Washington Middle's chess team won the team championship trophy at the 2014 National Junior High Chess Championship in Atlanta last weekend, and also took individual 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 6th places.
Coach Eric Floro credits the kids' relentless practice and jettisoning TV time in the final days leading up to the competition. The achievement was featured prominently in a wonderful write-up in the
Honolulu Star Advertiser, which noted the challenges Washington Middle students and staff often face as a Title I school, with many of its families struggling with poverty.
Washington's team competed in the unrated division because its players don't have national ratings. The U.S. Chess Federation assigns ratings, which are estimates of playing strength, to members who have played in official tournaments. The team competed in a field of 74 students from New York, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, Alabama, Maryland, Tennessee, North Carolina and Missouri.
We congratulate the students, Coach Floro and Principal Mike Harano, and offer our heartfelt mahalo to
Davis Levin Livingston Charitable Foundation for assisting with the club's travel expenses.