K-8 Championship Draws 520 to Bloomington

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.

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IESA Holds First Tournament

Forty-three schools were represented in the inaugural Illinois Elementary School Association’s Chess Championships. The tournament was held Feb. 18th and 19th in the U.S. Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington, IL. The tournaments of the IESA are open only to students of member schools. As with most IESA events, there was an 8th grade championship (open to students in the 5th to 8th grades) and a 7th grade championship (open to students in the 5th to 7th grades). A total of 289 students competed in the two divisions. The tournament format was a Board Swiss with each school allowed one student at each of the boards 1 through 4 and up to three at board 5 (only the top scorer counting for team purposes on board 5) in each division.

The top four teams in each division received a trophy as did the top 5 scorers at each of the five boards in both divisions. Daniel Wright (Lincolnshire) dominated the competition while becoming both the 7th and 8th grade team champions and capturing 10 individual medals. Four individual medals were won by students from Bloomington JHS, Washington (Rockford), Washington (Peoria), and Chiddix (Normal). Complete results can be located at http://www.iesa.org/activities/chs/

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Four Youth National Events Are Coming Up

Are you considering a trip to USCF Nationals this year? As things get busy with local club activity, local tournaments, and Illinois K-8 Scholastic Championships, the USCF Nationals sometimes sneak up on us and we miss "Early Entry Discounts."  Below is a summary of USCF National Scholastic Events - along with the entry deadlines.

Eighth Annual All Girls National Championship, April 8-10, Chicago, IL
$50 if postmarked/online by 3/13; $70 if by 3/27; $85 by 4/7 or $90 on-site.

2011 K-9 Championship,  April 15 - 17,  Columbus Ohio
$$50 if by 13 March, $70 if by 27 March, $85 after 27 March or $90 at site

2011 National High School K-12 Championships,  April 29 - May 1,  Nashville, TN      
EF: $$50 if p/m by 27 March, $70 if by 10 April, $85 after 10 April or $90 at site.

2011 National Elementary K-6 Championships,  May 6 - 8,  Dallas TX    
EF: $$50 if p/m by 3 April, $70 if by 17 April, $85 after 17 April or $90 at site.

State High School Team Championship Underway

More than 1,000 high school players have converged on Peoria for what over the years has grown to one of the largest team chess tournaments in the world.  Play in the seven-round tournament started Friday morning, with 128 high school teams participating.  After six rounds of play, just two teams remain undefeated:  Last year's state champs Niles North in Skokie, and perennial top-10 finisher Whitney Young of Chicago.  It's the second consecutive year that the two teams have met in Round 7.  Niles North was the only undefeated team going into the last round last year, and by the narrowest possible margin spoiled Whitney's hopes of tying for first, eking out 38.5 points of a possible 68.  In that match, Niles North board 1 NM Eric Rosen lost the game and the 12 points that go with it in the team score to Whitney expert Michael Auger, his longtime friend, but the Niles North team came through anyway to carry the match.  Rosen and Auger again face each other in the crucial Round 7 match, but Whitney this year has more depth than last, with expert Sam Schmakel, a freshman, holding the Board 2 spot.  What will happen this year?  See the results when they come in at the IHSA website.

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2011 Illinois K-8 Championships on March 5-6

The 2011 Illinois K-8 Chess Championships will be held on March 5 & 6 at the Illinois State University Bone Student Center. The Illinois Chess Association recognizes this tournament as a state championship for individuals and for school teams. The Bloomington/Normal Area Scholastic Chess organization is honored to host this grand event! There will be over 120 individual trophies, 40 team trophies, and ribbons for all participants. An arrangement with the Marriott Hotel in uptown Normal has been made to provide 75 rooms at the price of $99.00 plus tax. The hotel is located 3 to 4 blocks away from the tournament site. It is also in close proximity to the Amtrak train station. Please mention the K-8 Chess Championships. More information on the tournament is available here.