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Chess teams compete nationally at Opryland Hotel

On December 16-18, 52 Madison City Chess League members competed at the National K12 Chess Championship at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tenn. CONTRIBUTED
On December 16-18, 52 Madison City Chess League members competed at the National K12 Chess Championship at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tenn. CONTRIBUTED

MADISON – Madison City Chess League entered 52 members in the National K-12 Chess Championship at Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tenn. on Dec. 16-18.

“This meet was, without a doubt, the most challenging national scholastic tournament in which students compete against the best in the country in grade-level specific sections over seven rounds that span three days,” Ranae Bartlett said. Bartlett serves as Executive Director of Madison City Chess League.

Each game can last around three hours if players on both sides use their full allotment of time. Madison was able to send full teams from Rainbow elementary, Discovery and Liberty middle and Bob Jones high schools.

Rainbow sent 20 students from grades 1-6. Rainbow’s sixth-grade team finished in seventh place out of 26 teams.
Rainbow’s third-grade team finished 11th out of 24 teams, only one-half point from receiving a trophy. Second-grader Xavier Bruni finished the tournament with 5 out of 7 points.
At the tournament conclusion, two Madison teams received honors during the awards ceremony. “The highest team award went to Bob Jones’s ninth-grade team, who placed third in the nation at their first appearance at National K12 tournament,” Bartlett said.
“Not far behind was Discovery’s eighth-grade team that finished in fourth place. Bill Nash and Bradley Denton coach the teams from Bob Jones and Discovery. In a time when competitive chess participation is in decline in middle and high school across the country, Madison is seeing growth in both age groups,” Bartlett said.
Madison City Chess League also had some students win individual class prizes within their grade-level sections to recognize them for performance with their individual ratings level.
“Congratulations to Pulak Agarwalla from Benjamin Davis school in Decatur for winning the first-place Class Prize in 1000-1199 section for 2nd grade,” Bartlett said.
“Ben Kosan from Discovery won the second-place Class Prize in 800-999 for seventh grade. Will Bao from Discovery won the second-place Class Prize in the 1000-1199 section for eighth grade,” she said.
“We are very grateful to all of our coaches, parents and students for a great experience in Nashville,” Bartlett said. “A big thank-you to Scott Wilhelm for taking wonderful photos throughout. We will always remember the opportunity we had to compete in the most challenging national scholastic chess tournament of the year.”
For more information, email mccl.director@gmail.com or visit madisonchess.com.

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