Chess Schedule and News

Monarchs Chess Third at State

Freshman Sheena Zeng led the Monarchs to a third place team finish among the eight 3A schools who competed at the state tournament on Saturday, March 11.  Zeng defeated five of her six opponents to claim individual fourth place in a field of 133 individual entries.  The team score of 14 was rounded out by sophomores Paul Brull (4 points) and Sheldon Weber (3 points) and by junior Ethan Rohr (2 points).  Erie (17.5 points) and St. Mary’s Academy (16 points) finished ahead of the Monarchs.

The junior high Monarchs claimed the distinction of the 4th strongest middle school in the state with a team score of 17.  Eighth grader Japheth Briney set the pace with five wins and was well supported by classmates Seth Perrett and Hunter Flax and seventh grader Nicklas Helget all with four point contributions.    Also participating in the competition were eighth grader Aakash Patel (3.5 points) and seventh graders Jesus Cano (3.5 points) and Logan Hess (1.5 points).  The top prize in the middle school section went to St. Mary’s Academy (19.5 points), followed by Lawrence West (19 points) and Raintree Montessori of Lawrence (17.5 points).

Feb 14 Ladder at Start

Hunter Flax

Japheth B

Nicolas Herrman

Jesus Cano

Ricardo A.

Logan H.

Nicholas H.

Games (Winner in Boldface)

Nick Zimmerman vs N. Herrman

N. Helget vs Jesus Cano

Japheth B vs Hunter F

Gabriel R vs Ricardo A

Logan H vs Seth P.

Ladder at End of Day

Hunter F

Japheth B

Jesus C

Nick H

Gabe R

Ricardo A

Seth P

Logan H



Club Ladder Feb 2

Games  (Winner in Bold Font)

Japeth B (B) challenges Hunter F. (W)

Ricardo A (W) challenges Logan H. (B)

Jesus C (B) challenges Nicholas H (W)

Nicklas Helget — no opponent


  1. Hunter Flax
  2. Japheth Briney
  3. Nicholas Herrman
  4. Jesus Cano
  5. Ricardo Araiza
  6. Logan Hess
  7. Nicklas Helget

Junior High Monarchs Win Big at Wichita North

Jan 28, 2017

The Wichita North tournament started a bit late, but ended with a top-notch outcome for the eight junior high Monarchs who participated.  The team total of 19.5 points provided a solid first place finish and included five point performances by eighth graders Japheth Briney, Seth Perrett, and Aakash Patel who placed 2nd, 3rd, and 4th individually.  The fourth contribution to the team score came from seventh grader Nicklas Helget, whose 4.5 points earned the 7th place medal.  Other members of the junior high team were Hunter Flax (3.5 points), Nicholas Herrman (3.0 points), Logan Hess (3.0 points) and Gabriel Rupp (3.0 points).

JH Team First Place

Paul Brull was the only Monarch entered in the high school division of the tournament; he compiled a record of four wins and two losses to finish 13th in the K-12 section.

The Pleasant Valley tournament scheduled for next week has been cancelled.  The next competition scheduled for the Monarchs at this time is the March 4 event at Hillsboro.   The state tournament will be held the following Saturday, March 11 at Emporia.


Ocbober 30, 2016          Results of KSCA Tournament at Brooks, Wichita

Every tournament has its own character and the first tournament of the season has a qualities of newness and anticipation which give it a character like no other.  The TMP-Marian chess excursion to Wichita’s Brooks Center for STEM and the Arts on the last Saturday of October was the first scholastic tournament ever for three TMP-M seventh graders and featured numerous inexperienced players from Wichita area schools as well.  In addition, three eighth graders were called upon to compete at the high school level since many other activities in progress prevented all but one member of the high school chess team from competing.

Freshman Sheena Zeng (4.5 points of 6) led her teammates to a 15 point first place finish against stiff competition from Wichita East (13 points), Wichita Collegiate (13 points), Wichita North (13 points), Valley Center (10 points), and Bishop Carroll (7.5 points).  Second through fourth place awards were determined on the basis of tiebreaks.  Zeng’s four and one half points, which included three draws throughout the day, were soundly supported by four points from eighth grader Japheth Briney, three and a half points from eighth grader Seth Perrett, and a very respectable three points from eighth grader Hunter Flax.  Individually the four varsity competitors placed 3rd, 10th, 13th, and 17th in the 31 person field.


Meanwhile, in the junior high section of the Brooks tournament, eighth graders Aakash Patel (4.0 points) and Ben Pfannenstiel (3.5 points) led seventh grade novices Nicholas Herrman (3.0 points), Logan Hess (3.0 points), and Nicklas Helget (2.0 points) to a team score of 13.5 points, just 2.5 points behind first place finisher St Francis of Assisi Elementary School, and 5.5 points ahead of Wichita’s Robinson Middle School.  Individually the junior high team members placed 8th, 14th, 16th, 17th and 20th in a 26 player field.

