DPS students win big at USCF K-6 National Chess Tournament in Dallas, TX

Chrysler Elementary wins 1st place, garnering national USCF championship

Chrysler Elementary School’s third-grade chess team won two national titles at the 2014 United States Chess Federation National Elementary Championship. Out of the 2,224 participants, 22 competitors represented Chrysler and placed first in the K-3 Blitz (speed) category and the K-5 Under 900 category.  The event was held in Dallas, Texas May 9-11. Along with winning the USCF titles, Chrysler students also won the K-3 State Elementary Chess Championship in February.

According to the USCF, this year’s tournament drew a record number of preregistered participants from across the United States. The Under 900 category represents the chess ratings that are acquired through previous tournaments and match win-loss scoring.

“Winning this year was a huge honor for our kids because they came in third place last year. They worked very hard throughout this season to improve their skills and earned the grand title as a result,” said Kevin Fite, Chrysler Chess Coach. “It was a hard-won battle because we trailed most of the tournament. Chrysler fought hard all the way to the end and secured the top spot in the final round.”

Lewis Clinton Jackson III, a fifth-grader at Chrysler, participated in his first national tournament and won five out of seven games.

“When I received my trophy I realized that all the studying, hard work and conversations I had with my teammates had paid off,” Jackson said. “I was so proud of myself.”

Students from Foreign Language Immersion and Cultural Studies School (FLICS) were also contenders at the 2014 tournament and were awarded a team trophy for the K-5 Under 900 category. After only their third year of participating in the competition, FLICS’ chess team, theCheckmates, is now ranked 10th in the national standings.

“Chess helps develop the academic tools of logic and reasoning, problem solving and critical thinking needed for success in school,” saidMarilyn Barriera, FLICS chess team liaison. “Of our 35 team members, the nine players that went to Dallas were selected based on individual academic and season performance, school conduct, as well as state individual and team placing.”

The top five players who participated in the Over 900 category were also awarded team and individual trophies.

As part of the district’s five-year Strategic Plan, DPS remains dedicated to enhancing the educational experience of all K-8 students through expanded enrichment and afterschool offerings. Programs, such as individual school chess clubs, are supported by private and non-profit providers including the United Auto Workers-Ford and the Horatio Williams Foundation.

DPS students across the district enjoy a rigorous curriculum integrated with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects that are geared to prepare students for 21st Century careers. Some of DPS’ STEM programs include Lego League, Chess League, Academic Games™, Robotics, and DAPCEP (Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program).

For more information about the 2014 USCF National Elementary Championship visit, www.uschess.org/tournaments/2014/elem/

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