Posts Tagged ‘National Elementary Chess Championship’

Kevin Pan is Brilliant at 2018 USCF Elementary Championships

May 19, 2018

Round 7: Drew Justice vs. Kevin Pan

It is always my great pleasure to share the stories and achievements of California’s most outstanding young chess talents. Below is a remarkably brilliant game played by Mission San Jose Elementary School’s own Kevin Pan in route to a National Championship title both for Kevin and the MSJE Chess Team.

[Event “USCF National Elementary Championships”]
[Site “Nashville, TN”]
[Date “2018.5.13”]
[Round “7”]
[White “Pan, Kevin”]
[Black “Justice, Drew”]
[Result “1-0”]
[Eco “B18”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]

{[ CARO-KANN,B18]}

1.e4 c6

2.d4 d5

3.Nc3 dxe4

4.Nxe4 Bf5

5.Ng3 Bg6

6.N1e2 {Kevin avoids the old stodgy 6. h4 line in favor of creating early complications for Drew. Mikhail Tal would be pleased…}

Pan-Justice1

Position after 6. N1e2

6… e6

7.Nf4 Bd6

8.Ngh5 {“Genius is initiative on fire!”-Holbrook Jackson}

( 8.c3 Qh4 9.Ngh5 Bxh5 10.Qxh5 Qxh5 11.Nxh5 g6 12.Bf4 Bxf4 13.Nxf4
Nf6 14.Nd3 Nbd7 15.g3 O-O 16.Bg2 Rfc8 17.a4 a5 18.Kd2 Kf8 19.Rhb1
Nb6 20.Nc5 Rc7 21.b4 Nfd5 22.bxa5 Nc4+ 23.Kd3 Nxa5 24.c4 Ne7
25.Bh3 Kg8 {1/2-1/2, Polgar Judit (HUN) 2665 – Anand Viswanathan (IND) 2795 , Haifa 1998 It (active)})

Pan-Justice2

Position after 8. Ngh5

8… Bxf4 {8…Bxh5 and Kf8 seem less tricky from black’s persepective.}

( 8…Bxh5 9.Nxh5 g6 10.Ng3 Nf6 11.Bc4 Nbd7 12.c3 Bf8 13.O-O
Bg7 14.Re1 O-O 15.Bg5 h6 16.Bf4 Nd5 17.Bd6 Re8 18.Bb3 Bf8 19.Ne4
N5f6 20.Bxf8 Rxf8 21.Qf3 Nxe4 22.Rxe4 Nf6 23.Re5 Kg7 24.Rae1
Nd5 25.g3 Qf6 26.Qg4 Rh8 27.h4 h5 28.Qe4 {…0-1, Guido Flavio (ITA) 2405 – Zelcic Robert (CRO) 2554 , Schwarzach 8/25/2012 It (open)})

( 8…Kf8 9.c3 Nd7 10.Qf3 Ngf6 11.Nxf6 Qxf6 12.Be2 Bc2 13.Qg4
Bf5 14.Qf3 Re8 15.Nh5 Qg6 16.Ng3 Bc2 17.Qg4 Qxg4 18.Bxg4 Nf6
19.Bd1 Bxd1 20.Kxd1 h5 21.f3 h4 22.Ne2 e5 23.h3 exd4 24.Nxd4
c5 25.Nf5 Bc7 26.Re1 Rd8+ 27.Kc2 Nh5 28.Ne3 {…0-1, Vydeslaver Alik (ISR) 2404 – Shengelia Davit (AUT) 2569 , Barcelona 8/29/2007 It (open)})

9.Nxf4 Ne7

( 9…Nf6 10.Nxg6 hxg6 11.Be2 Nbd7 12.c3 Qc7 13.g3
c5 14.O-O Rd8 15.dxc5 Nxc5 16.Qc2 O-O 17.Be3 Nd5 18.Bd4 e5 19.Bxc5
Qxc5 20.Bf3 f5 21.Bxd5+ Rxd5 22.Qb3 Rfd8 23.Qxb7 e4 24.b4 Qc4
25.Qxa7 f4 26.gxf4 Rd3 27.Qc5 Qe6 28.Qg5 R8d5 29.Qg2 {…1-0, Finkel Alexander (ISR) 2455 – Adianto Utut (INA) 2610 , Bastia 1998 It (open) (active)})

