High School Nationals: The Biggest Tie Ever and Hunter on Top
By Shaun Smith   
April 19, 2010
As the sun set on the Columbus Hyatt Regency on Sunday night, ten players found themselves tied for first place in the High School Nationals Championship Section

The ten winners

Hunter College Campus School took top team honors.

The Championship team: Hunter College Campus School

Going into the final day, Kris Meekins and William Ong were the only 5-0 scores, and were closely followed by several players with 4.5-.5.  In round six the two tournament leaders were paired together.  Meekins played another beautiful game to move to 6-0.  His score after six rounds left him a point ahead of the field, since all of the 4.5's drew in round 6.


In the final round Meekins was paired on board one against top seed Shinsaku Uesugi.  In a game that Meekins only needed a draw in to win clear first, he fought hard as Shinsaku built up a better position with a clear space advantage.  However, in the end, Shinsaku took down Meekins to create the largest tie for first place in HS Nationals history.  Meanwhile boards 2 through 9 saw decisive games. 


In spite of Meekins' last round loss he still took the first place trophy because of his superior tiebreaks.  Meekins played some great chess this past weekend and it was only fair that he won the first place trophy.  The fact that he is from Ohio made the win that much sweeter.

Kris Meekins

On board two, Alec Getz from Hunter College HS took down Praveen Sanjay from Georgia to pull off the Swiss gambit by winning all of his games after a first round upset.  His performance not only netted him a share of the individual title, but also led his team to first place in the team competition. 

Alec Getz and one of his co-winners Prashantha Amarasinghe

FM Alec Getz also officially became a USCF Life Master after his fifth round win, by playing 300 consecutive games without going under 2200.  Getz was kind enough to share his last round win with CLO: 


The last few moves are missing, as both players were under five minutes.

With the title of Co-Champion on the line, players in a position to move into the large tie played their hearts out in some exciting games.  Co-National Champions Eigen Wang and Kevin Mo generously offered to share their last round games with CLO.



K-12 Championship Co-National Champions
1st Place - Kris Meekins, Lake HS (Ohio), 6-1
2nd Place - Eigen Wang, Stuyvesant HS (New York, 6-1
3rd Place- Christian Tanaka, St. Margarets (California), 6-1
4th Place - Shinsaku Uesugi, Winston Churchill HS (Maryland), 6-1
5th Place - Scott Low, Kennedy HS (Maryland), 6-1
Pat Smith of the USCF, Scott Low and Shinsaku Uesugi

6th Place - Michael Vilenchuk, Dublin HS (Ohio), 6-1
Michael Vilenchuk

7th Place - William Ong, Bellaire HS (Texas), 6-1
William Ong

8th Place - Prashantha Amarasinghe, St. Thomas Academy (Minnesota), 6-1
9th Place - Alec Getz, Hunter College HS (New York), 6-1
10th Place- Kevin Mo, North Allegheny Intermediate HS (Pennsylvania), 6-1
Kevin Mo

The team competition was very close throughout the entire event.  Going into the last round several teams still had a chance.  However, Hunter College HS proved to be too strong of a team.  Hunter's top players all won their last round games to take the title by 1.5 points.  In the end, the pre-tournament favorite took home the title. 

K-12 Championship Team Winners
First Place - Hunter College High School (New York), 21 Points
Second Place - Stuyvesant High School (New York), 19.5 Points
Third Place - Bellaire High School (Texas), 19.5 Points
Fourth Place - Thomas Jefferson High School (Virginia), 19.5 Points
Fifth Place - IS 318K (New York), 19 Points
Sixth Place - Bergen County Academies (New Jersey), 19 Points
Seventh Place - Bronx High School of Science (New York), 18 Points
Eighth Place - Lakeside School (Washington), 17.5 Points
Ninth Place - Catalina Foothills HS (Arizona), 17 Points
Tenth Place - Gilbert High School (Arizona), 17 Points 

K-12 U1600 Section
1st Place - Jonathan Pagan, Bronx HS of Science (New York), 7-0
First Place Team - Frederick Douglass Academy (New York), 20 Points 

K-12 U1200 Section
1st Place - Samuel Stephens, Sperring MS (Maryland), 7-0
First Place Team - Marion High School (Wisconsin), 20 Points
Second Place Team - R.F. Wagner Jr. Secondary School (New York), 20 Points 

K-12 U800 Section
1st Place - Sheldon Trotman, Northwest HS (Maryland), 6.5-.5
2nd Place - Matthew Taylor, Richards HS (Illinois), 6.5-.5
3rd Place - Fernando Cruz, Archbishop Curley HS (Florida), 6.5 - .5
First Place Team - Northwest High School (Maryland), 23 Points 
K-12 Unrated Section
1st Place - Siddesh Kudtarkar, Pennsbury HS (Pennsylvania), 6.5 -.5
2nd Place - Adzhar Madjid, Waynesboro Area HS (Pennsylvania), 6.5 -.5
First Place Team - Baltimore Polytechnic Institute (Maryland), 22.5 Points

Shaun Smith's report on the All-Girls-Nationals will appear later today. See complete high school standings & pairings here.