Magnus League’s Seventh Season Began With Rounds 1-2 On October 6th!

Columbia Prep. Leads The Team Competition With 6.5 Points;

Berkeley Carroll And Success Academy Myrtle Middle School Tied For Second At 5.0;

Jack Levine, Daniel Levkov, Leonardo Liu, Daniel Mero And Nathaniel Shuman Lead The Varsity Section;

Dylan Challenger, Sean Cushman, David Pozo And Jacob Teitleman Top Junior-Varsity;

Hao Duong, Justin Leong, Annika Parsia, Darrien Williams And Novia Zheng Head Novice Section.

Ella Moran and Jack Levine Lead 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, was again the host for the first regular season match of the 2019-2020 Magnus High School Chess League Seventh Season, on October 6th.  League Founder and Commissioner, Sophia Rohde, and Tournament Director Steve Immitt organized the signature plentiful provender of snacks and refreshments to help start everyone’s Sunday morning followed by pizza in the afternoon!


          Thanks again to Shaun Smith and Chess-In-The Schools, for their invaluable help for our first match date of our seventh season, which consisted of 54 players representing 26 schools from The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Staten Island.  Westchester County was also represented for the first time by Pelham Memorial High School.

          The Magnus League especially welcomes some new schools which have registered groups of players:  the Horace Mann School in The Bronx as well as the Brooklyn Latin School and Success Academy Charter Myrtle Middle School in Brooklyn.  Thank you all for joining the Magnus League!

          And Many Thanks Too to all our returning schools from last season and before!

The tournament is a 14-round event, with two games on each match date.  Season Seven’s first two round’s results have now been totaled.

          The three-section format resulted in another good distribution of players Sunday:  20 played in the Novice (Under 1200) Section, 20 more were in the Junior-Varsity (Under 1800) Section, while 12 players, rated between 1801 and 2181, turned out for the Varsity Section (the Varsity Section is FIDE-rated for the first time this year; all the sections are still USCF-rated as well).

          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 two 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!

We also have additional special free entry prizes and other prizes as well!


          In the Junior-Varsity Section, New York’s Dalton School freshman Dylan Challenger (1729), junior Sean Cushman (1798) of Brooklyn’s Berkeley Carroll School, David Pozo (1587), a sophomore from New York’s Unity Center For Urban Technologies and Columbia Prep. 8th-grader Jacob Teitleman (1675) each won both their games Sunday.

          In the Novice Section, the perfect scores all belonged to Brooklyn!  Brooklyn Tech. junior Hao Duong (814), along with senior Justin Leong (872) and freshman Novia Zheng (652), both of the Brooklyn Latin School, Annika Parsia (1047) a 7th-grader from Success Academy Myrtle Middle School and John Dewey High School sophomore Darrien Williams (1147) also each posted 2-0 sweeps.

          Amadou Balde (806), a Success Academy Myrtle Middle School 7th-grader, achieved his all-time peak rating on October 6th of 848!  Hao Duong (814) also climbed to a career high of 862.

          In the Junior-Varsity Section, Stephen Bi (1267), a senior from Brooklyn’s Edward R Murrow High School, posted a career-high unofficial post-tournament rating of 1326.  Berkeley Carroll junior Sean Cushman (1798) also climbed to a career-high unofficial post-tournament rating of 1808.  Brooklyn Tech. junior Jiabin Li (1221) also jumped his unofficial post-evet rating to a new high of 1226.

          In the Varsity Section, Brooklyn Tech. junior Che Dixon (1823) peaked a bit higher than he started, at 1828.  And Hunter High School 7th-grader Jack Levine (2181) pushed his rating beyond 2200 to 2205 for the first time!

          And three players from the Berkeley Carroll School started their rated Chess careers with the October 6th Magnus League match at the top of their list!  Junior Henry Abrams and sophomores Joseph Gordon and Jonas King all played their very first rated tournament games at the last Magnus League match!

           In the team competition, the Columbia Grammar and Prep. Lions racked up 6.5 out of possible 8 points.  A new school, the Success Academy Myrtle Middle School and a returning rookie team from last season, the Berkeley Carroll School, both from Brooklyn, were tied for 3rd-4th place, with Myrtle Middle School ahead on tiebreaks. 

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.

          The Hunter College High School duo of Ella Moran (1730) and Jack Levine (2181) is the only Mixed Doubles Team which has signed up thus far, with a combined score of 3 points after 4 games.  The deadline for signing up for Mixed Doubles Teams is not until February 9th, so more teams may still enter the competition! 

          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.

          We will also be collecting games for the 3rd Annual William Lombardy Brilliancy Prize- if you have any good games from the Magnus League, please submit them for consideration!

          We now broadcast 12 games live from the DGT boards to the league website at: as they are being played!


Steve Immitt was the Chief Tournament Director, assisted by Harry Heublum, and Dan and Sophia Rohde, IA, IO, NTD.

            The complete results from Rounds One and Two on October 6th, along with the USCF-rated results, can be seen at the Magnus League webpage at as well). 

            Players may register for Rounds 3-4 beginning 10:00 am Sunday November 10th (including players who missed Rounds 1-2) at the advance entry fee at the Magnus League website at through 6 pm Saturday November 9th!

Thank You Everyone once again for making such a promising and exciting Kickoff for our Seventh Magnus League season!