The Youth Chess Foundation of Chicago wrapped up its six event season with a 234 player tournament May 20 at Alfred Nobel Elementary on Chicago's north side. There were four Novice sections and an Advanced with a rich array of trophies awarded.

Harry Heller was once again a perfect five-for-five to take clear first place in the Advanced. Harry was also perfect in the prior YCFC event in April -- but lost out on the first place trophy due to tiebreaks -- to his younger brother of all people!

Skinner North managed to win two of the Novice section team trophies: K-2 and 3-4 with Lenart (5-6) and host Nobel (7-8) winning the other two.

With eight players -- and 12.5 from the top 3 -- Bateman ran away with the Advanced team award, ahead of Decatur.

Decatur also came in second place in the K-2 and 3-4 sections.

In addition to Harry's Advanced championship, Bateman's Andrew Tebbe posted 4.5 to take second place, while teammates Layla Rodriguez and Leonard Rionaula earned the top tiebreaks in the 4.0 score group to nab third and fourth place trophies.

Skinner North's Jack Heller, Decatur's Avi Kaplan, and and Keller's Chris Harrison also posted 4.0's in the Advanced.

50 competed in the section.

Altus' Fernando Alvarez was the sole undefeated player in the Novice 7-8. Three players posted 4.0's to tie for second place with Nithya Mullapudi of Fox Valley Chess Club earning the highest tiebreak to earn the 2nd place trophy. Aaron Andino of Bateman and Xavier Rosado of Earle STEM took third and fourth place trophies.

Seven players tied for fifth place with 3.0's. Tamya Fults, also of Earle STEM won the 5th place trophy, Nathan Mathew of the Fox Valley club took 6th, and Preston Cisneros of Kinzie earned the 7th place trophy. Taking medals with the same 3.0 score were Alexis Bocanegra, Xavier Freeman, Omar Alvarez and Jennifer Rosales.

Nobel (8.5), and St. Joseph of Summit (7.5) earned the top two trophies, while Earle STEM edged Fox Valley on tiebreaks to earn the third place team award in Novice 7-8.

In Novice 5-6, Ari Frost of Beaubien was the lone 5.0, ahead of seven players with 4.0. Taking the other top three trophies were Bobel's Josh Hernandez and Gallistel's David Perez.  Other 4.0's in the section were earned by Julia Kim, Aditya Mandal, Chetan Cherukuri, Taihei Eastwood and Keaton Jones.

Despite having half the players, Lenart (13.5) edged Nobel (12.5) for the Novice 5-6 championship. Beaubien placed third with only two players!

Beaubien's Radu Bucur was the big winner in Novice 3-4 with Skinner North's Noah Shankman a half-point back at 4.5. Eight players had 4.0's: Balin Nayyar, Quran Muhammad, Matthew Chang, Aditya Nanda and a remarkable four players from Skinner North: Mitchell Abe, Simon Baurer, Paul Stiles, and Niccolo Lozada.

Skinner North 9 (16.5), Decatur (13.0), Beaubien (12.0) won the team trophies in Novice 3-4.

Novice K-2 competition resulted in a playoff between Kevin Shi and Leo Hartstein after they posted 4.5 scores with Kevin taking the top trophy.

Five players posted 4.0s: Alex Oseledets, Robert Suteu, Justin Zhang, Risindu Withana Arachchige, and Brandon Wilken.

Teamwise, Skinner North edged Decatur 13.5 - 13.0 for the top K-2 team trophy, St. Joseph of Summit took third place with 10.0.

At the awards ceremony, Organizer Mike Cardinale thanked all the volunteers and the hosts, Radoslav Nikolov and Meghan Quigley of Alfred Nobel Elementary, a first-time host site.

This marked the 86th YCFC event organized by Mike Cardinale, spanning 15 years. Mr. Cardinale promises to remain involved as YCFC tournaments are taken over by the Chicago Chess Foundation (CCF) next season.

In recognition of his incredible volunteerism and leadership, the CCF board awarded Mike a gift certificate to the American Players Theater in Spring Green, WI along with a voucher for lodging at nearby House on the Rock. If Mike's wife, Autumn Mather -- another long-time YCFC volunteer -- isn't available, I'll be glad to join him on the outing!

Thanks for everything, Mike!