Fifth grader Lisa Qiu, center, of P.S. 42 finished 15th in the K-8 division in a national tournament earlier this month and she will be going on to Chicago for a womens chess championship. Denny Lu, left, also played well and helped lead P.S. 42 to a second place finish.
By Aman Singh
The good ol boys and girls went, played and conquered. The chess team of P.S 42 went to Tennessee for the National Chess Championships and won second place nationwide as a team in the division grade K-8 among teams from 50 nations across the country.
Many of the team members shined in individual player divisions too. Despite competing against older players in the K- 8 division, fifth grader Lisa Qiu finished 15th nationwide, and her classmates Keith Chen, Denny Lu and Yan Lin finished in the top 30.
Jacob Cooper, also a P.S. 42 student, went as an individual player, separate from the school team and took 8th place in his division, which goes from grade K - 3.
They are all so excited. They came back with such proud smiles on their faces and a huge trophy! said Principal Rosa ODay.
Besides the jubilation of doing so well, the team returned with their confidence high after their first trip by air behind them. For most of them this was also their first trip outside New York, making it even more special.
Moreover, this isnt the only trip. Come next month, three of the female team members, Lisa Qiu, Yan Lin and Gloria Trinh are heading to Chicago for the Womens Only Chess Championships. These are also nationwide championships, with students coming from all over the country.
It will help dispel the myth that all chess champions are boys. I dont know why everyone so stereotypically feels that chess is a male game, said ODay. She said Qiu is a brilliant chess player and ODay has a lot of confidence in all the players, which is why she encouraged them to make the trip to Chicago.