Success Academy Bronx Scholars Dominate at NY State Chess Championship

Success Academy Bronx Scholars Dominate at NY State Chess Championship

New York, NY — This weekend, 151 scholars representing 15 Success Academy schools traveled to Saratoga Springs, N.Y. to compete in the 50th Annual New York State Scholastic Chess Championships. Out of 1,200 students who competed from across the state of New York, Success scholars made up 13% of the entire two-day tournament and brought home big wins with four teams finishing in the top five of both the ES and MS Championship sections.

From Friday afternoon through Monday morning, scholars ate, slept, and breathed chess. They each played six rounds, three per day (each lasting up to two hours), in divisions determined by their United States Chess Federation ratings. Scholars spent much of their downtime playing fast-paced blitz chess games, studying chess tactics, and competing in after-dinner matches against their coaches.

In every division, Success scholars had a stellar performance. The highlights include:

  • SA Union Square and SA Bronx 1 dominated in the Middle School Reserve section, finishing in first and second place, respectively.
  • In the Elementary Reserve section, SA Union Square finished in second and SA Bronx 3 finished in third place. SA Bed Stuy ES and MS (combined team) finished in fifth place.
  • The SA High School of the Liberal Arts finished in second place in the High School Reserve section, which featured 17 teams. Leading the team’s strong performance was tenth grader Reanna Phillips, who won five of six games.
  • In the Middle School Championship section — a division with 16 teams where only top players compete — SA Bronx 1 finished in fourth place and SA Harlem East finished fifth.
  • SA Midtown West and SA Cobble Hill tied for third place in the Elementary School Championship section (the most competitive elementary school division).
  • In the Elementary School Intermediate section, SA Union Square and SA Williamsburg finished fourth and sixth place, respectively, out of 26 teams.

Chess is an critical part of Success Academy’s school design. All scholars from kindergarten through fourth grade take chess as part of the required curriculum. In middle school, chess is offered as an elective for scholars who are interested. Sean O’Hanlon, senior manager of SA’s Chess Program, and his team of top chess coaches, have done incredible work to create a world-class chess program that develops players’ skills and strategic thinking, while also teaching good sportsmanship and team spirit.

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SA Bronx 1 Middle School players pose with coach Alejandro Montalvo after finishing in fourth place in the Middle School championship section – a division with 16 teams where only the top players compete. Photo credit Tom Perna.

 

SA Bronx 3 Scholars and Coach Dakim Vanderpool with their trophy! Photo credit Tom Perna.

SA Bronx 3 Scholars and Coach Dakim Vanderpool with their trophy! Photo credit Tom Perna.

 

Scholars put their trophies on display! Photo credit Tom Perna.

Scholars put their trophies on display! Photo credit Tom Perna.

ABOUT SUCCESS ACADEMY CHARTER SCHOOLS

Founded in 2006, Success Academy Charter Schools are free public K-12 schools open to all children in the state through a random lottery. With 41 schools across Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens, Success Academy enrolls 14,000 students, primarily low-income children of color in disadvantaged neighborhoods: 77% of students receive free or reduced-price lunch, 95% are children of color, 16% are children with disabilities, and 8.5% are English language learners. Ranked in the top 1% in math and the top 1.5% in English on 2016 state proficiency tests, Success Academy schools received more than 20,000 applications for about 3,200 open seats this year.  

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