Chess Center

Elementary Team League 2021-22: Round 7 Results

More than 30 students showed up to St. Luke’s Methodist Church this past weekend to represent their schools in the Elementary Team League.  With one round remaining in the competiton, Colvin Run Elementary continues in the lead while White Oaks, Greenbriar West and the fast-rising Spring Hill are locked in a battle for second.

Round 1:
Greenbriar West 1-3 Colvin Run
Ravensworth 3-1 Stratford Landing
Poplar Tree 1-1 Westbriar
White Oaks 2.5-1.5 Kent Gardens 
Spring Hill 4-0 Willow Springs
 
Round 2:
Colvin Run 1-3 Spring Hill
Willow Springs 0-4 White Oaks
Stratford Landing 2-0 Poplar Tree
Westbriar 0-4 Greenbriar West
Kent Gardens 0.5-3.5 Ravensworth
 
Standings after Matchday 7:
Colvin Run 181
White Oaks 153
Greenbriar West 145
Spring Hill 144
Kent Gardens 134
Poplar Tree 116
Ravensworth 105
Willow Springs 93
Stratford Landing 85
Westbriar 57 

Metro Area Chess League 2021-22: Round 5 Results

Another exciting evening of high school league play this evening produced a lot of back-and-forth games.  Montgomery Blair High School (Silver Spring, MD) is now back in the sole lead with a 4-0 victory over BASIS DC, their fourth clean sweep in five matches.  Woodrow Wilson High School (Washington DC) is in clear second place after their match with Richard Montgomery ended in a 2-2 draw.

Round 5 Results

BASIS DC 0-4 Montgomery Blair High School

Richard Montgomery High School 2-2 Woodrow Wilson High School

St. Anselm’s Abbey School 1-3 McLean High School

Gonzaga College High School 3-1 South Lakes High School

Thomas J. Wootton High School 2-2 Rochambeau French Intl. School

Col. Zadok Magruder High School 3-1 West Springfield High School

Northwest High School 3-1 Rockville High School

St. Albans School 2.5-1.5 Georgetown Preparatory School

James Hubert Blake High School 1-3 E.L. Haynes Public Charter School 

Washington International School 3-1 Justice High School

Don Bosco Cristo Rey ppd. The SEED Public Charter School

Standings After Round 5
PlaceSchoolTotal Match PointsTotal Board Points
1stMontgomery Blair High School4.518
2ndWoodrow Wilson High School 413
3rd (Tie) McLean High School 3.513
3rd (Tie) Richard Montgomery High School 3.513
5thGonzaga College High School 3.512.5
6thBASIS DC 3.510
7th (Tie)Northwest High School 312
7th (Tie)St. Anselm's Abbey School 312
9th (Tie)West Springfield High School 311
9th (Tie)Thomas S. Wootton High School 311
11thSouth Lakes High School 2.510
12thGeorgetown Preparatory School 2.59
13th (Tie)Rochambeau, the French International School 2.58.5
13th (Tie)St. Albans School2.58.5
15th (Tie)E.L. Haynes Public Charter School 28
15th (Tie)Col. Zadok Magruder High School 28
15th (Tie)Rockville High School 28
18thWashington International School1.57.5
19th Justice High School 17.5
20thJames Hubert Blake High School 16
21st Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School 02
22ndThe SEED Public Charter School 01.5

One match, Don Bosco Cristo Rey vs. SEED Public Charter School, was postponed.  We will update the standings and post Round 6 pairings when that match has been completed.

Round 5 Highlights
Wooton-Rochambeau Board 3
Gonzaga-South Lakes Board 1
Gonzaga-South Lakes Board 4
Round 6 Pairings

February 22

Montgomery Blair High School – Thomas J. Wootton High School

McLean High School – Richard Montgomery High School

West Springfield High School School – Northwest High School

Gonzaga College High School – St. Anselm’s Abbey School

South Lakes High School – Col. Zadok Magruder High School

Georgetown Preparatory School – James Hubert Blake High School

Don Bosco Cristo Rey – Justice High School

Rockville High School – Washington International School

 

March 1

Rochambeau French Intl. School – St. Albans School

Woodrow Wilson High School – BASIS DC

The SEED Public Charter School – E.L. Haynes Public Charter School 

Elementary Team League 2021-22: Round 6 Results

With yesterday’s wind and below freezing temperatures in Northern Virginia, it was another day of great “chess weather.”  The Elementary Team League returned to its usual playing site at St. Luke’s Methodist Church and we had a near-perfect turnout of ten school teams.  Leaders Colvin Run Elementary continued their good form, scoring big wins against the schools that started the day in second and third place in the standings, Kent Gardens and White Oaks.

