Elementary Nationals Update
By Jennifer Shahade and Betsy Dynako   
May 12, 2007
Controversial pre tourney training: Bughouse! Photo Betsy Dynako

The National Elementary Championship kicked off on Thursday with blitz (K-3 and K-6 sections) and bughouse tournaments. According to Jerry Nash, Josh Waitzkin's Saturday morning signing for his new book The Art of Learning was a big success: "The line stretches down the hallway."

USCF Scholastic Director Jerry Nash is happy with the 2100 player turnout, and is especially enthusiastic about the new faces. About 500 people showed up at the coaches and parents meeting. Jerry asked the crowd how many were attending their first ever Nationals, 80 to 90% raised their hands. "We have a big group from as far as Hawaii," says Nash who is also happy that, "I've been getting a lot of comments from parents, coaches and principals that chess was the answer to discipline problems for their children."

The main event began Friday afternoon, with 2100 participants. Two rounds into the event, there are many perfect scores in all nine sections. You can keep track of the results online at the following links:

Links to Standings:

K-6 Championship
K-5 Championship
K-3 Championship
K-1 Championship
K-6 U1000
K-5 U900
K-3 U800
K-6 Unrated
K-3 Unrated

Photo Gallery by Betsy Dynako

A two-brother bughouse team posing with matching shirts.

In between round fun at the enormous Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville

International Arbiter Carol Jarecki

Friendly first round action

One view of the Opyrland hotel