Nicollet Middle School chess team wins second consecutive state title
The Nicollet Middle School chess team, the "Nicollet Knights," won its second consecutive middle school state chess championship on March 12.
Nicollet had a 2.5 point edge over the runner-up.
Students scoring for Nicollet were:
- Rynaldo Mejia (6th place individual trophy)
- John Blomer (12th place)
- Theo Diep (13th place)
- Harrison Stage (14th place)
Eighth-grader Max Nguyen also tied as a scorer.
The team, coached by retired District 191 math teacher Brian Ribnick, will head to Dallas in April for the national tournament.
"There were about 200 eager students at the 2022 Minnesota Scholastic Chess Championship," said Ribnick. "They were eager as the last two years were filled with nothing but virtual events. Now, they could be together competing, marking their first ever in-person state title in its 50-year history."
Additionally, the Burnsville High School chess team placed fourth in state over the same weekend. This was its best finish in over a decade.
Chess is an important part of the culture in District 191. In elementary schools, chess residencies – one of the longest-running programs in the history of District 191 Community Education – take place for one week during the school day. Additionally, all schools in the district offer chess clubs.