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February 6, 2018 > Young chess players make all the right moves

Young chess players make all the right moves

Submitted By by Joe Lonsdale

Student chess team members from Mission San Jose Elementary School (MSJES) focused hard during a recent match against an all-star team from Berkeley Chess School (BCS).

Their perseverance at the match paid off with a win at the Saturday, January 20 event held at the school which also attracted players from 20 other schools. The victory was especially sweet because Berkeley Chess School is the largest scholastic chess program in the Bay Area and attracts many of the regionÕs top players.

Twenty-six MSJES students played in the match against BCS which runs chess programs at more than 50 schools in the Bay Area.

In a chess match (as opposed to a tournament) the top players from each team play on board 1, the number two players play on board 2, and so on. In this match each player played two games with the same opponent, switching colors after the first game.

This format meant that most MSJES players were playing the top chess players from an opposing school. In addition to being at a disadvantage of one school playing 20 schools, MSJE was missing its top player Kevin Pan, because of illness.

Nonetheless, MSJE did very well on the top boards. Aghilan Nachaippan, (board 1) Annapoorni Sathappan (board 2) (each team could play one or two seventh grade graduates) and Nicholas Jiang (board 3) each won their first and second games. On board 4 Allyson Wong contributed a draw and a win to give MSJE a 7.5 to 0.5 advantage on the top four boards.

After this first round the score was tied 13 to 13. MSJE won round two, 15 to 11 for a 28 to 24 victory.

Other MSJES players winning both their games were Lucas Jiang, Aditya Arulta, Swagatha Selvan, Aidan Ma, Arnam Pawar, and Advita Ranga Ramanujan.

Also competing for MSJES were Stephen He, Aidan Chen, Sai Divyesh Tunguturu. Jolene Liu, Jason Liu, Nivedha Manic, Vivdh Goenka, Artham Pawar, Jainlin Chen, Arnav Gupta, Meghana Satish, Dev Bhatt, and Dhruv Sheth.

Having won all three major state championships (K-6, K-5, and K-3) over the last six years, MSJES is the top scholastic chess team in northern California. The coaches are Joe Lonsdale, Meiyaps Sathappan, Nachi Nachiappan, Terry and Cathy Liu, and Chris Torres

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