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Scholastic Tournament Blog: Back to School Bash

Back to School Bash at Lindenwood University - Belleville

by Kyle Weber, Scholastic Coordinator


School is back in session, and the Back to School Bash Scholastic Tournament resounded like the first bell on the first day of school. Loud and exciting!  This tournament also heralded the very first Scholastic Tournament across the river.  Always college bound, 93 students made their way to Lindenwood University of Belleville on September 23rd to test themselves over the board.  One of many more to come.


The U800 section performed well with 8 newcomers arriving for their first Scholastic Chess Tournament.  The top six players had to battle to the bitter end with Round 4 proclaiming the top three victors, all with perfect scores for tournament.  The deciding factor had to come down to tiebreaks, placing Roy Zhu in 3rd place, Iovanne Sakhelashvili in 2nd, with Tarun Haribasker taking 1st prize in the U800 section.  Joy Chen received top honors as the most outstanding female player, and newcomer Felix Zhang earned his spot as the U800 top unrated finisher.


The K-12 Open section had no shortage of excitement as top seeded player Asish Panda found himself in a tough position being down two rooks, but was able to set a nice trap skewering his opponent's King, winning the Queen and sealing his victory.  Again, the final round decided our victors with 3rd place going to Jenna Song, 2nd place was awarded to Thomas Wei, and the 1st place crown went to long time Scholastic veteran Asish Panda.  Isabel Yearin was awarded the top female honors as a non-placed finisher.  Newcomer Dastan Baktybekov lost to Asish in a nail-biting final round of the tournament and took home the top unrated player honors for the Open section.


There was no shortage of teams as 13 hopefuls came to show who was the better prepared and best overall squad.  The U800 section had a clear winner as Argo took 1st place with 13.0 team points.  Spoede Elementary was able to secure 2nd place with 9.5 team points, followed by Oakbrook Elementary with 8.0 team points. The K-12 Open section had an interesting end to the day. Hixon Middle and Glenridge Elementary both scored 6.5 team points overall, but due to tiebreaks, Glenridge received the 2nd place finish over Hixon who settled for 3rd.  Parkway Southwest Middle School, showing no signs of slowing down, received yet another 1st place finish.


Congratulations to all of the players, families, coaches, and instructors who make these tournaments possible.  A special thank you to Lindenwood University of Belleville and Dr. Trice for graciously hosting the event and opening their doors to our chess community. See you next month as we visit the Center for Global Citizenship on the SLU Campus. Register here >

For a full list of tournament results see here >