At the end of the day, the Monarchs returned to Ellis County with a varsity first place trophy, a junior high second place trophy, and an individual third place trophy as well as a host of medals.  None of the TMP-Marian competitors had yet celebrated a fourteenth birthday.

The next scheduled competition for the Monarch team will be November 19th at Lawrence.

September 24, 2016          Team Scrimmage Tournament  Final Results

Place                     Name

1 Japeth Briney

2 Seth Perrett

3 Ethan Rohr

4 Paul Brull

Others participating:

Jason Kepka, Sheldon Weber, Ben Pfannenstiel, Hunter Flax, Aakash Patel, Ricardo Ariaza, Logan Hess, Gabe Rupp, Jesus Cano

New Chess Feature– Daily Chess Puzzle

Note:  Clicking the game link below will take you away from the Room 108 Classroom  web site to the chessgames site.


What is the Daily Puzzle?

One of the most popular features of is the daily chess puzzle. It can be found on the homepage, right underneath the search interface. It is updated every day at 12:00am USA/Eastern time.In each puzzle, you are given a chess position from actual play, and told which player had the move (White or Black). It’s up to you to figure out the best move in that position.

The difficulty of the puzzles increases as the week progresses, with Monday puzzles being very basic, and Sunday puzzles almost impossible.

What kind of move am I looking for?

The goal is to find the best move, or sequence of moves, in the given position.You do not always have to find a checkmate! Just find the best move.

Usually, this move will lead to a superior position, either by a forced sequence of moves which leads to checkmate, or (more commonly) wins substantial material.

By “substantial material” we mean usually winning at least the exchange (i.e. trading a knight or a bishop for a rook). More commonly the winning move will net a whole piece (bishop/knight/rook) and sometimes will win the queen. Occasionally, the material will be only a single pawn–this usually happens in endgame situations where the extra pawn will surely decide the game.

The first move is not always the most difficult move to see. Sometimes, the initial move in the sequence is somewhat obvious, but the real solution to the position lies in the follow-up moves. In order to solve our puzzles, you must see enough moves to demonstrate that the initial move is correct. Simply guessing the first move, without understanding why it works, is not solving the puzzle.

Sometimes we will present a position where the player who is to move is in a nearly hopeless situation. In these positions you are expected to look for a way to draw the game instead of win it. We don’t tell you that you are looking for a draw; you are expected to figure this out by the nature of the position.

What is a spoiler?

We occasionally show a puzzle that we call a spoiler. These are positions where there is no move that clearly wins the game, but instead a variety of solid moves which are all playable. Usually these positions present the lure potential sacrifices which are unsound. You are expected to recognize the unsoundness of the tempting sacrifices and instead conclude that the best move is one of the “quiet” moves, or an obvious move like capturing a pawn. We show spoilers from time to time because it encourages people to think combinations all the way through, instead of simply finding a move which looks like it initiates an attack, without considering the defenses.

I give up. How do I find out the answer?

To see the answer, discuss with your chess friends or come to TMP-Marian chess practice Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3:30.  If you can’t make it to practice, members of the chess team who were at practice will know the solution.

Is there only one move which is correct?

It depends on the puzzle. Sometimes, there is only one move which can win the game, and all other moves lose. Other times, there are a variety of good moves and one which is clearly better. Occasionally we may present a puzzle which has a “dual”, an alternate solution which is every bit as good, or even better, than the move played in the game. By the end of the day, our kibitzers will figure out the truth behind the position. (Most of the above information is copied from the web site.  There is some very small editing from the TMP-M coaching staff.)


Will these puzzles really make me stronger at chess?

Absolutely. No matter what your playing strength, a better grasp of tactical concepts will help push you to the next level. Because these positions are taken from real games, they are designed to show you realistic situations which will inevitably be reflected in your own games.

How hard are these puzzles?

It’s impossible to satisfy everybody with every puzzle, for what is too easy for one person is too difficult for another. To enable everybody to enjoy the puzzles, we arrange them so that their difficulty increases throughout the week. Monday and Tuesday puzzles are the easiest puzzles of the week; Saturday and Sunday are the most difficult.Nearly everybody should be able to solve Monday and Tuesday puzzles, although beginners at chess might have to invest some time to see the solution. By Wednesday and Thursday even strong players are occasionally stumped. Friday and Saturday puzzles can be notoriously difficult, and Sunday puzzles are often impossible to solve below the master level.

Note that the concept of “difficulty” with chess puzzles is very subjective. Don’t be surprised if some weeks you spend more time on a Tuesday puzzle than on a Friday puzzle–the escalating difficulty is just a rough guideline which cannot possibly apply to everybody. For most people, there are only two or three days a week when the puzzles are easy enough to solve, yet difficult enough to be challenging.

I’m solving the puzzles faster each week. Are they getting easier?

No, you’re becoming stronger! Congratulations.

2016-17 Season Brings New Faces and New Challenges

As the new school year begins, its great to remember the triumphs of the spring when, for the second year in a row, the TMP-Marian chess team claimed the state championship in their class.

