It's brain vs. brain in IHSA chess championships
Let the mind games begin.
The state championship chess tournament is set and 146 schools from around Illinois have entered the contest held Friday and Saturday in the Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The IHSA chess championships were started in 1974-75 when schools were divided by size into two categories and the first state champs were Aurora Central Catholic and New Trier East.
In the history of the championships, University High School in Urbana has the most overall trophies at 13, and the most outright championships at 7 (trophies are awarded to the top four finishers).
Illinois Math and Science Academy in Aurora is third, with 9 trophies and 4 first-place finishes. Other suburban high schools that have won at least one state championship are Evanston Township High School (6), Niles North in Skokie (3), New Trier (1), Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire (2), Maine South in Park Ridge (3), Marmion Academy in Aurora (1), Downers Grove South (2), Aurora Central Catholic (2), Westmont (1), West Chicago (1), Naperville North (2), Harvard (2), Lisle (1), Oak Park-River Forest (1) and New Trier West (1).
Going into Friday's competition, Naperville North leads all comers. The rest of the Top 20 are, in order: Adlai E. Stevenson; New Trier; Hinsdale Central; Evanston; Glenbrook South; Neuqua Valley; Benet Academy; Niles North; Lane Tech; Highland Park; Naperville Central; Whitney Young; IMSA; Waubonsie Valley; Maine South; Northside Prep; Wheaton Warrenville South; Dunlap, IL; and Metea Valley.
Other suburban schools in the hunt are Glenbrook North, Palatine, Downers Grove South, Barrington, Fremd, Glenbard West, Prospect, Downers Grove North, Kaneland, St. Charles East, Mundelein, McHenry, Wheaton North, Hinsdale South, Carmel Catholic, Hersey, Bartlett, Waukegan, York, Romeoville, Hoffman Estates, Buffalo Grove, West Chicago, Cary-Grove, Glenbard South, Conant, Northridge Prep, Maine West, Lake Park, Schaumburg, Elk Grove, Fenton, Harvard, Rolling Meadows, St. Charles North, Niles West, Oswego, Leyden, Batavia, Bolingbrook, Glenbard North, East Aurora, Aurora Central Catholic, Grant Community, Streamwood and West Aurora.