Congratulations to top scorers Michael Klimjack '24, Jacob Stallworth '25, Huan Chen '28, and Libbi Melendez '23.
On Saturday, March 11, the Bayside Chess Team traveled to Alabaster for the annual Alabama State Scholastic Chess Championships held at Thompson High School. This year, the tournament was broken into ratings divisions for the first time, and Bayside competed in the U1200 section. The event was a combined individual and team event, with the scores of the top four players counting as the team score.
The Admirals entered nine players and started off hot, with a perfect score of 4.0 after the first round, placing the team in sole possession of first—a lead they maintained all day. After five grueling rounds of battle, the top Bayside scorers had 13.5 points, ahead of 7A powerhouse Bob Jones of Huntsville with 12.5 points. Top scorers for the Admirals were junior Michael Klimjack, with 4.5 out of 5, sophomore Jacob Stallworth with 3.5, 7th grader Huan Chen with 3, and senior Libbi Melendez with 2.5.
Klimjack also took first place in the individual competition, winning the third consecutive individual state championship for a Bayside player. He joins Ethan Dull ‘22, who won the U1400 division in 2021, and senior Wilson Engeriser, who won the U1300 division last year. Stallworth finished in 10th place and earned a medal. Rounding out the team were 7th grader John Stephen Klimjack, freshman Colt Hancock, senior Nicole Nager, 7th grader Burke Ramagosa, and freshman Boyce Magli.
The chess team is the only program at Bayside to have won state championships at all levels: varsity, junior varsity, junior high, and elementary, and the only one to win a national championship. The Chess Admirals next travel to Washington, D.C., from March 31–April 2 to compete at Nationals.
If you want to learn more about the remarkable story of Bayside Chess, come to The Pilot Center at Bayside Academy on March 23 from 6:30–7:30 p.m. to view the world premiere of the documentary The Pawn Who Would Be Queen: The Story of Alabama's First National Champions. Afterward, join filmmaker John Woods and chess coach Eric Nager for Q&A and a reception in the Bay Room.