As we prepare for the first practice of the new season, (that”s 3:30 pm Tuesday, Aug 16 in the Latin room) we know we’ll miss some familiar faces, but we also expect new faces.  Come if your schedule permits; bring a friend if you can.  If you cannot be at the first practice be sure to check in with a coach to work out a plan for building your chess game as well as your other activities.   We’ll practice until 5:00 regularly on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Our first tournament is the one we host; it will be on October 8.  Watch this page for a complete list of tournaments to be posted soon.

Strong Finish Brings Victory for Monarch Chess

TMP-Marian Chess Team at Pleasant Valley February 20, 2016

TMP-Marian Chess Team at Pleasant Valley February 20, 2016

Seventy students from thirteen different schools converged on the west side of Wichita to compete in the high school section of the Pleasant Valley chess tournament on Saturday, February 20th. At the mid-point of the competition, the eight who represented TMP-Marian were locked in a three way tie for first place with Erie and Valley Center. Each team had garnered exactly 10 points of a possible 12 from the efforts of their best four entrants. As the second half of the tournament came to a close, the Monarchs had “kept the pace” finishing with the 20 points needed to double their first half score. Valley Center had slipped to third place with 16 points; Erie’s 17 points gave them the runner up position. Sheena Zeng’s 5.5 points paced the Monarchs and the field. She was well supported by five point scores from Nicholas Zimmerman (4th place) and Patrick Kepka (5th place) and a 4.5 point performance from Justyce Briney (9th place).

HS Team Back Row L to R Paul Brull, Nicholas Zimmerman, Justyce Briney, Patrick Kepka, Jason Kepka, Ian Lenser Front Row L to R Sheldon Weber, Sheena Zeng

HS Team Back Row L to R Paul Brull, Nicholas Zimmerman, Justyce Briney, Patrick Kepka, Jason Kepka, Ian Lenser Front Row L to R Sheldon Weber, Sheena Zeng

Zeng’s undefeated record was matched but not exceeded; she was awarded the first place medal based on a series of tiebreaks.  Also representing the Monarchs at the tournament were Jason Kepka (3.5 points, 24th), Sheldon Weber (3.5 points, 25th), Ian Lenser (3.0 points, 29th), and Paul Brull (3.0 points, 33rd).
IMG_0274The four Monarchs competing in the junior high section put up 15 points, enough to finish second between two Wichita schools with strong chess traditions. St. Francis of Assisi outscored the Monarchs by one and a half points; Pleasant Valley trailed by a single point. Seth Perrett (8th place), Japheth Briney (12th place), and Hunter Flax (13th place) provided a trio of four point performances and were supported by a three point effort by Aakash Patel (18th place). There were a total of 44 individual entrants in the junior high section representing six different schools.

The Monarchs will compete in two weeks at the Hillsboro tournament and finish the season at the state tournament in Lawrence on March 12th.

Hays Chess Teams Sweep
Concordia Tournament

If last week’s chess competition at Onaga was somewhat disappointing, the Concordia competition of February 6 must be Chess at Concordia--Allremembered as the tournament where results far exceeded expectations.  Who would have predicted three first place team trophies coming back to Hays with two individual firsts including a perfect performance ay an eighth grader in the high school division?

Sheena Zeng, with six wins, led the Monarchs in the high school division as they accumulated 19 points, besting the second place performance of host Concordia (11 points) and third place Hillsboro (7.5 points).  Individually, five Monarchs finished in the top six places.  Patrick Kepka ended the day in second place with a single loss to teammate Zeng.  (Only in situations where a team has already clinched the section title and suitable opponents from other teams have been exhausted are players assigned to compete against one of their own.) Justyce Biney (4.5 points), Nicholas Zimmerman (4.0 points), and Ethan Rohr (4.0 points) finished individually in places four, five, and six.

In the junior high section, the competition was closer as the first place Monarchs (18 points) recorded only one point more than Wichita’s Pleasant Valley Middle School team.  Host Concordia finished with 14 points and the third place trophy.  Individually Seth Perrett finished third and paced the Monarchs with five points.  Teammate Japheth Briney, also with five points was assigned fourth place on tiebreaks.  Hunter Flax (4.5 points, 8th place) and Aakash Patel (3.5 points, 12th place) rounded out the team’s scoring.

The Holy Family fifth graders were led in their quest for the first place elementary trophy by Noah Bruggeman who claimed the individual second place in the elementary section.  He was supported by team members Jensen Brull, Braydon Binder, and Tate Dinkel.

The Monarchs will compete next on February 20 at the Pleasant Valley Wichita tournament.  Other tournaments on the schedule are set for March 5 at Hillsboro and March 12 at Lawrence.

TMP-Marian Chess Teams

Finish Second and Third at Onaga

January 31, 2016


On Saturday, January 30, Onaga High School hosted one of the biggest chess tournaments ever held in that small Flint Hills community. For the TMP-Marian chess team, it was not the best ever. With memories of first place finishes at Lawrence and Wichita earlier in the season and a team of veterans, expectations were high as the day began.


