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Chess stars sweep Samford

Chess players from Madison won first place in all of their sections at the Central Alabama Scholastic Team Tournament at Samford University. (CONTRIBUTED)
Chess players from Madison won first place in all of their sections at the Central Alabama Scholastic Team Tournament at Samford University. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Chess team members from Madison won first place in all sections in which they competed at the Central Alabama Scholastic Team Tournament at Samford University.

“What makes this accomplishment more significant is that members of each team were ‘playing up’ in the next oldest age group,” Ranae Bartlett said. Bartlett is executive director of Madison City Chess League.

In the K-12 section designed for high-school competitors, Discovery Middle School won first, defeating teams from high schools in Hoover and Mobile. Liberty Middle School earned third place this section.

Discovery team members were Hayden Billmann, Josh Lin, Alex Edwards and William Spanier. Liberty players were Vishay Ram, Carson Boland, Dheeraj Edulakanti and Kane Stone at the tournament on Sept. 5-6.

The K-8 section is designed for grades 5-8 with middle-school students and students from multiple schools arranged into club teams. Rainbow Elementary School’s team of Boone Ramsey, Maanasi Limaye, Constance Wang and Victor Lundy won first place over top middle-school and elementary club teams from Birmingham and Trussville, Bartlett said.

Other Rainbow competitors were Edward Calinsky, Perrin Larkin, Catrina Holschen and Corinne Wilhelm. “They were all competing against kids much older to gain experience and did a great job,” Bartlett said.

In K-4, Rainbow’s team of Geon Park, Zachary Calinsky, Karsten Wallace and Rachael Ehrman won first place for primary and also defeated or tied teams in middle school in head-to-head match-ups.

During individual competition, several Madison students won awards. In K-4, trophy and medal winners were Rainbow’s Geon Park, first; Karsten Wallace, third; and Zachary Calinsky, fourth. In K-8, winners were Rainbow’s Constance Wang, second, and Boone Ramsey, fourth.

In K-12, Discovery’s Joshua Lin won first; Alex Edwards, fourth; and Hayden Billmann, fifth.

“Although the tournament occurred over a busy Labor Day weekend requiring travel to Birmingham, students from Columbia, Rainbow, Discovery and Liberty competed,” Bartlett said. She acknowledged parents and grandparents who accompanied their children to Birmingham for this competitive opportunity.

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