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News Update
Thank you, Lon Rutkofske! (03/03/2024)
Lon Rutkofske will retire as editor after the Spring 2024 issue of Michigan Chess magazine.

The Michigan Chess Association would like to extend a HUGE thank you to Lon for his six years of service as the MCA editor!   We are sure that all of you dedicated readers will agree that Lon put out a quality and timely magazine.

Lon’s first magazine was Spring 2018, and the Spring 2024 issue will be his final issue. Lon did a great job of trying to solicit contributors, and reporting on our many MCA tournaments. He also added some vintage flair with his humorous chess cartoons. Well done!

We wish Lon the best with his future endeavors!
Sincerely, the MCA board

If anyone is interested in supporting MCA as magazine editor, please contact President Jeff Aldrich.
2023 US Open Comes to Grand Rapids (07/28/2023)
The 2023 US Open starts on Saturday. MCA President Jeff Aldrich discussed the event with a local Grand Rapids TV station.
2023 Michigan Elementary/Primary Team Championships - Feb 4, 2023 (02/02/2023)
Here is the video of tonight's Zoom for the Team event for those unable to attend. If this is your first time at one of our team events, it is worth while watching before you arrive Saturday morning.
2022 Michigan Bottom Half Class Championships Results (10/23/2022)
The 2022 Michigan Bottom Half Class Championships were held at the Radisson Lansing over the weekend of October 22-23. A total of 155 players participated in the event. The Open section was won by FM Ryan Amburgy from Oklahoma, so Mauro Lopez takes the Michigan Champion title.

Results of the event can be found online:
2022 Michigan Women's Championships Results (10/01/2022)
On October 1, MCA held the Michigan Women's Championships & Men's Side Event at Washtenaw Community College. We were hosted by Alpha Kappa Alpha and other sororities - who provided gift bags for all participants. Chevelle Downs from I Teach Chess provided chess lessons for people affiliated with the college.

The Open section was won by Clara McGrew (pictured). The Reserve (U1000) section was won by Kavya Ramesh. The Men's Side Event was won by GM Renier Gonzalez. Final Standings can be found here: More information will be posted soon on the MCA Website under the Results section.
2022 Rockefeller National Tournament of Elementary State Champions - Marcus Zheng, Michigan Representative (09/26/2022)

I qualified for the Rockefeller tournament this year, which was held in Palm Springs, California. I knew it would be a good tournament from the start when I got a little elephant plush from Dewain Barber’s travels. The tournament kicked off with a welcome ceremony where we got state flags and participation medallions.

The chess portion kicked off with a decent win against the West Virginia delegate. I was feeling very good! Then I was pitted against the Washington delegate, Yiding Lu, who I managed to hold to a draw. The next day I played New York delegate Sam Luger and lost. I learned a lot from that game.

After that, we went to a book signing by Dewain Barber himself, the organizer of the tournament. I bought his book and he signed it. I then took out two lower-rated opponents, Austin Uezu and Oliver Hsiao, in the fourth and fifth rounds, using aggressivity as a strong suit.

Going into the last round with 3.5 out of 5, I was feeling like nothing could stop me. Then I had to play John Abraham, the Kentucky delegate that I had played a year ago. I got a decent position out of the opening and got a dominating game. Then he started pressuring on the kingside and, despite a material advantage, I lost the game and ended up placing 13th.

I learned a lot from both of my losses in the tournament, and even though I didn’t make the top 5, I feel that I am still a winner.

View Marcus's Games here:

IM Ben Li Wins 2022 Michigan Open and Michigan Speed Championships (09/05/2022)
The 2022 Michigan Open was held over Labor Day weekend at Radisson Lansing at the Capitol. The Michigan Speed Championship was held on Saturday of the weekend. IM Ben Li won clear first place in both events.
Kevin Fite Inducted into the Michigan Chess Hall of Fame (09/04/2022)
On September 4, 2022, the Michigan Chess Association inducted Kevin Fite into the Michigan Chess Hall of Fame. You can read about his accomplishments and contributions to chess in Michigan here: Kevin Fite - Hall of Fame
2022 Michigan Open - Additional Information (09/02/2022)
September 2-5, 2022

Radisson Hotel Lansing, 111 N. Grand Avenue, Lansing, MI 48933
Near the State Capitol in Downtown Lansing
Hotel Cut Off Extended to Sept 2 for last minute reservations
Room Rate: $99, Phone: (517) 482-0188
Ask for Michigan Chess Association room block
Online Reservations:
Promotion Code: MCA922

Parking Information
There is a parking ramp across the street connected via skywalk to the Radisson which is $15/day. There is also metered parking in the area that is not monitored on weekends and holidays. More info can be found on the City of Lansing website:

Last Minute Withdrawals
If you need to withdraw from the event for any reason, please contact the TD by email at or text at 810-955-7271. Please send any updates at least 30 minutes prior to the first round for your schedule. Phone calls will likely not be answered while the tournament is being prepared.

For Those Planning on Attending:
Please note that there is a Michigan State University home football game on Friday evening. If you are playing in the 4-Day Schedule starting Friday, be sure to plan for additional traffic entering the Lansing area.

There is also construction in the area, especially note that much of I-496 through downtown Lansing is closed. You may want to consider an alternate route to the hotel.

