WESTERN PA YOUTH CHESS

Pittsburgh Chess Club Classes:

We offer classes year round at the Pittsburgh Chess Club, located in Squirrel Hill. Classes run in 6 week sets. Beginner through Intermediate level classes are on Sunday afternoons. An extra set of Beginner classes meets on Thursdays evenings. Advanced classes meet Monday evenings. The classes are primarily geared toward kids, but interested adults may also enroll. If unsure of your level, please contact me.

September - October chess classes are finished.

The next set of Sunday classes will start November 2 and continue until December 14. Beginner classes are also offered on Thursday evening from 7 - 8pm, starting November 6. Advanced Classes for students rated over 1000 meet on Monday evenings starting November 3. The registration form and schedule is here: Nov - Dec 2014 classes.

Upcoming Events:

12/13/14 - 17th Tri-State Junior Chess Open. The entry form is here: Entry form.

Chess Ratings. Click here to look up ratings: Chess ratings

NOTE: The USCF releases "official" rating updates on a monthly basis. However, there is still a time lag because each month's list is prepared about 2 weeks before the 1st of the month. If you play in an event the day after the cutoff date, you could still have a lag of up to 6 weeks before it impacts on your official rating.

Honor Roll list is updated quarterly. The latest list is here: Western PA Scholastic Chess Honor Roll.

The Honor Roll lists the name and school for the top 7 players in each grade. Students must be currently active and have an established rating. Established ratings require 25 rated games or more. Out of town players who have played in one of our scholastic events during the past year are also eligible for the list. To learn more about chess ratings, click here: Chess Ratings Explained

Past News & Assorted Items:

The 2014 Future Champions Chess Challenge was held on 11/8/14 at the Irish Center of Pittsburgh. Perfect 4-0 scores were achieved in each section! The 1st place winners were: Championship: Molor Buuch, Intermediate: Zachary Queen, Advanced Beginner: Arkaska Rakach, Grade 3-12 Beginner: Brendan Fortunato, and Grade K-2 Beginner: Willem Fitzgerald. Top team was Ingomar Elementary. Full results can be found here: Results.

The Summer 2014 Chess Challenge took place on 8/23/14 at the Irish Center of Pittsburgh. Maxim Yaskolko topped the Championship section, Mohammed Elsayed was first in Intermediate, Daniel Oldak won the Advanced Beginner, and Gaige Hailey snapped first in the Beginner section. Ingomar Middle won the team competition for the second tournament in the row. Full results can be found here: Results.

The 21st Western PA Scholastic Championship was held 6/14/14 at the Irish Center of Pittsburgh. William Wang aced the Championship section with a perfect 4-0. Devin Stein topped the Intermediate section, Reo Matsuda won the Advanced Beginner, and Arkasha Rakach was King of the Beginner group. Ingomar Middle won the team competition. Full results can be found here: Results.

The 2014 Pittsburgh Scholastic Chess Championship took place on 5/10/14 at the Irish Center of Pittsburgh. Jack Mo won the City Championship for the 2nd year in a row, by scoring 4-0 in the Championship section. Kyle Coplan won the Premier section, Ritvik Mahapatra the Intermediate, Mohammed Elsayed the Advanced Beginner, and Prince Sadam the Beginner. Winner of the team championship was Bethel Park Senior High School. Full results can be found here: Results.


Bethel Park Senior High School Chess team

The 41st Annual Library Finals was held on 4/5/14 at the East Liberty Library. Maxim Yaskolko won the Grade 5 - 8 division. Eric Wang won the Grade K - 4 division for the second year in a row. A photo report is online here: 2014 Library Finals Photo report. Full round by round results here: Final results.

The 2014 Southern Regional Chess Championship was held 2/22/14 at Fort Cherry Elementary. Top scorers were: Championship: Jack Brosius, Intermediate: Owen Jones, Beginner: Michael Hsieh. Top team was Fort Cherry Elementary. Full results are here: Results.

The 20th Annual Fox Chapel Chess Championship was held 1/25/2014 at O'Hara Elementary. There were two sections. Rohan Patil took top honors in the Advanced section, while Jeremy Lee won the Beginner section. Both had perfect 4 - 0 scores. Winner of the team championship, for the first time ever, was Dorseyville Middle School. Full results are here: Full results are here: Results.


