National Middle School Championship: Only Two Perfect Scores Remain After Day Two

Photos by Caroline King
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The start of round five (Photo Caroline King)


The penultimate round of the 2024 National Middle School (K-8) Championship is currently underway, with live commentary streaming on our Twitch. Commentary on the final round begins at 1:30 p.m. EDT. 


Leaderboard Takes Shape

Entering last night's round, only four perfect scores remained in the K-8 Championship. Two of them might be familiar faces:


Nikash Ethan
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Vemparala (L) and Guo are our K-8 Blitz co-champs, with Guo taking first on tiebreaks (Photo Caroline King)


While CM Ethan Guo took the blitz tiebreaks over Nikash Vemparalala on Thursday, the Washington eighth-grader got his revenge in their head-to-head encounter yesterday:



Vemparalala is currently playing the other player on 5/5, FM Eric Chang Liu.


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That's 12 straight wins in K-8 Championships for Liu! (Photo Caroline King)


Liu's win last night showed impressive command of the position:



Entering the final day of action, two players trail the leaders by a half-point:



Those two players with 4½/5 are New York fifth-grader (and 2024 FIDE Girls Under-12 World Rapid and Blitz champion) WFM Megan Paragua and Texan sixth-grader Kyle Wang. Paragua's third-round game and Wang's fifth-round game are included below:




At the time of writing, the two players with 4½/5 already drew their head-to-head game, which is important because a whopping 16 players entered the final day with 4/5 scores, meaning that Paragua and Wang will join a logjam of players on 5/6 chasing the leader(s). Stay tuned! 


Girls Club

It was a full day in the Girls Club room yesterday, with special guests Adia Onyango and WIM Dr. Carolina Blanco interspersing a lesson and a tandem simul with full-family activities like "chess battleship" and a full-family roundtable on starting a chess club from scratch.


Photos Caroline King


Friends and Family Tournament

35 parents, siblings, coaches, and friends took the opportunity to get a few games under their belt yesterday, with 30 competing in the rated section. It was a pair of brothers at the top, with Jose Gabriel Casares and Agrim Kumar both going 4/4 while their siblings competed in the main event. The players each earned $198 gift cards for their day of work. That's a lot of books!

Congratulations to Georgia's Matt Morton for winning the Unrated section while his son, Harrison, plays the K-8 Under-700 section as a fourth-grader. Matt won his own US Chess membership for his 4/4 score!


Quick Links

Official website

Results and pairings

Full schedule of events

Top boards on

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All Chess Life Online coverage of the 2024 National Scholastics

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