MCCL members travel to Texas for middle school tourney

MADISON – To reach a recent tournament, chess players from Madison had to follow the lyrics of a rhythm ‘n blues standard. “Ain’t no mountain high enough . . . ain’t no valley low enough . . . ain’t no river wide enough.”

“The National Middle School Chess Tournament was not for the faint of heart. It took determination to fly to Austin and then travel to Round Rock, Texas for the tournament site,” Ranae Bartlett said. Bartlett serves as President of Madison City Chess League or MCCL.

“Once there, things ran pretty smoothly. We were small in number but mighty!” Bartlett said. “Individually, our kids learned a lot and even brought home some hardware.”

Madison player Xavier Bruni traveled a day early to the national tournament so he could compete in the K-8 Blitz Championship on April 20 during the long weekend. Bruni competed with the best middle-school blitz players in the country.

“Xavier finished in second place after six rounds. Congratulations, Xavier,” Bartlett said. In addition, Bruni took 20th place in K-8 Championship. “Xavier reached a personal best of five points in the K-8 Championship section. The competition in the Championship section was fierce, but Xavier showed up to compete. Way to go.”

Asher Allison, a third-grader at Rainbow Elementary School, seized a once-in-a-lifetime chance during the National Middle School Tournament by starting the tournament with a Simultaneous chess match with Grand Master Julio Sadorra.

“Grand Master Sadorra continued to encourage and advise Asher throughout the tournament,” Bartlett said. “He was a favorite among all the competitors.”

Cohen Tate, a seventh-grader at Discovery Middle School, finished 14th with 5.5 pts after 7 rounds in the Under 900 section. The top 15 places in the Under 900 section received a large bronze medal, so Tate received this medal because of his place ranking.

“Thanks to Coach Will Stevenson who coached MCCL members who competed over three days with a new time control of Game 90/d10,” Bartlett said.

In recurring events, MCCL Adult Chess Club meets at Madison Public Library on Sundays from 2 to 4 p.m.

MCCL students meet on Monday nights, also at the library, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Players will be provided with chess sets. Students in grades K-12 who know how to play chess are welcome to attend.

For more information, call 256-970-4762, email mccl.director@gmail.com or visit madisonchess.com.

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