2004 Scholastic Championships


Cinderella Story

The only real suspense this year was supposed to be whether Madison West would sweep Division 1. With a fifth board player who would qualify for first board on most of the other teams, West was clearly the powerhouse of the event, clearly a perfect 200 points was possible.

But that didn't stop Cinderella from coming to the ball.

She arrived in the guise of Marion, a small school from NE Wisconsin, which has long had a solid chess heritage, but had never made a top finish. This year's squad came up big, and little Marion demolished everyone they faced. Briefly, we wondered if they could actually trump West's titans, but that wasn't to be. The glass slipper, it appeared, was only good enough for second place.

Timothy Hintz rode Marion's streak into the best score for Board 5, While West players Fan Wu (Board 4), Siarhe Biareishyk (Board 3) and Jeremy Kane (Board 2) took top prizes on the next three boards. The Board 1 top prize went to Carl Robinson (James Madison) nosed out Ashish Vaja (Nicolet) and Erik Santarius (Madison West).

Division 2 saw a "perfect storm" finish, with four teams tied for first place at 4/5. University School lost to Jefferson, Jefferson lost to South Milwaukee, South Milwaukee lost to Madison West C, and Madison West C lost to Jefferson, so no team clearly dominated. University school took first place on tiebreaks over the rest.

David Buell (Wisconsin Lutheran) was best Board 1 with 4.5/5, Samuel Bell (Mad West C) was best Board 2 (4/5). Thomas Bishop (University School) was best Board 3, Bobby Hoffman (South Milwaukee) was perfect on Board 4, as was Andrew Stevens (University School) on Board 5.

Waupaca swept the newly-created Division 3, and did it with consistently good play across the team, as evidenced by the fact that none of them won best board prizes. Top Board 1 was David Hansen (Thomas More) while Board 2 saw a tie between Joseph Hottenstein and Alex Yerukhimov. Board three saw two perfect scores, Matthew Albert (Marion B) and Joe Kang (Neenah) while Board 4 also had a tie (at 4.5/5) between Lee Xiong (Riverside B) and Bernie Thomason (West Allis Central). Winner on Board 5 was Ryan Pflughoeft (Marion B).

K-12 was won jointly by Barry Small (Nekoosa) and Sitha Thor (Appleton North) with perfect scores, while Marion took the team honors.

The K-8 section was won by Joshua Miller of marion schools with a perfect score (6/6). Marion also took first place in the team category as well.

In the newly created K-5 division, Alexander Velikanov (Lake Bluff) edged Brian Luo (Crestwood) for first place, while team honors went to University School.