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State Championship Playoffs ⚔️ Part 1 🏆️

Updated: Apr 15

The annual Minnesota State Championship Playoffs were held at the Castle Chess Club the weekend of March 22-24. Spirited chess was on full display as only 18 of the 60 games (30%) resulted in draws. In two of the four sections there were decisive winners who were crowned champions for their section. In the other two sections, there were two players tied for 1st who will now have to "play off the playoff" in an MSCA official tiebreaker match.


MSCA Pairings & Standings 🧮 USCF Results 🔥 Part 2 ➡️


In the U2000 Section it was Eddie Wasserman repeating as champion with a stellar 4.5/5.0 performance that distanced the field of experts by 1.5 points. Eddie is an extremely active chess participant (hence the nickname Everyday Eddie) and he has demonstrated dominance of the U2000 category the last few years.


In the U1700, emerging star Liam Eriksson was crowned champion after winning a huge round 5 match-up against the undefeated Ibrahim Bukhari. This was a long battle that featured the creative Bukhari almost mating Eriksson with three minor pieces while Eriksson was queening a pawn for an overwhelming material advantage.


In the U2200 it was Vladimir Maltsev and Jordan Timm continuing their long winter battle with a tie for 1st at 3.5/5.0. Vladimir and Jordan have now scored the same amount of points and prize money at the January Winter Open, February MN Open, and March State Championship Playoffs. They will play a much needed head-to-head tiebreaker to determine who is the champion of this U2200 expert section.


In the Premier Section, the chase for the Stenberg Cup and Minnesota State Champion Title came down to Sammy Narayanan & Sean Nagle for the 3rd consecutive year. As luck would have it they were randomly paired to meet in Round 5. After an epic battle that featured massive complexity and immense time pressure for Sean...the game ended in a draw and left both players with 4.0/5.0 points. Similar to 2022, Sammy & Sean will now do an MSCA tiebreaker playoff to determine whose name is engraved on the Stenberg Cup traveling trophy and who gets the automatic bid to the 2025 playoffs as the defending champion.


Many thanks to Sarah Wahl for her dedicated TD work over the long playoff weekend.


Read Part 2 ➡️



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