|Joshua Elander and Dana Weston Crowned Arkansas Scholastic Chess Champions|
|By Joan DuBois|
|March 25, 2009|
Official Press Release
March 25, 2009
Content by: Julie Kohl
24 students from around Arkansas competed in the Arkansas Scholastic Chess Championship held in the Fine Arts Complex at the Bradford School District on Saturday, March 21, 2009. The Denker Qualifier section is open to any 9th-12th grade student in Arkansas. The All Girls Polgar Qualifier section is open to any female in the 12th grade and under. On March 21st, six trophies were awarded and two students were selected to represent the state of Arkansas in the Denker and Polgar National tournaments to be held later this summer.
Joshua Elander of Searcy won the Denker Qualifier with a score of 4.5 out of a possible 5 points. Joshua is a senior at Searcy High School and plans to major in computer engineering at the University of Texas at Dallas which also has one of the best collegiate chess teams in the nation. Joshua plans to join their chess club while at school and hopes to eventually make it on to the school's chess team. Joshua will be representing Arkansas at the Denker Tournament of State High School Champions to be held in Indianapolis, Indiana in August.
Thomas Sparks of Bald Knob placed second in this event and Bryce Crabb, also of Bald Knob, placed third. Dana Weston went undefeated to claim first place in the All Girls Polgar Qualifier section. Dana is a senior at the Bradford High school and plans to attend UALR in the fall and will major in Health Sciences. Dana will be representing Arkansas at the Susan Polgar National Invitational for Girls to be held on the campus of Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas in July. Amber Matlock, an 8th grader at Bradford High School, scored 4 of 5 points to take the second place trophy. Amber's only loss was to the undefeated Dana Weston. Trisha Arnold, a sophomore at Izard County Consolidated took third place.
The Arkansas Scholastic Chess Championship was sponsored by the Arkansas Chess Association. You can learn more about chess in Arkansas by visiting www.arkansaschess.org.