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2020 IESA Chess State Tournament to Play in Peoria

Nearly 650 students representing 67 member schools of the Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA) will compete in the 10th annual IESA Chess State Tournament at the Peoria Civic Center on February 28-29. A complete list of participating schools can be found on the IESA website at:

There are three divisions---6th grade, 7th grade, and 8th grade. A school can enter from 1-7 individual in each division. The tournament will be conducted in a Medley Team Swiss System format. Students with varying degrees of experience will be participating.

The first round on Friday is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Round two will not begin before 12:30 p.m.; the third round will not begin before 2:30 p.m.; and the fourth round will not begin before 4:30 p.m. on Friday. On Saturday, round five will begin at 9:00 a.m.; round six not before 11:15 a.m.; and round seven not before 1:45 p.m. Students will compete in all seven rounds at the tournament. Results will be posted on the IESA website as each round is concluded. Go to

There will be an awards ceremony after the conclusion of round seven on Saturday, February 29 at approximately 3:30 p.m. Individual and team awards for all three divisions will be distributed.

The complete tournament schedule can be found at:

Additional tournament information, plus the FanZone can be found at Click on the Chess line at the top of the IESA website home page. Should weather become a factor, the IESA website will contain up-to-date information regarding the tournament playing schedule.

Dunlap Middle School won the 6th grade team title last year while Bloomington Evans captured the 7th grade title. Champaign Next Generation took home first place honors in the 8th grade division. The cumulative scores of the individual points from the top five scorers of each team determine the order of finish. The top four teams in each division will take home state trophies.

The individual champions in the 6th grade division in 2019 were Himani Musku from Bloomington Evans; Aditya Oberai from Lemont Old Quarry; and Vikram Oberai also from Lemont Old Quarry. Each scored 6.5 points last year to tie for 1st place. All three are returning this year and participating in the 7th grade division. One contestant, David Yong from Champaign Next Generation looms large in the 7th grade division this year. Last year as a 5th grader, David tied for first place in the 8th grade division attaining a perfect score of 7 points. This year as a 6th grader, he is entered in the 7th grade division. There was a tie for first place individual honors in the 7th grade division last year---Bhavan (Rahul) Bammidi from Bloomington Evans and Mitchell Tapscott from Franklin tied for 1st place honors last year with each contestant attaining the maximum score of 7 points. They will be competing again this year as 8th graders and both will be looking to repeat as champions in the 8th grade division.

Admission is free to the event. Fans are allowed in the room where the competition is being held but they are not allowed on the floor itself where the matches are being played.

For more information, please contact IESA Associate Executive Director and Chess Administrator, Nicole Schaefbauer at 309-829-0114.

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