Magnus League Continues Its Fifth Season With Rounds 3-4 On November 19th:

Stuyvesant High School Widens Lead Over Columbia Prep. To 3 Points

Alexander Soiefer And Maxwell Lin Lead The Under 1800 Section With 3½ Points After 4 Rounds

With 11 Players Holding Fast At 3-1:

Justin Chen, Daniel Levkov, Sophie Morris-Suzuki, Ankit Raparthi, Arjun Rai And Lavon Sykes Lead The Premier,

While Manuel Najera, Marilyn Lucero, Ayden Santiago, Miguel Mino And Datian Zhang Top The Under 1200 Section;

Sophie Morris-Suzuki/Arjun Rai Also Lead Mixed Doubles Team Competition!

By Steve Immitt, National Tournament Director

            Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School, 36 West 93rd Street, just west of Central Park West in Manhattan, again hosted the second regular season match of the 2017-2018 Magnus High School Chess League on November 19th.  League Founder and Commissioner, International Arbiter Sophia Rohde yet again outdid herself with another plentiful provender of refreshments to help wake everyone up for the first round on Sunday morning.

          The Magnus League is once again very grateful for the help of Shaun Smith and Chess-In-The-Schools.  Thanks in large part to Shaun’s efforts, the turnout for our second match date of our fifth season kickoff broke our previous record set just this past October, with 51 players this time!  We again welcomed players representing twenty-one different schools from all five Boroughs of New York City.

          The tournament is now a 12-round event, with two games on each match date.  The results will be totaled at the end of the season, but each date’s games will be rated prior to the next match date.

          The three-section format resulted in a good distribution of players this last month:  16 played in the Under 1200 Section, 19 more were in the Under 1800 Section, while 16 players, rated between 1801and 2306, turned out for the Premier Section.

          Each section will be played using an individual team and individual Swiss-System format. There are prizes for the both the top-scoring individuals in each section as well as the team of the four top-scoring players from the same school across all three sections.

          This season we also introduced Mixed Doubles Team Bonus prizes to the Magnus League!  Mixed Doubles Teams consist of two players, one male and one female.  The players do not need to attend the same school (but they can), and may be in the same or different sections; however the average team rating of both players must be Under 2200.

          Among the prizes we are awarding this season are free entries to specified Continental Chess tournaments, for the top-scorer in each section, for the four top-scoring players from the same school across all three sections, and for the winning Mixed Doubles Team!


          This time in the Premier Section, Justin Chen (2306), Sophie Morris-Suzuki (2164) and Arjun Rai of Stuyvesant High School, and Lavon Sykes (1806) of Manhattan’s East Side Community High School each scored double-victories.  Jonathan Kogan (1613) of the CGPS home team Lions and Mohamed Barry (1331) of New York’s Columbia Secondary School similarly swept both rounds in the Under 1800 Section, while Ayden Santiago (1067) of Brooklyn Tech, Stuyvesant’s Datian Zhang (759), Miguel Mino (1016) of the Manhattan Center for Science and Math, along with Alfred Franco (904) of the City College Academy of the Arts also posted sweeps in Rounds 3-4.

          In the team competition, former National High School Champions and perennial powerhouse Stuyvesant High School’s four highest-ranked scorers after two rounds, Alexander Soiefer (1588 with 3½ points), Maxwell Lin (1393 with 3½), Justin Chen (2306 at 3 points) and Sophie Morris-Suzuki (2164, 3 points) combined for 13 out of a possible 16 points (Arjan Rai and Datian Zhang also scored 3-1).  The four highest-ranked scorers from the home team, Columbia Grammar and Prep., Daniel Levkov (2207 with 3 points), Jonathan Kogan (1613 with 3), Harris Lencz (1786 at 2½) and Theo Kogan (1809 at 2 points) put together 10.5 points (Cole Tambaro, Kurt Fischer and Gabriel Woloz were also tied at 2-2 as well) to hang onto Second Place in the ongoing team competition.   Manhattan’s Browning School and Brooklyn Tech. High School finished the day tied for 3rd-4th Place Team, with 7 points each.

          Nine Mixed Doubles Teams have now joined the competition (the deadline for both players to sign up is before January 28th).  The Stuyvesant High duo of Sophie Morris-Suzuki (2164) and Arjun Rai (1975) have taken the lead in the Mixed Doubles competition with a total of 6 points.


            International Master Alex Ostrovskiy was on hand to analyze the players’ games.  Alex not only won the Greater New York Elementary, Junior High and High School Championships, but he was also the captain of four National High School Champion teams (three with Hunter High School and once with Edward R Murrow High School).  He is a three-time New York State (Overall) Champion, and when he won the title the first time in 2010, he was the youngest player ever to do so.

          A very special feature of this season’s Magnus League is the in-depth and professional analysis and annotations of select games by International Grandmaster Jonathan Tisdall, three-time Champion of Norway, and also a former New York State Champion (he was only 15 at the time he won the title).

          This month, GM Tisdall has annotated three games for the Magnus League:  Daniel Levkov (2207) – Ankit Raparthi (1982), Samantha Dong (1872) – Justin Chen (2306) and Theo Kogan (1809) – Calvin Yang (1873).

          I think you will enjoy Jonathan’s incisive and interesting analysis.  The three games featured from November 19, along with two games from October 15, Daniel Levkov (2201) – Li Heng Wang (1834) and Lavon Sykes (1802) – Samantha Dong (1866).

          Grandmaster Tisdall will also be judging games which the players submit for the William Lombardy Brilliancy Prize (please submit your brilliancies to the Tournament Director for consideration).


            The complete results from Rounds One and Two on October 15th, and Rounds Three and Four on November 19th, along with the USCF-rated results, along with selected annotated games, can all be seen at the Magnus League webpage at as well).


            Be sure to mark your calendars for our next Magnus League match at 10:00 am on Sunday December 17th, at Columbia Grammar School!

            You can register your teams on our website at (the advance registration deadline is 4:00 pm on Saturday December 16th).

            Thank you and welcome (or welcome back) to everyone for our fifth and most promising Magnus League season!