23 in Peoria with 3 points in a 4-round tourney. He finished 8th of 47 in Cedar Rapids, getting the same score as he did in Peoria, also in four rounds.

Also representing our club well in these tournaments was Joe Willett, Don Bruemmer, Jim Robinson, Rich Rector, and Fidel Vallejo.

Great going, guys. Let's keep hitting the outside world now and then and bring back some rating points that the rest of us can try to get



Club Elders decide on tiebreak procedures for Club Championship qualification - info on breaking ties for the precious No. 6 spot

It appears that this year there is a good chance that there could be a tie for the Number 6 spot to qualify for the Club Championship. Therefore the club officers have decided that ties will be broken as follows:

  • the player with the best face-to-face record against his opponent during all the monthly tourneys of the year will win the tiebreak

  • if this fails to break the tie, then they will play one game at the normal time control to determine the winner

Good luck, guys!



Tiebreak proposed for monthly tourneys - would give victory to player without half-point bye

I would like to propose a tiebreak method for our monthly tourneys that I feel would eliminate a small degree of unfairness.

Suppose that two or more players tie for first at the end of the monthly tourney with 3 points each. But one of them played all 4 games, while the other two each took a voluntary 1/2 point bye during the month.

I propose that the player who played all 4 games should be declared the clear winner and receive the full prize without sharing it with the other players. The logic behind this is that he EARNED all 3 of his points, whereas the other players only earned 2.5 of their points because they were given a free 0.5 points without having to play for it.

That's exactly what happened in our February '08 tourney. Flowers, Killian, and Bonzon all tied at 3.0. But Mark played all 4 games, whereas Roman and I each took a 1/2 point bye. It seems only fair to give the clear win and prize money to the player who played all his games and received no free points.

And of course this only would apply to the voluntary 1/2 point byes. It would not apply to full point byes because they are assigned to a player involuntarily, whereas a 1/2 point bye is not.

All other ties, e.g. all tied players have a 1/2 point bye or all played all 4 games, would not be affected. The players would all share the title and prize as we do it now.

So that's my proposal. Please let me know what you think.




Clover Public Library sponsors exhibition with Illowa Club members - will pay expenses in order to promote chess

Clover Public Library, located in Woodhull, IL, about halfway between the Quad Cities and Galesburg, is sponsoring us for a chess event to be held by the library. We are being asked to provide some elementary instruction to the patrons, and to play some informal games.

The library is willing to pay our expenses for the drive.

If you are interested in coming on Saturday, June 7 to do this, please let me know.


Reminder - only 5 will play for 2008 championship - 4-Tuesday January sets number at 5

For the last three January's (2008, 2007, and 2006), the month has had 5 Tuesdays, which allowed up to 6 players to play in the round robin format. In 2009, however, January is only a 4-Tuesday month.

This will set the limit for the 2008 club championship at 5 players, one less than we've been used to.

So be forewarned! The competition this year to get in the 2008 Club Championship will be tougher!



Does chess really imitate life? - an insightful letter to Chess Life refutes the cliche´

The following letter appeared in the December 2007 issue of Chess Life magazine. Because I'm also familiar with poker (thanks to two sons who play), I thought this letter was just too good to go unnoticed. If you'd like to send me comments on it, I'll publish them here, too. So here it is.

Regarding Bruce Pandolfini's review of Garry Kasparov's How Life Imitates Chess (September 2007): While there are surely some lessons of chess that may be applied to certain life situations, I have always felt that chess is as unlike life as it can get. Consider. In life does everyone start off dead even with no one having an advantage on anyone else? In life are all the rules logical, easy to understand, and are they fairly applied to everyone regardless of wealth, status, or celebrity?

In life are good moves almost always rewarded and bad ones punished? In life is ability the only thing that matters with little or no concern about anyone else's race, sex, age, religion, politics, or nationality? Not on this planet!

Yes, life is like a game all right but it's not chess. It's poker. You are dealt cards. Sometimes you get good cards and sometimes you get bad ones. Sometimes good players will do well with mediocre cards and sometimes poor players will lose with decent hands. But the bottom line is you have to play the cards you were dealt.

Perhaps one of the reasons chess players love their game so much is not because it reflects life as it is, but rather as it should be.

