Forester Open in Grapevine, Texas

by Alexey Root
11/10/2021 – The 2021 Forester Open, with a planned $20,000 prize fund and norm opportunities, will take place on November 24–28 in Grapevine, Texas. Its organizer is Blakeman Chess, founded by 20-year-old Cole Blakeman. He plans to expand Blakeman Chess outside of Texas and build its reputation as one of the biggest U.S. chess tours.

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2021 Forester Open: Enter for $20,000 of Chess Fun

Great Wolf Lodge

Great Wolf Lodge is cabin-themed and features a waterpark. In October, Great Wolf Lodge was the site of the 62nd Annual US Armed Forces Open Chess Championship. From November 24–28, Great Wolf Lodge will host the Forester Open by Blakeman Chess. Blakeman emailed, “A waterpark adventure hotel with many attractions is where families will want to spend their Thanksgiving Break. Great Wolf Lodge provides a fun experience for everyone and sets the Forester Open in a family-friendly environment.”

Blakeman Chess

Blakeman’s full name is Cole Forester Blakeman. He chose his middle name for the November 24–28 chess tournament since cabins and forests go together. Blakeman added, “The Forester Open sounds cool and gives uniqueness to the event. I plan on organizing the Forester Open annually from now on.”

Cole Blakeman

The 2021 Forester Open early entry discount ends November 18th at midnight. The tournament is open to all players regardless of residency, rating, or age. Blakeman adds, “Titled players should message me ASAP for free entries.”

The 2022 Forester Open will likely be followed by a chess boxing competition between famous grandmasters and chess streamers.

Chess Player

Cole Blakeman played his first rated tournament in March of 2009. In October of 2010, Blakeman took first place in the Scott Watson Memorial Elementary Open, winning all five games. His coach was then-FIDE Master Keaton Kiewra, who said that Blakeman was “very sharp tactically.” Chess Life for Kids (December 2010 issue) included Blakeman’s first-round win over Shriya Senapathi.

Cole Blakeman, Shriya Senapathi, Keaton Kiewra.

As of 2021, Kiewra is an International Master and Blakeman is close to a national master title. Both Kiewra and Blakeman will play in the 2021 Forester Open. Blakeman shared a game he played earlier in 2021.

To learn more, follow Blakeman Chess on Instagram and Facebook.




Alexey was the 1989 U.S. Women's Chess Champion and is a Woman International Master. She earned her bachelor’s degree in History at the University of Puget Sound and her doctoral degree in Education at The University of California, Los Angeles. She has been a Lecturer in Interdisciplinary Studies at UT Dallas since 1999 and is a prolific author.


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