On Sunday, May 20, the Chess Team, the Yellow Jackets, in their first tournament competition, won 1st place at the annual UCONN Scholastic K-8 Chess Tournament, held in Storrs.
The Jackets, made up of six (6) students from the Bugbee Elementary School in West Hartford, triumphantly took home the grand championship trophy after beating out 10 other regional teams from around the state. The young Bugbee team went head-to-head against more experienced and established teams such as Simsbury’s Middle School and Simsbury Library Chess Club.
The team played a total of 4 rounds of chess matches, and after the third round suffered a low score of 8 wins and 10 losses with only 7 team points. In danger of concluding the event with a disappointing losing finish, the Jackets received a brief pep talk from their coach and rallied a miraculous comeback in the fourth and final round, with every member of the team out-dueling their respective opponent and winning all 6 final round matches.They finished with a record of 14-10 overall and 11 team points, overtaking both front running Simsbury teams.
The team’s hard work, dedication and preparation over the last two months, including vacation week, to represent Bugbee and West Hartford for the first time at this highly anticipated event paid off in spades.
"I could not be more proud of this team for their remarkable chess progress and a fantastic first tournament performance." said Team coach and Bugbee parent, Alexander Lumelsky. "I look forward to another year of chess and Yellow Jackets’ dominance starting in the fall."
The Jackets presented their 1st place trophy to Bugbee's principal on Friday, and it will be proudly displayed.
Submitted by Phil Cohen