-Ron Price, via e-mail to Chess Life magazine




Beydler leaves them in the dust - 4 straight wins put Championship out of reach for all contenders

John Beydler clinched the 2007 Club Championship title Tuesday night by defeating his closed contender, Roman Bonzon. With the closest contender 1.5 points behind and only one round remaining, John has won the 2007 Club Championship.

Congrats, John!


Bonzon enters record books for Sep-Oct streak - 1st club streak in one year

2007 was a bad year for record book winning streaks. In 2006, there were no less than three winning streaks that were entered in the books, the last one being Tom Seeley's incredible 14-game streak of May - Sep 2006 (10-0-4).

Finally, someone broke the ice. Roman Bonzon put together two good months in 2007 to achieve a 7-game streak with a 5-0-2 record in Sep-Oct. We hope there are more of these in 2008.

Congrats, Roman!

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Machalek checks in! - thanks club for sympathy card, but warns "I will return"

I received the following e-mail from Sid last week:

"Just a quick note to thank everyone for the card and let everyone know I'm thinking of them.  I miss the comraderie and  competition.   I hope to be back in March, or April at the  latest.  Tell everybody hi, and tell Pfeiffer next time I kick his  xxx.  I guess I still have a sense of humor, in spite of it  all."

We look forward to having you back, Sid.

Welcome, Josh Stalsberg - ambitious young 8th grader defies club members to beat him

Josh Stalsberg, a young 8th-grader from Port Byron, has entered the January side tourney and will be trying out his skills this month. Last week, Artur helped him with keeping score and getting used to the clock.

Welcome, Josh, and we hope you enjoy the world of competitive chess!

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It's OVER! - Bonzon takes #1 in King of Hill competition - Mital falters in year's penultimate round to give Bonzon the win in photo-finish

It came down to a photo-finish. With only two rounds left to play in 2007, Joe Mital needed two wins to tie Roman for the title of King of the Hill, 2007. But in the penultimate round, he fell to spoiler and current 2006 club champion, Don Bruemmer.

With that, Roman finishes a remarkable year, establishing himself as the most dominating player of 2007 in the Illowa Chess Club. Congrats, Roman!

Club championship approaches - here are tie-break rules from 2006 championship

Below are the tie-break methods that will be used to break any ties in the club championship. This is the same procedure we had in place for the 2005 championship.

The first three bullets below are the standard methods of breaking ties for round-robin tourneys as specified by the USCF rulebook. The remaining bullets describe methods that will only be used if the USCF methods do not break the tie. These methods will use the club results over the 11 monthly tourneys to break the tie. These are preferred over, say, a blitz playoff because 1) blitz is a different kind of chess than we play; and 2) we are using a player's actual club performance over the year to break the tie.

If there are any players tied at the end of the club championship, the tie will be broken as follows: 

  • For each tied player, the scores of all the players that that player defeated and 1/2 the scores of the players he drew will be added together.  The player with the highest score wins the tie-break and the club championship;

  • Only players still tied after the method described above will proceed to the next method. 

  • For any players still tied, their tournament scores will be re-calculated using only the games played against each other.  The highest score wins the tie-break and the club championship;

  • if two players are still tied at this point then their face-to-face record against each other in the year's monthly tournaments will be used to break the tie;

  • For any players still tied after all this (God forbid), the championship will be awarded to the player who is highest in the club standings as of Dec. 31, 2007. 

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Volunteers needed for Family Museum - need to share the load on Saturday duty

The Family Museum in Bettendorf would like us to resume the Saturday chess we began last year. However, Roger Kromphardt will not be able to be present at the sessions as regularly as last year.

So Roger has asked if any club members might be able to assist by spreading around the responsiblity of setting up on Saturday. If we could get as little as 4 members who would be willing to do it, it would only require at most a one Saturday a month commitment.

Please contact Roger or me if interested.


Welcome, Vince Branham - new meat now available for club members to feed on

A new club member walked in on Tuesday to sign up for the April tourney.

Vince Branham is not new to chess, he's been a USCF member with an established rating. He re-activated his membership Tuesday evening.

Welcome to our club, Vince. Hope you enjoy the competition and show up for many more of our tourneys!



