Saturday, February 03, 2007

Phillip Featured with “Prairie State 64”

Brad Rosen, also known by his online nom de plume Chessdad64, has put together a list of the Illinois junior chess players ranked among the top 100 nationally in their age groups, and in one of those rare harmonic convergences that occurs every so often in this vast and expanding universe of ours, the list comes to 64 kids, exactly the number of squares on a chess board.

It’s not a large number, considering that we’re talking about the whole Land of Lincoln, which makes the kids in the group a special and talented bunch indeed. One of them, I’m proud to say, is Ray School’s Phillip Parker-Turner, who, with the release of the February standings from the U.S. Chess Federation, now ranks 40th among all eight-year-olds in the country.

Brad, whose site, The 64 Square Jungle, is the top chess blog in the Midwest and one of the most influential nationally, also takes the occasion of Chicago’s impending Super Bowl appearance to highlight the super adult chess talent in the area. They’re an impressive group, too, and include several grandmasters and international masters.

Yet along with the local boosterism Chessdad64 delivers an honest assessment of the problems and travails with which the local chess scene is plagued, and they are not inconsiderable. It’s an excellent post; everyone should read it. Go, Bears!


chessdad64 said...


Thank you for the kind words. Note, the Illinois extract from the USCF Top 100 lists used to a appear on a couple of other websites in the past, but not for quite awhile now. I thought it worthwhile to have out there.

In any event the Top 100 lists provide interesting snapshots and upon closer examination, I think they can yield lead to some interesting observations about our chess scene.

I was quite impressed and pleasantly surprised to see that on the Age 7 and Under list there were 11 kids from IL....that suggests that we may be doing something right here in Illinois-- at least in some places.

But then take another look at the National List for 7 and Under, and for the state of Texas, you will see 20 kids are listed and 5 of those are in the Top 10!

And that leads me to the question--What is Texas doing right? Maybe our friend Alexey from the UTD (University Texas Dallas) can shed some light....

best chess regards,

Tom Panelas said...


I know you're kept tabs the scholastic chess scene in Texas, and from reading your posts I've gotten the impression they are doing a lot of things right there. It can't hurt to have one of the best college teams in the country (University of Texas, Dallas), and I think Susan Polgar has been active down there as well. You don't dominate the USCF rankings by accident. It's something to watch; maybe we can learn.