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.


Area Players Win 36 Medals at IESA State Finals
While Dunlap Middle School sweeps in all grades ...

36 Peoria area players won silver or bronze medals at 2019 IESA State Finals played at the Peoria Civic Center February 22nd & 23rd.

Dunlap Middle School team finished in the Top Four in all three grades, a rare sweep for IESA schools. Dunlap won the championship in 6th Grade and finished runner-up in 7th Grade and 4th in 8th Grade. Seven other Peoria area also schools made top 10 in one of the grades. Players played 7 games - 4 on Friday & 3 on Saturday. A perfect 7 wins in 7 games was required for Gold, 6 for Silver & 5 for Bronze.

Local winners at this year's event:

  • 6th Grade Teams: 1. Dunlap Middle School, 5. Dunlap Valley MS, 8. Brimfield, 10. Peoria Washington
  • 6th Grade Individual Silver (6.0): Stella Chen, Dunlap MS, Alex Fei, Dunlap MS, Joshua Wang , Dunlap MS
  • 6th Grade Individual (Bronze 5.0): Bhargava Malya, Dunlap Valley, Ethan Chen, Dunlap MS, Ella Cunningham, Dunlap MS, Reed Florey, Brimfield, Zack Irish, Washington Central, Agrini Neekhra, Peoria Washington
  • 7th Grade Teams: 2. Dunlap Middle School, 4.Morton Junior High, 7.Washington Central, 9. Metamora
  • 7th Grade Individual Silver (6.0): Noah, Li, Dunlap MS
  • 7th Grade Individual (Bronze 5.0): Joey Julich, Morton JH, Shaan Kashyap, Dunlap MS, Harris Koo, Dunlap MS, Shriyans Pendli, Dunlap, Roshan Raja, Dunlap Valley, Brady Peterson, St Thomas, Matt Robinson, Morton JH, Michael Robinson, Morton JH, Tyler Sass, Dunlap MS, Matt Savage, Washington MS, Mason Siegel, Kevin Yang, Dunlap MS
  • 8th Grade Teams: 4.Dunlap Middle School, 7.Metamora St.Marys
  • 8th Grade Individual Silver (6.0): Kayden Hubbard, Brimfield
  • 7th Grade Individual (Bronze 5.0): Mason Brown, EP Central, Matthew Choy, Dunlap MS, Benjamin Eckstein, Metamora StMarys, Colin Goebel, Washington Central, Brett Granger, Morton, Bryce Hammar, Metamora, Ben McClelland, Washington Central, Abrar Monyem, Dunlap MS, Tommy Nemec, Washington Central, Suchinder Singh, Dunlap MS, Jonathan Staisberg, Metamora StMarys, Ryan Tran, Dunlap Valley, Tim Wan, Dunlap MS

Garrett & Kolberg Tie the 25th BWO

Peoria's Daniel Garrett and Quad Cities Jason Kolberg tied for the title at the 25th annual Bradley Winter Open January 26th. Daniel appeared headed to a clear victory after beating Ben Boaz in the final round while Kurt Bendoraitis was upsetting Kolberg, but a last minute miscalculation turned the tables and let Kolberg win. Kurt still finished in the money.

Cold and snow hung around for the BWO caused a light turnout with some coming from Chicago & St.Louis calling to cancel the morning of the tournament.

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

Leali wins the 2018 Peoria Championship Finals 2-1 !!

Qualifiers - Standings - Games

Mike Leali wins the 2018 Peoria Championship after Alex Beecher missed a cunning trap in the third game of the match. After the first two games of the match, the score was tied at 1-1, with both Mike Leali & Alex Beecher winning with Black. Mike broke the Black curse by scoring the first playoff White win is several years. For Mike this was his 8th Peoria Championship win, more than any other player since it's revival in 1997.

After the two 6-man round robin semi-finals, NM Pete Karagianis & Alex Beecher, winner of the Bradley Summer Open, had qualified to meet in the final match to determine this year's champion. Pete was unable to play the final match and so Mike Leali, second place behind Karagianis in section A, took his place for the finals match.

The 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.)

GPCF Receives PPS Community Contribution Award
PPS Community Contribution Crystal Award

Peoria Public Schools awarded the 2017-18 Community Contribution Award to the Greater Peoria Chess Foundation at their June 11, 2018 Board meeting. GPCF provided chess sets and training software to PPS schools and supported a chess tournament at Von Steuben Middle School in 2017. Planned for 2018-19 are more tournaments and a program to provide low cost US Chess memberships to students.

Pete Karagianis Named US Chess Assistant Director of Events

Peoria's own Pete Karagianis has been named US Chess Assistant Director of Events.

"Pete’s calm demeanor, high energy and capable articulation will be valuable assets. He looks forward to sharing his vision of a quality event – a vision born from both his passion for the game and his wealth of experience within US Chess. We are happy to have him as part of our team." - US Chess.

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