On December 3, the M-A Chess Team visited Menlo School to participate in the Bay Area Chess tournament hosted by Norcal’s High School Chess Association. Team members played against surrounding Bay Area high schools in four hectic rounds of chess.
At the M-A Chess Team’s first tournament, Chess Club President Shawnak Shivakumar said, “It was great to see everybody playing and we will definitely go to more events like this in the future as a larger team.”
Winning teams received cash prizes, the highest prize being fifty dollars. Sophomore Axel Pilette won one out of four rounds, Hayden Brongersma won two rounds out of four, John Diepenbrock won two rounds, and Shivakumar won four of his rounds which earned him the silver award title for individually placing second in the tournament, as well as a thirty dollar cash prize.
Tournament coordinator Cody Kletter, a junior at Menlo School, said, “The tournament had a really great turnout. This is our second tournament that my club has hosted all together and I’m glad that I could help foster a more competitive chess atmosphere and allow people to come together and have fun. In the Bay Area, there are not many chess competitions among high schoolers.”
To celebrate M-A’s success, the club hosted a celebration during their weekly club meeting in D-20 on Friday where over 50 people showed up to congratulate the winners and enjoy snacks together. Shivakumar said, “This is what chess is really about. Winning is fun, but it’s awesome to see that we are connecting the chess community together and getting more people to fall in love with the game.”
Pilette reflected, “This event marked just the beginning of my competitive chess journey. I had the opportunity to challenge a variety of skilled opponents which enhanced my strategic skills. I hope that in the future, with our dedication and teamwork, our chess team will emerge victorious in the upcoming tournament at Sacred Heart Preparatory in February.”
This tournament sparked a great kickoff for the M-A chess team, and their weekly practices, and instructional learning content is sure to prepare them for upcoming tournaments.