Tournament

Planning Ahead for the Nationals

Playing in big competitions is a rewarding experience for students no matter what the result.  Over the course of the next year, the greater Washington area will play host to three major national youth tournaments; this December the 2022 National K-12 Grade Championships will be held at National Harbor, followed in the spring by the National High School Championships in downtown Washington and the National Elementary (K-6) Championship at the Baltimore Convention Center.

The best way to prepare for a big tournament is to practice under the same conditions that the tournament games will follow, and this past Wednesday, over 20 of our students got together to do exactly that.  Based on the diligent efforts of theirs that we’ve observed so far, we are confident when the Nationals come to town that the local area will be represented well.

Photos From Our Friday Tournament at Churchill Road

We concluded our first week of summer camps with a tournament, during which the students had the opportunity to show off the skills they learned this week.

A champion is crowned.

We have no doubt that the students will put their knowledge to good use in other tournaments and in their school clubs when they resume in the fall.

This was our first in-person chess camp since 2019 and the students and teachers were very happy to get back into our summer routine.  There’s still time to sign up to join us at one of our later camps at the end of July or in August.
 

Chess in the Park Comes to Eastern Market Metro

40 students showed up to Eastern Market Metro Park last Saturday, June 4 for the latest event in our series of casual drop-in tournaments.  We had a wide range of experience levels represented – some of the students were already seasoned tournament players while others were taking part in their first chess competition.

As always, it was nice to see new friendships being formed over games of chess.  We hope participating in events like these helps provide the experience and confidence the students can carry with them into other competitions.

Photos From the E.L. Haynes Junior Open

Approximately 20 elementary, middle and high school students came out this past Saturday, May 21, to play in the E.L. Haynes Junior Open.  The tournament was another successful collaboration among the U.S. Chess Center, Chess Girls DC, and E.L. Haynes Public Charter School, who hosted the event on their campus in northwest Washington.

Congratulations to Our National Elementary School Championship Participants

More often than not, when students travel to compete in strong tournaments like the state and national championships, it makes for a fantastic experience.  It’s exciting when the kids bring home trophies, and it’s also exciting when they bring back things they’ve learned from competing that they can then share with the other students in their school clubs.

At the recent National Elementary School Championships, held May 13-15 in Columbus, our students at Spring Hill got to do both.  In all, ten Spring Hill students traveled to Ohio to play, and the school finished 6th in the K-5 Championship section, while also winning trophies in the K-3 U-900 section (17th place overall), and the K-3 U-700 section (9th place overall). 

Below, Principal Eck accepts the three trophies the school brought back from Ohio after last week’s tournament.  

When the Elementary School Nationals come to Baltimore in 2023, we hope to see even more of our students come out to represent the local region.

A full list of results from the 2022 tournament is available at USCF’s website at  http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?202205151282.

Chess in the Park at Eastern Market Metro on June 4

Chess In The Park continues the first Saturday in June with a free outdoor tournament at Eastern Market Metro Park, staged in partnership with the DC Department of Parks and Recreation.  Any student in grades 2 through 8 may register to participate.

The tournament will follow a similar format to the event we recently held at Fairview Road Urban Park in Silver Spring.  The first round of games will begin at 10 a.m. and the tournament will finish up around 1.  Students who play need to be familiar with all of the rules of chess, including castling, stalemate and the touch-move rule.  No membership in any organization is required to take part.

There will be areas where family members and non-participants to wait during the games, but owing to space constraints, we will be unable to accommodate more than 40 students at the tournament tables at any one time, so early registration is encouraged.   Online sign-up is available here: https://register.chessctr.org/a/easternmarketmetro
 

Results from the Rockefeller Qualifier on Saturday, May 14th

Eighteen DC elementary school students turned up for the DC K-5 Championship qualifier this past Saturday, May 14th, to determine who would have the honor of representing the District at this summer’s national Rockefeller Tournament of Elementary School Champions.  Congratulatons to Lenox Serrette who won the tournament with victories in all five rounds.

We were happy to see that, among the field of participants, there were ten children playing in their first nationally rated competition.  Playing in important tournaments is the fastest and surest way to improving your playing strength, no matter the result.

