Greater Peoria Chess Foundation

The Greater Peoria Chess Foundation is a 501(c)3 non profit organization dedicated to encouraging chess in our community and school systems. Chess helps students to develop many life skills that will help them as they navigate with challenges that lay ahead.


Peoria's First Chess Master Passes

I am sad to report the passing of Peoria's first chess master, Tom Mabee, on July 28th, 2020. Tom grew up in Peoria and began his chess career with the Peoria Kingsmen chess club in the early 60s. Tom and I formed the Bradley Chess team that won first place in the 1967 Midwest Intercollegiate. Tom later moved to St Petersburg, Florida where he earned his PhD at Florida State University. Subsequently he was a Professor of Psycology and maintained a private practive there.

Tom's chess accomplishments include victories at the Greater Peoria Open and the Iowa Open. He is also a many time Peoria Champion. Many of our current local players will remember him as he often returned to the Monday night club on his frequent trips to Peoria to visit his family. His obituary can be found here.

This is the hardest article I have ever written. Tom and I have been the best of friends for 57 years. - Murrel

GPO postponed indefinitely . . .

The Greater Peoria Open has been postponed indefinitely, until the state has announced that events with more than 50 participants will be permitted. Please watch for future announcements regarding the rescheduling.

This year's GPO was originally scheduled for April 18-19 and will be rescheduled for sometime in later this year. The event will still be held at the Mark Twain Hotel but the exact date is uncertain.

US Open Canceled

US Chess announced that the 2020 U.S. Open has been canceled due to concerns surrounding the COVID-19 global pandemic. It will not be rescheduled. The 121st edition of the longest-running USCF event was scheduled to take place from August 8-16 in St Charles, Missouri, which is in the St Louis area, close to Peoria.

11 Peoria area players won silver or bronze medals at 2020 IESA State Finals played at the Peoria Civic Center February 28th & 29th.

Dunlap Middle School was first among 8th gragers, with Morton 4th, Metamora 8th & Washington Central 9th. Trevor Pak, Washington Central, finished 2nd individual. Harris Khoo, Noah Li & Kevin Yang all finished with 6 wins in 7 games. Rahul Foulger, Dunlap Valley, and Tyler Sass, Dunlap MS also won medals with 5.5/7.
Dunlap Middle School took 3rd Place in 7th Grade. Dunlap Valley & Washington Central took 9th & 10th respectively. Local medalists were Stella Chen & Joshua Wang of Dunlap Middle and Nikhil Pardarthy, Dunlap Valley, all with 5 wins a draw and only a single loss.
th Grade featured a last round battle between two Peoria area players, Owen Zhang of Dunlap Valley and Vincent Fang of Peoria Washington. The game ended in a draw and the two players are now 6th Grade co-champions. AJ Isada, Peoria Washington, Aarav Lala, Dunlap MS and Harmin Patel, Dunlap Valley also medaled with 5.5/7.
Dunlap Valley finished 2nd as a team, followed by Peoria Washington's 5th Place and Metamora St.Mary's 8th Place.

Local Teams at this year's event:

6th Grade Teams:
  • 2. Dunlap Valley
  • 5. Peoria Washington
  • 8. St.Mary's of Metamora
  • 11. Dunlap Middle School
  • 13. Washington Central
  • 17. Brimfield
  • 19. East Peoria Central
  • 20. St.Thomas of Peoria Heights
  • 22. Germantown Hills
  • 37. Metamora Grade School
  • 42. Costa Academy of Galesburg

7th Grade Teams:

  • 3. Dunlap Middle School
  • 9. Dunlap Valley
  • 10. Washington Central
  • 13. Brimfield
  • 14. Costa Academy of Galesburg
  • 15. Washington Middle School
  • 18. Metamora Grade School
  • 23. Germantown Hills
  • 27. Morton Junior High
  • 28. East Peoria Central
  • 32. Spring Bay Riverview
  • 35. Princeville
  • 37. Peoria Von Steuben
  • 47. St.Thomas of Peoria Heights
  • 48. Peoria Washington

8th Grade Teams:

  • 1. Dunlap Middle School
  • 4. Morton Junior High
  • 8. Metamora Grade School
  • 9. Washington Central
  • 13. Dunlap Valley
  • 14. East Peoria Central
  • 21. Washington Middle School
  • 23. Germantown Hills
  • 31. Brimfield
  • 35. St.Mary's of Metamora
  • 38. Spring Bay Riverview
  • 41. Princeville
  • 45. St.Thomas of Peoria Heights

  • Elbert Fang Wins Illinois Open Reserve Section

    Elbert Fang scored a perfect 6-0 to win the Illinois Open Reserve Section over the Labor Day weekend. The reserve section is limited to players rated under 1800. Elbert win raised his rating 140 points and now sits at 1649.

