A total of 141 pre-kindergarten through high school chess players converged on Flagstaff High School to play for the 2015 Northern Arizona Chess Championships on Saturday, Feb. 28. They came from all over northern Arizona including North Phoenix, Chinle, Tuba City and all over Flagstaff. Flagstaff schools represented included DeMiguel, Kinsey, Pine Forest, Puente de Hozho, Sechrist, Killip, Flagstaff Junior Academy, Kinsey, Flagstaff Montessori, NPA, Sinagua Middle School, Basis, and homeschool students. This was also the first state qualifier, and 75 of these students qualified for the 2015 AZ State Chess Championships to be held in May.

Winners in each section were as follows: K-1 section: Giovanni Bettron, Killip; K-3 section: Skyler Boyce, Killip; K-6 section: Daniel Muscarella, homeschool and Angelique Cort, North Phoenix (co champions); K-9 section: Noah Allen, Basis; K-12 section; Adam Skrocki, Basis. Skyler, Daniel, Angelique and Noah all had a perfect score of 5.0, meaning they won all five of their games.

Team championships went to Killip in the K-1, K-3 and K-6 sections. Basis took the K-9 and K-12 team championships.

For many of these students it was their first time playing in a tournament. This was Sechrist’s first time as a team. Coach Bob Bridwell said that he was very proud of all his students and he was happy two of his students qualified for the state competition.

The next state qualifier will be March 28, also at FHS. Those students who have already qualified and high school students will play in a separate ‘open’ section. Adults also are welcome to play. Check out the website at flagstaffchess.com.

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