Yesterday, January 22, was the fifth matchday of this season’s Elementary Team League. St. Luke’s Episcopal Church again played host. With two straight 4-0 victories, Colvin Run Elementary (Vienna, VA) extended their lead at the top of the season standings.
Following our winter break, the Metro Area Chess League resumed on lichess yesterday evening. Montgomery Blair High School (Silver Spring, MD) is now in the solo lead after its third consecutive clean sweep of all four boards.
Rockville High School 0-4 Montgomery Blair High School
South Lakes High School 1-3 McLean High School
BASIS DC 2.5-1.5 Georgetown Preparatory School
Thomas S. Wootton High School 1-3 Gonzaga College High School
Rochambeau, the French International School 2.5-1.5 Washington International School
Col. Zadok Magruder High School 0.5-3.5 Woodrow Wilson High School
James Hubert Blake High School 0-4 St. Anselm’s Abbey School
St. Albans School 0-4 West Springfield High School
E.L. Haynes Public Charter School 3-1 Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School
Northwest High School 4-0 The SEED Public Charter School
Richard Montgomery High School 4-0 Justice High School
|Place||School||Total Match Points||Total Board Points|
|1st||Montgomery Blair High School||3||12|
|2nd||Richard Montgomery High School||2.5||9|
|3rd||Woodrow Wilson High School||2.5||8.5|
|5th (Tie)||McLean High School||2||8|
|5th (Tie)||St. Anselm's Abbey School||2||8|
|7th||South Lakes High School||2||7|
|8th||Georgetown Preparatory School||1.5||7.5|
|9th (Tie)||West Springfield High School||1.5||6|
|9th (Tie)||Thomas S. Wootton High School||1.5||6|
|11th||Gonzaga College High School||1.5||5|
|12th||Rochambeau, the French International School||1.5||4.5|
|13th||Justice High School||1||6|
|14th||Northwest High School||1||5|
|15th||Col. Zadok Magruder High School||1||4.5|
|16th (Tie)||James Hubert Blake High School||1||4|
|16th (Tie)||Rockville High School||1||4|
|16th (Tie)||E.L. Haynes Public Charter School||1||4|
|19th (Tie)||Washington International School||0.5||3.5|
|19th (Tie)||St. Albans School||0.5||2|
|21st||Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School||0||2|
|22nd||The SEED Public Charter School||0||1.5|
Round 4 will be held on January 25, 2022 at 7:15pm ET (7:30 games start) with matches played on https://lichess.org.
Montgomery Blair High School – Richard Montgomery High School
Wilson High School – Gonzaga College High School
EL Haynes Public Charter School – BASIS DC
Washington International School – St. Anselms Abbey School
McLean High School – Rochambeau French Intl. School
Georgetown Preparatory School – Thomas J. Wootton High School
James Hubert Blake High School – Rockville High School
Justice High School – Col. Zadok Magruder High School
West Springfield High School – South Lakes High School
Don Bosco Cristo Rey – Northwest High School
The SEED Public Charter School – St. Albans School
Ten school teams braved the frigid winter weather yesterday to come out for the fourth match day of this season’s Elementary Team League at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. With the season half finished, we have a new leader in the overall standings, as Colvin Run Elementary (Vienna, VA) won both of their matches to overtake Kent Gardens.
Rogers’ observations are in line with what we at the Chess Center have seen throughout our history of organizing events for young people. Few other pursuits can match the universal accessibility of chess to players of all ages, genders, backgrounds, and physical capabilities. And unlike with an electronic game franchise that has new editions or sequels coming out every year, parents who take up the hobby of chess alongside their children don’t have to worry about the game being replaced. Chess is an activity that has stood the test of time. The rules have not changed in half a millennium, but the strategic complexity of the game keeps us all interested.
All of our instructors who were fortunate enough to learn chess in our childhoods now look back on those years with great fondness; we remember the first time we sat across from an adult at a chess board, playing or discussing a game, and were treated as equals.
We hope everyone is enjoying their holiday season and getting to spend time with loved ones. Remember, whether you’re visiting in person or catching up through a video screen, a game of chess is a great way to connect.
Since chess players plan ahead, we’re posting some of the major competition dates for 2022 right here for folks who wish to mark their calendars.
The Virginia Scholastic Chess Championship is scheduled for the weekend of March 26-27 in Fredericksburg, VA. State championship tournaments are exciting for children no matter their playing strength, and we hope many of our Virginia-based students will decide to attend this year’s event. The Virginia Chess Federation has more information and online registration here.
Further ahead are the national championships. The National High School Championship for 2022, open to all students in grades K-12, is happening in Memphis the weekend of April 8-10 at the Renasant Convention Center. Online registration is available here.
Three weeks later, from April 29-May 1, is the National Middle School Championship for grades K-8. The venue is the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas (Dallas-Fort Worth area). An entry form and additional details can be found here.
