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In individual results, Madison players seize multitude of awards in state championship

MADISON – A little bit of snow and an abundance of arctic winds didn’t stop players’ motivation for outstanding performances in the 2022 State Chess Championship.

Bob Jones High School hosted the championship, the first over-the-board state scholastic championship event since 2019.

Todd Guthrie, who is Scholastic Vice President of Alabama Chess Federation or ACF, served as Chief Tournament Director. He was assisted by Kristian Jordan, ACF Public Relations Vice President, and Madison City Chess League Tournament Directors Nitin Badhe, Parag Saxena, Guy Calinsky, Chris Hayes and Puja Chopade.

Xavier Bruni from Discovery Middle School won the Junior High Championship. Kylie Zou from Horizon Elementary School (whose score tied for first place with two other students) was declared Co-Champion in the Elementary Championship. Kylie was last year’s Primary Champion.

“It was a clean sweep as MCCL members captured every award in the Primary Championship section, the highest rated section for students in grades K-3,” MCCL Executive Director Ranae Bartlett said.

“Esteban Jerez won the Primary Championship this year, continuing the rich tradition we have growing young chess players. The win was energized through our All Star Chess Club program for second- and third-graders,” Bartlett said.

Winners for the 2022 State Primary included Esteban Jerez from Horizon Elementary School in first place, followed by Esinam Tettey in second, Isaac Kreusser in third, Annabelle Hsu, fourth and Alice Zou, fifth.

Through the years, Madison frequently has had State Primary Winners: 2021 – Kylie Zou, Horizon; 2020 – Canceled due to COVID-19; 2019 – Laya Gowder, Heritage Elementary School; 2018 – Aadi Saxena, Heritage; 2017 – Xavier Bruni, Rainbow Elementary School; 2016 – Geon Park. Rainbow; 2010 – Chen Zou; 2007 – Elora Holland; 2004, 2005 – Dennis Dergunov.

State Representatives Mac McCutcheon and Mike Ball sponsored the event.

MCCL organized the tournament and provided lunch for tournament directors and volunteer coaches. Scott Wilhelm was event photographer.

Madison players exceeded all expectations with their skills (these lists start with first place and then descending order):

* Under 300 division — Arush Batchu, Varun Raval, Tyler Pysh, Jagger Salisbury, Hannah Kuang and tie for fifth place with Seth Fleming, Joanna He and Lucas He.

* Elementary Championship Winners – Three co-champions tied. Applying tie-break rules, trophy winners were Shawn Choi, Sai Kesireddy and Kylie Zou. Followed by Sophia Jerez, Leon Zeng and Ryan Wu.

* Elementary Under 500 Winners — Viraat Satkuri, Margaret Lin, Rhyan Quansah, Shaun McGrath, Will He and fifth-place medals to Abigail Barbre and Tiegan Eastman.

* Junior High Championship Winners — Xavier Bruni in first place and declared Junior High State Champion. Abhiraj Sarkar, Samuel Baskarraj, Bishop Herrington and Danny Seewald. Tied for medals were Eddie Xiao and Indigo Daniels.

* Junior High Under 1000 Winners — Mokun Ojesina, Whitney Wadsworth, Caroline Wang, Nathan Chiu and Anna Ai. Tied for medals were Sarah Peter, Isabelle Park and James Cairns.

* High School Championship Winners — Zachary Snow, Sherwood Dong, Will Fox, Victor Lundy and Steven Pan. Tied for medals were Jonah Tuttle, Joel Friedman, Atindrah Harishankar, Kapil Nathan and Constance Wang.

* High School Under 1300 Winners — Wilson Engeriser, Edward Calinsky, Emily Jiang, Michael Kennedy and Kennedy Gore.

Bill Melvin, ACF Secretary and eight-time State Chess Champion, helped in presenting award trophies and medals.

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