ETHS chess team members (from left) Meris Goldfarb, Elie Platnick, Henry Zaslow, Jonah Chen, Bo Lieberman, Nathan Melnikov, Adam Elgat and Rohil Bose display the team’s first-place award at the Jan. 21 North Suburban Chess League Conference Tournament. Credit: Keith Holzmueller

Evanston Township High School doubled up on its North Suburban Chess League regular season championship by winning the NSCL Conference Tournament on Saturday after defeating Glenbrook South in a last-round showdown.

Both the Wildkits and Glenbrook South are currently ranked among the top 10 teams in Illinois, so the match result has implications for state tournament seedings as well as conference bragging rights. The championship is also the first conference tournament victory for ETHS since 2014.

ETHS took an early lead with a win by Boaz Lieberman, but the outcome of the match remained in doubt until the Wildkits’ top player, Elie Platnick, turned the tables on his master-level opponent to notch a crucial victory on Board 1. Additional wins by Meris Goldfarb, Jonah Chen and Henry Zaslow contributed to the team’s final winning margin of 20 points and a final score of 44 to 24.

Platnick, Nathan Melnikov and Adam Elgat played capably as Evanston’s top 3 players, ensuring that the team could rely on its team depth to outscore its opponents in all four of its matches. Henry Zaslow, Jonah Chen, Rohil Bose and Meris Goldfarb, playing on boards 4, 5, 7 and 8, combined to win 15 games in the tournament, with no losses and just one draw.

The team now moves on to the Illinois High School Association State Series, beginning with the Highland Park Sectional on Saturday, Jan. 28. Teams that meet the qualifying standard at the sectional tournaments will advance to the IHSA State Finals on Feb. 10 and 11 in Peoria.

Keith Holzmueller is the coach of the ETHS chess team.

Keith Holzmueller

Keith Holzmueller has been the head coach of the Evanston Township High School Chess Club and Team since 2017. He became a serious chess player during his high school years. As an adult player, he obtained...

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