Mital captures 1st monthly in a year - becomes club's newest Class A player with perfect 4.0

Joe Mital won the March 2007 tourney hands down with a perfect 4-0 against the opposition. It was his first win of a monthly tourney since March of 2006, exactly one year ago to the month.

His stellar performance resulted in his rating jumping almost a full 100 points into Class A territory to become the Club's newest A player.

His 4 points also pushed him past Roman in the club standings to No. 1 position, otherwise known as "King of the Hill."

Illowa Chess Club, you have a new target!

Congratulations, Joe, and don't wait another year for a win.

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Ganoe wins upset prize - nice victory in Round 1 earns him free entry in April

Greg Ganoe not only returned to active play this month but did it with a bang. As if he wanted to make sure his arrival was noticed, he proceeded to win a nice victory in Round 1 of the March tourney to earn himself a free entry into his next tourney, hopefully in April.

Congrats, Greg!

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Bruemmer - Mital rematch! - archrivals get 2nd chance to replay their club championship draw

Don Bruemmer and Joe Mital, the 1st and 2nd place finishers in the recent 2006 Club Championship, will have another chance to face off in Round 3 of the March tourney.

Their match in the Club Championship ended in a draw, but Don went on to win by remaining undefeated in the tourney.

Joe lost one game but his performance in the other rounds enabled him to finish 2nd in the tourney.

So now they face off once more. Will Mital take 2nd place again? Will Bruemmer demonstrate his superiority? Or will they battle to another 1/2 point conclusion?

Find out next Tuesday night.

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Ganoe returns - starts 2007 with upset victory

Greg Ganoe returned to club tournament play this month after a long absence. He started off the year with a stunning upset in his 1st Round victory.

There's no better welcome than to start with a great win, so welcome back, Greg!

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Bonzon takes Feb tourney - clear 1st takes rating through 1700

Roman Bonzon got off to a strong start this month by taking the 1st monthly tourney in the 2007 Club Championship cycle and seizing the lead in the club standings.

And if that wasn't enough, his performance pushed his rating through the 1700 level, his highest rating ever.

Will Bonzo be the man to beat in 2007?

Only time will tell.

Congrats on a great start, Roman!

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Bruemmer's rating climbs through the roof - surges to 1731

In response to Don Bruemmer's outstanding performance in the 2006 Club Championship, his rating has skyrocketed almost 100 points in just 5 games.

Don now has the highest rating he's had in recent history.

Nice going, champ.

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Bonzo claims he's father of Anna Nicole's baby! - says tryst occurred during romantic 3rd round bye at Chicago Open

Roman Bonzon added his name to the list today of the multitudes claiming to be the father of Anna Nicole’s baby.

Bonzon says that it happened shortly after he had just gone down to the lobby to see the 3 rd round pairings.

“I looked at the wall chart and saw that I drew a bye. Because I now had about 5 hours on my clock before the next round, I went to the hotel gift shop to see how I could kill them. She was there, too, buying a few 5ths of vodka.

“Well, of course, she was immediately attracted to me, being a chess player and all. She told me she played chess, too, but was just a beginner. She invited me up to her room and asked if I could ‘teach me some moves’. I tell you, I couldn't have accepted a draw offer from Bobby Fischer any faster.

“So we went up there, and I started pointing out to her the benefits of 1.d4. But before long, she was teaching me the French Defense. I’ll say one thing about it, though. If that had been a chess game, I would have had no problem meeting the time controls.

“So why should anyone think that they’re the father? I’ve got just as much right as anyone to get a piece of the action.

“And besides, I want my baby.”

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British International Master Andrew Martin to visit Illowa - will come and talk with members before Tuesday's game

Andrew Martin, well-known chess instructor, British International Master, and host of the popular Chessbase.com's "Andrew Martin Radio ChessBase Show" will be dropping in on our club next Tuesday for a short visit.

He is in the US this week to host a Chess Clinic being held in the Quad Cities on Feb. 23 - 24.

The clinic consists of two events, the first of which starts Friday evening at 1101 W. 4th St. at 7:00 PM and continues through Saturday from 10:00 AM to 5 PM.

