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Madison teens’ yearlong practice culminates in 2021 State Scholastic Chess Championship

MADISON – Middle and high school teams in Madison practiced online for an entire year to prepare for the 2021 State Scholastic Chess Championship.

The Alabama Chess Federation hosted the 2021 championship online with the ChessKid.com platform on March 27-28.

“A big thank you to all our coaches who adjusted and conducted virtual practices,” Ranae Bartlett said. Bartlett serves as Executive Director of Madison City Chess League or MCCL.

“Although our kids are looking forward to returning to playing chess over-the-board, they have done an outstanding job adjusting to online play,” Bartlett said. “They have a lot to be proud of.”

For the fifth consecutive year, Discovery Middle School won the Junior High Chess Championship. The Discovery team compiled a perfect team score. Michael Guthrie coaches Discovery Chess Team, and their sponsor is Julie Goldston.

Discovery team members were Xavier Bruni, Steven Pan, Nirvana Rajbhandari and Caleb Chen. Pizitz and Bayside middle schools ranked in second and third place, respectively.

For individual winners in the Junior High division, Xavier Bruni earned fourth place. Andrew Yang and Nirvana Rajbhandari tied for fifth place.

For individual winners for Junior High Under 1100 players, a five-way tie for first place resulted in this section. Joseph Park tied for first place with 4/5 pts. Isabelle Park narrowly missed a medal scoring 3.5 points, Bartlett said.

In high school competition, for the first time in school history, James Clemens High School won the High School Chess Team Championship. Team members were Om Badhe, Sherwood Dong, Will Fox and Shreya Sunil with their first-place win. “Congratulations to Coach Gerald Larson, Chess Sponsor Tammy Simons and the James Clemens team,” Bartlett said.

Bob Jones Blue Team members Victor Lundy, Constance Wang, Josh Lin and Kennedy Gore tied for second place with a team from Indian Springs.

The individual playing resulted in a five-way tie for first place in the High School Championship section. “These players are considered co-champions,” Bartlett said. “In a tie for first place from Madison were Sherwood Dong and Om Badhe.”

For the High School Under 1400 category, the individual winners battled to a three-way tie for first place with Edward Calinsky and Sam Pratt in a tie. Rachael Ehrman won fourth place. In a tie for fifth place was Kennedy Gore.

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