PEORIA, Ill. -- March Madness is still a month away but the Peoria Civic Center is full of High School students this weekend as the IHSA hosts another state championship.
137 teams from all over the state are taking part in the world's largest fix board chess tournament. Each team consists of eight players and up to four alternates. That means that close to 1,500 competitors, not to mention coaches and parents, are filling the ballroom.
There are 544 matches played simultaneously but don't expect to hear the roar of the crowd like you would when the basketball teams play in the arena across the hall.
"You're expecting to hear cheering and shouting, somebody high five-ing their friend because they just won the game and it's just not the decorum in chess," said head steward Betsy Dynako.
The tournament continues Saturday morning with matches beginning at 9 a.m. The awards ceremony is scheduled for 5 p.m.