September 13th - 15th featured the Iowa Open that was being held at the IMU (Iowa Memorial Union) this year. The tournament had been extended to 3 days instead of its original 2 days which I am happy for because it meant more sleep. I am in the center of the photo and Iowa City Scholastic Expert Anish is on the left and chess master from Wisconsin, Alex Betaneli, is on the right.
This is event went pretty smooth for me I won the first 4 rounds and accepted a pretty quick round 5 draw with Alex Betaneli to secure my place as the Iowa Open Champion of 2019. Anish Lodh was able to beat Michael in the final round to catch up to us and share the championship.
The purpose of this post is to inform my students of the upcoming scholastic chess tournaments. I have taken on the challenge of organizing at least 3 scholastic team events under the name Thunder King Teams. These events are a way for my schools to battle against each other and test their skills.
I am currently working with or am in connection with 6 schools and our first event is to take place October 12th 2019 (Saturday). The schools that are likely to be participating in this event are: Borlaug, Central, Kirkwood, Weber, Wickham and Van Allen. The event is for scholastic players in the grades 1st through 6th (elementary).
About a week after the Iowa Open, I realized there was an outstanding performance from a member of the Weber Chess Club. Yes, the Weber Chess Club has been restarted and apparently they have some serious talent because a member of the club won the RBO section (4.5/5.0) of the Iowa Open. The previous year's team tournament didn't feature the school because they didn't have a chess club but they are catching up in a hurry.
I do not know which school will be the strongest but what I do know is that Central Elementary (last year's champions) might have their work cut out for them.
2018 Scholastic Teams: 1st Central 2nd Wickham 3rd Lincoln 4th Borlaug 5th Horn
James Neal Analysis? Well I am glad you asked! If I had to make my predictions I would say the best chances are that the Wickham Chess Club wins first place because they have the largest chess club. Well I think Central Elementary has a comparable chess club but some of their seriously strong players have entered Middle School. I have had a chance to walk through the Wickham ranks I am believe some of the upcoming students will make up for their Alumni.
My predictions are as followed:
1st Wickham 2nd Central 3rd Weber 4th Borlaug 5th Van Allen 6th Kirkwood.
I have a feeling their will be some disagreements with my predictions but let me know about it in the comments.
Good Luck and Keep Improving!