The 2nd event is Saturday night at 7 PM, and will include Andrew commenting on games attendees have submitted as well as an informal sit-down discussion with him.

I'm not going to give too many event details here, as that will be presented at the club next Tuesday.

He will be coming a little early on Tuesday, so if you'd like to talk to him a bit, get there early. He and Bob Long will talk about the Chess Clinic. Round 3 of the February tourney will begin at 7:10 PM.

So come early and meet International Master Andrew Martin up close and personal.

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Mital grabs 2nd place on tie-breaks - Defeats Kromphardt in final game of tourney to sneak past Seeley and snare runner-up position

Despite extremely poor attendance at his game with Roger Kromphardt due to idiotic Super Bowl scheduling by the NFL, Joe Mital won a victory that gave him 2nd place in the 2006 club championship.

Defeating Roger Kromphardt brought Joe even with Tom Seeley at 3 points, 2nd only to winner Don Bruemmer. But the tie-break points give the 2nd spot to Joe. The major (but not only) difference between Seeley and Joe was that Seeley lost to Bruemmer, costing him 4 tiebreak points. But Joe only lost to Peralta, costing him merely 2 tiebreak points.

At any rate, any way you look at it, Joe did a great job plodding through the tourney, overshadowed by all the attention to the big upsets, and eventually rewarded for his great consistency with 2nd place in the club championship.

Congrats, Joe, well done!

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A championship to remember - underdogs finish on top, top dogs finish on bottom - only Kromphardt lives up to expectations

What a blast this 2006 club championship tourney was. Nothing happened that was expected to happen. Everything that did happen wasn't expected to happen.

Who would have thought that:

  • Beydler would lose to both Mital and Bruemmer

  • Bruemmer would defeat both Beydler and Seeley

  • Peralta would win only one game

  • Mital would plug away quietly behind the scenes to take 2nd place

And so the final standings of the 2006 Illowa club championship are:


Congrats and thanks to everyone for giving us such a great tourney. How could the 2007 tourney possibly top this?

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Awards Night next Tuesday - Club Champion Don Bruemmer to receive the cherished Illowa Cup if Killian remembers to bring it

Next Tuesday, Feb. 6, marks the beginning of the February monthly tourney and the start of the 2007 championship cycle. Immediately preceding the game Don Bruemmer, 2006 Illowa Club Champion, will receive the prestigious Illowa Cup for his stunning win in the January Club Championship tourney.

Other 2006 award winners will also be honored.

Come and see, even if you may not be playing in February.

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BRUEMMER SUCCEEDS IMGRUND! - Bruemmer win + Beydler defeat clinches title - Seeley can tie but won't have tiebreaks to win

Don Bruemmer succeeds to the throne formerly held by John Imgrund in 2005. The dark horse won the Illowa Club Championship with double upsets over Beydler and Seeley. While so-called "favorites" were dropping games left and right, Don in four undefeated rounds established such a commanding lead that even a defeat to Peralta in Round 5 can't deny him the championship.

John Beydler, who was only 1/2 point behind at the end of Round 3, dropped away as the leading contender when he was taken down in Round 4 by spoiler Joe Mital. And although this places Tom Seeley next in line only 1 point behind, he will lose on tiebreaks even if Round 5 brings him a victory and Bruemmer a loss.

The now anticlimactic 5th Round will bring this great 2006 Club Championship tourney to a close next Tuesday. The only question now is whether Don will finish undefeated and in sole possession of the top score. A draw in Round 5 would give him both, so Don still has something to play for. His final game will be against the always formidable but badly slumping Luis Peralta, who has only been able to score one win in four rounds.

Congratulations to new Illowa Club Champion of 2006, Don Bruemmer!

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Changes for 2007 championship - 8 best tourneys will be used to qualify - monthly prizes raised to $25 - Bruemmer to charge all opponents a $2 "tribute fee"

And at a quickie business meeting before the game Tuesday, the club approved proposals to change the qualifying procedure from using the scores from all 11 monthly tourneys to only the best 8 tourneys. This will allow members to skip a tourney or two without hurting their chances of qualifying for the Club Championship.

It was also proposed and approved that the prize for winning a monthly tourney would be $25.

As far as Bruemmer's requested "tribute fee", he will have to collect that himself.

