Magnus League’s Seventh Season Continues With Rounds 11-12 On March 1st!

Success Academy Charter Myrtle Middle School Again Leads The Team Competition With 31.5 Points, With Columbia Prep. Hot On Their Heals At 31,  While Stuyvesant Holds Third With 26;

Success Academy Myrtle Middle School Still Leads The Second Half Team Competition With 14!

IM Hans Niemann, WFM Sophie Morris-Suzuki And Avery Hood Lead In The Varsity Section With 7.5 Points;

Julian Daniels Continues To Top The Junior-Varsity Section With 9 Points;

While Annika Parsia Dominates The Novice Section With 10!

Annika Parsia And DaGuy Vava Lead Mixed Doubles Team Competition With 16.5 Points, Makenna Blaise And Amado Balde Are Second With 14.5 While Novia Zheng And Partho Nath Are In Third At 14!

By Steve Immitt, National Tournament Director

            Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School, 36 West 93rd Street, just west of Central Park West in Manhattan, was the scene once again for the sixth regular season match of the 2019-2020 Magnus High School Chess League Seventh Season, on March 1st.  League Founder and Commissioner, Sophia Rohde organized the signature plentiful provender of bagels and cream cheese 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 continued help with recruitment for our seventh season.


The sixth match date this season saw 49 players representing 22 schools, including two schools from Westchester County.

          The Magnus League especially welcomes a new school, Seven Bridges Middle School, from Chappaqua, New York, as well as all our returning schools.

Thank you all for joining the Magnus League!

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

          The three-section format resulted in a good distribution of players:  12 played in the Novice (Under 1200) Section, 23 more were in the Junior-Varsity (Under 1800) Section, while 14 players, rated between 1770 and 2388, turned out for the Varsity Section (the Varsity Section is also FIDE-rated 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.    


          Eastchester High School freshman Avery Hood (2006) won both his games March 1st, to join Woman FIDE Master (WFM) Sophie Morris-Suzuki (2245), a senior from John Jay High School in Lewisboro and International Master (IM) Hans Niemann (2539), a Columbia Prep. junior, in a three-way tie for First Place in the Varsity Section at 7.5 points out of 12 rounds.  Stuyvesant High School junior and FIDE Master (FM) Justin Chen (2388) also notched double-victories in the Varsity Section.  Two players took the opportunity to launch their ratings to new post-tournament peaks on March 1st:  Stuyvesant sophomore Ryan Chen (1895) jumped to 1923.  Kyle Lancman (1965), a 7th-grader from Robert Wagner Junior High, also pushed his post-event unofficial rating up to a new high of 1972.


          In the Junior-Varsity Section, Julian Daniels (1742) a Columbia Prep. freshman, chalked up 1.5 points once again to solidify his hold on First Place with 9 points.  Two players are tied for 2nd with 8 out of 12:  Medgar Evans Prep. senior Chance Deas (1770) and Columbia Prep. freshman Joshua Luo (1766).   Meredith Feiner (1697), an 8th-grader from Seven Bridges Middle School in Chappaqua, played her first two Magnus League games March 1st, and marked the occasion by sweeping both games!  Staten Island Tech. High School sophomore Tia Zheng (1491) bumped her unofficial rating up to a new high that day (which she then eclipsed later in the week).


          In the Novice Section, Success Academy Myrtle Middle School 7th-graders Amadou Balde (881) and Annika Parsia (1141), along with Benjamin Cardozo sophomore Partho Nath (1160) were all 2 for 2 Sunday.  That sealed Parsia’s lock on Clear First atop the Novice Section with 10 points, while Balde took sole claim to Second with 8.5.  Nath (whose post-tournament rating also reached a new peak of 1243) found himself in a 2-way tie for 3rd with NEST+m junior Gerald Lynch (1018) with 8 points.  And Columbia Prep. freshman Harry Goldberg played his very first rated games on March 1st!

           In the team competition, Success Academy Myrtle Middle school picked up a net gain of 5.5 points, for a running total of 31.5 out of a possible 48 points.  That was more than enough to catapult them once again into First.  Just half-a-point back are the Columbia Grammar and Prep. Lions, who picked up a net gain of 5 points.  Perennial powerhouse Stuyvesant High picked up 1.5 points, holding onto Third Place with 26 points.

           In the Second Half Team Competition (beginning in Round 8), Success Academy Myrtle Middle School expanded its lead to 14 out of 20 points, followed by Columbia Prep. with 9.5 and Stuyvesant High with 9.  In the second-half competition, half-point byes do not count towards the Second Half Bonus prizes.

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

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 Myrtle Middle School duo of Annika Parsia (1141) and Daguy Vaval (1687) leads the Mixed Doubles team competition with 16.5.  Teammates Makenna Blaise (1216) and Amadou Balde (881) trail by 2 points with 14.5, while Third Place belongs to Novia Zheng (889) and Partho Nath (1160), who put together a combined score of 14 points after 24 total games.

          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 judging 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 Tournament Director, assisted by Sophia Rohde, Dan Rohde and Harry Heublum.     

Rounds 13-14, which were originally scheduled to be played on May 3rd,  have been postponed due to the corona-virus pandemic.  We are hoping to have our final match date after school reopens.  The Magnus League website will be updated with more details about Rounds 13-14 later in the year.

            The complete results from Rounds 1 and 2 on October 6th, Rounds 3 and 4 on November 10th, Rounds 5 and 6 on December 8th, Rounds 7 and 8 on January 12th,  Rounds 9 and 10 on February 9th, and Rounds 11 and 12 on March 1st, along with the USCF-rated results (and FIDE-rated results in the Varsity Section), can be seen at the Magnus League webpage at as well).

          To paraphrase Dr. Siegbert Tarrasch, one of the world’s top players from another century, “Chess, like love, like music, has the power to make people happy.”

          It is my hope that playing over the games of our young competitors (some of which are quite intense and hard-fought) might inspire you to aspire even more to your own personal level of excellence and, perhaps, also impart to you a bit of happiness.

During these extraordinarily stressful times, on behalf of all of us at the Magnus League, please Stay Safe and Be Well.

Best Wishes To All Our Chess Aficionados!

Thank You Everyone for such an exciting Seventh Magnus League season!