Checkmate! Stevenson wins inaugural State Chess Tournament, Barrington taking second place

Suburban High Schools had a strong showing last weekend at the IHSA State Team Chess Tournament at the Peoria Civic Center.

The Stevenson High School chess team won the IHSA State Team Chess Tournament in Peoria.
– Courtesy of Ken Lewandowski

In a competition that included 126 teams and more than 1,000 high school students from across Illinois, Stevenson High School of Lincolnshire took first place, Barrington High School second, and Evanston High School third.

Rounding out the top 10 were Neuqua Valley High School, Naperville, in fourth place; Naperville Central in fifth place; Glenbrook South, Glenview, Sixth; Fremd High School, Palatine, seventh; Niles North, Skokie, eighth; Whitney Young, Chicago, ninth; and Normal, Normal, 10th Community High School.


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The Barrington High School team took second place in the state chess tournament. More than 126 teams and 1,000 high school students competed.
– Courtesy of Ken Lewandowski

The tournament featured eight players from each school facing each other in challenging matches.

The coaches of winning teams were a big factor in their success, according to the Illinois Chess Coaches Association.

“Thousands and thousands of Illinois chess players have benefited from the team chess format, which drives them to grow both as intellectuals and as teammates,” said Erik Czerwin , secretary of the association.

The high school chess season begins in mid-October. From the start, the top three teams – Evanston, Barrington and Stevenson – showed the chess world that they were the ones to beat.


Brain neurons fired as 126 teams and more than 1,000 high school students from across Illinois competed in the IHSA State Team Chess Tournament Feb. 11-12 at Peoria Civic Center.

Brain neurons fired as 126 teams and more than 1,000 high school students from across Illinois competed in the IHSA State Team Chess Tournament Feb. 11-12 at Peoria Civic Center.
– Courtesy of Ken Lewandowski

Stevenson, the top seed, had to play his best — and play his best — all weekend to meet the challenge.

“It was a well-contested, tense and close tournament on every level,” said Stevenson’s head chess coach Vincent Springer.

“I’m so impressed with the way our team played this year because they leaned on each other and helped our young players (who played important roles in the team) find their way to success. I can’t think of a better example of total team effort.”

Springer summed up the difficult event as a “meat grinder.”

“I’m especially proud of this team because they’ve gone above and beyond to achieve their goals since the start of the season,” said Barrington Chess Team Head Coach Jeff Doles.

It’s the third time in four seasons that Barrington has finished second.

For a full list of results, visit ihsa.org.

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