The 2011 K-8 Scholastic Championships were held the weekend of March 5-6th in Bloomington, Illinois at the Bone Student Center on the Illinois State University campus. Over 520 students from all over the state of Illinois participated in the tournament, organized by Bloomington-Normal Area Scholastic Chess (BNASC.org). The event traditionally rotates between a downstate and upstate host and this marked the fourth time since 2001 that the BNASC had organized the K-8 Championships at Illinois State University.
The weekend kicked off Friday night with the Blitz and Bughouse championships. The blitz tournament saw just under 70 participants test their skills on the clock and in the final round Jimi Akintonde edged out Maximilian Zinski to take the state championship trophy.
Max didn't have to wait long to get back into the thick of things, however. Teaming with Nathaniel Krinjc he took first in the bughouse, just ahead of second place tandem Benjamin Nielsen and Hanson Hao and third place Shanku Nair and Sidhu Krishnamoorthi.
The main event got underway Saturday and the largest section was the Elementary group with 168 total players. Colene Hoose School, of Normal, brought the most competitors to the tournament, with 27 club mates participating in the state championship which was also good enough to bring them clear first in the Elementary section, a point ahead of Dr. Howard Elementary from Champaign, Illinois.
Benjamin Elementary, from Bloomington, cleaned up the youngest two divisions, placing first in both Lower and Upper Primary. Prairieland Elementary from Normal and Monroe Elementary from Hinsdale tied with Benjamin at 15.0 team points in the lower primary section but took second and third, respectively, on tiebreaks. In the upper primary section, Benjamin Elementary finished a point ahead of Grove, also from Normal, and again Dr. Howard Elementary.
The junior high section was equally competitive: only 2.5 points separated first from fourth. Clear first with 19.5 team points was Chiddix Junior High, of Normal, led by Niranjan Panneerselvam and Rahul Sinha's 5.5/7 scores. Bloomington Junior High took second with Nichols from Evanston taking third.
In the individual results, Aydin Turgut (lower primary) and David Wallach (upper primary) scored a perfect 7.0/7 to win their sections while Daniel Bronfeyn (elementary) and Joey Bikus (junior high) also went undefeated with 6.5/7 scores to take clear first in their respective groups. In the junior high section, Joey had three players nipping at his heels - Chase Walbert, Max Zinski, and Benjamin Nielsen, with 6.0/7.
Full results, including round-by-round crosstables, are posted on BNASC.org. This fall, the All-Grade Championship will be downstate, while next spring's K-8 championship tournament will likely return to an upstate location.