Welcome Chess Players and Families
2014 Iowa K-12 Open Championships
& K-8, K-5, and K-3 Section Championships
Gokul Thangavel Wins K-12 Open, Collects Trophy and $200 Scholarship
MARCH 8, 2014
Eighty-eight players met at Cedar Rapids Prairie to compete in the IASCA's final scholastic championship event of the year. With four sections, K-12 Open, Grades K-8, Grades K-5, and Grades K-3, lots of great chess was played
Six of the top Iowa scholastic players complete in the Iowa K-12 Open Championship Section. With an average rating over 1600, the event was unprecedented in its overall competitiveness. Three rounds were played with a time control of Game/60 and 5 second delay. In a mild first round upset, fourth seed Clive Power (1655) drew top rated Pranav Krishnamurthy (1733) while Gokul Thangavel (1697) and Frank Li (1679) were victorious over Milind Jett (1505) and Michael Takahashi (1386), respectively. So, as the only two undefeated players in round 2, Gokul and Frank were paired. Gokul again came out victorious and stood as the only perfect score after two rounds. Pranav again drew in the second round, this time to Michael Takahashi while Clive bested Milind. This set up a final round match between Gokul (2.0) and Clive (1.5). Gokul, well aware that he had full point on the rest of the field, he had draw-in-hand to clinch first place. He did just that and claimed the first place trophy and the $200 scholarship
The K-8 Section fielded 28 players, many playing up from their true grade. Thirteen players were rated over 1000 in this 4 round, Game 45 event. With such a large number and only four rounds, accelerated pairings were used and so the first games were already hotly contested. In round 1, ninth seeded Jasper Shogren-Knaak defeated top seed and 6th grade state champion A.J. Kozich while eleventh seeded Sanmati Thangavel upset fourth seeded Ana Denison and thirteenth seeded Sarah Orgrin-Cotarlan upset sixth seeded Samual Thomasson. In rounds 2 and 3, the top seeds held better form and the section was left with only two players undefeated: Andrew Ogrin-Cotarlan and Yegor Kuznetsov. Andrew and Yegor battled to a tough draw an settled in a tie for first place with Yegor edging out on tie-breaks. Mason Zastrow played well enough to earn the U1000 prize. Aaron Thomasson collected the U800 and Noah Bullwinkle captured the Unrated trophy. Teresa Knecht, Iowa Girls State Champion, and Ana Denison was the last game to finish in the event, which saw Teresa win and win the top girls score trophy.
The K-5 Section also showed strength with two players rated over 1100. This five round Game/30 section left only three perfect scores after round 3 out of 26 players. Owen Fiedorowicz (3.0) was paired against Rishabh Swamy (3.0) and Kevin Lu (3.0) was paired against Adil Oryspayev (2.0). Owen and Adil were both victorious, leaving Owen in first place by one point. A final round drawn then secured him first place. Adil and Rishab claimed second and third on tie-breaks over Justin Peiper all finishing with 4 point and Kevin Lu captured the fifth place trophy on tie-breaks among the remaining field of players scoring 3.5. With 3.0, Eli Copeland was the top score for the U800. Akhtan Oryspayeve was the top U600 and Chuneng Cai was the top U400. Ethan Brandauer capture the Unrated prize and Shirlin Kinston the top girl.
If you think there was nothing left for the K-3 section, you'd be wrong. Twenty-seven players included top seeds Kian Thompson (994) and Karthik Selva (908). Karthik faced third seed Anushka Saxena in the third round with Anushka being victorious and earning the right to play Kian as the only other undefeated player. Kian rose to the challenge and headed into the final round with the only perfect score. Kian left no unfinished business, though, gather a victory in the final round for the only perfect score in the tournament. Anushka fell to third on tie-breaks behind Nathan Chen. Henry Lu captured fourth and Isaac Bullwinkle, playing in his first chess tournament captured the fifth place trophy. With the class prizes, Nathan Weimar earned the U600 top score and trophy. Rob Havens-Zajacs was the top U400, each at 3.5 points. Tejas Gururaja had the top U200 score and Anajali Lodh with the top girl with 3.0 points.
Among many hats, I serve by appointment as the Scholastic Director for the Iowa State Chess Association. The following attendance and financial summary is provided for the information and benefit to the scholastic chess community.
Overall attendance was down at the IASCA scholastic championship by about 10% from last school year but remains slightly up from two years ago. Financially, scholastic chess raised $625 that will go to the IASCA Scholastic Account used to support the stipends for our student champions to participate at the USCF National Scholastic Championships. These events are held concurrent with the US Open, July 27-August 3 in Madison, Wisconsin. Iowa's representatives are Kushan Tyagi as the High School Champion, Ziwen Zhou as the K-8 Scholastic Champion, and Teresa Knecht as the Girls Champion.
While some of the facility locations are being worked on, the following scholastic chess calendar is proposed for the 2013-2014 school year.