Scholastic Chess in Spokane

Spokane Chess Club (reports on Facebook)
Excitement at March Madness Tournament

The March Madness scholastic chess tournament finished with an exciting battle on the top board in K-7. Alex Popescu had won all four previous games, and was playing Shawn Lewis who had lost one game in an early round. A crowd gathered as Shawn nursed his initiative in a position with equal material, including opposite colored bishops, and had a bit over two minutes to just over one for Alex. The players maneuvered quickly, looking for tactics, and a few pawns were exchanged. Alex tried to trade queens, while Shawn kept up checks and threats against the remaining pawns. Shawn had five seconds left when Alex reached zero and Shawn claimed victory. That left third-grader Alex in a tie for first with Shawn and Shohom Bandyopadhyay (4.0 each). Alex, by playing up, was not eligible for first place in his grade, but placed second overall in his section. Shawn took home the Grand Champion trophy and Shohom was first place in fifth grade. One-half point behind the leaders were the top seventh grader, Trevor Murphy, and another third-grader, Tariq Ravasia. Ray Johnson, Reo Reyes, Ethan Wu, Merrick Bonar, and top fourth-grader, A.J. Stenbeck finished with 3.0.

In the K-3 section, James Gunn won all five games and took home his third Grand Champion trophy for the 2012-2013 school year. Second place went to the top second-grader, Seth Arthurs, with 4.0, losing only to James. Andre Vivier was third with 3.5 and won the trophy for top third-grader. They were followed by Jack Morris, Isabella Rigutto, Ryan Eaton, Gabe Gustafson, and top first-grader, Sam Morris. Isabella won biggest upset, due to her win over a player rated 127 points above her.

In K-12, four played shared first and split the prizes for first through third, taking home $40 each. They were David Blue, Jacob Gray, Kevin Eaton, and Levi Goris. Tristan Udby won a book for his position in fifth place (3.5). At 3.0, Matt Mackinney and Steven Walton each won $30 for biggest upset and best unrated, respectively.

Saint George’s School won the team trophy in K-6 with 17 points for the top five players. Medals were awarded to Northwest Christian and Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy for each scoring a 9.5 with teams of three in K-12. This was the first event in several years with three viable mini-teams in the HS/MS section.