Finally, the Weibel Principal gave Bay Area Chess (BAC) permission to start a chess program again at Weibel that could not be connected to the school as Weibel Chess had been. On February 4 BAC started up chess in three classrooms on Friday afternoons. Salman Azhar, the founder and Chair of BAC, son did attend Weibel for a couple of years, Aamir Azhar in 2004 won the CalChess State Championship. The family moved from Weibel, but the school has always been in Salman’s heart. BAC hired four former Weibel Chess instructors to teach the classes at the school along with a fifth individual. The four are, Grand Master Enrico Sevilliano, Jason Cruz, Jenny Ly and Bada Norovasambu.
In 2007, Salman Azhar took over the CalChess State Championships that I had been running. His Bay Area Chess continues to organize that prestigious and large event. A bit under 20 Weibel students attended the 47th year of the Championships this last weekend, March 19 & 20, 2022. In recent years Weibel Chess had 80 to 100 attendees. Yet, considering the very recent start of chess again at Weibel that was a good turnout. More exciting was how well they did.
As indicated on my Weibel Chess webpage and the back of the T-shirts the players wore, Weibel Chess had won a division in a CalChess sponsored event since 1990. CalChess is the Northern California affiliate of United States Chess Federation. Just a month before my program of Weibel Chess closed its doors for good on March 13, 2020, we won a few sections in a CalChess Girls State Championships. There were no face to face CalChess tournaments in 2021. At the reopening of a CalChess Scholastic Championships with numerous subdivisions students from Weibel proved their nettle once again and kept Weibel’s chess winning streak alive. Most of the students were in the BAC Weibel classes.
The Weibel Teams took first places in the K-3 Beginner and K-3 Junior Varsity sections. NOTE: Only the winners of the Champions sections can be officially referred to as Champions. For some reason most of the top players at Weibel did not attend. For me, as an outsider now, the best news was that girls were the leading players in the two sections Weibel chess students won. Hopefully BAC will be willing to encouraging them to attend the All-Girls Chess National Championships in Chicago in future years and send along a coach. Weibel has won eight All-Girls National Chess since 2011.
Kudos to the following Weibel students at the States:
Team winners – the points of the top four players count for the team. There were five rounds.
K-3 Junior Varsity
Anenya Balakrishnan 4.5 (Anenya also took first place an amazing accomplishment for a young girl that when Weibel Chess closed down was in our Raw Beginners class under the excellent instruction of Amy Chan.)
Adrika Kashyap 3.0 (Adrika also competed the next day in the K-5 JV. She joined because Weibel only had three players and she wanted to help the team. Much to her surprise two of the Weibel players dropped out.)
Sama Bagga 1
K-3 Begginers: Vihaan Kumar 3 Amyra Bhatia 3 Ahana Karaje 2 Tiya Lintu 1.5 Jasper Chung 1.5 (his points did not count for the team)
The following players won individual trophies:
K-5 Championship (46 players) Alexander Pn Ng 3.5 (12th) Lucas Immanuel Oh 3,5 (tied 12th)
K-5 Rookie (54 players) Mihika Agarwal 3 (tied for 11th)
K-3 JrV (40 players) Anenya Balakrisdhnan 4.5 (1st) Adrika Kashyap 3 (tied 10th)
K-3 Beginners (31 players)
Vihaan Kumar 3 (7th) Amyra Bhatia 3 (tied for 7th)
If you want information about chess at Weibel please contact the Director of Bay Area Chess, James Bethany, James@BayAreaChess.com.
I am not connected to their chess program so I cannot provide you with any information or direction. The Weibel Chess Website, the Facebook page and the blog will remain up as an historical memory of the past and anything I decide I want to celebrate about chess at Weibel. Two of my three boys attended Weibel in the beginning of the school and my chess program under the auspices of the PTA and then the PTO existed for 32 years. The umbilical cord has been severed, but a part of my heart is still there with the students, parents, teachers an staff. Salman Azhar and Minanshu Jha (Adrika Kashyap’s mother) provided me with the photos of the winning Weibel Teams. I did attend for a short period of time on Saturday afternoon to watch my grandson competing in the K5 Championship and the K5 Blitz. He had a very poor showing in the K5 Championship but did win the K5 Blitz. That is exactly what I predicted to one coach before the event for he and his dad play blitz most of the time with his Dad playing 1 minute against Elizur’s 5 minutes. As I walked into the Blitz area, they were giving out the trophies and Tom Langland, one of the Chief Tournament Directors told me that Weibel won the K3 JV and they were presenting the awards. He asked if I was going to go up with them for a photo. I simply replied, “No, it is not my program anymore.” I did rush over and shoulder my way through the crown and got one photo with other parents’ hands in it.