Monday, December 3, 2012

First Place in Queens!

The ChessMates won First Place in the Novice and Rookie Sections and Second Place in the JH Novice Section at this weekend's CIS tournament in Queens. Congratulations to our trophy winners Edwin Lucero (1st Place Novice), Matthew Garcia, Vicky Yang, and Alex Zhang.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

First Place in the Bronx!

The ChessMates won first place Novice and tied for first place Rookie at this weekend's Chess-in-the-School's tournament in the Bronx. Jeremy Zheng won 1st place individual in Rookie. Also notable was Li Heng Wang's 4-0 score in the difficult Reserve Section.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

ChessMates Sac Queens! First Place at Today's Tournament!!

The ChessMates won First Place Team at today's Chess-in-the-Schools tournament at 150q in Queens. Samuel Dong and Gabriel Davis tied for First Place with perfect 4-0 scores. Sam was given the First Place trophy for better tie-breaks. Allen Li won 3rd Place with his 3.5 score.

Friday, October 26, 2012


Dear P.S. 503 Family, Neighbors, and Businesses Community, In Sunset Park Brooklyn there is a group of young girls and boys who are dedicated to the game and art of chess. They are the ChessMates team of P.S. 503. We are a dynamic neighborhood elementary school located at the corner of 4th Ave at 59th St. Each week chess team members study, play, lose, win, and play again to learn strategies that improve their problem solving skills, support math and literacy, and raise self esteem.

Last year with the help of parents, a generous team of local businesses, individual donors, and Chess-In-The-Schools we were able to raise $15,000 and send our team to compete in the US National Scholastic Chess Championship. We chartered a bus and traveled from Brooklyn to Nashville, TN. The spirit of our extended team of supporters traveled with us, we played our best, and we returned The National Champions! The hardwork of the students, parents, teachers, and business supporters paid-off. Our goal now is to raise $15,000 to send 20-25 of our chessplayers to the US National Scholastic Chess Championship in Nashville, TN April 5-8th, 2013.

We are rewarding donations of 50 dollars with hand-printed ChessMates tote bags. For a donation of 100 dollars or more you can receive a ChessMates Tote and T-Shirt.

Sincerely, Carlos Graupera, Rachel Hsieh & Matt Silverman P.S. 503 Teachers/ChessMates Coaches Sponsors may also donate directly to the Chess Mates team by visiting the main office at P.S. 503. 330 59 STREET, BROOKLYN, NY 11220. Phone: 718-439-5962 *Checks can be made payable to P.S. 503 School Fund*

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Chinatown Throwdown! ChessMates win First Place!

This weekend's Chess-In-The-Schools Tournament at PS 124 was a stunning success for the Chessmates. First place was achieved in the Reserve and Rookie sections, and second place in the Novice section.

Monday, October 15, 2012

ChessMates Win First in the Bronx!

The ChessMates won first place Rookie Section at this weekend's tournament at MS 390x in the Bronx. Congrats to Gabriel Davis (1st Place Rookie), Alex Zhang (2nd Place Novice), and Ann Zhang (3rd Place Novice).

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Highlights From the Columbus Day Tournament: Xing Chen

Xing's resilient win against an IS 318 player shows why one should never resign. Xing continued fighting after losing the exchange and managed to survive Black's King-side assault. White's King is hunted across the board but time-pressure allows Xing to win a free Rook and Checkmate shortly after.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

ChessMates Win First Place at the CIS Columbus Day Tournament in Harlem

Our team received awards in three sections at this weekend's tournament. Two First Place plaques were awarded the ChessMates in both the Novice and Rookie sections. We also took Second Place in the NRB section. Kudos to Zheng Zou, Edwin Mendez, Vickie Yang, and Allen Li who all finished with perfect 4-0 scores.

Highlights From Columbus Day Tournament in Harlem: Allen Li

Allen played a nice game as Black against a student from PS 166. Allen decided to forgo the gift of white's Queen and start a King Hunt instead. Mate comes four moves after Allen's beautiful bishop sacrifice. Allen led our Novice team with a 4-0 score.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

The ChessMates won 1st Place Team at this weekend's Chess-in-the-Schools tournament in Brooklyn. Congratulations to brother and sister teammates Samantha and Samuel Dong who tied for 1st Place in the Rookie Section and Nick Tung who won 1st Place in Novice. Thank you to the PS 503 teachers, staff, and administrators who gave their weekend time to run tables, celebrate their students, and to extend our school's hospitality to hundreds of young chess players from every borough. A special shout-out to all the PS 503 parents who came out with armloads of delicious baked goods! Because of you, and in partnership with Chess In Schools, our first time hosting a tournament went off with out a hitch! Every bake-sale, movie nights, t-shirt sale, and sponsorship gets us closer to being able to compete at Nationals this spring. Thank you everyone for being part of the team.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The ChessMates at the 2012 Rapid Open in Central Park

A beautiful day at the 2012 Chess in the Park Tournament. Although there were no team trophies in this exhibition tournament, a few of our Chessmates won individual accolades. Kudos to Nicholas Tung (first place under 600); Wang Chen (12th place Novice), and Gabriel Davis (3rd place Novice). A great way to kick off the year!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

PS 503 ChessMates' victory is featured in the New York Times!