At the end of the day, respectable finishes of second place in the high school section and third place in the middle school sections replaced dreams of gold. Eighth grader Sheena Zeng “played up” and led the high school with 4.5 points and a fourth place individual finish. Senior Justyce Briney and sophomores Jason Kepka and Ian Lenser contributed four points each to the 16.5 point team score finishing 7th, 11th, and 12th respectively. Senior Patrick Kepka ended the day with 3.5 points and placed 15th in the field of 28. Rockhurst High School (Kansas City, MO) passed the Monarchs in the last round of the tournament and finished with 17.0 points. Topeka’s Washurn Rural scored 12 points.


The junior high team, paced by seventh grader Japheth Briney (4.5 points, 3rd place), finished third with 14 points behind Lawrence West Middle School (19.0 points) and St. Mary’s Academy (15.0 points). Seventh grader Seth Perret put up 3.5 points, finishing in 9th place. He was supported by Aakash Patel (14th), Ben Pfannenstiel (15th), Lucas Kraus (16th) and Hunter Flax (17th) who each accumulated 3.0 points. (Team scores are calculated from the top four individual scores.)


The Monarchs travel to Concordia on February 6, and will compete again in February at Pleasant Valley School in Wichita. The March calendar includes a Hillsboro tournament and the state event in Lawrence.

Chess Team Claims Multiple “Firsts” in Wichita

January 16, 2016

Wichita North High School on the east bank of the Arkansas River provided the setting for a day of “firsts” for the TMP-Marian high school and junior high chess teams. There was the individual first place of Japheth Briney as he collected a rare picket fence, the six “ones” indicating a perfect score six consecutive wins in the junior high section of the tournament. Teammates Seth Perrett, Aakash Patel, and Ben Pfannenstiel contributed four, three, and three wins respectively to provide the team’s 16 point total, enough for a first place tiebreaker finish. Galesburg Middle School of Erie also put up 16 points, but had faced opponents with weaker scores and was assigned to second place. Lucas Kraus (1.5 points) and Hunter Flax (1.0 points) also participated in the 7 team, 48 player middle school section of the tournament.

On the high school side there were more “firsts.” Senior Patrick Kepka claimed the first place individual trophy with a five and one record. His score was matched by four others in the section including classmate Justyce Briney. Again using tiebreaks, Patrick and Justyce were assigned first and fifth places respectively in a field of 60 individual entrants. Ian Lenser (3.5 points, 10th place), Paul Brull (3.5 points, 19th place), and Ethan Rohr (3.0 points, 35th place) filled out the high school roster in the ten team high school section of the tournament.

The final “first” of the day, again on tiebreaks, was the first place high school team trophy which came home with the TMP-Marian team. The top four players for both the Monarchs and the Erie team had compiled a total of 17.5 points of a possible 24. Valley Center and host Wichita North placed third and fourth in the ten team section.

Four regular season tournaments remain on the Monarch schedule: Onaga on January 30, Concordia the following weekend, Pleasant Valley on February 20, and Hillsboro on March 5. The chess season will end with the state tournament at Lawrence on March 12.

Chess Teams Charge Ahead at Valley Center

December 12, 2015

It is customary in recording chess results to use a “1” to represent a win and a “0” to represent a loss.  A player who wins all six games of a tournament would have a series of six “ones” after his name.  Sometimes this is referred to as a “picket fence.”  Senior Patrick Kepka led the TMP-Marian varsity chess team to victory on Saturday at Valley Center with his first “picket fence” in a scholastic tournament.  Several of the games had a “David and Golieth” motif as Kepka, rated below 1200, felled opponents in the last four rounds with ratings of 1657, 1262, 1578, and 1266.

The elder Kepka’s record was solidly reinforced by teammates Sheena Zeng (5.0 points, 2nd place), Jason Kepka (5.0 points, 4th place) and

Back: Ian Lenser, Jason Kepka, Patrick Kepka, Ethan Rohr. Front: Sheena Zeng, Sheldon Weber

Back: Ian Lenser, Jason Kepka, Patrick Kepka, Ethan Rohr. Front: Sheena Zeng, Sheldon Weber

Sheldon Weber (4.0 points, 14th place) to set a team scoring record of 20 points.  Valley Center and Erie tied for second place at 14.0 points.  Also competing for TMP was Ethan Rohr (3.0 points, 25th place).  The high school competition involved 48 students from 15 schools.

The TMP-Marian junior high team put up 14.5 points points to finish third in their section behind Erie (17.0 points) and St. Francis Assisi of Wichita (15.5 points).  Seventh graders Seth Perrett and Japheth Briney led the team, each contributing 4.0 points; they finished 7th and 8th respectively in

L to R: Seth Perrett, Ben Pfannenstiel, Lucas Kraus, Japheth Briney, Aakash Patel

L to R: Seth Perrett, Ben Pfannenstiel, Lucas Kraus, Japheth Briney, Aakash Patel

the field of 48.  Also competing for the junior high were Ben Pfannenstiel (3.5 points, 16th points), Aakash Patel (3.0 points, 23rd place) and Lucas Kraus (2.5 points, 30th place).  The team score is the sum of the best four individual scores.

