Rochester Students Make Their Mark at National Chess Tournament
By Chuck Handlon
Rochester area students took advantage of a unique opportunity to participate in the United States Chess Federation (USCF) national senior scholastic tournament which was held in Minneapolis this weekend (April 13-15). Over twenty students from sixth to twelfth grades joined a thousand players from across the country at the Minneapolis Hyatt. The tournament consisted of seven rounds of play with game time controls of 120 minutes. Some games lasted close to four hours a round.
Players competed in divisions based on each player’s USCF rating. The majority of the Rochester players were in the K-12 division of under 1200 rating. Each player received one point for a win and one half point for a draw. Team scores were determined by the aggregate of the top four players from one school. Some divisions such as the under 1200 had over 300 players representing more than 60 teams.
When the final awards were presented it was clear that Rochester players had left an impression on the national level. Peter Hansel (7th grade Friedell MS) placed first in his class of 1400-1499 in the championship division. In the under 1200 division the top Rochester finisher was Richard Huang (6th grade Kellogg MS) who placed 19th. In the same division placing in a tie for 30th (top 10 %) were Ben Jensen (9th grade John Marshall HS), Mikael Paulik (Lourdes HS), and Cheenar Banerjee and Gregory Nathan both 11th graders from Century HS.
In the under 1200 team standings Century HS achieved 19 points which placed them in a tie for 5th/6th place out of 63 teams. This was the highest finish of a Minnesota school in a rated division. Other Century team members were senior Henry Newshutz, juniors Enoch Tan and Michael Ekker, sophomore Rory Li and freshmen Ethan Kub and Ted Woolner.
Results may be found on the USCF website (www.uschess.org ) or with this link: http://www.alchess.com/chess/12/hs/?page=WINNERS&xsection=U1200 Photos may be found on the Rochester Chess website http://rochesterchess.com/