The Monthly Knights Quest Tournament Reaches 100

By Jorge Barrera

            It was in 2006 that I first attended a Knight’s Quest tournament organized by Renaissance Knights.  The first Quest tournament was held in January 2005 and has been held every month over the past 8 ¼ years. Unlike most tournaments I was used to, I found it very pleasant that they provided chess sets and boards in a comfortable setting at the Renaissance Hotel in Northbrook.  Years later, as I help with the organization and TD duties involved, the Quest has become arguably Chicago’s best monthly tournament.

To celebrate its 100th occasion, Renaissance Knights made sure that this one would be particularly special.  Held on April 6th in Northbrook at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, the tournament was capped at 120 players. The tournament has become so popular that very large turn outs are a frequent occurrence, and often, there is scrambling for extra tables and chairs to let a few more players have a go at the four round tournament.  With the 120 player limit, the Knights decided to have a few extra surprises for this special event.

One of the recent changes is the inclusion of cash prizes in the top sections, but for this tournament, all sections had prize money, even the U-600.  So, all four sections’ best performers ended up taking a portion of the $1,000.00 prize fund home as part of the celebration.  Also, before the first round, some players found a star under their queens, which earned them extra goodies.  Amongst the prizes were t-shirts, an electronic Kasparov chess computer, magnetic travel chess sets, and other gifts.  In between rounds, players and their families were treated to a special themed chess cake, which was served by some of the Northern Illinois Scholarship Program Beauty Queens, who helped with volunteering during the event.  As usual, FM Gauri Manoj provided his much appreciated game analysis to the players.

In the U-600 and U-1000, there were six trophies, a 1st place team trophy and prize money for 1st and 2nd place. John Cargille and Patrick Tippens were the clear 1st place winners in the U-600 and U-1000 sections respectively. In the U-1400, six trophies were given out along with prize money for 1st through 3rd place.  Jourdain Gant and Alex Presman tied for 1st place spitting the 1st and 2nd place prize money. The Open section had a sole winner, Vincent Do, who received the top prize of $200. Avinash Ranjendra came in 2nd place receiving $150, followed by a three way tie for 3rd place with Jacob Furfine, Anupama Ranjendra and Rahul Dhiman.  All the winners in the Open Section have been long time participants in the Knights Quest tournaments moving up the sections over the years.

It is great to have a chess event in the Chicago area that has been very consistent throughout the years.  Players from Wisconsin, Indiana, Rockford and Central Illinois regularly make the trek to play. With players that are 2000+ rated to younger chess players in the under 600 section, the tournament offers a challenge for players of all skill levels.  It is my hope that this tradition continues for many years.  Some players compete every month for a chance to win the Quest Cup Trophies at the end of the year, yet everyone is welcome to join the fun!  The next Knight’s Quests will be held on the 4th of May, the 8th of June, and the 13th of July at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Northbrook.

100th quest

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