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Nevada State Scholastic Chess Championships, March 21, 1998

(Sponsored by The Meadows School Chess Club)

This one-day, 5 round tournament, with 4 scholastic sections, determined the official USCF Nevada State Affiliate's Scholastic Champions for 1998, and our state's candidate for the Arnold Denker Tournament of High School Champions in Hawaii this August.

Over 110 students from 28 Nevada schools registered for our 2nd annual scholastic competition, and every participant came away with a personalized souvenir booklet, a ribbon, a chess piece keychain, and I'll bet many new friends and acquaintances.

K-12 Section
There were 18 players in the K-12 section (8 unrated) from 9 different schools with 5 teams competing. Teams were made up of two or more players from the same school, with the top 4 scores comprising the team result. Las Vegas HS took top Team honors, totaling 12.5 points from Jason F. Goc-Ong (1538), Mark Carroll (unr), David V. Keo (1273), and Kevin Punzalan (unr). The second place Team Trophy went to Bonanza HS, with an 8 point total from Anthony T. King (1386), Nathan Pulley (1308), and Jason Tam (915). Vo-Tech was third with 6.5 points from Paul Thompson (704), Kris McKinster (unr), and Miguel Garcia (unr).

Four players in this section played tough and finished with 4 wins and 1 loss: Anthony T. King (1386, Bonanza HS); Princess McGauhey (1468, Eldorado HS); Jason F. Goc-Ong (1538, Las Vegas HS); and Robert Sequeria (unr, Comm. College HS). Tony King's opponents scored better than those of the others, and consequently he was awarded the first place trophy and HS champion's title with 18 tiebreak points. Princess McGauhey was second with 15.5 points, Jason Goc-Ong third with 14.5, and Robert Sequeria fourth with 12.5. Tony enthusiastically accepted our invitation to represent Nevada at the Denker Tournament of High School Champions in Hawaii this August,and we're looking forward to seeing him there. Nevada Chess, Inc. has pledged $150 to help defray travel expenses.

K-8 Section
The K-8 Section had 8 players, all with USCF ratings that ranged from 775 to top rated Laymon McGauhey at 1818. And the winner was, with a perfect 5-0 score, Laymon McGauhey. Michael Vannozzi (1528) finished second one point behind Laymon, while Matthew Borsellino took third place with 3.5 points for the five rounds.

K-6 Section
The Meadows K-6 Team, led by Jeremy Leibowitz (749), Jason Awad (835), Zachary Martin (590), and Nicky Shook (1110), carried home the 1st place trophy in this section, accumulating 14.5 points for their school. Second place, with 10.5 points, went to the Hebrew Academy Team: Zachary Goldberg (828), Ross Levin (610), Ben Fitch (473), and Zachary Slavis (1025). Third place team trophy was well earned by the only two players from Greenspan Jr. HS, Ranen Lardent (1139) and Jordan C. Butler (1515), who together collected 8 out of the possible 10 points for the two.

Mark Gu, from R. Guild Gray School, had a 4.5-0.5 tournament result and 16.5 tiebreak points to edge out Ranen Lardent (1139, Greenspan Jr. HS) by half a tiebreak point and Nicholas Borsellino (924, Bertha Ronzone Elem.) by 4 tiebreak points for the first place title and trophy. Ranen and Nicholas took home the second and third place individual trophies for their 4.5-0.5 efforts. Jeremy Leibowitz (749) and Jason Awad (835), both from Meadows School, were awarded the 4th and 5th place trophies on tiebreaks with their 4-1 result. There were 41 players in the K-6 section, with 8 unrated.

K-3 Section
The Hebrew Academy K-3 Team collected 15.5 points and the first place Team Trophy, thanks to Keegan Eglet (453), Alex Levine (338), Sean Tuggle (unr), and Spencer Gallagher (393). Second went to the Meadows School with 14.5 points from Jordan Kozmary (640), David Nagy (445), Andrew Donley (623), and Jeff Shi (342). Newcomers to tournament chess competition, First Good Shepherd Lutheran School, managed a team total of 12.5 points from Casey Wach (525), Zachary Wach (515), Nicholas Louks (unr), and Kayla Arndt (unr) to carry home the third place Team Trophy.

Individual 1st and 2nd place K-3 trophies on tiebreaks went to Alan R. Amici (1050, Jim Thorpe Elem.) and Keegan Eglet (453, Hebrew Academy) respectively, each with a perfect 5-0 result. Third through 5th places were awarded to Bernard D'Amato (1166, MJ Christenson Elem.), Jordan Kozmary (640, Meadows), and Casey Wach (525, First Good Shepherd) with 4-1 scores, and separated by only 1.5 tiebreak points: 15.5, 14.5, and 14.0 respectively. There were 46 kids entered in the K-3 section, including 21 unrated players.

Jerome Weikel, President of the USCF State Affiliate Nevada Chess, Inc., directed the tournament. He was assisted by Senior TD Allen Magruder, Local Directors Dan Conver and Ken Sims, and volunteer Richard Risley. But most of the credit for this most successful and wonderful tournament really goes to Donna Hay, Carla Hummel, and the other marvelous volunteers from the Meadows School Chess Club who put in innumerable hours organizing this magnificent scholastic event for our most talented children.

Report by Allen Magruder