Good luck.

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UNBELIEVABLE!!! - Bruemmer leaves Skywalker eating his dust - All "favorites" have been beaten - Bruemmer undefeated - Beydler lurks in shadows, waiting for leader to falter

This championship tourney just does not stop with its twists, turns, and surprises. Every round it's something else.

Round 1: Peralta goes down

Round 2: Beydler goes down

Round 3: Seeley goes down

What is happening here?

What's happening is that Superman, disguised as mild-mannered high school teacher Don Bruemmer, is just eating up the field.

After personally taking down both Beydler and Seeley, Don is undefeated after 3 rounds and is the tourney leader 1/2 point ahead of Beydler. It looks as though whoever wants to get in Bruemmer's way had better have some Kryptonite!

Only Peralta and Kromphardt now stand between him and the 2006 Illowa Club Championship.

This tourney is awesome!!

Hope you're all enjoying it!

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Club Championship continues to amaze! - Beydler loses, Peralta draws, Bruemmer in lead

There's just no figuring who is going to win this tourney. Pre-tourney favorite Luis Peralta has yet to win a game. Co-contender John Beydler, in excellent position after defeating Peralta in Round 1, lost his next game to Don Bruemmer, who is undefeated and now the unexpected leader of the pack.

Tom Seeley, the only remaining pre-tourney favorite, is still an unknown quantity. The 2006 "King of the Hill" won his opening game, but still has to face both the formidable Beydler and Peralta. And Peralta has completely dominated Seeley in their face-to-face games all year long.

So it's anyone's guess. Will Bruemmer be able to nurse his miniscule lead to a victory? Will Seeley be able to defeat Peralta, Beydler, and Bruemmer, a necessity if he wants a clear first?

It's anyone's guess.

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Flowers takes lead in prestigious "Tournament of Losers" - takes full point lead over field of ne'er-do-wells, has-beens, and also-rans

Mark Flowers has taken the lead over a tough field of dubious chess players in the January monthly tourney.

The field was carefully screened to exclude any reasonably good player who could qualify for the 2006 club championship. This demanding process left only a small handful of tired, loss-weary players of low enough caliber to make the winning of the tournament completely meaningless.

It is not known for certain why Mark, who was granted an exemption from the qualification requirements by the club's corrupt and powerful Rules Committee, would want to even be seen with such players. But many club members suspect that after his long absence this year from the club, he was so desperate to play chess he would even have played against Republicans.

So good luck to you, Mark! The entire club is behind you!

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They're off! - championship for 2006 is underway - Beydler upsets Peralta, moves into lead with Seeley

The 2006 Club Championship did not waste any time before it got down to business. In the very 1st round of the tourney John Beydler succeeded in upsetting one of the tournament favorites, Luis Peralta. Mital and Bruemmer drew, while Seeley defeated Kromphardt to share the lead with Beydler.

If the tourney start is any indicator, it looks like this will be a great tourney. See the discussion below for more of the grisly details.

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Who's the favorite, Skywalker or El Niño? - Beydler's upset now puts him in the mix, too - local bookmakers scrambling to figure odds

Before the club championship started, there were two players who could be considered the "favorite" to win.

On the one hand, there is Tom Seeley, "King of the Hill" for 2006, who finished head and shoulders above anyone else in the club in the end-of-year club standings.

On the other hand, there is Seeley's nemesis, Luis Peralta. Tom's head-to-head record against Luis for the year is a dismal 0-3-2. Will Seeley be able to overcome this record and get by his biggest obstacle, Luis Peralta?

And if that isn't exciting enough, we now have John Beydler throwing his hat in the ring. Although his record against Peralta for the year was a dominating 3-1-0, Peralta is the highest rated player in the club, and has won two monthly tourneys outright whereas Beydler hasn't even a single clear victory. So Beydler's win has demonstrated that he must be considered a major contender as well.

But guess who Beydler's nemesis is. It's Seeley! John's head-to-head record against Skywalker is a frightening 2-7-0!

And of course Mital, Kromphardt, and Bruemmer are lurking in the shadows with a lean, hungry look, waiting for the opportunity to pull one of the leaders down and replace him.

