Middle School

Potomac Youth Chess League Concludes Its 2024 Season

The revived Potomac Youth Chess League has wrapped up its first season back in action.  A previous iteration of the league ran from 1997 to 2010.  The format and structure were similar to the PCSAA Chess League that we ran for charter schools the past three years; this year, that competition was merged and enlarged to be open to all middle schools in the greater Washington area.

Matches consisted of four-player teams from each participating school, and were played online during Saturday afternoons on lichess.org.  Eight schools took part this year, and matches began on January 6 and concluded on March 23.  Congratulations to league first-timers Capital Village PCS, whose team came out on top of a close race to take the title ahead of DCI.  

Final standings below:

SchoolMatch PointsBoard Points (tiebreaker)
Capital Village533.5
DCI4.532.5
Washington Latin331
BASIS DC324.5
Two Rivers2.517
Ingenuity Prep219.5
Meridian110
Capital City PCS00

We hope to continue to grow the league next year.  If you are interested in having your middle school participate, please send an email to admin@chessctr.org.

Summer 2024 Chess Day Camps – Registration Now Open

REGISTER NOW for Summer 2024 Chess Day Camps

Since 1992, we have been providing challenging instruction and making chess fun for students.  Our nationally certified chess teachers are experienced with all levels of ability.  Camp will be challenging and interesting for all and our focus is on improving chess skills through practice and lessons.  The teachers place more emphasis on learning than on winning.  Good sportsmanship is the key to having fun.

Thousands of students have participated in our camps, with many enjoying camp so much that they return year after year and dozens continue to play at a master level.  Our students have won more than a dozen national championships, hundreds have earned academic college scholarships, and more than 20 have become national masters. 

Our summer chess day camps consist of chess instruction and play, as well as recreational activities.  Camps start at 9:00 am ET and end at 3:00 pm ET.  Aftercare (until 5:00 pm ET) is available for an added fee.  Campers need to bring/pack a bag lunch each day. 

There will be about one teacher per ten students and enrollment is usually capped at 32 campers total for each week. Depending on the week and camp location (see below) students rising into grades 2-7 or rising into grades 3-9 are welcome.  

Camp Week #1:  June 24-28, 2024
     White Oaks Elementary School in Burke, VA (Map)
     Rising Grades 2-7 (Beginners to Intermediate)
     REGISTER HERE for Camp Week #1 

Camp Week #2:  July 1-5, 2024 [No Camp on July 4th]
     Location TBD (in Montgomery County, MD)
     Rising Grades 2-7 (Beginners to Intermediate)
     More details and registration available the first week of May 2024.

Camp Week #3:  July 8-12, 2024
     Churchill Road Elementary School in McLean, VA (Map)
     Rising Grades 2-7 (Beginners to Intermediate)
     REGISTER HERE for Camp Week #3

Camp Week #4:  July 15-19, 2024
     Churchill Road Elementary School in McLean, VA (Map)
     Rising Grades 3-9 (Intermediate to Advanced)
     REGISTER HERE for Camp Week #4

Camp Week #5:  July 22-26, 2024
     Colvin Run Elementary School in Vienna, VA (Map)
     Rising Grades 2-7 (Beginners to Intermediate)
     REGISTER HERE for Camp Week #5

Camp Week #6:  July 29-August 2, 2024
     Colvin Run Elementary School in Vienna, VA (Map)
     Rising Grades 3-9 (Intermediate to Advanced)
     REGISTER HERE for Camp Week #6

Camp Week #7:  August 5-9, 2024
     Alpha STEM for the Gifted in Oakton, VA (Map)
     Rising Grades 3-9 (Intermediate to Advanced)
     REGISTER HERE for Camp Week #7

For more information about our summer chess day camps, call us at 202-857-4922 or email admin@chessctr.org.

Photos and Games from Our Match With the Icelandic Student Team

Iceland was instrumental in making chess popular in America. Without the small island nation stepping up to host the Fischer-Spassky match in 1972, the United States would not have had a native world chess champion and chess would not have grown in popularity in America as it did.

Chess in Iceland also boomed as a result of that match. Iceland became the strongest country in the world for chess with the most grandmasters per capita in the world, a distinction it still holds. Iceland is also one of only a small handful of nations with more grandmasters, the highest title in chess, than international masters, the second-highest title.

Following the match, the United States and Iceland established an annual match among juniors of the two nations, with Americans traveling to Iceland for matches in even-numbered years, and the reverse in the odd-numbered years.

Those matches ended after the 1989 match in New York City, but after 35 years, we decided it was time to bring them back. On January 27, young Americans and Icelanders played a match via the internet, using the lichess.org platform.

We decided on a rapid time control (G/7;+3) so that each player would have the opportunity to play many players from the other side over the course of 90 minutes. Several of Iceland’s top young players were unexpectedly unavailable, giving the team from the District of Columbia and its environs a distinct advantage.

