The Greater Peoria Open is the GPCF's premier tournament. It drew 51 players in it's inaugural voyage in 1965, one year after the start of the GPCF. It has been held every year since. 2021 will be it's 56th year and it has long been a USCF Heritage event.
Ross Sprague, then US Armed Forces champion was our first winner. finishing ahead of Dick Verber and a number of other 2000+ players. That event was organized and directed by Murrel Rhodes.
Over the years the attendance has varied, reaching over 100 one year under Bill Naff's direction. Attendance had slowed in the 1990s but seems to have picked up again in recent years.
The GPO is a 5 round two day Swiss System tournament. The original format was a single open section, open to all players. Today the format has changed a little with a Reserve section open to players 1400 and below. The dates have also varied over the years, but usually it has been held in the spring, although one year it was held in October. That experiment didn't produce the desired results and returned to the spring the following year.
For information about next year's GPO, please check out the web site at PeoriaOpen.Org.
Published USCF records only go back to 1992, so previous champions are not well documented. A special thanks to Robert Reynolds for the 1990 crosstable. Peoria GPO Champions from previous eras include Tom Mabee, John Lutes, Murrel Rhodes and Bill Naff. We are trying to locate other records from before 1992.