A busload of young chess wizards from a Brooklyn school left for Nashville last Wednesday, and returned to their school Monday afternoon with a three-tiered, first-place trophy from the United States Chess Federation’s National Elementary Championship. “We won! I feel so excited that we won first place, especially because we beat a middle school,” said Helen Xue, 11, a fifth grader on the team. “When I found out that we won, I jumped up and down, and then later we had a celebration. We had a nice dinner and we ate lots of ice cream.” Fourteen students from Public School 503: The School of Discovery in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, a Title I school, won first place Sunday in the “K-6 Under 1,000” category, which falls within the intermediate level of the tournament. They are the second New York City public school team — also from Brooklyn — to win a national championship this season by beating older students. In April the chess team at Intermediate School 318 Eugenio Maria de Hostos in Williamsburg topped its already-impressive record by winning the National High School Championships. The P.S. 503 students, who are in the second through fifth grades, started competing only a year ago. Matthew Silverman, 29, a fourth-grade teacher at the school and a founder of ChessMates, the school’s team, said he was still in shock that his students could pull off a first-place victory with so little experience. “We started from nothing,” Mr. Silverman said. “The kids really took control of it. They go home and they want to study tactics. This is their passion. “This is the first year of competing, and they worked so hard,” he said. Mr. Silverman, who started the club with his fellow teachers Carlos Graupera and Rachel Hsieh, traveled with the students more than 16 hours to compete in the national tournament, where they beat out 49 other schools in their section. The team’s initial goal was to raise $5,000 so that they could travel with eight students. “But we ended up raising $12,000 with the help of our school, local businesses, parents and Chess in the Schools,” Mr. Graupera said. The extra money allowed 20 students in all to go, some of whom also competed in the “K-5 Under 900” category, also on the intermediate level. “Most of our students are lower working class. They’re not coming from an affluent background. Our school is primarily an immigrant population, and the students are a mix of Asian, Hispanic and Arabic children,” he said. “The kids are incredibly enthusiastic. They’re eager to learn, and they love supporting each other.” The chess club started out as a lunchtime gathering in mid-2010 with eight members, and quickly grew into a team of 45. When its founders saw how enthusiastic the students were about the game, they started entering the team in tournaments organized by Chess in the Schools. “They sent us a very experienced coach to work with the kids,” Mr. Graupera said. “Once they saw how serious the kids were about the game, they and our principal encouraged us to enter into the nationals.” Once the team qualified for the tournament, the practice sessions picked up. “I played for an hour almost every day,” Helen said. “We really wanted to win.” Last Friday, before the tournament started that morning, the students woke at 7 o’clock and met in a hotel conference room to warm up their brains and discuss strategy for the seven grueling games they would play throughout the weekend. “Our longest game lasted over three hours on Sunday,” Mr. Silverman said. “We told them, ‘The more patient you are, the better you’re going to be.’” The advice paid off. The students won the “K-6 Under 1,000” section with 22 points, beating the Rockway Middle School from Miami by only half a point. “Playing chess has an allure for children. They’re enticed by the way the game looks and the mystery of how the pieces move,” Mr. Graupera said. “The game is about critical thinking, problem solving and time management. This is the most competitive experience a child can have. They also learn to celebrate the victories that their teammates have.” Anthony Pirro, 34, the school’s assistant principal, who also traveled with the team, now has a serious decision to make: where to display the trophy. He also has to help prepare for a congratulatory visit by Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday. “They’ve been racking up trophies as they go along,” he said proudly. “I’m kind of in shock. There were screams, cheers, high fives all around. We were jumping up and down for joy. I don’t think they fully understand yet what they’ve accomplished.”

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The PS 503 ChessMates are the new K-6 Under 1000 National Champions!!!

During the 7th and final round we overtook Florida's Rockway Middle School to become the new National K-6 Under 1000 Champions.

Round 6!!

Going into the 6th round, the Chessmates are only a half of a point behind the first place team.  No matter what happens at the end of the day we are so proud of our players who have demonstrated great sportmanship and have remained extremely focused on bringing their best game.  Our player's games have been very challenging and long.  Many games lasted until the end of the time control...approx. 4 hours.  

After packing up our rooms, eating breakfast, and brushing our teeth, we are off to our team room to prepare for our last two rounds.  Wish us luck!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Pictures of the place

It's been quite the adventure as we continue to stay focus on playing chess. Here are pictures from the first couple days. The place we are staying in is beautiful and huge. There are multiple conventions going on.

After a successful first round, we are relaxing with sushi and chinese food. Round 2 at 7pm.