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Wednesday, April 3, 2019

End-of-Season Awards for KML Chess

The end-of-season party and awards featured Bughouse and Portal Chess fun, plus these awards:

Letter Winners
Ryan Wirkkula (Varsity)
Maddie Lechmaier (Varsity)
Kimberly Schill (Varsity)
Emmie Lechmaier (JV)
Max Banner (Varsity)
Eric Rodell (Varsity)
Ben Polheber (Varsity)
Josh Weber (Varsity)
Ben Klemp (JV)

Special Awards
Rookie of the Year: Ryan Wirkkula
Workhorse Award: Kimberly Schill
Queen Award: Maddie Lechmaier
Senior Leadership Award: Ben Polheber
Senior Leadership Award: Josh Weber

SEE YOU AT SUMMER CHESS CAMP AT KML, JUNE 10-13! Visit to learn more and register.

KML Chess at the 2019 Wisconsin Scholastic Chess Championships

KML's varsity chess team was seeded in Division 2 this year. Freshman Ryan Wirkkula earned the Board 1 spot, followed by senior Josh Weber on Board 2, senior Ben Polheber on Board 3, freshman Kimberly Schill on Board 4, and junior Max Banner on Board 5. The team won two of their five matches on the weekend, finishing in 8th place.

KML also had three players in the junior varsity section: freshman Emmie Lechmaier, junior Maddie Lechmaier, and junior Eric Rodell. Eric only played on Saturday due to the KML Band & Choir trip. He won three of his games on Saturday, which meant he brought home a medal. Despite being short-handed, the JV team managed to finish 9th.

Under the leadership of our two seniors, these young players grew a lot through the State experience and will come back hungry to win next year. "I learned..." was the theme of the weekend, as well as building mental toughness and the determination to come back after a tough game.

Special thanks to KML alum Dylan Schulz for helping out on the weekend.
2019 KML Chess Players at the State Meet

Friday, February 22, 2019

KML Chess Finishes Regular Season at USM

Four KML chess players won their matches in the final meet of the regular season at University School Milwaukee this week. KML posted wins from freshmen Ryan Wirkkula and Kimberly Schill, senior Josh Weber, and 7th grader Ian Janz. Junior Maddie Lechmaier faced a tough opponent on the 7th board, her biggest opportunity of the season. Although she couldn't pull off the win, she welcomed the challenge. Special congratulations to Josh Weber who won every match he played at USM this season. (On our team, we call that "taking care of business," facing whatever match-up you are given with excellence.)

The Chargers have steadily improved this season, earning rating points and building point-scoring ability as a team through higher ratings. We are now preparing for the state meet, March 23-24 in Oshkosh.

February 21 , 2019 at USM
1st:  Brookfield East 8633

2nd: Wisconsin Lutheran 5333

3rd:  Reagan 5328

4th:  Milwaukee School of Languages 4762

5th:  Brookfield Academy 3781

6th:  KMLHS 3623

7th:  USM 3244

8th:  MHSA 766

9th:  Washington 638

Maddie and Ryan on boards 7 and 9.

Monday, January 21, 2019

St. Lucas Hosts Fun, Friendly Chess Tournament

For young chess players in grades K-8, the St. Lucas Chess Tournament in Kewaskum was a great opportunity to see what it is like to play chess competitively, complete with time controls, a pre-game handshake with your opponent, and trophies/medals awarded at the end. At these events, many beginner-level players learn that you don't win every game, and it's how you learn from your mistakes and come back to the board that determines what kind of player you will be.

Isn't that true for all things in life?

For high school players, this year's St. Lucas tourney served as the site of the annual match-up between Kewaskum High School Chess and KML Chess. The teams have had a friendly Washington County rivalry going for the last few years. This year, St. Lucas got the best of KML, scoring 12 points to KML's 9 points in four rounds of play. Senior Ben Polheber came in third overall for the day, winning 3 of his 4 games.
KML Team
The Wisconsin Scholastic Chess Federation ran the event. Thank you to all the volunteers at St. Lucas Lutheran School for hosting!

Friday, January 11, 2019

Charger Chess Takes Care of Business at January USM Meet

Our team of six Charger chess players scored five wins at the January 10 meet at University School Milwaukee. The meet included a strong field of 11 teams with highly rated players with high point-scoring abilities for their team. So even with five wins, the Chargers came in 8th.

We're happy with that finish because it means our players are taking care of business. Each win means a rating boost for a player, and each meet offers an opportunity to improve.

Wins came from Josh Weber, Ben Polheber, Kimberly Schill, Ben Klemp, and 7th Grader Ian Janz. Ryan Wirkkula is currently KML's highest rated player and was unable to come up with a win this time.

The Chargers are preparing for the state chess meet in March, when all teams will be seeded in divisions according to ratings.

Go Chargers!


1st: Brookfield East    8316

2nd: Brookfield Academy   8171

3rd:  University School      6668

4th:  Wisconsin Lutheran HS 6553

5th:  Milwaukee School of Languages   5498

6th:  Tosa East  5400

7th:  Reagan   5363

8th:  KMLHS  3614

9th:  Milwaukee King  2415

10th:  Milwaukee High School of the Arts  698

11th:   Washington  0

Friday, November 30, 2018

Four wins for a young Charger team at USM chess meet

KML players took care of business at Thursday’s chess meet at University School Milwaukee with four of six players winning their matches. KML scored wins from senior Josh Weber, junior Madelyn Lechmaier, and freshmen Ryan Wirkkula and Noah Kreis. 

To climb in the standings at a multi-school meet, KML players will need to continue winning and improving their US Chess ratings. Experienced players who have built higher ratings have greater point-scoring ability for their school. KML’s young team (with four freshmen) did what they needed to do – and they all took notation so we can go over games and improve.

RESULTS OF MEGAMEET 2 - November 29, 2018 at USM

1st: Brookfield East  7776

2nd: Wisconsin Lutheran HS  6580

3rd:  Tosa East 6558

4th:  Brookfield Academy  6390

5th:  Reagan  5673

6th:  Milwaukee School of Languages  3663

7th:  Rufus King   3619

8th:  Kettle Moraine Luth. HS   3179

9th:  USM   2441

10th:  Washington  1570

11th:   Milwaukee HS of the Arts    0

Friday, November 9, 2018

KML Players Perform Well at Wisconsin Junior Open

Five KML players gained valuable experience and finished strong at the Wisconsin Junior Open last weekend. There were 231 chess players and five rounds at this event held at UW-Oshkosh.

Here are the results for KML:
  • Ryan Wirkkula: 4 wins in 5 rounds, placed 9th of 84 in the Reserve section and 2nd for all unrated players in that section.
  • Ben Polheber: 3 wins in 5 rounds, placed 33rd of 84 in the Reserve Section.
  • Josh Weber: 3 wins in 5 rounds, placed 34th of 84 in the Reserve Section and 2nd for all players in the 300 rating class.
  • Eric Rodell: 2.5 wins in 5 rounds – that .5 came when he took a bye in Round 3 to perform with KML Echoes, using his many talents this weekend!
  • Kimberly Schill: 3 wins in 5 rounds, placed 9th of 21 in the Beginners Section.
Most importantly, all of our players took notation, so they were able to go over their games and improve. Huge shout-out to KML alumnus Dylan Schulz who hung out with our team this weekend and provided valuable encouragement.
Ryan and Josh bring home some hardware.

A "woulda-coulda-shoulda" discussion as teammates go over games at the end of the day.