Nevada State Scholastic Championships 2013

By Tom Brownscombe

One hundred eighty young chess players came to the Las Vegas Day School on Saturday, March 16th to compete in the 2013 Nevada State Scholastic Chess Championships.  Third grader Carson Abbott won the individual title in the K-3 section with a perfect 6-0 score.  The home team almost won the team title in the K-3 section, scoring 16 points.  But Saint Viator also scored 16 points, and the tie breaks were in Saint Viator’s favor.  So Saint Viator won the K-3 team title, while Las Vegas Day School (LVDS) received the second place team trophy.

Fifth grader Michelangelo Barozzi was the pre-tournament favorite in the K-5 section with a rating of 1754.  And he lived up to all expectations by winning the individual title with a perfect 6-0 score and also leading his team, the Meadows School, to a team championship in the K-5 section with a team score of 19 points.  Four players tied for 2nd with 5 points, Reece Iriye, Alexander Ballin, Kian David Samra and Mark Bernales, and were awarded on tiebreak points the 2nd, 3rd, 4th & 5th place trophies resp.   The home team, LVDS, took the second place team trophy in the K-5 section with 17 team points.

Hyde Park Middle School dominated the team competition in the K-8 section with an impressive team score of 17 points.  The K-8 and K-12 sections had only five rounds, so this score is just 3 points shy of perfect.  Hyde Park was led by the highest rated player in the section, defending K-8 state champion Royce Pereira.  In round 3 Royce had a very tough game against Saint Viator’s David Tegtmeyer.  Some inaccurate play left Pereira a pawn down with an exposed king.  But Royce’s active defense was rewarded when Tegtmeyer missed the winning lines, allowing Pereira to claim victory from the jaws of defeat.  In round four the Hyde Park Team was so far ahead of all of the other teams that Pereira had to play his teammate, seventh grader Naomi Santiago.  Naomi seemed to have a slight edge in the middle game, but Royce was able to secure the win in the endgame with some well calculated knight maneuvers.  In the final round Pereira had to face another of his teammates, sixth grader Benjamin Ballin, because all of the tournament leaders were from Hyde Park.  Pereira earned a quick win against Ballin to repeat as Nevada state K-8 champion.  Seventh grader Royce Pereira will once again represent the state of Nevada at the Barber Tournament of K-8 Champions in Madison Wisconsin in July.  Sixth grader Shivam Saran of Hyde Park MS earned the second place individual trophy with 4.5 points, and Our Lady of Las Vegas earned the second place team trophy with 9 team points.

There was a new prize in the K-12 section.  The US Chess Federation has announced that the first annual National Girls Invitational Championship will be held this year in Madison, Wisconsin.  So the top scoring girl in the K-12 section won more than just a trophy this year.  She earned the right to represent Nevada in this new tournament.  The girls’ title came down to a final round game between two eleventh graders from Cheyenne High School: Nisha Uy and Rozzele Cruz.  Nisha won the game as well as the opportunity to represent the state of Nevada in the first annual National Girls Invitational Tournament.

The title of 2013 Nevada State High School Champion came down to a final round confrontation between the two highest rated players in the tournament: tenth grader Hugo Santiago and eleventh grader Raymond Seid.  Santiago and Seid were still battling after all of the other tournament games had finished.  Seid offered a draw in an equal ending, but Santiago declined the draw offer and pressed for the win.  Santiago did manage to win a pawn.  But while doing so, he put his rook out of play and left his king trapped on the edge of the board.  Seid used his superior piece placement to create an unbeatable mate threat.  So Santiago, facing mate in one, resigned.  Cimarron High school won the K-12 team title with 14.5 points, and Cheyenne High school took second place in the team competition with 13 points.

Congratulations and best of luck to Raymond Seid, Nisha Uy, and Royce Pereira as they represent Nevada in the Denker Tournament of High School Champions, the National Girls Invitational Tournament, and the Barber Tournament of K-8 Champions, respectively.   Gale Winds served as chief tournament organizer on behalf of Nevada Chess, Inc. and the Las Vegas Day School.  The tournament was directed by Nevada Chess, Inc. board members Tom Brownscombe, Al Losoff, Allen Magruder, Dan Conver, and John Trivett.  We hope that all of the players enjoyed the tournament and that we will see even more competitors at the 2014 Nevada State Scholastic Chess Championship.  We would also like to thank the LVDS staff and the many people who helped make this tournament a success.

Team and individual results are posted here.