Illinois has 102 counties. Players from the Chicago area dominated the state tournament during much of the 20th century, so the remaining 101 counties in Illinois founded this tournament for all players living within them. Players from Cook county, where Chicago is located, where not eligible. The tournament is now open to all players.
Even with those silly Chicago players, though, it's a good tournament-- we play in the rather unusual venue of a local mall's food court, which does get noisy at times (especially if one has the misfortune to sit near the video arcade) but gets a lot of visibility from potential visitors and future players. So far I haven't been over to the mall yet, since in past years the wireless access has been iffy, but will do my best to update as the weekend goes on. So far I know Michael Holmes and Albert Tucker are both here, which is enough to make any lazy major like myself tremble in his sneakers, but I'll try to get a few wins anyway. Two of the Midwest's other heavy hitters, Alex Moiseyev and Rich Beckwith, will have to miss this one-- Rich, of course, has a world title match on Monday-- so I may just beg, borrow, and bribe my way to third place. See you across the board!