Every year, the top four scholastic chess teams in each of the four grade divisions qualify to join teams from the other three regions to compete for the Tennessee Chess Association scholastic team championships, which were held March 24 at Tennessee Tech University.
Four Oak Ridge schools—Linden Elementary School, Robertsville Middle School, Jefferson Middle School, and Oak Ridge High School—qualified a total of six teams for this year’s event. That meant that about 1/10th of the players were Oak Ridge students (Oak Ridge has about 0.4 percent of the state’s population).
In the Primary (K-3) section, the Linden team of Ricardo Smith, William Hetrick, Quinn Richardson, and Kaylee Tress finished 11th overall.
In the Elementary (K-6) section, Jefferson (Brian Qu, Isaak Nussbaum, Gavin Koentop, and Toby Croft) finished fifth, while Robertsville (Leo Ehlers, Patrick Wurm, Daisy Kercher, Brandon Bonamarte, and Zachary Williamson) took 10th.
In the Junior High (K-9) section, Jefferson (Brian Qu, Henri Scott, Jack Biewer, Nick Pelletier, and Jackson Johnson) collected a sixth-place trophy, while Oak Ridge’s freshman team of Kenny Adams, Levi Parish, Dan Joy, and Adam Herron managed to also get into the top 10.
Oak Ridge’s varsity team of Steven Qu, Andrew Brady, Justin Blanchard, and Bear Moran were tied for first at the midpoint before falling to the eventual second- and third-place teams, settling for seventh in the High School (K-12) section.
Jefferson sixth grader Brian Qu was the undisputed star of his school, scoring a perfect 4-0 on board one for the elementary team and also contributing two wins in two games played for the Junior High team. Other notable scores were 3.5 from Robertsville’s Patrick Wurm and 3.0 from Jefferson’s Gavin Koentop and Jack Biewer as well as ORHS’s Adam Herron, Justin Blanchard, and Bear Moran.
This story and photos were submitted by Gilbert Chan.
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