After a wild loss on Sunday morning, Steven Zierk won his last round game at Junior High School Nationals in Dallas to finish with a strong showing of 5.5 out of 7. He took home the 4th place trophy, becoming my third student to achieve a top four finish in the K-9 division (David Chock in 2005 and Gregory Young in 2007). Way to go Zkid!
The only player to beat Steven, NM Michael Lee from Seattle (see photo from US Chess League website), became national champion with an impressive score of 6.5 out of 7. The round 6 blunderfest between 8th grader Michael and 9th grader Steven was far from perfect, but quite entertaining for spectators on MonRoi. Click here to play through the game in Chess Publisher.
The other group of CalChess players who flew to Dallas were eight students from St. Mark's School in San Rafael, coached by Ray Orwig. Their team, playing in the K-9 U1250 section, rallied in the final round to earn the 10th place team trophy. Good job!
In an impressive display of efficiency, the tournament was already USCF rated by 8pm Dallas time, less than two hours after the last game ended! Kudos to the directing staff.