Middle school chess team wins National High School Championship

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The legend of a New York middle school chess team just got considerably bigger. Middle school chess players at I.S. 318 Eugenia Maria de Hostos in Williamsburg defeated several elite high school teams at this years National High School Championship. One of the team members, Justus Williams, is a member of this year’s class of theGrio’s 100. The New York Times has more on the school’s historic victory:

The team’s victory is the chess-world equivalent of a scenario frequently tossed around by college basketball pundits several weeks ago — that the University of Kentucky Wildcats might be so good they could beat the Toronto Raptors or another of the worst National Basketball Assocation teams. If anything, I.S. 318’s victory is even more impressive: they beat the best high school teams in the country.

“This is the greatest achievement we’ve ever had, and probably ever will have,” John Galvin, one of the coaches, said in a telephone interview from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

The victory might be a first for a middle school chess team.

Bill Hall, the executive director of the United States Chess Federation, which organized the championships, said he had never heard of a middle school winning the high school championships. “To my knowledge, it has never happened before,” he said.

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WATCH theGRIO’s TODD JOHNSON INTERVIEW CHESS MASTER JUSTUS WILLIAMS: