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Williams chess team wins national championship

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Williams Chess Team A team of students from Williams Elementary School has won the K-5 championship in the 2019 National Elementary (K-6) Chess Championship, hosted by the U.S. Chess Federation.

Team members Erick Zhao, Abrihim Pothuri, Jerry Yao, Dylan Yu, Daniel Zhang and Andrew Ye earned the top score in their division, beating 20 other teams from across the nation. Three of the team members also had strong individual finishes, with Zhao taking 4th place, Pothuri 9th place and Yao 11th place among 175 participants in the K-5 section.

The championship continues a string of successes for the team members, both collectively and individually at both the state and national level. Zhao, Pothuri, Yao and Yu took the 4th grade national championship at the 2018 Scholastic K-12 Championship, and Zhao took the individual title in that category. Ye was a member of the 2nd place 5th grade team at the same competition.

Zhao also took a silver medal in the World Cadet Chess Championship, which was held late last year in Spain. He’s won four national titles going back to 2014, when he won the individual championship in the kindergarten category of the Scholastic K-12 Championship and was a member of the Wiles Elementary 1st place kindergarten team.