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SBHS’s Chess Club Third Place Win and Many More Accomplishments to Wrap The Season

by Harivallabhi Ganapathy ('24) SBHS’s Chess Club, a new club that began this school year, was a bigger success than anyone could have imagined. Seniors Om Janamanchi, Ishaan Sinha and Aryan Kashyap, first pitched this idea last year and sent out a Google Form to the school, seeking interest. After an overwhelminging amount of responses, the club was set in place for this year. 

“My journey with chess started at the age of 10 playing with my dad and, since then, I have loved the game, and when I saw SBHS did not have a Chess Club, I knew I had to make it happen which pushed me for all four years to get this club approved at SBHS,” said Janamanchi. 

The club’s board includes Janamanchi as president, Kashyap, Sinha, and senior Arya Motukuru as vice presidents and many others. The club’s team, the Viking Chess Team, includes Sinha as captain who leads other players like seniors Vignesh Sarvanakumar and Frederick Rajakumar. 

In the club, they work through the season and all the competitions. Members of the club practice hard so they can bring home the gold! 

In terms of accomplishments, the team did amazingly well. The team placed first in the Capablanca Division at the beginning of February and was then named Top 8 Playoffs. From there, the team was awarded the 3rd Place League Championship, a big accomplishment for a club that started this year. Individually, Sinha placed 5th in Place Mid-Season Tourney and 3rd Place 1st-Board LCT. 

Regarding his placementSinha said, “For me, it just increases my love and passion for the game! For the team and club, it shows that we are a competitive team that can beat anyone on a given day. We’re here to win.” 

The club also held many events this year to gather more members for the upcoming school year and for fun, especially after a long school day! 

In December, the club had a Chess Tournament where it was set up as a bracket-style tournament, just like how it usually is for chess tournaments. In this type of tournament, each branch represents a head-to-head matchup between individuals or teams. The winners of each matchup move inward until only two remain at the root to play for the championship. The event was a huge success, with a turnout of 100+ students! 

The club also had guest speakers from the New Jersey State Chess Federation, President Pete Tamburro and Vice President Anand Mishre, and held a workshop. With the help of these two, the club is planning a grand end-of-year event May 18th, a Chessathon! Everyone and anyone from the South Brunswick community is invited including little kids to adults! There will be mini tournaments and puzzles for everyone to enjoy! 

The SBHS Chess Club has an exciting future in store of them so look forward to more events and updates from them! Join them next year for a fun-packed and chess filled year!

Math teacher Mr. Stephen Trainor said, “I love being advisor of the Chess Club, I think we have had an outstanding year and really appreciate all the support we have received, but truly I do not think Chess Club would be as memorable without the students I work with. They really make me look forward to do this for years to come.”

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Congratulations to all! I look forward to not only the impending Chessathon but to an annual Viking Open chess tournament! Do keep us apprised!

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