Round 1:
Greenbriar West 2-2 Willow Springs
Ravensworth 0-4 Spring Hill
Stratford Landing 3-1 Westbriar
Colvin Run 4-0 Kent Gardens 
Poplar Tree 2-2 White Oaks
 
Round 2:
Kent Gardens 1.5-1.5 Greenbriar West
Willow Springs 1-3 Stratford Landing
Spring Hill 3-1 Poplar Tree
White Oaks 0.5-3.5 Colvin Run
Westbriar 2-2 Ravensworth
 
Standings after Matchday 6:
Colvin Run 161
White Oaks 124
Greenbriar West 123
Kent Gardens 122
Spring Hill 114
Poplar Tree 110
Willow Springs 85
Ravensworth 76
Stratford Landing 73
Westbriar 51 
 

Two match days remain for this season: February 19 and March 5.  Playing in the League is free and open to anyone enrolled in an after-school chess club of ours so if your child is interested, please reach out to their club instructor.

PCSAA Middle School League Spring Season Has Begun

The DC Public Charter School Athletic Association’s Middle School Chess League is now back in action for the spring 2022 season.  District of Columbia International School (DCI) returns to attempt to defend their title from last year.  Also coming back from the prior season are BASIS DC, The Children’s Guild, E.L. Haynes Public Charter School, Howard University Middle School of Mathematics & Science, and Meridian Public Charter School.  

Current League Standings
SchoolMatch PointsBoard Points (Tiebreaker)
BASIS DC6.544
District of Columbia International School540
Howard University Middle School of Mathematics & Sciences429.5
Meridian Public Charter School218
The Children's Guild217.5
E.L. Haynes Public Charter School111

Matches are played on Saturdays on lichess.org, and there are 7 matchdays in total scheduled for this season.  Those interested can keep track of the results and standings here.  

Photos From This Week’s Pawn Game Tournament at Burroughs Elementary

At John Burroughs Elementary School this past Thursday, we held a Pawn Game tournament for the second and third grade students.  Behavior was excellent and the skills both classes had learned were evident. The teachers were impressed by their students’ abilities to visualize, execute plans, and win and lose with grace and dignity.

Metro Area Chess League 2021-22: Round 4 Results

January 25 marked the fourth match of the Metro Area Chess League season.  Leaders Montgomery Blair High School – the only team with a perfect score through the first three rounds – faced Richard Montgomery and were held to their first drawn match, as each team won two games from their four boards.  Woodrow Wilson High School and BASIS DC both won their Round 4 matches to join them on 3.5 match points, although Montgomery Blair still holds the board points tiebreaker.

Round 4 Results

Montgomery Blair High School 2 – 2 Richard Montgomery High School
Wilson High School 2.5 – 1.5 Gonzaga College High School
EL Haynes Public Charter School 1 – 3 BASIS DC
Washington International School 1 – 3 St. Anselms Abbey School
McLean High School 2 – 2 Rochambeau French Intl. School
Georgetown Preparatory School 1 – 3 Thomas J. Wootton High School
James Hubert Blake High School 1 – 3 Rockville High School
Justice High School 1.5 – 2.5 Col. Zadok Magruder High School
West Springfield High School 2 – 2 South Lakes High School
Don Bosco Cristo Rey 0 – 4 Northwest High School
The SEED Public Charter School 0 – 4 St. Albans School

Standings After Round 4
PlaceSchoolTotal Match PointsTotal Board Points
1stMontgomery Blair High School3.514
2ndWoodrow Wilson High School 3.511
3rdBASIS DC 3.510
4th (Tie)Richard Montgomery High School 311
4th (Tie)St. Anselm's Abbey School 311
6th McLean High School 2.510
7thGonzaga College High School 2.59.5
8th (Tie)South Lakes High School 2.59
8th (Tie)Thomas S. Wootton High School 2.59
10thGeorgetown Preparatory School 2.57.5
11th Northwest High School 29
12thWest Springfield High School 28
13th (Tie)Col. Zadok Magruder High School 27
13th (Tie)Rockville High School 27
15thRochambeau, the French International School 26.5
16thSt. Albans School1.56
17th Justice High School 16.5
18th (Tie)James Hubert Blake High School 15
18th (Tie)E.L. Haynes Public Charter School 15
20th Washington International School0.54.5
21st Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School 02
22ndThe SEED Public Charter School 01.5
Round 4 Highlights

