275 youth chess players competed for nearly two and a half hours at York High School in Elmhurst, March 14, Pi Day. The annual event was open to residents of the western Chicago suburb of Elmhurst -- or those who attend school there.

Playing blitz time controls of Game/7 with no delay, champions were crowned in five grade-based sections along with a combined middle school group. An informal high school tournament was also held.

Where two perfect five-for-five competitors were left, a five-minute play-off was held. And in all three instances, the lower tiebreak holder won the play off game!

In the second grade division, William Grane was the lone 5.0 score with Jonah Roemmich posting 4.5 for second place. Ved Sule and Nicholas Stongaron were the top two 4.0 finishers based on mathametical tiebreaks. Four others had 4.0's.

In the 74-player third grade group, Visitation's KC Kekstadt won the playoff against Edison's Daniel Davies after both had posted five wins.

Liam Shea of Jackson won clear third place with 4.5/5. A five-way tie for fourth place included ribbon winner Luke Alexander of Visitation, along with Sam Moser (Hawthorn) and three Lincoln players: Landon Beerhalter, Tyler Aprati and John Lestina.

For fourth graders, Nate Schuurman of Timothy won a contentious blitz playoff against Visitation's Brendan Carroll to earn the trophy. Both had perfect 5.0 scores before that. Bobby Berner (Edison), Andrew Adams (Lincoln), Chloe Wetterquist (Hawthorn) and Nathan Arcos and Peter Buikema, both of Timothy, posted 4.0's to tie for third place.

Amongst fifth graders, Jack Davies and Luke Richards both earned 4.5 out of 5 with Jack achieving the higher tiebreak to get the trophy. Tanner Roemmich and Josh McMillian were the top two 4.0 scorers with three others achieving that tally.

In the middle school competition, Salvatore Stangarone of Visitation defeated Bryan's Johnny Dietz in the playoff after both had gone 5-for-5. Kiran Moore -- also of Bryan -- and Jonah Parayil of Sandburg both earned 4.0's as did three others: Lucas Kubycheck, Nolan Crowell and Joel Varghese. Although only Kiran and Jonah earned ribbons, technically all five tied for third place.

Tournament organizers thanked all the volunteer judges and parents who helped make this yet another successful event.

If your community would like to hold a city-wide championship in similar fashion, the ICA would love to help support that!  Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..