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Top chess players from kindergartners to seniors named city champs

MADISON – Chess players in kindergarten through twelfth grade enjoyed ‘live’ action at the City Chess Championship.

“Thank you to James Clemens High School for letting us return for the City Chess Championship. We were excited to be playing over-the-board again,” Ranae Bartlett said. Bartlett is Executive Director of Madison City Chess League or MCCL.

“Longer time-controls for all sections are a great way to help our kids compete at the upcoming nationals,” Bartlett said.

Continuing precautions for COVID-19, tournament organizers followed safety protocols, such as fist bumps (instead of handshakes) and wearing masks, that the U.S. Chess Federation currently observes. The USCF will use these practices during the upcoming national tournament season.

The City Chess Championship is the only grade-level championship in the state and offers a cash prize award for all players who tie or earn first place. The grade-level winners exercised their knowledge to earn distinction in the tournament:

* Kindergarten — Austin Pullum, first; Samuel Liao, second; Cali Giuffre, third.

* First grade — Co-champions Alice Zou, Milan Malak, Charlie Saulters, James Mchugh.

* Second grade — Annabelle Hsu, first; Asher Allison, second; Avyaktha Subramania, third.

* Third grade — Esteban Jerez, first; Kylie Zou, second; Theodore Piper, third.

* Fourth grade — Daksh Sunil, first; Vedanth Siva, second; Mason Park, third.

* Fifth grade — Co-champions Jethro Jones, Sophia Jerez, Noah Hsu.

* Sixth grade — Co-champions Anna Ai and Tim Lee; Caden Jordan, third.

* Seventh grade — Jacob New, first; Joseph Park, second; Daniel Seewald, third.

* Eighth grade — Nirvana Rajbhandari, first; Artem Starenki, second; Andrew Yang, third.

* Ninth grade — Co-champions Steven Pan, Oviya Gowder, Zachary Calinsky.

Tenth grade — Co-champions Rachael Ehrman and Pranaav Satheesh; Jackson Martin, third.

* Eleventh grade –Sherwood Dong, first; Victor Lundy, second; Kennedy Gore, third.

* Twelfth grade — Edward Calinsky, first.

“SPS Inc. and CEO Nilmini Thompson have sponsored the City Chess Championship since it first began in 2016,” Bartlett said. “Last year and this year, SPS became Grandmaster-level sponsors for MCCL, which enables us to continue this tournament and grow our girls’ chess program.”

“Our seventh- through twelfth-graders had the longest time control with Game 90 min/d5sec. They had to begin their first round Friday evening in order to finish on Saturday with everyone else. Great practice for upcoming nationals!” Bartlett said.

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