Magnus League’s Sixth Season Concludes On May 5th!

Berkeley Carroll Wins The Team Competition With 28.5 Points,

Columbia Prep. Holds Second At 26 Points And Ethical Culture Fieldston School Finishes Third With 22.5.


Daniel Levkov Repeats As Overall League Champion In The Premier Section For Another Year With 7½-4½,

Dylan Singer Dominates The Under 1800 Section With 9½-2½,

 While Christopher Kretschman Is Alone At The Top Of The Under 1200 Section with 8-4.

Darrien Williams And Kyrel Burnett Win The Mixed Doubles Team Competition:  13-11!

By Steve Immitt, National Tournament Director

            Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School, 36 West 93rd Street, just west of Central Park West in Manhattan, hosted the sixth and final regular season match of the 2018-2019 Magnus High School and Junior High Chess League’s Sixth Season, on May 5th.  As is her long-standing custom, League Founder and Commissioner, International Arbiter, International Organizer and National Tournament Director Sophia Rohde, the 2018 U.S. Chess Organizer Of The Year, provided the tasty and plentiful provender of snacks and refreshments to help start everyone’s Sunday morning.  To celebrate the Season’s Grand Finale, the players opted for some tasty sushi instead of the traditional pizza in the afternoon!

          Thanks again to Shaun Smith and Chess-In-The Schools, for their invaluable support for our final match date of our sixth season on May 5th.  The turnout featured 32 players, representing 20 schools from all five Boroughs of New York City (all five Boroughs were represented on each of our six match dates)!

          The Magnus League is pleased to welcome back for this season its returning schools.  Thank you all for joining the Magnus League this season!

          The tournament is a 12-round event, with two games on each match date.  The results for all twelve rounds have now been totaled.

          The three-section format saw 9 players competing in the Under 1200 Section, 19 in the Under 1800 Section and 4 players, ranging in rating from 1832 to 2176 in the Premier Section, for the final two rounds on May 5th.  Over the course of the season, approximately: 16 players, rated between 1751 and 2536 (inclusive) entered the Premier Section, 58 entered the Under 1800 Section and 56 players entered the Under 1200 Section.  Our largest single-day turnout was 76 players, representing 36 schools, on December 9th.

          Each section follows a 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.    

          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!


          In the Premier Section, home team Columbia Prep’s top player, freshman Daniel Levkov (2176) won both his games on the final match day to clinch the League Championship— for the second consecutive year!  Junior Aidan Ahram (1899) of Brooklyn Tech. finished in Second on tiebreaks over freshman Harris Lencz (1896) of Columbia Prep., both of them having finished the season with 6 points.


Sophomore Dylan Singer (1798), of Manhattan’s Booker T. Washington Junior High 54, blasted the Under 1800 Section with 9½ points.  Sophomore Sean Cushman (1789) of Berkeley Carroll placed Second with 9 points.  Chance Deas (1608) of Medgar Evers College Prep. took Third with 8 points.


Berkeley Carroll 10th-grader Christopher Kretschman (1140) was the winner of the Under 1200 Section.  Senior Marilyn Lucero (1161) of the Bronx’s Cinema School tied with 7 points with Medgar Evers Prep. of Brooklyn senior Kyrel Burnett.   Marilyn finished in Second on tiebreaks over Kyrel in Third.  Burnett’s rating eclipsed the 1199 rating limit of the section, and he was promoted to the Under 1800 Section on March 3rd.  However, his 7 points from the Under 1200 Section, where he played most of his games prior to that, determined his final Magnus League score for the season.


  Each of the three players who finished in First Place in one of the three sections thus earned two free entries to specified Continental Chess tournaments in recognition of these impressive accomplishments!


In the Under 1800 Section, Sean Cushman (1789), a Berkeley Carroll sophomore, won both his games— and this time for the third match in a row!  Freshman David Pozo (1590) of the Unity Center for Urban Technologies also swept both his games  for the second consecutive match!


          In the Under 1200 Section, senior Marilyn Lucero (1161) of the Bronx’s Cinema School also turned in back-to-back victories.  Gerald Lynch (831), a sophomore from Manhattan’s NEST + m school, was the fifth player to rack up two points Sunday: a victory in Round 11 and a full-point assigned bye (due to an odd number of players) in the final round.

          Marilyn Lucero’s (1161) double victories in the Under 1200 Section also led her, once again, to reach her post-tournament rating peak of 1203. 

          Medgar Evers College Prep. senior Kyrel Burnett (1412)’s jump to the Under 1800 Section on March 3rd didn’t stop his rating from reaching yet another new high-- for the third consecutive match-- of 1424 (and it still hasn’t stopped climbing)!  Berkeley Carroll sophomore Sean Cushman (1789)’s double-victory also pushed his rating into Class A territory for the first time, landing at its all-time high of 1807— the second match in a row that his rating ascended to new heights!  Freshman David Pozo (1590) of New York’s Unity Center for Urban Technologies, breached the Class B threshold once again, notching a new high of 1628 for his rating-- the third match in a row he pushed his post-event rating to even higher career highs!  Senior Helen Xue (1491) of Staten Island Technical High School also reached her new post-tournament peak of 1518 on May 5th.

