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Benet Academy Chess Team Takes 2nd Place at IHSA Chess Team State Championship

Benet Chess Team with trophy and medals
Benet Chess Team with trophy and medals

he Benet Academy Chess Team captured second place at the 40th annual IHSA Chess Team State Championship held in Peoria, Illinois on February 14-15.  This is one of the largest team chess tournaments in the country with 138 teams competing.  Benet compiled an impressive 6 & 1 record, losing only to undefeated 1st place finisher Whitney Young.


Although Benet lost to the number 1 seed, Whitney Young, in round 4, the team defeated Hinsdale South, Saint Patrick's of Chicago, Indian Creek, Evanston, Bloomington, and Glenbrook North enroute to their 2nd place finish.  While seven teams finished with 6 & 1 records, Benet earned 2nd Place honors by racking up the most tie break points among the 6 & 1 teams.  Benet won the tie break by scoring the second highest amount of points earned which was second only to Evanston who lost to Benet in Round 5.  With the top prizes up for grabs in the 7th and final round, Benet did not lose a game in its final match against Glenbrook North, who was also 5 & 1 at that point in the tournament, chalking up 6 wins and 2 draws in the decisive final match.  Playing for Benet were Seniors Brendan Brown of Naperville and Anthony Gedvilas of Naperville, and Juniors Matt DeMario of Glen Ellyn, Ethan Evans of Glen Ellyn, Grant Kozeny of Wheaton, Nate Kranjc of Wheaton, Alec Mather of Hinsdale, Russell McKenzie of Lisle, Patrick Noble of Geneva, Joe Weber of Westchester, Johan Widmann of New Lenox, and Max Zinski of Wheaton.  Earning All State honors at their respective boards were Max Zinski and Matt DeMario.   


The next big competition for the team is the High School Nationals in San Diego during spring break. The students will play a Blitz competition (5 minute speed chess) and a Bughouse competition (5 minute time controls in a two man team format where you can pass pieces to your teammate to drop anywhere in his game) and the main event which is 7 games 3 hour games spread out over 3 days.  

Founded in 1887, Benet Academy is a co-educational, college-preparatory, Benedictine high school located in Lisle that draws students from over 80 local communities.  For more information, please visit www.benet.org

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