This is the game from board 1 of the Richard Montgomery – Montgomery Blair match, after 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. h4 h6 5. g4 Be4 6. f3 Bh7 7. Bd3 Bxd3 8. Qxd3 e6 9. h5 c5 10. c3 Nc6 11. Ne2 Qb6 12. f4 Rc8 13. Nd2 cxd4 14. cxd4 Nb4 15. Qb1 Nc2+ 16. Kf2 Ne7 17. Nf3 Nxa1 18. Qxa1 Nc6 19. a3 Na5 20. Qb1 Bxa3 21. g5 Be7 22. f5 exf5 23. Qxf5 Qe6 24. Qd3 Nc4 25. Nf4 Qd7. Up to the previous move, Black had defended well against White’s attacks, but with the last move, White has the chance to gain an advantage.

26. e6 opens up Black’s king, since now …fxe6 27. Qg6+ wins Black’s queen or mates.  Instead the game continued 26….Qd6 27. exf7+ Kd8 28. Ng6 Rf8 29. Nxf8 Bxf8 30. Re1 Be7 31. Qf5 Qd7 32. f8=Q+ Bxf8 33. Qxf8+ Kc7 34. Bf4+ Kb6 35. Qb4+ Qb5 36. Re6+ Rc6 37. Qxb5+ Kxb5 38. Rxc6 Kxc6 39. gxh6 gxh6 40. Bxh6 Kd6 41. b3 Na5 42. Bf8+ Ke6 43. Ng5+ Kf5 44. h6 Nxb3 45. h7 Kxg5 46. h8=Q a5 47. Qg8+ Kf6 48. Qxd5 a4 49. Qxb7 and Black resigned.  1-0.

Board 1 in the McLean-Rochambeau match began: 1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 c5 3. c4 Nf6 4. Nc3 e6 5. Bg5 dxc4 6. e4 Be7 7. Bxc4 h6 8. Bh4 cxd4 9. Qxd4 Nc6 10. Qxd8+ Bxd8 11. O-O O-O 12. Rfd1 a6 13. Rac1 b5 14. Bb3 Bb7 15. e5 Ng4 16. Bg3 b4 17. Na4 h5 18. Nc5 Bc8 giving rise to the position on the right.  Can you spot an idea for White to gain an advantage?

19. Nxe6 Bxe6 20. Bxe6 fxe6 21. Rxc6 and White will be two pawns ahead. 

The game concluded 21…Re8 22. Rdd6 Ba5 23. h3 Nh6 24. Rxa6 Rxa6 25. Rxa6 Bc7 26. Nd4 Kf7 27. Nb5 Re7 28. Bh4 Rd7 29. Ra7 Nf5 30. Bg3 h4 31. Bf4 g5 32. Bxg5 Kg6 33. Nxc7 Rd1+ 34. Kh2 Kxg5 35. Nxe6+ Kg6 36. Nf4+ Kg5 37. Ne2 Re1 38. f4+ Kg6 39. Ng1 Rf1 40. Nf3 Ra1 41. a3 bxa3 42. bxa3 Rc1 43. a4 Rc4 44. a5 Rxf4 45. a6 Ra4 46. Ra8 Kf7 47. a7 Ke7 48. Rh8 1-0.  

Round 5 Pairings

Round 5 will be held on February 8, 2022 at 7:15pm ET (7:30 games start) with matches played on https://lichess.org

BASIS DC – Montgomery Blair High School

Richard Montgomery High School – Woodrow Wilson High School

St. Anselm’s Abbey School – McLean High School

Gonzaga College High School – South Lakes High School

Thomas J. Wootton High School – Rochambeau French Intl. School

Col. Zadok Magruder High School – West Springfield High School

Northwest High School – Rockville High School

St. Albans School – Georgetown Preparatory School

James Hubert Blake High School – E.L. Haynes Public Charter School 

Washington International School – Justice High School

Don Bosco Cristo Rey – The SEED Public Charter School

Elementary Team League 2021-22: Round 5 Results

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.

Round 1:
White Oaks 1-3 Greenbriar West
Willow Springs 2.5-1.5 Stratford Landing
Westbriar 0-4 Colvin Run
Spring Hill 2-2 Kent Gardens 
Poplar Tree 1.5-1.5 Ravensworth
 
 
Round 2:
Kent Gardens 2-2 Willow Springs
Colvin Run 4-0 Poplar Tree
Greenbriar West 1-3 Spring Hill
Stratford Landing 1.5-2.5 White Oaks
Ravensworth 2.5-0.5 Westbriar
 
Standings after Matchday 4:
Colvin Run 130
Kent Gardens 113
White Oaks 109
Greenbriar West 107
Poplar Tree 94
Spring Hill 84
Willow Springs 69
Ravensworth 64
Stratford Landing 47
Westbriar 39 
 
If your child is enrolled in an after school chess club of ours and would like to sign up to play in the Elementary Team League, contact their club instructor.  Our next scheduled match day is Saturday, February 5.

