Sunday, November 18, 2007

In the Magic Kingdom

Host school Disney triumphs in YCFC opener, as Ray kids shine in all divisions

Walt Disney Magnet School on North Marine Drive yesterday hosted the long-awaited season opener of the Youth Chess Foundation of Chicago. The tournament saw outstanding performances by both new and veteran players.

Tournament results are here and more photos are here.

Top Ray players

The Disney Team

Some of the highlights:

Four Ray players won trophies at the event, including fourth grader Phillip Parker-Turner, who was the tournament’s top player overall, finishing first in the Advanced division.

Tournament host Disney Magnet School, under Coach Trevor Scott, won the team competition (Beginner division), continuing a surge the up-and-coming program began at the end of last season.

Ray’s Sonam Ford, playing his first tournament in the Advanced group, won a trophy for coming in third in that category. Finishing second, between Phillip and Sonam, was Burbank Elementary star Christopher Velazquez, who handed Phillip his only defeat of the day.

Allen Dai, a Ray second grader, finished second in the Intermediate division with an outstanding 5.0/6, losing first place to Lab School’s Arthur Chang only on statistical tiebreaks. Disney’s Delvin Hajdarevic, who came in third, also scored 5.0/6.

Fifth grader Andy Margulis of Ray finished fifth in the 80-player beginner division, which was won by Cook School’s Nyshya Pollard, who was playing in her first YCFC tournament. Since it was Andy’s third top-ten finish, he will advance to Intermediate at the next tournament, as will Nyshya automatically for coming in first.

Two Ray students, Joshua Anderson and Zion Richardson, played in their first tournament. They joined returning veterans Kaytlyn James, Lauren James, and George Vassilatos. All together, nine Ray kids played in the tournament.

Two new schools, Cook and Clinton, joined the league for the first time, and Fulton School, under Coach Eric Santos, returned after having made its first YCFC appearance last spring.

Unsolved chess mystery: Powerhouse Burbank Elementary, 21 strong, came with its normally huge contingent of players, yet I didn’t see one of their signature blue shirts all day. Is being inconspicuous part of Burbank’s new strategy?

Congratulations to the YCFC’s Mike Cardinale, John Lee, Saadiq Sajjaad, and their legions of volunteer helpers, for an excellent season opener. Next tournament: December 15, at a location to be announced. Watch this space for details.


Unknown said...

Great pics and coverage. Good to see Cook there. I remember all of those kids from a couple of years back.