Invitations have been extended to the highest-rated players in Utah to compete in the annual Utah Closed Chess Championship Tournament. The tournament is sponsored by the Utah Chess Association, and the invitations carry the signature of its president, Robert Tanner.

The tournament is limited to 10 players. Though the initial invitations are to the 10 highest-rated players, not all of the 10 are free or choose to play, so the invitation is actually extended to the 25 highest.The tournament will be held at 3621 S. Hawkeye St. in West Valley City, the residence of Kevin Johnson.

Rounds of play will be held on Saturdays at 10 a.m. Dates of play will be Jan. 28, Feb. 4, 11, 18 and 25.

Directing the tournament will be Robert Decker, the Utah Chess Association vice president.

All players who wish to participate need to submit their entry fee of $30 by Jan. 14.

All players must have a United States Chess Federation (USCF) rating published in at least one of the two annual lists. The most recent of the two shall be the one used for invitation purposes.

Players must have resided in Utah for at least the preceding 12 months. The UCA board has ruled for the 1989 tournament that Fletcher Baragar and David Lither are eligible despite their being listed as Canadian and Nevadan, respectively, by the USCF.

The 10 highest rated players are:

Fletcher Baragar, 2389; Abbas Riazi, 2334; Craig Madsen, 2330; Mark D. Reeve, 2274; Fletcher I. Gross, 2210; Robert G. Pain, 2170; David Jackson, 2163; Robert B. Tanner, 2142; Hans M. Morrow, 2028; and Steven Lee, 1965.

The 10 next highest-rated players include: Stephen Gordon, 2140; Kevin D. Johnson, 2116; On K. Lie, 2114; Steve Kusaba, 2107; Paul Raskin, 2089; Douglas Taffinder, 2087; John V. Olson, 2075; Doug A. Lee, 2065; Charles Crane, 2054; and David Lither, 2052.

Invitations have also been extended to the next five players rated above 2000, in the event that 10 from the above top 20 do not accept the invitation: Jordan Henderson, 2046; Tim Taylor, 2044; David Deming, 2044; Paul Narveson, 2021; and David Vetterlein, 2018.

Hans Morrow is automatically included in the first 10 because he is the Utah State Open champion.

Steven Lee, despite his slightly lower rating of 1965, is also automatically included in the first 10 invited because he is the Utah junior champion. He is a high school student. His alternates are J. Iwasaki, 1690; J. Phillips, 1915; and L. Iverson, 1644.

For this tournament the UCA is also sponsoring an official tournament book. It will include a capsule biography of each of the participants as well as coverage of the 11-year-history of the Utah closed tournaments.

Winner of the 1989 tournament will be declared the state chess champion and will receive $125 and a trophy.

Second place will be awarded $70, and third place will receive $45.

The official drawing of lots to determine playing schedules and colors will be held Jan. 21 in the Den of the Union Building at the University of Utah. Players and spectators are cordially invited.

Additional information may be secured from Robert Tanner, P.O. 613, Salt Lake City, UT 84110. Telephone 533-8001.

-"THE TURK" - To make a few extra dollars, the 19th century grandmaster Henry Nelson Pillsbury took anything in chess that came along. One of his jobs was to operate "Ajeeb," the mechanical chess player. The 18th and 19th centuries saw three famous chess-playing automatons. The most famous was the "Turk," originally built in 1769 by Wolfgang von Kempelen.

This ingenious toy was a life-sized figure dressed as a Turk and operated amid a great hocus-pocus of machinery.

-CONGRATULATIONS to the solvers! - Robert Tanner, William DeVroom, Kay Lundstrom, Alan Brown, Edwin O. Smith, Harold Rosenberg, Ardean Watts, Raynond Linner, Paul R. Lindeman, Covert Copier, Hal Harmon, Ted Pathekis, Joan Nay, Hal Knight, Hal Wilkinson, Gene Woodruff and Mel Pulley.