With a seventh-round draw, 7th-Grader David Peng clinched top honors at the 2015 USCF National Junior High Championships, winning the K-9 section outright with a 6.5 tally.
David's final opponent, Sam Capocyan of Texas, tied for second with two others at 6.0.
Eighth-grader Matthew Stevens posted 5.0/6, tying for 10th place, 13th on tiebreaks. Hanson Hao tied for 25th with 4.5.
In the K-8 section of the same event, Rockford's Vincent Do, a seventh grader, tied for seventh place with a 5.5/6 result, drawing Ohio's Maggie Feng in the final round. Maggie had the top tiebreak among 5.5 scorers, having drawn the section champion in the sixth round. Marcus Miyasasaka of New York had the highest tiebreak among six 6.0 scorers to win the section.
The Niles North graduate and University of Illinois Computer Science student offers hints applicable to every chess player including "set goals that have nothing to do with rating" and "get off to a good start".
My personal favorite is #7: "Grow Facial Hair". This may serve as an impediment to some juniors, but happens to be the one key I have mastered personally.
New names entering (or returning to) the top 100 lists this month include 7-year old William Wang, 14-year old James Wei, 16-year old Philip Parker-Turner and 18-year old Mark Reed. Caeley Harihara has reappeared on the Under 21 year old Girls list.
Jacob Furfine surpassed USCF 2200 to enter Master territory.
Stefan Musikic surpassed 1800 earning Class A distinction.
9-year old downstater Peter Zheng raised his rating 36 points to 1509 which would make him eligible for Warren Junior Scholars status next year under current rules, pending his participation in ten regular-rated games against all-ages competition during 2015.
In the flip-flopping power struggle of brothers Nikhil and Akhil Kalghatgi, Nikhil grabbed the upperhand at this year's Chicago Public Schools K-8 Championships completed March 28.
Nikhil defeated Taft's Matthew Wong in the fifth round while Akhil only managed only a fourth-round draw against Matthew. This gave Nikhil top honors at 5.0 with Akhil nabbing clear second with 4.5.
With the twins' performances, Whitney Young Academic Center cruised to the team championship with 17.0 points. Taft, aided by Jonathan Lee's 3.5 and 3.0's from Matthew, Georgia Wolf and Danilo Velazquez, took second place on tiebreaks over Keller.
New Trier High School's ZhaoZhi "George" Li came within a half-point of the highest score at the 2015 USCF High School Nationals completed April 12 in Columbus, OH.
Li's only blemishes were draws in rounds three and five, both against Texans. George's post-event rating -- pending re-rating -- hit 2300 for the first time. His 6.0 tied for second place with seven others, capturing seventh place hardware on tiebreaks.
Fifth Grader Daniel Zhang is on quite a roll lately, going 5-0 at the Greater Chicago Championships in February and 6-1 at the ICA's K-8 Championships in early March.
Daniel kept it rolling by winning the Benito Juarez Spring Open at the Lozano Branch of the Chicago Public Library on March 21.
The five-round, dual-section event observed what would have been the 209th birthday of the five-term president of Mexico. The tournament was sponsored by El Campeon Pina Colada and organized by Hector Hernandez.
In the ages 14 and under section, Layla Rodriguez placed just ahead of Daniel Roman.
Go west, young man! And females! And older players too!
Rivermont Collegiate, a K-12 college prep school in Bettendorf, Iowa, is teaming up with the Illowa Bi-State Chess Club to stage a USCF-rated chess (scholastic) tournament on Saturday, April 11.
This event is open to all chess players from Kindergarten through 12th grade. All that is required is enough knowledge of chess to play the game. That is, you don't have to be an expert. All players will receive a chess memento. Top three in K-4, 5-8, 9-12 will receive trophies. If there are enough entrants, trophies will be added to the mix.
Four new Illinois names joined the US Top 100 lists this month: nine-year old Peter Zheng, eight year-old Eduard Danilyan, seven year-old John Bielobradek and six year-old David Yong.
Returning to the lists was Penny Xu after she competed in the rated Illini Blitz event in February. Penny played first board on her Urbana High School team this year, but hasn't played any regular-rated matches since the 2013 US Open. Penny compiled an impressive 6.0/7 at the IHSA finals in February, as did fellow top 100 listers George Li (New Trier), Max Zinski (Benet), Jonathan Hrach (Highland Park) and Spencer Lehmann (Barrington).
Finishing tied for second place with 6.5 scores were listers Alex Bian of Stevenson and Daniel Bronfeyn of Mundelein.
Compiling 5.5's (tied for 17th) were listers Bradley Guan (State Champion Naperville North), Gavin McClanahan (Glenbrook South) and Andrew Fei (Dunlap).