Chess communities do not evolve over night.

Last weekend, nearly 600 from programs around the state gathered in Normal for the state K-8's. That doesn't happen by accident. Tuesday, ICA website readers learned about a 21-year old Elmhurst district blitz chess event attracting 275 players. 

Although organized by the coaches themselves, schools within the Wheaton-Warrenville District (CUSD 200) held a 175 player tournament in six individual sections and four team divisions to Wheaton Christian Grammar School on March 18.

Time controls were in accordance with "real" chess: Game/30 with a five-second delay for all competitors. Some players made full use of their time -- and some just couldn't wait to pounce on the opportunity created by their opponent's latest move.

The All-Wheaton event was not rated by US Chess -- but generally followed USCF rules with National Tournament Director Jeff Wiewel at the helm. 

When the dust settled, there were five perfect five-for-five scores: Ben Hengesbaugh (Longfellow) in Kindergarten, Carter Clark (St. Michaels) in 3rd Grade, William Cahill (Longfellow) in 4th Grade, Macgregor Barrett (Lincoln) in 5th Grade and Sarah Grandy (Wheaton Christian) in Junior High.

Colin Wicks -- of the host school -- posted four wins and a draw to claim the 1st Grade championship. 

Among second graders, Risindu Withanaaracharchige of Wiesbrook and (Miles) Whitmore Barrett of Lincoln both earned 4.5/5's with Risindu earning the higher tiebreak to claim the championship trophy.

Wheaton Christian Coach Rose Grandy isn't quite certain how long the event has been going on -- estimating at least 15 years -- but certainly appreciates the cooperation necessary to keep such a community event going.

Ms. Grandy's Wheaton Christian Grammar team finished in the top three places in three of the four divisions: 2nd in Lower Primary (K-1), 2nd in Upper Primary (2-3) and clear winner in Junior High (6-8). Four different school teams won division championships, with Longfellow, Lincoln, Madison, St. Michaels all finishing in the top three more than once.

Complete team results are listed below.

The Illinois Chess Association stands ready to assist any community which wishes to create -- or perpetuate -- a city-wide or district-wide event such as we've seen in Elmhurst and now Wheaton-Warrenville... and will be coming up in April in Champaign-Urbana.

Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to discuss your community's event.

    Lower Primary Upper Primary Elementary Junior High
    Grades K-1 Grades 2-3 Grades 4-5 Grades 6-8
1st   Longfellow (16.5) Lincoln (16.0) Madison (14.0) Wheaton Christian (15.0)
2nd   Wheaton Christian (12.0) Wheaton Christian (15.0) Lincoln (12.5) Edison (13.0)
3rd   Madison (9.6) St. Michaels (14.0) Longfellow (12.5) St. Michaels (7.5)