Friday, May 6

National Elementary Championships

The Bay Area has performed well at the National Elementary Championships in recent years, including two team titles. Mission San Jose Elementary won the K-6 section in 2009 while Weibel Elementary tied for first in the K-3 section last year. MSJE and Weibel are crosstown rivals in Fremont and compete for top honors at the CalChess Scholastics each year. The photo above shows last year's players.

This year, a whopping 62 Bay Area juniors traveled to Dallas to compete at Nationals. More than a third of the kids, 22 to be exact, represented MSJE while 11 more attended Weibel. MSJE fields teams in all four Championship sections. Weibel put all their eggs in one basket, shooting for the K-6 title. Another strong team this year is Regnart Elementary in the K-5 division.

Several local youngsters have excellent chances to take home big individual trophies. One is the top seed in K-5 (Cameron Wheeler) while another is ranked second in K-3 (Rayan Taghizadeh). Click on this link for the latest results and standings. The tournaments runs seven rounds: two on Friday, three on Saturday and last two on Sunday. GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!!!


Allan Beilin 5.5 -- 6th place
Armaan Kalyanpur (MSJE) 5.5 -- tied for 6th place
Kevin Moy (Weibel) 5.0 -- 11th place
Michael Wang (Weibel) 5.0 -- tied for 11th place
Kesav Viswanadha 5.0 -- tied for 11th place
Alvin Kong (MSJE) 4.5
Erik Wong (MSJE) 4.0
Sameer Vijay (Weibel) 3.5
Alex Yin (MSJE) 3.5
Ishas Kekre (Weibel) 3.5
Sharon Lu (Weibel) 3.5
TEAM MSJE earned 2nd place at 17.5
TEAM Weibel finished in 3rd place at 17.0

Cameron Wheeler (Regnart) 7.0 -- NATIONAL CHAMPION!!!
Udit Iyengar (Regnart) 6.0 -- 2nd place
Vignesh Panchanatham 5.5 -- 6th place
Pranav Srihari (Regnart) 5.5 -- tied for 6th place
Alexander Feghhi 5.5 -- tied for 6th place
Amit Sant (MSJE) 5.0 -- tied for 20th place
Abhishek Handigol 5.0 -- tied for 20th place
Joseph Zhang 5.0 -- tied for 20th place
Shalin Shah (MSJE) 4.5
Steven Li (MSJE) 4.5
Eric Zhu (MSJE) 4.0
Pramodh Srihari (Regnart) 3.5
TEAM Regnart is NATIONAL CHAMPION with 22.0, 3.5 points ahead of the field.
TEAM MSJE captured 4th place at 18.0

Rayan Taghizadeh 6.0 -- 4th place
John Chan (MSJE) 5.0 -- tied for 20th place
Om Chinchwadkar 5.0 -- tied for 20th place
Mihir Bhuptani (MSJE) 4.0
Ojas Arun (MSJE) 4.0
Alvin Zhang (MSJE) 3.5
TEAM MSJE finished in 4th place (tied for 3rd) at 16.5

Ben Rood 7.0 -- NATIONAL CHAMPION!!! (two perfect scores)
Milind Maiti 6.5 -- 3rd place as a Kindergartner!
Balaji Daggupati 6.0 -- 10th place (tied for 4th) also as a Kindergartner
Zarek Azam 5.0 -- 24th place
Jason Zhang 5.0 -- tied for 24th place
Rishith Susarla (MSJE) 5.0 -- tied for 24th place
Bryan Wong 5.0 -- tied for 24th place
Chenyi Zhao (MSJE) 4.5
Soorya Kuppam (MSJE) 4.5
Jeffrey Liu (MSJE) 4.0
TEAM MSJE captures 3rd place at 18.0

Important Links
National Elementary website
Results and Pairings
Chess Life Online -- May 6
Cameron photo on US Chess -- May 8
Cameron Wheeler blog
Weibel Elementary blog


Tansel said...

Dear friend,
I would like to correct your message noting Ben Rood is a "national Champion"
1) First of all, he is "Co-Champion", with my son Aydin Turgut .
2) Secondly, Aydin became first on tie breaks, not Ben Rood.
3)Thirdly, Ben Rood got very easy pairings(average rating 955 vs 1247 for Aydin)The highest rated player Ben Rood played was 1213 in rating. Aydin played and won against 1464,1442,1407,1364,1330 to get his 7/7 score.
4)Aydin also scored 9.5/12 in blitz in K-3 level getting 5th place.
5)I am not writing this message to discredit Ben Rood's results. But his score was achieved playing very weak players, and he is clearly not first on tie break. You should note that he is a :co champion, but became second on tie break"...
Dr. Tansel Turgut, ICCF GM

Michael Aigner said...

Dear Mr. Turgut,

First of all, I want to congratulate your son on an amazing performance. Clearly he played much higher than his rating, playing "up" six times based on his tournament rating of 869. His post rating of 1424, gaining nearly 400 points, reflects the result.

However, I must direct you to Rule 20.3 of the National Scholastic Chess Regulations.

"All players tied for first place are considered co-winners, but trophies will be awarded based on
tie-breaks. In the Spring Nationals, only the winners of a championship section shall be
designated National Champion."

