Chess Club places fifth overall in the state tournament

Hays High Chess Club competed against chess teams across Kansas in the state chess tournament on March 13.
State qualifiers included seniors Japheth Briney, Ean Dexter and Raiden Hartman; juniors Matthew Bollig and Elizabeth Dickman; sophomores Brooks Baczkowski, Noah Bruggeman and Quinton McGuire; sixth grader Kamden McBride from home-schooling and second grader Rylea Wong from Lincoln Elementary School.
“We ended up taking fifth overall and first in the 5A division,” Chess Club sponsor Erin Holder said. “The last time we went to state, we took seventh overall and second in the 5A, so we are moving up in the world!”
The results are as follows:
Middle School (out of 60 state entries): McBride – 32nd
High School (out of 97 state entries): Bruggeman – 20th, Briney – 21st, McGuire – 37th, Baczkowski – 56th, Dexter – 57th, Hartman – 63rd and Bollig – 73rd

“Traditionally, state awards medals to the top 50 players, trophies to the top six teams and trophies for first in the division (plaques for second and third),” Holder said. “So, we would have come home with two medalists and two team trophies!”
Due to COVID-19, trophies and medals will not be awarded.
Hays had a total of eight participants.
“I have prepared for the state chess tournament by playing a lot of chess puzzles and playing against computers,” junior Matthew Bollig said. “I played a lot better than I thought I would do.”
Bollig said he hopes to improve for next year by using his time more wisely and playing more chess against people in person.

“I enjoyed performing in the state tournament because I got to hang out with what I would consider a great family of friends,” Bollig said.