Local Schools Compete at IHSA State Chess Tournament

 
Ken Lewandowski
Updated 2/11/2019 7:52 AM
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  • Overview of the entire playing room at the Peoria Civic Center.

    Overview of the entire playing room at the Peoria Civic Center. Courtesy of Ken Lewandowski

Feb 10, 2019

This past weekend, 124 teams totaling over 1,000 high school students competed in the IHSA State Team Chess Tournament in Peoria. This event, in its 45th year, is one of the largest HS Team Event in the world and one of the largest chess events of any kind.

After competing in local league play and many all day Saturday Tournaments, Schools have to qualify for State at a Sectional Tournament. Illinois HS Chess has grown from @80 teams in 1989 to over 150 teams this past year! This make qualifying for the State Tournament an honor itself.

After 7 grueling matches over 2 days, Barrington High School, coached by Jeff Doles came away with Second Place Honors. Chicago Whitney Young earned the Championship by defeating them in the last round. This penultimate match always attracts many spectators and each move is crucial.

According to Dylan Canavan, President of the Illinois Chess Coaches Association (ICCA),

"The players work all year for the opportunity to come down to Peoria and play the best teams in the state.  The two days are grueling, 7 rounds of chess, each of which can go as long as 2 hours. Players will typically stay after their game is done to watch the results of their teammates.  Then they will have maybe 30 minutes to grab something to eat before they are back on the board for the next round."

Ken Lewandowski, retired Evanston Coach and past Secretary of the ICCA feels one of the best parts of this event is that every school gets to play all 7 rounds, there is no elimination. This year, there were 6 other teams tied with Barrington at 6-1. There is a complicated formula used to break the ties and rank these teams. The results of some of the matches of some lower teams could affect the tie breaks of these top teams.

In addition to Barrington, many teams in the Hearld's area competed.

Below is a list of many of the schools and their finishes and scores.

2 6-1 Barrington

8 5-2 Palatine Fremd

30 4-3 Palatine

36 4-3 Rolling Meadows

40 4-3 Bartlett

47 4-3 Elgin

56 4-3 Stillman Valley

76 3-4 Arlington Heights, Hersey

84 3-4 Kaneland

89 3-4 St. Charles North

124 0-7 Batavia

The complete results can be found at

https://www.ihsa.org/SportsActivities/Chess/StateSeriesInformationResults.aspx?url=/data/ct/crosstables.htm