|Second Grade Girl Wins High School Championship|
|By Richard Peterson|
|March 22, 2012|
Forty-pound, eight-year old second grader Gia Peterson won the multi county 2012 Sequoia High School Chess Championship this weekend. Gia and her brothers 4th grader Dante and 6th grader Mick played in the tough high school section.
Gia, the winner of two consecutive Polgar World Championships, was a perfect 5-0, defeating three members of Mendota’s national championship team and pretournament favorite Chris Bohlin who was rode a 14-game undefeated scholastic streak into the final round.
The championship game was even until Bohlen made the strategic error of attempting to run Gia out of time. With less than two minutes on her clock, Gia needed less than one to mate the University High star.
Joining Bohlin in a tie for second place were Gia’s brother Dante and Chris Reyes and William Yim from the Mendota team. Gia’s brother Mick tied for sixth.
Mendota won the high school team title by one point over University.
In the Junior High School section Noah Haworth and Michael Schoettler drew with each other and split the championship with 4.5/5. Joshua Maynard was third with 4/5. Three girls: Katelyn Loredo, Bianca Vital, Angelica Sanchez, and two boys: Brandon Ameran and Alexander Cordova divided fourth place.
The K-6 elementary championship was also divided as Alexander Gutierrez and Jacob Rodriguez drew the final game to win with 4.5/5 each. Yu-Liang Chu was third. The fourth place was a surprise with Jayani Peterson (Kindergarten sister of Gia) defeating a much higher rated and older field. Jayani was the sole Kindergartner and there were no first, second, or third graders playing. She picked 248 points at the event. Tying Jayani for fourth were Daniel Heinrichs, Jyun-Cyuan Chu, and Brett Rayburn.
Alan Fifield of Visalia organized the event and was presented with the first annual Hans Bohm Memorial award for service to scholastic chess.
Before the event, Gia had made a deal with her father (this writer) that if she won the HS Championship, he would buy her a giant teddy bear. The results are in the picture.