It's not just a certain sport-played-by-tall-people that goes crazy in the third month of the year. Chess players have their own version of March Madness. They've either just finished the USAT or the IHSA team championship, or they're gearing up for the State K-8, the National Scholastics or the Chicago Open.  At the March 2 Evanston Tri Level, we had 55 players who were either already in fighting form, or working toward it.

Our Gold (1700+) section was won by NM Ken Wallach with a 3.5 score. Right behind Ken were Greg Bungo, Eric Panigua (the only player to draw with Wallach) and Vito Vytkauskas, each with 3 points. Thanks to guest master NM Fred Rhine, who returned to regular rated play "for the first time this millenium" as he put it.

Rahul Dhiman scored a perfect 4 in the Silver section (1200-1699). Jay Kushinsky, ETHS's Xander Nicolson and Edward Zhang (picked up 100 rating points) came in second place with 3 points each.

In the Bronze (U1200) section, Conrad Zborowski also had a perfect 4.0 score, and gained 98 rating points. Four players had 3.0 scores: Clifford Adams, Mariel Rancel, Nicholas Johnson and Matthew DeMario.

The big rating gainer for the event was Nicholas Johnson, who leaped from 634 to 930 regular rating in his second foray into rated chess. Welcome to new player Kevin Hurley who scored two wins in his first tournament.

We had a good turnout of high school players, including a large group from Richards High School, and three players from Evanston Township High School.

by Maret