Dorseyville Middle School Chess team
Noah Hertzman, Rohan Patil, Brandon Wei, Isaac Mah, Devon Stein, Madison Borkovich, and Leah Fetting

The 14th Catholic Schools Chess Championship happened at St Louise de Marillac on 1/11/14. On this occasion, the home court advantage proved helpful, as St. Louise won the team competition. Individual section winners were: Advanced: Austin Kuntz, Intermediate: Grant Cullen, and Beginner: Alex Tabbouratzis. Full results are here: results.


St Louise Chess team

The 16th Tri-State Junior Open took place on 12/14/13 at CMU. 1st place winners: Championship: Josh Gottlieb, Premier: Jimmy Niu, Intermediate: Tim Ganger, Advanced Beginner: Matthew Costa, Grade 4 - 8 Beginner: Max Allen, and Grade K - 3 Beginner: Vishram Urs. Top team, for the second tournament in a row, was Colfax. Full results are here: Results.

The 2013 Future Champions Chess Challenge was held on 11/9/13 at the Irish Center of Pittsburgh. Jack Brosius won Championship section. Yiding Wang topped the Intermediate section. Yernar Aidarbek was first in the Advanced Beginner section, and Viraj Urs won the Beginner section. Colfax won the team competition. Full results can be viewed here: Results.


Colfax Chess team - Yernar Aidarbek, Selina Tripathy, Dylan Olmsted, Tim Ganger.

The Summer 2013 Chess Challenge was held on 8/24/13 at the Irish Center of Pittsburgh. 1st place winners were: Championship: Maxim Yaskolko, Intermediate: Constantin Matros, Advanced Beginner: Mohamed Elsayed, Beginner section: Etienne Strandberg-Houze. Ingomar Middle school took 1st place in the team competition. Full results can be viewed here: Results.

The 20th Annual Western PA Championship was held on 6/8/13 at the Irish Center of Pittsburgh. Top Scorers were: Championship: Sasha Yaskolko, 800-1099 section: Anna Chedia, 550-799 section: Constantin Matros, Beginner section: Pasquale Veltri. The Homeschoolers Middle school students were tops in the team competition. Full results can be viewed here: Results.

The 2013 Southern Regional Chess Championship was held on 4/20/13 at Fort Cherry Elementary. 1st place stars were: Championship: Jack Mo, Intermediate: Jeffrey Yang, Advanced Beginner: Lloyd Gumireddy, Grade 5 - 12 Beginner: Fady Wasef, and Grade K - 4 Beginner: Rahul Koka. Top team was Franklin Elementary. Full results are here: Results.


Franklin Elementary Chess team - Divya Komandooru, Yiding Wang, Jeffrey Yang, Akshay Mahajan.

The 2013 Pittsburgh Scholastic Championship was held on 2/23/13 at Oakland Catholic High School. This year's scholastic City Champion is Jack Mo, winner of the Championship section. Other first place winners were: Premier section: Ethan Chi, Intermediate section: Kuba Kowalewski, Advanced Beginner: Julian Wolstencroft, and Beginner: Diyva Komandooru. Top team, for the second year in a row, was Obama 6 - 12. Congratulations to them and all the other winners. Full results are here: Results.


Pittsburgh Obama Chess team

The 19th Fox Chapel Chess Championship was held on 2/2/13 at O'Hara Elementary. Brandon Wei took 1st place in the Intermediate section and Omar Shalaby won the Beginner section. Kerr Elementary was the winner in the Team competition. Full results here: Results.


Kerr Chess team - Ethan Wyman, Omar Shalaby, Jonah Hertzman, Noah Hertzman

The 15th Tri-State Junior Open was held on 1/5/13 at Carnegie Mellon University. 1st place winners in each section were: Championship: Jack Mo, Premier: Vinay Pedapati, Intermediate: Zachary Johnson, Advanced Beginner: Andrew Gu, Grade 4 - 8 Beginner: Jesse Lind, and Grade K - 3 Beginner: Mohamed Elsayed. Top team was Ingomar Middle School. Full results can be viewed here: 15th Tri-State Junior Open results.

