The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Chess State Finals for the year 2024 are scheduled to take place on February 9th and 10th at the Peoria Civic Center in Peoria, Illinois. According to the IHSA, this event is the largest team chess competition in the United States, with over 1,500 players and coaches from 128 schools expected to attend the two-day event. This year marks the 50th annual occurrence of this prestigious competition.
The event is open to the public and admission is free. The games will be held in the Peoria Civic Center ballroom, located near the top of the escalators by the marquee entrance. Spectators are kindly requested to keep their electronic devices on silent and to step outside the ballroom if they need to use their phones.
The competition will commence at 10:00 AM on Friday and continue until approximately 8:00 PM. On the second day, play will resume at 9:00 AM, with the awards ceremony planned for around 5:00 PM. During each round, teams are paired off, and a total of 512 games of chess are played simultaneously.
The defending champion, Lincolnshire Stevenson, has secured the top seed in this year’s event. The remaining top 10 seeds include Chicago Payton, Palatine Fremd, Naperville Neuqua Valley, Chicago Whitey Young, Evanston, Naperville Central, Aurora Illinois Math and Science Academy, Hinsdale Central, and Chicago Lane.