Recent Past: 2019 Fullerton Host Lions City Scholastic Chess Championship
The 14th annual Fullerton City Scholastic Chess Championship, sponsored by the Fullerton Host Lions, was held on May 3d, at Ladera Vista Jr. High. This was a two-phase tournament. Due to an SAT test the following morning, several high school students eligile to compete in the Superchamp tournament could not do so. Consequently this tournament wasn’t held until everybody got back from vacation, on July 6. .
The tournament director for the main event, for the third time in the last four years, was Dewain Barber, recently honored with the title of the first-ever “Dean of Scholastic Chess” by the United States Chess Federation. Quite an honor: there are only four other Deans in USCF history, all grandmasters!
Despite the fact that Lions sponsorship of weekly chess club activities has slowed to single school (nicolas Jr. High), thirty-eight students attended in the main event (down from 54 in 2018).
Grade champions are listed below in bold. For the first time ever, there were only two repeating champions: Shriya Gandhi squeaked by in 3d grade, and Jacob Lee in 6th grade.. However, Jacob won the Superchamp tournament; thus there is no 6th grade champion in 2019.
This year, as in years past, the largest number of participants were from Laguna Road (8), with Fisler and Arborland Montessori around 4. Sadly, there were NO entrants from either Orangethorpe (8), Rolling Hills (4) and Hermosa Drive (3) [note: down from 2017 participants, in parentheses]. However, Acacia (1 to 7) and Raymond Hill (0 to 4) increased substantially over that time.
The shift toward younger player is continuing: 16 of the players were K , 1st or 2nd , with second grade the largest group (8). Contrast this with the upper grades: where there were only four players 7th grade or over!
K 1. Aanya Dialani (Mont) 2. Shawn Allen (Acacia) 3. Jerry Jiang (Arborland Montessori)
1st. 1. Aaron Yen (Acacia) 2. (Elijah Pak (Fisler) 3. Juni Kwon (Beechwood)
2nd 1. Luther Kim (home) 2. Aaron Xu (Acacia) 3. (tie) Brandon Chong & Aaruv Biyani (both
3d 1. Shriya Gandhi (Laguna) 2. Ethan Cho (Laguna) 3. Dylan Wang (Laguna)
4th 1. Shaan Shah (Laguna) 2. Nicholas Rainer (Laguna) 3. Blake Allen (Acacia)
5th 1. Zac Xu (Acacia) 2. TIE: Jenna Ho (Laguna) & Pascal Duffus (Acacia)
6th Jacob Lee won, but he also won the Superchamp tournament!
7&8 1. Joseph Ho (Kraemer) 2. Shrey Gandhi (Parks)
The annual tournament always includes a “Superchamp” flight to determine the best scholastic player in Fullerton, to earn the title of the Fullerton City Scholastic Chess Champion. To qualify to enter, students must have either been a grade champion, or have United States Chess Federation rating.
In the event the five players listed below played a 30 minute time control round robin tournament. Jacob Lee emerged a clear winner – the young city chess champion ever! Last year’s champion Jonathan Hsing played a hair-raising 5-minute tie-breaker* against Joseph Ho to win second place, with past grade champions Owen Tang and Denny Lee finishing fourth and fifth in an exciting event.
* Ho was far ahead in material, but lost ran out of time; it would have been a tie except for
Hsing’sLone pawn – which by rhe rules of the game gave him the win!
Superchamp – 1 . Jacob Lee (6tth, Acacia) – 2019 Fullerton City Champ; 2. Jonathan Hsing (11th,
Sunny Hill); 3. Joseph Ho (8th, Kraemer)
OTHERS PARTICIPANTS: Kindergarten: Maxwell Troung (Acacia), 1st: Amber Kwak (Laguna Road); 2nd: Lucas Seunghyuk (Laguna), Julio Estrada Campo (Raymond), Owen Lam (Laguna), Jaxson Hoagland (Raymond); 3d: Aarin Sasspal (Fisler), Joel Estrada (Fisler) Logan Wiley (Raymond); 4th: Seong Ah Yoon (Laguna), Jonny Villegas (Richmond); 5th: Luke Jareb (Acacia), Aashna Dialiani (Laguna); 6th: Harrison Truong (Sunset); Grades 7, 8 &10: Aadi Biyani (Parks), Sejin Lee (Sierra)
Legend: Laguna=Laguna Road; Montessori = Arborland Montessori; Sunset = Sunset Lane