Also competing from Hays, in the elementary section, were a group of five fifth graders from Holy Family School.  Noah Bruggeman bested all others in the 34 player field.  He was undefeated with five wins and one draw,

L to R: Braydon Binder, Evan Lind, Jensen Brull, Tate Dinkel, Noah Bruggeman

L to R: Braydon Binder, Evan Lind, Jensen Brull, Tate Dinkel, Noah Bruggeman

leading his team to a first place trophy ahead of St. Francis of Assisi and Erie.  Earning four points were Brayden Binder (6th place) and Jensen Brull (7th place).  Evan Lind notched 3.5 points finishing 12th; and Tate Dinkel won exactly half of his six games and finished in 15th place.

The TMP-Marian teams will compete next at Wichita North on January 16th in the new year.  The scholastic chess season extends from October through March of each academic year.  The TMP team competes about once each month.

 Hays Teams Make their Mark at Lawrence Tournament

Neither of Lawrence’s 6A high schools were able to keep the first place chess trophy in Lawrence last Saturday (Nov 21) as the Thomas More Prep-Marian varsity team put up 15.5 points and brought the prize to western Kansas. Lawrence Free State and Lawrence High School scored 14.5 and 12.5 points respectively, Overland Park’s Heartland Elementary scored 14 points to claim third place. Rockhurst High School, with a team of 10 from the Missouri side of the border, was able to tally only 12 team points. (Team points are the sum on the four high individual scores from each school.)

Individual leaders for TMP-Marian were Sheena Zeng (5.0 points, 2nd place), Patrick Kepka (4.5 points, 8th place), Justyce Briney (3.0 points, 24th place), and Jason Kepka (3.0 points, 28th place). Ethan Rohr and Ian Lenser scored 3.0 and 1.5 points respectively as alternate team members.

The TMP-Marian junior high, playing without eighth grader Zeng, claimed a trophy of their own as they edged out Raintree Montessori School of Lawrence for third place in the middle school section. Lawrence West Middle School and Liberty Memorial Central (Lawrence) placed first and second. Individuals contributing to the team score were Japheth Briney (4.0 points, 12th place), Seth Perrett (3.5 points, 17th place), Lucas Kraus (2.0 points, 34th place), and Ben Pfannenstiel (2.0 points, 36th place). Aakash Patel was an alternate team member, also scoring 2.0 points.

Hays was also represented in the elementary section of the tournament as a trio of Holy Family Elementary fifth graders put together 10 points to place fourth. Schools leading the way were Topeka’s Jay Schideler

L to R: Braydon Binder, Evan Lind, Jensen Brull, Tate Dinkel, Noah Bruggeman

L to R: Braydon Binder, Evan Lind, Jensen Brull, Tate Dinkel, Noah Bruggeman

Elementary, and Cordley Elementary and Quail Run Elementary of Lawrence. Competitors were Noah Bruggeman (4.0 points, 11th place), Jensen Brull (3.0 points, 18th place), and Evan Lind, (3.0 points, 21st place).

The tournament featured over 45 entrants in each of the sections mentioned above and was held at the newly constructed College and Career Center located on South Haskell Avenue. The next scheduled tournament for the TMP-Marian chess team is set for December 12 at Valley Center Middle School.


