NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- William B. Ward Elementary School hosted a National Scholastic Chess Foundation Grand Prix tournament on Saturday, April 22, that attracted more than 100 students from across the district, and from schools in Westchester County and Connecticut.
Students from Ward, Columbus, Davis, Webster and Albert Leonard Middle School took part in the competition that is run by the National Scholastic Chess Foundation based in White Plains.
Representing Ward were Aaron Barlis, Valentino Colon, Nathan Greenberg, Foti Koufalis, Konstantinos Koufalis, Madeline Plaxin, and Daniel Raff-Cohen. Ward students brought home four trophies.
Foti Koufalis won fourth place in the K-1 section and shared the second-place team trophy with Madeline Plaxin. Daniel Raff-Cohen won second place in the Primary section and shared the second-place team trophy with Aaron Barlis. The children had a great time displaying their chess skills and Ward spirit!
Ward parents helped organize the tournament and sold food to raise funds for the chess club. The Ward chess club strongly believes every child should have the opportunity to learn chess. Studies have shown that playing chess raises IQ, strengthens problem solving skills, enhances memory and fosters creative thinking.
ALMS student Oswald Kelly-Yuoh, a sixth grader, took second place in the Championship section. Maya Bel Haj Larbi, a sixth grader, and Kieran Freed, a seventh grader, also represented ALMS at the tournament as part of the Booster section. Lucas Palchik, a second grader from Webster, and Harrison Desimini, a first grader from Davis, took part in the Primary and K-1 section respectively.
Columbus chess players had a good day at the tournament. They won first place team awards in the Reserve and Primary Novice sections. The Booster section of the team came in second place.
Fifth grader Leo Liu came in first place in Reserve, while Darren Chen took fifth place. The trio of Leo, Darren and Luis Jimenez were the highest scoring team in the Reserve section.
Five students competed in the Booster section for Columbus, coming in second place as a team. The team consisted of Evelyn Valencia, Letssy Morphin, Ronny Perez, Maya Concha and Katie Quiroz.
Nine students competed in the Primary Novice section for Columbus, winning first place as a team. Kevin Lopez lead this section of the team coming in 5th place. Luis Oliveros came in 6th place. Also playing on the team were Gabriela Ceja, Frida Arenas, Dylan Solovyev, Evelyn Sanchez, Yazid Sanchez, Ignacio Valencia and Giovanna Mungia.
The Columbus chess players gave solid team performances and are preparing to compete at Trinity Elementary on Saturday. The team will also be competing in the United States Scholastic Chess SuperNationals K-12 in Nashville, Tennessee. The event will be held from May 12 to May 14.