Ms Sudha Dang, from India was one of the adult volunteers who had come to the Barbara Rose Chess Tournament to check out the special Middle Eastern food. She was impressed by the attendance and the work ethic of the volunteers. She saw the enthusiasm, different roles played by the group of volunteers and the remarkable collaborative effort it took to raise funds. Ms Dang quickly became part of the group as she helped serve food and inspire our youth.


Above is a picture of Ms Sudha Dang encouraging 13 -year-old Toby Schwartz who was the Accountant for the project. The youth volunteers thrive as leaders during these humanitarian projects as they hold important roles and own the projects. When they are successful in performing their roles they gain confidence and are filled with pride at the impact of their efforts. Adult volunteers like Ms Dang are vital in encouraging our students in their unique efforts because very often these young volunteers create more projects for the next time.

We are grateful for Ms Dang’s contribution of $90 which will be used towards developing a technology center at Project Why, which is an NGO providing educational services for families living in the slums of Delhi, India.


The Barbara Rose School Chess Tournament was held on June 9th 2012 at the Barbara Rose Elementary Chess School in Barrington, Illinois. There were 92 players who competed in the tournament, over 100 visitors and another 10 students and 10 adults who volunteered in a variety of roles to make the tournament an educational success. Four sections in the tournament were USCF rated but there was also a non rated section for new players to be introduced to chess tournaments. It was exciting for the players to be able to go over their games with special guest Woman’s Grandmaster Anna Sharevich from Belarus and Woman’s International Master Viktoria Ni.

Another star attraction to the tournament was Gourmet Cook Rima Said from Amman, Jordan who led the volunteer team as they served homemade Middle Eastern food. The mission of Chess Without Borders is to combine chess education with service and philanthropy and this was well served by the team of ten student and ten adult helpers. Students were exposed to the rich world of service and philanthropy by learning valuable skills such as public speaking, hospitality, leadership, organization, cooperation, accounting, cooking and most importantly cleaning up. The tournament raised $700 for the King Hussein Cancer Foundation in Jordan and proudly submitted the check to Ms Rima Said from Jordan.

Local businesses Bertacchi Builders and Nature’s Farm generously donated supplies for the tournament.

Picture of some of the volunteers donating the money to Ms Rima Said for the King Hussein Cancer Foundation.

Students develop confidence and create their own projects as a direct result of the social entrepreneurship fostered through the program.  An example of  this was 2nd  grader Ethan Gagliano who donated $50 at the tournament for sending a little girl living in the slums of India to summer school. Ethan addressed the crowd telling them that he wanted to keep aside some of the money he was given at his 1st communion for this little girl with very few opportunities.

Picture of Ethan speaking to the crowd with Ms Gruber and CEO of the tournament Zachary George (in the red shirt) looking on.


Congratulations to Hough Street School and teacher Maggie Gruber on their outstanding presentation on “The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan”. Chess Without Borders will further honor their study of Jordan with a service learning exercise serving homemade Middle Eastern food at the Barbara Rose School chess tournament on June 9th. 100% of the funds raised will be donated to The King Hussein Cancer Foundation that treats cancer patients for free.

CEO of this special project will be our chess player and Hough School students, Zachary George. Zachary will head a special team of volunteers including Rima Said and our very own award-winning cook Zein Bertacchi who has cooked up many dishes at our tournament allowing Chess Without Borders to raise hundreds of dollars.

Please also welcome Rima Said, the grandmother of Robert Said both of whom were special guests at Hough Street School. Rima lives in Jordan and is currently visiting Barrington.  Also volunteering will be Gagan Dang from India who will join other volunteers at Chess Without Borders.

We will also have special music provided by Ron Swanson and his student Toby Schwartz.

Please email if you are able to volunteer.

The Jane Goodall Institute has honored Chess Without Borders with a Certificate of Recognition for the humanitarian work we have done last year. We are proud to be able to work together to accomplish many unique humanitarian projects benefiting both the givers and receivers. A copy of this honor can be picked up at GM Shulman’s office for your records and college applications.


VIII Baltic School Chess Festival

VIII Baltic School Chess Festival will be held in 5 star Radisson Blu Daugava Hotel, 24 Kugu street, Riga, Latvia, (Europe) from August 27 (day of  arrival) until September 1 (day of departure) 2012. Opening ceremony takes place on the August 28th at 14.00,  followed by round 1 at 14.30. The last round 7 will be on the September 1st at 10.00.

Everyone is welcome to participate in our festival. We already have confirmation of participation of chessplayers from Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Russia, Poland and some Scandinavian countries. Each team shall consist of 4 participants:  3 boys and 1 girl, born in 1995 or younger. All participants must have category 1 or higher.

