The Future of US Chess: Champions Crowned in Nashville

After seven hard fought rounds of play, we have our National Champions! Some of the biggest names in U.S. chess history got their start by winning the National Elementary Championship, and now we have a few more champions to join them. It wouldn’t surprise me to see one of these players competing in the U.S. Championship one day.
K-6 Championship
In the K-6 things were up in the air until the very last round, but eventually it was won by a fourth grader! Arthur Guo is young enough to play in the K-5 but he decided to play in the older section and his decision paid off bigtime. In the final round he won in convincing style to become the only player to finish with 6.5/7.
The team prize was won by Mission Elementary in Fremont, CA. Mission San Jose Elementary has incredibly won the K-6 Championship 3 out of the past 4 years. With strong players like Kevin Pan (he drew master Christopher Shen in an earlier round) and Rishith Susarla (finished with 5.5/7 for 9th place), this team was tough to beat.
K-5 Championship
Four players went into the final round with 5.5/6 but only one came out with 6.5/7. Daniel Hung was the clear winner of the K-5 after winning a tough pawn up rook endgame.
The team prize went to Dalton. Dalton was stacked with Gus Huston and Nate Shuman playing on the top boards for most of the tournament.
K-3 Championship
This section was simply insane. There was a jinx on Board 1…the new leader in the tournament, always lost the very next game. In the end it was a 6 way tie for first place, with Lucas Foerster-Yialamas taking the first place trophy on tiebreaks. All of the players are designated as co-champions: Ming Lu, Liran Zhou, Adi Murgescu, Vishnu Vanapalli and Ziyang Qui.
The team prize goes to Speyer Legacy in New York. This was a hotly contested section, as Dalton finished just a half point behind.
K-1 Championship
At 1363, Ryan Wang was just the 5th seed entering the tournament, but by the finish he stood alone as the only player to reach 7/7. We got a post victory interview with him. 
Class Sections:
K6 U1000:  – Maanasi Limaye from Alabama. Maanasi was the only girl to win her section this year and led her team, Rainbow Elementary, to a second place finish.
Barringer Academic Center from Charlotte took home the team prize. Charlotte has a blossoming new chess center, so we should expect to see more and more teams from the area performing well in National events.
K5 U900: Gregory Senat Jr. from New York. Thanks to his heroics, his team PS282 also won the team championship.
K3 U800: Carlosandres Gonzalez from Chelsea Prep with NY Chess. Carlosandres finished with an impressive 7 consecutive wins.
There was an incredible 4 way tie for the team Championship, with Grahamwood Elementary winning on tiebreaks.
K6 Unrated: Chilong Vang: Chilong and his team dominated this tournament so much that he had to play one of his teammates in Round 6! He said after the tournament he felt a bit bad to beat one of his teammates.
Lincoln Middle School from Arkansas had a dominant performance in the team rankings. They won by 4.5 points.
K3 Unrated: Alexander Browne’s 7-0 score helped his team to finish 3rd place, even though they had just two players.
Bremen Elementary won the top team prize. They impressively had three siblings on their roster.
So those are your winners!
You’d guess that after the tournament the kids may want a break from chess, but you’d be way off. In fact now that the serious chess is over, they feel more relaxed and have time to play lots of blitz and bughouse.
Congrats to all of the winners. It was a great tournament to watch, and as usual, US Chess did a fantastic job of running the event.

From the K-1 Section, Photo Jim Doyle


  1. LUCAS FOERSTER-YIALAMAS’s name is misspelled. Congratulations to our latest NY champion, even if the article doesn’t mention it. Elementary is spelled wrong up top too.

  2. Given how everyone relaxes with bughouse and blitz why not more bug and blitz tourney to monday instead of thrusday? Prob get as good or better turnout and way better to play blitz AFTER tournament

  3. Oops! So many champions and winners, in the rush to publish I forgot to send the other K3 co-champs! My bad, it should be fixed shortly!

  4. Greg,
    Thank you very much for doing this story! It would be great if you could mention that in K-5 U900 Gregory Senator had a perfect 7/7, and we had 4 players in the top 20 individual awards in that section.

    Thank you again.

  5. Chilong’s last name is actually Vang in the K6 Unrated section. Thanks for the coverage, Greg! Congratulations Chilong and Lincoln, Arkansas! We are proud of our boys and girls!

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