Longtime players in Madison City Chess League, seniors Sherwood Dong, at left, from James Clemens High School and Victor Lundy from Bob Jones High School played their last high-school competition in the 2023 State Scholastic Chess Championship. Dong and Lundy are the highest rated player at their respective schools. CONTRIBUTED

Madison chess teams victorious in 2023 State Scholastic Chess Championship

MADISON – They had to postpone any plans for Spring Break weekend, but Madison chess stars don’t regret the delay so they could attend the 2023 State Scholastic Chess Championship.

Madison chess teams won the state championship in every Championship section of the tournament. The students traveled with their families to Alabaster for the competition.

“Coaches Will Stevenson, Sarah May, Joel Friedman and Michael Guthrie helped our kids review games during the weekend. Thank you to all our families who postponed their Spring Break so their kids could present their schools at State!” Ranae Bartlett said. Bartlett is President of Madison City Chess League or MCCL.

The Championship sections are comprised of students with the highest ratings in their grade-level sections. In the Primary Championship section, Madison teams swept the top three places.

The Elementary, Junior High and High School Championship sections occurred during two days, March 11-12. Games lasted up to three hours each for five rounds.

Bob Jones High School players are State High School Champions. Individual winners and their place win were Victor Lundy, third; Sherwood Dong, fourth; Steven Pan, sixth; Isaiah Mares, seventh; Andrew Yang, eighth; Nirvana Rajbhandari, ninth; and Eddie Xiao, tie for tenth.

“James Clemens Senior Sherwood Dong and Bob Jones Senior Victor Lundy competed at their last State Scholastic Chess tournament. They represent the best-of-the-best our chess teams have to offer,” Bartlett said.

“Both Sherwood and Victor coach chess teams at Madison City Schools, as well as compete at the highest level,” Bartlett said. “They leave their respective schools upon graduation as the highest rated players at both their schools. Thank you, Sherwood and Victor, and best of luck at Nationals.”

Discovery Middle School players are State Middle School Champions. For the Junior High Championship Section, individual winners from Madison were Xavier Bruni, first; Jacob New, fourth; Aadi Saxena, fifth; and Caden Jordan, eighth.

Discovery eighth-grader Xavier Bruni was first-place player in the Junior High Championship Section and will be Alabama’s representative to the Barber Tournament of Middle School State Champions in Grand Rapids, Mich. on July 29 through Aug.1.

Horizon Elementary School commanded the boards as State Elementary Champions. Individual championship winners are Esteban Jerez, first; Theodore Piper, sixth; Kylie Zou, eighth; and Dheeren Pammina, tie for tenth.

“Horizon fourth-grader Esteban Jerez won first place in the Elementary Championship Section and will be Alabama representative to the Rockefeller Tournament of Elementary State Champions in Grand Rapids, Mich. this summer. Congratulations, Esteban,” Bartlett said.

“On Saturday, the Primary Championship, Primary Under 400, Elementary Under 700 and Junior High and High School Under 1,200 sections competed. The time control for these sections was Game 30/d5. We had 58 MCCL members competing at State,” Bartlett said.

Individual winners for Primary Championship (starting with first and descending) were Jimmy McHugh, Kevin Chen, Asher Allison, Arjun Sathees, Annabelle Hsu, Aryaa Sathees, Alice Zou, Avyaktha Subramania, Samuel Ellis and Thomas Burbank.

Columbia Elementary School, reigning as first-place team, had team members Arjun Sathees, Aryaa Sathees, Thomas Burbank, Junpei Noda, Sung Cha and Kosei Noda.

Second-place honors went to Rainbow Elementary School. Rainbow’s team included Asher Allison, Annabelle Hsu, Dennis Lenski and James Hooper. In this segment, Horizon earned third place with team members Alice Zou and Samuel Ellis.

Students from Madison who were individual winners for the Primary Under 400 Section were Greyson Pitchko, seventh; Beckett Dupuis, ninth; and William Bostick, tie for tenth. The third-place team was Rainbow with Greyson Pitchko, William Newberry, Shepherd Lecroy and Colin Pitchko.

In the Elementary Under 700 Section, individual winners were Abigail Barbre, second; Isaac Doyle, third; Sughan Manoharan, fourth; Zane Kerby, fifth; Emory Howell, seventh; Si Cha, eighth; and Cora Newberry, Grace Lee and Felix Heiden, tie for tenth.

The first-place team and second-place team were Rainbow and Columbia, respectively.

In the High School and Middle School Under 1,200 Section, the individual winners included Madison students Aaron Chen, fourth, and Caroline Wang, seventh. Bob Jones claimed second place for teams with members Aaro Chen, Caroline Wang, Artem Starenki and Janvi Prajapati. Taking third-place honors, Discovery’s team members were Noah Hsu, Joseph Park, Rushi Patel, Sean Rowe and Cohen Tate.

At its March 23 meeting, Madison Board of Education members recognized the award-winning chess players.

For more information, visit madisonchess.com or Facebook.


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