The tournament will be played according to the Swiss System in 7 rounds. Only FIDE ratings will be used for the pairings.
Chess program of the festival, as always, full of interesting and exciting  events: Team Tournament – 7 round ELO rated Swiss, simultaneous exhibition with International Grandmaster, International ELO rated blitz-tournament.

Download PDF flyer here.

Tournament system and rate of game:

The team tournament will be played according to the Swiss System in 7 rounds.

Only FIDE ratings will be used for the pairings.

Time schedule:

August 27th (Monday) – arrivals of the teams.

August 28th (Tuesday)

630 am – 1030 am – the breakfast in restaurant “Panorama”

200 pm - opening ceremony of the Festival, 230 pm - start of the tournament (1st round)

700 pm - session of simultaneous game.

August 29th (Wednesday)

630 am – 1030 am – the breakfast in restaurant “Panorama”

1000 am - the tournament (2nd round)

230 pm - excursion to LIDO Recreation centre.

500 pm - the tournament (3rd round)

August 30th (Thursday)

630 am – 1030 am – the breakfast in restaurant “Panorama”

1000 am - the tournament (4th round)

500 pm - blitz – tournament (11 rounds)

Tournament Fee: to festival participants – 1 LVL, to other chess players – 2 LVL.

August 31st (Friday)

630 am – 1030 am – the breakfast in restaurant “Panorama”

1000 am - the tournament (5th round)

500 pm - the tournament (6th round)

 September 1st (Saturday)

630 am – 1030 am – the breakfast in restaurant “Panorama”

1000 am - the tournament (7th round)

230 pm - evaluation of the tournament and presentation of prizes

after 300 pm - departures of teams.

The address: Radisson Blu Daugava Hotel, 24 Kugu street, Riga.

Contact phone +371 29653095, Polina Ni or +13125470020 WIM Viktoria Ni.


Zein Bertacchi, a passionate and gourmet cook who is often seen as the chief volunteer at the food counter during chess tournaments won a ” Best Cook” Award at the Beit Sitti Kitchen in Amman, Jordan. Zein is a Microbiologist who works at Good Shepherd Hospital in Infection Control. Through her passion and talent for cooking she has helped Chess Without Borders raise over $70,000 by selling, organizing and preparing food at Chess Tournaments along with other volunteers. Zein was one of the founders of the philanthropic movement for the chess program since its inception in 2003 when Rishi Sethi invited her to help raise funds for various charities around the world while students played in chess tournaments.Through the creative use of  her talent and spirit of service she has inspired many young students and parent volunteers to join in this venture enabling the organization to win awards.

Zein is affectionately called the “Falafel Lady” by students and their parents because of the delicious Falafels she serves at the tournaments.

Above is a picture of Zein on the left seen receiving her award from Maria Haddad at the Beit Sitti restaurant in Amman, Jordan.

Zein and many of the volunteers are featured in the Documentary ” A Future for Meher” that was entered in the Emmy Awards last year.


Quentin, a student at North Barrington Elementary School found out that he would not be able to attend the tournament at Quest Academy this Saturday so he thoughtfully donated his entry fee of $25 to be used for Meher’s education. We are proud of students like Quentin who support the mission of Chess Without Borders in their generosity of spirit and their desire to continue learning and enjoying this magnificent game.


Quentin is seen playing chess with his dad while on vacation. We hope they both learned from each other. We are grateful for Quentin’s contribution in promoting chess and positive values for others to follow.


Ron Swanson, a local businessman and musician who has been volunteering with Chess Without Borders has invented an object that can be fitted on string instruments to make them more personal. Ron has a Patent pending and some investors have already made an investment in his product. Ron has called his invention Tuneroos.

Ron is an inspiration to so many chess students as he volunteers with them expressing ideas and demonstrates the connection between art and service. The rich diversity of volunteers from all age groups and ethnicities promotes an environment of learning and ideas as each one interacts with each other. Ron has introduced new methods of fund raising to students and they have responded with enthusiasm and  followed his example. Zander and Aidan Kitchen along with Madison Rossi will be spearheading Marketing for the documentary “A Future for Meher” with the ideas that Ron has shared with them.

We congratulate Ron on his accomplishment.


Herb Munstermann, the father of Jared Munstermann joined in the spirit of service by performing for the crowd of chess parents at the Hough School Chess Tournament. Herb (seen on the right in the photo below) sang and played his guitar along with Ron Swanson (on the left).


By the nature of service students are introduced to the arts, social and educational values and parents like Herb inspire others to follow through their example. Scientific studies have found a strong correlation between math, chess and music and many of our chess students in the program are also talented musicians. We welcome the collaboration between chess and music and invite other musicians to play as well at our tournaments. Jared Munstermann played in the tournament helping us raise $5100 for charity.

