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2023 IESA Chess State Tournament to Play in Peoria

Over 600 students representing 60 member schools of the Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA) will compete in the 12th annual IESA Chess State Tournament at the Peoria Civic Center on February 24-25. 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 State Competition is comprised of eight rounds with students participating in all eight rounds of play. The first round on Friday is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Round two will not begin before 12:00 p.m.; the third round will not begin before 1:30 p.m.; the fourth round will not begin before 3:00 p.m.; and the fifth round of play will not begin before 4:30 p.m. on Friday. On Saturday, round six will begin at 9:00 a.m.; round seven not before 10:45 a.m.; and round eight not before 12:45 p.m. Results will be posted on the IESA website as each round is concluded. Go to www.iesa.orga>.

There will be an awards ceremony after the conclusion of round eight on Saturday, February 25 at approximately 2:45 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 Valley Middle School won the 6th grade and 8th grade team titles last year while Normal Chiddix captured the 7th grade title. 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 champion in the 6th grade division in 2022 was Vamsi Munaganuri from Bloomington Evans. He scored a perfect score of 8.0 points last year to claim the top spot. He returns this year and is participating in the 7th grade division. Mohit Bayyarapu from Normal Chiddix and Michael Li from Dunlap MS were co-champions in the 7th grade division in 2022. Both scored 7.5 points last year. Li returns to compete in the 8th grade division and will be looking to repeat as champion 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 Assistant Executive Director and Chess Administrator, Charlie Shempf at or 309-829-0114.

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