To view the full standings from Saturday’s event, click here.

Chess in the Park: Eastern Market Metro Park

The U.S. Chess Center, in partnership with Barracks Row Main Street, is pleased to present a FREE chess tournament at Eastern Market Metro Park.  Students in grades 2-8 that know the real rules of chess and understand tournament etiquette are invited to participate in a friendly (and free) chess competition on Saturday, June 4th from 10:00am until 1:00pm.  There is no cost to participate in this tournament and students may play one or more games.  Space is limited, however, so please register in advance and arrive at 10:00am to ensure your place.  Drop-ins and on-site registration will be allowed; however, we can only accommodate a maximum of 40 players at a time.

There will be areas where families may wait during the games, but there will not be space for spectators in the playing area.

Pre-register here: https://register.chessctr.org/a/easternmarketmetro

DC K-5 Championship on May 14

In just over two weeks, the District of Columbia will select its representative in the national tournament of elementary school champions.  This year’s qualification tournament is to be held at the Kellogg Conference Center at 800 Florida Avenue NE, Washington DC 20002, on Saturday, May 14.  The winner earns the right to play in the Rockefeller National Tournament of Elementary School Champions later this summer.

The tournament is open to D.C. residents in kindergarten through grade 5.  This is a nationally rated tournament, so players must be or become U.S. Chess Federation members in order to play. The tournament starts at 9:30 the morning of May 14, but registration closes on Thursday, May 12 at 3:00 P.M., so players interested in taking part should be sure to sign up before then.

More information and online registration is available at https://dcscholasticchess.org/tournaments

 

Three Sunday Chess Students Competed in National High School Championships

Three students from Sunday Chess attended the 2022 National High School Championships in Memphis over the weekend. The tournament had been cancelled for the previous two years because of the pandemic, so there was a lot of pent-up enthusiasm for this year’s event.

 

This was the third Nationals Anish attended, but the first major national for Zach and Ret. All three had wonderful experiences and are more prepared for the series of national championships coming up in the DC area over the next few years.

The tournament was run exceptionally well, with professional staff handling every detail efficiently. The rounds started on time, the side events were fun for the students, and the conditions of play were the best ever for a scholastic tournament. We look forward to spectacular events at National Harbor in December and in downtown DC next March.

Posted below is a win of Zach’s from the first half of the competition.  Zach, playing the black pieces, managed to hold on against an intimidating attack during the first 25 moves.

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. d3 b5 6. Bb3 d6 7. c3 Be7 8. O-O O-O 9. Nbd2 Na5 10. Bc2 c5 11. Re1 Re8 12. Nf1 h6 13. Ng3 Bf8 14. a4 Bb7 15. axb5 axb5 16. Nf5 c4 17. d4 exd4 18. N3xd4 Bxe4 19. Bxe4 Nxe4 20. Nxh6+ gxh6 21. Qg4+ Ng5 22. Rxe8 Qxe8 23. Bxg5 hxg5 24. Qxg5+ Bg7 25. Nf5 Qe5

White is down a piece, but looks as though he will regain it after 26. Ne7+ Kf8 27. Qxe5 Bxe5 28. Nc6 .  However, Zach’s 28….Ra6 kept him in the driver’s seat, since after 29. Nxa5 b4 30. cxb4 Bxb2, the pin on the a5-knight means that White can’t stop Black’s dangerous c-pawn without losing material.

Instead, White played 29. f4, and the game concluded: 29…Rxc6 30. fxe5 Nb7 31. Ra7 Rb6 32. exd6 Nxd6 33. h4 Ne4 34. g4 Nc5 35. Kg2 Na4 36. Kf3 Nxb2 37. Ke4 Nd3 38. Kd5 Kg7 39. g5 Re6 40. Rb7 Re5+ 41. Kd4 Rf5 42. Rb6 Nc5 43. Ke3 Na4 and White resigned.  0-1

The full set of results from the 2022 tournament is available here

Congratulations to the Denker and Barber Qualifiers from DC

The District of Columbia’s qualification events for the national Denker and Barber championships took place this past Saturday afternoon, April 2.  Students turned up from all around DC to compete for the middle and high school championship titles.