“Great opportunities to help others seldom come, but small ones surround us every day.”  Sally Koch


Hough School Chess Tournament raised $5160 under the Leadership of Dominic Oetinger. Ninety eight students played in the tournament while 37 diverse group of volunteers  excelled in their tasks from feeding crowds, cooking, collecting money, playing music, shooting pictures, selling raffle tickets, entertaining guests to being assistant tournament directors. 800 hours of service were provided to make this event possible. Dominic with the assistance of his mother Denise Oetinger had worked hard to enlist players. He had visited several school chess clubs informing them about the event.Because of the example set by Dominic 15 other students have volunteered to work towards qualifying for this award next year.

Rich Ni, Madison Rossi and Scott McKellin received Presidential Volunteer Service Awards for volunteering 100 hours over this last year.They are seen here with Teacher Maggie Gruber the host at the tournament.


A special thank you to Principal Ms Laurie Wilcox who visited the school with her daughter. She is seen here with other volunteers.


9th Yury Shulman Summer Chess Camps

 Quest Academy, Palatine (June 18-22, June 25-29 and July 30-August 3rd)

Barrington High School (July 16-20)

Featuring Four World Class Chess  Grandmasters:

Yury Shulman     GM Yury Shulman

Chess Awards:
2011 and 2010 U.S. Championship Runner-up, 2009 World Team Championship: Silver, 2008 Chess Olympiad Bronze Medalist.
     GM Gregory Kaidanov
Chess awards:
Became an International Master, 1987
Became a Grandmaster, 1988
member of US team, in World Chess Olympiad (Istanbul, Turkey,2000)
member of US team, in World Chess Olympiad (Bled Slovenia,2002)
winner of Aeroflot Open, one of the strongest open tournaments ever (80+ GMs) Moscow, Russia,2002
Read more…
     GM Alex Onischuk
Alex is currently the third-ranked American grandmaster, behind Hikaru Nakamura and Gata Kamsky.
 3rd: Aerosvit tournament Phoros 2007
1-2: Biel 2007
2nd: US Championship 2008
GM Mesgen Amanov
Mesgen is currently the number one rated player in his homeland of Turkmenistan. He has represented his home country in the 2006 and 2008 Olympiads and in 2010. Read more…

Our tentative schedule

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
9:00 – 9:15 Registration for AM and Full Day Groups 9:00 – 10:00 Lecture with Instructor Lecture with Instructor Lecture with Instructor Lecture with Instructor
9:15 – 10:15 Simul with Instructor 10:00 – 10:15 Snack Snack Snack Snack
10:15 – 10.30 Snack 10:15 – 11:15 Consulting Game Special Tactical Training Lecture Fun chess puzzles and interesting facts!
10:30 – 11:15 Game Analysis from the Simul 11:15 – 12:00 pm Practical Exercises Lecture Team Tournament Summarizing Lecture
11:15 – 12:00 pm Lecture #1 12:00 – 1:00 Lunch and Outside activities Lunch and Outside Activities Lunch and Outside Activities Pizza and outside activities for everyone!!
12:00 – 1:00 Lunch and outside activities 1:00 – 2:00 Tournament – Round 2 Tournament – Round 3 Tournament – Round 4 Tournament – Round 5
1:00-1:15 Registration for PM Groups 2:00 – 3:00 Lecture / Analysis with Instructor Lecture / Analysis with Instructor Lecture / Analysis with Instructor Game Analysis
1:00 – 2:00  Tournament – Round 1 3:00 – 4:00 Snack and Blitz Tournament Snack and Puzzle Solving Competition Snack and Bughouse Tournament!!! 2:45 pm Snack, Q&A Session and Recommendations with Instructor
2:00 – 3:00 Game Analysis with an Instructor 10:15 – 11:15 Round 2 Tournament – AM group 10:15 – 11:15 Round 3 Tournament – AM group  10:00 – 11:00 Round 4 Tournament – AM group 3:40 pm Closing Ceremony
3:00 – 3:15  Snack 11:15 – 12:15 Blitz Tournament AM Group  11:15 – 12:15 Puzzle Solving Competiton AM Group  11:00 – 12:00 Bughouse Tournament!!! AM Group  10:00 – 11:00 – Round 5 Tournament – AM Group 
3:15 – 4:00 Tactics!  11:00 – 11:45 Summarizing Lecture for AM Group 
• Every camp will have at least 3 grandmasters and other title coaches.
• Small groups of 10-15 students.
• Grandmasters rotate between groups.
• Earlier drop off and later pick up available for an additional $10/hour.
• Students will play in a tournament.
• Special Events such as: bughouse, blitz, puzzle contest and outdoors!
• Beginners are welcome!
• The last day of camp: Pizza for everyone and Awards!

Camp held at Barrington High School (July 16-20). Flyer available here. If you register for Camp in BHS, July 16-20 , You can still register for early birds price. Thank you!

Camps held at Quest Academy (June 18-22, June 25-29 and July 30-August 3rd). Flyers are available here.


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