Join us on April 30 for Chess in the Park

The U.S. Chess Center and Montgomery Parks are inviting students to join us on the last day of April at Fairview Road Urban Park in Silver Spring for an outdoor chess tournament.
 
Any student in grade 2 through 8 may register to take part.  This tournament is not nationally rated, and students do not need to have any tournament experience in order to participate.  We do require students who play to be familiar with all of the rules of chess, including castling, stalemate and the touch-move rule.  Students who are not familiar with the rules are welcome to come spectate, as are other family members and friends.  The first round of the tournament starts at 10 a.m. and the last of the games will finish around 1 p.m.
 
We will organize the tournament based loosely on the Swiss pairing system, which means that players who win in the first round will be matched against other winners for their next games, and players who lose will be matched against others with similar results.  Nobody is eliminated early.  
 
Registration on the morning of the tournament is permitted, but we recommend planning ahead and signing up ahead of time to beat the line. 
 
Online registration is available here: 
 
More details about the playing site are available here: https://montgomeryparks.org/events/chess-in-the-parks/

Metro Area Chess League 2021-22: Round 8 Results

We have a week of March still ahead of us, but one Final Four has already been set.  The Metro Area Chess League concluded its regular season yesterday night with Montgomery Blair High School (Silver Spring, MD), Richard Montgomery High School (Rockville, MD), Gonzaga College High School (Washington, D.C.) and Woodrow Wilson High School (Washington, D.C.) wrapping up the top four places and earning tickets to the playoffs this coming Saturday in Silver Spring.

With 22 high schools from around the Washington area and over 100 students participating throughout the year, this was the largest online season we’ve run, and we’re very pleased to have revived the League after several years’ hiatus.  We thank all the students for logging on to participate on Tuesday nights and the school chess club sponsors and coaches for helping make this such a success.  
Round 8 Results

Montgomery Blair High School 3-1 Gonzaga College High School

Richard Montgomery High School 4-0 Northwest High School

McLean High School 2-2 Woodrow Wilson High School

Rochambeau French Intl. School 3-1 BASIS DC

West Springfield High School 2-2 Washington International School

South Lakes High School 1.5-2.5 Thomas J. Wootton High School

E.L. Haynes Public Charter School 2-2 St. Anselm’s Abbey School

St. Albans School 0-4 Col. Zadok Magruder High School

Justice High School 0-4 Georgetown Preparatory School

Rockville High School 4-0 Don Bosco Cristo Rey 

James Hubert Blake High School – The SEED Public Charter School

Final Regular Season Standings After Round 8
PlaceSchoolTotal Match PointsTotal Board Points
1stMontgomery Blair High School7.527
2ndRichard Montgomery High School 5.522
3rdGonzaga College High School 5.520.5
4thWoodrow Wilson High School 5.518.5
5thRochambeau, the French International School 5.517.5
6thMcLean High School 519
7thGeorgetown Preparatory School 4.518
8thWest Springfield High School 4.517
9th (Tie)BASIS DC 4.516.5
9th (Tie)Thomas S. Wootton High School 4.516.5
11thCol. Zadok Magruder High School 417
12thWashington International School416.5
13thNorthwest High School416
14thSt. Anselm's Abbey School 3.515
15thSouth Lakes High School 3.514.5
16thE.L. Haynes Public Charter School 3.514
17th Justice High School 313
18thRockville High School 312
19thSt. Albans School311.5
20th (Tie)Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School 18
20th (Tie)James Hubert Blake High School 18
22ndThe SEED Public Charter School 0.55

PCSAA Middle School Chess League Wraps Up With Close Finish

After seven Saturdays of play, the spring 2022 season of the PCSAA Middle School Chess League finished this afternoon.  BASIS DC and District of Columbia International School both entered the final day of play with undefeated records, and in their match against one another, either school could have taken the season championship with a victory.

In the final game to finish, the BASIS player had a decisive advantage after: 1. e4 e5 2. d4 Na6 3. dxe5 d6 4. exd6 Bxd6 5. Nf3 Bg4 6. Bxa6 bxa6 7. O-O Nf6 8. Nc3 O-O 9. Bg5 Be7 10. Qxd8 Raxd8 11. Bxf6 Bxf6 12. Nd5 Bxb2 13. Rab1 Ba3 14. Nxc7 Bxf3 15. gxf3 Rd6 16. Rb3 Bc5 17. Rd3 Rg6+ 18. Kh1 Bd6 19. Nxa6 Rh6 20. h3 Rxh3+ 21. Kg2 Rh6 22. Rfd1 Rd8 23. e5 Rg6+ 24. Kf1 f5 25. Rxd6 Rdxd6 26. Rxd6 Rxd6 27. exd6 Kf7 28. c4 Ke6 29. c5 g5 30. Nc7+ Kd7 31. Kg2 h5 32. Nd5 g4 33. Nf6+ Kc6 34. d7 Kc7 35. fxg4 hxg4 36. Kg3 a5 37. c6 a4 38. Nd5+ Kd8 39. Kf4, but like all resourceful chess players Black stayed astute for a way to save the game. 

