Students at Chávez High School were thrilled to walk away with a third-place team victory at the State Scholastic Chess Championship in McAllen, Texas, last month, but they were even more excited when they learned that due to an extremely complicated tie-break system, computer results revealed that they were actually the first-place winner among unrated players.
The team had to score among the top five groups at the regional tournament to advance to the state competition, and placing first there qualified them to compete in the national tournament held in Columbus, Ohio, where they ranked sixteenth in the nation in the unrated section.
“Chess is about options,” said Chávez Coach Robert Myers. “The students exercised those options and continued to practice, study, and develop. They have learned through perseverance to never give up, never surrender.”
The team subsequently placed first at a KIPP chess tournament held on April 18.