From Chess Coach Michael Dudley-
It is March Madness for the chess community in the State of Maine. The Crusader Chess Club has been working all year at completing this scholastic season, which went to a Grand Prix format in 2021-2022. Every month, we have attended a tournament that earns us a point for every win the players on our team achieve, and a half a point for every draw. Over the course of the season, we have a commanding 34 point lead over the nearest school, Lee Academy, and will have first place in Maine’s first Scholastic Grand Prix clinched, so more coming on that.
I am happy to announce that the combined team of Benjamin Mock, Albert Bai, Amanda Battulga, Tom Luong, and Rachel Norment have brought home a second Claude E. Webber Cup Championship! We have brought the gigantic Webber Cup King, at almost twenty pounds and 18″ tall, back to Bapst for the year! Our team traveled to Bonny Eagle High School in Buxton on Saturday, March 5, and won four team matches, beating out Cheverus and Bonny Eagle by two-point margins. Ben, Amanda, and Tom put up particularly impressive performances, as all three went a perfect 4/4 against their individual opponents. Also, congratulations to Emily Batsaikhan and Khanye Cogdell for their performance in the High School Reserve section, where they finished tied for third among six teams in that section.
On March 12, our chess season pushed forward at the Maine Team Scholastic Chess Championships at Lewiston High School. 252 players from as far north as Limestone and as far south as Kennebunk squared off for the title of State Team Champion in four different sections. Our Crusader Chess Club stood strong amid tough competition from several schools.
In the High School Reserve section, Rachel Norment (3/4), Jing Russell (3/4), and Aidan Fenwick (3/4) led the scoring for John Bapst, with the team coming in third place out of ten teams. Dakota Colson (2/4), Will Grover (1/4), Khanye Cogdell (2/4), Emily Batsaikhan (2/4), and Dilan Colson (2/4) also followed with strong performances on the day.
In the High School Championship section, our team of Benjamin Mock (3.5/4), Albert Bai (3/4), Amanda Battulga (1/4), Tom Luong (3/4), and Jake Grover (1.5/4) brought home the third place honor in a very challenging field of sixteen teams.
We next turn to the last event: the Maine Individual Scholastic Chess Championships, where some of our players will compete for Maine’s highest individual scholastic honor: the title of Maine High School State Chess Champion and a nomination to the GM Arnold Denker Tournament of High School Champions, held this year in Rancho Mirage, California.
Another shoutout goes to the family of one of our colleagues! Evan and Zachary Babcock led the way in scoring with three other teammates to win Glenburn School their first ever Team Chess Championship for the middle school section! Jen, my congratulations to Evan and Zachary for leading the Charge(rs) yesterday!
Finally, we have two young winners on campus: Malcolm Genthner (Jessica Wentworth’s son) and my daughter, Meredith Levesque, played strong to bring Abraham Lincoln School top honors in the K-3 section.
Thank you, Mr. Dudley, and the entire Chess Team.
You make John Bapst proud!