|The big playing hall at National High School. Credit: Martha Underwood.|
The 2014 spring national scholastic chess championships kick off with the strongest National High School Championship ever! By my count, there are two International Masters, 15 players rated above 2300 and 33 masters in all. As always, the talented Northern California delegation appears poised to bring home some hardware and maybe even a national title.
Out of 950 total participants, about 340 signed up for the competitive High School Championship. Given the convenient location at the Town & Country Resort in San Diego, 39 local players made the trip down I-5 for an intense weekend of chess. Of the 27 Bay Area representatives in the strong Championship section, 9 are rated above 2150, including 2300+ rated FM Cameron Wheeler, NM Kesav Viswanadha and NM Vignesh Panchanatham.
In addition to the battle for individual honors, 3 Silicon Valley schools have entered teams of 4+ students. Last year's CalChess K-12 Champions Kennedy Middle School of Cupertino, now boasting three masters and two strong 1900s, figures to challenge perennial national power Murrow High School from Brooklyn, New York. Monta Vista High School, comprised of graduates from Kennedy Middle, should be competitive as well. Finally, Saratoga High School, no longer quite as strong as last decade, fields a team of four B and C players.
NorCal Watch List
National High School
Congratulations to GM-elect Darwin Yang for clear 1st with 6.5/7!
- FM Cameron Wheeler (KMS) 5.5 - 7th place - drew Darwin Yang in last round
- NM Kesav Viswanadha (MVHS) 6.0 - 4th place - beat Y.Xia (2286) in last round
- NM Vignesh Panchanatham 5.0 - 22nd place
- NM Siddharth Banik 3.5
- NM Allan Beilin 5.5 - 18th place
- NM Udit Iyengar (KMS) 5.0 - Honorable Mention
- NM Michael Wang (KMS) 5.0 - Honorable Mention
- Neel Apte (MVHS) 5.0 - Honorable Mention
- Joshua Cao 4.5
- Hans Niemann 4.5 - 5th grader!
- Kevin Rosenberg (MVHS) 4.0
- Daniel Zheng (MVHS) 4.0 - drew Rosenthal (2274), S.Liao (2189) and T.Lu (2185)
- Arhant Katare (KMS) 4.0 - drew S.Liao (2189)
- Pranav Srihari (KMS) 4.0 - drew Miller (2258)
- Faisal Albannai (SARA) 3.5
- Alex Li (SARA) 3.5 - rated just 1435, played up all 7 rounds, +167 rating points
- Kennedy M.S. 19.5/28 - 2nd place 0.5 behind Catalina Foothills H.S. (Tucson)
- Monta Vista H.S. 19.0/28 - tied for 3rd with Murrow H.S. (Brooklyn)
- Saratoga H. S. 12.0/28 - 27th place
Here's wishing plenty of good luck and skill to all!