So the bottom line is, after only 1 round this championship tourney already is beginning to look like a free-for-all.

Keep watching.

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Club meeting Jan 23 - agenda includes 2007 club championship, prizes, anything else

The meeting, at 6:30 PM, Tuesday Jan 23, will discuss any changes anyone might want to propose for the 2007 championship. A couple of possibilities we might want to consider are:

  • should we modify the current club championship qualification method of using the scores from all 11 monthly tourneys to taking a player's best 9 or 10 tourney results? This would allow a player to miss one or two monthly tourneys without hurting his chances for qualifying for the championship tourney;

  • should we increase the cash prize for winning a monthly tourney?

  • any other proposals that anyone would care to make

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No one claims December tourney - scores score 2.5 to split lead

No one could even reach 3 points in the December tourney.

No one.

Maybe it happened because it was December and we had a lot of byes. But the top prize this month is split among no less than 5 players out of a field of 9, meaning more than 50% of the field "won" the tourney.

But nevertheless, congratulations to those who were able to scrape up 2 wins and a draw.

And 2006 goes out with a whimper.

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Seeley ends up "King of the Hill" for 2006 - tops standings averaging 2.8 points per tourney - also wins largest no. of monthly tourneys

Tom Seeley, the young Skywalker, the club's Jedi Knight, whichever alias you prefer, has ended 2006 clearly and decisively on the top of the club standings.

Beating the field by a massive 7.5 points, no one else even came close. Some members think it was talent, but others say that that is not enough to explain the huge margin. They say it was also because the Force was with him.

Tom played in all 11 monthly tourneys included in the competition. He won 5 of them outright, and tied for one other. And again, no challenger could even came close to this.

In these 11 tourneys, Tom averaged a tad under 2.8 points per tourney. Just think: if that had been his GPA at Iowa in 2005, he never would have played with us in 2006. :)

Tom also compiled the longest undefeated streak of anyone this year: 14 games without a defeat, finishing at 10-0-4.

So congratulations, Tom, on being the 2006 "King of the Hill", and let's hope that you'll be as successful at Iowa next year as you were with us this year.

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A note about colors for the club champ pairings - 5 rounds means colors will not be equal

One thing we probably did not realize last February when we decided on a 6-player, 5 round championship tourney was that with an odd number of games, color distribution cannot be equal. Some players will have 3 games as White, while others will have 3 games as Black.

The USCF rulebook for round robin tourneys provides a pairing table for 6-player tourneys. It also specifies that the pairing numbers should be assigned randomly to the players. This is different from the normal procedure for a Swiss. In a Swiss tourney, the pairing numbers are assigned in order of rating.

For these pairings and color assignments, we followed the procedure in the USCF rulebook. The pairing numbers were assigned randomly to the players without regard to rating. Then we followed the pairing table to make the pairings.

The bottom line is this: if you drew the short straw, you got three games as Black. Sorry about that.

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Welcome back, Luke Osborne - returns to play in December tourney

Luke Osbourne, last seen around the club as a promising high school player, has rejoined us a college guy. It's been a couple of years since we've seen him, but now he has resurfaced as an Augustana student. He last played with us in May of 2004.

Welcome back, Luke! We hope you can make it to our tourneys often in 2007.

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Vader defeats Skywalker - hell freezes over, earth shakes, sun is darkened

John Beydler, struggling all year in his matches against Tom Seeley, had lost no less than 7 of 8 games against him in 2006. With this victory, his face-to-face record against the young Jedi only improves to a discouraging 2-7-0. But more importantly, this victory puts him in the pack for winning his first monthly tourney of 2006.

Although tied with a host of others for the lead, he is in excellent position to pick up the tourney, as none of his opponents has a clue how to use a light-sabre. But he must get past the nonetheless intimidating Luis Peralta, who is matched up against him next week. It should be a great game.

Good luck, John!

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Club championship approaches - here are tie-break rules from 2005 championship

Below are the tie-break methods that will be used to break any ties in the club championship. This is the same procedure we had in place for the 2005 championship.

