Young chess players enter high school tourney in Atlanta
MADISON – Rainbow Elementary School Chess Team and other Madison players competed — not in an elementary contest but — in the National High School Chess Championship in Atlanta the first weekend in April.
“Our team was young compared to the high school students, but we saw it as a great way to practice for the upcoming national elementary tournament. Our kids were fearless and learned so much over the weekend,” Ranae Bartlett said. “They even came back with some trophies, which was icing on the cake.”
Bartlett is Executive Director of Madison City Chess League.
Some of the youngest team members were on the K-12 Under 800 team. Veterans Ben Kosan and Ethan Kueck led the team, joined by first-grader Xavier Bruni, second-graders Karsten Wallace and Caroline Wang and third-grader Corinne Wilhelm.
Karsten Wallace placed 14th individually in the entire section of 257 students. The team won a ninth-place trophy. “Rainbow was the only elementary team competing, and some of their games lasted up to four hours,” Bartlett said.
The K-12 Under 1200 team included Edward Calinsky, Zachary Calinsky and Maanasi Limaye. A team award for the top four scores was beyond their reach, but individually each member did very well. “Maanasi even won 24th place individually in a field of 357 students,” Bartlett said.
“Our K-12 Under 1600 team of Victor Lundy, Geon Park, Boone Ramsey, Constance Wang and Jenson Wilhelm faced very tough competition, with high school students rated hundreds of points higher than ours,” Bartlett said. “Some of our kids won games against those higher rated players resulting in that team just missing a top 20 trophy by coming in 21st out of 54 teams.”
“When first- and second-graders can compete for 2.5 to 3 hours, they’ve accomplished something, regardless of the final result. We’re looking forward to competing at the national elementary meet in May,” Bartlett said.
Other competitors in Atlanta were Om Badhe, Mill Creek Elementary School; Puja Chopade and Neha Chopade, Columbia Elementary School; Grace Billmann, Bob Jones High School; and Michael Guthrie, Josh Lin, Hayden Billmann and Erin Kueck, Discovery Middle School.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit madisonchess.com.