Magnus League’s Sixth Season Begins Its Second Half With Rounds 7-8 On January 27th!

Columbia Prep Still Leads The Team Competition With 20 Points,

But Berkeley Carroll Is Hot On Their Heels With 19.5 Points, Hunter High School Is Right Behind With 19;


IM Hans Niemann Leads The Premier Section With 5½-2½,

Dylan Singer Rolls Up The Under 1800 Section: 7½-½ While Kyrel Burnett And Cole Tambaro Both Top The Under 1200 Section with 6-2

Darrien Williams And Kyrel Burnett 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 fourth regular season match of the 2018-2019 Magnus High School and Junior High Chess League’s Sixth Season, on January 27th.  As usual, 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, and once again followed it all up with more pizza in the afternoon!

          Thanks again to Shaun Smith and Chess-In-The Schools, for the turnout for our fourth match date of our sixth season-- 59 players representing 35 schools from all five Boroughs of New York City!

          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 rounds one through eight have now been totaled.

          The three-section format saw 18 players competing in the Under 1200 Section, 33 in the Under 1800 Section and 8 players, rated between 1809 and 2512, 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 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!


          Hamilton Shillingford (1828) of Hunter, who was playing in his very first Magnus League event, and Aidan Ahram (1835) of Brooklyn Tech each swept the competition in the Premier Section, 2-0.  For Hamilton it was quite a momentous occasion, as his Round 8 victory was against the tournament’s top-ranked player, IM Hans Niemann (2512), who still leads the field by a half-point in the Premier Section.


          In the Under 1800 Section, New York’s Millennium High School’s William Chin (1584), Sean Cushman (1714) of Berkeley Carroll, Sam Korff (1522) of Horace Mann, Stuyvesant’s Jun Yan Li (1651), Dylan Singer (1715) of Booker T Washington Junior High 54, Staten Island Tech’s Helen Xue (1400) and Jasmine Yang (1347) of Midwood High School (who was mistakenly omitted from the pairings and received one-point as a result of having been denied the opportunity to defeat someone in that section) each scored two points as well. 

          In the Under 1200 Section, Kyrel Burnett (1089) of Medgar Evers Prep won both his games— for the second month in a row! Christopher Kretschman (1073) of Berkeley Carroll, Cole Tambaro (1030) of the home team Columbia Prep Lions, and Darrien Williams (892) of Brooklyn’s John Dewey High School were all double-winners on Sunday as well.

          Kyrel Burnett (1089)’s double swatted his post-tournament rating (1335) out of the park to a new high, and it will land in the Under 1800 Section for the next match.   Cole Tambaro (1030 also capitalized on his two points to drive his post-event rating to a new peak of 1092!  Justin Goldman scored 1 point, but that was also enough to send his post-tournament rating to its all-time high of 920.  Richard Sanchez De Lozada (547) made good use of his one point as well— lifting his new rating to a new peak of 628!

          In the Under 1800 Section, Dylan Singer (1715) raised both his lead over the field to two-points and his new rating to 1795!  Chance Deas (1536) of Medgar Evans Prep’s rating has been going in one direction lately:  up!  His victory Sunday kept it going that way, pausing to reach its new peak of 1592.  Alfred Franco (1296) of City College Academy of the Arts similarly saw his rating climb to its all-time high of 1343.  Elian Garcia (1622) of Midwood High was 1 for 2, but it was still enough to boost his post-event rating to a new peak for the second month in a row:  1655 this time!  David Pozo (1401) of New York’s Unity Center For Urban Technologies kept his post-event rating unchanged at 1511— maintaining his all-time high for another month

          Hunter High School’s Hamilton Shillingford’s (1828) 684-point upset win in Round 8 also drove his post-event rating up 50 points to a new all-time high of 1878!  Aidan Ahram (1835) of Brooklyn Tech pumped his unofficial rating up to 1859 as well.

          The team competition is starting to heat up, as Columbia Grammar and Prep’s Lions, last season’s League Champions, saw their lead whittled down to just one half-point, with 20 out of a possible 32 points.   The Berkeley Carrol School is nipping at their heels with 19.5 points, while New York’s Hunter High Schools is just one point from the lead.

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.

          Twelve Mixed Doubles Teams are officially competing for the Mixed Doubles prizes.  The duo of Darrien Williams (892) of  Brooklyn’s John Dewey High School and Kyrel Burnett (1089) of Medgar Evans Prep. powered into the lead with 11 out of a possible 16 points.   One half point behind is the team of Veda Safranek (1581) of the Dalton School and Booker T Washington Junior High 54’s Dylan Singer (1715)— now in Second with 10.5 points.  Two teams are tied for Third-Fourth with 9 points: the duo of Sarina Motwani (1531) of the Spence School and Jacob Teitelman (1668) of Columbia Prep, who are ahead on tiebreaks over Marilyn Lucero (1158) of the Cinema School and her teammate, Ayden Santiago (1105) of Brooklyn Tech.

          Sophia Rohde once again set up a live broadcasts of five boards each round.  We now have 28 of the top games posted at the Magnus League website!  We plan to broadcast five games each round live via the DGT Boards to the Magnus League at on March 3rd as well!

          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!

          Thanks to Harry Heublum for valuable assistance in directing the event, and also to Gerald Lynch of the NEST + m School and Kevin Feng of Brooklyn Tech for helping  to set up Sunday morning!

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

            The complete results from Rounds Seven and Eight on January 27th are posted at the Magnus League website at:

          along with the USCF-rated results, as well as the DGT Board games.

            Players will be able to register for Rounds 9-10 which begin 10:00 am Sunday March 3rd, including players who missed Rounds 1-8 (there is a limit of 6 half-point byes available for missed rounds) at the Magnus League’s website at through 6 pm Saturday March 2nd!

Thank You Everyone for continuing our promising and exciting first half in the second half of our Sixth Magnus League Season!