|For the Love of Team Chess: Illinois Scholastic A Big Draw|
|By Betsy Dynako|
|February 18, 2014|
Of 140 teams registered to play the 40th annual Illinois High School Association Chess Team State Championships, 138 were able to make it through the snow to start play on Friday morning. Two days of competition were held over Valentine's Day weekend from February 14-15. The Peoria Civic Center once again kindly hosted the 1,600 plus players and coaches.
The IHSA Chess Team Championship is the largest fixed board tournament in the world. Teams play with 8 players ranked in skill from board one to eight. Pairings were determined by NTD Chris Meril by using team results.
In the end defending champions Whiney Young High School or Chicago, IL took home first after finishing with a perfect score and taking Hinsdale Central High School down to third place. Coach Dylan Canavan beamed with pride over his team during the awards ceremony. His positive attitude must be one of the reasons he was voted coach of the year by his peers.
Benet Academy of Lisle, IL finished strong in 2nd place. The team is rumored to be one to watch for next year as the program has vastly grown and players continue to improve under the direction of coach Pattie Zinski.
Find more background on the event here and look for more by Betsy Dynako next week on the US Amateur Team North in Schaumburg, IL. (scheduled a week later than the other Amateur Teams, which will be featured this week on CLO.)