Thanks for your interest in Beaubien’s Chess Team this year!

I’m excited about our possibilities. If you haven’t done so already, I recommend signing your child (or children) up for the chess program run through Right At School. They’re great at teaching the fundamentals of the game for those who may be beginners. At the same time, I’m working with CHESS-ED, the organization that delivers the program, to get a second instructor to work with the more advanced players on higher-level skills and tournament play. That won’t happen unless we get some good numbers in the program though – so sign them up!

You can register at

Based on the participation there, and your interest and availability, we’ll figure out if we want to meet and practice outside of that Wednesday group as well. Let’s take that as it comes.

Again, this is a team for everyone – both those kids who are just getting into chess and want to play in their first competitions, as well as those who are battle-tested veterans. Know that ALL are welcome. What would make us proudest is big numbers at the tournaments. Other schools bring close to 50 kids to them! There’s no reason we can’t have a strong showing for ourselves. To that end, we have shirts for our team to show off our Bulldog pride. Some of you already purchased them, others we can take care of later. They’re $15 and I have a variety of sizes.

As for tournaments, there are a few different ones. The ones we’ll absolutely participate in are the Chicago Public Schools tournaments run by the Youth Chess Foundation of Chicago and the Chicago Chess Foundation (YCFC/CCF). These are monthly tournaments, free to all participants, held at various locations in Chicago. Kids compete individually and as teams in the following sections: Kindergarten through 2nd grade, 3rd and 4th grade, 5th and 6th grade, and 7th and 8th grade. Take a look at last year’s tournaments here: All kids will play 5 matches, no matter what – no brackets or elimination.

The first YCFC/CCF tournament is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, November 12, site TBD. There is a possibility that they will schedule one in October as well. If I get word on that I’ll let you know as soon as possible. Towards the end of the year, there are playoff tournaments for the North Side and South Side schools, and then a City Championship.

The next kind of tournaments are those that are run by various organizations around Chicago. These are scholastic competitions for school age children. The ones that Beaubien kids have participated in most often are the Kumbaya tournaments run by CHESS-ED. These tournaments are held monthly at Niles North High School in Skokie. The next one is being held on Sunday, September 18 at noon. The sections are different here, where kids are grouped according to ability. There is a non-rated section which is open to anyone. Other sections require players have a USCF rating. If you don’t know what this is, it’s a way to rank players by skill level. (Think of a handicap in golf.) If your kid is a little more serious and wants to go down this path, let’s talk about it. The Kumbaya tournaments cost $35 in advance. If we get at least 2 kids in a section, Beaubien can compete as a team and win a team trophy if we play well. Dimitri and I will definitely be participating in the next Kumbaya tournament. Hopefully some of you can participate as well! Kumbaya is just one – there are others. Here’s a site that lists other scholastic chess tournaments:

For those that want to go to another level, there are state and national tournaments. There’s an Illinois All-Grade State Championship on November 5 in Naperville, and another one likely held in Schaumburg in March. There is a Greater Chicago K-12 Championship at McCormick Place on February 4. There are also two different national tournaments, both held in Nashville, TN: the National K-12 Grade Championships, December 16-18, and Supernationals VI, May 12-14. It would be fantastic for us to have a presence at any/all of these tournaments. We can work out those logistics later.

Please let me know if you have any feedback or questions. I’ll keep you posted from this end.

John Deligiannis