The second annual Minnesota State Scholastic Playoffs were held March 18 & 19 at the Chess Castle's Southdale Mall location in Edina. All of the players battled hard for the opportunity to represent Minnesota on the national stage. In the end, it was the top-rated player in each section posting a perfect score to take home the Championship.
In the K-12 Section, FM Sammy Narayanan played some dazzling chess to finish 5-0 and earn his place in the Denker. For the K-8, NM Vaibhav Kalpaka continued his winning ways with a brilliant 5-0 performance to earn his place in the Barber. Next weekend Sammy and Vaibhav will compete in another state championship playoff. This time it will be located in Plymouth...and it will be the overall state championship. Both will be chasing 11-time overall state champion IM Sean Nagle.
In the K-5 Section, Rochester's Vihaan Pendse won both games of his 2-game tiebreaker match with Ajay Singamsetty to earn the opportunity to compete in the Rockefeller. Joining Sammy, Vaibhav & Vihaan on the Minnesota team will be Tim Radermacher who will represent the 50+ Seniors in the Irwin.
Minnesota hopes to improve on its strong 10th place finish among the 50 states in the 2022 National Competition. There is one more team member to be determined and that is the Girls K-12 champion who will represent Minnesota in the Haring Event. Registration is open so hopefully many of the scholastic girls will sign up for this April 8th one-day competition to determine Minnesota's Haring Representative.