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Daksh Sunil, at left, and Alice Zou claimed place wins in the Rated K-3 section at the 2020 Halloween Chess Tournament. PHOTO / Scott Wilhelm

Costumed players bring success for first Chess Halloween Tournament

MADISON – Madison City Chess League etched a new page in its history by hosting the first Halloween Chess Tournament, an outdoor contest on the new turf field of Madison City Schools Stadium.

In both rated and non-rated sections, 77 students registered to play. MCS Superintendent Dr. Ed Nichols opened the tournament declaring, “It’s chess time in Madison City!”

“Although a Quick Rating was established for many, the tournament itself was only one part of a joyful day for the entire chess family. Beautiful weather and music from Harry Potter greeted participants as they entered the stadium,” MCCL Executive Director Ranae Bartlett said.

Contestants earned candy prizes and Halloween medals in special contests between each tournament round. “The Halloween dance-off was a highlight and allowed us to see some impressive moves,” Bartlett said. “Kids also enjoyed running around in the end zone while families sat in lawn chairs on the field’s edge.”

Winners included these students:

* Rated K-3 section — Kylie Zou, first; Isaac Kreusser, second; Esteban Jerez, third; Jacob Bluestone, fourth; Alice Zou, fifth; Andrew Tkach, sixth; Annabelle Hsu, seventh; Emory Howell, eighth; Daksh Sunil, ninth; Asher Allison, tenth; Cora Newberry, top female.

* Rated K-5 section — Jethro Jones, first; Kate Meyer, second; Holland Lang, third; Noah Hsu, fourth; Samsara Rajbhandari, fifth; Tyce Crosswy, sixth; Asher Kovacs, seventh; Jaxon Kimberly, eighth; Anna Ai, ninth; Sophia Jerez, tenth; Christina Yang, top female.

* Rated K-8 section — Marek Fries, first; Swetha Jakka, second; Whitney Wadsworth, third; Zachary Calinsky, fourth; Owen Lang, fifth; Landon Drummond, sixth; Jacob New, seventh; Conrado Jocson, eighth; Praneel Avula, ninth; Aaron Wiswesser, tenth.

* Rated K-12 section — Xavier Bruni, first; Jenson Wilhelm, second; Sherwood Dong, third; Andrew Yang, fourth; Aadi Saxena, fifth; Eddie Xiao, sixth; Nirvana Rajbhandari, seventh; Edward Calinsky, eighth; Rachael Ehrman, ninth; Andrew Park, tenth.

* Non-Rated K-2 section — Erin McCormick, first; Tyler Pysh, second; Greyson Harbert, third; Emilia Ng, fourth; Nitakalio Valerino, fifth; Graham Allison, consolation prize.

* Non-Rated K-5 section — James Hootstra, first; Milan Malak, second; Caden Hott, third; Yudai Okazaki, fourth; Aerial McCormick, fifth; Victor Stephenson, Mason Hoogstra and Colin Readus-Thomas, consolation prize.

A panel of celebrity judges with Nichols, Assistant Superintendent Eric Terrell and District 2 City Councilwoman Connie Spears helped to select the “Best Chess-Themed Costume.” Queen Cora Newberry won the top prize among creative entries like “Shark-Mate,” Kings, Queens, Bishops and Knights.

Owen Lang as “The Alien” won Best Costume for all grade levels. Kate Meyer as “Rey” earned second place.

Chess parents surprised Bartlett with a basket full of treats, gifts and cards in appreciation of 10 years with Madison Board of Education and best wishes serving on Madison City Council. Bartlett will continue organizing chess activities with MCCL, including the State Scholastic Chess Championship in March 2021 at Bob Jones High School.

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