Found on Facebook for an event held Nov 19, 2016. Written by the TD James Stripes
Explosive Growth Evident
Youth chess in Spokane appears to be growing rapidly, judging by the turn-out at the Pilgrim’s Progress scholastic tournament at Saint George’s School, November 19. There were 83 students in grades K-8 representing 24 schools. The size of the event proved challenging to organizers who were set up for 64 players, and they rose to the challenge.
It was the largest event, aside from two state tournaments, since 2009. Youth tournaments typically drew 90 players in 2008-2009, but the largest youth tournament in the area in subsequent years had 77 participants. Most events in recent years have drawn in 40-50 players with an occasional event having as few as 30 or as many as 60.
The 22 player K-2 section had four kindergartners, the largest number of very young students in several years. Hattie Condon topped players in this grade with 2.5/5. Notably, all kindergarten players had earned points–the bottom two managed three and two draws, respectively. Hattie’s success included wins against one of the other kindergarten students and a second grader. The other K-2 section winners were Tiernan Waggoner (4.5 points), first overall; Creighton Condon (4.0), second place; Adrian Rooney (4.0), third place; Zihan Wang (3.5), first in grade 2; Clayton Ebat (3.0), first in grade 1; and Matthew Hou, upset prize.
There were 27 players in grades 3-4. One elected to play up in the K-12 section, leaving 26 players in K-4. Arnav Wadikar (4.5) took home the trophy for first place in the section. Three players were a half point behind. Cole Knapton (4.0) held Arnav to a draw and won the second place trophy on tiebreaks over Paul Michael Leaver, third place, and Ben Barrett, first in grade 3. Tom Albrecht had the strongest tie-breaks among the seven players who finished with 3.5, earning first in grade 4. Per Sande (3.5) won the upset medal, while the others with 3.5 all took home medals: Colby Jessup, Olivia Hilton, Mike Mitchell, Colton Thomas, and Zane Bergsma.
Varun Ambalavanan scored a perfect 5.0 to win top honors in the K-12, or championship section. there were 35 students in this section. Five players finished with 4.0: Connor Gosselin-Harris, second overall; Liam Reeves, third overall; Mia Sponseller, top seventh grader; Aniketh Parlapalli, top fifth grader; and Alexander Nicolazzo, who earned a chess book. Also taking home prizes in that section were Noah Kuhn (3.5), book; Eli Mounts (3.5), book; Quincy Hofer, top grade 8; Dylan Boyle, top grade 6; and Ira Morelli, upset medal.
The Odyssey Program at Libby won their second team trophy in two events with 16.5 points earned by their top four. Cataldo and Saint George’s shared honors for second place with 14.0 each.
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