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Six Madison teams out-strategize competition in chess tourney at Samford

These Madison youth were among the top-placing teams at the Central Alabama Team Scholastic Chess Tournament at Samford University on Sept. 6. (CONTRIBUTED)
These Madison youth were among the top-placing teams at the Central Alabama Team Scholastic Chess Tournament at Samford University on Sept. 6. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Five school teams and one club team from Madison ‘checked’ the competitors at the Central Alabama Team Scholastic Chess Tournament at Samford University on Sept. 6.

Youth entered the tournament from Madison, Tuscaloosa, Trussville, Hoover, Maylene, Helena, Birmingham and Dadeville.

“Madison kids did an outstanding job at the Central Alabama tournament that brought 21 teams with 81 members from across Alabama to compete at Samford,” chess coach Ranae Bartlett said.

Madison City Chess League won first place among clubs. Columbia and Rainbow elementary schools won first places, as did Discovery Middle School.

“We had a ‘chessic’ good time at Samford,” chief tournament director Caesar Lawrence said. “Directing 80-plus eager, competitive chess players is like herding cats. Maybe, it was the team concept or the big trophies that excited them.”

Several Madison teams won awards at Samford:

* Columbia Elementary School, grades K-3, first place. Chase Smith, Pranaav Satheesh, Aaron Woods and Abhi Emani. Russ Freeman, coach.

* Rainbow Elementary School, Red Team grades K-6, first place. Jenson Wilhelm, Constance Wang, Hayden Billmann and Boone Ramsey. Coaches Bill Nash and Ranae Bartlett.

* Rainbow, Blue Team, grades K-6, second place. Mercedes Zich, Jonah Tuttle, Maanasi Limaye and Ben Kosan. Coaches Bill Nash and Ranae Bartlett.

* Madison City Chess League, grades K-6, first-place club team. Om Badhe, Joshua Lin, Will Bao and Alex Edwards. Coach Noel Newquist.

* Discovery Middle School, grades K-12, first place. Michael Guthrie, Angela Kinsey, Douglas Zhang and William Spanier. Coach Don Maddox.

* Liberty Middle School, grades K-12, second place. Vishay Ram, Lawrence Zhang, Sean Flynn and Nacer Harris. Coach Don Maddox.

Why do chess players from Madison consistently excel at these tournaments? “It’s no secret … we work harder,” Bartlett said. “To be good at anything, one has to work hard and practice, practice, practice.”

The Alabama State Chess Championship will be decided on Sept. 26-28 in Tuscaloosa.

For more information, visit Facebook/Madison City Chess League.

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