Author Archives: Matt Jensen

The Minnesota Blizzard won the battle of the Dutch against Montreal Chessbrahs as our board 4 IM Thomas Beerdsen of Netherlands scored 1.5 against his fellow countrymen GMs Robin van Kampen and Jorden van Foreest! Board 3 GM Nikola Mitkov also scored 1.5 against them! We won an incredible match 10.5 to 5.5!
Board 3 and 4 of the Blizzard contributed 5.5 points and board 1 and 2 contributed 5 points to the total 10.5 points: GM Mauricio Flores 2, GM-elect Andrew Tang 3, GM Nikola Mitkov 3 and IM Thomas Beerdsen 2.5!
Next Wednesday at 5:15pm we will face the leader in our division Webster Windmills with super GM Le Quang Liem. Go Blizzard!

Super Saturday match on February 3rd:
Round 1: Blizzard 1.5 Rio Grande Ospreys 2.5
Our board 1 and 2 lost. Board 3 IM John Bartholomew drew and board 4 GM Nikola Mitkov won.
Round 2: Blizzard 3.5 Las Vegas Desert Rats 0.5 
It is a huge win for Blizzard as board 1 GM-elect Andrew Tang defeated world #24 super GM Leinier Dominguez, board 2 IM Daniel Gurevich defeated GM Joshua Friedel, board 3 IM John Bartholomew defeated GM Melikset Khachiyan, board 4 GM Nikola Mitkov drew Eugene Yanayt!
Round 3: Blizzard 1 Australia Kangaroos 3
Tough round for us. Board 1 GM-elect Andrew Tang drew GM 
Evgenij Miroshnichenko and board 3 IM John Bartholomew drew GM Anton Smirnov.
Round 4: Blizzard 2.5 San Diego Surfers 1.5
Board 3 IM John Bartholomew defeated IM John Bryant and board 4 GM Nikola Mitkov defeated IM Joshua Sheng. Board 2 IM Daniel Gurevich drew IM Michael Brown.
Round 5: Blizzard 3 Dallas Destiny 1
A great win for the Blizzard! Board 2 IM Daniel Gurevich defeated GM Conrad Holt, board 3 IM John Bartholomew defeated IM Luke Vellotti, board 4 GM Nikola Mitkov defeated Steven Breckenridge!
Round 6: Blizzard 2 Seattle Sluggers 2
Board 3 IM John Bartholomew defeated IM Georgi Orlov and board 4 GM Nikola Mitkov defeated Kyle Haining!
Round 7: Blizzard 1 San Jose Hackers 3
Another tough round for us but board 2 IM Daniel Gurevich defeated GM Rauf Mamedov!
Round 8: Blizzard 0 Chengdu Pandas 4
We suffered the biggest loss in the match today and lost all four games. We finished 12th place overall which is zero match point.
See recap below:
We will play Montreal Chessbrahs on Wednesday Feb 7th at 4:45pm.

Minnesota Blizzard won with the smallest margin again (two of the three matches in the season) 8.5 to 7.5 against Pittsburgh Pawngrabbers​. Our scores are: GM-elect Andrew Tang 3/4 (defeated GM Alex Shabalov), IM Daniel Gurevich 2.5/4 (drew GM Awonder Liang), IM John Bartholomew 1.5/4 (drew GM Awonder Liang), IM Sean Nagle 1.5/4 (defeated GM Alex Shabalov). Thanks to Pittsburgh for the hard fought games and we are humbled to be in this position. We are aware of the enormous challenges ahead of us and will strive to bring up our best teamwork again!
More details below:

The Blizzard won convincingly against Buenos Aires Krakens (11.5 to 4.5)! IM Sean Nagle is perfect 4 out of 4 tonight and GM Mauricio Flores remained undefeated with 3 out of 4! IM Daniel Gurevich drew their top player (2.5 out of 4) and GM-elect Andrew Tang won his last game against their second highest GM (2 out of 4)!
The league week 2 report below mentioned IM Sean Nagle's outstanding performance, which is a record in the league: the first board 4 player who has achieved a perfect 4 out of 4 score!
The next match against Pittsburgh Pawngrabbers at 4:55pm on 1/31 will be a tough one and but we are not afraid of anyone! Go Blizzard!