10.h4 {Kevin will not stop applying pressure.}

( 10.c3 Qc7 11.Nxg6 hxg6 12.g3 c5 13.Bb5+ Nbc6 14.dxc5 Qe5+ 15.Be3 Nf5 16.Qf3
Nxe3 17.Bxc6+ Ke7 18.Bxb7 Nc4+ 19.Qe4 Rab8 20.Qxe5 Nxe5 21.c6
Nd3+ 22.Ke2 Nxb2 23.Rab1 Na4 24.c7 {1-0, Karpatchev Aleksandr (RUS) 2469 – Berg Peter (DEN) 2017 , Esbjerg 7/13/2007 Cup North Sea (open)})

10… h6

11.Nxg6 {And these two extremely talented combatants are discovering new territory in an old opening.}

11… Nxg6

12.h5 {In these kinds of positions you might as well push the pawn forward one more square to force the black knight to retreat.}

Pan-Justice3

Position after 12. h5

12… Ne7

13.Qg4 {Which in turn allows the queen to develop with threats.}

13… Nf5 {Black’s knight must provide protection to g7.}

14.Bd3 {Unfortunately for Drew Justice, the knight on f5 is also an easy target.}

14… Qxd4 {?} {Kevin Pan’s constant pressure finally causes Drew Justice to crack. 14…Nd7 and 14…0-0 are much better choices for black.}
( 14…Nd7 15.Bxf5 Qa5+ 16.c3 Qxf5 17.Qxg7 O-O-O )
( 14…O-O 15.c3 Nd7 )

Pan-Justice4

Position after 14… Qxd4?

15.Bxf5 {!} {Kevin spots the tactical punishment for Drew’s inaccuracy.}

15… Qe5+

16.Be4 f5

17.Qg6+ {Scissors beat paper and checks beat fork.}

17… Ke7

18.Be3 Nd7

19.O-O-O fxe4 {?}

( 19…Rag8 )

Pan-Justice5

Position after 19… fxe4?

20.Rxd7+{!} {It’s moves like these that win national championships!}

20… Kxd7

21.Qf7+ Kc8

22.Bf4 {Black resigns and Kevin Pan is a National Champion!}
1-0

Pan-Justice6

Position after 22. Bf4

 

 

Game pgn:

[Event “USCF National Elementary Championships”]
[Site “Nashville, TN”]
[Date “2018.5.13”]
[Round “7”]
[White “Pan, Kevin”]
[Black “Justice, Drew”]
[Result “1-0”]
[Eco “B18”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]
[Source “”]

