Northwest wins yearly chess tournament


Photo By: Steven Russillo

The Northwest chess team poses with their trophies after their victory at the yearly chess tournament.

The Northwest Chess team competed at the Guilford County chess tournament last Saturday at Southwest high school. The team emerged at the top of the competition winning first place team trophy.

The second place team, Early College at Guilford, finished with 13 points, while Northwest finished with 13 and a half points, making the victory by the narrowest margin possible.

“There were a lot of good players there,” senior Daniel Lee said.

Lee was one of three members to earn three and a half points, earning a third place individual trophy overall.

While the Northwest players who compete play as the Northwest chess team, the tournament is open to anyone to register, regardless of if they attend chess club or not.

The recent victory marks the third time that Northwest has won the team trophy in recent tournament history. It was an especially sweet victory this year because it was with exactly the score that Northwest would have needed in order to tie for first place at the tournament in 2017.

Science teacher and chess coach Steve Russillo was surprised at the result, saying he did not believe the team’s score was enough to win.

“We all played well, but I didn’t think we played well enough to win,” Russillo said.

Being the first major chess tournament of the school year at the high school level, a lot of the newcomers to the team did not have experience with tournament play. Russillo was concerned about how some members of the team would handle the tournament environment but was pleased with the result.

“There were a couple of our players who I was concerned with how the emotional side of the games would get to them, and they played well,” Russillo said.

There is currently talk of a spring tournament that would be hosted at Northwest in April, but prospects remain uncertain.

Until the spring tournament is confirmed or denied, the team will continue to celebrate their win.

“I feel good,” Lee said.