Magnus League’s Seventh Season Continues With Rounds 5-6 On December 8th!

Success Academy Myrtle Middle School Ties Columbia Prep. In The Team Competition At 16 Points, Brooklyn Tech. Moves Into Third With 14.5;

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

Chance Deas  Stands Alone At The Top Of The Junior-Varsity;

Annika Parsia Fortifies Her Lead In The Novice Section.

Annika Parsia And DaGuy Vaval Maintain Their Lead In 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 third regular season match of the 2019-2020 Magnus High School Chess League Seventh Season, on December 8th.  League Founder and Commissioner, 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 third  date this season saw an increased turnout over November, with 66 players representing 30 schools from all five boroughs of New York City, as well as two schools from Westchester County.

          The Magnus League especially welcomes some new and returning schools:  Bard High School, Benjamin Cardoso High School, and the Speyer Legacy School, all in Manhattan and the High School of American Studies in the Bronx.  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 fifth and sixth round results have now been totaled.

          The three-section format resulted in a good distribution of players:  13 played in the Novice (Under 1200) Section, 30 more were in the Junior-Varsity (Under 1800) Section, while 23 players, rated between 1782 and 2554, 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!


          Top-rated International Master (IM) Hans Niemann (2554), a Columbia Prep. Junior, and Woman FIDE Master (WFM) Sophie Morris-Suzuki (2253), a Senior from John Jay High School in Lewisboro, both won their Round 5 games.  They then drew each other in Round 6 (after a 74-move stalemate!) to both share the lead of the Varsity Section with 4.5 out of a possible 6 points each.  Nathaniel Shuman (2107), an eighth-grader New York’s Dalton School, is in clear Third with 4 ponts.


          In the Junior-Varsity Section, Medgar Evans Prep. senior Chance Deas (1728) nailed down two more wins, for the second month in a row, en route to his sole possession of First.  Success Academy Charter Myrtle Middle School seventh-grader Alexander Little (1301), and two 11th-graders, Alex Paiva (1533 of Midwood High School and Michael Wang (1610) of Stuyvesant, also swept both games Sunday.  Wang tied for 2nd-3rd with Columbia Prep. Freshman Julian Daniels (1674), with 4.5 points each.


          In the Novice Section, Annika Parsia (1111), a 7th-grader from Success Academy Charter Myrtle Middle School, also posted a perfect score for the third month in a row, to lock down her lead over the rest of the field with a perfect score of 6-0!  NEST+m junior Gerald Lynch (854) also scored two points, for the second consecutive month, to take sole possession of Second with 5 points.  Success Academy Charter Myrtle Middle School 7th-grader Amadou Balde (816) and All-City Leadership Secondary School Freshman Jenny Zheng (733) also notched double victories.  They are tied for 3rd-6th with Brooklyn Tech Junior Hao Duong (943) and Nikania Portalatin (906), a Junior from the Theatre Arts Production Company School in the Bronx.

          Three of the above Novice players also posted career-high peak ratings after December 8th:  Annika Parsia (1175), Amadou Balde (896) and Jenny Zheng (831).

          Three Junior-Varsity players also boosted their ratings to new career highs after the December 8th Magnus League:  Success Academy Myrtle Middle School 7th-grader Alexander Little (1301) climbed  to 1347, Sylvia Merrill (1546), a seventh-grader from Hunter, jumped up to 1579 (which she later eclipsed the next week at the USCF National Grade Championships in Orlando), along with Stuyvesant High Junior Michael Wang (1610), whose went up to a new high of 1628 (which he also surpassed the following Saturday).

          In the Varsity Section, four players achieved their post-tournament career-high ratings Sunday!  Brooklyn Tech Junior Che Dixon (1828) pushed his unofficial rating a bit higher to a new high of 1836.  Summit School 8th-gader Alan Morris-Suzuki (2100) had a new post-tournament peak, for the second month in a row (this time he went up to 2108  and he went even higher the next week in Orlando).  Speyer Legacy 7th-grader James Oh (2081) went over 2100 for the first time, peaking at 2109).  

           In the team competition, Columbia Grammar and Prep’s Lions picked up a net gain of 5 points, for a new running total of 16 out of possible 24 points.  But that wasn’t enough to maintain their claim on sole first!  Success Academy Charter Myrtle Middle School in Brooklyn racked up 5½ points of their own to tie with Columbia Prep!  Both schools were also tied on (Cumulative) Tiebreaks, but Success Academy takes over the leader board on secondary (Modified Median) tiebreaks!  Brooklyn Tech High School is in Third Place with 14.5 points.

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 (1111) and Daguy Vaval (1706) lead the Mixed Doubles Team competition thus far, with a combined score of 9 points after 12 games.  One and one half point behind is the Hunter duo of Ella Moran (1752) and Jack Levine (2213) at 7.5, followed by Amenaide Brown (1279) of the Hewitt School and IM Hans Niemann (2554) of Columbia Prep. 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 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.

            The complete results from Rounds 1 and 2 on October 6th, Rounds 3 and 4 on November 10th and Rounds 5 and 6 on December 8th, along with the USCF-rated results, can be seen at the Magnus League webpage at as well).

            Players may now register for Rounds 7-8, which begin 10:00 am on Sunday January 12th (including players who missed Rounds 1-6) at the Magnus League website at through 6 pm Saturday January 11th!

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