Chess club places first in state championship
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The chess club won the Maryland State Chess Championship March 25 at Roland Park Elementary/Middle school in Baltimore. The championship was the first and only tournament of the year, making the win even more exciting for the eleven team members.
“It felt really nice to win, let alone first place in the entire state. It was definitely a team effort and everyone put in work,” club president Alex Chen said, “I was ecstatic when I found out we won because going into the tournament I didn’t have high expectations.”
The tournament consisted of five rounds. Players earned one point if they won, half a point if they tied and no points if they lost.
All players on the team individually played 5 rounds. At the end of all of the rounds, the best four scores from the participating teams were added up to determine the winner. Whitman earned a total of 15 points, 2.5 more points than the runner up Woodlawn High School from Baltimore, Maryland.
Junior Andrew Shiman noted that the competition seemed to have less experience than the Whitman team. Whitman’s team, consisting of mostly sophomores and juniors who have previous experience with chess, has been meeting since the beginning of the year.
“Most of the other kids were beginners without much understanding of the game,” Shiman said.
The club meets every Thursday after school in physics teacher Daniel Chen’s room, who serves as sponsor for the club. Despite Chen’s absence at the actual competition, he was thrilled when he learned of the boys’ success.
“I was really surprised when I heard about the win, they definitely deserved it,” he said. “They worked extremely hard and I am very proud of them.”