Two weeks after that, from May 13-15, is the National Elementary School Championship for grades K-6, slated for Columbus at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. Online registration for the elementary school Nationals is not available yet, but we believe it will be soon. You can visit the USCF’s calendar of national events for more information, and the Chess Center will also be updating our tournament calendar as more details become open.
Regardless of how many games they win, participating in these state and national championship competitions tends to be an experience that children never forget. If you’re interested in forming a school group to travel to a tournament and you’d like to connect with other families who want the same, we encourage you to speak with your chess club instructor.
We wish you all a safe, healthy and happy New Year, and we look forward to seeing you in 2022!
Nearly 40 students from ten schools showed up for this past Saturday’s Elementary Team League competition. Last Saturday was the third matchday of the eight scheduled for the season. Once again, we thank St. Luke’s Episcopal Church for providing the venue and tables.
We enter the holiday break with Kent Gardens Elementary still leading the overall standings. The remaining matchdays are January 8, January 22, February 5, February 19 and March 5.
Tuesday evening was Round 2 of the Metro Area Chess League. Students from 22 high school teams from the District of Columbia, Northern Virginia and Maryland showed up on lichess to compete.
In a closely matched field, Montgomery Blair High School (Silver Spring, MD) and South Lakes High School (Reston, VA) are the only schools to win both of their matches so far and sit atop the standings with 2 match points each. Last night Montgomery Blair swept all four boards for the second round in a row and so holds the board points tiebreaker with 8 points out of a possible 8, with South Lakes in second with 6. Just behind them, Georgetown Preparatory School (North Bethesda, MD) leads a group of six schools tied with 1.5 match points.
Round 2 Results & League Standings
|Place||School||Round 2 Board Points||Round 2 Match Points||Total Board Points||Total Match Points|
|1st||Montgomery Blair High School||4||1||8||2|
|2nd||South Lakes High School||3||1||6||2|
|3rd||Georgetown Preparatory School||4||1||6||1.5|
|4th (Tie)||Gonzaga College High School||2||.5||5||1.5|
|4th (Tie)||Thomas S. Wootton High School||2||.5||5||1.5|
|4th (Tie)||Richard Montgomery High School||3||1||5||1.5|
|4th (Tie)||Woodrow Wilson High School||3||1||5||1.5|
|9th (Tie)||Justice High School||1||0||5||1|
|9th (Tie)||McLean High School||4||1||5||1|
|11th (Tie)||James Hubert Blake High School||1||0||4||1|
|11th (Tie)||Rockville High School||2||.5||4||1|
|11th (Tie)||St. Anselm's Abbey School||2||.5||4||1|
|11th (Tie)||Col. Zadok Magruder High School||3||1||4||1|
|15th (Tie)||Rochambeau, the French International School||0||0||2||.5|
|15th (Tie)||West Springfield High School||0||0||2||.5|
|15th (Tie)||St. Albans School||2||.5||2||.5|
|15th (Tie)||Washington International School||2||.5||2||.5|
|19th||The SEED Public Charter School||1.5||0||1.5||0|
|20th (Tie)||Northwest High School||0||0||1||0|
|20th (Tie)||Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School||1||0||1||0|
|20th (Tie)||E.L. Haynes Public Charter School||1||0||1||0|
Teams are ranked by Match Points, then by Board Points.
Round 2 Highlights
Round 3 Pairings
Round 3 will be held on January 11, 2022 at 7:15pm ET (7:30 games start)
with matches played on https://lichess.org.
Rockville High School vs. Montgomery Blair High School
South Lakes High School vs. McLean High School
BASIS DC vs. Georgetown Preparatory School
Richard Montgomery High School vs. Justice High School
Thomas S. Wootton High School vs. Gonzaga College High School
Rochambeau, the French International School vs. Washington International School
Col. Zadok Magruder High School vs. Woodrow Wilson High School
James Hubert Blake High School vs. St. Anselm’s Abbey School
St. Albans School vs. West Springfield High School
E.L. Haynes Public Charter School vs. Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School
Northwest High School vs. The SEED Public Charter School
Congratulations to Sal Rosario and David Sherman, two of the Center’s former teachers, for splitting the championship honors as 2021 District of Columbia Champion and Senior Champions.
Eighteen players competed over the weekend in this year’s DC Championship, where Dennis Norman went 4-0 to capture first place overall and Bijan Tahmassebi took clear second with 3½. The top two finishers are from Maryland, so were ineligible for the DC titles. Rosario and Sherman each went 3-1.
Special congratulations to the students who played. Two of our young champions, Ben Nemelka and Amanda Lossef both did well against the adult competition, and we are very pleased to see Anna Miller and newcomer Samson Neuberger playing.
All photos provided courtesy of Mr. Bill Simmons, used with permission.
The District of Columbia Championship for 2021 is December 11-12 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Washington. The 2020 champion, IM David Recuero, is out of town for the next couple of months so the field is wide open.
