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Sunday Morning in Dallas: Emily Nguyen in Clear Lead Print E-mail
By Al Lawrence   
May 11, 2014
ElemNationalslead.jpgWhile the men and women pros at the U.S. Championship in Saint Louis struggle to produce a break-away leader, a sixth grader in Dallas is showing them how it’s done. With five of the seven rounds on the results chart, WFM Emily Quynh Nguyen leads the National Elementary Championship’s top section, K-6, boasting  its only perfect score—an impressive “5.0” that tops the long list of competitors.

Six trail her at 4.5. That group includes Jacob Furfine of Illinois, who knocked off top-seed Brandon Nydick of New York in the middle round of Saturday’s three-game schedule—a long middle day for the more than 2,000 school kids from all over the U.S. who on Sunday then have to answer an early-morning  call to battle. On that final day of the championship, the rounds at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. provide the last chances to chalk up points.

The K-6 Under-1000 section is locked in a six-way tie of perfect scores. The six leaders represent six different states from coast to coast. The K-6 Unrated section and the K-5 Championship section each feature three perfect scores going into the last day, while the K-5 Under 900 section spotlights no fewer than seven young competitors in a perfect-score tie.

No perfect score survives in the K-3 Championship, where no less than 10 have given up only one draw to tie with 4.5. But in the K-3 under 800, seven go into the last day with 5-0. Two top the K-3 Unrated section with 5-0. So Andy Huang of Washington and Weston White of New York will face off in Sunday morning’s penultimate round.

Marvin Gao of Florida, Jesse Roonprapunt of New York, and Vrishank Ramnath of Illinois have emerged as the perfect-score leaders of the youngest of the nine groups, the 307-player K-1 section.

The one-day, four-round Friends and Family event was divided into three sections, offering some chess for those who came as parents, teacher and chaperones of all the hopeful elementary-school champs. Vikram Arun of Missiouri took first on tie-breaks over Aldrin Arandela of Texas in the 53-player rated section. Vijayakumar Kurup of Washington won all four of his games to win the 19-player Unrated section.

The Friends and Family offers a two-member team prize to families. Vijayakumar Kurup and his uncle Anirudh Rajesh topped the two-some tabulations with eight points.

Stay tuned for the big news of who won each of the nine sections in the nation’s largest National Elementary Championship of all time. Watch for the wrap-up report on Monday. And check pairings and results anytime here.