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Boor & Rosen Top Chicago Chess Center Invitational Print E-mail
By Keith Ammann   
May 16, 2013
On May 11 and 12, “Founders’ Court” members of the new organization Chicago Chess Center NFP Inc. were invited to a preview event at which they got the opportunity to square off against local masters and junior experts. The event was held at the Chicago extension campus of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, whose flagship campus in Mexico City has a strong tradition of supporting chess , including hosting a chess festival headlined by Anatoly Karpov and Garry Kasparov in 2010 and by Judit Polgar and Magnus Carlsen in 2012.

FM Carl Boor, one of the titled players in attendance, praised the invitational event as a “fun tournament with full-blooded chess every game.” His own game against FM Eric Rosen, with whom he shared a top score of 3.5/4 in the event, was a fine example of high-level play out of an unorthodox opening. Rosen, as white, held a slender advantage up to about move 18, but after the two forces met and engaged, any advantage either player had was lost, and Boor’s breakthrough exchange sacrifice on move 37 was not enough to upset the balance.

But even more exciting than that game, Boor said, was his last-round game against junior expert Michael Auger, a touch-and-go Exchange Gruenfeld in which Boor took advantage of a late-middlegame error to fight back from a three-pawn deficit. Boor was playing at a disadvantage after the doubtful 17.h5 and the careless 24.f5, which allowed Auger to build up a big material lead, but Auger abandoned the defense of his f7-pawn with 28…Re8, allowing Boor to smash through his king cover and threaten mate in the corner. “This is an example of a swindle game, which is always fun to see,” Boor said.

Both Rosen and Auger are members of the University of Illinois team that tied for first place in the 2012 Pan-American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship.

The two-day, four-round, G/75 + 30s increment schedule and $600 guaranteed prize fund were chosen to showcase a format the CCC has considered offering as a seasonal open tournament.

Chicago Chess Center NFP Inc. borrows its name from the club founded in Lincoln Park in 1977 by Jules Stein, which for many years occupied a space on Southport Avenue. The well-loved establishment closed its doors 23 years ago, having survived less than two years after Stein’s death. It had filled a void left by the venerable Chicago Chess Club (originally the Chicago Chess and Checker Club), which for 89 years had been the center of the Chicago chess scene, only to suffer the crushing misfortune of losing one downtown home after another to demolition, until it finally left the Loop and dissolved soon thereafter.

The new 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, founded in 2012, hopes to renew this interrupted history by creating a metropolitan chess center in Chicago which will be not just a club but a school of chess, a welcoming destination and gathering place for players, and the focus of a vibrant and expanded chess scene.

CCC is seeking donations to secure and furnish a site, with the goal of opening in fall 2013. For more information, visit www.chichess.org.

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