Rank and File | ETHS Takes Third Place at IHSA State Chess Finals

The Evanston Township High School Chess Team won a hard-to-get IHSA state trophy by finishing in third place, out of 126 teams, at the State Chess Finals that were held last weekend in Peoria. This is the 12th state chess trophy that ETHS has won over the years; only Whitney Young, with 13 trophies, has won more.

All teams in the State Finals played a series of seven matches across two days, with eight players per team contesting each match. ETHS won six of its seven matches, but came up just short against Stevenson, which won the state championship. Stevenson edged ETHS in their match by the narrowest possible margin, 34.5 to 33.5 match points.

ETHS’ road to success combined excellence on its top two boards with strong results from the players on the other six boards. Evanston’s Board 1, Elie Platnick, won all seven of his matches, and Nathan Melnikov, on Board 2, was also awarded a state medal for his record of five wins and one draw in his seven matches. Boards 3-8 were Rohil Bose, Jonah Chen, Meris Goldfarb, Bo Lieberman, Luca Zerega and Peter Kezdy, all of whom scored four or more points in their six matches. Patrick O’Sullivan, Ozan Mixon and Isabela Maiewski won most of their games while substituting for Boards 3-8 during the first day of play, ensuring that the regular Board 3-8 players were fresh for their second day matches.

Peter Kezdy, on Board 8, demonstrated ETHS’ team depth by winning five of his six games, including this Round 2 win against Glenbard West.

white: Peter Kezdy, Evanston

black: Glenbard West

top 4 e5 2Nf3 Nc6 3d4 cxd4 4Bc4 Be7?! This timid move helps Kezdy take the initiative. A more common, and better, response is 4…Nf6.

5c3!? dxc3 6Qd5 White threats to play 7Qxf7 checkmate. 6Qb3 is another good way to attack black’s under-protected pawn on f7.

black to move

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