Chess teams go to SuperNationals
Eudora was one of 500 cities represented at the US Chess Federation's "Battle of the Minds" SuperNationals II held at Bartle Hall in Kansas City over the weekend.
Six members of the Eudora High School chess team and six members of Eudora Middle School's team joined the field of over 4,600 kindergarten through 12th graders.
Junior Seth Pittman, sophomores Bart Carroll and Austin Roberts plus freshmen Jared Pringle, Troy Van Horn and Brandon Werst played in the seven-round event billed as the largest chess tournament in the world.
Participants included Eudora Middle SchoolJesie Stout, Frank Male, Craig Elmer, Matt Morgan, Guy Montgomery and Ray Ramirez.
The boards spanned the length of eight football fields, but it was eerily quiet in Bartle Hall while competitors concentrated. Games could last a maximum of four hours each and ran Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon.
"That was really different for our kids," middle school coach Dan Kuhlman said. "We're used to playing games in 30-45 minutes usually and even in our state tournament they are usually one hour games."
Roberts enjoyed the competition, but was amazed at the enormity.
"It was fun, but I was daunted by the size of it," Roberts said. "My favorite match was in the fifth round. I allowed my opponent to go ahead by a rook and I could tell he thought he would win, being up on points. He then realized he couldn't stop me from pushing my pawn and getting a queen."
Roberts was Eudora High School's top finisher, taking 208th place out of 417 competitors with three wins, three losses and a draw.
Werst claimed three victories enroute to 253rd place. Pringle won two games for 347th place.
In the under 1000 USCF rating group, Pittman and Carroll each won three matches to place 333 and 344, respectively, out of 504 players. Van Horn won twice, taking 397th place in the brain sport.
Male was the highest rated player for EMS. He played in the Under 1000 K-8 division and finished the tournament with a 4-3 record.
The other EMS players were in the Under 750 K-8 division and comprised the team that would compete for the school.
Stout and Morgan paced the other group, both with 3-3-1 records. Montgomery was not far behind with a 3-4 effort. Ramirez and Elmer both finished at 2-5.
"It was a great experience for all the kids," Coach Kuhlman said. "They were able to play a lot of chess in a very unique environment, and all of them came away with some wins and positive experiences."
The top four players' scores counted toward the team standings, but EHS only had three players in each division. In the under 1300 division, the Cardinals were 54th out of 72 teams; in the 1000 and under Eudora High was 70th of 84.