Posts Tagged ‘Eric Zhu’

2012 U.S.C.F. National Elementary (K-6) Chess Championship

May 11, 2012

Beginning May 11, Nashville Tennessee will host the 2012 U.S.C.F National Elementary Chess Championship. This is the paramount annual chess event for children ages 4-12. Below is a highly biased preview for this year’s event. The competitors listed in this article are all kids I have the pleasure of playing chess with on a weekly basis. What can I say . . . my job rocks!

Kids to Watch in the K-1

Collins Elementary first grader Milind Maiti possesses natural tactical abilities that are beyond anything one would expect from a player in high school! He is truly a chess prodigy of the highest level and will be a contender at the 2012 National Elementary Chess Championship.

MSJE kindergartener Kevin Pan is a rookie at this year’s Nation Elementary Chess Championship. Fresh from a State Championship win in California, Kevin is poised to make a big statement in Nashville.

MSJE student Rishith Susarla was nearly perfect at the USCF National k-12 Championship in 2011. If you talk with Rishith one of the first things you will notice is how quickly he speaks. When sitting across the chessboard from him, I often feel that he calculates much faster than the computer Deep Blue.

I first got to know Edwin Thomas (MSJE) at last year’s chess camp I ran at Mission San Jose Elementary School. Edwin progressed from a rookie to a trophy winner in just a few short weeks.

Amulya Harish (MSJE) and his father always seek me out at the local tournaments for extra instruction. I have no doubt that with his dedication he will quickly excel.

Rounding out the field for the fabulous MSJE K-1 chess team is Annapoorni Meiyappan, Aarti Abhijit Sant, and Stephen He.

Kids to Watch in the K-3

Luke Zhao is a third grader at MSJE and the only child from that school to be an official member of the Torres Chess and Music Academy All Star Team for the school year 2011-2012. Luke has played an important role in several successful championship runs for the MSJE team. Now he seems ready to play for his first individual championship.

Watch out for John Chan (MSJE) who recently claimed the title of K-3 champion at last month’s CalChess Scholastic Chess Championships.

Second grader Soorya Kuppam (MSJE) is my favorite opponent on Monday nights. It’s hard to believe that he has already been competing in chess for three years.

Don’t let Mihir Bhuptani’s (MSJE) quiet personality fool you. His crushing tactics are comparable to a rock concert.

Tommy Koh has played in integral roll in several MSJE championship victories.

The final touch to the MSJE powerhouse this year is Jeffrey Liu.

Ben Rood was also a part of the Torres Chess and Music Academy All Star Team for the school year 2011-2012. Ben has already won several National and State Championships and is playing the best chess I have ever seen from a second grader. Fresh off his k-5 State Champion win in California, this second grader is ready to win at the national level again. If Magnus Carlsen is the Motzart of Chess then Ben Rood is definitely the Beethoven.

Kids to Watch in the K-5

Sadly, MSJE was unable to bring a full team to the K-5 section this year. Despite being a player down, I am sure that the kids who were able to attend will give a phenomenal effort.

The first member of the K-5 MSJE Team is Amit Sant, of whom I am a huge fan. Drake Lin has grown from a nominal player out of dozens to a key player at MSJE over the last several years. Finally, we have Anjan Das who is attending despite his extremely busy schedule of other extracurricular achievements.

Kids to Watch in the K-6

We can only say that while we only have four competitors for our MSJE K-6 Team, these are the four kids I am most glad to see attending.

Eric Zhu is the first kids at MSJE to ever defeat me in a chess game. Alvin Kong is so eager to play chess he often arrives to chess class before any of the coaches and always gives Coach Joe Lonsdale the most trouble in their weekly skirmishes.  Sayan Das, Anjan’s elder brother, is similar to his brother in his prolific talents in all areas, especially on the MSJE Team. Finally, Shalin Shah is not only one of my favorite opponents, but one of my good friends. I look ahead with regret at the loss to MSJE as he and the other K-6 competitor’s graduate onto the seventh grade and greater challenges. I would like to add that we will be losing one other key asset to the MSJE Team as our sixth graders move ahead. Nimish Shah, Salin’s father, was a fantastic and devoted volunteer every Monday at MSJE. I have great respect for his dedication to his son and the MSJE chess Team.

It is a distinct pleasure to have played a role in all of these wonderful children’s chess development. Unfortunately, I will not be at this year’s tournament as I must stay home to help my pregnant wife. Yet I know that Coach Joe Lonsdale will successfully lead our Northern California Chess Competitors to victory. Check back daily for more updates on the exciting events from the 2012 National Elementary Championship.

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MSJE Chess Team Wins Big At State Championships (By Coach Joe)

