Rochester Students Make Their Mark at National Chess Tournament

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 ( ) or with this link: Photos may be found on the Rochester Chess website

Century Chess Club Pushes Hard at State

The Century chess club gave it all they had in the 2012 Minnesota State Chess Association state tournment but just fell short in the final round of attaining a trophy. Century settled for sixth place of 18 teams after going into the round in fifth place.

Participating at state were Michael Ekker, Enoc Tan, Gregory Nathan, Henry Newschutz, Ted Woolner, and Rory Li. The team had a total of 12 points 0.5 points behind the fifth place Rochester Lourdes team.

See more photos at the Century Chess article.