The first three bullets below are the standard methods of breaking ties for round-robin tourneys as specified by the USCF rulebook. The remaining bullets describe methods that will only be used if the USCF methods do not break the tie. These methods will use the club results over the 11 monthly tourneys to break the tie. These are preferred over, say, a blitz playoff because 1) blitz is a different kind of chess than we play; and 2) we are using a player's actual club performance over the year to break the tie.

If there are any players tied at the end of the club championship, the tie will be broken as follows: 

  • For each tied player, the scores of all the players that that player defeated and 1/2 the scores of the players he drew will be added together.  The player with the highest score wins the tie-break and the club championship;

  • Only players still tied after the method described above will proceed to the next method. 

  • For any players still tied, their tournament scores will be re-calculated using only the games played against each other.  The highest score wins the tie-break and the club championship;

  • if two players are still tied at this point then their face-to-face record against each other in the year's monthly tournaments will be used to break the tie;

  • For any players still tied after all this (God forbid), the championship will be awarded to the player who is highest in the club standings as of Dec. 31, 2006. 



Ashley drubs Illowa, 7-0 - Peralta, Killian last to succumb, but Kloppy almost pulls it off! - see photo from event

International Grandmaster Maurice Ashley defeated all comers at Rocky High last Sunday afternoon in an event that was well covered by the news media.

With cameras rolling and print reporters scribbling, Ashley made about 45 laps around the rectangular course shaped by the tables encircling him. In the course of those 45 laps he gave up no games or draws to the approximately 35 players opposing him.

Among those players were people of all ages drawn from Macomb, Iowa City, the Quad Cities, and of course, our own Illowa Chess Club.

Seven of our members tried their best: Kromphardt, Mital, Kloppenborg, Seeley, Peralta, Killian, and Wilson. Although Peralta and Killian were the last to go, it was Paul Kloppenborg who seemed to come the closest to beating him.

Kloppy, who plays with a strategy only he and a few inhabitants of other planets who taught him know and understand, was at one point a Knight and two pawns ahead!!!!

I have been trying desperately to get the game posted for all to see, but Kloppy suspiciously explains that he "can't read my handwriting."

This only helps spread the vicious rumors that, like Kramnik, he was getting moves from outside sources. The unintelligible score sheet is no doubt some alien script taught to him by someone he once met in a crop circle. It is said that this strange script was then used to give him the moves.

I will keep trying. In the meantime, here is a photo from the event.

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Bonzo rises to challenge field - in sole possession of lead

Roman Bonzon has risen to challenge Luis Peralta and a host of others for the November prize. With the best record in two rounds, he is 0.5 points in the lead with many at 1.5.

Stay tuned.

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Peralta returns - quits job, defeats Seeley in Round 1

Luis Peralta is back and throwing his weight around. After temporarily working nights that precluded his tourney participation, he has suddenly returned to finish out the year.

As the only player in the club who has had consistent success against the dreaded Tom Seeley, he stands now as Seeley's top challenger for the club championship in January.

To demonstrate that, Luis started out Round 1 with a defeat of Seeley. It's going to be an interesting club championship.

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Grandmaster simul Sunday with Maurice Ashley - venue is Rock Island High School library

Grandmaster Maurice Ashley will be in Rock Island this Sunday playing a simultaneous exhibition against all comers. If you want to play, contact:

Janice Welch

Although this is primarily for the benefit of local students, it is our understanding that some adults will be allowed to play.

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Online gambling bill kills Illowa revenue - advertiser cuts off American customers as result of bill

Thanks to the recent passage by Congress of the online gambling bill, our advertiser is no longer accepting American customers. Therefore they are discontinuing their advertorial on our website.

We will miss the $25/mo. income we received from them, and hope that they may eventually find a work-around that will allow them to resume their services.

The total income we received from their advertising was $225 over 9 months.

Thanks to the guys at PartyPoker.com!

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John Kerry to play in November tourney - explains that chess "a good way to keep my mouth shut."

With only 5 days before the election, John Kerry has suddenly changed his Iowa schedule from campaigning for Democratic candidates to playing in the Illowa Chess Club November tourney.

Insisting that his decision to play had nothing to do with the outcry from his recent "botched joke", he did concede that playing chess would be "a good way to keep my mouth shut."

"I know I'm too late to be a contender for the club championship," he said, "but not being a contender is a feeling I'd better get used to.

