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Double State Champions for Chess

The Bayside Chess Admirals steamrolled their way to state titles in high school and middle school divisions of the Alabama State Scholastic Chess Championships held March 23 in Pike Road. 
The high school team captured the U1300 rating category title, marking back-to-back championships after winning the U1200 title last year. The format is a combination individual and team event, with the top four scores counting as the team score. The chess Admirals battled players from Hoover High School, Joseph Bruno Montessori Academy (Birmingham), Phillips Preparatory School, and Contemporary Education Academy (Huntsville), among others. Although Bayside's three-year streak of a player winning the individual title was broken, the team prevailed to take the crown. Team members are Rhett Montgomery, Jacob Stallworth, Boyce Magli, Evan Stafford, and Colt Hancock, all of whom finished in the top ten and took home individual medals.
 
The middle school team played in the highly competitive U1100 division, featuring 36 players. Bayside dominated teams from Bumpus Middle School (Hoover), Discovery Middle School (Huntsville), Hayden Middle School (Warrior), and Foley, clinching the title after four rounds in the five-round event. Team members are John Stephen Klimjack, Huan Chen, Don Chen, Elias Blossom, Ben Freeman, and Eli Solomon. Klimjack finished with four points out of five and took home a fourth–place medal. Don Chen had 3.5 points and finished ninth. This is the first middle school state championship for Bayside since 2004.
 
Michael Klimjack played in the open section, a two-day event, and took seventh place overall.
 
With these titles, Bayside Chess now has a total of 14 State Championships, more than any other school in Alabama. Of these, nine are high school, three middle school, one junior varsity, and one elementary. All of them are in the 7A classification, since there are no divisions by school size in chess.
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