2015 TMP Tournament

2015 TMP Tournament

TMP-Marian Tournament Results

by Kevin Nyberg

When scholastic chess teams travel out to Hays to play in Thomas More Prep-Marian’s annual invitational, they do so expecting considerable challenge from the local players; on Saturday, October 10, teams from TMP-Marian and Holy Family Elementary gave them that, and more.
All three teams from area Catholic schools won top team honors in their respective divisions, led by a 1st Place individual tie between the top two players, senior Patrick Kepka and 8th grader Sheena Zeng.  Four players from Holy Family Elementary, Noah Bruggerman, Jensen Brull, Tate Dinkel, and Braydon Binder, finished among a five-way tie for first in the elementary division.
Fifty-six players representing eleven school attendance centers competed in the six-round event; nine schools sent more than one player to qualify for team prizes.  The relatively small event, as compared to other events in larger metropolitan areas, which regularly see events with over two hundred players, meant that all the contestants competed in a single section, where younger players often had to play against older team-mates with whom they had practiced.  This made for an unusually competitive event, as noted by a number of tournament observers.
In the final result, Thomas More Prep-Marian High School, fielding a team of eight, finished first overall as a team, and first in the high school division, with 19 team points.  The second-place high school team was Concordia High School, with 16.5 points, and Wichita North High School was the third-place high school finisher with 14 points.  Among junior high teams, seven students from TMP-M topped the field with 15.5 points, followed closely by Concordia Middle School, with 14.5 points, while Pleasant Valley Middle School of Wichita was third with 11 points.  In elementary competition, five players from Holy Familly Elementary finished first with 12 points, followed by Concordia Elementary with 8.5 points.
Individually, post-tournament tie-breaks based on strength of opposition, as well as a rule awarding only one prize per player, often separated individual prize-winners.
In individual high school action, senior Patrick Kepka of TMP-Marian, edged out Sheena Zeng, although their own Round 5 game was a tense draw, to take the overall first-place medal with 5.5 points.  That gave the 1st place high school medal to freshman Nicholas Zimmerman, with 5 points.  Freshman Sheldon Weber won 2nd in the high school division with 4.5 points, while four TMP-M players shared prizes at 4 points: senior Justyce Briney, 3rd high school; sophomore Ethan Rohr, 6th; sophomore Ian Lenser, 7th, and freshman Paul Brull, 9th.
Among junior high players, 8th grader Sheena Zeng topped the field with 5.5 points, placing second overall on tiebreaks.  7th grader Japheth Briney was second with 4.5 points, 8th grader Lucas Kraus was seventh with 3 points, and 7th grader Seth Perrett was 10th with 2.5 points.
In the elementary division, four 5th graders from Holy Family Elementary, fresh from their 3rd place team finish last Saturday in Topeka, tied for first among elementary school players at 3 points.  On tie-breaks, Noah Bruggermanm finished 1st, Braydon Binder 3rd, Tate Dinkel 4th, and Jensen Brull 5th.

Links to detailed October 10, 2015 tournament results (pdf format) are below.  You will find places, scores, and tiebreaks for all individuals and teams which participated in the tournament.

Chess Team Results

Chess Ind Results



Local Tournament Set for October 10, 2015

The TMP-Marian KSCA tournament will be held this fall on October 10.  Hopefully we’ll have the same kind of participation we had last year, both from Monarchs and visitors.  A big difference will be the location.  The St. Joseph Parish School Building (also known as the Kennedy Building) will afford us a wealth of space without moving tables and chairs from floor to floor.  The home tournament is the first of nine on the calendar.   See the Google Chess Calendar (check your Google email for an invitation) or the complete school calendar on the school web site for more details.

TMP-Marian Wins

State Chess Titles 

March 22, 2015                                                          


Both the TMP-Marian high school and junior high school teams marked “first ever” accomplishments at the Kansas Scholastic Chess Association state tournament held on  Saturday, March 14 at Wichita’s North High School.


For the first time ever TMP-Marian has achieved state champion status, claiming the first place plaque in the state’s 4A division.  Juniors Patrick Kepka (4.5 points) and Justyce Briney (4.0 points) combined with seniors Russell Krug (4.0) and Jacob Werth (4.0) for a total team score of 16.5 of a possible 24 points.  Four freshmen provided reserve points: Jason Kepka (4.0), Ian Lenser (3.0), Alex Lenser (3.0), and Ethan Rohr (3.0).  Teams finishing second and third were Chanute and Columbus.


For the first time ever the TMP-Marian chess team ranked in the top six schools of all sizes at the state tournament, finishing third behind Erie (17.5 points) and Blue Valley Northwest (17.0 points).  Rounding out the top six were Lawrence High School (16.0 points) Hillsboro (16.0 points), and Valley Center (15.5 points).


For the first time ever the TMP-Marian junior high brought home a state tournament trophy, finishing second in the K-8 section with 17.0 points.    A pair of Lawrence junior high schools (Southwest and West) claimed first and third with 17.5 and 17.0 points respectively.  The tie for second place was broken by the strength of opponents of the two teams.  Seventh grader Sheena Zeng led the team with five points.  Eighth graders Nicholas Zimmerman and classmates Sheldon Weber and Paul Brull each contributed 4.0 points.  Eighth grader Garrett Cole had four points in reserve; seventh grader Lucas Kraus had three points in reserve.


Finally, for the first time ever Holy Family Elementary students participated in a state KSCA tournament.  Sixth graders Japheth Briney (4.0 points) and Seth Perrett (3.5 points) competed in the K-8 division and fourth graders Noah Bruggeman (3.5 points), Tate Dinkel (3.0 points), and Evan Lind (3.0 points) competed in the K-5 section.  The fourth grade trio placed 13th of 22 teams in their section with their combined score of 9.5.


Saturday’s tournament ends the season for the young people of the Hays Catholic Schools, but raises hopes of more “first evers” in the seasons to come.


Monarch Chess Successful

At Valley Center

The TMP-Marian chessplayers came home with a trophy from Saturday’s Valley Center tournament, but a third place version instead of the first place they were able to claim in November at Wichita North.  The Erie team, absent from last month’s competition, put up 16 points to finish first.  Valley Center, trailing TMP’s chessplayers by a point going into the final round made up the difference and more to post 14.5 points.  The final talley showed TMP with an even 14 points.

