Nashville, TN – May 10-12, 2019
US Chess Federation results pages
2,295 players total and a stage full of trophies!
The 2019 National Elementary Championship was held May 10-12 at the Gaylord Opryland resort in Nashville, TN. This year’s event had 2,295 players spread across 12 sections playing seven rounds of classical chess over three days. Players hailed from 46 states including 91 players from our great state of Michigan.
The time control for this event was G/90;d5 which was a true classical chess experience for these young players. As you might expect for such a large event, the logistics were highly organized with plenty of tournament staff on the playing floor and outside in the chess control office. Kudos to all of the US Chess Federation staff who managed this tournament like a well-oiled machine.
The majority of kids played in the vast Delta Ballroom. Once the frenetic bustle of finding boards and bidding farewell to parents and coaches was completed, the doors closed and after brief announcements came the call to “Start white’s clock!” After handshakes and the clack of the clocks the rounds began.
Once again I was so impressed with the concentration and determination of these players. I quickly and quietly circulated for the 15 minutes allotted to press and photographed the room. I recognized many faces from Michigan tournaments, some of whom are represented in the gallery accompanying these words.
The opening minutes go by in the blink of an eye and was always disappointed to feel the silent tapping of the timer on my wrist indicating it was time for me to exit. Outside the ballroom I joined the other parents and coaches, watching the doors for their player, trying to read their expression. As a chess parent, I know Tom Petty was right: the waiting is the hardest part! Potentially 3+ hours for games that went the distance. I left Nashville with even more admiration for the concentration and stamina of these young players.