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Scholastic Blog: Holiday Classic

By Tony Chen, Scholastic Coordinator


In the midst of the holiday season, everyone is in a happy and generous mood. During the Holiday Classic chess tournament, 164 players converged to battle for chess superiority. Even with a date change and end of semester hecticness, true chess enthusiasts assembled at the Center for Global Citizenship on the SLU Campus on December 17th without hesitation.


The K-6 U400 section had the most players. Raghav Mani took 5th place with 3 points in tiebreaks, and Aksheetha Santhoshkumar took 4th place with 3.5 points. The top three players all had perfect 4-0 scores, but because of tiebreaks, 3rd place went to Loyal Flanders, 2nd to Liam Garland, and 1st to Adithi Srinivasan. The K-6 Open section attracted a lot of high level elementary players. Long time veteran Aaradhya Panda took 5th place with 3 points, while Abhinav Rao took 4th place, also with 3 points due to tiebreaks. Christopher Huang took 3rd place with 3.5 points. The top 2 finishers in the K-6 Open section both finished with perfect 4-0 scores, but due to tiebreaks, 2nd place went to Tarun Haribasker, and 1st went to Nandhitha Anand.


In the K-12 U100 section, 4th and 5th place finishers both earned 3 points, but tiebreaks gave 5th to Dhanush Kandukuri and 4th to Samuel Lu. The top 3 finishers all ended up with perfect scores, tiebreaks gave 3rd to Xander Van Horn, 2nd to Matthew Tranor, and 1st to Daniel Weeden. The K-12 Open section was the toughest section. The 3rd, 4th, and 5th places all finished with 3 points. But due to tiebreaks, 5th place went to Anuj Ketkar, 4th to Rex Zhu, and 3rd to Thomas Wei. First time participant, Nathan Stricker, earned 2nd place with 4 points, and 1st place was awarded to the top seed Rowan Riney, with 4 points and tiebreaks.


The team competition, like always, was a highly anticipated element of the tournament. In the K-6 U400 section, McKelvey Elementary took 3rd place with 7.5 points, Argo took 2nd with 8.5 points, and GF Chess Club took 1st with a commanding 12.5 points. In the K-6 Open section, Twin Chimney Elementary took 3rd place with 6 points; this achievement was especially impressive since their team only had 2 players. Spoede Elementary took 2nd place with 10.5 points, and Babler Elementary’s powerhouse elementary team took 1st with 11.5 points. In the K-12 U1000 section, 3rd place went to Argo with 9 points, 2nd went to Hazelwood West High with 10 points, and 1st to GF Chess Club with 11.5 points. In the K-12 Open section, 3rd place was awarded to Belleville East High with 7 points, 2nd place was awarded to Hixon Middle with 7 points and tiebreaks, and 1st was awarded to the long time dominant GF Chess Club with 10 points.

The Saint Louis Chess Club would like to thank all the players, parents, coaches, and community partners that make our monthly tournaments a success. We would like to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season. We hope to see everyone at our next tournament, New Year’s Fray, on Saturday, January 20th at Adams Elementary.