Both Aydin and Ben can claim the title of National Champion. Aydin got the larger trophy and will no doubt be mentioned first in articles. However, they are technically equal as National Champions.

You are right that Aydin got much harder pairings, but is that Ben's fault? Both kids beat everyone they were told to play, and there was no 8th round. You could say this is a drawback of swiss pairings. In fact, Aydin beat many of the players that Ben was hoping to face in the final rounds.

By the way, Aydin and Ben are two of many examples that show ratings are practically meaningless at scholastic nationals, especially for the youngest kids. In K-1, four players under 1000 scored 6.0 or more. Three players over 1300 scored 5.5 or less.

Anyways, they are co-winners, which I had indicated on my blog, and they are both National Champions.

Michael Aigner

P.S. Note: I am not Ben's coach, and in fact, I've never met him. I simply blog for the Northern California chess community.

Michael Aigner said...

Dear Dr. Turgut,

I just noticed your medical doctor title. My apologies. No disrespect was intended.

Michael Aigner

Tansel said...

Thanks Michael,

1) I think that pairings were very unfair for us, and we had to play and beat the best players every round. It looked like other strong players had much easier pairings, and did not have to play each other a lot.

2) But of course, this is not Ben's fault, and he did the best he could with these pairings. I would like to congratulate him, his parents and his coach.

2 National Champions sounds good!

3)I don't have too much time to take my son for tournaments (he played only 6-7 tournaments so far). So it is hard to know what his "real" rating is. But he is very strong. He studies and practices everyday. I have a huge library of 2500 chess books. Aydin is learning classics,ie Capablanca, Alekhine as well as Kasparov, Anand and Nakamura etc... He already knows basics: opposition, Lucena etc.

I knew that he is much stronger than his rating reflected. (I am still not sure how high his rating should be)

4)Any way, congratulations on a very nice chess blog and once again congratulations on Ben Rood and his family also!

Dr. Tansel Turgut

Carl Moy said...

regarding parings, it stands to reason that a lower-rated person would be playing up (playing a higher rated player), especially if the player keeps winning. In this case, after the 2nd round, he would have been playing up the rest of the way, since Aydin was seeded #50 out of around 300 going into the tournament. It also stands to reason that a player at the very top seed would pretty much get a lower rated player every game. The TD probably should have done accelerated pairings for the K-1 section since there were so many players in this section and in a way it's a shame that there were 2 players with a perfect score.

Regarding finding out a kid's "real" rating - you probably didn't find the real rating playing in a K-1 tournament, even at the national level. You probably would need to attend a few adult tournaments in order to do that. The Chicago area has many of these tournaments, including big ones in Chicago on the Memorial Day weekend and a FIDE-rated one at O'Hare Airport on the 4th of July weekend.

Rob said...

Dr. Turgut,

The pairings weren't "unfair". They were done exactly according to the rules. Your son just hasn't played many tournaments and his "true" rating isn't established yet. As an ICCF GM, I would expect you to understand the workings of a swiss system. At this level, the ratings are practically meaningless and your characterization of a 955-rated 1st grader as "easy" or "weak" is insulting. By your reasoning, Aydin is weak. How many of his opponents would agree with that assessment?

What is unfair is that Ben did not get a chance to play him and decide who the National Champion really is. Instead, Ben went a perfect 7.0 and got the 2nd place trophy for his efforts, based solely on an arbitrary tiebreak system. Such is the nature of a swiss system tournament. At the end of the day, your sandbagging with your son's rating is what won him the first place trophy.

Finally, get over yourself. As a doctor, you should know about the perils of patting yourself on the back too hard, and living your life vicariously through the accomplishments of your child. This is Michael's personal blog, where he writes about things that interest himself, his students, and the greater Bay Area chess scene.


Tansel said...

Dear friend,

first of all, I am very impressed with Michael and his website. But the issues I raised are correct and I stand with my reasonings.

1) For pairings, ratings from April 2011 were used. Aydin was paired with number 1, number 2 number 6,7 and 9 from that list. (Ben Rood was number 4 on the list and he played with only number 8.)

2) Here are the ratings (highest to lowest) of the players each played. and you decide if they were paired with equal strength players:

(highest to lowest opponent with updated pretournament ratings)

Aydin Ben

1493 1213
1442 1204
1407 1104
1364 1097
1330 860
1003 788
672 425

avarage rating of Aydin's opponents was 1244, and Ben's opponents was 955. (excluding the weakest player, 1339 vs 1044)

Aydin played with 5 players higher than 1300, and Ben played with 0 players higher than 1250.

I don't agree that the pairings and the strenth of players they played were equal for both players.

In fact, due to his rating, my son got paired with very strong opponents.

3) I agree with that they are both National Champions.

4) I would like an apology for "sandbagging" comment. Aydin got first in most of his tournaments. Due to my job, I can not take him to tournaments so often.

5) I do not think that any kid in this tournament studied chess as hard as Aydin did.. But that is another story...

best regards,

Tansel Turgut

Michael Aigner said...

The latest comments are getting a bit out of control. Hence, I have enabled moderator approval for any future posts.