The first five games were won by the Americans, and while the Icelandic team gamely made it close at the halfway point (29-27) the US team pulled away for a 75-47 final score.

We hope to have a rematch sometime soon and are investigating playing in person again, perhaps as early as late spring this year.

 

Here are a few of the games.

 

1)

[Event “DC – Reykjavik Match Team Battle”]

[Site “https://lichess.org/g0xu6rAW”]

[Date “2024.01.27”]

[Result “1-0”]

[UTCDate “2024.01.27”]

[UTCTime “18:34:38”]

[WhiteElo “1852”]

[BlackElo “1965”]

[WhiteRatingDiff “+187”]

[BlackRatingDiff “-45”]

[WhiteTeam “us-chess-center-pine”]

[BlackTeam “iceland-kids-skakskoli-islands”]

[Variant “Standard”]

[TimeControl “420+3”]

[ECO “A45”]

[Termination “Normal”]

 

1. d4 Nf6 2. Bf4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d5 5. f3 dxe4 6. fxe4 O-O 7. Qd2 Nc6 8. O-O-O Bg4 9. Nf3 Nh5 10. Be3 e5 11. d5 Nd4 12. Be2 Nxe2+ 13. Nxe2 Nf6 14. Ng3 a5 15. h3 Bh5 16. Nxh5 gxh5 17. Qd3 Qd6 18. Rdg1 b5 19. g4 h4 20. Nxh4 Qd8 21. Nf5 Nd7 22. Bh6 Bxh6+ 23. Nxh6+ Kh8 24. Rf1 Qg5+ 25. Qd2 Qxd2+ 26. Kxd2 Kg7 27. g5 Nc5 28. Ke3 Ra6 29. Nf5+ Kg8 30. Ne7+ Kh8 31. Nc6 Raa8 32. Nxe5 Rae8 33. Rf5 f6 34. gxf6 Nxe4 35. Kxe4 1-0

 

 

2)

[Event “DC – Reykjavik Match Team Battle”]

[Site “https://lichess.org/SdnednKS”]

[Date “2024.01.27”]

[Result “1-0”]

[UTCDate “2024.01.27”]

[UTCTime “19:14:56”]

[WhiteElo “2072”]

[BlackElo “1579”]

[WhiteRatingDiff “+4”]

[BlackRatingDiff “-7”]

[WhiteTeam “us-chess-center-pine”]

[BlackTeam “iceland-kids-skakskoli-islands”]

[Variant “Standard”]

[TimeControl “420+3”]

[ECO “B32”]

[Termination “Normal”]

 

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. c3 d3 5. Bxd3 d6 6. O-O e5 7. Bc4 Be7 8. Ng5 Bxg5 9. Qh5 Qf6 10. Bxg5 Qg6 11. Qh4 h6 12. Be3 Nf6 13. f3 O-O 14. Na3 a6 15. Rad1 b5 16. Rxd6 bxc4 17. Rxc6 Be6 18. Nxc4 Bxc4 19. Rxc4 Rfd8 20. Rc6 Rab8 21. b3 Rd3 22. Bxh6 Qxh6 23. Qxh6 gxh6 24. Rxf6 Kg7 25. Rxa6 Rxc3 26. Rd1 Rbc8 27. Rd2 Rc1+ 28. Kf2 Ra1 29. Ra7 Rcc1 30. Rdd7 Rf1+ 31. Kg3 Kg6 32. Rxf7 Kh5 33. Ra6 Rxf3+ 34. gxf3 Rg1+ 35. Kf2 Rg5 36. Rf5 1-0

 

3)

[Event “DC – Reykjavik Match Team Battle”]

[Site “https://lichess.org/jMIFYgIA”]

[Date “2024.01.27”]

[Result “1-0”]

[UTCDate “2024.01.27”]

[UTCTime “19:10:14”]

[WhiteElo “1705”]

[BlackElo “1904”]

[WhiteRatingDiff “+103”]

[BlackRatingDiff “-81”]

[WhiteTeam “us-chess-center-pine”]

[BlackTeam “iceland-kids-skakskoli-islands”]

[Variant “Standard”]

[TimeControl “420+3”]

[ECO “B46”]

[Termination “Normal”]

 

