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Favorites Win Individual Events at State Scholastic

291 chess players competed in the Minnesota State Scholastic Chess Championships held at the University of St. Thomas on March 4th and 5th. The MSCA invested in this premier chess site to help support all of these young players who represent the future of Minnesota chess. Parents, players, and coaches all commented on the spacious playing hall, surrounding community space, and access to a cafeteria as highlights. Tournament operations were smooth under the direction of TDs Jackson Wahl, Sarah Emmons and Jenny Bourne.

Sometimes in chess there are big upsets and surprising results. Not this time. The top-rated players in each section came out on top. In the K-12 it was Senior Samrug Narayanan going 6-0 to win his 3rd high school state championship. It was exciting to see Samrug match-up against Nastassja Matus on Board 1 in the last round as they have been competing at events as two of Minnesota's top chess prodigies for the last decade+. In the K-8 it was rising star and new USCF National Master Vaibhav Kalpaka taking clear first with 5 1/2 points. In the K-5 Ajay Singamsetty and Vihaan Pendse were declared co-champions with 4 1/2 points scored in the 5 rounds. Ajay and Vihaan will now have a playoff to determine who will represent Minnesota at the Rockefeller National Invitation Event this coming summer. In the K-3 it was William Ramirez and James Rasmussen outdistancing the field with perfect 4-0 scores.

Congratulations to our 2023 Scholastic State Champions...and to all who participated in this fantastic tournament!

Next up will be the playoffs among the top 6 finishers in the K-12 and K-8 to determine the Minnesota representatives for the Denker and Barber National Invitation Events.



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