On April 26 and 27, the school’s chess club team competed and placed first in the high school junior varsity division at the 39th CalChess Scholastic Super State Championship at the Santa Clara Convention Center. The winning team consisted of freshmen Jonathan Shi, Joshua Cheng and Henry Ma and sophomore Selynna Sun. Henry placed ninth, Jonathon placed 14th and Joshua placed 17th.
The team began the tournament against 16 other high schools from around the state and played three rounds per day. Each round began in the morning and lasted no more than three hours at a time, ending around six every evening. The team played against other school teams with a similar amount of wins per round and managed to grab 15 total wins at the tournament, surpassing the second place team from Lawson High School by half a win.
“Winning felt so nice,” Selynna said. “It was so scary though; the guy announcing standings [for second place] paused after [saying] ‘Law-’. It sounded like he was going to announce Los Altos for second, but then he said, ‘Lawson’. After he said that, we knew we were the champions and started cheering.”
The chess club was founded three years ago by senior co-president Tiffany Wu. This year, it welcomed many new freshmen members, all from Egan Junior High.
“I joined [last year], but the club wasn’t really active then,” Selynna said. “It’s super active this year because all the eighth graders that came from Egan’s chess club and chess team joined. Most of the news members were pretty into the club in middle school.”
Following this win, the club plans to pursue next year’s state championship.
“We’re definitely going to go to state championships next year to try to get first again,” Selynna said. “It felt great that we could win in a relatively high division.”
The club meets everyday at lunch in room 718. Students of all abilities are encouraged to join the club.