From the MN Blizzard Facebook page:

See news article on week 1 of the PRO Chess League at:…/carlsen-perfect-in-pro-chess-league…

You can watch the streaming of our first match by team member IM John Bartholomew below:

Minnesota Blizzard pulled off an incredible win in the season opener against the defending champion St. Louis Archbishops just like the Vikings! St. Louis used one super GM, two 2600+ FIDE GMs and one 1900 FIDE player, hoping their three strong GMs will take care of the business. Minnesota had four IMs in the lineup (IM/GM-elect Andrew Tang, IM Daniel Gurevich, IM John Bartholomew and IM Sean Nagle). At the end GM-elect Andrew Tang defeated two GMs over 2600 FIDE and drew their super GM in the last round. Our free agent IM Daniel Gurevich scored a huge upset win over their 2600+ GM in the last round and drew the super GM earlier. IM Sean Nagle also drew one of the 2600+ GMs in round two. All of our players defeated their lowest player. The Blizzard won with the slimmest margin of 8.5 to 7.5!

Minnesota Blizzard will face Buenos Aires Krakens on Thursday January 25 at 5:50pm.

Go Minnesota Blizzard! Go Minnesota Vikings!

The MN Blizzard have placed 5th in the Late Qualifier event on  We need your help now voting the Blizzard into the league!

Place Early Qualifier Late Qualifier
1 Armenia Eagles Chengdu Pandas
2 Estonia Horses Seattle Sluggers
3 Mumbai Movers Australia Kangaroos
4 Oslo Trolls New York Knights
5 Apeldoorn Apes Minnesota Blizzard
6 Rehovot Masters SF Mechanics

Please follow this link and vote for the team on both twitter and!

Thanks for the support!

Last season the MN Blizzard ended up with a 3-4 record in the Pacific Division (standings below).  The new season is coming soon with a qualifier event taking place on on Saturday 10/28 at 3:00 PM.  The format will be a 15 round 3+2 individual event with the top three teams advancing to the regular season.  Stay tuned for updates after the event!

Pacific Division

Teams Win Loss Tiebreaks Game Points
St Louis Arch Bishops 6 1 29.5 70.5
Webster Windmills 6 1 27.5 68.5
Dallas Destiny 5.5 1.5 29 67
San Diego Surfers 5.5 1.5 26 68
Rio Grande Ospreys 5 2 31 58.5
San Jose Hackers 4 3 33.5 59
Las Vegas Desert Rats 3.5 3.5 29 59.5
Minnesota Blizzard 3 4 28.5 51
Seattle Sluggers 3 4 25 57
San Francisco Mechanics 3 4 23 52.5
Pittsburgh Pawngrabbers 3 4 21.5 47
Portland Rain 1.5 5.5 27 40.5

The new format of the PRO Chess League is a 4 v 4 team format with all players playing one another.  After starting 2-2 through one round, the MN Blizzard team won the second round 3.5-0.5 and went on to a convincing overall win.  Sean Nagle lead the team with 3/4 points.  Andrew Tang, John Bartholomew, and Frank Johnson also had positive scores at 2.5/4.  Next week MN will play the Pittsburgh Pawngrabbers.  Full Schedule.

