WEIBEL GIRLS RULE IN THE UNDER 12 DIVISION OF THE ALL-GIRLS NATIONALS
This weekend (April 11-13, 2014) ten girls from Weibel attended the All-Girls Nationals in outskirts of Chicago. You couldn’t ask for a worse location for a National event—in a place where nothing existed but a few hotels. You couldn’t ask for a better outcome for the Weibel players.
Due to high hotel prices and a lack of available space in downtown Chicago, this year’s All-Girls Nationals took place in Northbrook. The organizers of the tournament ran a very successful event despite the limitations they faced in a second rate location with nearly nothing within walking distance from the hotel.
For the second straight year the Weibel girls took a first in the Under 12 division. This was accomplished even before the last round started. Our girls proved unquestionably that they were the best in the country in the Under 12 category. Our Team finished with 14.5 points compared to the second place team from Florida with 9.5 points and the third place team with 8 points. Weibel has now won four National girls titles.
In the individual competition this year, four of the Weibel girls brought home trophies. I would claim a fifth trophy going to Weibel due to the fact that one of our girls, Aria Lakhmani, moved to Warm Springs Elementary School last year even though she continues her chess at Weibel. Obviously, her points could not count for Weibel. I might note that no matter how many people you have on your team only the top three players scores count. The organizers awarded 15 trophies in each section. In the Under 12 section there were 74 entries. This years Championships were the largest to date with 322 players. Last year the event drew 238 competitors.
All our girls did wonderfully. They are wonder girls. Only one of our ten girls failed to obtain three points out of six. The youngest of our wonder girls, and the only girl from Weibel to compete in the All-Girls National, Prisha Jain in a non-under 12 section, tied for fifth in the Under 8 section. The highlight of her day was defeating the only player attending from Mission San Jose Elementary School. I am not sure why MSJE failed to have more players at this event as two of their girls are ranked very high in the country. Aside: Despite this continued interschool competition we all cheered for the California Girls. I even gave small California flags to the Weibel girls and those from other Northern California schools. Sadly I ran out of flags and could not provide for every California girl.
The wonder girls from Weibel were:
Serafina Show, Weibel student school president and number one Wunder Kind, went undefeated. She drew two and won four. Her two draws were against the two highest ranked players. In the last round she fought hard for the National title and a trip to the World’s. Her draw placed her in a tie for second place.
Enya Mistry, with five wins and one lose, also tied for second. She had, perhaps, the best tournament of her life. Enya came in ranked 24th in the competition.
Raisah Khan went 4.5-1.5 and tied for eighth. Raisah defeated a 1731 rated player in her way to winning a trophy. Raisah came into the completion ranked 29th..
Shivangi Gupta had a great day as well. If she had won her last round she would have tied for second rather than 10th. Shivangi’s rating was 1308 and that of her last round opponent, 1711. Shivangi ranked 19th in the beginning of the competition.
Aria Lakhmani, from Warm Springs and former Weibel student, attended Weibel Chess again this year even though she moved out of our attendance area last year. She also tied for 10th. Aria entered the Championships ranked number 20.
Sashrika Pandy, Amir Rafi, Ambika Tiwari and Anvi Surapaneni finished the weekend close to the rankings they entered with.
Above I have sung the praises to second grade student, Prisha Jain, who entered ranked number 20 and fished tied for sixth.
I would like to thank all the parents who accompanied their daughters to the Championships. They did a beautiful job inspiring all the girls to do well. I mean all the girls, not just their own daughters. When I get the photos up online shortly (I hope) at http://www.CalNorthYouthChess.org/photographs.html, you will see one mother going to each girlsharing her energy for their win.
Obviously, their chess instructors, both inside and outside Weibel, had a great deal to do with their success.
Finally, I want to identify those that brought extra inspiration and lessons to the girls via Sunday training sessons: Richard Shorman, FIM Uyanga Byambaa, the Goodkind sisters—Barbara and Lauren, Joanna Liu and Elaine Veksler. I am convinced that while the girls’ excellent training helped, the inspiration provided by those I named placed the finishing touch to their victories. We often see one person taking credit for the achievements of another, but in reality it takes a village within which a child lives to create their success. So to those who helped our girls learn to finish a competition in style, my special thanks.