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Four students accomplished the very difficult task of winning all five of their chess games for a perfect score of 5.0 at the Killip Chess Klassic.

On Dec. 8, 102 students and three adults played chess in a Swiss-style chess match that allowed every participant to play each round of a five-round chess tournament. The four students with perfect scores were Alex Cardenas, fifth grade, Killip Elementary School, his brother Gustavo Cardenas, third grade, Killip Elementary School, Samuel Jones, first grade, Marshall Elementary School and Oscar Rohas, fifth grade, Kinsey Elementary School.

Oscar was in the unrated section that allows students to see if playing chess in a tournament setting is for them. He was among 12 other beginning chess enthusiasts.

Besides Marshall student Samuel Jones carrying the K-1 section, there was Caleb Russell, Kindergarten, of Killip, in second place, along with Jeremiah Bendle, first grade, of Kinsey in third place.

Killip Elementary School excelled in the K-3 section by winning the top 12 places and 17 out of the top 18 places. After Gustavo Cardenas, there was Orion Stratton, third grade of Killip in second place and D'ontye Anderson, third grade of Killip in third place.

Alex Cardenas won the K-5 section. Jaiden Smith, second grade, of Killip, playing up a section, came in second place; Jacob Jones of Marshall, fifth grade, came in third place.

The K-12 section was filled with upsets, drama and close finishes. Homeschool student Tanner Muscarella, sixth grade, won the section with 4 points out of 5. He was seated after three higher rated players who came in second through fourth place. There was a six-way tie for second place. All second-place students finished with 3 points. They were, in order of placement with tiebreaker points being used, Zack Casali, Tyler Darnell, Tyler Long, Patrick Caton, Andrew Akin and Spencer Ridley. Zack, both Tylers and Patrick are from Sinagua Middle School, while Andrew and Spencer are from NPA.

Mark Houghwout won the adult section, scoring 4 points.

Killip Chess Power hosted the tournament and would like to thank Ron of Seven Day Auto for its contribution to helping Killip's goal of sending students to Supernationals in April. Also, Richard of Domino's Pizza supplied pizza to help with fundraising for the tournament.

Our next tournament will be the Winter Chess Special on Feb. 2 at Flagstaff High School. Go to for more information and to register.


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