Madison rules at state chess championship
MADISON – For the first time, Madison teams aced all possible first-place honors in the State Scholastic Chess Championship.
Teams from across Alabama converged on the University of South Alabama in Mobile on March 24 for the tournament.
Bob Jones Blue Team with Michael Guthrie and Will Bao, Hayden Billmann and Josh Lin won every board in all rounds to tally a perfect score. This team was the highest rated in both Club and School divisions.
Bob Jones Red Team included Douglas Zhang, Hugh Mitchell, Julian Olvera and Madison Gore.
For the fourth consecutive year, Discovery won the state team championship in Junior High with Jenson Wilhelm, Victor Lundy, Constance Wang and Edward Calinsky. Close to a trophy, Liberty rated third with Will Fox, Ethan Xu, Shreya Sunil and Wyatt Devine.
Rainbow Red Team with Xavier Bruni, Geon Park, Karsten Wallace and Zachary Calinsky won the Elementary section. Rainbow has claimed a team championship for five straight years. Missing a team trophy by tiebreaks, Rainbow Blue Team included Artem Starenki, Caroline Wang, Rachael Ehrman and Owen Lang.
For the third consecutive year, Rainbow elementary won for Primary (K-3) with Landon Drummond, Andrew Nguyen, Holland Lang, Cameron Edwards and Noah Hsu.
In Club division, Madison City Chess League teams earned second place in Primary Club and Elementary Club. Players were Aadi Saxena, Heritage; Samsara Rajbhandari, Horizon; Joseph Park, Columbia; and Blaise Bruni, Rainbow. MCCL Elementary Club team includes of Andrew Park, Columbia; Pulak Agarwalla, Decatur; Nirvana Rajbhandari, Horizon; and Steven Pan, Madison elementary.
Narrowly missing an award, MCCL Junior High Club team included Mohak Agarwalla, Decatur; Alex Edwards, Bob Jones; and Kennedy Gore, Discovery.
In Individual competition, “The most dominant display of our programs’ strength was evident in Primary where the top four students were Madison students: Aadi Saxena, first place; Xavier Bruni, second; Landon Drummond, third; and Andrew Nguyen, fourth,” MCCL Executive Director Ranae Bartlett said.
Holland Lang, Blaise Bruni and Samsara Rajbhandari performed well. First-grader Blaise defeated two older competitors, rated 400-500 points higher.
Fifth-grader Geon Park is the first Madison student to win Elementary at state.
In Junior High, Liberty’s Om Badhe was declared champion. Trophy winners included Victor Lundy, third, and Constance Wang, fourth, from Discovery.
Bob Jones freshman Josh Lin earned second place in Open.
For more information, visit madisonchess.com/blog/2018-state-chess-champions.