Trey Michaels started playing in 2nd grade at the St. Louise school chess club coached by Chess4Life. He has consistently improved his game and rating year to year since, landing in the top 10 for WA state 7th graders in 2012. Trey has participated in many Chess4Life training activities, multiple years of the St. Louise Chess Club, many summer chess camps (regular, advanced, GM), and Nationals training during 2010 and 2011. Trey has also received some private coaching, but he and his father think the activity that has most improved his game has been Friday Night Quads. He really looks forward to playing some of the best players in the state each week.
In 5th grade, he had a perfect score at the WA State Chess Championships in Tacoma, WA, tying for 1st place overall. Trey had an excellent game at the 2012 WA Junior Open,defeating a local 2150 rated expert-level player in the 3rd round of the event. In addition to scholastic events, he has found success in events open to all: At the 47th Annual American Open in Irvine, CA, over Thanksgiving 2011 weekend, he placed 2nd in the U1600 division, winning an impressive 6.5 out of 8 points. At the 21st Annual North American Open in Las Vegas, NV, right after Christmas 2011, he tied for 6th place in the U1700 division, winning 5 out of 7 points.
Recently, Trey was excited to push his NW Rating over 1800 for the first time. He has consistently been top 10 in the state of Washington for his grade 2010-2012. At his school, Trey has been the top rated player of the St. Louise Chess Club from 2009 to 2012. He is enjoying being a volunteer assistant coach at his school chess club, working with Chess4Life Coaches Keith and Bert....
Emily Saletan is our student of the month for October 2011. A student at Charles Wright Academy, she ranks in the 98th percentile among Washington fifth graders. She won all 5 of her games at the Charles Wright Academy tournament in 2011 and attended All-Girls Nationals in Chicago in April 2011. Her enjoyment of chess extends through chess classes at her school and at the Gig Harbor Library, as well as with a private coach. To put into practice what she is learning, she plays quads or tournaments almost every week. With that dedication and determination, she succeeded in being the first Chess4Life student to win twelve quad cups in Tacoma. That™s quite an accomplishment!
Emily shares many traits with grandmasters and other good chess players. She always exhibits good sportsmanship, as she did even one time when an opponent refused to shake her hand. Like the top grandmasters, she makes decisions that show her independent thinking and desire to plumb the depths of chess. For example, she embarked on her own investigations of the King™s Gambit, a courageous opening strategy that was very popular over 100 years ago. Following English grandmaster Nigel Short™s dictum that chess players should have a good sense of humor and a vivid imagination, she once told her mother that the best square for a knight would be f9 so that it could fork a queen on d8 and a king on e7!
We congratulate Emily on her strong character and her successes and look forward to hearing about her many accomplishments in the future....
Naomi Bashkansky is a third-grade student at Audubon Elementary School; she participated in the 2011 North American Youth Chess Championship, June 25-29,2011, where she finished in second place, winning the North American vice-champion title in the Girls U8 category. That tournament served as good preparation for the World Youth Championships in Brazil, November 17-27, 2011. There she won 6 out of her 9 games to finish in a strong 13th place. Her father™s illustrated account of that tournament and journey includes Naomi™s annotations to her best game. Be sure to click over to that site so that you don™t miss her sharply tactical 29¦Qb5!! in her win over a girl from Turkey. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1tMSNA5hHpxJjOMusjGvQDkN_q6xEjjO4aIDVMupFS6I/edit (If this link does not work, please copy and paste it into your browser's URL box.)...
Marcell Szabo is a fifth-grader at Lowell Elementary School, who in December 2011 was rated #10 in the country among players who are ten years old. He traveled to Brazil to play in the World Youth Championships November 17-27, 2011, where he scored a strong 5.5 points out of 9 in the ten-and-under section. On December 1, Marcell visited the Lowell Chess Club to present three of his best games. The youngest students found a winning knight fork that he had played; the intermediate students enjoyed a coordinated mating net; the most advanced students followed a successful rook-and-pawn endgame. Marcell™s energetic and insightful explanations inspired his fellow students (not to mention the Chess4Life coaches!)....
Srihari P. is the February 2011 Student of the Month chosen after multiple nominations came in. Srihari is in Kindergarten at Rosa Parks Elementary, and his coach had this to say about Srihari:
"He consistently brings a positive attitude and a willingness to learn. He enjoys being challenged and works hard; his enthusiasm and positive presence are unmistakable"
In addition, at the annual PTA sponsored Rosa Parks Chess Night, Srihari shone again, resulting in these comments from the Chess4Life representative: ...
Jason Yang was the January 2011 Student of the Month - selected because of his attitude, perseverance, and dedication as he juggles a busy school schedule along with serious chess training - while always showing respect and kindness for other students.
While managing a full load of 5th grade school at Spirit Ridge Elementary as part of the PRISM program in Bellevue, Jason in just one year improved his rating from 1304 to 1560 (November 2009 to Dec 2010)!
Jason took the top prize in the GM Training camp Dec 20-24, 2010, with GM Emil Anka - not an easy feat as the competition was strong! Congratulations, Jason! ...
Dorian Clay was December 2010 student of the month for several reasons: he progressed in his chess, studied hard, attended tournaments, and on top of all that showed exceptional leadership qualities in helping other students at his school.
When the Chess4Life van comes to pick up students at his school, Dorian ensures that every time all students are safe and accounted for - that they walk carefully and load the van carefully. He doesn't try to be first himself, but looks out for all the others. Thank you, Dorian, and congratulations on being chosen "Student of the Month"!...
Seattle Sluggers All-Star Alex Guo is a high school student who was chosen as November 2010 student of the month for his multitude of accomplishments:
His team won the national championships!
He won the state high school championships and represented Washington at the Denker tournament of high school champions. ...
With multiple recommendations, Trevor Johnson was the 'student of the month' for October 2010! Trevor attended many summer camps with GM Emil Anka, raising his rating to 1850+, and scored an outstanding 9 wins out of 9 games in the final summer GM chess camp! In addition to his chess progress, Trevor showed leadership in maintaining order in the classrooms, setting up sets, replacing chairs, cleaning the room before leaving, etc. Congratulations, Trevor, on your progress this season! We look forward to more accomplishments in future as well! ...