With a seventh-round draw, 7th-Grader David Peng clinched top honors at the 2015 USCF National Junior High Championships, winning the K-9 section outright with a 6.5 tally.
David's final opponent, Sam Capocyan of Texas, tied for second with two others at 6.0.
Eighth-grader Matthew Stevens posted 5.0/7, tying for 10th place, 13th on tiebreaks. Hanson Hao tied for 25th with 4.5.
In the K-8 section of the same event, Rockford's Vincent Do, a seventh grader, tied for seventh place with a 5.5/7 result, drawing Ohio's Maggie Feng in the final round. Maggie had the top tiebreak among 5.5 scorers, having drawn the section champion in the sixth round. Marcus Miyasasaka of New York had the highest tiebreak among six 6.0 scorers to win the section.
Jon Winick swept all four of his opponents to claim the South Suburban Tournament April 26. Winick, prevailed over Douglas Middleton in the final game, surpassing the USCF 1900 rating for the first time.
The upset of the day came when Neel Jay managed to defeat Provisional USCF Expert Dritan Zekaj in the first round, ceding 430 rating points.
Zekaj, an Albanian lawyer, managed to squeeze in some chess between his business and legal studies. He came back strong after his first match, winning his last three games.
Stefan Musikic also finished 3.0/4, losing only to Winick in the third round.
The Niles North graduate and University of Illinois Computer Science student offers hints applicable to every chess player including "set goals that have nothing to do with rating" and "get off to a good start".
My personal favorite is #7: "Grow Facial Hair". This may serve as an impediment to some juniors, but happens to be the one key I have mastered personally.
New names entering (or returning to) the top 100 lists this month include 7-year old William Wang, 14-year old James Wei, 16-year old Philip Parker-Turner and 18-year old Mark Reed. Caeley Harihara has reappeared on the Under 21 year old Girls list.
Jacob Furfine surpassed USCF 2200 to enter Master territory.
Stefan Musikic surpassed 1800 earning Class A distinction.
9-year old downstater Peter Zheng raised his rating 36 points to 1509 which would make him eligible for Warren Junior Scholars status next year under current rules, pending his participation in ten regular-rated games against all-ages competition during 2015.
In the flip-flopping power struggle of brothers Nikhil and Akhil Kalghatgi, Nikhil grabbed the upperhand at this year's Chicago Public Schools K-8 Championships completed March 28.
Nikhil defeated Taft's Matthew Wong in the fifth round while Akhil only managed only a fourth-round draw against Matthew. This gave Nikhil top honors at 5.0 with Akhil nabbing clear second with 4.5.
With the twins' performances, Whitney Young Academic Center cruised to the team championship with 17.0 points. Taft, aided by Jonathan Lee's 3.5 and 3.0's from Matthew, Georgia Wolf and Danilo Velazquez, took second place on tiebreaks over Keller.
New Trier High School's ZhaoZhi "George" Li came within a half-point of the highest score at the 2015 USCF High School Nationals completed April 12 in Columbus, OH.
Li's only blemishes were draws in rounds three and five, both against Texans. George's post-event rating -- pending re-rating -- hit 2300 for the first time. His 6.0 tied for second place with seven others, capturing seventh place hardware on tiebreaks.
Fifth Grader Daniel Zhang is on quite a roll lately, going 5-0 at the Greater Chicago Championships in February and 6-1 at the ICA's K-8 Championships in early March.
Daniel kept it rolling by winning the Benito Juarez Spring Open at the Lozano Branch of the Chicago Public Library on March 21.
The five-round, dual-section event observed what would have been the 209th birthday of the five-term president of Mexico. The tournament was sponsored by El Campeon Pina Colada and organized by Hector Hernandez.
In the ages 14 and under section, Layla Rodriguez placed just ahead of Daniel Roman.