30-years

Since 1982, the Berkeley Chess School has enriched

the lives of thousands of Bay Area children.


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CalChess Grade Level State Championship 2012
There are many key milestones in a young chess player’s career. One of the benchmarks is participating in the State Championship. This past weekend, 433 players in grades K-12 competed at the CalChess Grade Level State Championship, shattering the attendance record for this particular event (the previous record was 380)!

The Berkeley Chess School organized and ran the event with the help and guidance of Bay Area Chess. BCS also brought the most students to vie for the title of state champion for their grade. In total, 110 members of the Berkeley Chess School came to the tournament and all had an instructive weekend of challenges and fun!

Four Berkeley Chess School students won the title of state champion! John Clara led the pack, winning the 12th grade state championship. Joshua Cao, last year’s overall state champion, brought home yet another championship in the 9th grade division
. William Li Jr. went 5.5/6.0 in his 6th grade section, drawing in the final round and laying claim to his second state championship. However, none were more on fire over the weekend than Josiah Stearman. Josiah went undefeated in the 4th grade section, running the table for a perfect 6/6 for his second state championship in his young career. Josiah wasn’t done there, playing 3 rounds on Saturday and going undefeated those rounds weren’t enough; Josiah took on the blitz (game in 5 minutes each) side event and ran the table there as well, going a perfect 5/5. All told, Josiah went 11-0 over the course of the weekend. A huge congratulation to our four new state champions!!!!


The Berkeley Chess School wasn’t done there. Students of the BCS had great finishes throughout the whole tournament. Michael Lei Wang came within inches of a state championship, finishing in 2nd place with 4.5/6.0 in the 8th grade section. Zolboo Lkhagvasuren took a break from winning our Berkeley Friday Night tournaments to take down 3rd place in the 7th grade section with 5/6. Raymond Muller, one of the newest Berkeley Bishops, finished 5th in the 5th grade section with 5/6. Charlie Jones, a perpetual top finisher at all BCS tournaments, finished right behind Josiah in 2nd place with 5/6 in the 4th grade section. The 3rd grade section was full of BCS talent, with Ben Rood, Evan Leach, Max Schlosberg, and Lev Afonine finishing 3rd or tied for 3rd with scores of 4/5. Robert “Bobby” Reyes finished tied for 4th in the 2st grade section with a score of 4/5. Dylan Devinney tied for 2nd place in the 1st grade, going undefeated into the final round. Finally, in the kindergarten section Lachlan Holmes Marvit, Jory Leach, and Steven Devinney went 3/5 finishing tied for 7th place.

Overall, 60 Berkeley Chess School Students earned awards for placing in or tying for the top 20 in their grade! BCS fielded 19 teams (two or more players per school per grade) from 12 of our schools, with Albany Middle School leading the way earning first place in the 8th grade, second place in the 7th grade, and third place in the 6th grade!!! And in the bughouse tournament on Sunday evening, Nahuel Cuellas and his partner Hans Niemann won the K-8 section, and Daniel Ma and his partner won the high school section! So many awards!!! Congratulations to all who participated!

A special thanks to the four BCS parents who volunteered and helped enormously in running a smooth event… Felician Munteen, James Zhan, and Dean and Dana Kisieu! Thanks also to corporate sponsor Korman & Ng! One anecdote: I was greeting parents and players as they arrived, explaining what rooms to go to, and that they didn’t have to check in, and one parent, surprised by the friendly and helpful greeting, said “This is already the best run state championship we’ve attended!”

To find the standing from the tournament, simply follow this link to the Bay Area Chess home page: Standings from the CalChess Grade Level State Championship!

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