Utah Championship: Fifth and Sixth Grade

By Jonathan David Whitcomb, chess-book author


The state elementary school chess championship was held at the University of Utah, on Saturday, March 12, 2016, and was directed by Bill Clark, with a number of assistants. The official time control listed for this chess tournament was game-in-30-minutes with no time delay, but it appears that chess clocks were not generally used. Most of the 451 children playing in this tournament appear to have made their moves quickly enough that the event was completed, in all six rounds, in a reasonable number of hours on this one day. It was indeed a full day of chess.

The following are the results of the fifth and sixth grade competitions, showing the scores of those children who had the most success in gaining points. (In chess tournaments, one point is given for a win and half a point for a draw.) For similar results in the five sections from kindergarten through fourth grade, see Utah K-6 Chess Championship.

Be aware that points won in a tournament are not themselves ratings. Those points are used by the United States Chess Federation (USCF) in calculating ratings, for the chess events that are recognized by that organization. For the complete listing of ratings for those who became rated from playing in this tournament, see the USCF cross tables.

Fifth Grade Section

Ninety-one fifth-graders participated in their division, two of them getting five wins and one draw: Brendon Young and Benjamin Watanabe (they drew in the final round, when they played each other). None of the ninety-one kids in this section of the tournament lost all of their games. The following students each had at least 4.5 points from their six games:

Brendon Young (5.5)

Benjamin Watanabe (5.5)

Oliver Moore (5.0)

Travis Gervais (5.0)

Jackson Kunz (5.0)

Kunal Kamtekar (5.0)

Dylan Martin (5.0)

Brock Baker (5.0)

Zichen Zeng (4.5)

Evan Iglesias (4.5)

Caleb Smith (4.5)

5th grade game, late in the tournament

Two fifth-grade players near the end of the tournament-day in Salt Lake City

Sixth Grade Section

Sixty sixth-graders played in this division. Gatlin Black had a perfect score, winning all six games. Forty of the children in this section of the tournament were previously unrated by the United States Chess Federation, but because this was a rated event they each received a provisional rating a few days later.

The following kids each got at least 4.5 points (these are not ratings):

Gatlin Black (6.0)

Anna Lee (5.0)

Jason Elzinga (5.0)

Philip Liu (5.0)

Benjamin Ludlow (5.0)

Rik Bhattacharyya (5.0)

(No competitor got 4.5 points in this division of the tournament.)

Two 6th grade kids play chess

Near the end of the sixth round, sixth-grade section of the tournament


Chess Tournament for Kids in Utah

For the sixth-grade section: “. . . here are the pairings for the sixth-round final games (scores through the first five rounds and pre-event ratings included)”

Best Chess Book for Beginners

Beat That Kid in Chess

Chess in movies

Two films: Casablanca and the more recent Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Nearly identical positions in chess (NIP)

“Win a chess game” (new chess book for beginners)


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