High School Champs in San Diego Draws Star Players
By Anatoly Ostrovksiy   
April 5, 2014
Back in September, long time mentor of Edward Murrow High School Chess Team Elliot Weiss asked me about the availability of my son Alex (Ostrovskiy) and I for the April High School Nationals in San Diego. I confirmed that both of us are going, as usual.

That is our second trip to San Diego. Our first visit was for the 2008 United States Chess School Session which was widely covered in Chess Life Online by WFM Elizabeth Vicary, now Spiegel;


San Diego 2008; FIDE Candidate Master, reigning at that time 2008 National Elementary School Champion

San Diego 2014; International Master trying to get his fifth National High School Team Title
As you can see the kid changed just a little.
So for us the main question is "Could Edward Murrow High School repeat last year result from 2013 Supernationals and bring back to New York another High School National Championship?" Personally for Alex that would mean his fifth appearance on the National High School Champion Squad in a row (after 2010-2012 years with Hunter College High School Team (shared honors in 2012 with the legendary I.S.318).  

This year should be very tough, as one of the key players on the team was not able to make a trip, so despite Murrow's average rating advantage on top 4 boards, my stake is on Kennedy Middle (!) School from Cupertino, CA led by FIDE Master Cameron Wheeler. With two National Masters (Udit Iyengar and Michael Wang)  on boards 2 and 3, they look really dangerous.

After two rounds another school from Cupertino, CA - Monta Vista High School, led  by National Master Kesav Viswanandha, took the lead with 7 out 8 points.

All Murrow Experts played up due to accelerated pairings in round two and lost to GM-Elect Darwin Yang, FM Cameron Wheeler and NM Varun Krishnan (just 2378) , so we are currently  only on a share for eighth - fourteenth places with 5 out of 8.  We’ll need effort and good form to climb as high as possible.

The individual competition is incredibly strong with a Grandmaster-Elect Darwin Yang, an International Master Aleksandr Ostrovskiy, Senior Masters Sam Schmakel and Joshua Colas, FIDE Masters Justus Williams and Cameron Wheeler, and about 10 more players over 2300. USCF Scholastic Council representative Jay Stallings told CLO, “The K-12 Championship field is perhaps the toughest it has ever been with 33 masters in the event. Almost half (15) of the masters are from California.”

Some National Masters may already play up in round 3. There are thirty-four players with perfect scores after round 2 with no major upsets (in 2009 Alex lost in round 2 and in 2012 he drew in round 1). 

There were a lot of fights on top boards, like  Agata Bykhovtsev vs. SM Joshua Colas and Luke Miller vs. SM Sam Schmakel. Sam and Luke’s was the last game to finish in round 2, where Luke lost on time K+R vs. K+R+B ending, after a long dramatic game where Sam has used all his nerves, playing for a long time with just a seconds on his clock.        

Here are Alex's games from the first two rounds: 



Top seed GM-elect Darwin Yang has also won his first two games, including one against Alexis Paredes of Murrow. 


In the blitz competition, Michael Brown of California won with margin of 1.5 over the rest of the field. According to Stallings, “He finally settled for the single draw in an endgame with only four bishops on the board!” 

See full blitz , bughouse standings and bookmark the pairings and results page.