Metro Area Chess League 2021-22: Round 3 Results

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.  

Round 3 Results

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

Standings After Round 3
PlaceSchoolTotal Match PointsTotal Board Points
1stMontgomery Blair High School312
2ndRichard Montgomery High School 2.59
3rdWoodrow Wilson High School 2.58.5
4thBASIS DC 2.57
5th (Tie)McLean High School 28
5th (Tie)St. Anselm's Abbey School 28
7thSouth Lakes High School 27
8thGeorgetown Preparatory School 1.57.5
9th (Tie)West Springfield High School 1.56
9th (Tie)Thomas S. Wootton High School 1.56
11th Gonzaga College High School 1.55
12thRochambeau, the French International School 1.54.5
13th Justice High School 16
14th Northwest High School 15
15th Col. Zadok Magruder High School 14.5
16th (Tie)James Hubert Blake High School 14
16th (Tie)Rockville High School 14
16th (Tie)E.L. Haynes Public Charter School 14
19th (Tie)Washington International School0.53.5
19th (Tie)St. Albans School0.52
21st Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School 02
22ndThe SEED Public Charter School 01.5
Round 4 Pairings

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

Elementary Team League 2021-22: Round 4 Results

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.

Round 1:
Ravensworth 2.5-1.5 Kent Gardens
White Oaks 3-0 Westbriar
Greenbriar West 1-3 Colvin Run
Spring Hill 2-1 Willow Springs
Poplar Tree 2.5-1.5 Stratford Landing
 
Round 2:
Kent Gardens 2.5-1.5 Poplar Tree
Colvin Run 2.5-1.5 Ravensworth
Stratford Landing 2-2 Spring Hill
Willow Springs 3-1 White Oaks
Westbriar 0-4 Greenbriar West
 
Standings after Matchday 4:
Colvin Run 98
Kent Gardens 93
White Oaks 90
Greenbriar West 87
Poplar Tree 87
Spring Hill 60
Ravensworth 46
Willow Springs 46
Westbriar 34
Stratford Landing 33 
 
Any student enrolled in an after school chess club of ours can sign up to play in the League.  Participating is a great opportunity to practice and gain experience for important tournaments like the state and national championships this spring.  If your child is interested in taking part, contact their club instructor.  Saturday, January 22 is the next scheduled match day.

Chess Helps Bridge Generational Gaps

A piece from the Parenting section of last week’s Washington Post highlights the value of chess not just as a tool for sharpening children’s intellect, but also for improving their social skills.  In particular, Paul Rogers notes the ease with which chess can help children connect with people from older generations.  Whether bonding with parents and grandparents or playing with adults outside of the family, chess instills in kids the belief in kids that win or lose, they are part of something that everyone enjoys.  And for children who struggle in ordinary social situations, the game can provide a special value.

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.

Happy New Year From the U.S. Chess Center! Upcoming Major Competitions in 2022

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.

The Nationals - students from around the country united by a shared passion for chess.

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!

Elementary Team League 2021-22: Round 3 Results

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.

Results from Matchday 3 (of 8)

Round 1:

 
Poplar Tree 4-0 Willow Springs
Colvin Run 3-1 Spring Hill
Westbriar 0-4 Kent Gardens
White Oaks 4-0 Ravensworth
Greenbriar West 4-0 Stratford Landing
 
Round 2:
 
Kent Gardens 2-2 White Oaks
Stratford Landing 0-4 Colvin Run
Willow Springs 1.5 -1.5 Westbriar
Spring Hill 1-3 Poplar Tree
Ravensworth 2-2 Greenbriar West
 
Standings after Matchday 3:
 
Kent Gardens 76
Colvin Run 71
White Oaks 69
Greenbriar West 65
Poplar Tree 64
Spring Hill 42
Westbriar 32
Ravensworth 26
Willow Springs 22
Stratford Landing 16 
 
Playing in the League is free and open to every student enrolled in one of our after school chess clubs.  We especially encourage students who’ve never played tournament chess outside of their school to reach out to their club instructor and sign up to play.

