Rianne Ke Makes History Among Seven New National Champs

Rianne Ke vs. Gus Huston, Photo IM Eric Rosen Rianne Ke was in a must win situation in round seven of the K-6 Championship at the Elementary Nationals in Nashville. She reached a key position after 20 moves. Ke's knight on f3 is attacked and if it moves, ...Bc5 is coming, when the e5-pawn is a goner.

Rianne Ke- Gus Huston

Ke found the key in-between move, 20. e6! after which 20...Rd8 was mandatory, with a complicated position since ...Nc5 is a threat and if 21. exd7, Rxd7 and Black will regain the piece. Instead Huston played ...Rf8 and Ke went on to win.

[Event "National Elementary School (K-6) Championshi"]
[Site "Nashville,TN, United States"]
[Date "2018.05.13"]
[White "Ke, Rianne"]
[Black "Huston, Gus"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C88"]
[PlyCount "57"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[SourceDate "2017.08.01"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.08.01"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. h3
Bb7 9. d3 d6 10. a3 Nb8 11. Nbd2 c5 12. Nf1 Qc7 13. c3 Nbd7 14. Ng3 Rfe8 15. d4
cxd4 16. cxd4 exd4 17. Qxd4 d5 18. e5 Ne4 19. Nxe4 dxe4 20. e6 Rf8 (20... fxe6
21. Bxe6+ Kf8 22. Qxd7 Qxd7 23. Bxd7 exf3 24. Bxe8 Rxe8 25. g3) (20... Red8 21.
exf7+ (21. exd7 Rxd7) 21... Kh8 22. Ng5 Nc5!) 21. Qxd7
Rac8 (21... Qxd7 22. exd7) 22. Qxc7 Rxc7 23. exf7+ Kh8 24. Bf4 Rcc8 25. Ne5
Rcd8 26. Rad1 Rxd1 27. Rxd1 Bc8 28. Nc6 Bc5 29. Rc1 1-0[/pgn]
With this victory, Rianne became the first female ever to win the K-6 Championship. US Chess director of Events Boyd Reed called Ke a "trailblazer", comparing her accomplishment to Maggie Feng's victory two years ago in the Junior High School Championship. Ke joined three other players at 6/7: Nathaniel Shuman, Rithik Polavaram and Kevin Pan. https://twitter.com/USChess/status/995765576709607425 Michael Zheng vs. Nathaniel Shuman in the final round of the K-6 Championships, Photo IM Eric Rosen Nathaniel Shuman (New York) celebrated his 12th birthday by taking home the first place trophy with the best tiebreaks. https://twitter.com/carolbmeyer/status/995738925166710785 Drew Justice vs. Kevin Pan, Photo IM Eric Rosen Kevin Pan won his final round game vs. Drew Justice to get to 6/7, meanwhile knocking Drew out of contention, who came into the round with 5.5/6. Danny Rohde, who will be writing about the K-5 Championships in a separate article, said "Pan played the white side of a Caro-Kann very well and took advantage of a couple of tactical mistakes by Justice." Kevin finished off with a sparkling combination.

[Event "National Elementary School (K-6) Championshi"]
[Site "Nashville,TN, United States"]
[Date "2018.05.13"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Pan, Kevin"]
[Black "Justice, Drew"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B18"]
[PlyCount "43"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[SourceDate "2018.05.15"]
[SourceVersionDate "2018.05.15"]

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Bf5 5. Ng3 Bg6 6. N1e2 e6 7. Nf4 Bd6 8.
Ngh5 Bxf4 9. Nxf4 Ne7 10. h4 h6 11. Nxg6 Nxg6 12. h5 Ne7 13. Qg4 Nf5 14. Bd3
Qxd4 15. Bxf5 Qe5+ 16. Be4 f5 17. Qg6+ Ke7 18. Be3 Nd7 19. O-O-O fxe4 20. Rxd7+
Kxd7 21. Qf7+ Kc8 22. Bf4 1-0

This victory by Pan also catapulted his team, Mission San Jose Elementary into a tie for first in the team competition. Speyer Legacy School in New York took the first place trophy on tiebreaks, while Dalton School in New York, led by Shuman also earned a Championship team title. Rithik Polavaram, Photo IM Eric Rosen Also joining the K-6 winners circle: Rithik Polavaram of Texas. https://twitter.com/USChess/status/995802955038240773 K-5 Championships Top boards at the K-5 and K-3 Championships in round 7. Photo IM Eric Rosen Nico Chasin won the K-5 division for a double victory as it brought his team, PS 41 in New York a team Championship. Rohde's piece on this section will cover the games of the dramatic final round. https://twitter.com/USChess/status/995779995254558720 K-3 Championships Ronen Wilson of Virginia took clear first in the K-3 Championships, with a final score of 6.5/7. Ronen Wilson, K-3 Champion, in his final round game vs. Iris Mou Iris Mou, Photo IM Eric Rosen In the final round, Ronen made his only draw of the event against Iris Mou. With this draw Mou scored 6/7, and led Dalton School in New York to top team honors. K-1 Championships Rohan in the final round, Photo IM Eric Rosen Rohan Rajaram of Northern California won clear first in the K-1 Championships with 6.5/7. Mission San Jose Elementary, also of the Bay Area, won the team competition. Rohan Rajaram, Photo IM Eric Rosen Beyond Trophies The event was also featured in local news coverage, where US Chess President Mike Hoffpauir spoke about the benefits of chess, which "teaches decision making at an early age." US Chess President Mike Hoffpauir interviewed at the K-6 Championships, Photo IM Eric Rosen Championship Sunday was also Mother's Day at the Nationals. A big thank you to all the Moms and maternal figures at the K-6 Championships! https://twitter.com/Cathy_Vee/status/996438471152754688 https://twitter.com/USChess/status/995688514879713280 https://twitter.com/AveryGrant1980/status/995495938222383104 https://twitter.com/LeilaDAquin/status/995422161664991232 A special mother's day shoutout to Leila D'Aquin and Kimberly Doo McVay, who volunteered at the popular Girls' Room all weekend on behalf of the US Chess Women's committee. US Chess ED Carol Meyer, D'Aquin, US Women's Champ Nazi Paikdize, Doo McVay and WIM Carolina Blanco IM Paikidze giving a simul in Nashville, Photo Eric Rosen The US Chess Women's Girls' Room hosted simuls, puzzle solving, a lecture and a Town Hall meeting in a fun packed weekend. Browse full standings here. IM Eric Rosen, Danny Rohde and Jennifer Shahade contributed to this report.  Review highlights from our twitter takeover by IM Eric Rosen at #ElemChessChamps Photo Jim Doyle