State Stories


2014 Chess

Bookmark and Share

The 40th annual IHSA Chess Team State Tournament returns to Peoria on Friday and Saturday, February 14-15, for its 14th installment at the Civic Center.

A total of 139 teams from across the state are entered in this year’s competition, the largest field in tournament history. A chess team consists of eight players and up to four alternates, meaning that approximately 1,500 chess players and 200 coaches will play in Peoria this weekend.

"This is the largest team chess tournament in the country, and we think it may be the largest in the world," said IHSA Assistant Executive Director Scott Johnson. "People think of chess as an individual pursuit. Turning it into a team competition encourages players to help make their teammates better players and fosters a sense of camaraderie. They cheer for each other after a good win – or even a good draw.”

The first of seven championship rounds starts at 10 a.m. Friday and action continues until about 8 p.m. On Saturday the teams return to play at 9 a.m., with the awards ceremony unfolding around 5 p.m. In each round, the teams are paired off and 544 (137 / 2 × 8) chess games are played simultaneously. While you can hear a pin drop during the competition, the play can be incredibly intense, especially "inside the ropes," a special viewing area where the top 16 teams do battle. Last year’s championship was won by Whitney Young High School of Chicago, the only team to finish the tournament with seven wins and no losses. In this year's event, Young is again seeded first. Stevenson was the state champ in 2008 and has been a runner-up three times since, including 2012 and 2013. Niles North has won three state titles since 2006, while Evanston, University High School in Urbana, New Trier and Hinsdale Central have also both been perennial contenders in recent years.

The IHSA Chess Tournament is open to the public. Elementary and junior high school players who are interested in watching high school competition or meeting 2008 U.S. Chess Champion, Grandmaster Yury Shulman, are especially welcome. The Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA) will hold its own state chess tournament in Bloomington in March.

Peoria Civic Center (Peoria)


Friday, February 14
10:00 AM - Round 1
1:00 PM - Round 2
3:30 PM - Round 3
6:00 PM - Round 4

Saturday, February 15
9:00 AM - Round 5
Noon - Round 6
2:30 PM - Round 7
5:00 PM - Awards





Twitter Coverage:
@IHSAState     #IHSA

Facebook Page

No charge for entry

No broadcasts are currently scheduled for this event

Record Book & Past Champions


Theme picker