Ben Tyrrell (below left, playing black) won all four of his games to take first place in the high school section and earn the right to represent the District at the Denker Tournament of High School Champions later this summer.  Ethan Crawford (below right) put up the same perfect score to win the middle school section and qualify to represent Washington at the Dewain Barber National Tournament of Middle School Champions.  Both events will be held this July 30 – August 2 in Rancho Mirage, California.

We’re grateful to the DC Housing Finance Agency for hosting the event at their headquarters, and to Robin Ramson for her efforts organizing and promoting the tournament.  The full set of results from both the middle and high school sections is available here: 

US Chess MSA – Cross Table for DC BARBER DENKER QUALIFIER (Event 202204022192)

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).

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/

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.

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!

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

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.

Photos & Results from the DC All Girls K-12 Spring Tournament on Saturday, June 5, 2021

Congratulations to Robin Ramson and Chess Girls DC for another successful All Girls Tournament!  It was our pleasure to help with another wonderful event.

Catholic University again hosted the outdoor event, which attracted 13 players.  Anna Miller, among the most active members of Chess Girls DC, swept the four-round event.

Directing the tournament was US Chess Center President David Mehler, assisted by Robert Teachey.  DC Girls Champion Amanda Lossef also helped, analyzing games and teaching first-timers how to record their moves.

Game between Anna (Black) and Shiloh (White), who finished in first and second places, respectively. Click the board to view the game at Lichess.

DC Scholastic All Girls (K-12) Spring Tournament: Saturday, June 5th at 9:30am

This Saturday, June 5, 2021 at 9:30 am ET, the All Girls K-12 Spring Tournament 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).  The Fee is $15.00.

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

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

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

Metro Area Chess League 2021-2022 Season

The U.S. Chess Center will be re-launching the Metro Area Chess League (MACL) in Fall 2021.  The league is open to all interested high schools in the Washington Metropolitan Area.  The 2021-2022 season will kickoff in mid-November 2021 and conclude with play-offs at the end of March 2022.  Schools that are interested in participating should contact us at:  hs-league@chessctr.org  Or to view the league rules or participating teams, visit: https://chessctr.org/play/macl/

League matches will be played on Tuesday evenings on https://lichess.org/.

Virginia Scholastic Chess Championships

Qualification Tournament 2 (of 3)

Through participation in these Qualification Tournaments players earn Team Points for their schools, and individual players qualify to play in the Virginia Scholastic Chess Championships to be held in April or May this year.

To maximize your school’s Team Points you and your schoolmates should play in ALL THREE tournaments. Playing in all 3 events also increases your chances to qualify for the State Championship Invitational Tournament!

When is it being Played?

Saturday and Sunday, February 27-28, 2021. This is NOT an elimination event, players play all 5 rounds. This is an online tournament being hosted by Chesskid.com. You DO NOT need to be a member of Chesskid.com to play. All players will receive an event-specific username for this tournament

Rounds 1-3 are on Saturday Feb 27 at 10AM, 1:30PM and 5:00 PM (this is a change from 4:30 PM). The Time Control for all 3 rounds is Game in 60 minutes, with 10 seconds added for each move. The “official time” for each player is the time displayed by the Chesskid.com virtual chessboard on the player’s screen.

Rounds 4 and 5 are on Sunday, Feb 28 at 10AM and 3PM. The Time Control for the Sunday games is Game in 75 minutes, with 10 seconds added for each move.

You do not need a separate chess board or chess clock to play. You also do not need to take Chess Notation (it is optional).

Who Can Play?

The answer is YES if you can meet any of these Eligibility Requirements:

  • Players in grades pre-K through High School who are enrolled in school in Virginia
  • Virginia residents who are attending K-12 school in WV, MD, NC, DE or an adjacent state or Washington, DC
  • Children of active duty military personnel who are stationed in Virginia
  • You are being Homeschooled in Virginia

Registration

http://www.vachess.org/
The Early Entry Fee period of $35 will close at midnight on Tuesday, February 18th.
Starting Wednesday, Feb 19th, the Entry Fee increases to $50.

Registration closes at 9AM on Tuesday, February 23, 2021