Snowstorm Did Not Stop National Chess Championship!
By Joan Dubois   
March 11, 2008
Official USCF Press Release
Re:  2008 US Jr Chess Congress
Contact: Joan DuBois/[email protected]
Press Release #8 of 2008

Snowstorm Did Not Stop National Chess Championship!

Over 250 scholastic chess players braved the snowstorm this past weekend to compete in the 2008 US Jr. Chess Congress.  Twenty inches of snow did not stop several participants from Columbus, Ohio from joining players from ten other states to break the previous attendance record of 247 set in 2006.  The event also added a celebrity this year as Grandmaster Yury Shulman joined us for the weekend to analyze games for the participants as they finished each round.
The top seed was kind this year as four of the six sections were won by the top-ranked player.  Jonathan Hilton swept through the filed and finished with a perfect 6-0 score in the 18 & Under section.  Sean Vibbert and Michael Chen also held the top seed and cruised to victory with perfect scores in the 12 & Under and 8 & Under sections respectively.  Top rated Gautam Nagendra finished with 5.5 in the 16 & Under section to take clear first place.
Samuel Ludlow won the 14 & Under section with a score of 5.5 points.  The 10 & Under section was captured by two-seeded Epiphany Peters with another perfect, 6-0 score.
The battle for the team championships was also close throughout the weekend.  The Cary Kings Chess Club (Chicago, IL.) narrowly beat out the Terre Haute Chess Club (Terre Haute, IN.) and Highland High School (Anderson, IN.) to win the 18 & Under team title. 
In the 16 & Under section, Canterbury School (Ft. Wayne, IN.) pulled away in the final rounds to win a team championship for their third consecutive year.    
The 14 & Under team championship also went to the Cary Kings Chess Club with 12.5 points, a full point ahead of the second place Knightmare Chess Club (Columbus, OH.)
Another repeat team champion this year was the Evansville Scholastic Chess Club (Evansville, IN.) in the 12 & Under section.  Sean Vibbert once again led his team to victory, this year by a three-point margin over the Montessori School of the Oaks chess team (Hammond, IN.)
The 10 & Under section saw a blowout in the team race as the Troy Titans (Troy, MI.) chess club finished with 16 points, a full five points ahead of second to win the team crown.  The Titans didn’t stop there as they also claimed the 8 & Under division with 14.5 points.
Special thanks go out to GM Yury Shulman for his participation in the event.  Mr. Shulman is a first-class individual and did a wonderful job of working with our participants.  Thanks also to the parents and volunteers from the local chess clubs and tournament directors
Terry and Tracey Vibbert.  Complete results can be found at

The local site directors were Nick Zehner and Scott Reisinger.  The chief tournament director was Scott Reisinger.

The 2008 U.S. Junior Chess Congress is a U.S. Chess Federation National Event.