Metro Area Chess League 2021-22: Round 2 Results

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

PlaceSchoolRound 2 Board PointsRound 2 Match PointsTotal Board PointsTotal Match Points
1stMontgomery Blair High School4182
2ndSouth Lakes High School 3162
3rdGeorgetown Preparatory School 4161.5
4th (Tie)Gonzaga College High School 2.551.5
4th (Tie)Thomas S. Wootton High School 2.551.5
4th (Tie)Richard Montgomery High School 3151.5
4th (Tie)Woodrow Wilson High School 3151.5
8thBASIS DC 2.514.51.5
9th (Tie)Justice High School 1051
9th (Tie)McLean High School 4151
11th (Tie)James Hubert Blake High School 1041
11th (Tie)Rockville High School 2.541
11th (Tie)St. Anselm's Abbey School 2.541
11th (Tie)Col. Zadok Magruder High School 3141
15th (Tie)Rochambeau, the French International School 002.5
15th (Tie)West Springfield High School 002.5
15th (Tie)St. Albans School2.52.5
15th (Tie)Washington International School2.52.5
19thThe SEED Public Charter School 1.501.50
20th (Tie)Northwest High School 0010
20th (Tie)Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School 1010
20th (Tie)E.L. Haynes Public Charter School 1010

Teams are ranked by Match Points, then by Board Points.

Round 2 Highlights


Board 1: Justice vs. South Lakes

Board 1: Richard Montgomery vs. Blake

Board 1: SEED vs. BASIS DC

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 the 2021 DC Championship Winners

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.

DC Championship is Next Weekend

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.com/event/dcchamps21

Elementary Team League Matchday 2: Results and Standings

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.

Results from Matchday 2 (of 8)​
Round 1:
 
Westbriar 2-2 Poplar Tree
Greenbriar West 2-2 Spring Hill
Stratford Landing 1-3 Kent Gardens
White Oaks 1.5-2.5 Colvin Run
Willow Springs 2-1 Ravensworth
 
Round 2:
 
Kent Gardens 1.5-2.5 Greenbriar West
Colvin Run 4-0 Willow Springs
Poplar Tree 1-3 White Oaks
Spring Hill 1.5-2.5 Westbriar
Ravensworth 2-1 Stratford Landing
 
Standings after Matchday 2:
 
Kent Gardens 50
White Oaks 43
Colvin Run 41
Greenbriar West 39
Poplar Tree 34
Spring Hill 32
Westbriar 23
Ravensworth 14
Willow Springs 13
Stratford Landing 8
 
 
Our scoring system is weighted to reward those schools that show up with a full team, since the main goal, as always, is improving the students’ skills.
 
The remaining Saturday league days this season are December 18, January 8, January 22, February 5, February 19 and March 5.  Participation is free and available to all students enrolled in one of our in-person after school chess clubs.  Please reach out to your chess instructor if your child would like to play for their school on a future Saturday.

Chess at John Burroughs Elementary

With schools open once again, the Chess Center is thrilled to return to in-person teaching in Washington, DC.  This past Thursday afternoon we resumed our classes at John Burroughs Elementary School.

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!

Join Us Tomorrow for Free Blitz!

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: 

https://register.chessctr.org/a/thu-blitz-12-02-2021?emci=811598e0-5c45-ec11-9820-c896653b26c8&emdi=4ee1506e-3a46-ec11-9820-c896653b26c8&ceid=1350216

In compliance with local COVID safety and health protocols, participants are required to wear masks at all times during our in-person events.

The U.S. Chess Center is Proud to Teach Students at Washington Highlands

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.

Understanding pawns is key to understanding the greater strategy of chess

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. 

Coach Alex and the kids break for a selfie

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.

Join Us For Sunday Chess!

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.

Fall Chess Clubs & Classes – Registration Now Open!

After-School Chess Clubs
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:


Colvin Run ES Chess Club (Vienna, VA)
Greenbriar West ES Chess Club (Fairfax, VA)

Poplar Tree ES Chess Club (Chantilly, VA)

Ravensworth ES Chess Club (Springfield, VA)

Spring Hill ES Chess Club (McLean, VA)

Stratford Landing ES Chess Club (Alexandria, VA)

Westbriar ES Chess Club (Vienna, VA)

White Oaks ES Chess Club (Burke, VA)

Willow Springs ES Chess Club (Fairfax, VA)


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

Churchill Road ES Chess Club (McLean, VA) – ONLINE ONLY
McNair ES Chess Club (Herndon, VA) – ONLINE ONLY  

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.

After-school fun
Online Chess Classes

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.