Bob Jones Chess Sweeps State


Joshua Lin, Contributor

The 2019 State Scholastic Chess Championship took place at Miles College in Fairfield, Alabama on March 2-3. This annual tournament gathers the strongest competition from around the state to compete for state titles. Madison brought teams from each division and dominated, winning the championship in the primary (K-3), elementary (K-6), junior high (K-9), and high school (K-12) categories.

“Chess in Madison continues to grow because of the strong elementary programs that feed into both middle and high schools,” says Ranae Bartlett, Madison City Board of Education President.

Coached by Bradley Denton, Bob Jones High School took home first for the second year in a row as Bob Jones Blue – Michael Guthrie, Josh Lin, Will Bao, Jenson Wilhelm – scored a perfect 4 points.

Team captain of the Bob Jones Blue team, Michael Guthrie, says the team’s success came from “good camaraderie. We understand what it means to be a team.”

Runner-up in the high school division went to Bob Jones Red – Edward Calinsky, Madison Gore, Maanasi Limaye, Thomas Nguyen – as Bob Jones swept the high school division. Bob Jones Red’s second-place finish came down to the last game of the tournament with Edward Calinsky winning the deciding game in dramatic fashion.

Edward says that “practice and dedication” were the two biggest factors in the team’s success.

Discovery Middle School won the junior high division, while Rainbow Elementary took home both the elementary and primary titles. Being feeder schools to Bob Jones, Bob Jones is poised to repeat as state champions.

“What is particularly impressive about Madison’s program is that we are seeing growth each year in both middle and high school chess teams while nationally the numbers are in decline,” says Mrs. Bartlett.