2016 Alabama State Scholastic Chess Champion Jay-El Shepherd II and K-8 Champion Arden Markin

Chess Antics by Scott Varagona

May 24, 2016 - The Spring Antics magazine features five games from some of Alabama's top players including the two scholastic champions pictured above.

Chess News by Michael Ciamarra

  • May 13, 2016 - Alabama chess players excel at national tournament
  • March 27, 2016 Brain games - Alabama school chess champions score top honors
  • March 7,2016 - Montgomery chess results and million dollar match

Alabama Scholastic Nominees for National Invitational Tournaments

April 21, 2016 - The ACF Executive Board has selected the following nominees to represent Alabama in a set of simultaneous national tournaments during the 2016 US Open taking place from July 30 to August 2 in Indianapolis.

Jay-El Shepherd will represent Alabama at the 2016 Denker Tournament of High School Champions. Jay-El pulled out a narrow victory over Kenneth Jiao in the 2016 Alabama State Scholastic Championship (ASSCC).

ASSCC K-8 Champion Arden Markin will make his second trip to the Barber Tournament of K-8 Champions. Arden will be the first Barber representative from Alabama this century to take a 2000+ rating into the Barber. However Arden wasn't the first Alabama K-8 player to achieve the expert level. Sijing Wu hit 2022 in February of this year, but Arden won their head-to-head match-up during the ASSCC to top 2000.

The Wu family will not miss out on the US Open events. ASSCC K-6 state champion Rochelle Wu repeats as the ACF's nominee to the National Girls Invitation Tournament. Only in the 4th grade and with a 1958 rating, Rochelle too is flirting with the 2000 rating mark. In addition to her NGIT nomination, Rochelle will be the official representative of the US Chess Federation in the U10G section at the 2016 World Cadet Chess Championship.

Featured Events

  • May 28, 2016 - Birmingham, AL - The Vulcan Open will have three rated sections and one non-rated. Flyer
  • June 11, 2016 - Huntsville, AL - The Huntsville Classic offers four rated and one non-rated (scholastic) section. Flyer
  • June 25, 2016 - Birmingham, AL - The Alabama Quick & Blitz Chess Championships will be held at Samford University. The quick chess championship starts at 9:00 a.m. and with game times of g/25 d3. The blitz tournament begins at 4:00 p.m. with 6 rounds of g/8 d2 chess. Flyer

Alabama Chess in Schools (ACIS) Leads Meet to Plan Fall Programs

April 7, 2016 - Fifteen new schools have joined the ACIS program. Representatives from the ACIS schools met March 24 in Montgomery for an orientation meeting. Veteran Chess Leads from twelve of the initial set of schools reported on their progress and offered advice to the new school representatives who will be starting their programs in the fall. Most encouraging was the enthusiasm and continued support for the program by the educators at the schools who have actually taken part in the first year program.

ACIS is an initiative to promote child development through chess in schools throughout Alabama. It is a cooperative effort of the Alabama State Department of Education and the Alabama Chess Federation. More.

Alabama State Scholastic Chess Championship

Individual Champions

March 23, 2016 - Congratulations to the 2016 Alabama State Scholastic Chess Champions. Check back shortly for additional photos and commentary.

2016 2015 2014 2013 2012
Open Jay-El Shepherd II
Jonathan Rasberry, Vikhram Balagee Stephen Adams Stephen Adams Kelly Chen, Stephen Adams
Jr. High* Arden Marken
Logan Mercer, Arden Marken Arden Marken, Samuel Sands Alexander Lay, Ethan Hugh Smith LeeAngelo Groves, Jonathan Rasberry, Joshua Anders, J Wesley Brown

Logan Mercer, Colin Jay Bamford, Samson Sands Steve Mengxi Chen
Elementary* Rochelle Wu
Mohak Agarwalla, Benjamin Kennedy David Xu Luo Arden Marken Logan Mercer
Primary Geon Park
Rochelle Wu Siddharth Doppalapudi, Sarvagna Velidandla James Hongjie Shi Arden Marken

* Grade groupings were changed in 2014 to Elementary: Grades 4-6; Jr. High: K-8, Open: K-12.

Team Champions

Section 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012
Open Indian Springs School School: Bayside Academy; Club: Chess Kids NationSchool Bayside Academy, UMS-Wright; Club: Caesar Chess School: Huntsville High; Club: Chess Kids Nation School:Bayside Academy (tiebreak), Indian Springs; Club: Chess Kids Nation
Jr. High School: Discovery Middle School; Club: Chess Kids Nation School: Discovery Middle School; Club: Chess Kids Nation School: Bumpus Middle School; Club: Chess Kids Nation School: Huntsville Middle School; Club: Chess Kids Nation School: W.J. Christian; Club: CaesarChess
Elementary School: Rainbow Elementary; Club: Chess Kids Nation Rainbow Elementary; Club: Chess Kids Nation Rainbow Elementary; Club: Madison City Chess League, Freedom Chess Academy School: Vestavia Central, Randolph; Club: Chess Kids Nation School: Vestavia Central, Randolph; Club: Chess Kids Nation
Primary Rainbow Elementary; Club: Chess Kids Nation School: Vestavia East; Club: Freedom Chess Academy, Chess Kids Nation School: Vestavia East; Club: Magic City U School: Liberty Park; Club: Chess Kids School: Vestavia East Elementary; Club: Magic City U

2015 US Junior Grand Prix

Rochelle Wu - 2015 National Girls TournamentMarch 9, 2016 - The US Junior Grand Prix competition spotlights rising scholastic players, who automatically earn points based on wins and draws against higher rated opponents. In 2015 Rochelle Wu was the Alabama leader. During the year, last year's Alabama primary grade champion raised her rating from 1559 to 1856. Rochelle also represented Alabama at the 2015 National Girls Invitational Tournament and at the World Youth Championship. Parents of children competing in this year's ASSCC primary section can take heart that Rochelle will be moving on to a higher grade section this year.

The 2015 Alabama Elementary grade co-champion Mohak Agarwalla was the second-place Alabama finisher, boosting his rating from 1077 to 1435 during the year.

Antics by Scott Varagona

February 15, 2016 - Check out the latest games, puzzles and news in the latest release of ACF's Antics magazine!

Rapid Growth of Alabama Chess Continues in 2015

# of Players in Alabama Rated EventsJanuary 16, 2016 - Rated chess play in Alabama grew by 12% in 2015. Gains in North Alabama, South Alabama, and Montgomery had significant gains to offset a decline in the Birmingham area, which has been the hub of past growth.