California Dreamin' in Texas
By Franc Guadalupe   
November 12, 2008
Michael Brown receives his trophy, Photo Rusty Harwood 
All the leaves are brown, and the sky is grey…

Okay, perhaps the students who gathered at the Fort Brown Memorial Center in Brownsville for the 2008 National Youth Action do not recognize the lyrics of the Mamas & the Papas song, but many of the coaches and parents do.  It being November, we did have (some) brown leaves in Southern Texas as well as grey skies.  But what made this a California Dreamin’ event was the way the students from that state performed.   The state of Texas accounted for 446 of the 456 participants in this event, but all three California entries took home first place in their respective categories! 

In the K-12 Division, Ted Belanoff, a Senior at Woodside High School, allowed a fourth-round draw to Christopher Pena, a Senior at Hanna High School in Brownsville, while winning his other eight games and easily capturing the High School Division.


Daniel Hung and Ted Belanof, Photo Rusty Harwood

  Two seventh-graders, Jeffrey Hung and Ian Santos, from Vela Middle School in Brownsville tied for first in the K-9 Division, both finishing with eight points.


Our only expert in the field was Michael William Brown, a sixth-grader at Portola Hills Elementary School in Trabuco Canyon, California, and, as expected, he was the class of the K-6 Division, winning it by point and a half, with a perfect 9-0!  Although this score suggests he had an easy time, he did have some very competitive games.



The K-3 Division was won by another Californian – Winston Ching-Tze Zeng, a second-grader at Turtle Rock Elementary in Irvine, California.

Michael William Brown also won the K-12 Blitz Championship.  In the K-6 Blitz, we had a tie between Edgar Santoyo of Americo Paredes Elementary in Brownsville and Georgia Olvera from Bishop Garriga Middle in Corpus Christi, Texas.   The exciting Bughouse competition was dominated by brothers Daniel and Jeffery Hung who finished with a perfect score.

All four Team Champions were from Brownsville:  Hanna HS in the K-12, Vela MS in the K-9 and K-6, and Americo Paredes Elementary in the K-3.    Vela Middle School also won the K-12 Blitz Team Championship while Americo Paredes Elementary won the K-6 Blitz.

Our thanks to the University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College for sponsoring this event.  Special thanks to Mr. Russell Harwood, UTB/TSC Chess Program Director and his chess team members for their volunteer work.  UTB/TSC is one of several universities that offer full chess scholarships.
Results of the event will be posted at . For rated results see the NYA MSA page.