State Individual 2015 took place at Lakeside School in Seattle January 23-24. Over 90 players competed, with approximately 20 in the Championship, 20 in the Premier (U1600), and 50 in the Reserve (U1200).
The Reserve section, a field filled with Seattle Prep players, nearly 20 of them, saw lots of terrific games and new learning opportunities for players. Ultimately, Michael Patrick, of Seattle Prep, prevailed with a perfect 5/5!
The Premier section was very tightly contested with lots of draws and several close battles that ultimately proved decisive one way or the other. Ultimately it was Aidan O’Neill of Lakeside and Will Rianda of Ferndale who emerged at the top with 4/5 a piece (3 wins and 2 draws each, including 1 draw to each other). This brought us to the greatest spectacle in WA State Chess, the 3 minute 2 second delay speed playoff! Even that game was neck and neck until ultimately Aidan prevailed to take the title.
The Championship section, with a ticket to the Denker Tournament of High School Champions on the line, was one of the strongest fields we’ve ever seen, with 2 Master players, and several Experts headlining the field. Master sophomore twins Daniel He and Samuel He stayed on boards 1 and 2 for the majority of the tournament, demonstrating their strong play consistently. In round 3, Expert Freshman Noah Fields, from Charles Wright Academy in Tacoma, scored the upset on board 1 against Daniel! Entering round 4, Noah and Samuel were the only two perfect scores, and Noah scored the upset again on board 1 against Samuel! In the final round, Noah faced Senior Expert James Colasurdo of Olympia, a game which ultimately ended in a draw, securing the title of WA State High School Champion for Noah Fields with 4.5/5! The Master bros tied for 2nd with 4 points apiece. Kudos to all on a job well done.