Nationals recap

The Tampa Bay chess community was very blessed to have the K-12 National Championship in Orlando(as it will be for the next several years). Board One Chess Academy’s students were well represented at the tournament and Berkeley’s team had a strong showing as well. Berkeley took home several, minor team trophies and many of my students took honors in the under sections(top 3 kids rated under 1200 in grade 6, for example). Below are three kids of whom I’m especially proud;

Wolfe Hudepohl had one of his best tournaments and lived up to the many praises he received from his coaches. Wolfe took a half point bye in the first round to sing at his school's winter concert and then proceeded to go on a run of 4 straight wins. Most impressive was his win over John Capocyan from Texas, who had a rating of 1353. Despite losing his last two matches, Hudepohl increased his rating from 648 to 809 and finished with a trophy in the under 800 section of 1st grade.

John Battle Harden started in a disappointing way, losing pieces and getting frustrated with being paired against 1700 and 1800s. Saturday night he was 1-3 and then made us all proud by winning three straight, including a win over Lixin Zheng(rated 1482). He finished a respectable 4-3 and capture 3rd in the U1200 section of 6th grade.

Harper Hudepohl had a tough road, most of her games were played against kids from out of state and(if a kid is traveling to nationals from far away, they are usually pretty good.) She finished with 4 wins, 2 losses this placed her in 17th place overall and 2nd in the U600 Kindergarten section. She has to be excited to join the team of Wolfe, Michael Ross, Noah Ellis and Marco Souchet for Regionals and States coming up in Spring.

Special recognition to a kid who I don't teach personally, but all in Tampa are really proud of, Dylan Sunjic. With little practice lately the guy went 6-1. He claimed 5th place overall in a tough, 6th grade section.