Metro Atlanta K-8 Team State Qualifier 2017

By Laura Doman

Chess, simuls, cool customized t-shirts, and chess paraphenalia galore. Add nearly a thousand kids, their parents, a sibling or two (OK, maybe a hundred), a few dozen chess coaches, and a cadre of volunteers (though we can always use more!) and what do you have? If you were around the Cobb Galleria Centre on Saturday, February 4, it could only mean one thing: the Metro Atlanta K-8 Team State Qualifier 2017 was well underway.

Running like clockwork and augmented by tweets directing parents to pairings, standings, and the occasional lost and found item, the Qualifier is the largest annual scholastic chess tournament in Georgia. And it’s full of school team spirit! Unlike other scholastic tournaments in which players compete for individual recognition, the Qualifier is purely a school team event. The grand prize? An invitation to the 2017 K-8 Team State Championship on Saturday, March 25, where they will be joined by other elementary and middle school teams from around the state.

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. Everyone played all four rounds and the scores of each team were calculated from the scores of their top five individual players (or, in the K-1 section, from the top four players).

The list of teams that qualified for the 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 41 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: Fulton Science Academy, Fulton County Champion
2nd: Trinity School
3rd: Daves Creek Elementary, Forsyth County Champion
4th: Westminster
5th: Fernbank Elementary, DeKalb County Champion

Plus score recipients: Woodward Academy, Shiloh Point Elementary, Vanderlyn Elementary, and Brookwood Elementary.

Cobb County Champion: Sope Creek Elementary
Gwinett County Champion: Simpson Elementary

All of the top five school teams and plus score trophy recipients are invited to compete in the 2017 K-8 Team State Championship, with Sope Creek Elementary designated as an alternate.


With 48 schools represented in the K-3 section, ten teams received place trophies and eleven others took home plus score trophies.

1st: Dolvin Elementary, Fulton County Champion
2nd: Parsons Elementary, Gwinnett County Champion
3rd: Daves Creek Elementary, Forsyth County Champion
4th: Sope Creek Elementary, Cobb County Champion
5th: Westminster, Fulton County Champion
6th: State Bridge Crossing Elementary
7th: Fulton Science Academy
8th: Woodward Academy
9th: Eastside Elementary
10th: Brookwood Elementary

Plus score recipients: Fernbank Elementary, Davis Elementary, Mountain View Elementary, Woodward Academy North, Cliff Valley, The Walker School, New Prospect Elementary, Settles Bridge Elementary, Whitehall Academy, Morris Brandon Elementary, and Sugar Hill Elementary.

Dekalb County Champion: Fernbank Elementary

All of the top ten finishers are invited to compete in the State Championship, as are almost all of the plus score recipients. Sugar Hill Elementary is the designated alternate school team; all others progress directly to the Championship.


Seventy-five teams competed in the K-5 section, with ten teams winning place trophies and eighteen receiving plus score trophies.

1st: East Side Elementary, Cobb County Champion
2nd: Trinity School, Fulton County Champion
3rd: Sope Creek Elementary
4th: Shakerag Elementary
5th: Daves Creek Elementary, Forsyth County Champion
6th: Shiloh Point Elementary
7th: Whitefield Academy
8th: Fernbank Elementary, Dekalb County Champion
9th: Brookwood Elementary
10th: Fulton Academy of Science and Technology

Plus score recipients: Fulton Science Academy, Pace Academy, Cogburn Woods Elementary, Big Creek Elementary, Settles Bridge Elementary, Birmingham Falls Elementary, Crabapple Crossing Elementary, Murdock Elementary, Sweet Apple Elementary, Roswell North Elementary, Sarah Smith Elementary, Mary Lin Elementary, Kittredge Magnet School, The Walker School, Cliff Valley, Davis Elementary, Morris Brandon Elementary, and Westminster.

Dekalb County Champion: Fernbank Elementary

All of the top ten finishers are invited to the State Championship, as are the following plus score recipients: Birmingham Falls Elementary, Big Creek Elementary, Cogburn Woods Elementary, Crabapple Crossing Elementary, Fulton Science Academy, Kittredge Magnet School, Mary Lin Elementary, Murdock Elementary, Pace Academy, Roswell North Elementary, Sarah Smith Elementary, Settles Bridge Elementary, Sweet Apple, and The Walker School.
First alternate is Cliff Valley. Second alternate is Davis Elementary. Third alternate is Morris Brandon Elementary. Fourth alternate is Westminster
Middle School.

Out of 27 teams in the Middle School section, five teams finished with place trophies and another three received plus score trophies.

1st: South Forsyth Middle School, Forsyth County Champion
2nd: Autrey Mill Middle School, Fulton County Champion
3rd: Paideia, Dekalb County Champion
4th: Hull Middle School, Gwinnett County Champion
5th: Westminster

Plus score recipients: Lakeside Middle School, Lead Homeschool, and Chamblee Middle School.

Clarke County Champion: Hilsman Middle School

All the top five finishers and the plus score trophy recipients qualify for the State Championship. Additional qualifying school teams include: Hilsman Middle School, Hightower Trail Middle School, and Hilsman Middle School. Cliff Valley is the designated alternate.

Congratulations to all! Good luck to the school teams that qualified to play in the State Championship on March 25. Details about the Championship are posted on the Georgia Chess website at

Here are the cross-tables for each section:

K-1 Cross Table

K-3 Cross table

K-5 Cross Table

6-8 Cross Table



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