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Wisconsin's best chess players showcased during the 46th annual Green Bay Open

Posted at 9:43 AM, Jul 03, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-03 10:54:41-04

GREEN BAY (NBC 26) — With 105 players competing, the Green Bay Open is one of the biggest chess tournaments in the area and the second longest consecutively running tournament in America, only outside of the U.S. Open.

Evan Seghers plays chess all around the Midwest. With a rating of 2,116 Seghers owns the rank of expert.

"It's always an honor to play here. It's maybe the most well-run tournament in Wisconsin," Seghers says. "I've been playing in this tournament every year, maybe missed one year in like 12, 13 years."

Seghers says he loves the atmosphere of chess tournaments, especially the Green Bay Open.

"It's almost like meditation. You're only thinking about one thing for multiple days in a row. So, you really kinda delve deep into it," said Seghers. "I'd say quiet intensity would be the best way to describe the vibe of the room."

An interesting part about the room itself is there are spectators from outside of the building. Assistant Director, Tony Sperbeck, is in charge of the special DGT e-boards that can broadcast the game online.

"As soon as a player makes a move, within five seconds it's broadcast to the public [on the] internet," Sperbeck said. "This allows their friends and family from home to watch their friends and family as they play."

A staple of the tournament is long-time director Luke Ludwig, who has been running the competition for 46 years.

"It's a way for us to mix people together," Ludwig says. "It gets people together to play activities."

The overall tournament champion will be awarded $500, but the pride for the victor at this tournament may be just as sweet.

"I hope that Green Bay can take pride in having the best tournament," Sperbeck says. "But also, that the rest of the state recognized this as one of the premier tournaments."