Monday, December 3

New National Champions In Our Midst

Orlando World Center Marriott Hotel
The National Grade Level Championships took place last weekend in Orlando.  A total of 1300 players flew in from around the country to play chess and visit the House of Mouse.  The main tournament went 7 rounds over 3 days, with competitors divided into grades K through 12th.

Thirteen Bay Area juniors and their parents made the trek to Florida.  The trip proved successful, and the local delegation brought home 11 trophies: six top 10 places, two honorable mentions, two rating class prizes and one big team trophy. 

Special congratulations to the two individual national champions: Chinguun Bayaraa in 1st grade and Andrew Hong in 2nd grade!  Andrew is the new kid on the block, attending his first chess tournament merely five months ago.  By comparison, Chinguun proved himself as a veteran, playing chess since age 3 and winning his second nationals after Kindergarten last year.

The 7th grade team from Kennedy Middle School earned two individual prizes and picked up a nice team trophy to store alongside the first place K-8 award from last April.  Indeed, they finished ahead of national power IS 318 from the Bronx.  Check out reports and photos at Cameron's blog.

Northern California Scores
USCF Rating Report
  • Gr 1 - Chinguun Bayaraa 6.0 - co-NATIONAL CHAMPION 
  • Gr 1 - Maurya Palusa 5.5 - 8th place
  • Gr 2 - Andrew Hong 6.5 - co-NATIONAL CHAMPION
  • Gr 2 - Rishith Susarla 6.0 - 4th place
  • Gr 3 - Chenyi Zhao 5.0 - honorable mention
  • Gr 5 - Jason Hong 4.0 - 1st 1000-1199
  • Gr 5 - Simona Nayberg 4.0
  • Gr 6 - Amit Sant 5.0 - honorable mention
  • Gr 7 - Cameron Wheeler 5.5 - 5th place
  • Gr 7 - Art Zhao 5.5 - 6th place
  • Gr 7 - Kingsly Wang 4.5 - 1st 1200-1399
  • Gr 7 - Pranav Srihari 4.0
  • Gr 7 - Kennedy Middle (Cameron, Kingsly, Pranav) - NATIONAL CHAMPIONS
  • Gr 9 - Joshua Cao 4.5


Rich Ghazarian said...
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Michael Aigner said...

I find that it takes a lot to burn out kids from chess. For those really serious about improving in chess, I would recommend one weekend a month during school, about 16 for a calendar year, and up to 100 rated games total. Students in K-8 can more easily miss a day here and there, Once they move on to high school, the scheduling becomes more difficult.

Granted, a tournament like World Youth and Nationals takes more out of you than a 2-day weekend. Only one CA kid went to both WY and K-12, and his mother described that plan as "a little crazy." But they already had flights, reservations and teammates.

However, chess tournaments can burn out the parents! It gets even harder with siblings, or for single parents.