|San Francisco Scholastic Attracts Hundreds|
|April 10, 2014|
Nearly three hundred school children descended on the San Francisco County Fair Building in Golden Gate Park on March 22nd to contest the 2014 San Francisco Scholastic Chess Championship. This was the largest scholastic chess championship ever in San Francisco. The venue was the spacious San Francisco County Fair Building in Golden Gate Park. Many of the participants were playing their first organized chess championship and experienced the novelty of friendly competition.
There were five divisions of the championship. The four unrated divisions were: K-3rd grade; 4th and 5th grade; Middle School (6-8); and High School (9-12). The USCF rated division was for all grades K-12, and in fact was won by middle school student Cameron Wheeler, who scored an all-expenses paid trip to the Nationals. Second and third prizes in the rated section were free entries to the Mechanics' Institute's Summer Chess Camp.
The big event was free to all participants thanks to the sponsorship of Robert W. Baird & Co., an international financial services firm providing wealth management, capital markets, asset management and private services. It was organized by the San Francisco's Mechanics' Institute along with Bright Knight's Chess Club. The Mechanics' Institute has an outreach program that provides free chess classes to San Francisco schools. This event was the high point of the school year's chess program.
Along with the championship inside the hall, there was a special event in the sunny courtyard outside. Forty opponents took on US Junior Champion and GM Daniel Naroditsky in a simul, though only one opponent managed a draw.
Local television stations CBS-KPIX and ABC-KGO covered the tournament along with internet and social media coverage. The top finishers won trophies and all participants received commemorative medals and t-shirts.
Top finishers of the tournament are below:
First section - Championship - U.S. Chess Federation Rated, open to all K-12
First place - Cameron Wheeler (Kennedy Middle School)
Second place - Hans Nieman (Del Ray Elementary School)
Third place - Jaysen Shi
Section 2 - Unrated high school (Grades 9-12)
First place - Brandon Moren
Second place - Jacky Kwang
Third place - Pierro Vo (George Washington High School)
Section 3 - Grades 6-8
First place - Zachary Agenbroad (Cathedral School for Boys)
Second place - Noah Heller (Brandeis Hillel School)
Third place -Jade Greer (French American Int. School)
Section 4- Grades 4-5
First place - Steven Hwang (Ring Mountain Day School)
Second - Silas Grout (Marin County Day School)
Third- Ling Feng Ren
Section 5 - Kindergarten -Third grade
First - Sophia Yang (Meyerholtz Elementary School))
Second - Philip Bluer (Gate Academy)
Third- Aria Saluja (St. Marks)
First place Elementary School Team - Marshall Elementary (closely followed by Place Glen Park Elementary)
First place Middle School Team - Francisco Middle School
First place High School Team - George Washington High (closely followed by Lowell High)