Results of Groundhog's Shadow
~by James Stripes
Going into the last round of the Goundhog's Shadow youth chess tournament, Benjamin Johnson held a half-point lead over the other three on the top two boards. Ben had given up a draw in the second round, while each of the other three had suffered a defeat. Elijah Tobin was paired against Colby Jessup. Both players had lost to Ben in previous rounds. Ben was paired against Tiernan Waggoner, whose only loss was to Elijah. Colby (4.0) and Tiernan (4.0) both won in the last round, putting them atop the combined section of K-2 and K-4. Colby won the trophy for first in K-4, and Tiernan won first in K-2. Ben (3.5) won second in K-4 and Elijah (3.0) took home the trophy for second in K-2.
Others winning prizes in the K-4 section were Yashas Hithalamane (2.5), first in kindergarten; Jaxon Korb (3.0), first in first grade; Zihan Wang (3.0), first in second grade; Joshua Schoenberger (3.0), first in third grade; and Tyrel Teilborg, first in fourth grade. Joey Maestas (3.0) won the upset trophy.
Yashas and his father also won the parent/child competition, taking home a new chess set.
The K-2 and K-4 sections started the tournament as separate sections, but were combined in round three because the size of tournament would have led to strange pairings in the later rounds. The tournament had the largest number of preregistered participants of any Spokane area tournament so far in the 2016-2017 season, but 7-12 inches of snow that started falling on Friday and stopped only after most participants had arrived at the tournament site kept many away.
While their children played chess, several parents spent part of the day getting their cars unstuck from the largely unplowed roads leading to the venue. Those without four-wheel drive vehicles were advised to stay home. Seventeen schools were represented by the 34 players who made it to the event.
Orrin Keener, who warmed up for the chess tournament by clearing the snow from in front of the entrance won all his games to finish with a perfect 5.0 atop the K-12 section. Second place went to Christopher Bruceri (4.0). Also with 4.0, Vishal Achanta won first in fifth grade. Noah Brody (2.0) was first in grade six. The middle school trophy went to Alex Tunca (3.0) and the upset trophy was taken home by Robby Witmer (3.0).
For the first time in 2016-2017, Libby had to settle for second place in the team competition as their top four scored 13.0. A trophy was awarded for second. The Lutheran Home School team combined for 13.5 and won the first place team trophy.