IS 318 and John Hughes Among Winners in Columbus Print E-mail
By Shaun Smith + Matan Prilleltensky   
April 18, 2011
The dust has settled on 1000+ weary combatants in Columbus, OH. Bleary eyes have been spotted among coaches and players alike: Even more than joy and disappointment, the final round has been the cue for exhausted relief. In the K-9 Championship, Safal Bora was unable to maintain his lead, going down to the favored John Lodger Hughes of Columbus Academy in round 6. In the K-9 Championship Section, Hughes won his two final games in fine style and with it the title of K-9 Junior High School Champion with a score of 6.5/7. New York City Chess-in-the-Schools program IS 318k held on to win the K-9 Team Championship (squad pictured below).

In the K-8 Championship round 6 saw a tough draw between Gavin McClanahan and James A. Black which led to a final round where 3 players could still reach 6.5 to share the title.  In the end, James A. Black and Jeevan Karamsetty are K-8 Co-National Champions with 6.5/7 as they each won their last round games against Brian Li and Gavin McClanahan respectively.  


Jeevan Karamsetty


James A. Black took the first place trophy on tie-breaks.  James had a remarkable performance, winning the bughouse and blitz titles before the tournament, and winning the main event and leading his IS 318k team to first place in the K-8 Team Championship (squad pictured below).  

Heading into the final round,Hughes led the pack with 5.5/6, with a host of strong players in hot pursuit: NM Michael Brown, NM Reynaldo Perez, NM Kevin Cao, NM Sean Vibbert, and the wildly underrated Hawaiian Eldon Nakagawa all took 5/6 scores into the final round. The decisive pairings looked like this, in board order: Hughes-NM Cao, NM Brown-Bora, NM Perez-NM Vibbert, and NM Williams-Nakagawa.  To the chasing pack’s dismay John Lodger Hughes wrapped up the proceedings with a crisp miniature versus NM Kevin Cao. Hughes’ final two games conveyed the sense that his tournament was one of destiny. 



John Lodger Hughes
In the Team Championship, IS 318k held a 2.5 point lead over Columbus Academy. Led by NM Williams and Joel Ogunremi, the traditional powerhouse was well positioned for its first K-9 victory.  However, after NM Justus Williams went down in round 6 to NM Michael Brown any thoughts of a comfortable victory were quickly dispelled.  In the moment of truth the team’s core held on.  The key last round victory from Shawn Swindell propelling him to a team leading 5/7 points earned the 8th grader the moniker   “Mr. Reliable” from IS 318k Assistant Principal John Galvin.

The much larger K-8 section saw a multi-way tie for first place after the penultimate round: James Black, Jeevan Karamsetty, Gavin McClanahan, Brian Li, and Alexander Deatrick all had 5.5/6. They were paired as follows, in board order: McClanahan-Karamsetty, Li-Black, and Deatrick-NM Colas, with NM Colas a half point behind with 5/6.  

Colas reached a strong 6/7 with a marathon win over Alexander Deatrick leaving the top two boards in control of their results.  After an early draw Jeevan Karasmetty showed unusual poise to reach the golden 6.5/7 score sharing the individual title.  In a characteristically dynamic performance, James A. Black navigated a tricky material imbalance versus Brian Li in the final to take a share of top honors. 

Black’s performance capped off a phenomenal weekend for the Brooklyn native who took clear or equal first in every competition he contested (pictured below with his bug and blitz trophies). One has to wonder if this has ever been done before.

In the K-8 Team Championship, confident last round victories cemented IS 318k’s pole position.  Danny Feng’s Smyslovian rook ending against Tip Wolfe provided a fitting end to Feng’s final K-8 Nationals where he helped his team win an impressive double- by netting both K-8 and K-9 Championship sections.

Other section winners are included below. 

K-9 U1250:
Individual Champion: 
1st Place - Benjamin Kenney, The Philadelphia School, 6.5/7
Team Champion: 
1st Place – Mott Hall, NY, 20.5 points
2nd Place – The Philadelphia School, PA, 20.5 points

K-8 U1000:
Individual Champion:
1st Place- Monish Yeluguri, John Sells MS, 6.5/7
1st Place- Seward Montesorri, MN, 19.5 points

K-8 U750:
1st Place – Jiayu Tang, IS 318k, 7/7
2nd Place – Mubassar Uddin, IS 318k, 7/7
1st Place – IS 318k, NY, 24 points

K-9 unrated:
1st Place – Christopher Lysyj, Saint Anthony of Padua, 7/7
1st Place- Washington Parks Academy, MI, 18 points