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WHS senior Noah Polacek (left) plays in the Denker Chess Tournament of State Champions this past summer. Polacek was crowned Nebraska's 2018 State Champion, and finished 32nd at this national tournament.

Polacek pulls huge upsets at Lincoln City Chess Championship!

WHS senior defeats some of Nebraska'a top ADULT chess players; Launches USCF rating 130 points

Wahoo senior Noah Polacek, following a summer where he finished 32nd out of 48 in the Denker Tournament of State Champions in Madison, Wisconsin, continued his strong play by challenging and beating some of the top adult players in the state of Nebraska in the 2018 Lincoln City Championships on Sept. 22.

Polacek entered the Lincoln tournament with a USCF rating of 1530. In the first round, Polacek squared off against Steven Cusumano (1938 USCF rating), and Polacek, despite playing black, which is a disadvantage, pulled the upset!

Polacek pulled another shocker in the second round against John Hartmann (rating 1837).

In the third round, Polacek played Kent Nelson (1822 USCF rating) to a draw.

Finally, in the final round, Polacek suffered his only defeat when he lost to the Nebraska State Champion and the highest rated player in the tournament, Ying Tan (2024 USCF rating).

Because of his strong showing at the Lincoln City Chess Championship, Polacek raised his USCF rating (and Wahoo High School record) from 1530 up to 1660, which is an incredible jump in one tournament.

“As Noah has gotten more experience playing top competition, he has started to win more of those matches. The Denker National Tournament, which had all of the state champions, introduced him to playing top-notch chess players in every match. At the Denker, Noah won two, lost three, and tied one match on the way to finishing 32nd in the nation,” said Wahoo Chess Club sponsor Larry Fangman.

“I think that experience helped him in Lincoln against the top chess players in Nebraska, regardless of age,” Fangman added.

Noah’s next competition will be the Omaha City Chess Championship on October 14th. 

Polacek pulls huge upsets at Lincoln City Chess Championship!

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