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The Columbus Chess Club sent 11 students to compete in the National Scholastic K-6 Chess Champions in Nashville, Tennessee on May 9-12, 2019. There were 2252 chess players representing 46 states competing on 700 teams in 16 sections. The Columbus Chess Team won six National Awards.
In the first event, on Thursday May 9, 2019, the chess students competed in 11 rounds of Blitz (speed chess). Constantine won 1st place for chess players rated under 1000 and Dylan Minchez came in 1st place for chess players rated under 800. The Columbus team placed 7th place in the nation for Blitz chess.
Five students competed in the K-6U1000 section. These students are now National Champions, coming in 1st place after playing seven rounds of chess over three days.
Playing in this division were Constantine Zalatis, Dylan Minchez, Ignacio Valencia, Dylan Solovyev, and Aiden Rodriguez. Constantine won a second individual award coming in 5th place winning 6 of the seven rounds and Dylan Minchez won a second individual award coming in 25th place winning 5 of the seven rounds. All of the Columbus students on this section of the team were awarded wall plaques for coming in first place, in addition to their team trophy.
Four students competed in the K-5U900 section. They were Naolin Concha, Joel Salick, Giovanna Murgia and Gianna Murgia. These students came in 29th place in their section.
Guilianna Murgia and Ashley Corazao competed in the K-3U700 section.
The chess club wants to thank all of the parents, teachers, administrators, the Columbus community and the National Scholastic Chess Foundation for their essential support throughout the 2018-2019 school year.
“Never underestimate the heart of a champion.” - LeBron James
By Mark Hegenauer
The Columbus Elementary School Chess team won first place as a team this weekend at the 2019 US National Elementary (k-6) Championship in Nashville, Tennessee. The Columbus Chess Team are National Champions for the k-6 division for chess players rated under 1000 points.
Under the direction of their devoted coach and teacher, Mr. Mark Hegenauer, 11 Columbus students traveled with their families to Nashville to once again compete with the best elementary chess players in the country -- and this year, finally -- we WON!
So much time and patient efforts have gone into this moment. Congratulations to ALL Columbus students who make our chess team so special. Congratulations to Mr. Hegenauer and his partners from the National Scholastic Chess Foundation, who always find creative ways to keep Columbus involved in tournaments and lessons, no matter the cost. And congratulations to the Columbus PTA Chess Committee and Ms. Owens for their collaborations all year -- raising money to send so many kids to the Nationals was not easy. Together, we did it!
At this incredible juncture it is also critical that we honor and remember all the former parents of Columbus Chess Team Players from the last 20 years! For years, caring, selfless families of the Columbus Chess community have devoted time and love to ensure that any Columbus student that had an interest in chess, had a place to play and an opportunity to learn and compete -- with ANYONE! This moment is shared not only with our new champions, but with years and years of former Columbus students and their families.
Much gratitude and thanks to all our sponsors and supporters--thank you to all the local stores and business, and generous families and neighbors, who have donated food and money toward our team's fundraising efforts all year!
Another successful chess tournament was held at Columbus Elementary on Saturday. Columbus teams came in first place in four sections; Championship, Reserve, Booster, and the 2-3 Novice sections. Along with the four team awards students won eight individual awards.
Ignacio and Constantine came in 1st place as a team in the Championship section.
Ashley, Gianna and Joel came in 1st place in the Reserve section. Joel came in 2nd place and Ashley came in 3rd for chess players under 750.
Jacqueline, Moises, Nathalie, Jennifer, Giuliana and Peyton came in 1st place as a team in the Booster section. Jacqueline came in 3rd place while Nathalia came in 1st place for unrated players and Jennifer came in 2nd place for unrated players.
Bryson, Luis, Julian, William, Victor Yesenia, Cesar R., Melany and Cesar M. came in 1st place in the 2-3 Novice section. Bryson came in 1st place, Luis came in 3rd place, and Julian came in 5th place.
A heavy snow was falling outside by the end of the tournament. The students are getting excited as they prepare for the New York State Championships in Saratoga and the Westchester County Championships at Columbus, both in March.