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Rosen Tops High School Nationals Print E-mail
By Shaun Smith & Matan Prilleltensky   
May 3, 2011
National High School Champion Eric Rosen, Photo Deren Getz
The 2011 HS Nationals (April 28-May 1) saw some exciting chess in the tournament’s last day and the unexpected happened.  NM Eric Rosen from Skokie, Illinois won the championship section of the event with a perfect 7-0 score----defeating FM Aleksandr Ostrovskiy and IM Marc Arnold along the way.  

In the team championship, pre-tournament favorite, Hunter College Campus School hung on as two other top NY teams chased them down.  

After Rosen’s round six victory over FM Ostrovskiy, a final round match-up between Rosen and Arnold was created.  Rosen went in to the round as the only 6-0 and Arnold had 5.5---so Arnold was in a must win situation.  While many expected IM Marc Arnold to do just that, NM Eric Rosen fought hard and played some great chess this weekend, winning the event a clear point ahead of a very strong field.  Running the NYC gauntlet on the final day en route to a perfect score has to rank as one of the outstanding individual achievements in this tournament’s history.
The intense last round: Eric Rosen against IM Marc Arnold, Photo Deren Getz


I caught up with Eric after the tournament and he said, “Going into this tournament, I definitely did not expect to go 7-0.  Last year I scored 4/7, so my only goal this year was to do better. I guess I made a big improvement. No game was easy however.  In many games I had to fight back from drawn to lost positions to score the point.  Patience was key.  It was nice to score big for my school team (Niles North High School).  We ended up in 4th.
Going into the final round it appeared the title could go to Hunter, Bronx High School of Science or Chess-in-the-Schools powerhouse and recent Junior High Champions---IS 318K.   Many thought Bronx High School of Sciences’ favorable final round pairings (3 masters versus 3 experts) would give them the best chances.  However, the team failed to score more than .5 out of 3 in those games and they had to settle for third place with Hunter taking home top honors.

Hunter, Photo Shaun Smith

 IS 318k came in second by a half point.  Not a bad finish at all since the team’s top players are still in the 7th grade.  
IS 318, Photo Shaun Smith

After thinking about this I wanted to create a quick trivia question.  Has a Junior High School ever won the championship section of the HS Nationals?  

Youth asserting it self against experience remained a theme throughout the tournament.  In the under 1600 section an unconventional battle for first place was enacted between two NYC public schools.  Heading into the final round Stuyvesant found themselves neck and neck with foes nearly half their size – the Chess-in-the-Schools Panda Pawns from PS 124m.  Prevented from competing in the Elementary Nationals by a rigorous testing schedule, the lower Manhattan school gambled on the U1600 section of the High School competition.  When prize giving arrived the decision had reaped dividends, Stuyvesant had fallen of the pace and PS 124m topped the table over Hinsdale Central HS on tiebreaks. 

Result summaries below. Click here for full standings. Look for more National Scholastics reportage by Shaun and Matan next week at the Elementary Nationals in Dallas (May 6-8). Also find out more about GM Maurice Ashley's upcoming simultaneous and appearance in Dallas. 

Full Section Winners List-Champions + Co-Champions

Championship Section
NM Eric Rosen, Niles North HS, 7-0
Hunter College Campus School, 20.5 points

Under 1600 Section

1st Place - Watson Fu, Hinsdale Central HS, 6.5 points
2nd Place- Vishal Bharawaj, Parkway North HS, 6.5 points
1st Place – PS 124m, 19.5
PS 124

2nd Place – Hinsdale Central HS, 19.5 points

Under 1200 Section

Marshall Sumwalt, Homestead HS, 7-0
1st Place – Vianney HS, 20.5 points
2nd Place – East Side Community HS, 20.5 points

East Side Community

Executive director Bill Hall and Under 800 winner Wilson Cheah

Under 800 Section
Wilson Cheah, Millennium HS, 7-0
Northwest HS, 22 points
Unrated Section
Evan Aubrey, St. Johns HS, 6.5 points
Hinsdale Central HS, 20 points

May - Chess Life Online 2011

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