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City Chess Championship sees rigorous strategy

MADISON – The 2018 City Chess Championship marked the first grade-level championship for Madison.

“No other city in Alabama hosts a grade-level championship, and we were thrilled to have kindergarten through high school students participate,” Ranae Bartlett said. Bartlett serves as Executive Director of Madison City Chess League.

Systems Products & Solutions Inc. sponsored the city championship. James Clemens High School hosted the tournament.

For the Kindergarten Section, the top players, respectively, were Brantley Davis, Ryan MacLearn and Daksh Sunil. “This was so exciting to see our youngest students competing in their first rated tournament,” Bartlett said.

Noah Hsu won first place with a perfect score in the First Grade section. Samasara Rajbhandari and Emma Kuang earned second and third places. Tyce Crosswy narrowly missed an award on tie breaks.

The Second Grade Section was one of the most unpredictable sections. The top three players were Viraat Veeravali, Laya Gowder and Samuel Bae.

“Thirteen students battled for the top spot in the Third Grade Section,” Bartlett said. Landon Drummond and Andrew Nguyen tied for first, and Aadi Saxena placed third.

With the largest section, 16 fourth-graders competed with these contestants in top places: Karsten Wallace (perfect score), Caroline Wang and Nirvana Rajbhandari. Patrick Dowd and Ethan Van narrowly missed an award.

In Fifth Grade Section, Geon Park won first place with a perfect score of four points; Oviya Gowder earned second. Zachary Calinsky and Owen Lang tied with 2.5 points and even drew in a head-to-head matchup; on tie breaks, Zachary won third.

Rishi Sethuraj and Aasim Musani tied for first place among sixth-graders. Henry Holland took third place.

Top players follow in this list of remaining sections:

* Seventh Grade — Victor Lundy and Constance Wang, tie for first; Puja Chopade, third.

* Eighth Grade — Om Badhe, first place with four points; Jenson Wilhelm and Edward Calinsky, second and third on tie breaks.

* Ninth Grade — Joshua Lin, Will Bao and Alex Edwards.

* Tenth Grade — Michael Guthrie and Aneesha Ankam.

* Eleventh Grade — Tyler Wessling and Julian Olvera.

Winners in Grades K-2 won $50; grades 3-11 won $100.

For more information, visit madisonchess.com.

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