{[ CARO-KANN,B18]} 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Bf5 5.Ng3
Bg6 6.N1e2 {Kevin avoids the old stodgy 6. h4 line in favor of creating early complications for Drew. Mikhail Tal would be pleased…} {%08DA}
e6 7.Nf4 Bd6 8.Ngh5 {“Genius is initiative on fire!”-Holbrook Jackson}
( 8.c3 Qh4 9.Ngh5 Bxh5 10.Qxh5 Qxh5 11.Nxh5 g6 12.Bf4 Bxf4 13.Nxf4
Nf6 14.Nd3 Nbd7 15.g3 O-O 16.Bg2 Rfc8 17.a4 a5 18.Kd2 Kf8 19.Rhb1
Nb6 20.Nc5 Rc7 21.b4 Nfd5 22.bxa5 Nc4+ 23.Kd3 Nxa5 24.c4 Ne7
25.Bh3 Kg8 {1/2-1/2, Polgar Judit (HUN) 2665 – Anand Viswanathan (IND) 2795 , Haifa 1998 It (active)}
) {%09DB} Bxf4 {8…Bxh5 and Kf8 seem less tricky from black’s persepective.} {%09DB}
( 8…Bxh5 9.Nxh5 g6 10.Ng3 Nf6 11.Bc4 Nbd7 12.c3 Bf8 13.O-O
Bg7 14.Re1 O-O 15.Bg5 h6 16.Bf4 Nd5 17.Bd6 Re8 18.Bb3 Bf8 19.Ne4
N5f6 20.Bxf8 Rxf8 21.Qf3 Nxe4 22.Rxe4 Nf6 23.Re5 Kg7 24.Rae1
Nd5 25.g3 Qf6 26.Qg4 Rh8 27.h4 h5 28.Qe4 {…0-1, Guido Flavio (ITA) 2405 – Zelcic Robert (CRO) 2554 , Schwarzach 8/25/2012 It (open)}
) ( 8…Kf8 9.c3 Nd7 10.Qf3 Ngf6 11.Nxf6 Qxf6 12.Be2 Bc2 13.Qg4
Bf5 14.Qf3 Re8 15.Nh5 Qg6 16.Ng3 Bc2 17.Qg4 Qxg4 18.Bxg4 Nf6
19.Bd1 Bxd1 20.Kxd1 h5 21.f3 h4 22.Ne2 e5 23.h3 exd4 24.Nxd4
c5 25.Nf5 Bc7 26.Re1 Rd8+ 27.Kc2 Nh5 28.Ne3 {…0-1, Vydeslaver Alik (ISR) 2404 – Shengelia Davit (AUT) 2569 , Barcelona 8/29/2007 It (open)}
) 9.Nxf4 Ne7 ( 9…Nf6 10.Nxg6 hxg6 11.Be2 Nbd7 12.c3 Qc7 13.g3
c5 14.O-O Rd8 15.dxc5 Nxc5 16.Qc2 O-O 17.Be3 Nd5 18.Bd4 e5 19.Bxc5
Qxc5 20.Bf3 f5 21.Bxd5+ Rxd5 22.Qb3 Rfd8 23.Qxb7 e4 24.b4 Qc4
25.Qxa7 f4 26.gxf4 Rd3 27.Qc5 Qe6 28.Qg5 R8d5 29.Qg2 {…1-0, Finkel Alexander (ISR) 2455 – Adianto Utut (INA) 2610 , Bastia 1998 It (open) (active)}
) 10.h4 {Kevin will not stop applying pressure.} ( 10.c3 Qc7
11.Nxg6 hxg6 12.g3 c5 13.Bb5+ Nbc6 14.dxc5 Qe5+ 15.Be3 Nf5 16.Qf3
Nxe3 17.Bxc6+ Ke7 18.Bxb7 Nc4+ 19.Qe4 Rab8 20.Qxe5 Nxe5 21.c6
Nd3+ 22.Ke2 Nxb2 23.Rab1 Na4 24.c7 {1-0, Karpatchev Aleksandr (RUS) 2469 – Berg Peter (DEN) 2017 , Esbjerg 7/13/2007 Cup North Sea (open)}
) h6 11.Nxg6 {And these two exteremely talented combatants are discovering new territory in an old opening.}
Nxg6 12.h5 {In these kinds of positions you might as well push the pawn forward one more square to force the black knight to retreat.} {%08DA}
Ne7 13.Qg4 {Which in turn allows the queen to develop with threats.}
Nf5 {Black’s knight must provide prtotection to g7.} 14.Bd3 {Unfortunately for Drew Justice, the knight on f5 is also an easy target.}
Qxd4 {?} {Kevin Pan’s constant pressure finally causes Drew Justice to crack. 14…Nd7 and 14…0-0 are much better choices for black.}
( 14…Nd7 15.Bxf5 Qa5+ 16.c3 Qxf5 17.Qxg7 O-O-O )
( 14…O-O 15.c3 Nd7 ) {%09DB} 15.Bxf5 {!} {Kevin spots the tactical punishment for Drew’s inaccuracy.} {%09DB}
Qe5+ 16.Be4 f5 17.Qg6+ {Scissors beat paper and checks beat fork.}
Ke7 18.Be3 Nd7 19.O-O-O fxe4 {?} ( 19…Rag8 ) {%09DB} 20.Rxd7+
{!} {It’s moves like these that win national championships!} {%09DB}
Kxd7 21.Qf7+ Kc8 22.Bf4 {Black resigns and Kevin Pan is a National Champion!}
1-0

Advertisements

The MSJE Chess Team’s Dynasty Continues at the 2014 Calchess Super States

May 5, 2014

MSJE Head Coach Joe Lonsdale Reports on the 2014 Calchess Super States

 

A proud head coach poses with the State Championship Kindergarten team from MSJE.

