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The Rookie Rally in 2019, shown here, attracted a large group of chess enthusiasts. January 2020 was the last time that Rookie Rally was held at Blossomwood Elementary School, but the tournament is returning in 2023. CONTRIBUTED

Rookie Rally Chess Tournament returns to Blossomwood

MADISON – After a three-year hiatus, the Rookie Rally tournament will return to Blossomwood Elementary School in Huntsville on Jan. 28.

“January 2020 was the last time we held Rookie Rally at Blossomwood. Then COVID-19 hit,” Ranae Bartlett said. Bartlett is serving as Interim Executive Director of Madison City Chess League or MCCL.

“Last year, Mill Creek Elementary School offered to host the Rookie Rally, but this year it returns to Blossomwood elementary where it originated. We are excited to attract more students from Huntsville and Madison County, as well as players from Madison,” Bartlett said.

“Rookie Rally is an excellent, first rated tournament for a student to try because a player can be unrated or lower rated and still have a great day competing with kids on your level in the elementary grade levels,” Bartlett said.

State Sen. Tom Butler is the sponsor for the 2023 Rookie Rally.

Rookie Rally offers ‘under’ sections of K-3 Under 300 and K-3 Under 500, along with championship sections for K-3, K-5, K-8 and K-12.

A mandatory meeting for players will open the day at 9:15 a.m. on Jan. 28. Round times are slated for 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Time control will be Game 30/d5.

The tournament uses Rated Sections only: K-3 U300; K-3 Championship; K-5 Under 500; K-5 Championship; K-8 Junior High; and K-12 Open. To assign sections, coordinators will use a player’s official, published rating as of Jan. 18.

This 5-round Swiss tournament will be U.S. Chess Federation- or USCF-rated. Players in all sections must have USCF membership; players must obtain membership before registering for this tournament. To receive USCF membership, visit new.uschess.org/become-member.

Entry fee for Rookie Rally is $25 per individual. “Because this is an individual and team event, the registration fee is the same for all individuals,” Bartlett said.

Deadline for onsite registration is Jan. 25. Players cannot register onsite. A refund will not be available after a player has been ‘paired.’

“Rookie Rally is an individual event, with secondary team prizes; a team is the four highest scorers. Teams may represent a school only. Pairings will be ‘team blind,’” Bartlett said.

For individual awards, trophies will be presented to the top 10 individuals in K-3 U300, K-3 Championship, K-5 Under 500, K-5 Championship and K-8 Jr High. In K-12 Open, the Top 5 individuals will earn trophies. Medals will go to all individuals whose score ties for a trophy place but loses on tie‐break.

For team awards, trophies will be presented to the Top 5 teams in K-3 U300, K-3 Championship, K-5 Under 500 and K-5 Championship sections. The Top 2 teams in both K-8 Junior High and K-12 Open sections will receive trophies.

For tournament details, visit madisonchess.org, click “Events” and “Upcoming Events.” Scroll to “2023 Rookie Rally,” and click “Read More.”

Blossomwood’s address is 1321 Woodmont Ave. SE in Huntsville. For more information, visit madisonchess.com or Facebook/Madison City Chess League.

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