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The Beacon

The Student Newspaper of Jackson-Reed High School

The Beacon

The Student Newspaper of Jackson-Reed High School

The Beacon

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Jackson-Reed crowned DCSAA chess champions

Jackson-Reed+crowned+DCSAA+chess+champions
Carmen Brito

On May 4, four schools competed in the DCSAA chess championship: two-time defending state champs Sidwell Friends, Georgetown Day School, SEED School, and Jackson-Reed. 

It was a close matchup between all schools competing, but Jackson-Reed took the crown and ended Sidwell’s streak. “We were up against outstanding players from other schools. Wins have never come easy, and we have lots of respect for the opponents we faced,” said coach Patrick Moore. Moore coached the Tigers alongside Kukua Frempong, the co-coach of the Tigers chess team.

Thanh Can, a sophomore at Jackson-Reed placed first overall in the competition. “At the end of the tournament, I was tied with another player, so we had to play a best of three series of blitz games to determine final placement,” Can said. “It has been a long time since I played quick time controls over the board, so it was a pretty challenging experience. However, I often play blitz games online, which prepared me and helped me manage my time, so I still did well.” 

The 2023-2024 season was one of the best years for the Tigers chess team, with players ranging from a variety of grades and skill levels. “You definitely should join extracurriculars. It is a good way to step out of your comfort zone, make new friends, and make new social connections,” said sophomore Noah Flemons. “With chess specifically, it allowed me to compete with people around my skill level and improve with like-minded people.”

Freshman Arnav Iyengar shared how sports can influence one’s performance in chess: “To prepare myself physically, I run cross country so that I stay physically fit, which helps me concentrate for many consecutive hours during one chess game.” Senior Zack Bensky, a captain of the nationally ranked boys ultimate frisbee team, recently joined the chess club and entered to play in the DCSAA championship. Bensky placed fourth overall. 

The team overcame early setbacks through continuous moral support and strategic adjustments, according to sophomore captain Julius Vasquez. “In the early rounds of the tournament, the majority of our team were facing heavy losses. In between rounds we would rally behind each other, support each other, review games, see what to improve, and use that energy to end up winning more in the later rounds and, more importantly, the tournament.”

Looking to next year, the team is looking to defend their hard earned title.

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