Magnus League’s Seventh Season Continues With Rounds 3-4 On November 10th!

Columbia Prep. Leads The Team Competition With 11 Points;

Success Academy Myrtle Middle School And Hunter High School Are Both Hot On Their Heels Half A Point Back;

IM Hans Niemann, WFM Sophie Morris-Suzuki And Jack Levine Lead The Varsity Section;

Dylan Challenger Stands Alone At The Top Of The Junior-Varsity;

Annika Parsia Holds Onto Clear First Of The Novice Section.

Annika Parsia And DaGuy Vaval 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 the scene once again for the second regular season match of the 2019-2020 Magnus High School Chess League Seventh Season, on November 10th.  League Founder and Commissioner, IA, IO, NTD Sophia Rohde 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 continued help with recruitment for our seventh season.

The second date this season saw an increased turnout over October, with 62 players representing 28 schools from all five boroughs of New York City, as well as Westchester County.

          The Magnus League especially welcomes some new and returning schools:  the John Jay High School in Brooklyn, Medgar Evans College Prep. in the Bronx, Millennium High School in Brooklyn, the Summit School in Queens and Theatre Arts Production Company School in the Bronx.  And we are also delighted to see so many of our friends from across town at New York’s Hunter High School play in the Magnus League as well!  Thank you all for joining the Magnus League!

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

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

          The three-section format resulted in a good distribution of players:  16 played in the Novice (Under 1200) Section, 24 more were in the Junior-Varsity (Under 1800) Section, while 22 players, rated between 1797 and 2530, 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.    

          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 Varsity Section, two Columbia Prep. Lions, sophomore Harris Lencz (1912) and junior IM Hans Niemann (2530), along with John Jay High School senior Sophie Morris-Suzuki, each won both their games Sunday.


          In the Junior-Varsity Section, New York’s Dalton School freshman Dylan Challenger (1729) nailed down two more wins, for the second month in a row, en route to his sole possession of First. Medgar Evans Prep. senior Chance Deas (1653), Brooklyn Tech junior Kevin Feng (1432), and two seventh-graders, Jake Quan (1696) from Hunter and Daguy Vaval (1627) of Success Academy Charter Myrtle Middle School also won both their games Sunday.

          In the Novice Section, Annika Parsia (1039), a 7th-grader from Success Academy Charter Myrtle Middle School, also posted a perfect score for the second consecutive month, to lead the field with 4 points.  Berkeley Carroll junior Christopher Kretschman (1136), NEST+m junior Gerald Lynch (849) and Theatre Arts Production junior Nikania Portalatin (865) were all two for two Sunday as well.

          Browning 7th-grader Julian Brown (262) achieved his all-time peak rating of 335, based on at least four games on Sunday.  Gabryela Caban (986) a 7th-grader from Success Academy Charter Myrtle Middle School, peaked at a new high of 1119, and Brooklyn Tech junior Hao Duong (862) found a new high point of 867 (for the second time in a row), which he later eclipsed before the week was out.

          In the Junior-Varsity Section, Ethical Culture Fieldston School sophomore Gavin Kelly (101)’s nine-year hiatus concluded with his rating peaking at 201 Sunday.  Columbia Prep. senior Oleksandr Kondratiuk (1252) climbed to a new career high of 1359, and Brooklyn Tech. junior Jiabin Li (1221) also jumped his unofficial post-evet rating to a new high, for the second month in a row, this time to 1287.

          In the Varsity Section, no less than five players achieved their post-tournament career-high ratings Sunday!  Summit School freshman Ethan Kozower (1870) jumped to 1912 unofficially (and he jumped even higher the following week).  Hunter 7th-grader Jack Levine (2209) continued to push his rating into the rarefied air over 2200 USCF (2213 is his new post-tournament peak this time).  Summit School 8th-gader Alan Morris-Suzuki (2098) broke the 2100-barrier for the first time to peak at 2101, while his sister Sophie Morris-Suzuki (2247), a senior from John Jay High School, zoomed up to a career high of 2253!

          And Richard Chen, a sophomore from Columbia Prep, played his very first tournament games at the last Magnus League match!

           In the team competition, the Columbia Grammar and Prep’s Lions racked up picked a net gain of 3 points, for a new running total of 11 out of possible 16 points.  Two schools are a half-point behind: the Success Academy Charter Myrtle Middle School in Brooklyn and Eastside powerhouse Hunter College High School from Manhattan.  Both schools are tied for 2nd-3rd Place with Myrtle Middle School ahead so far 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 Myrtle Middle School duo of Annika Parsia (1039) and Daguy Vaval (1620) lead the Mixed Doubles Team competition thus far, with a combined score of 6 points after 8 games.  Half a point behind is the Hunter duo of Ella Moran (1766) and Jack Levine (2209), followed by Darrien Williams (1120) of John Dewey High School and Christian Deas (1189) of Medgar Evans College Prep, with a total of 5 points. The deadline for signing up for Mixed Doubles Teams is not until February 9th, so more teams may still enter the competition! 

          Former U.S. Open, U.S. Junior, New York State, New York Open, Manhattan Chess Club and National High School Champion Grandmaster John Fedorowicz was  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.  Maya McGreen also helped to set up the DGT boards.

FM Nils Grotnes did yeoman’s work once again as the Webmaster and Information Systems Manager.

            The complete results from Rounds 1 and 2 on October 6th, and Rounds 3 and 4 on November 10th, along with the USCF-rated results, can be seen at the Magnus League webpage at as well). 

            Players may now register for Rounds 5-6, which begin 10:00 am on Sunday December 8h (including players who missed Rounds 1-4) at the Magnus League website at through 6 pm Saturday December 7th!

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