Scholastic Individuals State Championship Tournament Report

03.28.12 Seventy-four scholastic chess players gathered at the University of Maine Memorial Union on March 17th to duel for individual honors in K-3, K-6, K-8, and K-12 championship and Under 1200 sections. The hard-fought games often went down to the last moment of the allotted time, and saw both interesting and surprising results.

The Maine Scholastic Individuals State Chess Championship took place on March 17th, 2012 at the University of Maine in Orono. Photo courtesy of Steve Abrahams. To view Steve's photographic impressions of this event please click here.

Thanks to Ron Lewis and Steve Abrahams for contributing to this report.

USCF crosstable of the K-3 Championship Section

USCF crosstable of the K-6 Championship Section

USCF crosstable of the K-8 Championship Section

USCF crosstable of the High School Championship and U1200 Sections

To view Steve Abrahams's photographic impressions of this event please click here.

Winners of the K-6, K-8 and K-12 championship sections become the 2010 State Elementary, Junior High and High School Champions. Trophies are awarded to the top three finishers in each section. In cases of ties, the top players become co-champions or share that tied position, and the awarding of trophies is done based on how well the players score in the early rounds and/or how well their opponents do. Younger players may play higher than their current grade level in the Individuals, as skill and rating levels are more important than age.

In the K-3 section, Vetri Vel of Veazi Community School scored a perfect 4.0 (four wins, no losses) to take top honors. Second place went to Ross Stewart of Deer Isle-Stonington (DIS). Tied for third were Cole Stewart and Rylee Eaton of DIS. On tie-breaks, the third place trophy went to Cole Stewart.

In the K-6 section, Michael Hayden of All Saints in Bangor scored a perfect four points and is the 2010 Maine Elementary School champion. Soozin Cha of DIS scored 3.5 points and took second. Three players tied with 3.0 scores for third place: Eric Youth (Breakwater), Nicholas Kawamura (Veazie), and Brendan Penfold (DIS). On tie-breaks, Eric took home the third place hardware.

In the K-8 Junior High section, Matthew Fishbein of Cape Elizabeth posted four straight wins to become the Maine Junior High Champion. Matthew, one of the highest rated players in the State, again qualified as the Maine representative to the Barber National Tournament for Junior High players. In second place, five players tied with three points. These were Ian Youth (Breakwater), Krisford Melanio (DIS), Conor Thompson (Bangor), Bethany Humphrey (DIS), and Cameron Wendell (DIS). In awarding the second and third place trophies on tie-breaks, second went to Ian, and third to Krisford.

In the K-12 Under 1200 section (referring to the players' US Chess Federation ratings), entrants from George Stevens Academy (GSA) featured prominently. First place was a tie between GSA players Jinran Tian and Kaiyue Zhou, receiving the first and second place trophies, respectively. Third place was a tie between Matthew Spear (John Bapst) and Tianjian Yuan (GSA). On tie breaks, the third place trophy went to Matthew.

In the K-12 High School Championship section, hard-fought games were the rule and several went down to the last few seconds on the clock. Five players entered the final round with scores of 2.5 each. When the dust settled, ratings proved to be an indicator of performance. Tied with 3.5 points each were top seeds * and Bret Parker, both of Cape Elizabeth and who share the title of Maine State High School Champion for the year. On tie breaks, * took the first place trophy and became eligible for the National Denker Tournament of High School Champions. In a clear third-place finish, Gianluca Pane of Mt. Blue High School and the former K-6 champion of 2005-06 scored three wins to one loss.

In the Sidekick quads event held for adults and proceeds benefitting scholastic chess through the Maine Association of Chess Coaches, ten players competed, setting up one Quad section and a second, Swiss section with six players. For the second year in a row, UMO student Max Berube scored a perfect 3-0 in Quad 1 that saw him upset two higher rated players. In the second section Alba Briggs and Ryan Tripp tied with two wins each. The Sidekick event was led and directed by Maine Chess Association president Andy Bryan.

