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Reaching the 8th Rank with Jennifer Shahade

[imagefield_assist|fid=8534|preset=frontpage_200x200|lightbox=true|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=200]Don't miss your chance to sit in with WGM Jennifer Shahade for a special guest lecture on Thursday evening at 6 p.m. 

Shahade, who regularly provides commentary for the U.S. Championships and is the Web editor of Chess Life Online (CLO, will present a lecture regarding the tactics on pawn promotion with her special lecture: Reaching the 8th Rank.


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SPICE Cup: Rounds 6-8

[imagefield_assist|fid=8528|preset=frontpage_200x200|title=|desc=|link=none|origsize=|align=left|width=200|height=200]Round 6: Back to the "drawing" board

I had an unusual game against GM-elect Gergely Antal. I played 1.e4, which I have recently started playing (although my opponent doubtless expected 1.d4), and Gergely decided to play 1...Nf6 for the first time!

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SPICE Cup Update: Rounds 4 and 5

[imagefield_assist|fid=8519|preset=frontpage_200x200|lightbox=true|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=200]Round 4: Finegold loses two in a row!

I have not lost two USCF rated games in a row in years. Also, I have not lost with white since November 2008. Also, The Lions and Rams both won! What a day!

I was white against Danny Rensch, and was not able to get any advantage. I was outplayed most of the game, missing most of the key ideas and tactics. When we reached move 35 or so, it was time to resign, but, I made it to move 40, and Rybka says I am -9 or so.....then.... Danny's technique let him down, and I escaped to a double rook ending with only 1 pawn minus.

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SPICE Cup Update: Rounds 2 and 3

[imagefield_assist|fid=8514|preset=frontpage_200x200|title=|desc=|link=none|origsize=|align=left|width=200|height=200]Round 2: An Exciting Draw

Another day, another draw, but not after some excitement. I played a bit too aggressively in the opening, but the game was quite complex and my opponent, the highest rated in the B group, GM Davorin Kuljasevic, and I used a lot of time in the opening and early middle-game.

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Spice Cup Begins

[imagefield_assist|fid=8508|preset=frontpage_200x200|lightbox=true|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=200]I arrived today for the 2010 Spice Cup, held on the campus of Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX. There are two GM groups, A and B, and the A group is the highest rated RR ever held in the USA! I am playing in the B group, which has 5 GMs, 4 IMs, and 1 FM. There were a lot of draws today, as the A group, a 6 player, double round robin saw draws in all three games.

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Margaret Hua represents U.S. in Greece

[imagefield_assist|fid=8420|preset=frontpage_200x200|lightbox=true|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=200]CCSCSL phenom Margaret Hua is putting together a stellar tournament in Greece with a score of 4/6 after six rounds. Margaret, 12, is once again representing the U.S. at the World Youth Championship, this time held in Halkidiki, Greece, October 20-30.

She is currently tied for 20th place in the U12 girls division after six rounds.

According to the October supplement of the USCF rating system, Margaret is currently ranked sixth in the country for girls under the age of 13 and 70th out of all female chess players in the country with a rating of 1845.

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Chess for Life anniversary celebration

[imagefield_assist|fid=8412|preset=frontpage_200x200|lightbox=true|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=200]SAINT LOUIS - October 18, 2010 - Chess for Life (CFL), a chess-playing program offered to patients by the Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine, will celebrate its one-year anniversary with a special patient event, Wed. Oct. 20 from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m at the Center for Advanced Medicine.

More than 100 cancer patients and survivors are expected to participate in the interactive event with activities such as simul play, when one player takes on multiple opponents simultaneously, and mega chess with an oversized chess board and pieces.

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Arch Bishops take apart Mechanics

[imagefield_assist|fid=8405|preset=frontpage_200x200|lightbox=true|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=200]By Spencer Finegold

The Saint Louis Arch Bishops faced-off against San Francisco's Mechanics on Wednesday, and there were no real surprises on any board. Though our opponents had a worthy line-up with GM-FM-FM-FM, they were no match for our big three plus one. I guess one could consider the Mechanics our rival as they too have a wonderful chess club in San Francisco, but The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis is of course nicer, and our victory over them karmically proved it.

GM Hikaru Nakamura showed up about 15 minutes late for his game against GM Josh Friedel, which would explain how Nakamura had only 30 minutes more than his GM opponent by the end of his victory?! Nakamura whipped out his first ten move quickly to equalize on time.

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Finegolds celebrate National Chess Day with victory

[imagefield_assist|fid=8387|preset=frontpage_200x200|lightbox=true|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=200]The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis celebrated National Chess Day on Saturday, October 9, with its second annual 2-on-2 Team Championship.

GM Ben Finegold and his son Spencer Finegold entered the tournament as the favorites and did not disappoint with a combined score of 8/8 to bring home $500 and the championship title. Their team, ironically named Two Persons is Not Really a Team, made quick work of the opposition including a round three trouncing of Masters Ron Luther and Bob Holliman.

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Arch Bishops torch Chicago Blaze

[imagefield_assist|fid=8384|preset=frontpage_200x200|lightbox=true|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=200|height=200]Last Wednesday, the Arch Bishops played our rival, the Chicago Blaze. Our previous encounter in week two was interesting in that we had our starting rotation: GMs Hikaru Nakamura, Yury Shulman, Ben Finegold, and myself (Spencer Finegold) and somehow only managed a draw. The difference this time around was that we were playing without Shulman on board two, who somehow lost with White in the second week, and to make matters worse they injected GM Mesgen Amanov to their line-up for this week’s showdown. All of the games were suspiciously played, as we were probably worse on all four boards at one point or another, but we managed a less-than convincing 2.5-1.5 victory to which I can recite the tautological phrase: "A win is a win."

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