Chess team takes 3rd in Starkville

From Issue 8


Selby Ireland plots the destruction of all who would dare oppose him.

On March 23rd, the chess team traveled to Starkville and played in the 2019 State Scholastic Team Chess Championship Tournament.  The chess team had a lot of standouts in the competition, including Team Captain Payne Bell with four wins, Eli Vernarski with four wins, Selby Ireland with three wins, Hughes McHenry with three wins, and Felicity Xie with three wins.  Evan Young, Tyler McMurtery, and Blake Haskins all won two matches and ended with a tie in the third, and Edward Huang and Cade Engels both had two wins.

  The team placed second overall in a tie, and got third place after the mathematical tiebreaks.  The tournament matches started at nine on Saturday, meaning most of the competing Prep students had to be up by 5:30 in the morning.

  Once they got to Starkville, they started competing in their own individual brackets.  Fifty minutes were allowed for each chess match. However, most of the matches didn’t take the full 50 minutes, with most lasting around ten to fifteen minutes. This allowed students to take advantage of break time between the matches and rest. Every competitor played five individual matches, regardless of previous performance or even performance in the tournament.  Each match won meant one point for your team, and every tie was a half point.  

When the tournament was over and all the points were counted, the first place team was Franklin County Middle School. Jackson Prep tied for second, but ended up in third due to a mathematical tiebreak.  Mathematical tiebreaks are used to determine which team performed better, even if they end up with the same amount of points from winning matches.  Having a higher tiebreak than someone else means that you had a more difficult schedule than they did.  A schedule is a chess term for a bracket or competitive schedule.