Daniels-Turgut Team Wins National Bughouse Championship

2015 National Bughouse ChampsIt won't impact their USCF ratings in the least, but a pair of downstate Illinois juniors have claimed the National Elementary Bughouse Championship.

Jason Daniels and Aydin Turgut compiled 11 out of 12 points to claim clear first place at the competition completed May 7 in Nashville, TN. They split in the fourth round with Alex Costello and Max Lu, the pair which took second on tiebreaks atop a four-pack of 10.0 scorers.

Jason is in sixth grade, Aydin is in 5th grade. Aydin is the defending K-5 Champion, a title he earned at the same competition last year in Dallas. 

70 pairs competed in one or more rounds of the bughouse competition. Results are posted at the USCF site.

Aydin's father, Dr. Tansel Tugut, recalls that Aydin and Jason first met at the Colley Chess Club (in downtown Bloomington, now closed. The late Kit Colley has lent his name to an annual award given to outstanding chess coaches). 

Dr. Turgut recalls Aydin was just learning chess. "Jason was on a stool, beating a college student and she was very upset!" The cardiologist who recently became a FIDE Master indicated he was impressed at Jason's play and wound up playing the boys a blindfold simultaneous game which he "barely won".

Jason had already won the K-1 Illinois Championship by then. Six months later, Aydin won the K-1 National Championship, recalls the proud father.

Dr. Turgut reports the two are good friends, attendng each others' birthday celebrations even though they live in different cities. And he reports the boys even exchanged "ice bucket challenges" -- although the ICA is awaiting video confirmation!

Jason's father, Scott Daniels, reports that the two boys knew they had something special as bughouse partners when they managed to beat their coaches -- both National Masters -- at chess camp the previous summer. And the seed was planted...

K-6 Blitz

Both Jason and Aydin finished in the top 10 of the K-6 Blitz out of 184 competitors. Aydin placed sixth with 9.5 points (out of 12), Jason placed tenth on tiebreaks, atop the 9.0 score group. Advaith Prabu also scored 9.0/12, taking 15th on tiebreaks.

Aydin defeated fourth-place finisher Gordon Lee in the third round, with a win and a draw, but lost both fifth-round games to eventual champion Anthony He, a Washington fourth grader.

Aydin was the defending K-6 Blitz Champion, winning the 2014 competition in Dallas.

Results are posted here. 

K-3 Blitz

Both Vrishank Ramnath and Avi Harrison compiled 8.0/12's in the K-3 Blitz, taking 17th and 21st respectively, on tiebreaks. Max Lu, the co-runner up in K-6 Bughouse, was the K-3 Blitz Champion.

Vrishank and Avi are second graders who compete regularly in the prestigous YCFC tournaments in Chicago.

Avi earned the second place trophy for players rated 800-899.

98 competed in one or more rounds of the K-3 Blitz.

The 2015 Elementary Championships conclude May 10 with many Illinois entrants competing in nine sections including K-6, K-5, K-3 and K-1 Championships.