"In politics," he went on, "if you do your homework, stump hard for the party, and speak thoughtfully and carefully, you can do well.

"But if you don't," he said sadly, "you end up playing endless tourneys at the Illowa Chess Club."

The tourney starts on Election Day, November 7. All members are encouraged to come out, sign up for the tourney, and meet John Kerry.

And don't forget to vote.

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Seeley racks up No. 5 - unstoppable Jedi resumes course after brief interruption

Tom Seeley has won 5 of the last 7 monthly tourneys. Some people have streaks of won games; Tom has streaks of won monthly tourneys.

After having yielded last month's tourney to Luis Peralta, Tom has resumed course toward winning a ridiculous amount of monthlies, seizing the dominance over the club formerly held by John Imgrund.

With only 8 points left to win in the year, Tom is a full 4.5 points ahead of his nearest competitor. There is just no way anyone can catch him now. He will end up as No. 1 in the club standings and therefore the favorite going into the club championship in January.

Congrats, Tom!

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Exit polls indicate Club elders win in landslide - undisclosed member voted Treasurer behind his back

Exit polls taken as club members left on Tuesday night show that the current club elders have been overwhelmingly re-elected to their current positions.

This shows beyond any doubt that either the members have the greatest respect, admiration, and confidence in their elected officials, or that nobody else really wants the job.

In fact, since no one present was willing to step up and fill the vacant Treasurer's position, ingenious club members randomly selected an absent member and unanimously voted him to be Treasurer.

The name of the new club Treasurer is being withheld pending notification of his family.

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Kloppy sighted casting secret ballot in club elections - reclusive club member comes out to vote

High school student Paul Kloppenborg showed up briefly Tuesday to say hello. Filled with lame excuses like "I have to work," or "I have to study," or "I have to think about my future," he tried to convince club members his absence has been for legitimate reasons.

But no one was buying it, least of all Tom Seeley.

"That's b******t," Seeley commented. "I never stooped to using excuses like that, why should he get away with using them?"

Seeley, now living with his parents and working part time as a dishwasher at a local Maid-Rite, advises Kloppy to "just play chess, and everything else will work out on its own."

But nonetheless, it was good to see Kloppy around again and we hope he brings PJ with him to November's tournament.

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Welcome, Gary Andrus and Dale Wren - two newcomers playing in October

Two walk-ins joined our club and the October tourney this month.

Gary Andrus, the club's second college professor, is a Computer Science professor at DePaul University in Chicago. Gary is taking the quarter off from teaching and living in Galena for a few months. He is actually making the 1.5 hour drive from Galena every Tuesday night to play with us. Gary has two USCF tourneys under his belt. He recently played in the Iowa Open and has established a provisional rating.

Dale Wren has just moved in from Hawaii to be the manager at The Lodge. He also has been a USCF member with one USCF tourney behind him, and also brings a provisional rating with him.

Welcome to both Gary and Dale. This club can be tough on beginning chessplayers, so we hope you stick with it.

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Seeley and Flowers face off - returning Flowers wastes no time in challenging club leader

Club returnee Mark Flowers has made his presence known by challenging club man-to-beat Tom Seeley. He and Tom are the only two undefeated players left after two rounds.

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Rumor spreads that Machalek will be back in November - will join Flowers, Bonzon on tag team of spoilers for Seeley wannabes

Sid Machalek has e-mailed us and hopes to be coming back for the November tourney. Due to long abscences from the club tourneys, Sid, Mark Flowers, and Roman Bonzon are not contenders for the Club Championship. However, they are formidable players all and will no doubt ruin the hopes of some trying to unseat Seeley from the top position in the club standings.

So Sid, hope you can make it here in November, and welcome back if you do.

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Club Treasurer post is open - Please consider filling Luis's spot

Luis Peralta has a new job that is making it difficult for him to compete for the Club Championship down the final stretch. Another result of that is that he no longer can serve as Club Treasurer.

So we will need to elect a replacement on October 24th. Please consider taking the job or talking to someone you would like to take it.

The club will accept just about anyone who hasn't spent more than 1 or 2 years in prison, so don't let a lack of experience as CFO of a Fortune 500 company keep you from considering the job.

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