          Brooklyn Tech. freshman Dash Jaynes (1871) joined the Magnus League for the first time on the last day, when he entered the Premier Section.  But that didn’t stop his post-tournament rating from reaching a new milestone of 1898— from whence it has gone up still more!

          Special honors to the following players, who played at least one game (or who were assigned a full-point bye or who won on forfeit) in all six match dates!

          In the Under 1800 Section:  sophomore Dylan Singer (1798) of Booker T Washington Junior High 54; sophomore Sean Cushman (1789) of the Berkeley Carroll School; junior Chance Deas (1608) of Medgar Evers Prep; freshman Elian Garcia (1698) of Brooklyn’s Midwood High School; senior Helen Xue (1491) of Staten Island Tech; 7th-grader Jacob Teitelman (1640) of Columbia Prep; freshman David Pozo (1590) of New York’s Unity Center for Urban Technologies; freshman William Chin (1533) of Manhattan’s Millennium High School; junior Alfred Franco (1584) of New York’s City College Academy of the Arts; sophomore Kevin Feng (1502) of Brooklyn Tech; and sophomore Sachin Perna (1302) of New York’s Columbia Secondary School For Math, Science And Engineering.

          In the Under 1200 Section:  senior Marilyn Lucero (1161) of the Cinema School; sophomore Gerald Lynch (831) of Manhattan’s NEST+m School; and junior Justin Leong (750) of Brooklyn Latin High School.

          And especially impressive of these are Sean Cushman, Chance Deas, Kevin Feng, Alfred Franco, Justin Leong, Gerald Lynch, David Pozo and Helen Xue, who each played  twelve rated games!  Leong, Lynch, Pozo and Xue were either assigned a full-point bye or won on forfeit, and played a rated “house” game. William Chin played 11 games and had a win on forfeit.

          Berkeley Carroll’s pickup of another 3.5 points locked the Brooklyn team into First Place in the team competition, as they finished the season with 28.5 out of a possible 48 points, rewarding each of their four top-scoring players, Sean Cushman (1789), Christopher Kretschman (1140), Youssef Ellozy (957) and Charlie Welch (1517), who beat out teammate Diego Turturro (833) on individual tiebreaks to become the fourth-highest-scoring player from the school, with one additional free entry to specified Continental Chess tournaments .  The home team Columbia Grammar and Prep’s Lions, last season’s League Champions, placed Second with 26 points.  The Bronx’s Ethical Culture Fieldston School posted a net pickup of one point, moving them into Third Place with 22.5 points.

We also have Mixed Doubles Team Bonus Prizes in 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 they may be in the same or different sections; however, the average team rating of both players must be Under 2200.

          Twelve Mixed Doubles Teams were contending for the Mixed Doubles prizes.  The duo of Darrien Williams (1044) of  Brooklyn’s John Dewey High School and Kyrel Burnett (1412) of Medgar Evans Prep., maintained their lead with 13 out of a possible 24 points.   Kyrel’s 7 points was based on his final score in the Under 1200 Section, because his rating went over the section threshold prior to Round 9 in March.  They each win one additional free entry to specified Continental Chess tournaments . Tied for 2nd-3rd, just one half point behind, are the teams of Veda Safranek (1558) of the Dalton School and Booker T Washington Junior High 54’s Dylan Singer (1798), and Nayah Nieto (824) and Chance Deas (1608), with Safranek-Singer taking Second Place on cumulative tiebreaks.  The players on the three top-scoring Mixed Doubles Teams also each win a special chess set as well.

          Sophia Rohde once again set up a live broadcast of five boards each round.  We now have 48 of the top games posted at the Magnus League website!  You can check out our entire collection of DGT games of the Magnus League at!

          Former New York State, Manhattan Chess Club, Marshall Chess Club, U.S. Open and National High School and National Junior High Champion Grandmaster Mike Rohde was once again on hand to review the players’ games and answer their questions.  Mike’s incisive analytic style has become a Magnus League highlight for all 12 rounds this season.

          We will be selecting games for the 2nd Annual William Lombardy Brilliancy Prize- if you have any good games from the Magnus League, please submit them for consideration right away!

          Steve Immitt was the Chief Tournament Director again this season.

Thanks once again to Harry Heublum and Daniel Rohde for valuable assistance in directing the event and for Harry’s important work with the DGT games.

          The Magnus League is once again very grateful for FM Nils Grotnes vital work as the League’s webmaster throughout the entire season, and in prior years as well.

            The complete results from Rounds Eleven and Twelve on May 5th, as well as the results from the prior rounds, are posted at the Magnus League website at:  (along with the USCF-rated results and the DGT Board games).


Thank You Everyone for helping to make the Sixth Magnus League Season our best one yet!



And please be sure to contact us if you are interested in helping us run the Magnus League next season!


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