First All Girls State Chess Championship A Success!
The girls took center stage as Bob Jones High School Chess Club hosted the first All Girls State Chess Championship on April 28, 2018. Forty-six Alabama girls competed in three sections: K-3, K-6, and K-12. The K-12 Champion, Sarvagna Velidandla from Pizitz Middle School, will be Alabama's representative to the National Girls Tournament of Champions (NGTOC). Final standings from the tournament can be found here.
In addition to awarding individual trophies and medals, the top three scores from any school were used to determine team scores. Each section had a sufficient number of girls to make it a real contest for both team and individual awards. Team trophies were awarded to the top three teams. Individual trophies were awarded to the top five girls in each section, with tie-break medals provided to anyone who tied for fifth place.
When we asked some girls what it was like playing in a tournament with no boys, they replied, "It is awesome!" The tournament directors commented on how polite and well-behaved all the girls were. MCCL Executive Director Ranae Bartlett noticed how friendly the girls were, even immediately after a game where one competitor won and one competitor lost: "These girls are the model for good sportsmanship. They are fierce competitors over the board, but best of friends when the round is over." This tournament was long-overdue, and we hope the Alabama Chess Federation will continue to sanction this event in the future.
Individual award winners in the K-12 section (L to R): Sarvagna Veidandla - Pizitz (1st), Constance Wang - Discovery (2nd), Shreya Sunil - Liberty (3rd), Snekha Rajasekaran - Pizitz (4th), Grace Billmann - Bob Jones (5th); tied for 5th place medals: Nikhita Chintareddy - Pizitz, Madison Gore - Bob Jones, and not pictured Yuti Das - Liberty.
Four teams competed in the K-12 Section. Pizitz Middle School won 1st, Bob Jones High School won 2nd and Discovery Middle School won 3rd place. The team from Liberty Middle School had the same team score as Discovery Middle, but on tie breaks, DMS narrowly edged out LMS for the third place award.
Individual award winners in the K-6 section (L to R): Nirvana Rajbhandari - Horizon (1st), Madhushalini Balaji - Heritage (2nd), Natalie Guo - Vestavia Hills (3rd), Oviya Gowder - Heritage (4th), Rachael Ehrman - Rainbow (5th); tied for 5th place medals: Shruti Kadam - Madison, Anaya Naphade - Mill Creek, Sahithi Mynampally - Mill Creek, and Caroline Wang - Rainbow. Not only did Nirvana win this section, but she became the newest member of the MCCL 1000 Club! Congratulations!
Four teams from Madison competed in the K-6 section. Heritage Elementary won 1st place, Rainbow Elementary won 2nd place, and Mill Creek Elementary won 3rd place. Also competing in this section was West Madison Elementary.
Individual award winners in the K-3 Section (L to R): Laya Gowder - Heritage (1st), Vedika Shenoy - JB Montessori/BHM (2nd), Emma Kuang - Rainbow (3rd), Samsara Rajbhandari - Horizon (4th), Christina Yang - Madison (5th); tied for 5th place medals: Sarah Rydbom - Rainbow and Advitiya Kana - Deer Valley/BHM.
Four teams from Madison competed in the K-3 section. Rainbow Elementary won 1st place with 8 team points. The contest for second and third place became very close. Both Mill Creek and Madison Elementary schools tied with 5.5 team points. On tie breaks, Mill Creek won 2nd place and Madison Elementary won 3rd place. Heritage Elementary narrowly missed a team award ending the day with 5 team points. Great job girls!