April 26, 2012
MSJE Chess Team Wins Big At State Championships
Over 1,000 Northern California students competed in the Scholastic Chess Championships at the Santa Clara Convention Center the weekend of April 22nd and 23rd.   Mission San Jose Elementary School (MSJE) was the big winner in the Elementary School Section.  MSJE teams won all of the elementary school championship sections (K, K-3, 4-5, and 4-6).  Four MSJE graduates playing for Mission High School won the High School team championship.
The MSJE Kindergarten team was led by Kevin Pan who scored five wins in five games and won a large trophy and the title of Northern CA Kindergarten chess Champion.  Stephen He, Vasudeva Rao, Devansh Trivedi, Kevin Xu, and  Azlaan Khan also competed for the MSJE kindergarten team and won trophies. 
K-3 Championship
The primary school championship is the K-3 Championship division.  The MSJE K-3 team won first place by scoring more than twice the score of the second place team.  John Chan scored 5.5 points (five wins and one draw) and won a clear first place in this division.  He also won a large trophy and the title of Northern CA primary school chess champion.  First grader Rishith Susarla won four games and the ninth place trophy.  Tommy Koh and Luke Zhao each scored 3.5 points and won trophies.  Soorya Kuppam, Mihir Bhuptani, Lucas Sun, and Edison Zhang also competed for our K-3 championship team.
K-3 Junior varsity and other K-3 sections.
The K-3 junior varsity section, the K-3 booster and K-3 rookie sections are for grade 1 to 3 students that do not have the experience (or ratings) to play in the K-3 championship section.  Students with rating above 799 can only play in the K-3 championship section. The top eight MSJE grade one to three students (above) played in the K-3 championship section.  None of the teams we were competing against in the other K-3 sections had more than two children in the K-3 championship section.
Despite having our top eight players playing in K-3 championship MSJE still won the second highest K-3 section, K-3 junior varsity.
The MSJE K-3 JV team won the first place trophy with 12 points to 10 points for the second place team.  Edwin Thomas, Annapoorni Meiyappan, Jeffrey Liu, and Marcus Lee, each scored three points, won trophies, and tied for 14th place in K-3 JV.  First graders Amulya Harish (2.5) and Henry Liu (2.0) also competed for our K-3 JV team.
Raymond Qian and Maxwell Yu each scored 4 points in the K-3 Booster section.  They each won trophies and tied for fifth place.  Jonathan Zhang, Connor Chen, Jack Lee, Trisha Jain, Azlaan Islam Khan, also competed in K-3 Booster section.  Alvin Lee, Diya Sen, and Balasura Balamungon competed in K-3 rookie. 
K-5 Championship
The top two elementary school sections are the K-5 Championship section and the K-6 Championship section.  MSJE won both of these sections by large margins.  In K-5 championship Amit Sant scored 4.5 points and tied for third place.  Drake Lin scored four points and tied for 6th place.  Ian Wong, Kevin Zhu, Anjan Das, Edward Liu, Andy Tong, and Christopher Pan also competed for our K-5 championship team.
K-6 Championship Section
Alvin Kong, Eric Zhu, and Shalin Shah have been stars for the MSJE chess team since they were in kindergarten.  Two years ago Sayan Das earned his way onto the chess team and fought his way to the top of the ladder.  Suddenly we had four stars in one grade.  As has been typical, this group led the MSJE chess team to an overwhelming victory in the K-6 Championship section.  Shalin Shah and Sayan Das each scored five points and tied for second place.  Alvin Kong and Eric Zhu each scored 4.5 points and tied for third place.  Aditya Krishnan, Kavin Kumaravel, and Edward Liu also competed for the MSJE K-6 championship team.
K-6 Junior Varsity and other K-6 sections.
The top 13 MSJE 4-6 graders were playing in the championship sections.  None of the schools competing with us in the other K-6 sections had more than two students in championship sections.  Our K-6 Junior varsity team still took the second place team trophy.  Adrienne Tong scored 4.5 points, won a trophy, and tied for fourth place in the K-6 junior varsity section.  Nishant Yadav, Rajveer Oberoi, Parinith Rajkumar, Hiresh Jain, and Siddhar Mukherjee also competed for the MSJE K-6 junior varsity team.
The K-6 booster division is for players rated below 600.  In K-6 booster Sashank Rao scored a perfect five out of five won a large trophy and tied for first place.  Max Wang, and Jonathan Zhang each scored four points, won trophies, and tied for fourth place.  A chess team score is the score of the top four players on the team.  In the K-6 booster section our three player team took the first place trophy beating several teams of four or more players.
Aaron Mendoza and Baladithya Balamungon competed for MSJE in the K-6 rookie section.
Congratulations to the chess team for a tremendous victory at the 2012 state championships.
Chess Coaches
Joe Lonsdale   Chris Torres    Nimish Shah    Goutam Das   Div Harish 

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!

Calchess State Grade Level Championship: Eric Zhu Remains Undefeated

December 5, 2010

Fifth grader Eric Zhu remains undefeated after nearly conquering Kevin Moy and reaching a draw by agreement. Eric Zhu attends Mission San Jose Elementary and with this draw brings our team ever closer to another championship.

[Event “Calchess State Grade Level Championship”]
[Site “Stockton”]
[Date “2010.12.05“]
[Round “3”]
[White “Zhu, Eric”]
[Black “Moy, Kevin”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]

1. e4 c5 2. b4 cxb4 3. d4 d5 4. Bd3 Nc6 5. Be3 e6 6. c3 bxc3 7. Nxc3 Bb4 8. Qc2 Qa5 9. Rc1 Nge7 10. Ne2 Bxc3+ 11. Nxc3 a6 12. O-O Nb4 13. Qd2 Nxd3 14. Qxd3 O-O 15. e5 b5 16. f4 Nf5 17. Rf3 Bb7 18. Rcf1 Rac8 19. Bd2 Rc4 20. Ne2 Qxa2 21. g4 Ne7 22. Rh3 g6 23. Qe3 Qc2 24. f5 Qe4 25. Qh6 Qxg4+ 26. Ng3 Qxd4+ 27. Kh1 Rfc8 28. Qxh7+ Kf8 *


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