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Tourneys attract growing field of chess players

MADISON – A varying slate of chess players, from very young to teenagers and both genders, seized the chance to better their game in three recent tournaments.

“The All Girls K-6 Tournament was a nail-biter at Horizon elementary on Feb. 9,” Ranae Bartlett said. Bartlett serves as Executive Director of Madison City Chess League.

“We tried a new quad format organizing the girls in groups of four and letting them play in a round-robin format,” Bartlett said.

In the top quad, Shruti Kadam, Caroline Wang and Nirvana Rajbhandari reached a three-way tie for first place. “In one of the closest tie-breaks we’ve ever seen, Shruti Kadam won first place. Shruti won a trophy and a one-year subscription to Chessable.com,” Bartlett said.

In Group 2, Sahithi Mynampally was first-place winner. In Group 3, Isabelle Bao claimed first place, and in Group 4 Lucy Dyess earned the top slot. Chess team volunteers Rachael Ehrman and Mable Danh from Discovery Middle School and Maanasi Limaye from Bob Jones High School assisted as coaches and floor technical directors.

In another bout, the Kindergarten Chess Tournament attracted youngsters from across Madison and Morgan counties to the event at Rainbow Elementary School. All competitors received either a trophy for placing in the top five or a medal and chess pencil.

“These kids had a lot of fun, learned how to use clocks as they played chess and demonstrated some awesome checkmating skills,” Bartlett said. The top five players were Isaac Kreusser, Jackson Campbell, Jacob Kuang, Connor Dowd and Samuel Roop.

The other available contest was the Blitz Tournament in which students in first grade through high school juniors competed against each other at Rainbow. “Blitz games allow each competitor five minutes to complete moves,” Bartlett said.

Award winners in the Blitz in first-fifth places were Xavier Bruni, Michael Guthrie, Karsten Wallace, Victor Lundy, Artem Starenki and Rachael Ehrman.

For more information, call 256-970-4762, email mccl.director@gmail.com or visit madisonchess.com.

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