TMP-Marian chessplayers celebrate their trophy winning finish at the Valley Center tournament. From left to right: Justyce Briney, Alex Lenser, Ethan Rohr, Jason Kepka, Patrick Kepka, Ian Lenser, and Russell Krug.

TMP-Marian chessplayers celebrate their trophy winning finish at the Valley Center tournament. From left to right: Justyce Briney, Alex Lenser, Ethan Rohr, Jason Kepka, Patrick Kepka, Ian Lenser, and Russell Krug.

Junior Patrick Kepka led the way for the Monarchs, winning five of his six games and earning the second place individual trophy in a field of 47 competitors.  Senior Russell Krug contributed 3.5 points (17th), junior Justyce Briney managed 3.0 points (24th), and freshman Alex Lenser (32nd) contributed 2.5 points to the team score.  Freshmen Ian Lenser, Ethan Rohr, and Jason Kepka each scored 2.0 points.  The four highest individual scores are used to calculate the team score.

Eighth graders Nicholas Zimmerman and Paul Brull were the only junior high competitors to make the trip, but they made up in quality what they lacked in quantity.  Each achieved 4.0 points of a possible six; individually they placed 7 and 8 in a field of 48.

Eighth graders Nicholas Zimmerman and Paul Brull display their medals from the Valley Center tournament.

Eighth graders Nicholas Zimmerman and Paul Brull display their medals from the Valley Center tournament.

The next competition for the Monarch chessplayers will be in the new year, with a pair of January tournaments: Wichita North and Onaga on the 17th and 31st respectively.

TMP Chess Comes from Behind

To Win at Wichita

After staking out the second place position for five rounds of the six round Wichita Scholastic Chess Tournament, the TMP-Marian team put up three of a possible four points in the last round to edge ahead of Valley Center and claim the first place trophy with 16.5 points.  Valley Center scored only 2 in the last round and finished with an even 16.0 points.  Wichita North finished third of the eight participating schools with 12.5 points.

High School Team from left to right: Jason Kepka, Justyce Briney, Ethan Rohr, Russell Krug, Patrick Kepka, Jacob Werth; Sheena Zeng in front.

High School Team from left to right: Jason Kepka, Justyce Briney, Ethan Rohr, Russell Krug, Patrick Kepka, Jacob Werth; Sheena Zeng in front.


The TMP junior high, with only three players available, scored 12 points and claimed second place in the middle section behind the St. Francis of Assisi team.  Paul Brull led the junior high team with a personal best 5 of 6 possible points, enough to earn the third place individual trophy.  Nick Zimmerman provided close support, finishing in fourth place with 4.5 points.  Eighth grader Garrett Cole added three points to his classmates’ total, finishing 16th in a field of 36.  Seven junior high teams were part of the tournament.

From left to right: Garrett Cole, Nick Zimmerman, Paul Brull

From left to right: Garrett Cole, Nick Zimmerman, Paul Brull


Seventh grader Sheena Zeng “played up” by entering entered the high school section and led the high school team with 4.5 points.  Her fourth place finish was backed up by juniors Patrick Kepka and Justyce Briney finishing eighth and ninth with 4.0 points each.  Freshman Jason Kepka was close behind in tenth place, also with a 4.0 final score.  Seniors Russell Krug and Jacob Werth scored 3.0 and 2.5 points respectively, freshman Ethan Rohr scored 3.0 points.


The Monarchs will travel to Valley Center on December 13 for the last competition of the semester.  Five tournaments are on the schedule for the new year.

Schedule for the 2014-2015 Season

Tournament dates and places for the 2014-2015 season have changed somewhat due to weather and other rescheduling decisions.  The schedule as of Nov 21 is as follows:
October 11             —       TMP, Hays  (completed as scheduled)

Nov. 22     Wichita North  (new)
Dec. 13     Valley Center (new)
Jan. 17      Wichita North II (new place for previous date)
Jan. 31      Onaga (new date for previous place)
Feb. 21     Pleasant Valley  (as previously scheduled)
Mar. 7      Hillsboro (as previously scheduled)
Mar. 14    State at Wichita North (new place for previous date)


Wichita Pleasant Valley

On  the Saturday after Valentine’s Day at Wichita’s Pleasant Valley Middle School, TMP-Marian chess teams compiled records of 16-8 on the junior high side, and 13 and 1/2 – 10 and 1/2 on the senior high side, good enough for third place finishes in both sections.  Sophomore Patrick Kepka paced the high school team with a 5-1 record and a fourth place individual finish.  Seventh grader Nicholas Zimmerman’s 4-2 record began with three consecutive wins, setting him up for a 7th place individual medal in the junior high division.  Zimmerman was joined by teammates Sheldon Weber, Paul Brull, and Ethan Rohr in the “four point club.”Pleasant Valley Chess

The high school section of the tournament featured 52 chessplayers, representing nine schools; the junior high side involved 64 competitors from eight schools.  Erie, a frequent 3A state champion team, took first in the high school division with 17 points; Valley Center was second with 14 and 1/2 points.  Scores were closer in the junior high section as host Pleasant Valley finished first with 17 and 1/2, followed by Wichita’s Robinson Middle School with 17 and TMP-M with 16.

