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2012 Arizona State Grade Championship Print E-mail
By Robby Adamson   
January 17, 2012
The 2012 Arizona State Grade Championship was held Saturday, January 7, 2012, at the Holiday Inn Palo Verde in Tucson, Arizona.  A total of 285 young people attended this year's event, the 18th consecutive year this event has been held! The tournament had ten sections, one for each grade (Kindergarten thru 8th grade, and High School). 
Photo Tommy Schucker
 One of the great things about the State Grade Championship (and National Grade for that matter) is that it's the fairest tournament there is in scholastic chess. Kids only compete against those in their own grade, rather than 2nd graders competing in a K-3 section, or a 4th grader in a K-6 section.  Kids love it because they know they are only facing those their same grade. Parents, who often don't know anything about chess, can relate easily as well.

As a chess coach, I like seeing the development of young players as they get older and develop into the nightmares that adults hate to face! However, I have to confess that I don't like playing kids at tournaments!

High School

Top seed  Eric Qi(2088) won the high school section with a score of 4.5 out of 5, ceding his lone draw to second place finisher, Kinsleigh Wong (1976), from Catalina Foothills. The team competition was won by Catalina Foothills High School.
Eric Qi Photo Tommy Schucker

8th Grade
Alec Anderson (1840) and Bohan Li (1859) both tallied 4-1 scores finishing as co-champions of a very tough 8th grade section, where half the field was rated over 1600! The team competition was won by Esperaro Middle School in Tucson.
Bohan Li, 8th grade co-champ,Photo Tommy Schucker

Alec-Anderson, 8th grade co-champ, Photo Tommy Schucker

7th Grade

The seventh grade section also featured co-champions, with top seed Xiexin Wang (1920) and Samuel Watson (1372) both scoring 4-1 scores. Winning the team competition was Basis Oro Valley.
6th Grade
Co-champions were in the air once again in Sixth Grade as Ethan Li (1983) and Prateek Pinisetti (1852), took a fairly early draw in round 4, and were able to defeat their respective last round opponents to win the 6th grade championship. Basis Chandler, from Chandler, AZ captured the team championship.
Ethan Li, Co-champ of 6th grade section, Photo Tommy Schucker

Prateek Pinisetti, Co-champ of 6th grade section , Photo Tommy Schucker

5th Grade

Richard Qi (1826), brother of Eric Qi who won the High School section, finished with a perfect 5-0 performance in a difficult 5th grade section. The team competition was won by Basis of Tucson.
Richard Qi, champion of 5th grade section, Photo Tommy Schucker

The rest of the individual (co)-champions, their city, and scores are as follows:
4th Grade Brian Wen (Chandler)  Perfect 5-0
3rd Grade Chang Xu (Deer Valley) Perfect 5-0
2nd Grade Pranav Jayaganesh (Phoenix) Perfect 5-0
1st Grade - Kevin Chor (Chandler); Perfect 5-0
Kindergarten - Jaeden Vogt (Chandler), Matthew Tejeda (Tucson) and Kenneth Wang (Gilbert) - all scoring 4-1
The rest of team champions are as follows:
4th Grade -Manzanita (Tucson)
3rd Grade -International School of Tucson, Harelson (both Tucson)
2nd Grade -Manzanita (Tucson)
1st Grade - Sonoran Sky Elementary  (Scottsdale)
Kindergarten -Canyon View (Tucson)
3rd Grade Champ Chang Xu, Photo Tommy Schucker

The tournament is certified by the Arizona Chess Federation (ACFI), and was sponsored by the Catalina Foothills Chess Club. Thanks to all the Catalina Foothills High School parents who volunteered to run a smooth event. Also, special thanks to the TD staff of Kiki Huerta, Karen Pennock, and Martha Underwood. Full results can be found at the USCF MSA page.