SD State Scholastic Championship

Each spring the SDCA organizes a state wide tournament inviting all players K-12 to participate in this rated festival of chess fun.

The 2016 State Championship held in Pierre April 9th.

tournament floor from the 2014

At the Pierre Indian Learning Center located at 3001 Sully Ave., Pierre. Declare a team at the sign up

For more details click here. If you have questions contact Terry Likens at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Arjun Choudhry of Sioux Falls represented South Dakota at the 2012 Barber Tournament of K-8 Champions held August 4th-7th  in Vancouver, Washington. Arjun had a solid performance at the tournament and boosted his rating by 50 points to bring it to1486. Arjun played K-8 champs from New York, Rhode Island, Alabama, Kentucky, Hawaii, and Oklahoma.

For more on the tournament see these links:

Arjun’s opponent’s state and rating.

L NY 1931
L RO 1698
W AL 1663
W KY 1733
L HI 1799
L OK 1798

Alex Fuhs, from Sioux Falls,represented South Dakota at the 2014 Barber Tournament of K-8 Champions in Orlando at the end of July.  

Alex played Dex rated 2026 from LA, Kiana rated 1783 from KS, Ian (1419) from ME,

Sixty-four young players participated in the State Scholastic Championship held in Rapid City on March 29th.

(Please forward your photos & games to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

There were 72 players in 4 sections.  Only 5 in the top section. The other 3 sections were pretty well balanced.
tournament room in Pierre
Jerry John Casteel and Luke Rysavy played in the second round. According to Jerry, Sabine Marks had a drawn end game against Luke, but in the end, Luke won the game.  Garretson was the first place team - as the only team with more than one player.

Michael Knudson came back to pick up his 7th title - in his last year in the Middle School section with 4 1/2 points after offering a draw to George Hong in the final round. There was a 4-way tie for 2nd place at 4 points. Southwest Middle School took the championship with PILC and New Life Fellowship following at 2nd and 3rd.

The elementary section ended up with a 3 way tie at 4 points after the two 3.5 point scores were defeated in the final round.  Susanna Marks - in her second tournament - took first place on tie breaks.  Joshua Lehman and Carson Boland were also part of the tie. Corral Drive Elementary won the championship on Tie Breaks against Garretson Elementary.  PILC took 3rd.

The Primary section was won by Jackson Geerts with a perfect 5.0 score.  There was a 3 way tie at 2nd and one 3.5 point score at 5th place. Robert Frost Elementary took first place with 3 of the top 5 scores.  Corral Drive was 1/2 point behind - with the score of 4 players.  New Life Fellowship took 3rd place.

See the crosstables at:

Photos are view at:


It’s an amazing streak no matter what the competition, and it’s currently alive and still a work in progress on the South Dakota scholastic chess scene. Just what is this streak? 6th grader Michael Knudson of Rapid City Scholastic Chess is this streak, as he garnered his 7th consecutive individual state title at the 2011 SD Scholastic Chess Championships held on Saturday, April 2, 2011, at the Radisson Hotel Rapid City in Rapid City, SD. This time it was Michael’s first title in the K-8 section of the tournament, to go along with his previous six titles in the K-3 & K-5 sections. Without a doubt, it is testament to his commitment to the game of chess, and his willingness to continue learning everything he can about the game. With this victory, he now becomes the designated representative of the SD Chess Association for the Dwayne Barber National Tournament of K-8 Champions, to be held in late July 2011 in conjunction with the 2011 US Chess Open in Orlando, Florida.
Joining Michael as one of the four individual state champions for 2011, are Manu Nair of Discovery ES, Sioux Falls, SD, as the K-3 winner; Noah Johnson of Rapid City Scholastic Chess, Rapid City, SD, as the K-5 champion; and Josiah Jorenby of Brookings Home School, Brookings, SD, as the K-12 winner on tiebreaks over Jerry John Casteel III of Rapid City Home School, Rapid City, SD. As part of an agreement between Jorenby & Casteel, Casteel will serve as the designated representative of the SDCA for the Arnold Denker National Tournament of High School Champions, also to be held in late July 2011 in conjunction with the 2011 US Chess Open in Orlando, FL.
In addition to the individual competition of the annual state scholastic tournament, there is always the team portion of the competition. The top three qualifying teams in each section are recognized for their efforts, but there can be only one state team champion. Repeating their performance in the K-3 section from 2010, the Garretson ES K-3 team from Garretson, SD, again resoundingly won the state title in the K-3 section. In the K-5 section, top honors went to the dominant Garfield Challenge Center & ES from Sioux Falls, SD. The Garretson MS K-8 team from Garretson, SD, repeated their 2010 performance as well, overwhelmingly winning the state team title in the K-8 section. Lastly, with only one qualifying team in the K-12 section, the K-12 team from Brookings Home School, Brookings, SD, walked away with their first ever state team title.