GSB Reaches Chess National Championship in Back-to-Back Years

GSB Reaches Chess National Championship in Back-to-Back Years

The GSB Chess Program traveled to Baltimore, Maryland, to compete against the country’s top players in the 2022 National K-12 Chess Championship from December 9 – 11.

Following their 8th place finish in last year’s tournament, seniors Peter Horton, Akshay Patel, and Tyler Tellalian ended the weekend ranked 15th in the nation while taking on top ranked individuals from across the country.

Players competed in 7 rounds over three days, with matches lasting up to three hours. Despite the field of competition being triple in size from last year—and with more master players—the veteran trio used their prior experience to carve a name for themselves, ultimately earning more total points compared to the 2022 event.

“The biggest thing we learned at Nationals is that you can’t put a limit on anything,” said Akshay Patel ’23. “Last year, we walked into the tournament pretty unexpectedly. Coming back for the second year in a row, not only were we more prepared for our opponents, but many players seemed to recognize us. Our surprise title run from last year seems to have been remembered!”

As four-year club members, GSB Chess Coach Ian Prevost believes the group has made an indelible impact on the program.

“Having an active chess team compete at the very highest levels completely changes the atmosphere and functioning of our chess club. The passion and seriousness necessary to compete at this level means that meetings involve closer deliberate study of the game. Their enthusiasm is quite contagious to other students, and I have seen several of their peers start to really study the game earnestly,” commented Mr. Prevost.

While this will be the last National Tournament for Peter, Akshay, and Tyler, the seniors leave the program with high confidence as they pass their boards to a talented group of underclassmen, including Deshan Kawatra ’25 and Colin Seeley ’26. Kawatra and Seeley both displayed very strong performances in this year’s New Jersey State Tournament, in which GSB finished 2nd overall, and will look to continue their success on the national stage.

“Deshan and Colin are two young chess stars in the making,” commented senior Tyler Tellalian. “Given the program we have here at GSB, I’m confident that there will be even more talented players stepping up alongside them, so long as they are willing to put in the work. Our coach, Mr. Prevost, always says you get as much as you put in, so I hope they live by this message.”

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