    Elbert's brother Vincent and Michael Li scored 2 points playing in the Open Division along side tournament winner Grandmaster Vladimir Georgiev (2543) and BSO winners Tim McEntee and Troy Curfman. Michael drew games with two Class A players while Vincent best game was a win over a 1678.

    Garrett Wins 2019 Peoria Championship

    Daniel Garrett won his 2nd Peoria Championship when a momentary lapse dropped a Queen in a tied match, allowing Daniel a comeback victory after an early first round loss.

    The Peoria Championship finals match started with an upset as Alex Beecher picked off an early victory. As it often does, it came down to a missed threat in a messy complicated position. So Alex was up 1-0 in games and Daniel needed to win or draw the next game to keep his hopes alive. The match goes to the first one to score 2 points or more with a lead.

    Daniel started strong in the second game and kept the initiative throughout. Alex finally buckeled in a difficult Rook and pawn endgame after fighting back against a prepared opening. The game tied the match at one game apiece. A winner in the third game would have the title.

    The third game was a Kings Indian Defense with Daniel playing the Be2 line which he has played often recently. The game reached a complicated middle game which Fritz & Stockfish evaluated as 0.00 (that is completely even) at the point of the bluder. There were two ways forward for Alex (Black), including the tricky Nfd5, but instead missed the threatened King Queen fork.

    All in all it was a good hard fought match by both players. The final score was 2-1 with no draws.

    3 Way Tie in 56th Annual Bradley Summer Open

    The 56th Annual Bradley Summer Open, the longest running university sponsored chess tournament in the nation, ended in a 3 way tie amont Master and BU graduate Tim McEntee, Troy Curfman and Peoria 6th Grader Owen Zhang. While the master and his travel mate were sharing a quick last round draw on board one, Owen was competing against Bloomington's own young prodigy, Vamsi Munaganuri, in what might be a peek at future central Illinois tournaments and winning a very complex endgame. The 3 winners all finished with 3 wins and a draw.

    The Reserve section, restricted to players rated 1400 and below, was won by Peoria Richwoods first board Donald Egan who scored a clean 4 wins in 4 games.

    Full crosstables and prizes can be found at the tournament site here.

    Karagianis & Getz Tie the 55th Annual GPO

    Peoria Master Pete Karagianis and former Peorian Henry Getz tied for the title at the 55th annual Greater Peoria Open April held 6th & 7th at the Mark Twain Hotel in downtown Peoria. Pete entered late as he had to miss the start and Henry ran up 4 straight points before falling in the last round to Karagianis in an extremely exciting game.

    58 players attended and had a great time enjoying the comfortable and spacious Packard Building playing hall. Alex Relyea, chairman of the USCF tournament director committee, traveled 1150 miles from New Hampshire just to play in the GPO.

    Full crosstables and prizes can be found at the tournament site here. Almost $2,000 in prizes were given out.

    join the
    Chess Underground
    with Pete Karagianis

    Monday Night Kingsmen & Friday Night Hult Chess Club
    Meetings have been canceled for the duration of the lockdown.
    Watch this web page for updated information.
    Kingsmen Online Play

    The Kingsmen Chess Club will meet online every Monday night at 7pm on Zoom with a 7:30pm tournament on You can join us by using these links:

    Monday September 28th:

    6:30 pm: Zoom Meeting 868 7578 4848

    7:00 pm: Peoria Kingsmen tournament 1584810

    You don't have to wait until Monday to join the tournament. You can join anytime, but the games won't start until 7:30pm on Monday. See you online soon!

    Hult Online Play

    The Hult Youth Chess Club (K-12) will meet online every Friday night at 6:30 on Zoom with a 7pm tournament on You can join us by using these links:

    Friday September 25th:

    6:30 pm: Zoom Meeting 147 555 122

    7:00 pm: Hult Chess Club tournament 1584808

    You don't have to wait until Friday to join the tournament. You can join anytime, but the games won't start until 7pm on Friday. See you online soon!

    High School Chess:
    Dunlap defeated Washington
    in a close match by scores of 42.5-25.5 and 35.5-32.5 to remain undefeated. However Washington is still in first place as they have won more matches. Washington also gave Metamora their first loss of the seaon in convincing style, 45-23 & 50-18. Standings are determined by Match Points folowed by game points. Dunlap will have a chance to catch up in their remaining matches.

    Club News

    After 30 years of service, Wayne Zimmerle is stepping down as leader of the Monday night chess club. Financial responsibilities for the club will be taken over by the Foundation. The club is looking for new leadership. If that is you, please see Ron Suarez. The club will continue to meet every Monday and Wayne plans to still join us as a player.

    Thank you Wayne for your long and dedicated service to our chess community.

    The Kingsmen Monday night adult chess club now meets at the Life Together Center (formerly the Great Central Insurance Bldg) at Sheridan & War Memorial 7 to 11pm. (Click here to see the location on a map.)


    Puzzle of the Day

    World Leaders for more details and full list