By: Jeff Higgins, special to the Gazette
The Ninth St. Croix River Valley Chess Tournament found 36 players jousting for prizes July 21 at Pioneer Park. A chilly early morning downpour couldn’t dampen the playes’ enthusiasm and by the end of the day, they enjoyed bright sunshine.
St. Paul’s Patrick Gallagher, a fourth grader at Capital Hill School, captured the first place trophy with a perfect 4-0 record in the 22-player Novice section. Tied at 3.5 points were Stillwater Area High School Chess Club member Ross Screaton, an 11th-grader (who earned the second place trophy on tie breaks) and John Helmueller of South Dakota.
First place in the 14-player Open Section ended in a tie between former Stillwater-area businessman and previous tournament winner Roger Redmond of Plymouth and Andrew Hanson of Rosemount, each finishing with 3.5 points. These two had perfect scores going into their final round encounter, which ended in a hard fought draw.
The third-place prize was shared by Stan Kegel of Apple Valley and Sid Carlson-White of St Paul, an eighth-grade student at Capitol Hill, each finishing with 3 points.
Winners of Class Prizes included John Billman, defending champion Shaun Coggins of Maplewood, Jon Thomson, Steve Helmueller and Brian Billman.
All proceeds benefit the Stillwater Area High School Chess Club (firstname.lastname@example.org).