Kaneland chess team shines in IHSA tournament

By on February 21, 2014

Photo: The 2014 Kaneland Chess team at the IHSA State Tournament last weekend. Courtesy Photo

KANELAND—Kaneland High School sophomore Spencer Serwin’s first chess match on Friday ended in a loss.

That was OK, though, because he went on to win the remaining six games at the IHSA State Chess Tournament on Friday and Saturday in Peoria.

More than 1,500 Illinois high school students gathered at the Peoria Civic Center to play in 40th annual tournament. The 139 teams, made up of eight players per team, played seven games to determine the top teams in the state.

“I’m very proud of our team,” coach Ken Dentino said. “This tournament is the culmination of (the KHS chess team’s) season. We also had a great showing at the conference tournament a few weeks ago.”

Four boards placed third: sophomores Drew Doyle at Board 3, Spencer Serwin at Board 5 and Duncan Kreidler at Board 7. And two players placed in the tournament open: freshman Ryan St. Peter took first while fellow frosh Charlie Falkner took fifth.

“We are in a tough conference,” Dentino said, noting that Lisle’s Benet Academy and Aurora’s Illinois Math and Science Academy are in the conference. Both teams have a strong history in chess.

“We are better for (having them in the conference),” Dentino said.

This year the Benet team took second place at state; IMSA took 11th place. The Kaneland team took a very respectable 42nd place.

The Kaneland team is made up of eight boards, with the better players, playing at the lower boards.