Adelberg and IS 318 in Clear Lead at Junior High Nationals
By Shaun Smith   
April 11, 2010
As promised day two brought tougher individual pairings and closer team standings in just about every section.  In both the K-8 and K-9 Championship sections this means that we start to see the top seeds paired against each other. 

In the last game to finish in round three Matthew Shih took down K-8’s top seed Dipro Chakraborty. 
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Matthew Shih vs. Dipro Chakraborty

Matthew continued his winning ways by defeating K-9 Blitz winner Eldon Nakagawa.  At just over 1700, Matthew’s performance after 4 rounds was more than impressive.  However, Matthew’s run ended against expert Alexis Paredes of IS 318k.



It appears that Matthew could have held on if he had played g4 on move 21, instead of Rf7.  However, once Matthew allowed Alexis’ rook to h5 the game was in white’s hands.

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Matthew Shih vs. Alexis Paredes


After five rounds, Alexis Paredes, John Hughes, and Nathan Lee lead the K-8 Championship with perfect 5-0 scores.  Justus Williams and Andrew Tang are close behind with 4.5 each.  Round six promises to bring excitement as Paredes and Hughes are paired on board one and Justus Williams takes on the tournament’s other leader Nathan Lee on board 2.  IS 318k continues to lead the K-8 Championship section team standings (they now lead by 4 full points).
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Analysis in the IS 318 team room


In the K-9 Championship, day two delivered some exciting games, as top players were matched up as early as round three.  Hawaii’s Tristan Kaonohi, fresh off his round two upset over expert Justin Karp, followed up in round four with a nice win over Linda Diaz.



Tristan then drew experts Michael Wang and Michael Chiang to continue his undefeated run in this year’s tournament.  At 1732 Tristan is playing well above his rating.  I asked him if he felt that players from Hawaii are underrated, and he replied: “I do. Since we have a smaller pool of players and fewer tournaments to play in, our ratings are definitely lower than what they should be.” So far Hawaii’s top players are proving Tristan right.
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Michael Chiang vs. Megan Lee


The top boards in the K-9 Championship section went down to the wire in each of Saturday’s three rounds.  In round four, Megan Lee defeated Michael Chiang in a very close game and Miles Hinson took down Michael Omori.  In round five, we saw a very tough game between top seed David Adelberg and 2009 All-Girls reigning National Champion, Megan Lee

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Megan Lee vs. David Adelberg

Demonstrating superior piece placement and avoiding time trouble, David Adelberg managed to defeat Megan.  However, had it not been for her time pressure she may have been able to hold on.



Adelberg’s victory puts him into clear first with the section’s only 5-0 score.  He is followed closely by Michael Wang, Zaroug Jaleel, and Andrew Freix at 4.5 each.  Tomorrow’s game to watch is between David Adelberg and Michael Wang.   A win for Adelberg brings him one step closer to becoming National Champion, and for Wang, a win is a must if he plans to help his school take top team honors.

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David Adelberg

Even with her fifth round loss, Megan Lee and her teammates (Michael Wang, Dennis Ling, Jiayi Hu, and Robert Zhang) only trail IS 318k in the team standings by 1 point, thanks mainly to Michael Wang’s round five win over James A. Black from IS 318k.  Going into the final day, both New York and Washington teams will have their work cut out for them as they try to win a very competitive K-9 section. 

Check back for my final report on Monday morning where I will cover the tournament’s winners following the award ceremony, with tons of games and photos for your enjoyment. Also stay posted on standings and pairings here.