San Diego Union Tribune- High school Nationals


San Diego Union Tribune- High school Nationals


This generation of youth chess players got good faster than their predecessors thanks to computer programs, games and websites that make chess help more accessible than ever. On top of that, more schools are establishing chess programs, which experts say are in sync with the nation’s new Common Core academic standards that go into effect in most states in the fall.

“Chess is a natural fit with Common Core, which preaches going deep with knowledge and applying it,” said Jay Stallings, a member of the United Chess Federation’s Scholastic Committee. “With chess, you’re thinking five and seven moves deep.”

2014 USCF Nationals!!!

2014 USCF Nationals!!!

Information for the 2014 USCF High School (K-12) National Championships is now available (see the link above). Unlike other tournaments we’ve played before in the past, Nationals will occur over the course of three days. 

The tournament will feature schools from all over the U.S in grades K-12. In chess, divisions are based on rating level, not grade level; in theory, an elementary aged student could face a high school senior if they are in the same rating bracket.

The anticipated divisions that KLA Chess Club will compete at are:

K-12 Under 1200 


K-12 Under 800


KLA Chess club will be hosting a “Candidates Tournament” to see which of our players we will be taking to Nationals. Our goal is to raise enough money for KLA Chess club to sponsor the top 5 players in each division to take to Nationals.

The cost for each player to attend Nationals is $50 per player and must be a USCF member ($17 annual registration).

*Note: Students who do not qualify in the Candidates tournament may still attend the National tournament, but must pay their own registration fees.

Friday Extra Games

Friday Extra Games

Most of the 8th graders were off on a field trip this past Friday, so I got a chance to sneak in a game this Friday vs. “S”. Not really a fan of playing quick games, but it’s good to challenge my students to push them a little (or to get pushed by them). Anyway, not too impressed with “S’s” game, but he did hang on. He actually resigned a couple times and after prompting him, we did play it out. Click on the link to see how it went.

Annotating Games

Annotating Games

Finally found out how to annotate games online…sounds nerdy, I know, but this should be a really good thing for our Chess class. Annotating games not only helps players learn from their previous games, but also is a good way to reflect and develop their writing. I think the kids will enjoy seeing their games online.

Here is an example of a past tournament game I played at the North County Chess Club in Escondido. It was only my 4th rated game, but played a pretty solid game until I made a HUGE BLUNDER to eventually lose. The game lasted four hours and although I blew it at the end, was happy with the improvement.