Newport High School chess team wins Washington High School State Team Championship, squeezing ahead by mere 0.5 point! Ethan wins 5 out of 5 games.
The 2014 Washington State High School State Team Championship was held on Friday, February 28 and Saturday, March 1, at the Issaquah High School. Not much of a travel (less than 20 minutes ride), however a lot of chess for this blog sake!
The format was 5 round Swiss system tournament of 5 player teams with 2 optional reserves. The board order (1 to 5) of each team was constant: board 1 the strongest player, board 2 the next strongest player, and so on.
Computer pairing and the place of finish were by team point system (one point per board, all board scores count). Teams from the same league (e.g. King County) were not paired in the early rounds when possible.
Time control with five second delay - Round 1: 60 minutes, Rounds 2-5: 90 minutes. Friday rounds: 4pm and 7pm, Saturday rounds: 9am, 1pm, 5 pm, awards at 8:30 pm.
In the final round, Newport squeezed ahead by mere 0.5 point!
Here is Ethan's description of the dramatic events unfolding:
"Coming to the final round, Newport was 1.5 points ahead of Interlake. 2 points for Newport wins 1st place, 1.5 points for Newport wins 2nd place. The match started. An hour later, Newport’s boards 4 (John Leece) and 5 (Steven Han) had already lost.
Sometime later, board 2 (Ethan Bashkansky) won, and Newport needed just a point more. Then, board 1 (Megan Lee) lost, and all our hopes rested on Michael Quan, our 3rd board. Will we win?
Michael and his opponent, Quentin Chi, both had a couple of minutes, a pair of rooks, but while Quentin had 2 pawns, Michael had 3 pawns on the other side of the board. Michael kept calm, and after a nail biting game watched by more than 50 spectators, Newport finally won, and everyone hugged Michael."
Here are my photos before (Issaquah High School gym), during (IHS lobby) and after (Shanghai Garden Restaurant) the award ceremony:
And here is one great photo of the Champion Team:
Steven Ethan John Megan Michael
Also congratulations to the previous 4 years champion Lakeside High School in second place, and Interlake High School in third.