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2009 Greater New York Scholastic Chess Championships Print E-mail
By Richard Krueger   
February 12, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 2009 Greater New York Scholastic Championship Draw SUPER Turnout!

NEW YORK, NY —The 43rd consecutive edition of the Greater NY Scholastic Championships, the USCF’s longest-running scholastic tournament, was held on the weekend of January 31st and February 1st this  year, drawing over 840 entries.  The extravaganza is a combined “individual-team” event, so players compete for themselves and the results of the best four (or less) scorers from a school are pooled to determine the team champions.The tournament was hosted and sponsored by Kasparov Chess Foundation in association with the Chess Center of New York. The event was held at the New Yorker Hotel in midtown Manhattan, the venue for several years now. This year, however, was different in that the second day of the event happened to coincide with Super Bowl Sunday!  That certainly explains many of the Sunday players taking byes in the last round in order to catch the 6:30 pm kickoff.

The Greater NY Scholastics uses a format unique to scholastic events: the Primary (K-3) Championship and the Junior High (K-9) Championship are always held on the Saturday of the event, while the Elementary (K-6) Championship and High School (K-12) Championship are held the next day. This means that any player in grades K-9 is able to participate on consecutive days if they wish, and a lot of players do so. The Primary, Elementary, Junior High, and High School Championships are actually four separate one-day, five-round tournaments. Within each of these four tournaments are three sections: Varsity (no upper or lower limit on the rating of participants), Junior Varsity (open to players rated less than 1600 in the High School, rated less than 1000 in the Elementary and Junior High, and replaced by a K-1 section in the Primary tournament), and Novice (open to players rated less than 1000 in the High School, and rated less than 700 in the other events).

The following is a brief rundown of the results in the Varsity (Championship) sections:

Takayuki Ishikawa (1110) of the Browning School emerged as the surprise winner of the Primary Championship with a perfect 5-0 score, as the two other players with four points heading  into the last round, Rishi Rajendran (1248) and top-seed Amir Moazami (1556) drew their last-round encounter. The team results were much less surprising as two traditional powerhouses in this tournament, PS 124 and the Dalton School, both based in Manhattan, tied for first  with 13 team points, but PS 124 had better tie breakers. Columbia Grammar, Browning, and Trinity rounded out the top five.

Aaron Landesman (2030) of Manhattan’s Hunter High School created a stir as well, winning the Junior High Championship with a perfect 5-0 score and finishing ahead of three masters, including the top seed NM Parker Zhao (2327) whom he defeated in the final round. FM Alec Getz (2267) and NM Andrew Ng (2200) were nicked for draws earlier in the event and finished with 4.5 out of 5. Hunter won the Team Championship with 16 points, besting another powerhouse, IS 318 of Brooklyn, by two points. JHS 118, Columbia Grammar and Browning finished 3rd, 4th, and 5th, respectively.

The Elementary Championship didn’t produce many surprises, as the top two seeds met in the final round.  Kevin Rosenberg (1897) of Albert Leonard Middle School in Westchester County defeated Christopher Wu (1920) of Holmdel Indian Hill School, New Jersey to take the Championship with a perfect 5-0 score.  Gordon Yang (1627), Justus Williams (1851), and Eric Zhang (1538) finished a half point back of the winner. The two top-scoring schools were both middle schools fielding teams composed entirely of sixth graders, and IS 318 of Brooklyn posted 14.5 points to secure victory, while IS 54 of Manhattan finished two points behind the National Champions. PS 166, PS 290, and Columbia Grammar rounded out the top five. Noteworthy here is the 7th place finish of the Buckingham, Brown, and Nichols School —they came all the way from Cambridge, Massachusetts!

The High School Championship was awaited with much interest, and it was the only Championship section where no one achieved a perfect score. IM-elect Marc Arnold (2418, Columbia Grammar), FM Alec Getz (2267, Hunter), and NM Kassa Korley (2228, Dalton) each finished with 4.5 points, and Getz took the title on a tie breaker. While Getz and Korley gave up draws to lower-seeded players earlier in the event, Arnold had to take a half-point bye for Round 3 in advance, because of an obligation to participate in a school basketball practice! The 10-time National Champion returned to the board dressed in his basketball uniform for his Round 4 game with seven minutes remaining, but that was enough time for him to defeat Eigen Wang (2108). Wang, however, can take solace in the fact that his team, Stuyvesant High School, won the Team Championship (15 points) ahead of Hunter (14.5). IS 318 and Columbia Grammar tied for 3rd - 4th, and Edward R Murrow finished 5th.

The complete individual and team standings for all twelve sections are posted at www.chesscenter.cc <http://www.chesscenter.cc/> as well.



Jr. High School Varsity Championship winning team, Hunter School, NY


About Kasparov Chess Foundation

Founded by World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov, KCF's mission is to bring the many educational benefits of chess to children throughout the United States by providing a complete chess curriculum and enrichment programs. The Foundation promotes the study of chess as a cognitive learning tool in curricular classes and after-school programs for elementary, middle and high schools, both in the public and private school sectors. The not-for-profit educational organization also organizes tournaments and competitions on a local and national basis. For more information, please visit http://www.kasparovchessfoundation.org/