Elementary Nationals--In Pictures!

05.16.07 As promised and thanks to our crack reporter on the scene, Dan Fishbein, we bring you images from the 2007 National Elementary Championship recently concluded in Nashville, Tennessee. Win, lose or draw, it was a great experience for our young Maine players. Does chess have a positive impact on kids? Consider this: A few hundred parents were allowed into a viewing area in the playing hall after the first 30 minutes of each round. At one point, a Tournament Director made the following announcement: (one that may only be possible in the chess world) "The children are complaining that the parents are making too much noise."

The Convention Center inside the massive Gaylord Opryland Resort Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee, the site of the 2007 Elementary Nationals. With nearly 3,000 rooms, the hotel is the largest non-casino hotel in the United States.

Thanks (again) to Dan Fishbein for contributing to this report.

Official site of the 2007 National Burt Lerner Elementary (K-6) Championship

Links to Final Results

K-6 Championship

K-5 Championship

K-3 Championship

K-1 Championship

K-6 U1000

K-5 U900

K-3 U800

K-6 Unrated

K-3 Unrated

Chess as far as the eye can see! This photo captures only about half of the venue.
All but the K-1 players in this 2,100 person tournament played their rounds simultaneously
in this room, the Ryman Exhibit Hall.

Connor Morey of Deer Isle-Stonington gets ready for his 6th round game, a game he won
vs Nia Hightower of Detroit.

Matthew Fishbein of Cape Elizabeth (left) prepares to play the North Carolina K-3 State Champion, Aaron Balleison in the 5th round. Matthew won this game to score 4 points in the first five rounds.

Sam Grindle of Deer Isle-Stonington (right) prepares to play Round 4 against Mike Rotondo,
of New York. This game ended 0-1.

The highest scoring Maine player in the K-5 U900 section, Matthew Reale-Hatem of Cape Elizabeth prepares to defeat Tiffany Lawrence of New York in Round 5.

Deer-Isle Stonington and Cape Elizabeth players and parents hanging out between

A forest of trophies awaits before the awards ceremony.

Matthew Fishbein holding his K-3 Championship section 17th place trophy with USCF
Scholastic Director Jerry Nash.

Sam Grindle poses with his 18th place K-6 U1000 trophy with USCF Scholastic Director
Jerry Nash.

Deer Isle-Stonington celebrates their K-6 U1000 16th place trophy win on stage.
The Mainers on stage and in the audience cheered so loudly it paused the entire
awards ceremony! (There were over 2,000 people in the audience, by the way.)

Matthew Fishbein and a new friend from Horace Mann School in New York with
Bruce Pandolfini, legendary chess educator, author and coach of Josh Waitzkin.
Bruce was very interested in learning more about ChessMaine.net!

Matthew Fishbein with Josh Waitzkin of "Searching For Bobby Fischer" fame, who signed
his new book "The Art of Learning" (and Matthew's board!)

Back in the day: Josh with his first chess coach, Bruce Pandolfini.

The interior of one of the three huge atriums at the Opryland Resort. More than ten
acres of "outside" under glass.

The Opryland Resort featured rivers, waterfalls and tropical vegetation inside the
massive atriums. Opryland will be the site of the next Super Nationals in 2009. The Super Nationals are a combination of the Elementary, Junior High and High School tournaments all under one roof. One estimate was that more than 5,000 players are predicted to attend!

Image of Bruce Pandolfini and Josh Waitzkin courtesy of joshwaitzkin.com


What a wonderful experience for all involved.....children, parents, and grandparents....of which I was one.

Thanks to Dan Fishbein for such a wonderful collection of memories for the boys from Maine.

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