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2014 State Scholastic Chess Team Championships Determined

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The 2014 State Scholastic Chess Team Championships were held Saturday, March 8, in the Memorial Union, University of Maine, Orono. 277 players supported by coaches and parents gathered to contest team honors in the K-3, K-6, Junior High, and High School sections. Also at stake were individual achievements leading to invitation to the Individual Championships to be held at the same location on March 22. Each player competed in four games with team honors decided by total points scored for the four games or, in the case of the High School Championship section, by head-to-head match play.

In the K-3 championship section, team honors were decided by the total of the team’s top three scorers. The winning team was the Deer-Isle Stonington team (DIS – 9.5 points) over second place Piscataquis (7 points). Top scorers for DIS were Sean Morey with 3.5 points, and Macey Brown and Gavin L. Eaton with 3 points each. Top scorers for Piscataquis were Eion McCloskey with a perfect 4 points, Cole Herrick with 2 points, and Adam Taylor with one point (Gavin Richards also scored a win, but did not enter into the team total). The top scoring girl was Macey Brown, and the top players tied with 4 points each were William Xu of Fruit Street Elementary and Sean Morey of DIS. Scoring 3 points or better for a free entry to the Individual Tournament on March 22 were William Xu, Eion McCloskey, Sean Morey, Macey Brown, and Gavin L. Eaton. The top unrated (first tournament) was Eion McCloskey.

In the K-6 championship section, with team scores being the total of each team’s five top scorers, Blue Hill (15 points) edged past DIS (13.5 points) for the team title, with Brewer Community School a close third with 12.5 points. Top scorers for Blue Hill were Ross Stewart and Cameron Stewart with 3.5 points each, Sam Parrot and Cole Stewart with 3 points each, and Aiden Stearns with 2 points (Kai Diel also had two wins for the team),. Top team scorers for Deer Isle-Stonington included: Rilee Eaton and Kaylee Morey with 3 points each, and Tommy Hutchinson, Ben Penfold, and Andrew Pappianne with 2.5 points each. The Brewer Community School high scorers were Brent Roberts with 3.5 points, Aurora Geleny and Cody Ross with 2.5 points each, and Caitlyn Woodward and Swaroop Handral with 2 points each (Alex Fago also had two wins for the team). The top unrated players in this section were Tommy Hutchinson and Aurora Geleny with 2.5 points each, with the trophy gojng to Tommy on tiebreaks. Eleven players scored 3 points or better, earning them a free entry into the Individuals Tournament on March 22. These were: Rilee Eaton, and Kaylee Morey of DIS; Ross, Cameron and Cole Stewart, and Sam Parrot of Blue Hill; Brent Roberts of Brewer; Cyrus Grindal with a perfect 4-0 score and Cody Jones of the Airline School; Joshua Watson of Glenburn; and Charlotte Urquhart of All-Saints.

In the Elementary Novice section, the winning K-3 team was Piscataquis over DIS by a score of 9.5 to 4.5. The top individual performer was Izabelle Pizzo of Piscataquis with four wins in four games. Other Piscataquis team members were Sarah Gray, Midnight Moffett, and Onyxia Williams. For the DIS team, members were Colton Harriman, Kierston Heroux, and Taytum Chase. Grace DiPhillipo won two games for Breakwater. In the K-6 Novice section, DIS edged out Bucksport with 9.5 points to 9. Top scorers for DIS were Thomas Thompson, McKenna Martin, and Liam Bishop. Top scorers for Bucksport were Hayden Jellison, Katelyn Cloutier, and Patrick Tyne. The top performers were Zoe Dinnerstein of Levey Day School and Thomas Thompson with 4 points each, with the trophy going to Zoe on tiebreaks.

In the Junior High Championship section, Orono Middle School finished first over second place DIS, 16 to 13.5. Top scorers for Orono Middle School were Ben Amar (4 points), Nathan Shemwell, Ben Amar, Saadh Ahmed, Joseph Astumian, and Aaron Wilson-Macfarland, all with 3 points each. Top scorers for Deer-Isle Stonington were Brendan Penfold (4 points), Soozin Cha (3 points), Orly Vaughn (2.5 ponts), and Tyson Rice and Ennis Marshall (2 points each). The top players were Brendan Penfold of DIS, Ben Amar of Orono, and Ian Youth of Breakwater, each with four points. Top unrated (not on a winning team) was Desmen Drinkwater of Caravel. The top female (not on a winning team) was Catherine Rudnicki of the All-Saints in Bangor. Fifteen players scored 3 points or better to be eligible to return to the Individuals with free entry: Soozin Cha, and Brendan Penfold of DIS; Nathan Shemwell, Ben Amar, Saadh Ahmed, Joseph Astumian, Aaron Wilson-Macfarland, Elijah Mcgill, and Elias Veilleux of Orono; Ian Youth of Breakwater; Noah Munn of Medomak; Catherine Rudnicki and Michael Hayden of All-Saints; Desmen Drinkwater of Caravel; and Omar Khan of Brewer.

