A team of four juniors representing Blair won the Maryland State High School Chess Championship (MSHSC) on Feb. 29 at Severn High School with a score of 14 out of 20. This is the third year in a row that the Blair chess team has won this competition.
The Blair team beat the second-place finisher, Northwest High School, by only half a point.
Eric Ma and Daniel Aisen placed first and second overall, with Vivek Chellappa and Doug Adams aiding the two to a victory. Blair received a team trophy for the win and Aisen received a second-place trophy. Ma received prize money, admission to the Denker Tournament of High School Champions (DTHSC) to represent Maryland and a first-place trophy.
The DTHSC consists of the high-school state champions from across the United States representing their home states and competing for the $1,200 scholarship along with University of Texas at Dallas scholarship, which would pay up to $40,000 for college tuition. Ma is not certain whether he will go to the NHSCC because of time constraints.
Ma won all five games he played to get a score of five points. Aisen won four games and tied one to get a score of four and one-half. Chellappa and Adams both finished with two points.
The chess team had not played in a big tournament for a few months previous to MSHSC, leaving some players anxious, according to Ma. "I was only hoping to play normal because before the small tournament a month ago I had not played in any big tournaments for while," said Ma, who helps coach the chess team at his Chinese school.
The chess team, unlike the Chess Club team, plays in tournaments representing Blair and consists of the four juniors. The team has been very successful in approximately 15 tournaments over the last two and a half years.
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