I arrived in the Windy City today, leaving behind an even windier city in California. A week after coaching kids all weekend, the purpose of this trip is to dedicate myself to improving my own chess game. I will compete in the U2300 section of the Chicago Open from Friday night through Monday (seven rounds, $5000 for 1st place in my section). Yes, for the first time in ages, I am not playing in the Open section! Check out the advance entry list to see if I have a chance to do well.
Understandably, very few California players have come out to the Midwest. In fact, I only recognize three names from the Bay Area: Josh Friedel, Rohan Agarwal and Cesar Tamondong. All eyes will no doubt be on GM-elect Friedel as he tries to earn those elusive final 10 FIDE rating points for the Grandmaster title.