A proud head coach poses with the State Championship Kindergarten team from MSJE.

The 2014 Northern California Scholastic Chess Championships were held the weekend of April 26th and 27th at the Santa Clara convention center.  Over 600 students and more the 50 schools competed in these championships.  Mission San Jose Elementary school (MSJE) of Fremont was the big winner in the Elementary School Division.  MSJE swept all of the Championships sections and won many of the Junior varsity sections and rookie sections.

The closest and most exciting championship was the Kindergarten (K) section.  Saint Marks School of San Rafael entered a nine player team in the K section.  The MSJE team won first place with 13 points versus 12.5 points by Saint Marks.  St Marks has been a scholastic powerhouse for more than 25 years.  Shreyas Jay lead the MSJE team with four wins out of five games.  Shreyas won his first four games and was playing for the state championship in the last round.  Shreyas lost in the last round but he still tied for third place.  Siddharth Arutla, Ayaan Kassamali, and Yiwen Gong each scored three points and tied for 12th place.  Jolene Liu, Zachery Easow, Vivdh Goenka, and Jasper Li also competed for the team.  All of our kindergarten students won trophies.

The top elementary school section at these championships is the 4-6 Championship Division.  MSJE won the section with 18.0 points versus 11.5 points for the second place school. (Bullis Charter school of Los Altos.) MSJE also beat all of the chess clubs (Teams made up of players from numerous schools) in this section.  The individual 4-6 championship came down to two MSJE players.  3rd grader Rishith Susarla (Who was “playing up” in the 4-6 section) was in second place with four wins and a draw.  David Pan was in first place with five wins.  Usually teammates do not play each other, but this prohibition is eliminated in the last round for the top players.  David won the final game vs. Rishith to finish with a perfect 6-0 score and won the individual Championship and the title on Northern CA Elementary School Chess Champion.  Rishith tied for fourth place.   Annapoorni Meiyappan (another third grader playing up) scored four points, won a trophy, and tied for 9th place.  Kevin Zhu scored 3.5 points and won a trophy.  Andy Tong, Max Wang, and Sriram Bharadwaj also competed for the MSJE 4-6 Championship team.

Calchess President Tom Langland with MSJE head coach Joes Lonsdale and the k-5 State Championship Team from MSJE.

Calchess President Tom Langland with MSJE head coach Joes Lonsdale and the k-5 State Championship Team from MSJE.

The 4-5 Championship section was also won by the MSJE team by a large margin.  MSJE scored 16.5 points versus 6 points for Marin School of Marin the second place school.  This score tied MSJE with the first place club, Berkeley Chess School.  Berkeley Chess School runs chess programs at more than 50 schools and their team is an all-star team from these schools.  Kavya Sasikumar was top scorer on the MSJE K-5 team.  Kavya scored five wins in six games and tied for second place.  Jeffrey Liu and Mihir Bhuptani each scored four points, tied for seventh place, and won trophies.  Jaisuraj Kaleeswaran scored 3.5 points and Alex Liu scored 3 points.  Both Jaisuraj and Alex won trophies.

The 4-6 JV (junior varsity) section is for players with ratings below 800 and above 500.  The top 12 MSJE players were playing in 4-6 championship or 4-5 championship sections.  None of the competing schools in the 4-6 JV section had more than one or two players in the championship sections.  Also MSJE only had three players in the 4-6 JV section.  The team score is the sum of the scores of the top four players on each team.  Despite these handicaps the MSJE team of Siddharth Mukherjee, Alvin Lee, and Nivedha won the first place team trophy in 4-6 JV.  Siddharth scored a perfect 5/5 and won the first place trophy.  Alvin scored 3.5/5 and won the 7th place trophy.  Nivedha scored 3/5 and won the 23rd place trophy.

