Okoboji Open

This past weekend I played in the Okoboji Open in Okoboji, IA.  The Okoboji Open is a great event that has been running for five years thanks to the efforts of Jodene Kruse and Hank Anzis.  This year's tournament attracted 26 players in the Open section and 27 players in the Reserve (under 1600).  I hadn't played an OTB tournament since June, so this was a nice way to warm up before the summer tournament grind.   

I finished first with 4.5/5.  Though I was the highest rated player by a decent margin, there were a number of talented juniors in the field (my first three opponents were all younger than 18) and several experts/masters.   Overall, I was pleased with my play.  I obtained good positions out of the opening and felt like I was hitting on the correct plans in each game.

Full results and a report by TD Hank Anzis can be found here: http://www.iowachess.org/news.asp?aid=275.  Also, check out photos from the event on Hank's chess.com page: http://www.chess.com/photos/view_album/HankAnzis/2011-okoboji-open (I swiped the above picture from your page - hope you don't mind, Hank!).

Holding well-organized tournaments in small-town America is largely a labor of love.  For this, Jodene and Hank deserve a tremendous amount of credit.  Jodene is a very friendly lady who has created a top-notch event for Midwestern chess enthusiasts.  She took care of all the players and really made sure we had an enjoyable experience in Okoboji.  Example: on Sunday, she personally found me a new hotel key so I could get back into my room past check-out!  Hank is a nice and funny guy who served ably as the TD.  He ran a very smooth tournament, posting pairings quickly and handling any technical difficulties.  I think the biggest issue he had to resolve was when a player's digital clock went out mid-game, so clearly he was doing things right!  I would recommend the Okoboji Open to any chess player, and I would love to play again next year.

On Wednesday I leave for the Philadelphia Open.  I expect to have some interesting game to report on!


  • 6 years ago


    You were the highest, but congratulations anyways!

  • 6 years ago


    hey both my brother (1546 USCF) and i (maybe, 1013 USCF) were thinking about going and competing in the tournament, some of my friends competed there....my brother is saying that he probbly woulda been able to get a high placing, which is pretty great. for me now, my next tourney would probably be in october, a ways off...it sounds like i missed something pretty awesome!

  • 6 years ago


    i can beat you all

  • 6 years ago



  • 6 years ago


    Hi John, It was a pleasure meeting you and I'm happy you could use the picture. Thanks for the kind words, also. I was very impressed with the hour and a half you spent with your round 1 opponent David Floeder after the game. He won his round 4 game using the same attack you dissected for him not less that 48 hours prior! I think there are going to be some very fortunate kids in New York to have you as a chess instructor. Regards,Hank

  • 6 years ago


    Excellent job, John!  My sister-in-law is from Okoboji, actually, and I've spent some time on the lake.

  • 6 years ago


    Congratsss! and good luck

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