Maine Scholastic Individual Championship Tournament Report

03.30.08 Ninety-six players competed in the Maine Scholastic Individual Championship on March 29, 2008 at the University of Maine, Orono. Regarded as the elite scholastic tournament of the year, the "Individual States" decided state champions in five sections: High School Championship, High School Reserve, Junior High School Championship, Elementary (K-6) Championship and Primary (K-3) Championship. Games and USCF Crosstables are coming soon. We hope you enjoy this richly illustrated tournament report with video impressions.

Memorial Union at the University of Maine, Orono was once again the venue for the Maine Scholastic Individual Championship Tournament that took place on Saturday, March 29, 2008.

Thanks to Lee Doucette, Phil Lowell, Alba Briggs, Ron Lewis, Kathy Richards and Andy Bryan for contributing to this report.

Sidekick Quad Crosstables

K-3 and K-6 Crosstables

High School Championship, High School Reserve and Junior High School Championship Crosstables

Games from this event are coming soon and will be posted on the Games page.

In the High School Championship section, Orono High School student Germaine Kickert took first with a perfect 4.0 points in as many rounds. Plowing through her competition: Keji Xu (1306), Matthew Colson (1383), Aaron Spencer (1643) and finally Fritz Eyerer (1700), Kickert became the first female player to capture the Maine High School Individual Championship since Emily Giambalvo in 1988.

A cluster of six players all scoring 3.0 points trailed Kickert and tied for second place: Fritz Eyerer (John Bapst High School), Lucas McCain (Yarmouth Academy), Aaron Spencer (John Bapst High School), Alba (Hoty) Briggs IV (Maranatha Home School Fellowship, Lubec), Margaret Bryan (John Bapst High School) and Andrew Audibert (Bangor High School).

Ryan Vienneau (Orono High School) scored 3.5 points and took first in the High School Reserve (U1200) section. Vienneau began with a draw vs. Ben Morgan (Westbrook High School) then won three in a row from Omar Khan (John Bapst High School), Kurt Eyerer (John Bapst High School) and Orono High School teammate Nikolai Renedo. Renedo tied for second scoring 3.0 points with Ben Morgan, Andrew Seavey and Samuel Touchett.

Besides Kickert in the High School Championship section, the only other player to go unbeaten and untied through four rounds was Cape Elizabeth's * in the Junior High School section. Ranked 14th out of the 21 players in his section and with a USCF rating of 575, * surprised the field with his strong, consistent chess. Former K-6 Individual State Champion Gianluca Pane scored 3.5 points to take clear second and four players tied for third with 3.0 points: Paul Rudnicki, Matthew Colson, Matthew Fishbein and Jiawei Zou.

A three-way tie for first in the K-6 section provided delighted spectators with many edge-of-the-seat games. Andrew Turner (Deer Isle - Stonington), Wesley Parker (Cape Elizabeth) and Zachary Hamilton (Glenburn) all scored 3.5 points to share the title. This leading group was followed by three players with 3.0 points: Matthew Reale-Hatem (Cape Elizabeth), Haley DeLuca Lowell (Airline School) and John Kenneway (Old Town).

The K-3 section was won by yet another female player. Bethany Humphrey (Deer Isle - Stonington) scored 3.5 points to take clear first. Tied for second with 3.0 points were George Payne and Eli Spahn (Palermo).

Alongside the scholastic tournaments the Fourth Annual Sidekick Quads to raise money for Maine Scholastic Chess were contested. In Quad 1 a three-way tie for first ensued between Roger Morin, Tom Sandford and Ben Johnson. Quad 2 saw a clear winner in Daniel Fishbein and Steven Giangiordano won Quad 3.

The scholastic tournaments were directed by Lee Doucette and Phil Lowell and were organized by Ron Lewis and Kathy Richards. The Sidekick Quads were organized and directed by Alba Briggs. Special thanks to the Maine Association of Chess Coaches, the University of Maine, Orono, coaches, parents and of course players.

Video Impressions

For all the marbles: The last-round game between Germaine Kickert and Fritz Eyerer draws a crowd.

Kickert about to play 1. Qxd5 to go up a piece.

Some moves later after Kickert queened her a-pawn Eyerer extends his hand.

In the true spirit of sportsmanship the two players discuss the game after its conclusion.

A key game in the High School Championship section was this one between Lucas McCain (left) and Fritz Eyerer. Eyerer managed to win this one and the two players shared second place in the High School Championship section.

Aaron Spencer plays the Caro-Kann Defence in his third round game vs. Germaine Kickert. Spencer also shared second place with...

Hoty Briggs

Margaret Bryan and...

Andrew Audibert.

Matthew Colson was in the next tier scoring 2.0 points.

Orono High School's Gabe Borland

Collin Ciomei (Deer Isle - Stonington)

Trey Russell

Keji Xu (Bangor High School)

Tournament Director Lee Doucette presents the 2008 High School Champion with her trophy.

Winners in the High School Championship section (left to right): Fritz Eyerer (tied for second, second on tiebreeaks), Germaine Kickert (first) and Lucas McCain (tied for second, third on tiebreaks). Also tieing for second place with 3.0 points were: Aaron Spencer, Alba Briggs IV, Margaret Bryan and Andrew Audibert.

Ryan Vienneau won the High School Reserve section with 3.5 points.

