Young chess players begin year with strong moves

Matthew ’29 was named 2020 Nashville City Champion in the  K-3 Primary Division. Preston ’29 and Stewart ’25 placed fifth in their respective divisions during the 2020 Nashville City Championship.
By Todd Andrews, Chess Team Coach

More than 600 Middle Tennessee students played in three qualifying events last semester, and in each category only the top six players advanced to the 2020 Nashville City Championship, held the first weekend in January at the Nashville Chess Center. 

University School of Nashville was the only school with three representatives. In the K-3 Primary Division, Matthew Golann ’29 demonstrated resilience after a first-round loss. He fought back and won the final four rounds to be crowned the 2020 Nashville City Champion title. Preston Chan ’29 won two of five games, and it was such a tight-knit group that this was the score needed to tie for third place. Preston took home the fifth-place trophy on tie-breaks. 

Also finishing fifth in his Junior High Division was Stewart Hall ’25. Stewart started the event hot with a victory over last year's champion and then played fellow competitors down to three to four hour games, including a great game against one of the top five 8th-graders in the country. 

Our new coach starting this semester FIDE Master and International Master-Elect (the World Chess Federation awards these titles to only the strongest chess players) Sean Vibbert is the new open section 2020 Nashville City Champion. We are excited our students get to learn from the best this semester. Coach Todd Andrews was a close second place in the tournament. 

    • USN was the only school to have three students earn spots in the city tournament: Matthew ’29, Preston ’29, and Stewart ’25.

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