Madison teams dominate State Chess Championship

MADISON – After a fast-paced first day of individual action, the Alabama State Chess Championship resumed on March 13 with Madison teams winning all team awards for the tournament.

“Things got even more exciting on Sunday for the team competition as we saw some close matchups with teams not only from Madison but also from the Birmingham area,” Ranae Bartlett said. Bartlett is Executive Director of Madison City Chess League or MCCL.

“MCCL provided opportunities for our members to compete in the Club Section on Team Day in all three age groups: K-3, K-6, K-9 and K-12. The kids played in the Club Section (against) kids outside Madison, which was a great learning experience,” Bartlett said.

State Representatives Mike Ball and Mac McCutcheon sponsored the tournament. Scott Wilhelm served as event photographer.

Elementary, Junior High and High School sections played longer games to help in determining Alabama’s representative to Rockefeller, Barber and Denker tournaments this summer.

“We were pleased to see kids from as far away as Fair Hope, Mobile and Mississippi and cities like Auburn, Tuscaloosa, Montgomery and the Birmingham area,” Bartlett said.

For the High School section, Bob Jones and James Clemens tied in team points and individual points for declaration as co-champions. James Clemens with Shreya Sunil, Sherwood Dong, Jason Park and Will Fox received the first-place trophy after applying tie-break rules. Bob Jones received the second-place trophy; members are Kennedy Gore, Victor Lundy, Constance Wang, Steven Pan and Caleb Chen.

In the Junior High section, Discovery Middle School had four teams compete to win both first- and second-place team trophies. In the Elementary section, Rainbow Elementary School won the Elementary Championship; Liberty Middle School’s sixth-grade team captured second place, and Horizon Elementary School ranked as third-place winners.

Winning teams edged out their competitors in the championship:

* Junior High (K-9) School Team Section — Discovery Black, first; Discovery White, second.

* K-9 Section – Discovery Black, first, Coach Michael Guthrie, Nirvana Rajbhandari, Andrew Park, Aadi Saxena and Xavier Bruni. Discovery White, second place, Coach Guthrie, Jacob New, Nathan Chiu, Aaron Chen and Jack Meyer.

* Elementary (K-6) School Team Section –Rainbow Blue, first, Coach Will Stevenson, Noah Hsu, Jethro Jones, Tyce Crosswy and Emma Kuang. Liberty, second, Coach Om Badhe, Anna Ai, Laya Gowder, Tim Lee and Jaxon Kimberly. Horizon, third, Xander Yem, Sophia Jerez, Kylie Zou and Esteban Jerez.

* Primary (K-3) School Team Section — Rainbow Red, first, Coach Will Stevenson, Elliott Poole, Jimmy McHugh, Annabelle Hsu and Cora Newberry. Heritage, second, Coach David Hayes, Milan Malak, Summer Seewald, Owen Suckow and Jackson Mayes. Rainbow Orange, third, Dennis Lenski, Jacob Kuang, Lewis Washburn and Yuito Oda.

* MCCL Club Teams — K-9 Club, first, Marek Fries, Eddie Xiao, Artem Starenki and Caroline Wang. K-3 Club, second, Isaac Kreusser, Peter Gosier, Joanna He, Lucas He and Janvi Jinva. K-6 Club with Margaret Lin, Rhyan Quansah, Will He and Tiegan Eastman. K-12 Club with Sarvagna Velidandla, Oviya Gowder, Swetha Jakka and Isabelle Park.

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