By Susan Justice
On March 21st, 70 scholastic chess teams gathered at Creekland Middle School in Lawrenceville, GA to compete for the state team title in one of four sections: K-1, K-3, K-5, and Middle School.
The relatively new K-1 section featured a change to a four-board format allowing more schools to field competitive teams. Perennial chess power-house Eastside won their first four matches to enter the final round with a chance at clear first. With a strong 4-0 win in round one, Brumby went on to draw rounds two and three before winning again in round four to enter the final round with three points and earn the chance to play Eastside for a share of the title. In the final round, Brumby pulled off a narrow victory, winning the match 2.5 to 1.5. Both teams finished the day tied with four points. Congratulations to K-1 Team Co-Champions Brumby and Eastside! Fulton Sunshine Academy finished in third place with 3.5 points and strong tie-breaks over Westminster who finished fourth.
The K-3 section began with Whitefield looking to be the odds-on favorite with a substantially higher team rating and a first-place Qualifier finish. The second rated team, Brookwood, also appeared to be a strong contender. But as basketball fans know, during March Madness, anything is possible! In the first round, Brookwood lost a close match to Crabapple Crossing. Round two brought a similar result with Whitefield falling to Cliff Valley. By round three, the K-3 title was up for grabs! A round three draw between Fernbank and Eastside further opened the field. Meanwhile, Mount Paran Christian built momentum after a first round draw by winning their next three matches. The final round brought an initially unlikely title matchup between Fernbank, who started the tournament ranked 10th in the section by ratings, and Mount Paran Christian. A draw between these two contenders would open the door for a four-way tie for first. Fernbank took the match 4-1 to win clear first. Congratulations to K-3 Team Champions Fernbank! Whitefield and Shakerag tied for second place with four points apiece with Whitefield taking the second place trophy on strong tie-breaks after winning 22 of 25 games on the day. Vanderlyn and Mount Paran Christian tied for fourth with Vanderlyn narrowly edging out Mount Paran on tie-breaks.
A number of schools entered strong K-5 teams, and by the third round, important match-ups were shaping the field. Medlock Bridge defeated Eastside in round three 4-1 while Daves Creek narrowly defeated Brookwood 3-2. As the only teams with three points entering round four, Daves Creek and Medlock Bridge drew the round. In the final round, Medlock Bridge would face the strong Brookwood team and pull off a 3.5 to 1.5 victory, while Daves Creek took down Big Creek 3 to 2. Congratulations to K-5 Team Co-Champions Daves Creek and Medlock Bridge! Daves Creek took home the first place trophy by a narrow margin on US Amateur Team tie-breaks. Eastside took third place with 4.0 points. Brookwood and Settles Bridge took 4th and 5th place respectively on tie-breaks in an 8-team tie for 4th with 3.0 points on the day.
Twelve teams competed in the Middle School section, which produced the only perfect score of the day. Entering round three, Paideia, Westminster and Taylor Road were the only teams with two points. Paideia faced the higher rated Westminster and pulled off a 4-1 victory while Taylor Road defeated River Trail. The round four match between Paideia and Taylor Road, both undefeated, proved to be the decisive match with Paideia coming out on top 3-2. Paideia finished the day with a win over River Trail, again 3-2, to end with a perfect 5-0 team score. Congratulations to Middle School Team Champions Paideia! Westminster took clear 2nd with 4 points and Taylor Road took 3rd on tie-breaks edging out Fulton Science Academy and Northwestern Middle School.
Appreciation is due to Bella Belegradek as the only coach who was willing to serve double duty as a tournament director, serving as middle school section chief since none of her Eastside teams were competing in that section. Only two teams attended the tournament from outside the metro-area, both from St. Francis Xavier in Brunswick.
Many thanks to Creekland Middle School and principal Maresh for hosting the tournament and to all of those who volunteered and contributed to a successful day. The tournament coordinators faced logistical challenges in part due to the untimely death of Creekland’s head custodian Donnie in January. Donnie knew our needs and took care of many of the set up and take down details for us in the past. He is missed by the Creekland staff and by those of us at GCA as well. Thank you to all the parents and coaches who pitched in at the end of the day to get the skittles hall broken down and cleaned up! It takes many willing hands to make a large event successful.
For more pictures of the event, visit the Georgia Chess Association Facebook page.
|3||Fulton Sunshine Academy||513||3.5||W4,4.0||D2,2.0||W8,4.0||L1,1.5||W6,3.0|
|5||Mount Paran Christian School||578||3.5||D14,2.5||W24,3.0||W8,4.0||W11,3.0||L1,1.0|
|24||St. Francis Xavier||468||0.5||D23,2.5||L5,2.0||L19,0.0||L17,1.0||L20,1.0|
|7||Fulton Sunshine Academy||833||3||L13,2.0||W21,5.0||W11,4.0||L4,1.5||W16,3.0|
|9||Fulton Science Academy||666||3||W22,5.0||L1,1.0||W14,3.0||L6,1.5||W13,4.0|
|10||State Bridge Crossing||575||3||L1,0.0||W22,5.0||L8,2.0||W17,3.0||W15,4.0|
Middle School Results
|1||Paideia School Middle||1282||5||W4,4.0||W7,3.0||W2,4.0||W3,3.0||W8,3.0|
|3||Taylor Road Middle||1241||3||W6,3.5||W5,4.0||W8,3.0||L1,2.0||L2,1.5|
|4||Fulton Science Academy||1064||3||L1,1.0||L9,1.5||W6,4.0||W10,3.0||W11,4.0|
|8||River Trail Middle||1235||2||W11,3.5||L2,1.0||L3,2.0||W7,3.0||L1,2.0|
|9||Autrey Mill Middle||943||2||L7,2.0||W4,3.5||L5,2.0||W12,5.0||L6,2.0|
|11||Cliff Valley Middle||967||1.5||L8,1.5||L10,2.0||W12,5.0||D6,2.5||L4,1.0|
|12||St. Francis Xavier Middle||723||0||L5,0.5||L6,0.0||L11,0.0||L9,0.0||L10,1.0|