Anatoly Karpov International School of Chess
106 South Main, Lindsborg, KS 67456 – 785-227-2224

Release: Immediate

Contact: Wes Fisk – 785-342-1009

Photos Available: Yes – 1 attached – Caption: President Marck Cobb with Anatoly Karpov in Poikovski, Russia

Karpov Chess School Wraps up 2009

The Ninth Annual Lindsborg Open, held on December 19, marked the end of scheduled activities for the Karpov Chess School in Lindsborg. In an unusual turn of events, 16 year-old Thorton Bonner, of Spring Valley, Kansas decided to enter the Lindsborg tournament, although he had never played in a U.S. Chess Federation (USCF) sanctioned event. After five grueling rounds, Bonner found that he tied for first place, along with fellow Kansans Taimoor Noor, Jason Wawrzaszek, and Vladimir Inglesias.

“This is the ninth consecutive year that we have held the Lindsborg Open,” said Chess School Director Tom Brownscombe. “It is always held around Christmas, so it’s now established as part of the chess tradition in the Midwest.”

Noor won the first place trophy, based on tiebreaks, and Bonner took home the trophy for best result by an unrated player. Chess players typically compete in their own rating category, determined by USCF ratings, to assure they are paired with players with similar skill levels. Kansas Chess Association treasurer Laurence Coker, Overland Park, and James Smith of Missouri shared first place for players rated under 1800.

Fifth grader Brian Jiang of Sunrise Christian Academy in Wichita earned 3 points to win the first place trophy for players rated under 1600. C.J. Armenta, who traveled from Missouri, also scored 3 points to earn first place in the under 1500 category.

The Purdy family from Oxford, Kansas, have become well known in chess circles by winning numerous team and individual championships in scholastic tournaments. Gabriel Purdy took home the trophy for the best performance by a player rated under 1300. His sister Hannah, who is the current Kansas Girl’s Champion, won the first place trophy for best performance by a female.

Lindsborg fifth grader Tristan Donaldson won the trophy for best performance by a player rated under 1000. “It’s good to see local students compete in our tournaments,” said Marck Cobb, president of the International Chess Institute of the Midwest (ICIM). “We hope to increase this number in the upcoming year.” ICIM, a non-profit charitable corporation, owns and operates the Karpov Chess School.

Scholarships and Chess Camps

Through the generosity of donors, the chess school awarded 17 scholarships to area students to attend the two chess camps held at the Karpov School in July. Many students would not have been able to attend without the scholarships. Students attending the weeklong camps were treated to instruction by one of the top chess grandmasters in the United States. Grandmaster Var Akobian, winner of the 2007 World Open, not only taught the students chess, but also showed them the finer points of soccer during their free time. The chess school’s director, Tom Brownscombe, worked alongside Grandmaster Akobian and Chris Purdy to provide instruction to the 49 students from throughout the United States who attended the camps.

President Marck Cobb and Karpov in Russia

In June, Marck Cobb and his son Layton, at their own expense, boarded a plane to Moscow; at the same time Mikhail Korenman and three other families from Chicago also boarded a plane for Moscow. The combined group of seven adults and seven young people became known as the “American Delegation.” The group had a their photo taken in Red Square before going to meet Anatoly Karpov. Karpov and the American Delegation boarded another plane to Surgut, arriving around midnight. Upon getting off the plane, they were greeted by a display of Northern Lights. “We couldn’t see any darkness between sunrise and sunset,” said Cobb. After a couple of bus rides, the group arrived in Poikovski, a small town in Siberia where Karpov has a chess school. Some in Lindsborg may recall, it was Poikovski that sent a number of their young people to Lindsborg to compete and get to know their host families.

Poikovski boasts a cultural center that serves 22 smaller surrounding communities. Their cultural center employs seven instructors, who in turn provide instruction to about 500 students.

Over the next few days, students from both countries competed with one another, and despite language difficulties they managed to make some friendships. Another Lindsborg alumni flew in to join the main tournament; Grandmaster Alexander Onischuk visited Lindsborg on several occasions, where he taught at the chess school. Other grandmasters from throughout the world also arrived for the competition. The American student team placed fifth out of several teams in the Poikovski Youth Tournament.

Upon leaving Poikovski, the Americans made their way to St. Petersburg and Moscow where they relaxed and toured. The Russians were holding another tournament in the city of Voronezh, the 13th International Chess Festival. The Americans took the train to Voronezh and played several matches with Russian students. Karpov Chess School president Marck Cobb offered a scholarship to any student who would fly to Lindsborg.

“It was a wonderful experience for students from different countries to get to know one another,” said Cobb “It’s all possible because of chess.”

Director Brownscombe and Area Schools

Director Tom Brownscombe expanded the chess school’s reach by teaching chess in the local schools, such as St. Mary’s in Salina, Canton-Galva, and the Lindsborg Virtual School. Tom also officiated at several national tournaments during 2009.

Brownscombe won the Kansas State Chess Championship in July. The Kansas championships have been held in Lindsborg for several years. This is the second Kansas Championship win for Brownscombe. He previously won it in 2007. He is also the former Nevada State Champion.

Social Chess

The Karpov Chess School hosts social chess nights every first and third Thursday of each month at 7p.m. Beginners are welcome. More information can be obtained by going to the school Website: or call 785-227-2224.

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