The 2009 South Dakota Scholastic Chess Championships were held on Saturday, March 21, 2009, at the Garretson School in Garretson, SD, with 87 students from around the state registered for this annual scholastic chess tournament sponsored by the South Dakota Chess Association. Students from grades K-12 battled all day for the bragging rights to be called a state champion in one of four individual & team sections (K-3, primary; K-5, elementary school; K-8, middle school; and K-12, high school).

 

In the end, it was again the dominance of 4th grader Michael Knudson of the Rapid City Home School Association who provided the biggest highlight of the annual state championship as he won his fifth straight individual state title as he won the K-5 section (previous four state titles were all in the K-3 section as he won that section each of the four years he entered in the state tournament). A truly remarkable performance by Knudson as he continues to dominate the lower grades in SD scholastic chess.

 

Not far behind in this dominance on the scholastic scene was the performance of Kyle Jensen of Stevens High School in Rapid City, who won the individual title of state champion in the K-12 section. This is Jensen’s fourth straight state title (previous three titles were in the K-8 section), and with his win in the high school section he is now eligible to be sponsored by the SDCA to participate in the Annual Arnold Denker Tournament of High School Champions. This tournament sponsored by the United States Chess Federation is annually held in conjunction with the US Chess Open, which this year is scheduled for August 1-8, 2009, in Indianapolis, Indiana.

 

In the teams competition in this year’s state tournament, Mark Twain Elementary School of Sioux Falls, SD, returned to the center stage with their win in the K-3 section. Many years ago in the scholastic scene, Mark Twain ES was a dominant force in the K-6 section which eventually was changed to the K-5 section. One newcomer to the top teams ranks was crowned this year as Garretson Elementary School in Garretson, SD, won their first ever team state championship in the K-5 section. The Pierre Indian Learning Center in Pierre, a long-time power on the SD scholastic scene, took the state championship title in the K-8 section, with the Greater Sioux Falls Home School Association winning the K-12 section in a return to their former dominance on the scholastic scene.

The annual state tournament held in Garretson saw the biggest field of registered students in several years, and was directed by Terry & Jill Likens, officials with the SDCA. Click here to see the USCF Report

Complete results (top finishers only) are as follows:

K-3 (primary) Individuals:

  1. Noah Johnson, Rapid City Home School Association, Rapid City, 5.0/5

  2. Benny Kellar, JFK Elementary School, Sioux Falls, 4.5/5

  3. Evan David, Garfield Elementary School, Sioux Falls, 4.0/5

  4. Graham Leonard, Mark Twain Elementary School, Sioux Falls, 3.5/5

  5. Alexander Fuhs, Robert Frost Elementary School, Sioux Falls, 3.0/5

 

Consolation Awards (tied for 5th place in overall points, but not in tie breaks)-

  1. Will Grevlos, Mark Twain Elementary School, Sioux Falls, 3.0/5

  2. Ryan Fick, Garretson Elementary School, Garretson, 3.0/5

  3. Riley Fawcett, Mark Twain Elementary School, Sioux Falls, 3.0/5

  4. Ian Kock, Garfield Elementary School, Sioux Falls, 3.0/5

 

K-3 (primary) Teams:

  1. Mark Twain Elementary School, Sioux Falls, 11.0/20

  2. Garretson Elementary School, Garretson, 9.5/20

  3. Garfield Elementary School, Sioux Falls, 8.5/20

 

K-5 (elementary) Individuals:

  1. Michael Knudson, Rapid City Home School Association, Rapid City, 5.0/5

  2. Carter Huber, John Harris Elementary School, Sioux Falls, 4.5/5

  3. Scott Jensen, Corral Drive Elementary School, Rapid City, 4.0/5

  4. Luke Rysavy, John Harris Elementary School, Sioux Falls, 4.0/5

  5. Ezra Storment, Garretson Elementary School, Garretson, 4.0/5

 

K-5 (elementary) Teams:

  1. Garretson Elementary School, Garretson, 13.5/20

  2. John Harris Elementary School, Sioux Falls, 10.5/20

  3. Pierre Indian Learning Center, Pierre, 7.5/20

 

K-8 (middle school) Individuals:

  1. Matt Wingert, Rapid City Home School Association, Rapid City, 5.0/5

  2. Donald Beckwith, Countryside Home School, Pierre, 4.0/5

  3. Jerry John Casteel, South Middle School, Rapid City, 4.0/5

  4. Misty Scott, Pierre Indian Learning Center, Pierre, 3.5/5

  5. Daniel Matzner, Patrick Henry Middle School, Sioux Falls, 3.0/5

 

Consolation Awards (tied for 5th place in overall points, but not in tie breaks)-

  1. Demitre Ecoffey, Pierre Indian Learning Center, Pierre, 3.0/5

  2. Case Wiarda, Castlewood School, Castlewood, 3.0/5

  3. Luke Thronson, Patrick Henry Middle School, Sioux Falls, 3.0/5

  4. Sean Calhoun, Patrick Henry Middle School, Sioux Falls, 3.0/5

  5. Jordan Waters, Pierre Indian Learning Center, Pierre, 3.0/5

  6. Larry New Holy, Pierre Indian Learning Center, Pierre, 3.0/5

  7. Kaleb Artz, Castlewood School, Castlewood, 3.0/5

 

K-8 (middle school) Teams:

  1. Pierre Indian Learning Center, Pierre, 12.5/20

  2. Patrick Henry Middle School, Sioux Falls, 11.0/20

  3. Castlewood School, Castlewood, 10.5/20

 

K-12 (high school) Individuals:

  1. Kyle Jensen, RC Stevens High School, Rapid City, 5.0/5

  2. Jon Engberg, Lincoln High School, Sioux Falls, 4.0/5

  3. Joseph Marikle, Greater Sioux Falls Home School Association, 3.0/5

  4. Zachary Truelson, Greater Sioux Falls Home School Association, 2.0/5

  5. Daniel Long, Garretson High School, Garretson, 1.0/5

 

K-12 (high school) Teams:

1. Greater Sioux Falls Home School Association, Sioux Falls, 5.0/20

 

For further event contact information, please contact Terry Likens at (605) 718-4263, or via e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.