The 2012 Future Champions Chess Challenge was held on 11/10/12 at the Irish Center of Pittsburgh. 1st place winners in each section were: Championship: Kyle Deddo, Premier: Sylvie Lee, Intermediate: Praneel Varshney, Advanced Beginner: Anish Devineni, and Beginner: Hunter Small. Top team was Moon Area Middle School. Full results can be viewed here: 2012 Future Champions Chess Challenge results.


Moon Area Middle School Chess team - Nick Acuna, Julian Wolstencroft, Matt Robinson, Scott Robinson, Adam Lounder

The Summer 2012 Chess Challenge was held 8/25/12 at Pittsburgh Urban Christian School. 1st place winners in each section were: Championship: William Wang, Premier: Mark Cicero, Intermediate: Jesse Tustin, Advanced Beginner: Jeffrey Yang, and Beginner: Luke Gavel. Top team was Franklin Elementary School. Full results can be viewed here: Summer 2012 Chess Challenge results.


Franklin Elementary Chess team - Divya Komandooru, Vinay Gupta, Yiding Wang, Jeffrey Yang, Teresa Huang

The 19th Annual Western PA Chess Championship was held on 6/9/12 at CMU. Top Scorers were: Championship section: Jack Mo, Premier: Nathan Meyers, Rated 650 - 899: Ashvath Sekhar, Rated 500 - 649: Lucca Spence, Grades 4 - 12 Beginner: Joel Neely, Grades K - 3 Beginner: Nathan Rukovena. Top team was Pittsburgh CAPA 6 - 12. Full results can be viewed here: 19th Western PA Championship results.


CAPA 6-12 Chess team - Evan Neely, Joel Neely, Nathan Meyers

The 2012 Southern Regional Chess Championship was held on 4/21/12 at Fort Cherry Elementary. Top scorers were: Championship section: Jack Mo, Intermediate: Grace Mitro, Advanced Beginner: Andrea Kazmierczak, Grade 5 -12 Beginner: Jack Brosius, Grade K - 4 Beginner: Jeffrey Yang. Top team were the talented girls from Oakland Catholic High School. Full results can be viewed here: Southern Regional results.


Oakland Catholic Chess team - Grace Mitro, Abby Ceraso, Emily Carney, Andrea Kazmierczak

The 39th Annual Library Finals was held on 3/31/12 at the Brentwood Library. Jack Mo extended his winning streak, winning the Grade 5 - 8 division for the 3rd year in a row! Swathi Senthil took 1st in the Grade K - 4 division. A photo report is online here: 2012 Library Finals Photo report. Full round by round results here: Final results.

The 2012 Pittsburgh Scholastic Chess Championship was held on 3/3/12 at Oakland Catholic High School. The new scholastic City Champion is Mike Samo, winner of the championship section. Other 1st place winners include: Premier: Nathan Meyers, Intermediate: Scott Cicero, Advanced Beginner: Jack Brosius, Beginner: Kuba Kowalewski. Top team was Obama 6-12. Full results can be viewed here: City Championship results.


Pittsburgh Obama Chess team

The 18th Annual Fox Chapel Chess Championship was held 1/28/12 at O'Hara Elementary. Top scorers were: Championship section: Alex Zhang, Intermediate section: Eric Zhang, Grades 3-12 Beginner: Brandon Wei, and Grades K-2 Beginner: Quentin Cook. O'Hara Elementary captured the team trophy. Full results are here: Full results.

The 13th Annual Catholic Schools Chess Championship was held 1/7/12 at St Louise de Marillac. First place winners were: Advanced section: Daniel Crawford, Intermediate: Mark Cicero, and Beginner: Scott Cicero. In the team competition, Central Catholic earned 1st place. Full results are here: Full results.

The 14th Tri-State Junior Open was held on 12/17/11 at CMU. 151 students participated. Scoring a major upset in the Championship section was Josh Gottlieb, who defeated players rated more than 200, 500, and 600 points above him! This was one of the biggest upsets victories we have seen in years. Other winners were: Premier: Gerry Chen, Intermediate: Isaac Mah, Grade 6-12 Beginner: Grace Mitro, Grade K-5 Advanced Beginner: Yiding Wang (a kindergartener!), Grade 3-5 Beginner: Andrew Johnson, and Grade K-2 Beginner: Jason Briegel. Full results are available here: Results.

