Qualifier photo

Metro Atlanta K-8 Team State Qualifier 2016

By Laura Doman

 Quick!  What sport hosts almost a thousand kids at once, representing 125 different schools, all competing on one field AT THE SAME TIME?  Not baseball.  Not soccer.  Not even track.  OK, maybe a  wilderness survival course that would turn hundreds of elementary and middle schoolers loose all at once to capture that “Hunger Games” feel, but in an organized fashion?  And without anything more bruising than a paper cut?  Yeah, right.

OK, you know that I’m talking about scholastic chess. Why? Because I’m always writing about scholastic chess and you clicked on this article in Georgia Chess News to read all about Georgia’s biggest K-8 school team event of the year.  And this year’s tournament was a well-run affair, one that particularly pleased parents with its new format of four, rather than five, rounds.

The Metro Atlanta K-8 Team State Qualifier 2016 was held once again at the Cobb Galleria Centre on Saturday, February 6, complete with simuls with international chess masters for players to test their skills between rounds.  Georgia’s #1 player and Grandmaster Alonso Zapata especially kept the kids hopping as he played a dozen or so simultaneously throughout the early afternoon.

The Qualifier tournament serves to identify the top metro Atlanta schools that are invited to play in the Georgia team championship, hosted by Taylor Road Middle School in Johns Creek (Alpharetta), Georgia on Saturday, March 19.  The Qualifier also recognizes the top scoring teams within each metro Atlanta county with championship trophies.  Lots of hardware to be collected by top-scoring teams!

Kindergarteners through eighth graders played in four sections:  K-1 for our youngest players, K-3 for primarily 2nd and 3rd graders, K-5 for mostly 4th and 5th graders, and Middle School for grades 6 through 8.  Some experienced chess kids “played up” to join their older schoolmates’ teams, but each team was comprised solely of students attending that particular school full-time.

The list of teams that qualified for the 2016 GCA-sponsored K-8 Team State Championship are listed by these sections, with alternates who will be notified if a qualifying team does not register or cancels. These schools will also be joined by a few teams from outside the metropolitan Atlanta area.  The State Championships titles will be awarded in the same four sections as the Qualifier:

K-1 (Pre-primary)

K-3 (Primary)

K-5 (Elementary)

6-8 (Middle School)


Here are the results from the Qualifier by each section, including recognition of County Champions:


In a field of 37 teams, place trophies were awarded to the top five finishers, with plus score trophies going to six other schools who won a majority of their games.

1st: Cliff Valley, DeKalb County Champion

2nd: Eastside Elementary, Cobb County Champion

3rd: Parsons Elementary, Gwinnett County Champion

4th: Fernbank Elementary

5th: Sope Creek Elementary

Plus score recipients: The Westminster Schools (Fulton County Champion), Whitefield Academy, Trinity School, Woodward Academy, Brumby Elementary, and State Bridge Crossing Elementary.

Forsyth County Champion: Brookwood Elementary

Hall County Champion: Chestnut Mountain Elementary

All of the top five school teams and plus score recipients are invited to compete in the 2016 K-8 Team State Championship, with Brookwood Elementary designated as an alternate.



With 71 schools represented in the K-3 section, ten teams received place trophies and fourteen others took home plus score trophies.

1st: Trinity School, Fulton County Champion

2nd: Cliff Valley, DeKalb County Champion

3rd: Daves Creek Elementary, Forsyth County Champion

4th: Brumby Elementary, Cobb County Champion

5th: Woodward Academy

6th: Brookwood Elementary

7th: Crabapple Crossing

8th: Mt. Paran Christian School

9th: East Side Elementary

10th: Sunshine STEM Academy

Plus score recipients: The Westminster Schools, Fernbank, Mary Lin Elementary, Big Creek Elementary, Morris Brandon Elementary, Shiloh Point Elementary, Roswell North Elementary, Sope Creek Elementary, Davis Elementary, Murdock Elementary, Pace Academy, The Walker School, Galloway, and Whitefield Academy.

Douglas County Champion: Holly Springs Elementary

Gwinnett County Champion: Beaver Ridge Elementary

The following schools are invited to compete in the State Championship: Trinity, Cliff Valley, Daves Creek, Brumby, Woodward, Brookwood, Crabapple Crossing, Mt. Paran Christian, East Side, Sunshine STEM, Westminster, Fernbank, Mary Lin, Big Creek, Morris Brandon, Shiloh Point, Roswell North, Sope Creek, and Davis Elementary.  Murdock is the designated alternate.



Sixty-nine teams competed in the K-5 section, with ten teams winning place trophies and another ten receiving plus score trophies.

1st: Daves Creek Elementary, Forsyth County Champion

2nd: Whitefield Academy, Cobb County Champion

3rd: Brookwood Elementary

4th: Big Creek Elementary

5th: East Side Elementary

6th: Fernbank, DeKalb County Champion

7th: Settles Bridge Elementary

8th: Science Academy, Fulton County Champion

9th: The Westminster Schools

10th: Shakerag Elementary

Plus score recipients:  Sope Creek Elementary, Paideia School, Parsons Elementary (Gwinnett County Champion), Mt. Bethel Elementary, Pace Academy, Sweet Apple Elementary, Tritt Elementary, Rocky Mount Elementary, Beaver Ridge Elementary, Sugar Hill Elementary, Roswell North Elementary, Shiloh Point Elementary, and Birmingham Falls Elementary.

Bartow County Champion: Adairsville Elementary

Douglas County Champion: Holly Springs Elementary

Hall County Champion: Spout Springs Elementary

The following schools are invited to compete in the State Championship:  Daves Creek, Whitefield, Brookwood, Big Creek, East Side, Fernbank, Settles Bridge, Fulton Science, Westminster, Shakerag, Sope Creek, Paideia, Parsons, Mt. Bethel, Pace, Sweet Apple, Tritt, Rocky Mount, Beaver Ridge, Sugar Hill, Roswell North, and Shiloh Point Elementary as the designated alternate.


Middle School

Out of 31 teams in the Middle School section, five teams finished with place trophies and another ten received plus score trophies.

1st: Westminster, Fulton County Champion

2nd: Paideia School, DeKalb County Champion

3rd: Autrey Mill Middle School

4th: Sutton Middle School

5th: Piney Grove Middle School, Forsyth County Champion

Plus score recipients: Chamblee Middle School, South Forsyth Middle School, Cliff Valley Middle School, Kittredge Magnet School, Hightower Trail Middle School (Cobb County Champion), Druid Hills Middle School, Taylor Road Middle School, and Creekland Middle School (Gwinnett County Champion).

Clarke County Champion: Hilsman Middle School

Douglas County Champion: Turner Middle School

Henry County Champion: Union Grove Middle School

The top five school teams and the plus score recipients all qualified to compete in the State Championship, with two school teams designated as alternates:   Hilsman Middle School and Griffin Middle School.

Congratulations to all! Good luck to the school teams that qualified to play in the State Championship on March 19.  Details about the Championship can be found at the following link:  2016 Metro Atlanta K-8 Team State Qualifier


2016 Metro Atlanta Qualifier Cross Tables


1 – 42


43 – 85


86 – 128


129 – 163








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