The 4-6 rookie section is for players that do not have a rating.  There were several three and four player teams in this section.  Saharsh Goenka and Kevin Ma were the only two MSJE players in this section.  Kevin and Saharsh won all of their games until they had to face each other in the last round.  (Again the prohibition against team members playing is removed in the last round for the top of the ladder.)  Saharsh won the all MSJE game and the first place trophy.  Kevin tied for second place with four wins.  MSJE won the first place team trophy in the 4-6 rookie section.  I believe that this is the first time that a two player team has won first place in any division.

MSJE won the K-3 Championship section with 15 points versus 9.5 points for second place Gomes Elementary of Fremont.  Kevin Pan won his first five games and was playing for the individual championship in the last round.  Kevin lost the game, but still tied for second place and won a large trophy.  Atul Thirumalai scored four points, won a trophy, and tied for 8th place. Leo Jiang, Stephen He, and Amulya Harish scored 3 points, won trophies and tied for 25th place.  Allyson Wong, Arnav Lingannagari, Edwin Thomas, Henry Liu, Shree Jay, and Maxwell Yu also competed for the K-3 Championship team.

The k-3 Calchess State Champions from Mission San Jose Elementary School.

The k-3 Calchess State Champions from Mission San Jose Elementary School.

The 1-3 JV section is for players with ratings between 500 and 799.  MSJEs top 13 1-3 players were playing in higher sections (4-6 Championship and 1-3 Championship).  Most of the schools competing in the 1-3 JV section had very few students playing in higher sections.  MSJE won the 1-3 JV section with 13.5 points vs. St Marks with 10.5 points.  Nicholas Jiang won his first four games and was playing for first place in the last round.  Nicholas drew his game and finished in second place.  Vasu Rao, Dhruv Susheelkar, and Carolyn McNay scored three points, tied for 13th place and won trophies.

The 1-3 beginner section is for players with ratings under 500.  Vaibhav Wudaru won all five of his games and tied for first place. Evan Yang and Jack Lee each won three games and won trophies.  Suhan Khan, Lillian Ma, Soham Patti, and Varun Rao also competed for our 1-3 beginner team which took the third place team trophy.

The 1-3 rookie division is the division for players that have not played in a tournament before.  Sandeep Salwan tied for first place in this section with 5 wins out of five games. Monish Jonnadula and Aditi Sagi each scored 4 points, tied for fourth place and won trophies.  Chris Liu also competed for our 1-3 rookie team which won the first place team trophy.

Congratulations to the MSJE chess team for a great result at the State Championships.  In two weeks much of the team will be in Dallas competing in the Elementary School National Championships.

 

1374182_10151787887318611_113356610_n

Don’t forget to sign up for the annual Fremont Summer Chess Camp at MSJE. 

 

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.

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.

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!

King of the Rood

May 9, 2011

image

Northern California’s top first grade chess player achieved a perfect seven wins out of seven games at the 2011 USCF National Elementary Chess Championship in Dallas, Texas. Ben Rood proved that his 1600 rating is “for real” by defeating Dylan Flores, Dominic Vielot, Liam Selendy, Nikolai Rhodes, Praveer Sharan, Zarek Azam and Diego Costa. The most challenging game came in round 4 against Praveer Sharan. It took Ben Rood 3 hours and 81 moves to finally defeat Praveer who will likely remain a force to be reckoned with for years to come. Because of his awesome performance, Ben Rood has earned the title of “National Chess Champion!”

Attached is a photograph of Ben Rood and Diego Costa sitting across from eachother on board 1 during round 7.

Maiti is Unbeatable at the Nationals

May 8, 2011

image

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.

National Elementary Chess Championship: Round 4 Update

May 8, 2011

California’s Ben Rood and Milind Maiti remain undefeated after four rounds of competition at the 2011 National Elementary Chess Championships. First grader Ben Rood is the highest rated player in the k-1 section with a rating above 1600! Kindergartener Milind Maiti, who is likely the best player his age in the United States, easily defeated a 1500 rated player in round 4. Both of the young combatants were confident and happy going into round 5.

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


%d bloggers like this: