2018 High School and K-8 Championships

The 2018 Iowa High School (Denker) and K-8 (Barber) Chess Championships were held on Saturday January 20th at Gloria Dei Lutheran church in Iowa City. This tournament had two sections, high school (9-12) and grades K-8. The event is held annually to determine Iowa’s representatives to the US Denker Tournament of High School Champions and the US Barber Tournament of K-8 Champions. The Denker and Barber tournaments are held annually in conjunction with the U.S. Open Championship. This year the US Open will be held in Madison WI, July 28th to August 5th. Both Iowa representatives receive a stipend from the Iowa State Scholastic Chess Association. The Iowa tournament a four round Swiss System ev

Freerksen and Juric tie for DSMChess Holiday Swiss Title

Twenty-two players competed in the DSMChess Holiday Swiss held at Staybridge Suits in West Des Moines on Saturday January 6th 2018. The event was a three round Swiss System tournament with two sections, open and reserve. Jim Freerksen, owner of DSMChess, and Zvonka Juric both went undefeated in the open section to share the title. It was a cold blustery morning as players came to participate in the year’s first adult tournament in central Iowa. I was worried there would be a poor turnout. But players continued to stream into the playing hall right up to the 10 am starting time. New players such as Brad Huss and Blake Zahart as well as veteran players, Zvonko Juric, Jasmin Zulic, and Ti

Chess meets history: Spotlight on Ron Nurmi

Ron Nurmi has two passions in life: chess and history. He retired after serving as IASCA secretary for nine years at the 2017 board meeting. And his service throughout the years left its a mark on IASCA history. Nurmi plays at a tournament in 2009 Nurmi learned how to play chess while he was still in junior high, but the game didn’t pique his interest until he was around 30 years old. By that time, he had earned an undergraduate degree in social studies from the University of Minnesota in Duluth. Nurmi studied toward his Master’s degree, but didn’t see much future in earning a doctorate in history. Instead, he decided to pursue a career in sales. At a tobacco shop in Minneapolis, he came acr

Minnesota Blizzard Team Holiday Party

I was invited to the Minnesota Blizzard Team Holiday Party at the Chess Castle in Minneapolis, held December 23rd. This is an annual potluck and Blitz tournament event held to honor accomplishments of local chess enthusiasts. GM Wesley So attended as well as FM Graham Burgess from Great Britain. Other titled players included GM elect Andrew Tang, IM John Bartholomew and IM Sean Nagle. Patrick Tang served as the MC for this event. Festivities began at 6 pm with the potluck dishes being served. Local chess enthusiasts recognized included Minnesota’s newest GM elect Tang and two new NMs, 12 year old Nastassja Matus and 13 year old NM Samrug Narayanan. NM Samrug Narayanan and NM Nastassja Matus

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