Lakota West Firebirds

    Lakota West Chess Team storms into 2nd place!

    The Lakota West Chess team had their work cut out for them heading into the GMC chess tourney, played November 30th at Sycamore high school.  Heading into the tourney, the Firebirds sat in 3rd place, a half game behind Sycamore.  They had tied Sycamore earlier in the season but due to Mason, normally invulnerable, also playing Sycamore to a draw, Lakota West was in third place.  It has been nearly a decade since Lakota West cracked the top two in the GMC standings having had 6 third places finishes.  This was their goal for the tourney.

    The GMC chess tourney is played among all ten GMC teams using a “Swiss pairing” system to determine opponents.  This type of pairing continues to put the stronger teams against one another with each progressive round.  Each team plays their top 5 players against the other team’s top 5 players.  Lakota West started off strong by defeating Hamilton (5-0).  In the 2nd round the Firebirds faced the top seeded Mason team.  Mason features some of the top tournament players in the area, including the highest ranked chess player in all of Ohio.  Unfortunately, Lakota West fell to Mason (0-5).  The Firebirds resumed their winning ways against Oak Hills in the third round, winning 5-0.

    The fourth round brought the most important game of the season to the table.  Lakota West now faced the 2nd seeded Sycamore, who had also lost to Mason.  The outcome of this match would likely determine the 2nd place team for the season.  The Lakota West players had been preparing for this match all season.  They practiced 4 times a week after school and even on Saturdays.  The Firebirds were a much stronger team then they were when they played Sycamore earlier in the season.  This was evident when Sajan Shah (1st team all-GMC) scored a victory on 2ndboard.  After Sycamore won on 4th board, the match was tied 1-1.  But the Firebirds scored the next two games on 4thboard (Ryan Sippy) and 3rd board (Sunitvir Taunque).  After the 1st board players played to a draw, the Firebirds claimed victory (3.5-1.5) over their rivals and with it took control of 2nd place in the GMC standings.  However, there was still one round left to play.  The team of Kenneth Cao (1st team all-GMC), Sajan Shah, Sunitvir Taunque, Sush Koppula, and Ryan Sippy held strong to defeat Lakota East in the final round and secure their 2nd place finish.  The Lakota West chess team finished 11-2-1 for the season with the only losses coming against Mason.  This incredible finish was due to several factors including teamwork, dedication, and determination displayed by the Firebirds. CONGRATULATIONS Lakota West chess team.

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