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Young Chess Fans Duke It Out at Norwalk Club

NORWALK, Conn. — Nearly 40 area children missed the chance to sleep late Monday, a school holiday. They instead chose to get up early and battle it out with kings and queens at a Norwalk chess club.

The annual Presidents Day Scholastic Chess Tournament at the state's largest chess facility, the Chess Club of Fairfield County , paired 38 young students against their peers for "four rounds of stern competition," according to club member Jeff Peterson.

"It was a fantastic turnout," Dan Lowinger, the club's scholastic director, said in a statement. "Considering all of the choices these kids had – TV, the computer, video games – it says something that so many wanted to take the day to sit down at the chessboard and just play."

Brandon Mingye Wang stormed to the lead in the K-2 division with a perfect score of four wins and no losses. Henry Stratakis-Allen took top honors in the Grade 3-5 section after his victory in a must-win, final-round game. The Grade 6-8 middle school section had the stiffest competition, packed with tournament veterans, Peterson said. Julian Wang and Neev Suryawanshi, who each took three points out of a possible four, shared first place.

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