Tuesday, April 8

Close But No Cigar - High School Nationals

Cameron Wheeler - 7th place
Kesav Viswanadha - 4th place

A modest-sized delegation of 39 from Northern California made waves at the National High School Championship in San Diego, but finished short of bringing home the first place trophies.  At the end of a long weekend of competitive chess, the Bay Area teams earned eight individual and two team trophies.  Congratulations to the successful squads from Kennedy Middle School (2nd place) and Monta Vista High School (4th place), both from Cupertino.  Each school depended on the strong individual performances by their top board: FM Cameron Wheeler (7th place) and NM Kesav Viswanadha (4th place), respectively!

Robby on Chess Life cover.
By all accounts, San Diego saw the strongest K-12 Nationals ever, with 33 masters in attendance, including 15 from California alone!  Amazingly, accelerated pairings magically whittled down the number of perfect scores, and after just five rounds, only one player from 345 remained unblemished.  To nobody's surprise, GM-elect Darwin Yang of Dallas won his first six games to finish as undisputed champion with 6.5 out of 7.  On the other hand, the team competition came down to the wire, with underrated Catalina Foothills High School of Tucson pulling ahead at the end, in large part thanks to the tireless effort of legendary coach FM Robby Adamson

NorCal Final Results  

  • NM Kesav Viswanadha 6.0 - 4th place 
  • FM Cameron Wheeler 5.5 - 7th place
  • NM Allan Beilin 5.5 - 18th place
  • NM Vignesh Panchanatham 5.0 - 22nd place
  • Neel Apte 5.0 - Honorable Mention
  • NM Michael Wang 5.0 - Honorable Mention
  • NM Udit Iyengar 5.0 - Honorable Mention
  • Hans Niemann 4.5 - 15th place blitz
  • Kennedy Middle School 19.5/28 - 2nd place
  • Monta Vista High School 19.0/28 - 4th place (tied for 3rd)

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