The first tournament of the new school year was the 2011 Future Champions Chess Challenge held on 11/12/11 at the Pittsburgh Irish Center. 100 students participated. First place winners were: Championship section: Kyle Deddo, Premier section: Shane Fogarty, Intermediate section: Tim Ganger, Advanced Beginner: Justin Green, and Beginner: Jonah Hertzman. The Environmental Charter School won the team competition. Full results are available here: Results.

The Summer 2011 Chess Challenge took place on 8/20/11 at Pittsburgh Urban Christian School. First place winners were: Championship section: Jack Mo, Intermediate section: Andrew Casile, Advanced Beginner: Davis Smith, and Beginner: Luke Weiland. Pittsburgh Urban Christian School won the team competition for the second year running. Full results are available here: Results.


Pittsburgh Urban Christian School Chess team

The 18th Annual Western PA Scholastic Chess Championship was held on 6/11/11 at Carnegie Mellon University. Jonathan Naser took top honors in the Championship section. Nathan Wang won the Premier section. Roy Wang was tops in the 650 - 949 section. Austin Kuntz topped the Grade 6 - 12 Beginners, Shane Fogarty won the Grade K - 5 Advanced Beginner, and Nate Fetting was champ of the Grade K - 5 Beginners. Top team was Colfax Elementary. Full results are available here: Results.

The 2011 Kings & Queens Chess Challenge was held on 5/7/11 at the Pittsburgh Irish Center. 1st place winners were: Championship: Byron Li, Premier: Christopher Rodes, Intermediate: MacKenzie Allen, Advanced Beginner: Austin Kuntz, and Beginner: Wylie Haddad. Full results here: Final results.

The 38th Annual Library Finals was held on 4/2/11 at Castle Shannon Library. Jack Mo won the Grade 5 - 8 division for the second year in a row. Maxim Yaskolko won the Grade K - 4 division. A photo report is online here: 2011 Library Finals Photo report. Full round by round results here: Final results.

The 2011 Pittsburgh Scholastic Chess Championship was held on 3/12/11 at Oakland Catholic High School. The new scholastic City Champion is Ben Molin, winner of the championship section. Other 1st place winners include: Premier: Nathan Wang, Intermediate: Michael Mi, Advanced Beginner: Raj Thimmiah, Beginner: Matt Robinson. Top team was Central Catholic High School. Full results can be viewed here: City Championship results.

The 17th Annual Fox Chapel Championship was held on 1/29/11 at O'Hara Elementary School. Winners of the individual competition were: Championship section: Jeffrey Uselman, Intermediate section: Steven Cano, and Beginner section: Myles Winston. Fairview Elementary snagged the team championship title for the 2nd year in a row. Full results here: Results for 17th Fox Chapel Championship.


Fairview Elementary Chess team

The 12th Annual Catholic Schools Championship was held at Oakland Catholic High School on 1/15/11. First place winners were: Advanced section: Daniel Seamans, Intermediate section: Michael Niggemyer, and Beginner section: Henry Adrian. Top team was Notre Dame High School, from West Virginia. Congratulations to them, and all the participants! Full results are here: Results for Catholic Schools Championship.

Team champion - Notre Dame High School and Advanced section champion - Daniel Seamans

The 13th Tri-State Junior Chess Championship took place at Carnegie Mellon University on 12/11/10. First place winners were: Championship: Roman Cano, Premier: Andrew Warburton, 775-949: Addison Lynch, 600-774: Tarush Bahl, 6-12 Beginner: Josiah Degraaf, K-5 Adv Beginner: Joseph Feffer, Grade 4-5 Beginner: Daniel Degraaf, and Grade K-3 Beginner: Jonah Murray. Top team was the Homeschool Elementary team. Full results here: Final results . Here is a picture of the Championship section from the last round, with Jonathan Botek vs Roman Cano on Board 1:


13th Tri-State - Championship section, last round: Jonathan Botek vs Roman Cano

The 16th Annual Fox Chapel Chess Championship was played on 1/30/10. This tournament was only open to schools in the Fox Chapel area. 45 players participated. Fairview Elementary Elementary delivered a powerful performance to snatch the coveted team championship with 14 out of 16 possible points. First place finishers were: Roman Cano (Championship), Julia Lynch (Intermediate), Zachary Creinin (Grade 3-5 Beginner), and Justin Choo (Grade K - 2 Beginner). Congratulations to them, the other prize winners, and all the participants. For the full results, click here: 16th Annual Fox Chapel Championship Results.

