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The Green Team with Dennis Lenski, Cora Newberry, Annabelle Hsu and Emory Howell from Rainbow Elementary School won first place in their division with the 2021 State Scholastic Chess Championship. CONTRIBUTED

Elementary students excel in play at State Scholastic Chess Championship

MADISON – Madison boys and girls excelled both in teams and as individuals in the 2021 State Scholastic Chess Championship.

Alabama Chess Federation hosted the championship online on ChessKid.com on March 27-28. Migration from over-the-board play to an online venue has challenged young players, but “they have done an outstanding job adjusting to online play,” Ranae Bartlett said.

Bartlett serves as Executive Director of Madison City Chess League or MCCL.

“Our youngest players dominated during the State Scholastic Championship with Kylie Zou winning the individual primary title. Rainbow elementary won the Primary (K-3) section for the school team championship, and MCCL tied for first as co-champions in the Primary club division,” Bartlett said.

The top five individuals and the top three teams earned trophies. Any player who tied for fifth place received a medal.

Kylie Zou, a second-grader at Horizon Elementary School, won first place as the Primary Individual Champion with a perfect score of five points. “Her sister, Alice, won third place with a score of four points,” Bartlett said. Esteban Jerez claimed fourth place, and Jimmy McHugh took fifth place. Esinam Tettey tied for fifth place and won a medal. In the Primary Under 300 division, Mason Park tied for fifth place.

The Green Team members Dennis Lenski, Emory Howell, Cora Newberry and Annabelle Hsu from Rainbow Elementary School won first place. Columbia Elementary team members Daksh Sunil, Mason Park, Vedanth Siva and Carter Bae earned second place. Heritage Elementary School’s team included Andrew Tkach, Anish Vaderevu, Shrabin Bista and Saisha Iyer, who reached third place as a team.

“MCCL entered a primary team of Kylie Zou, Esteban Jerez, Alice Zou and Margaret Lin, which tied for first in the Primary Club Division,” Bartlett said.

For the sixth consecutive year, Rainbow elementary earned the title of Elementary (K-6) Co-Champions. “It came down to the final round when Rainbow Blue Team was leading Rainbow Red Team and had to play each other. Rainbow Red won the final round, and Altamont sneaked in for a tie and share the title as co-champions,” Bartlett said.

Rainbow Red Team members were Holland Lang, Jethro Jones, Noah Hsu and Kate Meyer. Rainbow Blue Team members were Caden Jordan, Cooper Meyer, Tyce Crosswy and Jack Meyer as third-place team.

Will Stevenson coaches Rainbow’s students. Sponsors are Brittany Wilson and Maria Adams.

The MCCL Elementary Club Team claimed second place. Team members were Sophia Jerez, Christina Yang, Samsara Rajbhandari and Emerson Phillips.

For winners in the Elementary Individual category, Jethro Jones won the fifth-place trophy. In a tie for a fifth-place medal were Kate Meyer, Anna Ai and Laya Gowder. In the Elementary Under 600 Division, Samarjeet Bista reached fourth place, Cooper Meyer in fifth place and Jack Meyer in a tie for a fifth-place medal.

For more information, visit madisonchess.com.

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