Chess me, out of the bearded barley…

…or the bearded streamer

GM Finegold graciously signs autographs for fans beneath the milky twilight. Sixpence None The Richer may be considered a one hit wonder, but Ben keeps on bringing the hits at the National Open.

From left to right, the streamers are IM Eric Rosen, Eliana Lopez, GM Ben Finegold, Elayah, Sara Herman and IM Kostya Kavutskiy

Our streamers for the National Open were gracious enough to give their time for a panel Q&A followed by a meet and greet. Thank you to Elayah who provided a live stream of this. Elayah will be competing in her first rated tournament, playing in the Beginners Section. You can follow her via Twitch this weekend at

The information for our other streamers can be found HERE

Kickoff for the International Youth

Chess is an activity lends itself to prodigies. Not everyone can become the next Magnus Carlsen, but everyone has the ability to make a positive impact on the game of life, where it is always your move.

The youth tournaments have continued to be a growing event here at the National Open! The Youth Trophy had four sections with 374 combined entrants, shattering last years total of 225. Congrats to Ochir Jargalsaikhan in the Premier and Jack Chong in the Reserve with a perfect 5/5 score and clear first. There were two perfect scores in the Booster with Roy Chen edging out Jolin Jiang on tiebreaks. The Novice section was by far the largest section, with nearly as entrants than the other sections combined with an impressive 174 entrants. Joseph Paglia, Yalong Yang, and Evan Wei emerge with perfect 5/5 scores with Joseph coming in first on tiebreaks.

Teaching chess around the globe

Jack Heller, currently playing in the National Open. Just a few months ago, he was playing in a different continent

Chess provides opportunities. In the streamers panel, IM Rosen mentioned how chess has become a vehicle for him to explore the world. While a Minnesota patzer like me gets an opportunity to come down to a glitzy man-made city like Las Vegas, this could have not been more true for Jack Heller, 17, a high school student at Walter Payton College Prep in Chicago who truly gets to experience the real world 6,000 miles away. Jack was chosen by the Chicago Chess Foundation to be a part of a wonderful exchange program to teach youths chess in Ghana.

For more information about Jack’s story and the cause, here are the following links:
Chicago Chess Foundation CBS Chicago NNY

Track(s) of the Day, Heller-Timergazi

Jack Heller had a rocky start to the tournament, but has rebounded with back to back wins. This last game is against WIM Layla Timergazi, an upset vs a titled player with some notes by Jack.

Track(s) of the Day Neimann-Nyzhnyk

Top seeds facing each other in Round 6. Illya, with Black counters the Queens Gambit with a Semi-Slav while onlookers are hoping this will turn into something Fully-Exciting. Both played a relatively accurate game according to After locking up the center, play turned to the wings and Hans was able to breakthrough on the a-file.

Armchair analysis with a +3500 elo rated engine, six-core gaming PC, RGB mouse in one hand and a Wetzels Pretzel in the other could crank out a interesting multi move plan involving a breakthrough-piece sacrifice in milliseconds, but try telling a mortal being to find this sequence of moves. Time, pressure, and various other factors are reasons we are human and moves may get missed. The last thing this patzer is gonna do is go up to Hans Niemann, who has had a recent stay in the 2700 Club and say, “What happened on move 23, bro?” Both players played a hard fought game, and I for one will appreciate it for what it is. Well played and well earned draw!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.