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Wizards of the Mind

Chess Tournaments

Congratulations to all participants! 
Rising-Stars Section (U400): 

1st Place - Constantin Bellmann

2nd Place - Shanmukh Ganapathiraju

3rd Place - Joseph Ashe

4th Place - Claire Blanchard

5th Place - Eli Mortensen

Outstanding Player Award (2 points and above):

3 Point Total:

  • Joshua Bochner

2.5 Point Total:​

  • Max Liu

2 Point Total:

  • Joon Park

  • Maxwell Lu

  • Janav Setty

  • Hannah Kuo

  • Abigail Wallach

  • Janav Shah

  • Harrison Noh

All-Stars Section (U700): 

1st Place - Krish Gupta

2nd Place - Ruthvik Veerapaneni

3rd Place - Zhicheng Rui

4th Place - Lei Shan

5th Place - Shaurya Mehta

Outstanding Player Award (2.5 points and above):

3 Point Total:

  • Aariv Girish

  • Jadone Samuel

  • Siddharth Rai

  • Aditya Panchagnula

2.5 Point Total:

  • Josh Burns

  • Anlan Ding

2 Point Total Medal Winners:

  • Nathan Galil

  • Ivory Li

  • Anish Phatak

  • Jeremiah Jaison

  • Ishan Sathavalli

  • Adam Wells

  • Matthew Rusu

  • Arin Telang

  • Marcelo Navas

  • Yagnav Marthandan

  • David Pereira

  • Oliver Harris

Super-Stars Section (U1600): 

1st Place - Markian Zabihaylo

2nd Place - Nishad Marathe

3rd Place - David Bisker

4th Place - Vigyaant Jain

5th Place - Ayansh A.

Unrated Section (Not USCF Rated):

1st Place (Tied) - Thomas Chu

1st Place (Tied) - Thomas Del Gatto

2nd Place - Maxim Kochanov

3rd Place (Tied) - Anushka Padte

3rd Place (Tied) - Pavlo Velenitsky

Outstanding Player Award (2 points and above):

2 Point Total:

  • Jialu Yuan

  • Robert Ayers

  • Ashwat Satish

  • Frank Gugala

  • Alex Seo

  • Arjun Verma

Tournament Final Standings can be found via this link (please copy + paste the url into your address bar):
LiChess Study Links w/ notated Tournament Games shared:
U1600 (Super-Stars) Section - CLICK HERE!
U700 (All-Stars) Section - CLICK HERE!

Coach Robert's Message: 

A fantastic turnout in our Wizards of the Mind Winter 2023 Scholastic Championship!

3 Fun Facts:

  • A total of 86 players competed

  • A total of 270 rated games were played

  • A whopping 34 players competed in their first USCF rated tournament

Many thanks to all of our participants for your outstanding play over the chessboard and great sportsmanship displayed!


Special thanks to all parents, guardians, family, and friends for your unwavering support in your child's chess journey and achievements!

Coach Robert's Tips:

  • The best path for personal growth in chess is to review tournament games, especially the games you have lost!

    • Coach Robert will review the most instructive and interesting games from this past Sunday's tournament during this Saturday's group lessons​.

    • The best way for a youngster to review games is to analyze the game with a Coach

    • To schedule an appointment for a game review w/ Coach please contact

  • Many inexperienced tournament players appeared to struggle with time management during their games, here's some useful tips to fast and slow players:

    • Many players simply play too fast! Slow yourself down and improve your game instantly by doing these 3 steps:

    1. Pay close attention to your opponent's last move... think of what your opponent is trying to do to beat you. Are they threatening you with an attack or even a checkmate? Make sure you first deal with any threats to prevent blunders.

    2. Find a good move, then find a better one! A great rule of thumb is to come up with 3 good options "candidate moves" and from there you calculate and evaluate which option you like best to play.

    3. Search for Tactics! Tactics are short-term operations or "tricks" that can help win material or deliver a checkmate. Double-attacks, Pins, Discover Checks, and many more can be found during the game when you spend the time to look for them. At the club level, tactics will determine most outcomes of the games you play.

    • Some (few) players play too slow and get themselves stuck in time pressure towards the end of the game. Pace yourself better to improve your game by doing these 3 tips:

    1. Spend no more than 20% of your total time in the Opening. For a 30 minutes time control, ideally you should spend roughly 6 minutes of your full time in the opening. Good opening preparation can help achieve great understanding of how to handle the the first 15 moves of the game.​ Likewise, sticking to the 3 opening principles: 1) Fighting for the Center, 2) Developing Pieces, and 3) Castling should generally be done in all games.

    2. Develop your awareness of knowing when to spend time thinking. Forced moves should be played immediately as there's not much of an alternative. However, a critical analytical position may require several minutes of thought. If you feel "stuck" without any plans after the opening, look for ways to improve the position of your pieces.

    3. Understand that in chess, it hurts to be a perfectionist. You will not find all of the best and accurate moves on every single move you play, but you can still play pretty good moves! If time trouble is something you struggle with, understand that it will be far more important to spend of your precious time calculating and solving the concrete and analytical positions which require finding tactics and combinations to help you win the game.

  • Chess takes a weekend to learn and a lifetime to master!​​ Understand that Practice makes Perfect!​

    • Please do not get discouraged if you did not win as many games as you had hoped or did not take home a prize. Instead, be motivated to practice and learn even more so that you can start to get winning results!

    • Start by taking Saturday lessons at Wizards of the Mind Chess Club

    • Completing Tactics Puzzle Exercises at home for practice

    • Studying and Preparing an Opening

    • Learning Middlegame strategy and Endgame techniques

    • Practice by playing many chess games!

Leo 1st place picture.jpg
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