January Tournament Roundup by Bill Feldman


De La Salle Institute of Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood hosted the third CCF tournament of the 2017-2018 school year, attracting 393 players January 13. 

This was the third-largest CCF / YCFC event in the combined 20-plus year history — and represented 29 players more than the December 2016 De La Salle tournament held in even colder bone-chilling weather!


Be careful what you wish for:  with around 235 players pre-registered, over 150 additional entrants showed up at the southside high school without advance registration. Attempting to accommodate all the coaches and players resulted in a first-round delay of over an hour. If parents and coaches adhere to the long-standing guidelines going forward, it allows tournament organizers to appropriately allocate playing space, skittles areas, equipment and board numbering, awards, floor directing personnel and lunch deliveries.


There are a lot of moving parts to make such tournaments happen, and the door demand far exceeded the usual slack allocation.


In paid tournaments, a higher “late entry” fee encourages early sign-up. At a free tournament — such as sponsored by CCF — that financial incentive disappears. So everyone’s cooperation is key!


Interestingly one-third of the total entries came from just five schools – and when one or more of those programs fail to register in advance it can impact the entire tournament – and the estimated one thousand people in attendance.


As a result of the late first round start, it was determined that only four rounds would be played in lieu of the traditional five.


How to prevent this going forward?  Register through your school/team coordinator, and coordinators should provide updated rosters and attendance estimates two days prior to the event (Thursday). Individual entries should also register at least two days prior to the event using the designated process. Ideally, players should arrive no later than 9:30 am to be paired for the first round at 10 am.


With the public service announcement fulfilled, congratulations to Skinner North for once again winning three of the five team championships: Novice K-2, Novice 5-6, and Advanced.


Jack Heller was perfect in the Advanced, contributing four points to the Skinner North total. Points from Nathan Liu and Finn Buda were also needed to edge Bateman 9.0 to 8.5. Bateman was led by Layla Rodriguez and Andrey Novikov (3.0’s) with Jimmy Nguyen or Kevin Cordoba contributing a 2.5 (Advanced uses top three scores, Novice sections use four players).


Dimitri Deligiannis and William Wang both posted 3.5’s to tie for second place with Dimitri earning the higher tiebreak to claim the second place trophy. In the third round, Edgebrook’s William had Beaubien’s Dimitri on the ropes and was up a rook before Dimitri fought back with a pair of advancing passed pawns. Result: a fascinating draw.


Lenart’s Journey Jackson won the top tiebreak of the eight-player 3.0 score group, all tying for fourth place. Journey demonstrated amazing endgame technique in his second-round victory over Andrey who won his other three games. Also finishing with 3.0’s were Jason Shi, Layla Rodriguez, Will Ruszkowski, Anshul Shetty, Gunn Kim and Nathan Liu


45 players and 10 multi-player teams competed in the Advanced.


In the Novice K-2 section, Skinner North edged Fox Valley Chess Club 12.5 – 12.0 with four points in the final round from its top four (versus only 2.0 from the Fox Valley quartet).


Beaubien and Burbank both posted 9.5’s to tie for third place.


Five players had perfect four-ohs including Gabriel Jael, Eric Batmunkh, Andrew Xie, Kevin Shi and Andrew Garcia.


Bateman’s Gabriel earned the top tiebreak to claim the first place trophy.


Andrew was Skinner North’s leader with his four-for-four effort.


All five Fox Valley K-2 entrants finished with 3.0’s out of four: Mehak Jiandani, Mahanth Sivakumar, Suld Munkbayar, Yash Jain and Aiden O’Dell.


All five tied for sixth place with Temuujin Munkhtur earning the top tiebreak of the 3.0 score group.


In the Novice 3-4 section, Edison returned the favor against Skinner North edging the powerhouse with a 14.5 to 14.0 edge, despite having only six players to Skinner North.


A whopping eight players finished with perfect 4.0’s (out of 132 playing entrants), with Edison’s Sreek Gangavarapu and Brandon Wilken earning the highest tiebreaks for the biggest trophies. Skinner North was paced by 4.0’s from Evan Chui and Matthew


Skinner North compiled 13.0 points in the Novice 5-6 section, a full point-and-a-half ahead of Bateman. North was paced by Simon Baurer and Paul Stiles who were perfect 4-for-4. Also achieving those scores were Oliver Baasandoo, Deep Sahu and Caleb Sun.


Beaubien’s Liam Harvey was also undefeated with three wins and a third-round draw, pacing sixth.


92 played in the 5-6 with 20 multi-player teams in the mix.


In the Novice 7-8 section, Burbank outscored Morgan Park AC, 11.5 to 8.5, ahead of 11 other multi-player teams.


St. Etheldra’s Joshua Vann and PMG’s Kevin Yuvaraj were the lone perfect scores in the section, requiring the fourth-level tiebreak to determine that Joshua would take home the bigger trophy.


Bateman’s Aaron Andino and Burbank’s Angel Nunez drew head-to-head in the third round but were otherwise perfect, tying for third place with 3.5.


Cynthia Martinez and Lennin Bravo contributed 3.0’s to the winning Burbank team score.  Morgan Park was paced by Xavier Freeman who tallied 3.0 as did five others, all tying for fifth place.


48 players comprised the 7-8 competition.


Gallistel (18), Mark Sheridan (17), Edison (16), Beaubien (16) and Waters (16) were joined by Decatur (15), Calmeca (13), Lenart (12), Fox Valley (12), and St. Ethelreda (11).


Thanks to all the volunteers who served on the playing floor and to De La Salle’s George Dzuricsko for once again serving as an amazing host.


CCF’s next tournament will be February 10 at Rickover Naval Academy on the far north side. Rickover shares a venerable facility with historic Senn High School — and although turnouts for that event are generally large, parking is a challenge — so be forewarned. And once again, please be kind to all — and sign up early!
Many regular volunteers will be down in Peoria that weekend for the IHSA high school state championships so if you haven’t yet offered to help out at a CCF event, this could be your chance!  Volunteer coordinator Nicole Heller will be happy to hear from you! 

Publisher’s Note: Full results are posted, here.