IHSA Releases Documentary Film Celebrating 50 Years of Chess State Finals


The 2024 IHSA Chess State Finals unfolded at the Peoria Civic Center on February 9-10, 2024.

The event marked the 50th anniversary of the IHSA Chess State Finals, which has grown into the largest team chess event in the country, if not the world, since debuting during the 1974-75 school year.

The 50th anniversary also marked the first state final since the passing of Mike Zacate. Zacate has been dubbed the “Father of the Illinois High School Chess”, as the tourney was his idea and he worked tirelessly throughout the years to grow and refine it. Zacate passed away on November 12, 2023, at the age of 83.

The IHSA worked with Pro Video Productions in Peoria to chronicle the 2024 IHSA Chess State Finals, offering a chance to pay tribute to our friend Mike Zacate, while also looking back at the tourney’s roots and forward to the growth that has and will continue to occur. The film can be viewed on the IHSA YouTube channel at www.YouTube.com/IHSA.

***Story courtesy of IHSA.org***

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