He won! He will now represent the state of Illinois at the national tournament in Indianapolis this summer.
The Denker tournament is an invitational tournament that pits the best high school chess players in each state against one another and then brings those state champions together to vie for a national title. In addition to the prestige of a national title, players are competing for scholarship money. Here's a link with a little more information.
This was Trevor's second time to play in the Denker. I wrote about last year's event here. Last year Trevor was ranked in the middle of the group; this year he was top seed. Obviously he's had quite a year!
Here are the first, second, and third place finishers. (For those who may not know, Trevor is on the right.)
Here are all eight competitors. We have been watching most of these young men play chess since they were 7 or 8 years old. They have been playing each other in competition for years. I can't believe they're almost grown up now. It's going to be a little sad when college comes and they each go their separate ways. But I have a feeling most will continue to play and they will have some more chances to face off in the years ahead.
Phew--it's all over. Time to blow off some steam. This is what chess players call "skittles"--playing for fun. One of the things I love about chess is how these young men can, in the blink of an eye, go from trying to annihilate one another on the chess board to shaking hands and putting the serious stuff behind them. A few moments ago it was "take no prisoners"; now in their mutual love for this game they're all on the same side. It's very cool to see.
Indianapolis, here we come!