A total of 113 competitors, ages 5-18, participated in the annual Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 chess tournament at Metcalf Middle School on Dec. 9. It was the second highest attendance in 34-year history of the tournament, according to district chess coordinator Brian Ribnick, who organized and directed the event.
“District 191 is the only district in Minnesota – and one of just a few in the nation – that believes in the power of the thinking skills that chess provides such that we teach chess in all elementary schools during the school day,” said Ribnick. “Plus nearly every school in the district also has an after-school chess program to enhance these skills.”
“This year’s tournament was a huge success thanks to all the coaches, parents and youngsters who believe in celebrating the great power of the human mind and the fun of thinking,” added Ribnick. “Congratulations to all the participants. You are all winners.”
In the elementary section, co-champions were Harrison Stage and Mitchell Kellen, both of whom attend William Byrne Elementary. Rounding out the top 10 were Jack Bellin, Jeenal Sharma, Joseph Ong, Gavin Allen-Wetterlin, Aakash Thurairajalingam (just a 1st grader!), Presley Martchev, Aiden Bellin and John Graham.
William Byrne Elementary won the team championship – a title they have won more than any team in the history of the district. Stan Kegel is the head coach at Byrne.
In the secondary section, Burnsville High School won the team title under head coach Mike Fellman. The individual champion was Gavin Kellen, a 7th grader from Metcalf. Second place went to Jackson Reichert of BHS, and third place went to Adam Stadick of BHS.
Other hardware went to grade level winners:
- 8th grade: Justin Joubert,
- 7th grader: Audra Johnson,
- 6th grader: Isaac Smith,
- 5th grader: Owen Krick,
- 4th grader: Cedric Boos,
- 3rd grader: Ashwin Thurairajalingam,
- 2nd grader: Emery Gehrke,
- 1st grade and younger: Ziran Yu.