Posts Tagged ‘elementary chess’

Joseph Wan is a National Chess Champion

May 15, 2011

Joseph Wan of Nebraska won the k-3 Championship section at the 2011 National Elementary Chess Championships in Dallas, Texas. Joseph scored 6.5/7 and finished a half point ahead of his former California rival Rayan Taghizadeh. Joseph Wan’s championship is a rare win for the state of Nebraska at a United States Chess Federation national tournament.
   In 2009, Joseph Wan was a first grader at Mission San Jose Elementary School in Fremont, California. It was here that Joseph met chess coach Chris Torres and quickly became one of the top chess players his age in the state. Joseph Wan went on to become a State Chess Champion but narrowly missed winning the National Elementary k-1 Championship by committing a rare blunder in the endgame of his final round. With his championship run in 2011, Joseph has finally achieved the level of success coach Chris Torres always knew he was capable of.

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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!

Maiti is Unbeatable at the Nationals

May 8, 2011

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California Kindergartener Milind Maiti scored 6.5/7 in the k-1 section of the 2011 USCF National Elementary Chess Championships in Dallas, Texas. Milind finished higher than any other kindergartener in the tournament and received a third place trophy that stands taller than he does. I was not surprised by Milind’s result because I have witnessed his tactical maturity on Tuesdays at the Collins Elementary School chess team. In fact, in thirteen years of teaching chess, I have never seen another kindergartener with such great potential.

California’s Top Chess Children Make a Splash at the 2011 USCF National Elementary Chess Championship

May 7, 2011

The United States Chess Federation ran a very nice article featuring many of the top kindergarten and first graders who are competing in the 2011 National Elementary Chess Championships in Dallas, Texas. As is always the case, California is very well represented by several super talented chess kids. Below is an exerpt from the article by Kele Perkins:

On paper, the ratings favorite is Ben Rood of California. A student at the Chris Torres Chess and Music Academy, Rood has shown tremendous improvement in the last several weeks. His recent victories over 2nd grade national co-champion Josiah Paul Stearman and a win against an ‘A’ player show that Rood is in great form. Torres believes young Ben is “destined to become a national champion,” and his play at the Northern California state championships gives some credence to his teacher’s prediction. Another Torres student, Chenyi Zhao, had a recent ratings slip, but is still a force to be reckoned with. A third, Milind Maiti, is among the country’s top kindergarteners.

There is still time to sign up for the Torres Chess and Music Academy’s summer chess camps in California. Please visit www.ChessAndMusic.com for more information.

National Elementary Chess Championship: Round 1 Brilliancy

May 7, 2011

Mission San Jose Elementary student Amit Sant destroyed his competition in round 1 of the 2011 USCF National Elementary Chess Championships. I see Amit play every Monday night at the Mission San Jose Elementary Chess Team and his games regularly contain the tactical bravado displayed in the game below.
   Christopher Rovinski made his first mistake on move 8 when he castled allowing Amit to play e5. Black should have played Qc7 instead. When Christopher played his tenth move he dropped his pawn on h6 and lost his king safety. Christpher’s blunder on move 13 gave Amit Sant a mate in two.

[Event “National Elementary Chess Championship”]
[Site “Dallas, Texas”]
[Date “2011.05.06”]
[Round “1”]
[White “Sant, Amit”]
[Black “Rovinski, Christopher”]
[Result “1-0”]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 a6 5. Bc4 Nf6 6. Nc3 Bb4 7. Qf3 h6 8. O-O
O-O 9. e5 Nh7 10. Qg3 g6 11. Bxh6 Re8 12. Bd3 f5 13. Qxg6+ Kh8 14. Qg7# 1-0

National Elementary Chess Championship

May 1, 2011

Final preparations are underway for California’s top scholastic chess players who will be competing in the 2011 USCF National Elementary Chess Championship. This years National Elementary Chess Championship will be held in Dallas, Texas from May 5-8. Dallas should be a fantastic site for the 2011 National Elementary Chess Championship because of the University of Texas’ efforts in promoting chess in the schools by offering degrees in Chess Education as well as recruiting top chess players to compete for college chess teams. For live updates on the California contingent competing in the 2011 National Elementary Chess Championship, please be sure to check this blog regularly.

Find out about California’s best summer chess camp.

Armenia Adds Chess to the Elementary Curriculum

April 18, 2011

The Armenian Minister of Education has just announced that chess will become a compulsory part of its elementary curriculum. Starting at the age of six, all Armenian children will receive chess instruction for two hours every week. The total cost of this project will be approximately 1.5 million dollars and will ensure that the small country of Armenia will be a chess juggernaut for years to come.
   Hats off to the Armenian Government for investing a small sum of money to improve the critical thinking skills of all their children.

National Elementary Chess Championship

May 8, 2010

   The 2010 Bert Lerner National Elementary Chess Championship began on 5/7/2010. The best young chess players in the United states have gathered in Atlanta, Georgia to fulfill dreams of becoming a National Chess Champion. Well over 50 of Northern California’s top scholastic chess players have concluded their first day in the 2010  Bert Lerner National Elementary Chess Championship.  Mission San Jose Elementary School students  Amit Sant, Mihir Bhuptani, John Chan and Luke Zhao all have perfect scores thus far. This is not surprising as Mission San Jose Elementary School won the National Elementary Chess Championship in 2009. I will continue to provide games and updates from the 2010 USCF National Elementary Chess Championship during this eventful weekend.


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