Checkmate: Kids, schools face off for medals and bragging rights

KINGMAN - More than 130 local chess players - representing seven schools within Kingman Unified and the Kingman Academy of Learning - participated in the Kingman Elks Chess Tournament Saturday.

Two children who are home-schooled participated as well.

Competitors played five games apiece. Individual medals and team trophies were given out at the end of the tournament.

For the primary division - kindergarten through third-grade - the top 10 finishers received medals. Primary division medalists were: 1st-place Paige Cody (Manzanita Elementary), 2nd-place Dylan Cook (Manzanita Elementary), 3rd-place Nick Taflan (home school), 4th-place Morgan Mazon (Black Mountain Elementary), 5th-place Victor Longbrock (Hualapai Elementary), 6th-place Gabe Otero (Manzanita Elementary), 7th-place Avery Peterson (Black Mountain Elementary), 8th-place Levi Woods (Manzanita Elementary), 9th-place Ashtyn Faas (Black Mountain Elementary) and 10th-place Charlie Anderson (Kingman Academy).

Likewise, the top 10 finishers in the intermediate division - grades 4-5 - received medals. Intermediate division medalists included: 1st-place Jed Gilliam (Manzanita Elementary), 2nd-place Alec Rose (Manzanita Elementary), 3rd-place Vanessa Blanco (Kingman Academy), 4th-place Cameron Ott (Manzanita Elementary), 5th-place Corbin Jordison (La Senita Elementary), 6th-place Josh Taflan (home school), 7th-place Tobias Bagby (Black Mountain), 8th-place Nick Oestman (Black Mountain), 9th-place Jaycen Sawyer (Black Mountain Elementary) and 10th-place Asher Ruthenberg (Manzanita Elementary).

Kingman Middle School students cleaned up in the junior high division - grades 6-8. The winners included 1st-place John Misiaszek, 2nd-place Narsharwan Sarwar, 3rd-place Nick Gross, 4th-place Devin Arnett and 5th-place Brian McKenzie.

Seven team trophies were awarded as well.

A team's score is calculated by adding the scores of its five highest-scoring players, with the best possible team score being 25 points.

The trophy winners in the primary division were: 1st-place Manzanita Elementary (20.5 points) coached by Chad Baitinger, 2nd-place Black Mountain Elementary (17 points) coached by Sean Stipsky and 3rd-place Hualapai Elementary (16 points) coached by Brian Lape.

The intermediate trophy winners were: 1st-place Manzanita Elementary (21 points) coached by Rob Findlay, 2nd-place Black Mountain Elementary (18 points) coached by Sean Stipsky and 3rd-place Kingman Academy (16.5 points) coached by Chuck Snelling.

The only trophy awarded in the junior high division went to Kingman Middle School (21 points) coached by Eric Oestman.