Magnus League’s Sixth Season Reaches The Half-Time Break After Rounds 5-6 On December 9th!

Columbia Prep Holds Onto Its Lead In The Team Competition With 16 Points,

Brooklyn Tech Moves Into Second With 14 Points, Berkeley Carrol Is Now Third On Tiebreaks Over Stuyvesant (Both With 13.5);


IM Hans Niemann Leads The Premier Section With 4½-1½,

Dylan Singer Tops Under 1800 Section: 5½-½, William Braffman Is 5-1 In Under 1200 (Manual Najera, Also 5-1 But Now Rated 1294,  Played In Under 1800)

Nayah Nieto And Chance Deas Top The 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, hosted the third regular season match of the 2018-2019 Magnus High School and Junior High Chess League’s Sixth Season, on December 9th.  League Founder and Commissioner, International Arbiter, International Organizer and National Tournament Director Sophia Rohde, the 2018 US Chess Organizer Of The Year, not only provided another tasty and plentiful provender of snacks and refreshments to help start everyone’s Sunday morning, but followed up with a pizza bonanza in the afternoon!

          Thanks again to Shaun Smith and Chess-In-The Schools, as the turnout for our third match date of our sixth season-- 73 players representing 36 schools from all five Boroughs of New York City-- was yet another record for the Magnus League!

          The Magnus League is pleased to welcome (and welcome back for this season) some new and returning schools:  the Dalton School and the Salk School of Science, both in Manhattan, along with Edward R Murrow High School in Brooklyn.  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 rounds one through six have now been totaled.

          The three-section format saw 22 players competing in the Under 1200 Section,  41 in the Under 1800 Section and 10 players, rated between 1797 and 2517, in the Premier Section.

          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 two top-scorers in each section, for the four top-scoring players from the same school across all three sections, and for the winning Mixed Doubles Team!


          Top-seeded IM Hans Niemann (2517) and Gabriel Rivera (1797) both scored two points in the Premier Section.


          In the Under 1800 Section, Julian Daniels (1692) of Columbia Prep, Chance Deas (1529) of Medgar Evers Prep, Matthew Franklyn (1569) of the High School For Health Professions And Human Services, John McCormick (1503) of Hunter High School, Mao Nozaki (1618) of the Chapin School and Elvis Vasquez, Jr. (1243) of Hunter High School each swept both their games.

          In the Under 1200 Section, William Braffman (973) of Browning won both his games— for the second month in a row! Kyrel Burnett (1076) of Medgar Evers Prep, Gilaisy Herrad (644) of Bronx Collaborative High School and Alyssa Sawicki (860) of Brooklyn also chalked up two points on Sunday.

          William Braffman (973) of Browning also pushed his post-event rating to a new high of 1035-- the second time he’s achieved that at the Magnus League! Matthew Green (400) and Gilaisy Herrad (644), both of Bronx Collaborative High School once again turned in career-high post-tournament ratings of 487 and 700, respectively,  along with the Berkeley Carroll School’s Diego Turturro (553)’s new peak of 755.  This was the second month in a row that all three players turned in career-high post-tournament ratings!  Demetri Chen (562) of Bronx Collaborative High also raised his rating to its record high of 603, while Justin Goldman (876) of Columbia Prep broke 900 for the first time with his 901 post-event rating.

          In the Under 1800 Section, Chance Deas (1529) of Medgar Evers College Prep took his post-event rating to a new high for the third time at the Magnus League— this time to 1536.  Elian Garcia (1591) of Midwood High School once again achieved a post-tournament rating benchmark--  1622 this time.  Nico Jordan (1506) of the High School for Match, Science and Engineering at City College set a personal high mark of 1522 after Sunday’s games.  Michael Wang (1405) of Stuyvesant High took his post-event rating to a new high of 1429 as well

          The air is thinner up in the stratosphere, but it’s much harder to get rating points when you’re over 2500, and the Premier Section poses the biggest challenges to those seeking peak ratings.  Despite that, Magnus’s all-time highest-rated student player, International Master Hans Niemann (2517) of Weston High School in Connecticut still pushed his rating to a new summit once again at the Magnus League:  now up to dizzying heights of 2518!  George Chachkes (1837) of the Ethical Cultural Fieldston School also ascended to his new best of 1860.  Gabriel Rivera (1797) of Fort Hamilton High School saw his rating touch a new high of 1837 as well.

          In the team competition, Columbia Grammar and Prep’s Lions, last season’s League Champions, held firmly onto their lead from last month, with 16 out of a possible 24 points.   Brooklyn Tech now nosed into second place with 14 points, just one half point ahead of their fellow Brooklynites from the Berkeley Carroll School.  Manhattan’s veteran Stuyvesant High School also remained tied for 3rd-4th with 13½ points, but Berkeley Carroll’s better team tiebreaks moved them into Third.

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 may be in the same or different sections; however the average team rating of both players must be Under 2200.

          Thus far, ten Mixed Doubles Teams are competing for the Mixed Doubles prizes.  The duo of Nayah Nieto (903) of Williamsburg Prep and Chance Deas (1529) of Medgar Evers Prep surged into the lead with 8½ out of a possible 12 pints.   One half point behind is the team of Sarina Motwani (1550) of the Spence School and Columbia Prep’s Jacob Teitelman (1582).  They’re tied at 8 points for 2nd-3rd with Veda Safranek (1641) of the Dalton School and Dylan Singer (1734) of Booker T Washington Junior High 54.  The deadline for signing up for Mixed Doubles Teams is not until our next match date on January 27th, so more teams may still enter the fray! 

          Sophia Rohde once again set up a live broadcasts of five boards each round.  We now have eighteen games posted at the Magnus League website!  We hope to broadcast five games each round live via the DGT Boards to the Magnus League at on January 27th!

          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 will also be providing analysis and some annotations of selected games from previous rounds as well.

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

          The Magnus League also featured a special Girls Chess Welcome Table, which was hosted by Karsten and Nicole, two former scholastic Chess Girls, and Kimberly Doo from the U.S. Chess Women’s Committee.   Jennifer Shahade, the Editor of the U.S. Chess Federation’s Chess Life Online, also assisted with the Girls Chess Welcome Table at the Magnus Chess League.

          Steve  Immitt was the Chief Director and IA Sophia Rohde was the Chief Assistant.  Dan Rohde and Harry Heublum also assisted as well.

          Thanks also to Harris Lencz for his help in packing up in the afternoon. 

          The Magnus League is also very grateful for  Nils Grotnes’s vital work as the League’s webmaster.

            The complete results from Rounds Five and Six on December 9th can be found at the Magnus League website at: , along with the USCF-rated results and the DGT Board games.

            Players will be able to register for Rounds 7-8 which begin 10:00 am Sunday January 27th (including players who missed Rounds 1-6) at the Magnus League’s website at through 6 pm Saturday January 26th!

Thank You Everyone for making such a promising and exciting first half of our Sixth Magnus League Season!

Merry Christmas and Season’s Greetings From The Magnus League!

We Wish Everyone A Wonderful Holiday And A Happy New Year!!