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nc6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Nxc6 bxc6 7. Be3 Qc7 8. Be2 Nf6 9. O-O d5 10. exd5 cxd5 11. Qd2 Bd6 12. h3 O-O 13. Bg5 Be5 14. Bf3 Rb8 15. Rab1 Rxb2 16. Rxb2 Bxc3 17. Qc1 Bxb2 18. Qxb2 Nd7 19. Be2 h6 20. Be3 Bb7 21. Qa3 Qxc2 22. Bd3 Qc7 23. Rc1 Qe5 24. Qa4 Nf6 25. Bd4 Qg5 26. Be3 Qe5 27. Bf4 Qh5 28. Rc7 Bc8 29. Bd6 Ne8 30. Rxc8 Nxd6 31. Rxf8+ Kxf8 32. Qxa6 Qe5 33. Be2 g6 34. a4 Nf5 35. Qd3 Nd4 36. Bf1 Nc6 37. Qb5 Qc3 38. Qe2 d4 39. Qd1 Qb4 40. Qc1 Na5 41. Qxh6+ Ke7 42. Qg5+ Ke8 43. Bb5+ Kf8 44. Qh6+ Kg8 45. Qc1 Nb3 46. Qd1 e5 47. Bd3 f5 48. Qc2 e4 49. Bc4+ Kg7 50. Bxb3 d3 51. Qc7+ Kh6 52. Qf4+ Kg7 53. Qe5+ Kh6 54. Qh8+ Kg5 55. h4+ Kg4 56. Bd1+ Kf4 57. Qh6+ Ke5 58. Qg7+ Kf4 59. g3# 1-0

DC Denker and Barber Qualifiers This Saturday

The Denker Tournament of High School Champions is an annual invitational event for the champions of all 50 states  and the District of Columbia.  Named for the late Grandmaster Arnold Denker, a former U.S. Champion and a tireless promoter of chess among young people, the tournament has been one of the most prestigious national events for students in grades 9-12 since its inception 38 years ago.

The Dewain Barber National Tournament of Middle School Champions, now in its 12th year, is the corresponding annual event for students in grades 6-8.  This year both the Denker and Barber tournaments will be held in the Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa in Rancho Mirage, California, from July 30 – August 2.  This coming Saturday, April 2, Washington, DC will hold its qualification tournaments to determine who will represent the District in these events.

The qualifiers will be held at the DC Housing Finance Agency at 815 Florida Ave., NW., Washington DC 20001.  The event is open to DC residents only, and is nationally rated by the U.S. Chess Federation, so participants must join the USCF if they are not already members.  Proof of COVID vaccination is required to participate. 

The entry fee is $20.  This is a four-round Swiss system tournament with time control: Game/25 + 10.  Players should bring clocks if they have them.  The first round starts at 1 P.M.

Online registration is available at: https://dcscholasticchess.org/tournaments (scroll midway down the page).

 

 

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.

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.  

2021 Tournament of Champions: DC Representative Invitational Qualifier Series (Denker & Barber) Results

Congratulations to Benjamin Nemelka and Benjamin Tyrrell for earning the right to represent the District of Columbia in the GM Arnold Denker National Tournament of High School State Champions (Denker) and the Dewain Barber National Tournament of Middle School State Champions (Barber).

The qualifying tournaments were held this past Saturday, May 22nd, outdoors on the Catholic University campus. Organized by DC Chess League Scholastic Coordinator Robin Ramson and directed by David Mehler, ten players braved the sunshine and cicadas for a morning of excellent competition.

Mrs. Ramson announced the DC All-Girls tournament will be held at the same location on June 5, and that Amanda Lossef will represent the District in the WIM Ruth Haring National Tournament of Girls State Champions (formerly the National Girls Invitational Tournament).

These are a few of the games played (click the board to view the game at Lichess):

Ben N - Amanda
Amanda - Zach
Shirel - Shiloh

Time forfeit.

Zach - Ben N

Zach was in time trouble and in the scramble lost.

Ben T - Shirel
Ben T - Donovan

Final Team Standings for the Spring 2021 PCSAA Middle School Chess League

Congratulations to DC International School for their victory in the Spring 2021 PCSAA Middle School Chess League.  Saturday, May 15 was the final Match Day (Rounds 13 & 14) and DCI dominated yet again, maintaining the lead they established at the start of the season, and securing victory with 13.5 match points.  DCI almost achieved a perfect record, but BASIS DC, our second place team with 11 match points, fought DCI to a draw in Round 12 last week.

Imagine Hope edged out Howard University for third place, despite both teams having 8 match points.  The decision came down to the tie-breaker of board points (Imagine Hope had 31 to HU-MS²’s 28 board points).

Thank you to all the teams, students, and coaches!  We hope to see all the teams return in the Fall for a new season.

Results after Round 14 (Saturday, May 15, 2021)

2021 Tournament of Champions: DC Representative Invitational Qualifier Series – Saturday, May 22nd

This Saturday, May 22, 2021 at 9:30 am ET, the qualifiers for the Denker (grades 9-12) and Barber (grades 6-8) Tournaments of Champions will be held outdoors at Catholic University’s Edward J. Pryzbyla Center (on the patio), weather permitting.  

PRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED (walk-ups will not be permitted).

