Chess Players Compete in National K-12 Grade Scholastic Championships

Even though many CGPS students were unable to travel to Orlando, Florida to play in the 2021 National K-12 Grade Scholastic Championships (Dec 3-5) due to the ongoing pandemic, some were able to participate. The seven-round “Grade Nationals” has a section for each grade K-12, awarding championship titles for both individuals and teams; The Grades returned over the board after a COVID-19 hiatus in 2020.

Columbia Prep won the 9th Grade National Championship with one round to spare! FIDE Master Nico C. scored 6.5 points and became individual National Champion; James O. finished in 3rd place with 5.5 points ; Daniel M. added 4.5 to the winning team score of 16.5 points. Ironically, Nico and James were forced to play each other in the last round to decide the individual championship after the team title was already clinched and both students were tied for 1st heading into the last round. 

Senior Harris L. scored 4.5 points in the 12th Grade Championship, tying for 13th place in the country in his last ever Grade Nationals. Harris’s first Nationals, also in Orlando, was all the way back in 2010 competing as a 1st grader for CGPS. The Lions look forward to welcoming back all of the senior class to the winter and spring events, as the current class has led the team for a long time in a special year for the program. 

The 11th Grade Championship team also finished in 2nd place. National Master Leonardo L. scored 5 points and finished in 10th place individually; Julian D added 4 points; Anya J. tallied 3.5 points and won 3rd place unrated; while Richie H. scored 2.5 points.

The 10th Grade Championship team finished 2nd place in the nation: Jacob T. scored 4.5 points, while Kevin M. and Graham S. added 3.5 each. Graham also won 2nd place under 1000.

In the 8th Grade Championship, Ethan L. scored a strong 5 points, tying for 12th place despite being one of the lower-ranked players entering the event, scoring several upset victories along the way. 

In the 7th Grade Championship, Aiden T. collected 5 points, and David S. 4 points. This two-person team finished in 4th place, over other teams with more players! Remember that the top three scorers count for a team.

In the 5th Grade Championship, Arhan J. tied for 2nd place with 6 points out of 7. Kiaan J. and Christopher W. each scored 4.5 points; and Riaan J. and Sammy G. each pocketed 4 points. We finished in 2nd place  as a team.

Finally, William C. scored 2.5 points as the only CGPS student in the 2nd Grade Championship.

The team would like to also thank the teachers and coaches for getting them ready, including the Director of Chess Sophia Rohde, John MacArthur, Danny Rohde, Grandmaster Jonathan Tisdall and Andre Harding. Special thanks as well to the CGPS parents who took the students down to Orlando, and in particular, the Teitelman family, who went out of their way to build a team environment for the Prep School this tournament. 

The CGPS Lions are looking forward to welcoming back the full team in all divisions competing in more events as the school year goes along! 

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