On Saturday, March 5, some 300 chess players from kindergarten to 12th grade converged on the Student Union at the University of Maine in Orono to dispute team championships in four divisions: K-3, K-6, K-8 and K-12 (high school).
When the dust had cleared, Deer Isle-Stonington players had taken the state titles in the three younger sections while Cheverus of Portland had taken the high school division.
Taking three more state titles gives Deer Isle-Stonington teams 28 state chess titles since 1991.
In the K-3 division, Cameron Stewart and Ben Penfold were both a perfect 4-0 to lead DIS. Andrew Pappianne and Rylee Eaton were close behind with 3-1 records to give DIS 11 points (the top three scorers count in this division). Second place with 5 was the Airline Community School of Aurora.
In the K-6 division, where DIS was the defending champion, fifth grader Orly Vaughn was undefeated with a 3-0-1 record to lead DIS. Also scoring (the top five players’ scores count) were four players with 3 points each: Tyson Rice, Kinsey Bartlett, Soozin Cha, and Brendan Penfold. All are fifth graders. In second place was the Breakwater School of Portland with 14 points, 1-1/2 points behind DIS.
In the K-8 division the day was a dog fight between DIS and Airline with Airline leading for three rounds only to be overtaken by DIS in the final round. Bethany Humphrey, Alyssa Chesney and Krisford Melanio led the way for DIS. Anna Bryan, Laddy DeLuca-Lowell and Haley Deluca-Lowell were the top players for the runners-up. And, yes, five of those six are girls.
Finally, in the K-12 high school section undefeated Cheverus and Deer Isle-Stonington met in round 3 and the Portland School prevailed: 3-1/2 points to 1-1/2. Freshman Andy Turner was a bright light in defeat with a perfect four wins in four rounds. DIS eventually placed third in the championship section.
In the reserve section (where the top three scores counted) Cheverus also edged DIS, 10-9, with DIS taking second. Chelsea Brown, Janelle Ciomei and Gareth Warr provided the DIS scoring.
On Saturday, March 12, at the same venue at the University of Maine, Maine girls will have their tournament; and in two weeks at the same place the Maine Scholastic Individual Championships will be held. Further information about either competition can be found at chessmaine.net under “events.”