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CCC Hosts Tournament of Scholastic Champions: Full Recap

On May 4, 2024, the Charlotte Chess Center hosted our first ever Tournament of Champions for scholastic players. Throughout the past few months, in posting these recaps, we've often added comments about players qualifying for a future invitational event. This was that tournament!

With over forty trophies at stake as well as activities led by Grandmasters Olexandr Bortnyk and Ashwin Jayaram, there was much to do.

There were numerous ways for players to qualify for the Tournament of Champions, including earning a gold medal at a Practice Tournament, scoring 2.5/4 or higher at a Rated Scholastic, or achieving a perfect score at our scholastic quads event.

Players participated in four rounds of USCF-rated chess, with a time control of g20+10. In between rounds two and three was a break for lunch, during which the GMs analyzed games and even played blindfold blitz with the kids!

High School (Grades 9-12)

Our top finisher in the HS section was Karthikeya Malireddy, who won all four games and took first place by 1.5 points over the rest of the field. Karthikeya entered as the rating favorite, with a listed USCF rating of 1949. Winning on command when paired down four games in a row isn't always a picnic, but Karthikeya ended up defeating four of the other players in the top six!

Satvick Kumar, Benjamin Raz, and Andrew Khariouk each scored 2.5/4 and tied for second place, with Satvik Kumar taking the second prize on tiebreaks. View the HS standings (in tiebreak order) at this link.

Middle School (6-8)

Just like in the HS section, our MS group had a clear first place winner. Lokruth Patil entered the event as the third seed by rating but notched an upset win in the final round to clinch a perfect 4/4 score. Lokruth and second-place finisher Matthew Khariouk (3.5/4) were the only two players who managed to distance themselves from a massive logjam: a whopping twelve players scored 3/4.

Full standings in tiebreak order from the MS section can be viewed here.

Elementary School (3-5)

The grades 3-5 section was the biggest of the tournament, with a total of 58 participants. Not surprisingly, it was the section with the most heated race for first place, as four players scored a perfect 4/4: Kishan Karthigeyan, Naitik Rathi, Nischay Peela, and Davis Deadwyler.

Kishan took first on tiebreaks, while Naitik settled for second. While those two players are both CCC regulars, it was the performances of Nischay Peela and Davis Deadwyler that impressed the most. The two of them had combined for just three total USCF-rated games ever prior to Saturday's tournament!

Tamaghna Roy and Alexander Little tied for fifth with 3.5/4, while twelve players (again!) scored 3/4 and tied for the remaining spots in the top ten in the final standings.

Elementary School (K-2)

It was a great day to be a Balamurugan! Our top two finishers in the K-2 section were none other than Druv and Diya Balamurugan, each winning all four games. By a narrow margin, Druv had better tiebreaks than Diya, thus taking home the top trophy and gaining 21 rating points in the process.

With no players on 3.5/4, it again came down to a long list of players tied for third with three points. Shrinika Musuluri had the best tiebreaks, losing only to Druv and winning her other three games. Elliot Zuluaga and Jaden Kang rounded out the top five (full standings here).

Team Results!

The following teams finished in first place in each section:

High School: Marvin Ridge HS (represented by Karthikeya Malireddy and Andrew Khariouk)

Middle School: Marvin Ridge MS (Lokruth Patil, Matthew Khariouk, and Shrehit Dhiman)

ES Grades 3-5: WR Odell ES (Nischay Peela, Shaurya Nannapaneni, and Atharv Dubey)

ES Grades K-2: Pleasant Knoll ES (Druv Balamurugan, Diya Balamurugan, and Krishan Dharmaraj)

The rating changes and detailed results can be viewed at the event's official USCF crosstables.

Congratulations to our trophy winners. We hope it was a fun event for all!


For upcoming tournaments, bookmark our Events Schedule. The CCC hosts nearly 8 events a week at our facilities in North and South Charlotte, along with bi-monthly major events such as the CCC Club Championship and the Carolinas Classic.

Not a member of the CCC? Join over 1000 members today!

NM Dennis Norman

Chess Coach - Club Journalist


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