All competitors must also be members of the US Chess Federation to play, and due to COVID-19 and space restrictions, each category (students in grades 6-8 for the Barber, grades 9-12 for the Denker) is limited to a maximum of 16 players. Masks will be required at all times during the tournament or you will be asked to leave and will be disqualified. No exceptions. 

For more information, or to register, please visit: https://dcscholasticchess.org/tournaments

Team Standings After Match Day 6 for the Spring 2021 PCSAA Middle School Chess League

Saturday, May 8 was the penultimate Match Day (Rounds 11 & 12) of the Spring 2021 PCSAA Middle School Chess League.  One more Match Day to go!

DC International School maintains their lead in first place and will face Howard University and Imagine Hope in the final two rounds on Match Day 7.  Both schools could present a challenge, but DCI just needs one more match point to insure their overall victory.  Meanwhile, our second place stalwart, BASIS DC, needs strong victories against both of their Round 13 & 14 rivals (Howard University and E.L. Haynes, respectively) and for DCI to endure their first two outright losses.  Anything could happen!  

Yet, the fiercest competition of the Spring 2021 PCSAA League continues in the fight for third place with Imagine Hope and Howard University continuing their rivalry.  Both are still in strong contention, but Howard University has the more challenging schedule to overcome as they face our two current leaders, DCI and BASIS DC, in the final rounds.  

Good luck to all the schools and players!

Results after Round 12 (Saturday, May 8, 2021)

Team Standings after Match Day 5 for the Spring 2021 PCSAA Middle School Chess League

Saturday, May 1 was Match Day 5 (Rounds 9 & 10) of the Spring 2021 PCSAA Middle School Chess League.

First and second place remain the same from last week with DC International School and BASIS DC comfortable in their positions. The intense struggle for third place continues, however, with Howard University Middle School for Mathematics and Science and Imagine Hope Community Charter School separated by only .5 match points (and .5 board points, too).  With two match days (or 4 rounds) still to go anything could happen. 

Good luck to all the teams!

Results after Round 10 (Saturday, May 1, 2021)

Team Standings after Match Day 4 for the Spring 2021 PCSAA Middle School Chess League

Saturday, April 24 was Match Day 4 (Rounds 7 & 8) of the Spring 2021 PCSAA Middle School Chess League.

DC International School held onto their lead and has pulled away from BASIS DC.  Howard University Middle School for Mathematics and Science and Imagine Hope Community Charter School continue their fierce battle for third place.  Meanwhile, Statesmen College Preparatory Academy For Boys made big gains — moving up two places.  We might be seeing the start of a Statesmen surge!

Three more Match Days (or 6 Rounds) to go. 

Good luck to all the teams!

Results after Round 8 (Saturday, April 24, 2021)

Team Standings after Match Day 3 for the Spring 2021 PCSAA Middle School Chess League

Saturday, April 10 was Match Day 3 (Rounds 5 & 6) of the Spring 2021 PCSAA Middle School Chess League.

DC International School moved into the lead with BASIS DC still in contention. Howard University Middle School for Mathematics and Science and Imagine Hope Community Charter School continue to spar for third.

Four more Match Days (or 8 Rounds) to go. 

Good luck to all the teams!

Results after Round 6 (Saturday, April 10, 2021)

Team Standings after Match Day 2 for the Spring 2021 PCSAA Middle School Chess League

Saturday, March 27 was Match Day 2 (Rounds 3 & 4) of the Spring 2021 PCSAA Middle School Chess League.

DC International School and BASIS DC continue their fierce battle for the lead with Howard University Middle School for Mathematics and Science and Imagine Hope Community Charter School close at their heels.

We still have five Match Days (or 10 Rounds) to go. Good luck to all the teams!

School Match Points Board Points
(Tiebreaker Only)
DC International School 4 16
BASIS DC 4 15
Howard University Middle School of Mathematics & Science 3 11
Imagine Hope Community Charter School 3 10
E.L. Haynes Public Charter School 1 5.5
Meridian Public Charter School .5 2
Statesmen College Preparatory Academy for Boys 0 2
The Children’s Guild DC Public Charter School 0 .5
Results after Round 4 (Saturday, March 27, 2021)

Welcoming New Schools to the Spring Season of the PCSAA Middle School Chess League

The new Spring 2021 Season of the PCSAA Middle School Chess League kicked-off this past Saturday, March 20th, and we’re pleased to welcome three new schools/teams to the league: Children’s Guild, E.L. Haynes, and Meridian Public Charter Schools.

 

In the Fall 2020 Season, BASIS DC narrowly edged out DCI to win, but with eight teams in the league now the competition has increased.  Good luck to all the teams! 

Standings after Match Day 1

School
BASIS DC
DCI
E.L. Haynes
HU(MS)2
Imagine HOPE
Meridian
Children’s Guild
Statesmen

Match Points
2
2
1
1
1
0.5
0
0