Here is a picture of the winning Fairview team:


Fairview Elementary - 2010 Fox Chapel Chess Champions

The 11th Annual Catholic Schools Chess Championship was held 12/19/09 at St Louise de Marillac. First place winners were: Advanced section: Michael El-Kadi, Grades 5-12 Beginner: Antonio Watkins & Anthony Kuntz (tied with 4-0), Grades 3-4 Beginner: Nicholas Minshall, and Grades K-2 Beginner: Matthew DiMarsico. In the team competition, Providence Heights Alpha earned 1st place for the 4th year in a row! Full results are here: Full results. Here is a photo of the Alpha team:

Providence Heights Alpha - 2010 Catholic Schools Chess Champions

The 16th Annual Western PA Scholastic Championship took place at CMU on 6/13/09. 184 players participated. Five time US Champion and famous author Grandmaster Larry Evans entertained and instructed the players between rounds. That evening, he also gave a simul at the Pittsburgh Club Chess against several of the top Scholastic players in the area and several adult players. At the tournament, winners of the various sections were: Daniel Priore (Championship), Byron Li (Premier), Karthik Narayanan (850-999), Jonathan Wang (650-849), Joseph Wang (450-649), Jordan Keitel (6-12 Beg), Victoria Mbogo (Grades 4-5 Beg), Nivetta Thamilarasan (Grades 2-3 Beg), and Prathiksha Sivakumar (Grades K-1 Beg). Marshall Elementary took 1st place honors in the team championship on tiebreaks over Providence Heights Alpha. Full results can be viewed here: Final results.

Grandmaster Larry Evans, 5 time US Champion, was our special guest
at the 16th Annual Western PA Scholastic Championship.

Larry was US Champion in 1951, 1952, 1961-62, 1967-68, and 1980.
A prolific writer, Grandmaster Evans is also the author of numerous chess books and a famous column called "What's the Best Move," which has appeared in Chess Life magazine for decades.

Memorable Moments from the Past

The 2008 Future Champion's Chess Challenge was held 10/25/08 at Allderdice High School. Top team was Community Day School. Here is a photo of the Community Day School team:


Sam Gershanok, Isaac Berman, Jacob Hirshman, Eli Diamant

The 15th Annual Western PA Scholastic Championship was held 6/14/08 at CMU. Here are some photos:

6-12 Champ - Daniel Priore, 1st Place team - Pittsburgh Colfax K-8 Academy, K-5 Champ - Ashwin Anbu

GM Christiansen vs 14yr Pittsburgh Master Alex Heimann - June 2007.


Grace Dorohovich, 2007 Grade 6-12 City Champion, and Ben Molin, 2007 Grade K-5 City Champion!

The Pittsburgh Youth Chess Dragons at the 2006 PA State Championship:

K-6 State Champions!


Happy Dragons from K-3 Open & K-6 Under 800, and Randall Gough, 2005 PA Elementary Champion!

The Pittsburgh Youth Chess Dragons triumph at the PA State Chess Championship in Carlisle! We have won 1st place Club Team trophy in the K-3 Open for 5 years in a row! We also took 1st place Club team in the K-6 Open, K-6 Under 800, and K-9 Under 1000. We were tied for 1st in the K-12 Under 1300, but finished 2nd in that section on tiebreaks. The Pittsburgh Youth Chess Dragons are teams put together by Jerry Meyers, composed of students from his various classes.


