Saturday, April 28

JHS Nationals Day 2

Lots of kids play chess.  Photo credit: San Diego Union Tribune.
The players, parents and coaches keep busy on the middle day of the Nationals, with three full-length rounds.  The grueling evening round will make or break the tournament for a lot of top players.  Some parents end up feeling even more exhausted than the children.  For the coaches, this day brings 15 hours of analyzing games, starting soon after 9am and often continuing until midnight.   
Team Kennedy occupies top K-8 boards.

Round 3 brought all five members of Team Kennedy together, from boards 3 to 7.  Three won, two lost.  In K-9, Colin drew with one of the masters.  All told, five CalChess kids earned perfect 3-0 and another five have a solid 2.5.  So far so good! 

After round 4, three Bay Area stars continue to share the lead in K-8 with perfect scores.  They will play on boards 1-3 tonight.  Neel seems to have the most difficult pairing against top seed Christopher Wu (2293).  Three more local kids sit with 3.5 going into the evening round.  Colin squares off in another tough pairing against Varun Krishnan (2292). I counted 13 more local players with either 2.5 or 3.0. Kennedy modestly expanded its lead to 2.5 points.  I began tracking Horner Middle School, currently tied for 4th place.

Almost all good things come to an end.  Round 5 was the hour of reckoning for Team Kennedy.  Although four of the five players lost, the team somehow maintained its 2.5 point lead.  Unfortunately, I found no local kids among the leaders going into the final day, but eight have a solid score of 4.0/5.  Good luck!!

Colin Chow pulled off the upset in round 6 to move into a tie for 2nd in K-9 at 5.0!  With an undefeated 2.0/3 against masters, Colin faces a fourth one for all the marbles.  Four Bay Area kids reached 5.0 points in K-8. They could tie for 1st, 2nd or 3rd simply by winning their final games! Team Kennedy recovered in with 3.5 points in round 6, expanding their lead.  They essentially clinched 1st place K-8 team with a round to go!  Horner moved up in the standings and could finish as high as 2nd with a strong final push.

Northern California Watch List (after round 6 of 7)
  • Colin Chow 5.0 - win against a master and draws with two other masters
  • Vignesh Panchanatham 4.5 
  • Hemang Jangle 3.5 - draw with master
  • Russell Bik 3.5 
  • I.S. 318 TEAM 17.5/24 (Leading by 2.5 over Masterman of Philadelphia PA)
K-8 Championship
  • Neel Apte (Kennedy) 5.0
  • Udit Iyengar (Kennedy) 5.0
  • Allan Beilin 5.0
  • Art Zhao 5.0
  • Kesav Viswanadha (Kennedy) 4.5
  • Cameron Wheeler (Kennedy) 4.5 
  • Gabriel Bick 4.5
  • Daniel Ho 4.5 (Horner)
  • Naveen Janarthanan 4.0
  • Pranav Srihari (Kennedy) 3.5
  • Michael L. Wang 3.5
  • Justin Wang (Horner) 3.5
  • Audrey Zhao 3.5
  • Amit Sant 3.5 
  • Kory Hui (Horner) 3.5
  • Nikhil Jaha (Horner) 3.5
  • Bryce Wong 3.5
  • KENNEDY M.S. TEAM 19.0/24 (Expanded lead to 3.5 over IS 318's weaker players.)
  • HORNER M.S. TEAM 15.0/24 (Tied for 3rd place and only 0.5 out of 2nd.)

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