MVSD's 15th Annual Chess Competition

130 Students Flex Their Mental Muscle at District’s 15th Annual Chess Competition

Third through eighth grade students from throughout the Mountain View School District put their mental gaming talents to the test at the District’s 15th annual Chess Competition.   Representing nine of the District’s 12 schools, 130 young chess strategists gathered at Madrid Middle School on Saturday, May 21 for the competition, excitedly showing off their chess playing skills.

       The five match tournament was divided into three levels: beginning for players with one year of experience, intermediate for players with two to three years of experience and advanced for players with four or more years of experience.  Intensity filled the air as students calculated their moves, strategized and maneuvered their pieces with the ultimate goal of checkmating their opponents’ King. 

        Several MVSD schools have Chess Clubs which meet regularly providing students the opportunity to learn the game of strategy and logic and perfect their skills.  Research shows that playing chess has great benefits for kids including improving visual memory, attention span and spatial-reasoning ability.  Just like in school, in chess concentration and memory are key.  Playing chess also enhances reading and math skills because it requires decoding, thinking, comprehension and analysis and fosters logic, critical thinking and creativity.

       “Chess is a fun game of strategy and challenges that anyone can learn to play,” said Donelle Soto, Baker School’s principal.  “The focus, concentration, and sportsmanship the students displayed during today’s competition was amazing.  By playing chess they are not only developing their analytical and critical thinking skills, but are learning patience and good sportsmanship too,” she added.

         As the battles on the chess boards unfolded and the students moved their bishops, knights, pawns, queens and kings, their sense of pride in their play was evident.

        “We are very proud of all the students and commend them for their enthusiasm, good sportsmanship and exceptional chess playing abilities,” said Roberto Lopez, MVSD’s Director of Student Support Services and Special Education. 

         Clenching top honors in the beginners division in grades 3-5 was Eric Yan from Baker School and for grades 6-8, Vivian Le from Madrid Middle School.  In the intermediate division for grades 3-5, Josh Phan from Parkview and for grades 6-8, Destiny Moreno from Maxson earned the top spots.  The winner in the advanced division for grades 3-8 was Kevin Wu from La Primaria.

      “Congratulations go out to our winners and to all the participants,” said Soto.  “It is inspirational to see the level at which these kids perform and the way they carry themselves.  It is way beyond their years.  Special thanks also go out to our school site chess coaches for their excellent support of our students including David Chen, Elena Brown, Kryztofer Garcia and Margaret Tanaka from Baker School, Belinda Hyde from Monte Vista School,  Dolores Haro, from La Primaria School, Domingo Castillo and Maria Ramirez from Maxson School,  Joseph Baldenebro from Miramonte School,  Jason Guerrero from Madrid Middle School, Jose Sanchez and Cathy Spiess from Parkview School, Antonio Perez from Voorhis School  and Ryan Smith and Arlene Legaspe from Kranz Intermediate School.

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