Super Bowl wasn't the only big competition on Sunday.
Earlier that afternoon at the Renaissance Hotel in
Northbrook, 78 chess players young and old battled at
the 50th monthly Knights Quest tournament organized by
the Renaissance Knights Chess Foundation. The Knights
Quest was the original series of monthly Scholastic &
Adult Class Tournaments in Chicago having three
U800 and U1200 for children
and an Open Section for children and adults.
Today the series has
expanded to 4 sections: U600 & U1000 for children and
U1400 and Open for children and adults.
The success of these
tournaments has changed the landscape of scholastic
tournaments in Chicago; more and more organizers have
switched to this format from the traditional grade level
FIDE Master and former 'Illinois State Champion'
Aleksandar Stamnov won the top section of the tournament
with a perfect 4-0 score. Two of his opponents, Paul
Seet and Joey Bikus, won all the rest of their games to
tie for 2nd with a 3-1 score, as did Expert Larry Cohen.
There was a four-way tie for 5th place at 2.5 points:
Howard Cohen, Timothy Zhou, James Demos and Ryan Toepfer.
A field of 22 players took on the challenge of competing
in the top section.
Another 22 players battled in the next section, for
those with ratings under 1400. The competition was so
tough that no one won all of his or her games, but 3
young chess players tied for 1st with 3 wins and a draw
for 3.5 points: Akash Mattu, Josh Power and Miranda Liu.
Three more players scored 3 wins and lost only one game
to one of the top finishers. They tied for 4th with 3
points: Lukasz Tony Zak in his first ever rated chess
tournament, Daniel Sun and Eric Gan.
The third section, for young people with ratings under
1000, had 12 players and the competition was intense.
Avinash Rajendra secured 1st place with a perfect 4-0
score. Samuel Bergman and Anupama Rajendra tied for 2nd
place with 3 points each. There was a big six-way tie
for 4th place at 2 points: Joshua Liu, Adarsh Mattu,
Prateek Dullur, Jacob Zhou, Vishesh Verma and Brody
Finally, the section for young people with ratings under
600 or beginners had 24 enthusiastic players. This
section always has a mix of new young players in their
first or second ever tournament and more experienced
players. Jason Bai won the section with a perfect 4-0
score. Dylan Cotter earned 2nd place with 3 wins and a
draw for 3.5 points. Five more players tied for 3rd
place with 3 points: Saivikas Gundam, Frederic Fosco,
Brandon Smithson, Owen Power and Ethan Shifrin.
Congratulations to all the winners! We also congratulate
everyone who bravely competed in such a challenging
tournament. At Knights Quest events, every young player
who doesn't win a trophy for the top 5 places receives a
medal in recognition of the achievement of coming out to
compete, playing hard, and having fun!.
The next big event 'Renaissance Knights' will hold is
the Greater Chicago Scholastic K-12 Championships, in
partnership with 'The Kasporov Chess Foundation'. This
unique tournament is coming to Chicago for the first
time; it is similar to “The Greater New York Scholastic
Chess Championships!”America’s longest-running rated
scholastic chess tournament. Last weekend's
Greater New York Scholastic Championships had a record
breaking turnout with over 900 players. The
Greater Chicago Scholastic K-12 Championships will
be held at the 'Crowne Plaza Hotel' in Northbrook the
weekend of February 27-28. All young players from
kindergarten to 12th grade are welcome to attend, and
players can play either on Saturday or Sunday or both
Please visit the event page
for more information on this regional championship