Noah Polacek wins 2018 Nebraska High School State Chess Championship!
WHS junior raises USCF Rating to 1502 and advances to prestigious national Denker Tournament in Wisconsin (July 28-31)
American comedian Emo Philips once said, "a computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing." For many who have experienced the mental torture of the game of chess, these words ring true. Fortunately, though, for one even-keeled WHS junior, a more simultaneously calm, analytical, and fun-loving approach to the game has resulted in far more success!
Polacek was crowned champion at the May 12 NSCA State Tournament in Lincoln (winning all of his matches at the highest-rated competition level), and won the right to represent Nebraska at the prestigious Denker Tournament of High School Chess Champions, which is slated for July 28-31 in Middleton, Wisconsin, a suburb of Madison.
“The Denker,” as it’s become known, is an annual event held in conjunction with the U.S. Open, in which the 51 high school champions from each state and the District of Columbia compete to determine who will be crowned the Denker Champion and receive a $5,000 college scholarship ($2,200 in cash prizes will also be awarded for second through sixth place).
All participants receive a Gold Medallion at the Opening Ceremony, with scholarships and cash prizes awarded at the Closing Ceremony.
Polacek joined the WHS Chess Club his freshman year at Wahoo. He had never played chess previously. This school year Polacek played in five United States Chess Federation Tournaments, has a record of 19 wins and 1 loss, and has raised his USCF rating this year from 1200 to 1502.
“I play about five games a day online,” Polacek said. “That is the main way I have improved.”
“Noah is very analytical,” commented Wahoo Chess Club Sponsor Larry Fangman. “Noah can be joking around, but I can see his analytical mind processing the situation when he is looking at the pieces on the board. He has become a great chess player by working hard. Technology is great for chess players like Noah because he is not limited by the competition available here at school. He can go online and challenge himself by playing people from around the world.”
Congratulations Noah, and good luck in Wisconsin!