Ellsworth took first place in the JHS Novice section with 8.5 points over one-person teams from Reed Brook and Bucksport with 2 points each.. Members of the winning team were: Isaiah Albert with 4 points, Will Doty with 2.5 points and Nathan Nowicki with 2 points. With tie breaks, Joshua Duprey took the second place team trophy for Reed Brook over Richard Lugdan of Bucksport. The top performer was Isaiah Albert of Ellsworth.

Elementary and JHS players in the championship sections who scored 3 points or better are invited back to play in the Individual Championships on March 22 at with no entry fee. Any other individual may enter by paying the entry fee. Information and entry forms are available at

In the High School Championship section, Cape Elizabeth emerged undefeated in match play with 4 match points to win the State HS Team title. The Cape Team consisted of Matthew Fishbein, Matthew Reale-Hatem, Wesley Parker, Colin Smith, and Carter Brock. The Cape team turned in an impressive performance of 17 wins, 2 draws and just one loss. Tied for second place were the Maine School for Science and Math (MSSM) and Cheverus with three match points each. The MSSM team included George Spahn, David Chen, Ivan Zembrusky, Brennan Lane, and Gordon McCulloh. Members of the Cheverus team were: Ben Peterson, Taylor Jackson, Frank Jin, Ricardo Romero, and David Cheng. Criteria for invitation to the Individuals for the High School Championship and Reserve sections were to score 3 points or better on Board 1, or 3.5 points or better on any other board. Invited back to Individuals on March 22 with no entry fee on this basis are: Matthew Fishbein, Matthew Reale-Hatem, Wesley Parker, and Colin Smith of Cape Elizabeth; George Spahn of MSSM; Bach Nguyen of John Bapst; Rick Perry of Caribou; David Cheng of Cheverus; and Nick Charalambous of Brewer. The top unrated player was David Chen of MSSM with 3 points. The top female performer was Haley DeLuca-Lowell with 3 points on Board 2 for John Bapst, and she receives an invitation to the Individuals as well.

In the HS Reserve section, Medomak Valley edged out Cape Elizabeth for first, 8.5 points to 8. Members of the Medomak Valley HS Reserve Team were Joseph Powell, Greg Wadsworth, Grant Bodine, and Patrick White. Players for the Cape Team were Nicholas Shedd, Daniel Brett, Lily Jordan, and Roman Medina. Top scorers included Joseph Powell of Medomak Valley with 4 points, and Nicholas Shedd of Cape Elizabeth with 3.5 points. These two are invited back to Individuals with no entry fee. The top female competitor in this section was Bethany Humphrey with a 3-1 score; she is also invited back for the Individuals tournament.

In the High School Novice section, Deering High defeated Caribou 10 to 6.5. The high scorers for Deering were Shervin Sabeti with 4 points, and Mohamed Hassan and Tophe Thorne with 3 points each. The Bucksport top scorers for the team included Nerissa Larrabee (3 points), Cindy Ketch (2 points), and Tyler Strid with 1.5 points (Sarah Draper and Robin Larrabee also scored 1.5s). Top performer in this section with 4 points was Shervin Sabeti.

Tournament Leaders were Kathy Richards for the Elementary and Junior High Sections, and Ron Lewis for the High School. Tournament Directors were Dan DeLuca for the K-3 Championship and Novice sections, Steve Wong for K-6, Barry Magda for the JHS, Philip Lowell for High School Championship and Reserve sections, and Tom Sandford for all other Novice sections. Trophy awards were coordinated by Andy Bryan. These were supported by a number of other volunteers, parents and coaches.

The next event on the State scholastic chess schedule is on March 22 when the State chess Individual championships will be contested, with the Maine State representative to the USCF National Denker High School Invitational and a representative to the Barber JHS Invitational will be decided. A side event, the Sidekick Quads, will also be held on March 22 for adults. The proceeds of the Sidekick Quads will benefit Maine scholastic chess. All events will be held at the Memorial Union, University of Maine, Orono. Visit the website for information and entry forms, and pictures from the team championships.