Z to Z at the K-12: Zhao and Zhuge Among New Champions

Results are in at the K-12 Chess Championships and our very first Main Event Champ was Katherine Zhuge of California, first to reach six points in the Kindergarten section. Katherine ended in a tie for first with Nathan Walatka (1st place trophy) of Indiana. Dalton in New York and Oak Hall in Gainesville tied for first in the Team Championships.

Katherine with Kimberly Doo McVay of the Women’s committee.

Kindergarten Championship Final results

1st Grade Championship: Maxwell Yang of Florida and Vihaan Jammalamadaka of Washington tied for first in the 1st Grade Championship and posed for US Chess with their huge trophies while Hunter College in New York won the team Championship.

2nd Grade Championship

Imran Champsi of California and Rishabh Chinni,  of Washington tied for first in the second grade Championships. Speyer Legacy school in New York took down the team title.

3rd Grade Championship Xan Meister of NY took clear first in the 3rd Grade Championship.

Speyer Legacy school in New York also won top team in this section.

4th Grade Championship– Huge congrats to Erick Zhao, who is ending 2018 on quite a high note, with a perfect score in the 4th Grade Championship, just a month after his silver medal performance in Santiago, Spain. Making the win even sweeter, Erick led his Florida team, Joseph A. Williams to a victory by a half point margin.

Watch his smooth final round win, which he ended with the lovely creeping move, 28.Qc6!

Erick Zhao, wearing his Two Sigma jacket from Spain

5th Grade Championship- Jed Sloan of NY won clear first in the 5th Grade Championship and the Speyer Legacy School won the Team Championship.

Jed Sloan

6th Grade Championship- 

Jack Levine of NY, Ronald Hernandez of Florida, Jason Shen of Florida and Ziyang Qiu of North Carolina tied for first in the 6th Grade Championship.

Co-champ Hernandez found a stunning tactical sequence in his sixth round game. Can you find it?

White to Move and Win 

I.S 318 of Brooklyn and Hunter College of New York tied for first for top sixth grade team.

7th Grade Championship-Gus Huston (NY), Noah Henry Thomforde-Toates (PA), Weijie Li (NY) and Nathaniel Shuman (NY) tied for first with 6/7 in the 7th Grade. Huston and Shuman were both members of the victorious team, Dalton in New York.

8th Grade Championship- Sumit Dhar of New York and Raghav Venkat of Florida tied for first in the 8th Grade.

I.S. 318, as featured in Brooklyn Castle, took clear first in the Team competition.

9th Grade Championship– Wesley Wang of NY and Andy Huang of VA tied for first in this section. On twitch.com/US Chess Jennifer Yu and Will Aramil called Wang’s round five win over Elton Cao one of the nicest games they saw over the weekend.

Wesley Wang

Wesley Wang hoists his first place trophies for 9th grade. He was co/champ individual and his team won second place. He had another quote for us: “The people who say that winning isn’t everything, never won anything.”

Andy Huang also led his team, Thomas Jefferson High School in Alexandria, VA to first place victory. 

Andy Huang

10th Grade Championship-

IM Hans Niemann rebounded from a round three loss to Evan Ling to tie for first in the 10th Grade Championship, along with Marcus Miyasaka (first place trophy) and Justin Chen. Justin was top board for Stuyvesant High School, which won the team Championship. All three co-champs are from NY. Niemann’s positional queen sacrifice in the penultimate round turned heads all over the World.

Black resigned in view of devastating threats like Ba4-d7-f5!

11th Grade Championship

NM Nithin Kavi of MA was the only clear winner in a high school section.

In the team competition, Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire took the W.  

12th Grade Championship-

 Nikhil Kalghatgi and Sahil Sinha tied for first in the 12 Grade Championship, while the Whitney Young High School in Chicago won top team honors.

Can you find co-champ Sinha’s devastating move in this position?

White to Move

Bug and Blitz: As previously reported, IM Hans Niemann won the K-12 Blitz Championship and Nathaniel won the K-6 Blitz.  This makes Hans a triple crown winner as he tied for first in bug and the Main Event, and won clear in the blitz.

We also have a corrected tweet on the brother-sister bughouse Championship duo, Jennifer and Carlos Hoyos, as a previous version featured a different Carlos.

Congrats to all the winners and players at the K-12, which you can browse on the standings pages. Review streams on our twitch channel, and relive our twitter feed @USChess or using the hashtag #K12ChessChamps.


  1. Huge congrats to all the champions!!! And way to go team Giorgi!! Two national champions, best coach ever!!

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