Coach Joe’s report on Mission San Jose Elementary School’s championship performance at the Calchess Scholastic State Championship.
The 2015 Northern California Scholastic Chess Championships were held the weekend of April 26th and 27th at the Santa Clara convention center. Over 900 students and more the 50 schools competed in these championships. Mission San Jose Elementary school (MSJE) of Fremont was the big winner in the Elementary School Division. MSJE swept all of the Championships sections and won several of the Junior varsity sections and rookie sections.
The top elementary school section at these championships is the 4-6 Championship Division. For the first time in four years this section was competitive with Weibel close behind MSJE right up to the last round. With one round to go MSJE was ahead by a full point. However, the second highest rated player on the MSJE team, Annapoorni Meiyappan, had to miss the last round due to a commitment to a dance program (Annapoorni excels at dance and chess.) MSJE scored 1.5 points in the last round and Weibel scored two points. This left MSJE in first place by the smallest possible margin, a half point. The key to the victory was a draw by MSJE star Connor Chen (rated 1239) against Jeremy Chen (rated 1424) of Weibel. If Connor had lost this game, Weibel would have won the championship. The top scorers for MSJE were David Pan and Annapoorni Meiyappan (with 4.5 points), Connor Chen (with 4 points) and Mihir Bhuptani with 3.5 points. Abhinav Raghavendra, Amulya Harish, Luke Zhao, and Sriram Bharadwaj also competed for the MSJE K-6 Championship team.
The K-5 Championship section is the second highest elementary school section at the State Scholastic Chess Championships. This section was created in 2007 to give elementary schools without a grade 6 a fair chance to win a championship section. MSJE has won this section every year since it was created. Both MSJE and Weibel entered strong teams in the K5 Championship section. The MSJE team was headed by Rishith Susarla (rated 1956) the top player in the section. The Weibel team was headed by Oliver Wu (rated 1846) the second highest rated player in the section. Many observers expected these two stars to meet in one of the final rounds and determine the individual and possibly the team championship. However, in the second round Ryan Dong (rated 1228) of Chadbourne Elementary School beat Oliver Wu. This was a major upset and left the MSJE team ahead. Rishith continued winning all his games and was paired with Chenyi Zhao (rated 1818) in the last round. Rishith needed only a draw to secure the first place, but the Weibel team was only one point behind and Rishith needed a win to maximize the chances of the MSJE team winning. Rishith won his game with Chenyi and MSJE won a comfortable 19.0 to 17.5 victory in the K-5 Championship section.
The scoring players for the MSJE Championship K-5 team were Rishith Susarla, 6.0, Leo Jiang and Edwin Thomas, 4.5, Kavya Sasikumar, 4.0. Jaisuraj Kaleeswaran, Jeffrey Liu, Atul Thirumalai Sandeep Salwan, Edison Zhang, Jonathan Zhang and Shree Jay also competed for the MSJE K-5 team.
The K-3 Championship section is often called the primary school championship. MSJE won the first place team trophy in this section every year since 2008. Going into the last round MSJE was one point ahead of Weibel. The top four MSJE players (Kevin Pan, Arnav Lingannagari, Stephen He, and Nicholas Jiang) scored three wins and a draw. Weibel had a good last round with three points but this left MSJE in first place with 17 points to 15.5 points for Weibel. Aidan Chen, Allyson Wong, Shreyas Jay, Nivedha Maniv, and Vasu Rao also competed for MJSE in the K-3
MSJE also did very well in the other sections. The 1-3 unrated section is for players that have never played in a tournament before. Dhrish Karangula, Adit Mital, Aditya Sujay, and Adarsh Swarmy competed in this section. The team won the first place team trophy and Dhrish scored a perfect five wins in five games, tied for first place in the section, and won a large trophy.
Ekasha Sikka and Jason Liu (Pre K brother of Jolene and Jason Liu) competed in the kindergarten division. Both players won trophies. Jason won four of five games and tied for third place.
Vaibhav Wudaru, Monish Jonnadula, Ayaan Kassamali, and Siddharth Arutla competed in the 1-3 Junior Varsity division. Eight teams competed in this section. The MSJE team won the second place team trophy.
Carolyn McNay, Joshua Diao, Diya Sen, and Gursachi Sikka competed in the 4-6 Junior varsity division. Fifteen teams competed in this section. The MSJE team won the fifth place team trophy.
Congratulations to the chess team for a clean sweep of all Championship sections at the Northern CA Scholastic Chess Championships.
Chess Coaches Joe Lonsdale Chris Torres
Div Harish Terry Liu
Mission San Jose Elementary School operates under the auspices of the Torres Chess and Music Academy. For more information on the TCAMA and our annual summer camp at MSJE please visit: www.ChessAndMusic.com