The Leader for the Individuals Tournament was Ron Lewis. Andy Bryan coordinated trophies for the event. Tournament Directors, organized by the Maine Chess Association, were Dan DeLuca for the K-3 and K-6, Philip Lowell for the K-8, and Steve Abrahams for the two K-12 sections. Kathy Richards serves as Treasurer for the Maine Association of Chess Coaches. For more detail and pictures of the events, log on-line to Thanks to the parents and coaches for their support, and thanks to the University of Maine for again hosting this event.

Winners in the high school championship section (left to right): Brett Parker (equal first), * (equal first) and Gianluca Pane (third)

* (left) plays Paul Rudnicki in the high school championship section.

William Bonney

Paul Rudnicki finished equal fourth tied with William Bonney

Clear third went to Gianluca Pane with 3.0 points

This third round game between Brett Parker (left) and Paul Rudnicki ended in a draw after a triple repeat of postion claim by Parker which Rudnicki agreed to.

Wesley Parker

Josh Audibert scored 2.0 points and tied with...

George Spahn

Jiawai Zou

Ezra Briggs

The only female player in the high school championship section: Haley DeLuca Lowell

Matthew Clark

Action in the high school championship section

Tied for first in the high school U1200 section: Kaiyue Zhou and...

Jinran Tian

Winners in the high school U1200 section (left to right): Matthew Spear (equal third), Tianjian Yuan (equal third), Jinran Tian (equal first) and Kaiyue Zhou (equal first).

Tianjian Yuan

Matthew Spear

Isaiah Fallon

Jiajun Chen

Cameron Bowie

Zach Hamilton

Yihan Chen

Josh Burleigh

Derek Hoyt

Devon Oppedisano

Matthew Fishbein blanked his opponents 4-0 to take first in the K-8 championship section. This was as expected as he was 895 rating points higher than his closest competitor. Fishbein will represent Maine at the Barber National Junior High School Championship.

How sweet it is! Matthew Fishbein with his first place trophy.

Five players scored 3.0 points and tied for second in the K-8 championship section: Ian Youth

Cameron Wendell

Bethany Humphrey

Krisford Melanio...

and Connor Thompson.

Isaac Vaughn

Aidan Coyne

Nathan Thompson

Alex Fergusson

Sean McAvoy

Kyle Blum

Austin Witham

Joseph Powell

Reid Rauch

Adam Farrington

Hui Kennedy

Riley Coleman

The K-8 championship section

First in the K-6 championship section with a perfect 4.0 points in four games: Michael Hayden

This last round game between Michael Hayden (left) and Eric Youth clinched the tournament win for Hayden.

SooZin Cha took clear second with 3.5 points.

Nicholas Kawamura scored 3.0 points and tied for third with...

Brendan Penfold and...

Eric Youth

Stuart MacKay

Orly Vaughn

Catherine Rudnicki

Zachary Grindal

Eric Youth (left) plays Nicholas Kawamura in the K-6 championship section

Eli Spahn

Duncan Bradshaw

The K-6 championship section

Vetri Vel surprised the field scoring 4.0 points. He received a full point bye in the first round as he was the lowest(!) rated player in the section.

Three players tied for second place in the K-3 championship section: Rylee Eaton

Cole Stewart and...

Ross Stewart

Last year's winner Itai Boss scored 2.0 points to tie for fifth place.

Oliver Brown

William Xu

Atticus Foster

Cyrus Grindal

Tommaso Wheeler

In addition to the scholastic events there was a ten-player adult tournament in two sections dubbed the Sidekick Quads. Section one was won by Max Berube.

Just off the lead in section one: Jon Dearing

Aaron Spencer

Tom Sandford

Atop section two: Ryan Tripp and...

Alba Briggs

Randall Fitzpatrick

Dan Fishbein (aka Matthew Fishbein's dad)

Ed Rudnicki (aka Paul and Catherine's dad)

The driving force behind the spring scholastic chess championships: Maine Association of Chess Coaches President Ron Lewis

Just a small patch of snow was all that was left of winter on the day of the tournament--March 17th.

This robin assured us that spring was close at hand.

Keep on playing and we hope to see you all back next year!

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