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Williams Elementary wins national individual and team chess championships; other local schools and students among top finishers

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Williams Chess A group of students from Williams Elementary School won a national team chess title in the 2018 Scholastic K-12 Grade Championship competition, while one of the team’s members won an individual championship.

Erick Zhao beat nearly 200 students from across the country to take the 4th-grade individual title, while he and his teammates Jerry Yao, Abhiram Pothuri, Jolie Huang and Dylan Yu won the 4th-grade team title.

Williams Elementary’s 5th grade team, including Bach Ngo, Andrew Ye, Daniel Zhang, Owen Parks-Church and Kevin Liu, took second place at nationals, while Ngo took second place in the individual competition.  The school’s 3rd-grade team took 4th place in its division.

Two teams from Lincoln Middle School also finished near the top of the standings, with a 3rd-place finish for the 8th-grade team and a 6th-place finish for the 7th-grade team.

Another two teams from Buchholz High were among the top five in their categories. The school’s 10th-grade team took 3rd place while the 12th-grade team took 4th place.

Other individual students placed among the top ten in the competition. They include Jason Shen of Kanapaha Middle School (3rd place among 6th-graders), Ahan Banerjee Mishra of Lincoln Middle (10th place among 8th-graders), Tianhui ‘Cindy’ Jie of Buchholz High (8th place among 12th-graders) and Andy Yang Wu of Buchholz (10th place among 12th-graders).

The 2018 competition was held in Orlando, Florida. It’s sponsored annually by the US Chess Federation. Teams and individual students from Alachua County Public Schools are consistently among the nation’s top performers, and often compete successfully at the international level.