Event Information
Here are links to PDF files with tournament information:
Printable Flyer

Hotel Layout

If you are on the entry list at online registration, you will be paired for round 1 and do not need to check in with the TDs.

Sets will be provided for the Booster section. Please bring your clock. If you are in the Open or Reserve section, you must bring your own equipment (sets and clocks). Be sure to understand the time control for your section and have your clock set accordingly before you arrive. TDs do not have time to set everyone's clock. There are many YouTube videos with instructions on how to set different types of clocks.

Note that for games played with 30 second increment, players must record notation for the entire game. The under 5 minute rule to stop notation does not apply.

Round times listed indicate when each round starts. Pairings and Results will be posted online at Pairings should posted about 15 minutes before each round.

2022 Michigan Speed Championship
There is still time to register for the Speed Championship on Saturday afternoon if you have not joined already. Online registration for the Speed for $20 will be open until 1:30pm on Saturday; registering in person is $5 more. All Open/Reserve/Booster games are scheduled to be complete in time for the first round of the Speed, so all players registered for the Michigan Open sections are able to participate. You do not need to play in the main tournament to participate in the Speed. You may register for the Speed separately.

General Membership Meeting
Sunday, September 4 at 4pm
For those unable to attend in person, we will have the meeting available on Zoom ( for viewing only. Interactions and voting are not possible for those in the Zoom call.
2022 Haring National Tournament of Girls State Champions - Miah Guo, Michigan Representative (08/28/2022)
Miah Guo at Board

I was so lucky to have the honor to represent Michigan in the 10th Annual WIM Ruth Haring National Tournament of Girls State Champions. It was held in Rancho Mirage, California, July 30 - August 2, 2022.  As one of the youngest players, I was so excited to see so many girls state champions including masters, like FM, WIM and WFM.

I have annotated two of my games from the tournament. View Miah's games here:

In round 3, I was playing black against Dana Poon from New Mexico. The game lasted only 14 moves, with a quick checkmate for me. I had a pin on the knight to her queen, and made good use of it. Dana had a nice pin on my main attacking piece, my knight, and it could have gotten her out of trouble, and put me in trouble.

In round 4, I was white and played against Angella Zhang, from Missouri. She is much higher rated than me. The opening was an Alekhine Defense and I had a nice big center. The opening and middlegame were tough and complicated, but I still managed to not lose yet. The endgame was supposed to be drawn, but I blundered and she won many pawns with her active rooks.

Overall, I would like to thank the Michigan Chess Association for this amazing opportunity for going to California and representing Michigan. It was really fun, and I truly enjoyed the whole tournament. I will definitely focus on my calculation skills in the future tournaments.
Haring Representative
2021 USCF Membership Appreciation Program (08/21/2022)
MCA finished in the Top 20 Affiliates for USCF Memberships sold in 2021. Click the link below to see the certificates of appreciation that have been sent to MCA. When you renew your USCF membership through MCA registration, the MCA benefits from this purchase.

USCF Membership Appreciation Program
2022 Denker National Tournament of HS Champions - Adhvaith Rajanish, Michigan Representative (08/18/2022)
Hi everyone! This is Adhvaith Rajanish and I would like to share my experience and a few of my games at the 2022 Denker

View Adhvaith's annotated games here:

I ended the tournament with 4/6 and came 12th place on tiebreaks. It was an honor to represent Michigan and playing the tournament was a fun experience. I hope you enjoyed my analysis!
2022 Irwin National Tournament of State Senior Champions - Ariel Levi, Michigan Representative (08/14/2022)
For the second consecutive year, I was the Michigan representative at the John T. Irwin National Tournament of Senior State Champions, which was held in Palm Springs, CA, July 30 - August 2, 2022. Palm Springs has the reputation of being a great place for a vacation, but not in summer. Outside temperatures were between 102 and 107 during the tournament.

I ended up with a score of 3/6, the same as last year. However, whereas two of my losses last year were against IMs, this year two of my losses were against GMs—Enrico Sevillano and Sergei Kudrin. When the tournament ended, IM Douglas Root and GM Sevillano were tied at the top with 5/6 points. Root took first place on tiebreaks.

View 2 games from the event annotated by Ariel Levi:

For me, both these games reinforced the importance of relying on concrete calculation rather than general principles or prior assumptions about what “should be done” in chess positions. In the Kudrin game, if I had calculated the queen sacrifice line to a greater depth and evaluated the resulting position more fully, rather than relying on the generalization that two pieces and a pawn or two are insufficient compensation for a queen, I likely would have chosen the correct line. In the Truelson game, if I had fully examined the pawn sacrifice both with and without the prior trade of rooks, instead of relying on the general principle that one should not yield control of a central file by trading rooks, I likely would have correctly inserted the trade of rooks. Of course, everything seems obvious in hindsight. But emphasizing concrete calculation and the evaluation of positions on the basis of their particulars, rather than relying on general principles, has come to characterize chess in the digital age.
USCF Invitational Events (07/28/2022)
The US Open begins this weekend in California. Michigan has players representing us in each of the sections:
  • Irwin (Age 50+): Ariel Levi
  • Denker (HS): Adhvaith Rajanish
  • Barber (MS): Kalman Vanderhoek
  • Rockefeller (Elem): Marcus Zheng
  • Haring (Girls): Miah Guo
Follow along at the USCF website for the US Open:

Don't forget that the 2023 US Open will be in Grand Rapids, MI next summer!
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