K-8 State Championship Tournament Roundup

Author:Bill Feldman.
Chicago was well-represented at the 2018 Illinois K-8 State Championships completed March 11 in suburban Schaumburg, winning 29 of the 142 individual trophies and 8 of the 40 team trophies.


Chicagoans won or tied for first in three of the four individual sections.


739 Illinois players participated in the Championships — making this the largest Illinois K8 field since over 800 participated in the 2002 event.


The event was organized by Glenn Panner’s Chess Weekend organization on behalf of the Illinois Chess Association. Panner generously provided entries to over seven dozen Chicago Chess Foundation participants who otherwise might have skipped the prestigious state championship.
The community should appreciate the hard work — and at times amiable arm-twisting — from CCF’s Jerry Neugarten to make the expanded Chicago attendance happen, bringing together help from both Chess Weekend and US Chess as well as other community support to make for a great experience for the kids.


As a second grader, Yuvraj Chennareddy played up in the highest Grades 6-8 section, and he tied for first place, receiving the second place trophy on tiebreaks. (Congratulations to Benjamin Chen of Daniel Wright Junior High School in Lincolnshire for also posting a 6.5/7 score).


Aria Hoesley of Whitney Young was one of five players with 6.0 tallies, nabbing the top tiebreak to take home the third place trophy. Aria also won the blitz competition held the night before the main event began.


Skinner North’s Jack Heller (10th) and Leon Cao (15th), University of Chicago Lab School’s Adam Pastor (13th), and British School of Chicago’s Junliang Liu (14th), were each a half-point back at 5.5, tying for 8th place (respective trophy size based on tiebreaks shown in parentheses).


For players rated 600-799 before the tournament, Sreekar Gangavarapu of Edison posted a 4.5 to earn the highest award for that group.


Liam Harvey of Beaubien earned the 2nd place award for entrants with ratings Under 600.

Decatur Classical’s Avi Kaplan — who also won the Puzzle Contest with 19/20 — was the lone perfect score in the Grades 4-5 section. Dimitrios Deligiannis of Beaubien (5th) tied for third place with a 6.0 score. A half-point back from him was David Chen (7th) of Edison, as was Krish Khanna (14th) of U of C Lab School.


Skinner North’s Matthew Chang (21st) and Bateman’s Andrey Novikov (23rd) tied for 15th place with 5.0/7 scores.


Matthew’s Skinner North teammate Noah Shankman earned the top trophy for players rated Under 500.


Decatur’s Ethan Ding had the top score and tiebreak for Fourth Graders not winning a top 25 trophy, with 5.0.


Grades 2-3 competition saw four Chicago players in the top 25: Anthony Tsyganov (7th) of Bell and Andy Cao (9th) of Skinner North both posted 6.0’s to tie for third place.


Abhi Majumdar of Chicago’s British School nabbed 10th place honors with a 5.5, tying with four others, but generating the highest tiebreak.


Christopher Sakaliyski of Edison tied for 15th with his 5.0 score, earning the 23rd place trophy on tiebreaks.


For players rated 600-799 in the section, Skinner North’s Siddharth Mukesh took the second place trophy thanks to his 5.0 score.


Among third graders not winning a higher trophy, Keller’s Justin Zhang took high honors and Decatur’s Siri Chennareddy took second place, both with 5.0’s.


While Grades K-1 may seem young, the strong field demonstrated skill well beyond “beginner” status.


Ryan Zhang of Chicago’s Latin School won the section with the lone 7-for-7 perfect score. Alex Oseledets of Skinner North tied for second (3rd) with a 6.0/7 tally. Tying for 20th place was Peter Carr of Beaubien with a 4.5 (24th).


For K-1’s rated Under 300, Aaditya Khanna of U of C Lab School posted 4.5 for top honors in that ratings group.


Leo Hartstein’s 4.0 was sufficient for the Skinner North kindergartner to earn the top trophy for his grade level.


From the team perspective, Skinner North won three: 5th in K-1, 6th in Grades 2-3, and 3rd in Grades 4-5.  Skinner North also won eight individual trophies — the most of any school in the tournament (tied with Avery Coonley of Downers Grove and Colene Hoose of Normal).


Decatur won two team trophies — and four individual awards — claiming top honors in Grades 4-5 and 5th in Grades 2-3.


Beaubien also won dual team awards — 6th in Grades 4-5 and 10th in K-1.


University of Chicago Lab School was the other Chicago-based team trophy winner, claiming fourth place in Grades 6-8.


Congratulations to all the Windy City participants, along with their parents and coaches