On Saturday, October 10, 2009, the 2009 Split Rock Scholastic Chess Tournament was held at the Garretson School in Garretson, SD. 77 scholastic chess players in grades K-12 registered to play in the tournament which was sponsored by the Sioux Empire Chess Foundation, and hosted by the Garretson Elementary School Chess Club. Grandmaster Alex Yermolinsky served as the Tournament Director, John Flores served as the Assistant Tournament Director, and Garretson ES Chess Club Coach Bob Boland assisted them and served as emcee for the event. The five-round swiss system tournament (four rounds in the K-12 section) featured four sections (K-3, K-5, K-8, and K-12) with trophies being awarded to the top five individuals and teams in each section.


The 2nd annual Split Rock Scholastic was highlighted this year by just one word. Much like Elvis, Bono, Pele, and other glorious one-name stars, it was the name Ritesh that stood out in this year’s edition of the Split Rock. Oscar Howe Elementary School 4th grader Ritesh Sivakumar from Sioux Falls, SD, played up in the K-12 section of the tournament, and bested his opponents to take the top honor in the individual competition. In addition, his score was also high enough to take first place in the team portion of the section.
Ritesh had entered the Split Rock as the highest USCF-rated player at 1077, with his victory in the K-12 section surely to raise his rating some more.
Although it was Ritesh who garnered much of the attention for his performance in the K-12 section, it was actually Patrick Henry Middle School 6th grader Luke Rysavy from Sioux Falls, SD, who was the only player to go undefeated in any of the four sections of the Split Rock. Rysavy finished with a perfect 5.0/5 score on his way to claiming 1st place in the hotly contested K-8 section out of the 35 players registered to play in this section.
The only repeat champions in the tournament from the 2008 edition were in the team competition as the Garretson ES Chess Club team in the K-5 section repeated their first place finish.
A complete listing of the top five individuals and teams from the 2009 Split Rock Scholastic are as follows:
K-3 Individual Standings
1. Cash Lapour, Garfield Elementary School, 4.5/5
2. Nolan David, Robert Frost Elementary School, 4.0/5
3. Austin Richard, Pierre Indian Learning Center, 3.0/5
4. Molly Duffy, Garfield Elementary School, 3.0/5
5. Manuel Arviso, Pierre Indian Learning Center, 3.0/5
K-3 Team Standings
1. Pierre Indian Learning Center, 10.0
2. Garfield Elementary School, 7.5
3. Robert Frost Elementary School, 4.0
4. Garretson Elementary School, 0.5
K-5 Individual Standings
1. Avery Charles Schroer, Buchanan Elementary School, 4.0/5
2. Benny Keller, JFK Elementary School, 4.0/5
3. Marc Rattenborg, Garretson Elementary School, 4.0/5
4. Malavika Nair, Discovery Elementary School, 4.0/5
5. Will Grevlos, Mark Twain Elementary School, 4.0/5
K-5 Team Standings
1. Garretson Elementary School, 13.0
2. Pierre Indian Learning Center, 10.5
3. Garfield Elementary School, 5.5
4. Buchanan Elementary School, 4.0
5. JFK Elementary School, 4.0
K-8 Individual Standings
1. Luke Rysavy, Patrick Henry Middle School, 5.0/5
2. Eddie Yermolinsky, Memorial Middle School, 4.0/5
3. Misty Scott, Pierre Indian Learning Center, 4.0/5
4. Evan Fick, Garretson Middle School, 4.0/5
5. Zachary Boland, Garretson Middle School, 3.5/5
K-8 Team Standings
1. Garretson Middle School, 14.0
2. Pierre Indian Learning Center, 13.0
3. Castlewood Middle School, 12.5
4. Patrick Henry Middle School, 10.0
5. Memorial Middle School, 4.0
K-12 Individual Standings
1. Ritesh Sivakumar, Oscar Howe Elementary School, 3.5/4
2. Dylan Collins, Castlewood High School, 2.5/4
3. Michael Heglund, Brandon Valley High School, 2.0/4
4. Case Wiarda, Castlewood High School, 0.0/4
K-12 Team Standings
1. Oscar Howe Elementary School, 3.5
2. Castlewood High School, 2.5
3. Brandon Valley High School, 2.0



For a complete list of the results from USCF (click here)

Pdf files results with photos (click here)