The highest-scoring DC player earns the title of District of Columbia Chess Champion, but any player with an up-to-date USCF membership is eligible to participate, not just DC residents. For more information and registration, go to https://www.kingregistration.c
On December 4, ten school teams showed up at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church to compete in the second Saturday of matches for this season’s Elementary Team League. Early leaders Kent Gardens continued their strong run by winning their first match of the day, before Greenbriar West edged them in the second match giving the rest of the field the chance to catch up a little.
Before the chess pieces are passed out to start play, here is Mr. Constantine reviewing every teacher’s favorite rule: players must always remain silent during the games.
As always, we hope our students will be able to apply the critical thinking and problem solving skills they learn from chess to help them in the classroom. Of our previous programs at John Burroughs, teacher Vicki Bullock has said, “Chess has made a positive impact on these students’ ability to be THOUGHTFUL and THOROUGH in their work!”
Interested in bringing the U.S. Chess Center to your school? Contact us!
Thursday nights are open play sessions at the U.S. Chess Center headquarters in Silver Spring. Tomorrow, Dec. 2, there will be a free blitz tournament open to all members of the public. Come play and engage with other members of the local chess community!
Space will be limited to the first 16 players to sign up, and an official U.S. Chess Center tournament set will be awarded to the winner. Time control will be game/5, no delay or increment. Registration is open here:
In compliance with local COVID safety and health protocols, participants are required to wear masks at all times during our in-person events.
Our fall program at Washington Highlands is off to a bright start. This past Monday, taking advantage of the nice weather, Coach Alex and his students played the Pawn Game on the lawn in front of the Southern Hills community room.
We have set a goal of preparing our students to play in nationally rated tournaments so that when the national championships arrive in the Washington area in less than 15 months our students will be ready to compete and win.
Since 1992, the U.S. Chess Center has taught many thousands of DC elementary schoolchildren the rules, strategy, etiquette, and discipline of tournament chess. Through hard work and persistence, the students learn the importance of planning ahead, avoiding distractions, and delaying gratification in pursuit of long-term goals. Please feel free to reach out to us if you are interested in having us create a program at your school.
Open to students in grades 7-12. All ability levels are welcome.
Sunday Chess is revving up for this year. This year we have a hybrid, with many students joining us via Zoom, like last year, but even more coming in person to our McLean location (view on map).
We expect to have our normal range of activities on Sundays for the teens, including visits from distinguished strong players and Internet matches with young players from other countries. Lessons are designed to help the students have fun and improve, and it’s not too late to sign up. Learn more here.
Start Next Week!
FOR STUDENTS IN GRADES 2-6. Since 1993, the U.S. Chess Center has been running after-school chess clubs in elementary schools in partnership with PTOs/PTAs throughout the national capital region. We are pleased to resume in-person clubs at many of our locations this autumn. Registration for the following school clubs is now open:
Our in-person clubs welcome students of all ability levels, from complete beginners to accomplished tournament players. We teach the rules of chess to students who do not know them and the strategy of the game to everyone. For both lessons and gameplay, students are grouped by playing strength to ensure that each child is appropriately challenged. The fall session of our clubs commences the final week of September, and runs all the way to the end of the first half of the school year, in late January or early February. The spring sessions begin shortly after.
Some of our clubs have decided to be virtual-only this school year. For these clubs, classes will be online with students also grouped by skill; however, our online clubs are designed for students that already know the rules, basic vocabulary, and basic strategy of chess. If your student is completely new to chess then they are not eligible to participate in an online club but we are creating classes for them.
In addition to one after-school meeting each week at the school with instruction and supervised play, membership in our clubs (in-person or online) includes the opportunity to participate in the Elementary Team League, a fun competition that takes place from 1:30-3:00 PM on various Saturdays throughout the school year. This local team event has been a tradition for over 20 years, bringing together students from all over the greater Washington area to represent their chess clubs in friendly matches against other elementary schools. Students of all levels of tournament experience are welcome.
FOR STUDENTS IN GRADES 2-6 who know the rules of chess but are unable to participate in one of our in-person after-school programs, the U.S. Chess Center offers classes online.
Our online classes are live and interactive with a nationally certified chess coach; we do not use videos. We stratify the lesson groups by ability so that everyone is challenged but nobody is overwhelmed. Lessons are designed to help students develop confidence without boring them, and students are encouraged to share their ideas and questions with the class. Our teachers listen to each student to ensure that nobody is left behind, and we observe the games the students play with one another to determine points to emphasize in future lessons.
Online classes are 60 minutes, once each week from 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm ET (UTC -5). Each class has 20-30 minutes of instruction and 30-40 minutes of supervised play. Space is limited.
The fall semester of online chess classes starts next week and runs through January 2022. The spring semester of online classes runs from February 2022 through early June 2022.
If you wish to register your child but have questions about which class level to enroll in, you can read the descriptions of each level on the registration page.