Opponent OppFIDE Color Result
Player IM Andrew Tang GM Jim Tarjan 2420 W 0
FIDE 2465 FM Nick Raptis 2239 B 0.5
NM Benedict A Smail 2120 W 1
NM Jason Cigan 2061 B 1
Total 2.5
Opponent OppFIDE Color Result
Player IM John Bartholomew FM Nick Raptis 2239 W 0
FIDE 2448 GM Jim Tarjan 2420 B 1
NM Jason Cigan 2061 W 0.5
NM Benedict A Smail 2120 B 1
Total 2.5
Opponent OppFIDE Color Result
Player IM Sean Nagle NM Benedict A Smail 2120 B 1
FIDE 2423 NM Jason Cigan 2061 W 1
GM Jim Tarjan 2420 B 0.5
FM Nick Raptis 2239 W 0.5
Total 3
Opponent OppFIDE Color Result
Player NM Frank Johnson NM Jason Cigan 2061 B 1
FIDE 2191 NM Benedict A Smail 2120 W 1
FM Nick Raptis 2239 B 0.5
GM Jim Tarjan 2420 W 0
Total 2.5
Opponent Totals FIDE Score
GM Jim Tarjan 2420 2.5
FM Nick Raptis 2239 2.5
NM Benedict A Smail 2120 0
NM Jason Cigan 2061 0.5

The final round of the regular season for the MN Blizzard.  The Blizzard were up against the Lubbock Tornadoes, who we beat in week 3.  The Blizzard have been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, but it would be nice to end the season on a high note with a win.  NM Frank Johnson joined the team for the final round!  Great to see Frank playing again.


Board 1:  IM John Bartholomew is back and faces a very strong IM (2600+ USCF!).    Game Link.


Board 2:  NM Frank Johnson debuts for the Blizzard against Steven Breckenridge.   Game Link.

Board 3: FM Kevin Wasiluk takes down an International Master!  Game Link.

Board 4:  NM Dane Mattson wins with the Black pieces against a WIM.  Game Link.

MN wins the match 2.5-1.5!  The team only missed the playoffs on tiebreaks.

Western Division

Team W L Game Points Opps Avg Rating
# - Dallas 6.5 3.5 24.0/40 (60%) 2408
@ - St. Louis 6.5 3.5 23.0/40 (58%) 2403
@ - Las Vegas 6.0 4.0 21.5/40 (54%) 2398
@ - San Francisco 6.0 4.0 19.5/40 (49%) 2402
@ - Seattle 5.5 4.5 22.0/40 (55%) 2405
@ - Arizona 4.5 5.5 19.5/40 (49%) 2404
X - Minnesota 4.5 5.5 17.0/40 (43%) 2397
X - Lubbock 4.0 6.0 19.5/40 (49%) 2382
X - Rio Grande 4.0 6.0 18.0/40 (45%) 2389
X - San Diego 2.5 7.5 16.0/40 (40%) 2395

Player highlights:

  • GM Wesley So won game of the week in week 7 and had a performance rating of 2708.  His scored 2.5/4 this year.
  • GM Flores also scored 2.5/4 and played against three GM's.
  • IM John Bartholomew scored 4/6 with a performance rating of 2639!
  • IM Sean Nagle scored 2/5 with draws against many top players.
  • IM Andrew Tang scored 2.5/6, scoring a couple of wins early in the season with the Black pieces.
  • FM Kevin Wasiluk finished the season on a high note to end 1/2 for the team.
  • NM Dane Mattson had a few long trips down to Minneapolis, but he didn't let that phase him!  Dane scored 1.5/3 with a performance rating of 2324.
  • NM Matt Jensen played one round to the team losing against an FM.
  • NM Andrew Titus played two matches against an FM and NM.
  • Eric Bell was solid on board 4 with a performance rating of 2061, scoring 1.5/4.
  • Saumik Narayanan played two games on board 4 against stiff opposition.

Thanks to the mangers, tournament directors, players and supporters for a fun first season.  We will be back next year!




The first Minnesota Blizzard Open was held on 10/24 and 10/25 at Fantasy Flight Game Center in Roseville with 55 players competing. Andrew Tang and Oke Iwu tied for first with 4.5 out of 5.Thanks to Glenn Panner and Dan Voje for directing a very successful event. Thanks to everyone for your support to the Minnesota Blizzard team in their first season in the US Chess League! The team is very grateful to Glenn Panner of Chess Weekend for his generous donation of $500 to the team. Please visit his website and like his Facebook page! We will be back next year!

Thank you Glenn and Chess Weekend for sponsoring the team!