2022 K-12 Grade Championships Begin Today!

When the overflow hotel runs out of rooms a month in advance, you know you’re in for a record-breaking event.

With the National K-12 Grade Championships kicking off today in National Harbor, Maryland, we are proud to report that we have surpassed our previous record by over 600 entries.


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At time of writing, 2,481 players from 42 states are scheduled to begin competing across thirteen grade-specific sections this afternoon. The opening ceremony begins at 12:45 p.m. EST, and from there the K-1 sections will follow a separate schedule from grades 2-12. The K-1 sections will play their first two rounds at 1:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., with grades 2-12 playing at 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.

Looking at the pre-registration list, it’s clear that this will be an epic three days of competition. Some of the early storylines to watch:

  • In the 11th grade section, 2022 Denker co-champion FM Sandeep Sethuraman from Arizona will go for another national title. FM Gus Huston, from New York, leads a group of seven players rated over 2200 who stand in Sethuraman’s way.
  • A tri-state showdown is shaping up in the 10th grade section, with New York’s FM Nico Chasin and New Jersey’s IM Eddy Tian atop the pre-tournament standings.
  • Pennsylvania will also fight for tri-state dominance in the 8th grade section, where FM Erick Zhao outrates reigning Barber champion FM Brewington Hardaway by eight points. The third-highest rated player in the section is 181 points behind Hardaway.

Overall, the registration list reflects high turnout from up and down the East Coast. 939 players hail from New York, with another 388 traveling away from Florida in the winter. There is also a strong local contingent, with 223 Maryland players joining 353 from Virginia and another 72 from Washington, D.C., to give the event a real beltway flavor. Only 37 players will be representing California, making the Pacific Coast an underdog in most every section.

For those who could not wait until Friday to start competing, Thursday saw the traditional blitz and bughouse tournaments.


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Congratulations to the team of FM Nico Chasin and FM Gus Huston, who were nearly perfect at 9/10 in winning the bughouse event. This is old hat for Chasin, who was part of the 2021 K-12 winning team (along with Raghav Venkat).

Florida’s Brayan Angel Amaya was the surprise winner of the K-12 blitz. Rated 1991 (blitz) coming into the event, Amaya overcame a field with dozens of experts and masters to take clear first place at 11/12. There was a tie for first in the K-6 blitz, with Kyle Zhuang (VA) and Linxi Zhu (NY) also scoring 11 points from 12 to share top honors.

Our event photographer is none other than the famous David Llada, who has captured iconic images of chess players and events around the globe. He wasn’t scheduled to shoot the blitz event, but there’s no stopping a photojournalist when the spirit moves him. Here are some of his shots from the blitz tournaments on Thursday night.



On top of the tournament itself, the event also features several special events by GM Elshan Moradiabadi. The affable GM will be kept busy this weekend, with this morning’s 30-board simultaneous exhibition the first of his Herculean tasks.


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For those itching to test themselves one-on-one against a grandmaster, Moradiabadi will take on all comers at blitz at 2:30 pm today in the Prince George’s Exhibit BC. He will be hosting a blitz challenge every day, and he will also host a lecture Saturday at 11:30am in Camellia 3-4. See the complete schedule for all the details.

The Girls Club is back in action, with guests WGM Sabina Foisor and WIM Dr. Carolina Blanco headlining. WGM and US Chess Women’s Program Director Jennifer Shahade has planned an exciting schedule of events for the weekend, with Coach Krista and Arthur Alton along with Laurel Aronian lending a hand. All female players, along with their families and coaches, are invited!


2022 K12 Girls Room schedule


Action from the top boards at the K-12 will be broadcast on uschess.live for every round. Beginning Saturday at 6 p.m. EST, WGM Sabina Foisor and FM Gauri Shankar will be providing live commentary on Twitch as well. Who will be chasing the grade medals then? Join us Saturday night to find out, and don't forge tto share your stories and photos on social media using the #K12ChessChamps hashtag!


Quick Links

Main K-12 event page

Standings and Pairings

Live games

Livestream for Rounds 5, 6, 7

Twitter hashtag #k12chesschamps

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