The Monarch season concludes next month with a March 1 event at Hillsboro and the state tournament the next week at Lawrence.

Local school-age chessplayers can compete for medals without leaving town at the Hays Public Library tournament scheduled for Saturday, February 22.  Check-in is at

9:15 on that day; details are available at the library’s children’s department (625-5916).

Topeka Collegiate

Due to a serious snow forecast for the early morning hours of February 1, the chess team stayed at home and did not participate in the Topeka Collegiate tournament.  The next scheduled tournament is for February 15 at Wichita’s Pleasant Valley.

Onaga Results

January 18, 2014

A baker’s dozen of TMP-Marian chessplayers competed in a total on 78 games at the Onaga tournament on a cold windy Saturday last week.  Sophomore Patrick Kepka and SH Onagasenior Jacob Brull each won five of their six games to finish first and fourth, respectively, in the individual rakings of the senior high section of the tournament.  The team posted 17 points to finish second (on tiebreaks) behind the Kansas City Blue Valley team which also scored 17 points.  Sophomore Justyce Briney (4 points, 8th place) and junior Russell Krug (3 points, 14th place) rounded out the TMP team score.  Sophomore Peak Navanimitkul recorded 3 wins which provided a point of emphasis to the four member team score.


The top four junior high chessplayers compiled 14.5 team points supplemented by 10.5 Onaga JHpoints from another four who also attended the tournament.  They finished in second place, just one-half point behind Washburn Middle School’s 15.  Lawrence Central Middle School earned the third place trophy with 11 points.  Individual results included 4 point contributions from seventh graders Sheldon Weber (7th place) and Paul Brull (8th place).  Points from eighth grader Alex Lenser (10th place, 3.5 points) and seventh grader Nicholas Zimmerman (11th place, 3.0 points) rounded out the official team score.  Also competing at the tournament were eighth graders Ethan Rohr (3.0 points), Dylan Tabor (3.0 points), Jason Kepka (2.5 points) and Ian Lenser (2.0 points).


The Onaga competition, located in the scenic Flint Hills northwest of Topeka, has grown substantially over the last five years.  Each division of the tournament included five teams.  Thirty-three individuals competed in the high school section, twenty-eight in the junior high section.  The next chess event for the Monarchs will be the February 1 tournament at Topeka Collegiate.

Winter/Spring2014 Chess Schedule



Saturday February 1 Topeka Collegiate
Saturday February 15 Pleasant Valley/Wichita
Saturday March 1 Hillsboro
Saturday March 8 State at Lawrence

The second semester also marks the beginning of the second half of the chess competition season.  The successes of the first half are a good foundation for the challenges to come.  The trip to Onaga in January consistently offers a scenic drive to a small tournament which is managed smoothly and an opportunity to visit KSU’s Aggiville on the way home.  The Pleasant Valley event in Wichita and the Hillsboro tournament both involve big numbers and will be a real test of our readiness for the state competition to follow the next week.  There is the possibility of putting another tournament on the schedule due to the cancellations in the first half of the season.


First Semester Recap

  • We hosted the first tournament of the season in September and were able to keep IMG_0411first place trophies in both the high school and junior high divisions.  Although we did not draw as many out-of-town entrants as we would have liked, we did find that we had a quality team.
  • Our scheduled October tournament at the Independent School in Wichita was cancelled and replaced with an outing to the  Canton-Galva tournament on November 1.   The high school team repeated their first place accomplishment and the junior high team finished in third place.
  • The next week found two solid teams competing at Concordia.  The high school team brought home the 1st place team trophy, posting a total score of 16 team points, with six out of seven high school team members turning in ‘plus’ scores.  While not winning the tournament in the individual category, they swept the 5th through 11th place medals, outdistancing the competition with remarkable consistency.  Senior Jacob Brull placed 5th with 4 points out of 6, Junior Andrew Yueh was 6th with 4, Sophomore Peak Navanamitkul was 7th with 4, Senior Justin Raynesford was 8th with 4, Patrick Kepka was 9th with 3.5, Russell Krug was 10th with 3.5, and Sophomore Justyce Briney was 11th with 3.  The top four scores earned TMP-M their winning team score of 16, leading 2nd Place Concordia High School’s 12, and 3rd Place Wichita North’s 9.  In the Junior High Division, a team of four posted a 2nd Place team finish with a combined score of 14 team points led by 8th Grader Jason Kepka’s 4th Place finish at 4 points out of 6, 8th Grader Alex Lenser’s 7th Place finish at 4, and 7th Grader Nicholas Zimmerman’s 8th Place finish at 4.  7th Grader Paul Brull provided support with a score of 2 points.  In the Junior High division, Concordia Middle School dominated at 20 team points, followed by TMP-M with 14, with Lindsborg Middle School a distant 3rd at 7.5.