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04/18/2011 BKCL Hauls Trophies from USCF National Tournament inOhio!

Teams from BKCL returned to Baltimore loaded with 13 trophies from the USCF National K-9 Chess Championships held in Columbus, Ohio. Cross Country EMS captured second place in the nation in the under 750 section which included 224 players from 32 states. The team included three girls and one boy and became the first BKCL team to ever earn a top three finish at nationals in a rated section. Joseph Grant of Cross Country finished third in the nation in the u1000 section of 167 players and became the first BKCL player to ever earn a top five trophy in a rated section at nationals. Joseph has been in the BKCL for six years and plans to attend Poly next year. Hamilton EMS captured a blitz trophy as well as a top 20 finish in the championship section by Ronald Best. Ronald became the highest rated BKCL player ever and the first to ever finish in the top 20 in a championship section at nationals. Bluford Drew Jemison STEM Academy West captured an individual top 20 finish in the u750 section and Woodhome EMS took a 7th place team trophy in the unrated section. Congratulations to Coaches Katz, Wade, Lindsay and Morrison !!!
Steve Alpern
Commissioner, Baltimore Kids Chess League

03/20/2011 BKCL Teams Win Big at Maryland State Scholastic Chess Championship

The Baltimore Kids Chess League had its best showing ever at the 2011 Maryland State Scholastic Chess Championships held this weekend in Towson. The state tournament had the largest field ever featuring 540 players from across the state. BKCL sent its largest contingent ever with 75 players from 16 schools. BKCL players captured 15 individual trophies and 9 team trophies.  BKCL had never had any player post a perfect score at states but this year four BKCL players had perfect records at the state championships:

  • Jordan Best a third grader from Hamilton EMS #236 became the first BKCL player to win a Varsity division as he scored a perfect 5-0 en route to becoming the top Primary player in the state of Maryland. His brother, Ronald Best placed 2nd at the Middle School championship section.
  • Kamran Gouchemand and William Holbrook both third graders from Mt. Washington ES #221 both scored perfect 5-0 scores to tie for first in the Primary JV section which included 85 players.
  • Sharatia Jefferson an eighth grader from Woodhome EMS #205 scored a perfect 5-0 to tie for first out of 88 players in the Middle School JV section - Sharatia was the only female player to win a top three trophy at the tournament.

Seven BKCL schools won team trophies:

  • Mt. Washington ES #221 won the JV Primary state championship over 15 teams in their first trip to states.
  • Woodhome EMS #205 tied for first place in the Middle School JV division over 17 teams to repeat their championship from last year.
  • Cross Country EMS #247 won third place in the Middle School Varsity division, third place in the JV Middle School division and eighth place in the Elementary Novice division.
  • Medfield Heights ES #249 captured third place in the JV Primary division in their first trip to states.
  • Samuel Morse EMS #98 took fourth place in the Elementary Novice division in their first trip to states.
  • Edgecombe EMS #62 took fourth place in the Middle School JV division in their first trip to states.
  • Hampstead Hill EMS #47 got the tenth place trophy out of 28 teams in the Elementary Novice division.

Congratulations go to all BKCL coaches, principals, and parents who supported their players and made these fantastic results possible !!!

Steve Alpern

Commissioner, Baltimore Kids Chess League

03/05/2011 New BKCL Teams Win Novice Tournament at Poly!

Two schools that had never won team titles won team championships at the BKCL Novice Tournament #2 held on 3/5 at Poly. The tournament had over 150 players from 25 BCPS schools. Gardenville Elementary #211 is a first year program that claimed the elementary team championship narrowly edging out Wolfe Street Academy #23 and Medfield Heights #249.


In the middle school division Bay Brook #124 EMS won their first championship after six years in BKCL. Walter P. Carter #134 and Edgecombe #62 finished in second and third place in the middle school division. Congratulations to Principals Miller and Custis !!!


Next up for BKCL teams are the Maryland Scholastic Chess Championships on March 19-20. BKCL teams won two of the nine divisions at States last year and hope to repeat or improve on that performance.


Steve Alpern

Commissioner, Baltimore Kids Chess League

02/18/2011 BKCL Students Qualify for the Maryland Sweet Sixteen and Chance to Receive a UMBC Scholarship!

For the first time Baltimore Kids Chess League players have qualified for the Maryland Sweet Sixteen - a chess competition held next weekend at UMBC that will determine the top scholastic chess player in Maryland. The winner receives a four year chess scholarship to UMBC which is known as one of the top collegiate chess programs in the country. BKCL has never qualified a player for this event but this year we have three players that are invited - Jordan Best grade 3 #236, Ronald Best grade 7 #236 and Devon Campbell grade 8 #247. This marks the next step for the Baltimore Kids Chess League and demonstrates that our program is producing some of the top chess players in the state.
Steve Alpern
Commissioner, Baltimore Kids Chess League

01/29/11 Medfield Heights and Hampden Middle take first place at BKCL Tournament

The Baltimore Kids Chess League held its first novice tournament of 2011 on Saturday, 1/29.  More than 140 students had registered but due to school closures and weather cancellations the tournament had 76 players. In the elementary division Medfield Heights #249 took the team trophy in a close victory over Cross Country and Hamilton. In the middle school division Hampden #55 outdistanced the field with Arundel a distant second. Special thanks to all the parents, coaches and judges who braved the weather conditions to make this tournament a success.


The next BKCL novice event will be held March 5 and priority will be given to schools and players that did not get a chance to compete in the first novice tournament. If you have questions, please contact me directly at salpern@bcps.k12.md.us.


Steve Alpern

Commissioner, Baltimore Kids Chess League


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