Nevada State Scholastic Championships, April 17, 1999(Sponsored by Nevada Chess, Inc., hosted by the Young Masters Chess Club, directed by Jerry Weikel)
Our third annual state scholastic championship tournament was held this year at the Truckee Meadows Boys’ and Girls’ Club, and hosted by the Young Masters Chess Club in Reno, Nevada. We managed to fill the spacious, well-lit gymnasium with 136 young chess players and 3 or 4 tiers of parents and coaches in stands situated well apart from the tournament floor. There was a short break between the second and third rounds of the five round tournament so everyone could take part in the Family Day Barbeque sponsored by the Boys’ and Girls’ Club, and included with the tournament entry. But chess was the main order of the day, with over 25 trophies on the line for individual and team awards across four sections ( K-3, K-6, K-8 and K-12).
There were 19 players in the K-3 section, led by Alan Amici, rated 1317, a 3rd grader from Treem Elementary School in Henderson NV. Alan finished with a perfect score, 5-0, and the first place trophy a full point ahead of David Jensen (914) from Silver Springs School in Reno and of David Nagy (783) from the Meadows School in Las Vegas. The two Davids tied for 2nd-3rd, and each received a trophy for their excellent 4-1 result.
The largest section, with 76 players, was K-6. There were six players rated over 1000 and almost 40 with no rating at this time. In this section as well, the top-rated player, Brian A. Fusco (1155) achieved a perfect 5-0 score to take home the 1st place trophy. Brian attends the 6th grade at Bud Beasley School in Reno. Second through third place awards went to Brandon Kellman (938) from Tobler School and to Michael Patraw (846) from Clover Valley School with almost perfect 4.5-0.5 results. Trophies were also awarded to all players in all sections who collected at least four points, including here Daniel Hartley, Anthony Perez, Nathan Tiras, Greg Hattrup, Jason Awad, Stephen Smith, Mathieu Helm, Myles Scott, Brandon Wimbley, and Zachary Wach.
The K-8 section included 18 youngsters with half the field rated over 1000 and only two unrated players. Seventh graders Ranen Lardent (1438) from Greenspun School and Gary Huang (1015) from Harker School tied for 1st-2nd by drawing the final round game and finishing with 4.5-0.5 results. Michael Vannozzi (1570), an eighth grader from Hyde Park School scored 4 points to take the third place trophy, losing only to Ranen in the 4th round.
The 23 player K-12 section must have seemed more like a 2+21 section to most, as it featured two of the highest rated players not only in Nevada and also in their respective age groups throughout the country, 9th grader Patrick A. Hummel (2348) and 12th grader Philip X. Wang (2300). Patrick and Philip met over the board in the fourth round of this tournament to pretty much decide not only the winner of this section, but also Nevada’s candidate for the Arnold Denker Tournament of High School Champions which will be played in August, in Reno, along with the 100th annual US Open Chess Championship. Both players played hard and well, with the final decision going to Patrick. After their last round wins, Patrick got the 1st place trophy, and Philip shared 2nd-4th place awards with Edward Sweeten (Unrated) from VoTech HS and Kevin G. Punzalan (1215) from Las Vegas HS, all with 4-1 results.
Team trophies were awarded to the schools with the highest cumulative results across all sections taking the top four final results of the schools’ players. Eight schools from across the state were represented in the K-12 section, 11 in K-8, 24 in K-6, and 9 in K-3. The Meadows School accumulated 17 points to lead the pack, followed by First Good Shepherd (FGS) Elementary and VoTech High School, each of the latter with 13 points. FGS was awarded the 2nd place trophy on tiebreaks, having fewer players than VoTech at the tournament. Las Vegas HS was close behind with 12.5 points, and Home Schoolers, Jesse Beck School and Silver Springs School shared 5th through 7th places with 12.
This was a well-run and well-organized tournament, with excellent facilities, thanks to the efforts of organizers Ron Gentil and Irene "Nana" Dixon-Darnell, Chief TD Jerry Weikel, Swiss Pairing Master and Asst. TD Dan Conver, and the many helpers from the Boys’ and Girls’ Club, the Young Masters Chess Club, and elsewhere. And thanks are also due the parents and coaches and players for making this another successful and enjoyable Nevada State Scholastic Chess Championship event.
Report by Allen Magruder from notes by Ron Gentil and Jerry Weikel