Ben Morgan

Nikolai Renedo

Joachin Parent

Kurt Eyerer

Winners in the High School Reserve section from the left Ryan Vienneau (first) and Ben Morgan (tied for second, third on tiebreaks). Nikolai Renedo (tied for second, second on tie breaks) is not pictured. Also tieing for second with 3.0 points were Andrew Seavey and Samuel Touchett.

Junior High School Champion * scored a perfect 4.0 points.

The last-round game in the K-8 section. * (left) managed to get two central connected passed pawns, queen one of them and win this game vs. Paul Rudnicki.

Gianluca Pane took clear second in the Junior High section with 3.5 points.

Four players were tied for third in the Junior High section: Paul Rudnicki,

Matthew Fishbein,

Hayden Ciomei

and Jiawei Zou .

Brian Jones

Robert Freccero

Jacob Starkey

Jessica Chen

Xiaojie Chen

Winners in the Junior High School section (left to right): Hayden Ciomei (tied for third, fifth on tiebreaks), * (first), Paul Rudnicki (tied for third, third on tie breaks), Gianluca Pane (second), Matthew Fishbein (tied for third, forth on tie breaks) and Jiawei Zou (tied for third, sixth on tie breaks).

Three players were tied for first in the K-6 section with 3.5 points: Andrew Turner,

Wesley Parker and

Zachary Hamilton.

After all the on-paper tie breaks were exhausted Turner and Parker were still tied. To determine who got the the first and second place trophies the tournament director decided on a five-minute blitz game.

The first game ended in a draw but the second game was decisive for black (Andrew Turner).

Matthew Reale-Hatem scored 3.0 points in the K-6 section to tie for forth with

Haley DeLuca Lowell and

John Kenneway.

The second-round game between Haley DeLuca Lowell and Matthew Reale-Hatem attracted much interest.

Here's what all the fuss was about. White eventually managed to put her king on a3, her rook on the 4th rank and capture black's remaining pawn.

After that white showed nice technique with king and rook vs. king.

George Spahn scored 4.0 in the K-6 team states two weeks previous to this tournament. Here he put up 2.5 points.

Leo Wing

Olympia Serban still unrated but scoring 2.5 points.

Also scoring 2.5 points in the K-6 section: Alessandro Pane

Anna Bryan

Laddy DeLuca Lowell

Colin Smith

Daniel Brett

Andrew Jones

Jackie Winn

Tom Boss

Natalie Smith

Sophia Hallett

Fazeel Hashmi

Winners in the K-6 section (left to right): Wesley Parker (tied for first, second on tiebreaks), Andrew Turner (ftied for first, first on tie breaks) and Zachary Hamilton (tied for first, third on tie breaks).

Bethany Humphrey won the K-3 section with 3.5 points. In her eight outings at the team and individual tournaments she has scored 7.5 points.

George Payne slips out with a draw after white played 1. Qf5 stalemate.

Tied for second in the K-3 section: George Payne

First grader Eli Spahn tied for second and took the third place trophy on tie breaks.

Max DeLuca Lowell tied for forth in the K-3 section with 2.5 points with Caffrey Fielding and

Jeremiah Muzzy-Chaplin.

Owen Mild scored 2.0 points in the K-3 section.

Ritvik Kumaran

Carl Caverly

Winners in the K-3 section (left to right): Bethany Humphrey (first), George Payne (tied for second, second on tie breaks) and Eli Spahn (tied for second, third on tie breaks).

Tieing for first in the in the Sidekick Quad 1 fundraiser with 2.0 points: Roger Morin

Tom Sandford and

Ben Johnson.

Dan Fishbein took first in Quad 2 with 2.5 points.

First in Quad 3: Steven Giangiordano

Charlie Landers plays in Quad 3.

Phil Lowell directed the K-3 and K-6 sections.

Lee Doucette directed the K-8, High School Reserve and High School Championship sections.

Alba Briggs, here speaking with Maine Association of Chess Coaches Treasurer Kathy Richards, directed the Sidekick Quads.

What's everybody watching between rounds?

Sponge Bob of course!

It's March 29th but spring tends to arrive a little late in Maine.

To relax between rounds some folks, like Bangor High School player Keji Xu, right and Veazie coach Cullen Edes, like to play a few games of blitz.

The clocks say 1 minute 30 seconds to 1 minute. This is relaxing?!

That's all folks (courtesy of Westbrook coach Steve Morgan). It's been a great three weeks of scholastic chess--thanks for your support.


Nice report...I never saw you taking that many pictures, Dan; how do you do that?

Incredible coverage Dan! That was lots of fun to read.
The pictures and video are awesome!

Nice write up. I especially enjoyed the spongebob picture. Oh yes, and congratulations to all chess winners. You have made a great accomplishment.

A wonderful experience to see so many young players playing chess. roger morin

Superb coverage Dan, as usual.
Congratulations to all the players; I can't think of a better way for minds to get exercise than playing chess at this level.
A special congratulations to Germaine. What an incredible achievement; to come in to an unfamiliar environment and perform with consistent excellence! Great job.

Thanks again, Dan, for your excellent coverage. Last August, my son, Gabe Borland, urged me to say "yes" to becoming Germaine Kickert's AFS family this year and we are immensely proud and pleased about her success. Congratulations also to all the wonderful players (and their families and coaches) who participated on Saturday. Every one deserves our admiration -- as do you for your inspirational work in weaving chess into Mainers' daily lives.

Stephanie Cotsirilos

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