 39… g3 40. fxg3 a3 reached the position shown on the left, and if White captures the f-pawn without thinking, 41. Kxf5?? is stalemate.  Instead, White sharply sidestepped Black’s drawing trap with 41. Nf6 and won in twelve more moves.  (41. Ke5 would have mated faster, but a win is a win.)  BASIS narrowly won the match 4.5-3.5 and took the title.

Howard University Middle School of Mathematics & Science swept their match against E.L. Haynes to retain third place in the season standings, while Meridian held onto fourth place on the board points tiebreaker despite losing to Children’s Guild.  One more half-point in their match would have put Children’s Guild ahead.  

Round-by-round results and the final standings for the season can be viewed here.  We congratulate all of the students who showed up to play on lichess this year and we hope to see more of them in upcoming chess competitions in the DC area.

Metro Area Chess League 2021-22: Round 7 Results

One round of competition remains in the regular season of the Metro Area Chess League.  With six victories from seven matches so far, Montgomery Blair has locked up the number one seed in the playoffs, but the competition is tight for the other three playoff spots.

Round 7 Results

Woodrow Wilson High School 1-3 Montgomery Blair High School 

E.L. Haynes Public Charter School 0-4 Richard Montgomery High School

McLean High School 1-3 Gonzaga College High School

Northwest High School 1-3 Rochambeau French Intl. School

St. Albans School 2-2 Thomas J. Wootton High School

BASIS DC 4-0 South Lakes High School

St. Anselm’s Abbey School 1-3 West Springfield High School

Rockville High School 0-4 Col. Zadok Magruder High School

Georgetown Preparatory School 1-3 Washington International School

Don Bosco Cristo Rey 1-1 James Hubert Blake High School

The SEED Public Charter School 1.5-2.5 Justice High School

 

Standings After Round 7
PlaceSchoolTotal Match PointsTotal Board Points
1stMontgomery Blair High School6.524
2ndGonzaga College High School 5.519.5
3rdWoodrow Wilson High School 516.5
4thRichard Montgomery High School 4.518
5thMcLean High School 4.517
6thBASIS DC 4.515.5
7thRochambeau, the French International School 4.514.5
8thNorthwest High School416
9thWest Springfield High School 415
10thWashington International School3.514.5
11th (Tie)Georgetown Preparatory School 3.514
11th (Tie)Thomas S. Wootton High School 3.514
13thSouth Lakes High School 3.513
14th (Tie)Justice High School 313
14th (Tie)Col. Zadok Magruder High School 313
14th (Tie)St. Anselm's Abbey School 313
17th E.L. Haynes Public Charter School 312
18thSt. Albans School311.5
19thRockville High School 28
20thDon Bosco Cristo Rey High School 18
21stJames Hubert Blake High School 17
22ndThe SEED Public Charter School 03
Round 7 Highlights
St. Albans - Wootton Board 1
Northwest - Rochambeau Board 3
Wilson - Montgomery Blair Board 1
Round 8 Pairings

Round 8 will be held on March 22, 2022 at 7:15pm ET (7:30 games start) with matches played on https://lichess.org

Montgomery Blair High School – Gonzaga College High School

Richard Montgomery High School – Northwest High School

McLean High School – Woodrow Wilson High School

Rochambeau French Intl. School – BASIS DC

West Springfield High School – Washington International School

Thomas J. Wootton High School – South Lakes High School

E.L. Haynes Public Charter School – St. Anselm’s Abbey School

St. Albans School – Col. Zadok Magruder High School

Justice High School – Georgetown Preparatory School

Rockville High School – Don Bosco Cristo Rey 

James Hubert Blake High School – The SEED Public Charter School

Elementary Team League 2021-22: Round 8 Results

It’s been a great season of competition in the Elementary Team League this year.  Congratulations to Colvin Run Elementary (Vienna, VA), who took the lead at the halfway point of the season and never looked back, clinching the league championship with a match to spare.  White Oaks Elementary came out on top of a battle for second, with Spring Hill edging Greenbriar West for third.

Saturday, March 6 was the final day of matches for the season, and again we had a near-perfect turnout as nearly 40 students turned up to compete for their schools. 

