Do you know how to defend against a Botvinnik? These guys do.
Last weekend, GSB seniors Lucas Bernui, Mitch Fishbein and Miles Griffin traveled to Orlando, Florida to compete in the K-12 Chess Grade Nationals, a tournament sponsored by the US Chess Federation. Accompanying the trio was Ian Prevost, Upper School computer science teacher and faculty adviser to the Chess Club. When the group returned home, they brought with them a trophy for Grade 12, second place in the nation.
The three GSB seniors competed against players from 15 schools over the course of the tournament, noting that Saturday was particularly grueling as they each had three matches, some of them running just over the three-hour mark. The scoring is simple: a win earns the player a point, a draw yields a half point, and there are no points for a loss. At the end of play, the individual scores are tallied up for a team score.
Each of the seniors credited Mr. Prevost with having improved their game. “We meet once a week, and he gives us problems to solve,” they explained. “He sets up a move on the board and we have to think through what the next moves would be.” In addition, they often play against one another and then deconstruct the game afterward, looking at what worked and what they might have done differently. When asked about the tournament, Prevost said with a smile, “The hotel was 10 minutes from Sea World and had a beautiful golf course and spa, but the boys had no time for that. Their focus was the game.”
All three seniors have been in the Chess Club together since their freshman year. For Lucas, the club represented his first time playing chess, while Mitch and Miles had played some prior to joining the club.
Stay tuned for further news as the Chess Club plans to compete in the World Amateur Team & U.S. Team East Championship in Parsippany, New Jersey this February.
Gill St. Bernard’s is a private, coeducational day school for students age three through grade 12, located in suburban New Jersey. Each of the three school divisions provides a rigorous, meaningful, and age-appropriate curriculum, and all students benefit from the environmental learning opportunities that exist on our 208-acre campus.