Chess teams from Waupaca High School and Middle School traveled to the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville, Tenn., to compete in the United States Chess Federation’s SuperNationals V.
The USCF holds SuperNationals every four years; the event combines the separate, yearly High School, Middle School and Elementary Chess National Tournaments into one event.
In addition to the competition, the USCF brings in International Masters and other leading chess figures to give lectures, seminars and simultaneous exhibitions.
More than 5,300 players of all ages competed in the four-day event this year.
Waupaca schools entered two teams in the competition.
Seniors Jake Foss, Cameron Berrig and Ian Johnson; junior Cameron Calderon, sophomore Alex Librande and freshman Evan Bolwerk represented the high school in the Under 1200 Division.
Seventh graders Erik and Ryan Hemmila, Will Johnson and Dante St Thomas played in the K-eighth grade Under 750 Division.
In addition to the main, seven-round event, the players also competed in the National Blitz and BugHouse Tournaments held Thursday, April 4, the day before the main tournament began.
No Waupaca players won individual honors in Blitz or BugHouse, but the high school team did win the 24th Place Team Trophy in a field of over 100 schools.
The middle schoolers finished 18th in their division, but only 15 trophies were awarded.
Both teams did well in the main event, and brought home trophies. The high school team placed 12th, while the middle school team took 10th, with both teams competing in fields of over 100 schools.
Several Waupaca players earned individual awards as well.
For the high school, Librande went 5-1-1 and took home the 19th place trophy, while Foss was 4-1-2 and took the 30th place trophy.
Cameron Berrig went 4-2-1 and finished 76th, Ian Johnson was 341st at 2-5-0, Cameron Calderon was 356th also at 2-5-0 and Bolwerk finished 379th at 1-5-1.
Seventh Grader Ryan Hemmila had the best finish of all Waupaca players going undefeated at 6-0-1 and finishing in a tie for second. He received the fifth-place trophy based on tie break points.
St. Thomas also won a trophy finishing 30th in the field of over 400 players with a record of 5-2-0.
William Johnson finished 63rd with a record of 4-2-1 while Erik Hemmila finished 280th with a record of 2-5-0
The trip capped a long and successful season for the Waupaca Chess Team, that began in October.
Some of the team members are planning on competing in the USCF’s United States Open which is being held in Madison this summer. The team is also making plans for next year’s National Tournament in San Diego.