Saturday, December 13

Kyle and Cameron Try to Win in Florida

Two out of three days at the National K-12 Championships have been completed. The field thinned out after five grueling rounds. Now only a handful of contenders remain undefeated with dreams of becoming national champion. Two local players have placed themselves in position to finish at the top: Kyle Shin (5.0 in 5th grade) and Cameron Wheeler (4.5 in 3rd grade). Three more sit at 4.0 with a decent shot at winning a trophy.
  • Kindergarten: Arun Khemani (CalChess Champion) 4.0 and Lindsey Canessa 2.5
  • 1st Grade: Rayan Taghizadeh (CalChess Champion) 4.0
  • 2nd Grade: John Canessa (CalChess Champion) 4.0
  • 3rd Grade: Cameron Wheeler (CalChess Champion) 4.5; Art Zhao 3.5 and Alvin Kong 3.0
  • 5th Grade: Kyle Shin (photo at right) 5.0 and Maadhav Shah 3.0
The 5th grade section is full of upsets, but top seeded Kyle Shin has calmly won all five of his games. On the other hand, the other three A players each dropped at least one point in the standings. My stern warning to take each game 100% seriously regardless of the opponent's rating has paid dividends so far; too many kids at nationals are underrated by 200 or more points (especially those hailing from New York or New Jersey).

Kudos to Cameron Wheeler for taking care of business in the first four rounds and then drawing with talented Tommy He (1842) in round 5. The rook endgame seemed hopeless at first glance, but Cameron alertly kept his rook active until his opponent gave him a draw. He faces yet another 1800 on Sunday morning.

Best of luck to Kyle, Cameron and all CalChess kids in Florida!


Ted & Elissa said...

Arun won round 6 and I hope they don't mess up the pairing again. He should be paired against Awonder (the only undefeated player in his section). This will be an exciting match since #1 & #2 player in the country will face against each other. Unfortunately my other student, Rayan lost today (after losing his queen!) and the rest are still playing.

Michael Aigner said...

Kyle drew in round 6 and remains tied for first.