2005 K-6 Open Club Champions!


In past years, we were able to bring a number of special guests to Pittsburgh. One memorable visitor was Gregory Kaidanov, who was the highest rated player in the US when he visited. To see more photos of Grandmaster Kaidanov and our other special guest, click here: Annual Guest Speaker Program


Grandmaster Kaidanov's blindfold game against Gabriel Petesch was a highlight of his visit

The 2003 Tri-State Junior Open, with 379 participants, was the largest local tournament ever held in Western PA!! Here's how the main playing room looked at the start of the 1st round:

379 Players!!

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Why Offer Chess in Schools?
By Chessmaster Jerry Meyers

1) History
Chess is a classic game of strategy, invented more than 1500 years ago in India. Legend has it that the ruler of India asked his wise men to devise a way to teach the children of the royal family to become better thinkers and better generals on the battlefield. Chess was the result. In the centuries since its invention, chess has spread to every country in the world. While countless other games have died out, chess lives on. In the United States, it has received endorsements by many educators, ranging from Benjamin Franklin to former U.S. Secretary of Education, Terrell Bell. In Western Pennsylvania, more than 70 schools and a dozen libraries offer chess programs, reaching several thousand students each year.

2) Academic Benefits
We have brought chess to the schools because we believe it directly contributes to academic performance. Chess makes kids smarter. It does so by teaching the following skills:

Focusing - Children are taught the benefits of observing carefully and concentrating. If they don’t watch what is happening, they can’t respond to it, no matter how smart they are.
Visualizing - Children are prompted to imagine a sequence of actions before it happens. We actually strengthen the ability to visualize by training them to shift the pieces in their mind, first one, then several moves ahead.
Thinking Ahead - Children are taught to think first, then act. We teach them to ask themselves “If I do this, what might happen then, and how can I respond?” Over time, chess helps develop patience and thoughtfulness.
Weighing Options - Children are taught that they don’t have to do the first thing that pops into their mind. They learn to identify alternatives and consider the pros and cons of various actions.
Analyzing Concretely - Children learn to evaluate the results of specific actions and sequences. Does this sequence help me or hurt me? Decisions are better when guided by logic, rather than impulse.
Thinking Abstractly - Children are taught to step back periodically from details and consider the bigger picture. They also learn to take patterns used in one context and apply them to different, but related situations.
Planning - Children are taught to develop longer range goals and take steps toward bringing them about. They are also taught of the need to reevaluate their plans as new developments change the situation.
Juggling Multiple Considerations Simultaneously - Children are encouraged not to become overly absorbed in any one consideration, but to try to weigh various factors all at once.

None of these skills are specific to chess, but they are all part of the game. The beauty of chess as a teaching tool is that it stimulates children’s minds and helps them to build these skills while enjoying themselves. As a result, children become more critical thinkers, better problem solvers, and more independent decision makers.

3) Educational Research
These conclusions have been backed up by educational research. Studies have been done in various locations around the United States and Canada, showing that chess results in increased scores on standardized tests for both reading and math. A study on a large scale chess program in New York City, which involved more than 100 schools and 3,000 children, showed higher classroom grades in both English and Math for children involved in chess. Studies in Houston, Texas and Bradford, Pennsylvania showed chess leads to higher scores on the Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal and the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking.

4) Social Benefits
In the schools, chess often serves as a bridge, bringing together children of different ages, races and genders in an activity they can all enjoy. Chess helps build individual friendships and also school spirit when children compete together as teams against other schools. Chess also teaches children about sportsmanship - how to win graciously and not give up when encountering defeat. For children with adjustment issues, there are many examples where chess has led to increased motivation, improved behavior, better self-image, and even improved attendance. Chess provides a positive social outlet, a wholesome recreational activity that can be easily learned and enjoyed at any age.

Jerry Meyers, Scholastic director of the Pittsburgh Chess Club

Jerry Meyers, Scholastic director of the Pittsburgh Chess Club, shows students a winning move!




Chess-for-Pittsburgh-Youth Program Offers
Free Chess Classes
for City of Pittsburgh Schools

Chess-for-Pittsburgh-Youth Program Offers
Free Chess Day!
for City of Pittsburgh Teachers

Annual Guest Speaker
Program

Images of Pittsburgh Youth Chess Dragons
2001 PA State Championship Victory!

Images of Pittsburgh Youth Chess Dragons
2002 PA State Championship Victory!



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Last Modified: 11/9/14
Maintained By/Send Comments to: Jerry Meyers