Round 1:
Greenbriar West 2-2 Stratford Landing
Colvin Run 2-2 Ravensworth 
Westbriar 3-1 Kent Gardens
White Oaks 2-2 Spring Hill 
Poplar Tree 4-0 Willow Springs
 
Round 2:
Spring Hill 3-1 Westbriar
Willow Springs 1.5-2.5 Colvin Run
Greenbriar West 2-2 Poplar Tree
Ravensworth 1-3 White Oaks
Kent Gardens 0-4 Stratford Landing
 
Final Standings after Matchday 8:
Colvin Run 204
White Oaks 177
Spring Hill 168
Greenbriar West 163
Kent Gardens 144
Poplar Tree 142
Ravensworth 121
Stratford Landing 111
Willow Springs 104
Westbriar 77 

One final thank-you to St. Luke’s Methodist Church for providing the venue for us to return to in-person competition this year, after we were online last season.  Win or lose, playing in the league has provided valuable experience for everyone this year, especially those who are taking part in the state and national championships later this spring.

Metro Area Chess League 2021-22: Round 6 Results

Since many of the D.C. schools were on spring break, Round 6 was played over two weeks, with some matches taking place on February 22 and some on March 1.  Montgomery Blair (Silver Spring) continues to lead the field with 5.5 match points out of 6, with Woodrow Wilson (Washington, D.C.) still half a point behind in second and a wide-open race for the playoffs in prospect.

Round 6 Results

February 22

Montgomery Blair High School 3-1 Thomas J. Wootton High School

McLean High School 3-1 Richard Montgomery High School

West Springfield High School School 1-3 Northwest High School

Gonzaga College High School 4-0 St. Anselm’s Abbey School

South Lakes High School 3-1 Col. Zadok Magruder High School

Georgetown Preparatory School 4-0 James Hubert Blake High School

Don Bosco Cristo Rey 1-3 Justice High School

 

March 1

Rochambeau French Intl. School 3-1 St. Albans School

Woodrow Wilson High School 2.5-1.5 BASIS DC

The SEED Public Charter School 0-4 E.L. Haynes Public Charter School 

Rockville High School 0-4 Washington International School

Standings After Round 6
PlaceSchoolTotal Match PointsTotal Board Points
1stMontgomery Blair High School5.521
2ndWoodrow Wilson High School 515.5
3rd Gonzaga College High School 4.516.5
4thMcLean High School 4.516
5thNorthwest High School415
6thRichard Montgomery High School 3.514
7th (Tie)Georgetown Preparatory School 3.513
7th (Tie)South Lakes High School 3.513
9th (Tie)BASIS DC 3.511.5
9th (Tie)Rochambeau, the French International School 3.511.5
11th (Tie)E.L. Haynes Public Charter School 312
11th (Tie)St. Anselm's Abbey School 312
11th (Tie)West Springfield High School 312
11th (Tie)Thomas S. Wootton High School 312
15thWashington International School2.511.5
16thSt. Albans School2.59.5
17th Justice High School 210.5
18thCol. Zadok Magruder High School 29
19thRockville High School 28
20thDon Bosco Cristo Rey High School 17
21stJames Hubert Blake High School 16
22ndThe SEED Public Charter School 01.5
Round 7 Pairings

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

Woodrow Wilson High School – Montgomery Blair High School 

E.L. Haynes Public Charter School – Richard Montgomery High School

McLean High School – Gonzaga College High School

Northwest High School – Rochambeau French Intl. School

St. Albans School – Thomas J. Wootton High School

BASIS DC – South Lakes High School

St. Anselm’s Abbey School – West Springfield High School

Rockville High School – Col. Zadok Magruder High School

Georgetown Preparatory School – Washington International School

Don Bosco Cristo Rey – James Hubert Blake High School

The SEED Public Charter School – Justice High School

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

Big Nate and a Chess Question

A curious reader of our website sent in the following question:

“In the Big Nate comic strips, there is a recurring theme: Nate is put into check, and Nate responds by making one move to checkmate his opponent. This led me to wonder about actual plausible board configurations that could result in this outcome. Has anyone come up with such configurations?”

It doesn’t happen often, but here is a silly example:

This specific position would not likely arise in a game, but the concept of answering a check with a winning discovered attack is known in chess. Thanks for your question!

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.

Thank you to Eugene Meyer for 29 years of service to the Chess Center

Eugene Meyer accepted an award for his 29 years of service on the Center’s Board of Directors.

One of the co-founders of the U.S. Chess Center in 1991, International Chess Master Eugene Meyer was instrumental in the success of the Center in establishing chess classes in hundreds of local schools.

IM Meyer was among the twenty highest-rated players in the country for a couple of decades and was an active participant in local and national tournaments and leagues, winning many championships. For many years, until he emigrated to Virginia, he was the District of Columbia’s highest-rated player.

In honor of his 29 years of service and generosity to the U.S. Chess Center, Executive Director Christopher McCleary presented IM Meyer with an award last week.  Thank you, IM Meyer!

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.

