The 5th annual Thurston Chess Tournament took place on Saturday, January 12th with rave reviews. Over 100 Ann Arbor-area chess players, ranging from Kindergarten to 8th grade, participated. Unlike previous years, this tournament was open to other Ann Arbor schools, which made for a great community-building event. Many of the players took part in preparation for the Michigan State Team Chess Championships, which will be held on February 2nd.
Special thanks go to tournament organizers Nejat Karabakal, Gene Darnell, Yuji Fujii and Jeff Alson (King Elementary School) for extra, behind-the-scenes hours and effort; and to Ray Garrison, our tournament director who also teaches chess in local schools. Thank you to all of those whose volunteer work during the tournament kept it running smoothly. Thank you also to Mrs. Manley and the Thurston PTO for allowing us to showcase our beautiful facilities, as well as the great chess players at Thurston!
Four teams from Thurston Elementary competed in the state team chess championships on Saturday, Feb. 2. Only one other elementary school in the state had more teams competing! Great job to all of those who participated. It was the largest Michigan Primary Team Championships ever with over 600 students competing in 4 divisions thru the 6th grade. The teams were: Thurston Kings (K-5 division): Naveen Fujii, Michael Jang, Jungwoo Chang, Aaron Keller. Thurston Rooks (K-3): Oliver Barron, Suzan Karabakal, Leo Tunkle, Duncan Darnell. Thurston Bishops (K-3): Ryan Gudal, Isaac Brooks, Jeremy Hoy, Gwen DavisThurston Knights (K-3): Ira Tunkle, Joe Jang,Aidan Davis
Incredible Team Honors: Thurston Rooks took home 1st place and a state championship! They were the only team in the K-3 division to win all 5 of their matches. Great Job! They had a lot of competition with 50 teams competing in the K-3 division. Outstanding Individual Honors: Gold Medal (winning all 5 games): Suzan Karabakal & Duncan Darnell. Thurston had 2 of the 9 total gold medals given out in the K-3 division out of almost 200 total competitors! Silver Medal: Oliver Barron (4 points), Bronze Medal: Jeremy Hoy (3.5 points).
All those who participated represented their school and themselves in fine fashion. Everyone competed hard, supported their teammates, and showed great sportsmanship!