Special report by NM Master Michael Aigner

Since fifth grader Daniel Naroditsky won the K-12 section of the CalChess Scholastics, a G/45 playoff was conducted among six players tied for second place. The winner of this playoff would represent CalChess at the national Denker Tournament for High School Champions. (Per wishes of Arnold Denker, this person must be in high school, thereby making Naroditsky ineligible.)

I was there on Saturday. It was ugly. Really ugly. Unless your name is Nicolas Yap or Adarsh Konda. There was blood, tears and even a broken nose.

Anyone who predicted that G/45 wizard NM Sam Shankland and reigning National High School champion Michael Zhong would combine for 1.5 out of 8 against the other four players in the field should book a ticket to National Open (to play at the casino). Three players broke 2100, but two going in the wrong direction.

At least three people did well in the round-robin. Congratulations to top seed NM Nicolas Yap for earning his second trip to the Denker Tournament of High School Champions with an impressive 4.5 out of 5 result. He also hit 2300 USCF for the first time ever and is two points away from the FM title.

Since Nic will graduate from high school in two weeks, the Denker will be his final scholastic tournament ever.

Further kudos to Adarsh Konda for drawing with both of the masters and breaking 2100 (in the upwards direction) and to lowest rated Micah Cohen for breaking 2000 with a respectable 50% score.

The sixth player was David Chock. At least everyone who didn’t win can still try again next year.

CalChess Denker Playoff

NM Nicolas Yap 4.5
Adarsh Konda 4.0
Micah Cohen 2.5
NM Sam Shankland 2.0
David Chock 1.5
Michael Zhong 0.5

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