Press Release for 2012 Chess State Tournament
by Chuck Handlon secretary Rochester Area Scolastic Chess League
Every March like clockwork come the signs of spring like daffodils and “March Madness”. Spring also brings the annual Minnesota State Chess Association tournament. Like the other inevitable signs of spring, a number of Rochester chess players attend the tournament with some success. The tournament is open to any scholastic chess player and consists of six rounds of chess matches held on one weekend. Players compete at four levels, Primary (K-3), Elementary (K-6), Junior (K-9) and Senior (K-12). All players must have a United States Chess Federation membership and most have a USCF “rating”.
Games vary in length of time total allotted each player for their moves. Early rounds are Game 60 minutes while the two rounds on Sunday are Game 90. If each player utilizes most of the time allotted games may last up to three hours. The experience is exhausting yet exciting for players at all levels.
Players are given one point for a win and one half point for a draw. A school team score is determined by the total number of points for the team’s top four players although schools may field any number of players for the tournament. Individual trophies as well as team trophies are awarded.
Richard Huang (6th grade Kellogg) placed 8th of 65 players in the K-6 group. In the K-9 group Ben Jensen (9th grade John Marshall) was the top ninth grader. Man Luong (8th John Adams) placed 16th overall of 81 competitors in that division. Peter Hansel (7th Friedell) placed 10th. Nhi Huynh (7th John Adams) went undefeated with four wins and two draws for 5 of 6 possible points. She earned fourth place overall and the top K-9 female player honors.
Nhi and Man’s success helped propel John Adams to a fourth place finish of 11 teams in the Junior High section. Other John Adams team members were 8th graders Josh and Darren Anes Dy Quiangco and Ammar Alajmi. In the Senior High division Rochester Lourdes High School (George Berg, Daniel Freiburger, Alex Gowan-Nuehring and Mikael Paulik) took fifth place of 18 teams while Century High School finished sixth.
The state tournament usually completes the scholastic chess season. However, this spring it will be extended by the United States Chess Federation Senior National Tournament held April 13-15 in Minneapolis. The tournament is open to any K-12 USCF chess player. It has been three years since the USCF Junior National Tournament was held in Minneapolis and over ten years since the Senior Nationals made their appearance here. Rochester players are excited to have the opportunity to participate in the “Big Dance” on the National stage and hope for further success.