Eighty-six students – kindergarten through 12th grade – from 24 different schools across Arlington participated in Wakefield High School’s second annual Arlington Winter Solstice Scholastic Chess Tournament, held in mid-December.
A group of middle-school players dominated the competition.
Gunston Middle School eighth-grader Roland Foster, Swanson Middle School seventh-grader Caleb Chang and H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program sixth-grader Will Eggert entered the final round with 3-0 scores.
In a dramatic finish, Foster, last year’s winner, checkmated Chang with 17 seconds on his clock to go 4-0, while Will Eggert defeated Arlington Career Center ninth-grader Aidan Basloe to also finish 4-0.
In a five-minute “blitz” playoff, Eggert defended well and took the title by defeating Foster.
In the K-8 section Thomas Jefferson Middle School eighth-grader Cody Shoelson cruised to a 4-0 record. Swanson seventh-grader Carson Wallin and Key Immersion Elementary School fifth-grader Chetan Le both scored 2.5-1.5, with the second-place tiebreaker going to Wallin.
The 25-player K-5 section produced a tight bunching of scores. Home-schooled fifth-grader Walden Lambert posted the only 4-0 score to win, and Arlington Science Focus School fifth-grader Alex Colley scored 3.5-.5 to finish second. Six players tied for third, with 3-1 scores, with the Swiss system software giving the tiebreaker to Barrett Elementary School third-grader Cameron Lieberman.
There also was tight bunching in the 28-player K-3 section. Barrett Elementary School third-grader Benjamin Amrany won the section with the only 4-0 score, while five players finished at 3-1.
Second place went to Hoffman-Boston Elementary School third-grader Munkhbat Altantulga and third place to Key Immersion Elementary School student Jordan Kravetz. Kravetz also took the medal for the top-finishing second-grader, while Drew Elementary School’s Jack Runyon won the medal for the top-finishing first-grader.
Key Elementary School won the top-team title, representing highest combined point total of four players in all sections.
Allen Chauvenet, executive director of the nonprofit Arlington Students Chess, which sponsored the tourney, expressed gratification at the large turnout and high quality of play. He suggested that the marked increase in the number of players in this year’s tournament indicated a healthy enthusiasm for chess among county students.