Elementary Team League Kicks Off New Season

The Elementary Team League has returned to in-person match play after being run online last year.  This past Saturday, November 20, saw the first two rounds of the 2021-22 season.  Our thanks go out to St. Luke’s Methodist Church in Falls Church, VA, for providing the venue and tables.  Kent Gardens Elementary (McLean, VA) was the only school to win both of their first two matches and took the early lead.
 
Since the League began over 20 years ago, thousands of elementary schoolchildren have taken part.  Participating provides the students with tournament chess experience and builds the confidence that helps them represent their schools in competitions like the state and national championships.  

Results from Matchday 1 (of 8)

Round 1:
 
Poplar Tree 3-1 Colvin Run
Spring Hill 0.5-3.5 Kent Gardens
White Oaks 3-1 Greenbriar West
 
Round 2:
 
White Oaks 2-2 Spring Hill
Kent Gardens 3-1 Colvin Run
Poplar Tree 2-2 GBW
 
Standings after Matchday 1:
 
Kent Gardens 29
Poplar Tree 22
White Oaks 22
Greenbriar West 16
Spring Hill 15
Colvin Run 12
 
Our scoring system incentivizes showing up with a full team.  As always, the more the students show up ready to play and do their best, the faster they improve.
 
The remaining Saturday match days this season are December 4, December 18, January 8, January 22, February 5, February 19 and March 5.  Participation is free and open to all students enrolled in one of our in-person after school chess clubs.  If your child would like to take part on a future Saturday, please reach out to their chess club instructor.

Metro Area Chess League 2021-2022: Round 1 Results

The U.S. Chess Center is pleased to bring back the Metro Area Chess League (MACL), the high school chess league we ran from 1985 through 2012. A previous incarnation of the league ran from 1950 through 1975. 

The 2021-2022 season began last night with Round 1 and will continue over the next few months, concluding with play-offs at the end of March 2022.   We have 20 teams competing.

Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, MD and Justice High School in Falls Church, VA won their matches and led the round with four board victories each—a clean sweep—tying them for first place. 

James Hubert Blake High School (Silver Spring, MD), Gonzaga College High School (Washington, DC), and Thomas S. Wootton High School (Rockville, MD) also won their matches last night, but scored three board wins each and are tied for third place.

11/24 update: South Lakes High School (Reston, VA) won 3-0 in their postponed match against SEED Public Charter School (Washington, DC), joining the third place tie.

Good luck to all the teams!  Full results and Round 2 pairings below…

Round 1 Results
PlaceSchoolMatch PointsBoard Points
1st (Tie)Justice High School 14
1st (Tie)Montgomery Blair High School14
3rd (Tie)Gonzaga College High School 13
3rd (Tie)James Hubert Blake High School 13
3rd (Tie)South Lakes High School 13
3rd (Tie)Thomas S. Wootton High School 13
7th (Tie)BASIS DC .52
7th (Tie)Georgetown Preparatory School .52
7th (Tie)Richard Montgomery High School .52
7th (Tie)Rochambeau, the French International School .52
7th (Tie)Rockville High School .52
7th (Tie)St. Anselm's Abbey School .52
7th (Tie)West Springfield High School .52
7th (Tie)Woodrow Wilson High School .52
16th (Tie)Col. Zadok Magruder High School 01
16th (Tie)McLean High School 01
16th (Tie)Northwest High School 01
18th (Tie)Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School 00
18th (Tie)E.L. Haynes Public Charter School 00
18th (Tie)The SEED Public Charter School 00
N/ASt. Albans SchoolN/AN/A
N/AWashington International SchoolN/AN/A
A few games from Round 1
First board, Wootton vs. McLean
First board, Richard Montgomery vs. Georgetown Prep
First board, Rochambeau vs. Wilson
Round 2 Pairings

Round 2 will be held on December 14, 2021 at 7:15pm ET (7:30 games start) with matches played on https://lichess.org

Rockville High School vs. Thomas S. Wootton High School
Washington International School vs. St. Albans School
Woodrow Wilson High School vs. E.L. Haynes Public Charter School
James Hubert Blake High School vs. Richard Montgomery High School
Georgetown Preparatory School vs. Rochambeau, the French International School
Justice High School vs. South Lakes High School
West Springfield High School vs. Montgomery Blair High School
Gonzaga College High School vs. St. Anselm’s Abbey School
The SEED Public Charter School vs. BASIS DC
Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School vs. Col. Zadok Magruder High School
McLean High School vs. Northwest High School  

Upcoming Schedule of Rounds

Round 2: December 14th
Round 3: January 11th
Round 4: January 25th
Round 5: February 8th
Round 6: TBD (February 22nd or March 1st)
Round 7: March 8th
Round 8: March 22nd
Playoffs: Saturday, March 26th with top 4 teams in-person