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W.R. Odell, Eastover, and Carmel Victorious at Scholastic Team Challenge!

The Charlotte Chess Center's Unrated Team Challenge tournament was held at the Renaissance Charlotte SouthPark hotel on Saturday, April 13, open to scholastic players from pre-K all the way through middle school. A total of 247 students participated, hailing from over 40 schools in the Charlotte area.

The tournament took place in three stages, starting with grades PK-2, then 3-5, and finally 6-8. Players had the opportunity to represent their school chess teams, many of which are coached by CCC's instructors!

Grades PK-2

The top school in the PK-2 division was W.R. Odell Primary, winning by one point over Rea Farms STEAM Academy and McKee Road Elementary. Per event rules, a school could have any number of students playing for the team, but only the top four scores would be counted for the team total. This kept the standings close between the top schools, as Odell Primary had a whopping 13 players in the tournament, by far the most of any school in the PK-2 category.

W.R. Odell Primary managed to win clear first despite not having any individual perfect scores. It was a true team effort, as the top four boards from Odell Primary each scored 3/4 (Abhiram Avula, Avaneesh Gorrepati, Aarush Gajula, and Thejash Manivannan).

By contrast, the two teams tying for second place (Rea Farms STEAM Academy and McKee Road Elementary) each had one player scoring a perfect 4/4. For Rea Farms STEAM it was Jaden Kang, while Kaden Saltzman won all four rounds representing McKee Road. Murali Kongot and Elliot Zuluaga also scored a perfect 4/4 individually.

Other schools finishing in the top ten were Hawk Ridge Elementary, Providence Day School, Selwyn Elementary, Hickory Ridge Elementary, South Academy of International Languages, Charlotte Lab School, and Charlotte East Language Academy.

Charlotte Chess Center Unrated Scholastic Rea Farms
Rea Farms STEAM Academy (Second Place)
Charlotte Chess Center Unrated Team McKee Road
McKee Road Elementary (Third Place)

Grades 3-5

In a nail-biting finish, Eastover Elementary topped the grades 3-5 section with 13.5 points out of a possible 16, narrowly beating out W.R. Odell Elementary with 13. Powering the Eastover team were Margaret Barr and Imhotep Collins, each scoring a perfect 4/4. The other top scorers from Eastover were Major Collins (3/4) and Walker Brown (2.5/4).

Charlotte Chess Center Eastover Elementary Team
The Eastover Elementary chess team celebrates!

W.R. Odell Elementary finished half a point behind, bolstered by a perfect score from Atharv Dubey. Once again, a W.R. Odell school led the section in total players, as 18(!) players from the Odell Elementary chess team participated in the section.

Charlotte Lab School took third place with 12 points, beating out fourth place McKee Road Elementary on tiebreaks. Other schools finishing in the top ten were Trinity Episcopal School, Socrates Academy, Olde Providence Elementary, Hawk Ridge Elementary, Beverly Woods Elementary, and Dilworth Elementary.

In addition to the aforementioned Collins, Barr, and Dubey, the grades 3-5 section saw perfect scores from Alexander Little, Reyansh Thakur, Aadhav Nr, and Aadithya Aragonda.

Charlotte Chess Center W.R. Odell Elementary Team Challenge
W.R. Odell Elementary (Second Place)
Charlotte Lab School Charlotte Chess Center Trophy
Charlotte Lab School (Third Place)

Grades 6-8

The top team in the grades 6-8 section was Carmel Middle School, with three players combining for 6 points. Evan Frantilla led the way with 3/4 in his games, alongside teammates Davis Wielunski and Alden Maybury. Walnut Grove Christian School finished in clear second, while David Jacobs of Charlotte Lab was the lone perfect scorer in the section.

Carmel Middle School Charlotte Chess Center Tournament
The victorious Carmel Middle School chess team poses with the trophy.

To view full standings of the event, shown in tiebreak order and including both individual and team leaders within each section, click here.

For more tournaments like these, as well as USCF-rated events of all kinds, visit the Charlotte Chess Center's Events page. A big thanks to all who participated in our Unrated Team Challenge, and we hope it was a wonderful time for all involved!

Charlotte Chess Center Unrated Scholastic Team Challenge
Players on the top boards play their opening moves (grades PK-2).
Charlotte Chess Center Unrated Team Scholastic Challenge
Rays of sunlight shining through the windows of the playing hall!

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 upcoming ALTO tournament.

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

NM Dennis Norman

Chess Coach - Club Journalist

Charlotte Chess Center


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