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The Madison City Kindergarten Tournament on Feb. 9 at Rainbow Elementary School is open to the first 20 registered kindergarteners. CONTRIBUTED

New tournament open for youngest chess players

MADISON – A new venue for competition, the Madison City Kindergarten Tournament will offer an opportunity for the city’s youngest chess players to compete and strengthen their skills in the game.

The first 20 kindergarten or pre-kindergarten students to register are welcome at the tournament at Rainbow Elementary School’s media center on Feb. 9. Contestants will gather for a players meeting at 1:45 p.m. Tournament hours will be 2 to 5 p.m. Officials will conduct an awards ceremony at 5 p.m.

“This non-rated tournament will be great practice for the Kindergarten section of the Madison City Chess Championship,” Ranae Bartlett said. Bartlett serves as Executive Director of Madison City Chess League.

To accommodate these younger players, the Madison City Kindergarten Tournament will last one-half day. “This tournament will be a fun, unrated event with lots of medals and trophies for the participants,” Bartlett said.

Games in the Madison City Kindergarten Tournament will last 20 minutes per side, with five rounds if time permits. Players are not required to hold any memberships.

Students in the top four places will receive trophies. All other competitors will receive a medal.

For the first time in the recent Winter Knights tournament, pre-kindergarten students competed in both Non-Rated And Rated sections. More kindergartners are participating.

“We had some very young players in the Winter Knights tournament trying the Non-Rated section,” Bartlett said. “We had a kindergartner, Annabelle Hsu, win the Rated K-2nd grade section. Annabelle is in Nancy Brandon’s class, and she started playing last year as a pre-kindergartner at Rainbow Elementary School.”

The entry fee for Madison City Chess League is $20. Players who are not MCCL members will pay $25. Tournament participation is limited to the first 20 students who register.

Registration deadline is Feb. 6. Players cannot register on-site at Rainbow.

To register, visit madisonchess.com. Scroll down and click “Madison City Kindergarten Tournament – 2/9.” On the registration window, click “Please Login/Register” and complete the registration form.

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