Posts Tagged ‘Alvin Zhang’

Mission San Jose Elementary Takes Chess to a New Level

May 10, 2011

Mission San Jose Elementary School in Fremont, California has, for decades, fielded the most successful chess teams the Golden State has ever produced. Year after year, the relatively small public school’s chess club trains hundreds of students in the art of aggressive chess play. Those who excel at the club are invited to participate in the more exclusive Monday night team meetings. There, as he has done since the 1980’s, Head Coach Joe Lonsdale uses his demo board to show practical examples of masterful chess games played by the great masters of the 19’th century as well as recent gems played by the young Mission San Jose Elementary chess players.  After the lesson, students are paired into a stepladder tournament and compete using clocks while notating their moves. Every week, almost every game played gets analysed by Joe Lonsdale, Richard Shorman, Chris Torres or a graduate of the chess team. Joe’s labor of love has created a chess team that has an unrivaled success rate at major chess tournaments and a team jersey that can barely fit all the state chess titles the school has won.

    Mission San Jose Elementary School has also fares well at the national level despite the fact that the USCF National Elementary Chess Championships are rarely held on the west coast. In 2009, Mission San Jose Elementary School became the first school from California to ever win the National Elementary Chess Champion Title. The following year, the Mission San Jose Elementary School team placed second in the K-1 Championship Section, tied for fourth place in the K-3 Championship Section, finished third in the K-5 Championship Section and placed 9th in the K-6 Championship section.  In 2011, we even did better! Mission San Jose Elementary School placed second in the k-6 Championship Section, fourth in the k-5 Championship Section, fourth in the k-3 Championship Section  and third in the k-1 Championship section. According to a long bearded USCF representative I road back to the airport with, this is the best overall achievement of any school in the history of the USCF National Elementary Chess Championships.

   Of course, as hard as us coaches work, it is the players who deserve the credit and recognition. Sixth grader Arman Kalyanpur was our team leader scoring an impressive 5.5/7. Fifth Grader Alvin Kong achieved a score of 4.5/7. Sixth Grader Erik Wong also scored well with 4/7. Our fourth member of the k-6 Championship Section was Alex Yin who completed the tournament with 3.5/7.

   Our k-5 team was led by fourth grader Amit Sant with a score of 5/7. Fifth graders Steven Li and Shalin Shah who both finished with an impressive 4.5/7. Another fifth grader, Eric Zhu, managed to score 4/7.  Fifth Grader Sayan Das scored 3.5/7.   

   Our k-3 team was led by second grader John Andrew Chan who finished with 5/7. Next came second grader Mihir Bhuptani and third grader Ojas Arun who both scored 4/7.  Second grader Alvin Zhang  had a strong showing with 3.5/7. Second Grader Luke Zhao, who had the flu, finished with 3/7.  Edward Liu, who attended his first Nationals,  finished with 2.5/7.

   The MSJE k-1 team’s top scorer was kindergartener Rishith Susarla with and impressive 5/7. Next came first graders Chenyi Zhao and Soorya Kuppam with a score of 4.5/7. First Grader Jeffrey Liu managed to score 4/7. The quickly improving Kindergartener Amulya Harish finished with 2.5/7.

  And to the MSJE Chess Team…

 It was a real pleasure to watch all of you achieve such great success in the most prestigious tournament of the year. As your chess coach, I am very grateful to have shared so many memorable moments with you during the 2010-2011 school years. Congratulations!

Fremont Summer Chess Camp: Day Two

June 30, 2010

Jeffrey Wei was the star of our chess camp on day two. During the school year I had the pleasure of watching Jeffrey play every week at  Mission San Jose Elementary School. His chess abilities have quickly established him as one of the top players for his age in the country. Below is a fine example of Jeffrey’s play on board 1:

[Event “Fremont Chess Summer Camp”]
[Site “MSJE”]
[Date “2010.06.29”]
[Round “2”]
[White “Wei, Jeffrey”]
[Black “Zhang, Alvin”]
[Result “1-0”]
[ECO “C48”]
[Opening “Four Knights”]
[Variation “Spanish, Classical, Bardeleben Variation”]

1. e4 {Notes by Chris Torres.} e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 {Jeffrey scores well
with the Ruy Lopez.} Nf6 4. Nc3 {If you wish to avoid the Spanish Four
Knights you can play O-O.} Bc5 {This of course allows the notorious “Fork
Trick.” Watch whites next two moves and you will know why it is called the
fork trick. Black should have played Bb4 or Nd4.} 5. Nxe5 Nxe5 6. d4 Bd6
{This is one way to deal with the “Fork Trick.” Black could have also
played a6 or Bb4.} 7. dxe5 Bxe5 {Black’s method involves the threat of Bxc3
which would leave white with a porr pawn structure.} 8. Bg5 {Bd2 would have
protected c3 from capture by black’s bishop.} h6 {I prefer c6 here.} 9. Bh4
{Once again, white can avoid a pawn weakness by playing Bd2.} c6 {A very
nice move which prepares b5 with tempo.} 10. Bc4 {Bd3 avoids being chased
by another pawn push.} b5 {Black has the advantage now.} 11. Bd3 b4 12. Na4
{Knights on the rim are grim. Better was Ne2.} d5 {Alvin misses the
tactical Qa5!.} 13. exd5 cxd5 {A small mistake. Now white can strike back
with Bb5+.} 14. O-O {Jeffrey chooses to castle before attacking.} Bb7 {This
move can punished by Re1 or Qe2. Black can not save their Bishop from the
pin after white plays f4.} 15. Nc5 {This is good but not as good as Re1 or
Qe2.} Bc6 16. Rb1 {Re1 is superior for reasons stated before.} Qe7 {Qd6
creates threats on c5 and h2.} 17. Nb3 O-O {This was long overdue. Now
black is out of trouble.} 18. Re1 Qd6 19. Bg3 Bxg3 20. hxg3 d4 {Looses a
pawn on d4. Black should have placed the “f” rook into the open “e” file.}
21. Nxd4 {Jeffrey demonstrates why tactics win chess games.} Qxd4 {This is
a terrible mistkae.} 22. Bh7+ Kxh7 23. Qxd4 Rad8 24. Qxb4 Rb8 25. Qc5 Rbc8
26. Qxa7 Ra8 27. Qc5 Bd5 28. c4 Be4 {Another tactical blunder.} 29. Rxe4
Nxe4 30. Qf5+ g6 31. Qxe4 Rxa2 32. b4 {Whites plan is simple. Move the
passed pawns forward and look for fork possibilities.} Ra6 33. b5 Re6 34.
Qd5 Rf6 35. b6 Rf5 36. Qd7 Rb8 37. b7 Rc5 38. Qd6 Rxc4 39. Qxb8 h5 40. Qf8
Rc7 41. b8=Q f5 42. Qh8# 1-0

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