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Young Chess Prodigies Show Their Moves in NYC Mayor's Cup Tournament

By Paul Lomax | May 5, 2012 4:14pm | Updated on May 5, 2012 6:10pm

CHELSEA — More than 300 young grandmasters-to-be tested their skills against fellow students from around the city on Saturday in the 10th Annual NYC Mayor's Cup Chess Championships, held at P.S. 11 on West 20th Street.

This year's tournament featured a host of top-rated chess teams from around the city, including national champions I.S. 318 from Williamsburg, which recently won the United States Chess Federation's National High School Chess Championship.

"Three weeks ago we won the High School Championships in the whole of the United States for the first time." said I.S. 318's chess coordinator and assistant principal John Galvin. 

"Then just last week we won the Junior High School Chess Championships of the United States in San Diego, so today we're giving the seventh-graders a chance to play against some off New York City's best chess players," he said.  "So, let's see what happens."

Teams competed in a series of rounds from 10 a.m. to final rounds late in the afternoon.

Top teenage chess player Alexis Paredes, 15, from Williamsburg, said he's been playing chess for 10 years.

"Today I've won one out of two games so far," he said.  "It's not the performance I was looking for … so I need improve my game."

Paradis went on praise another I.S. 318 chess coach, Elizabeth Spiegel, saying, "I have to thank her for getting me here today and for making me a better chess player."

Eliot Weiss, 58, chess coach for Edward R. Murrow High School in Midwood, was excited about his team's play in the early afternoon.

"Right now we're in first place and controlling all the top boards," Weiss told DNAinfo.com New York.  "Nothing is guaranteed in chess - it's a bit like the '86 NY Mets - you just never know, but we feel very confident about our chances."

The event was organized by NYC & Company along with not-for-profit organization Chess-in-the-Schools.

The NYC Mayor's Cup Chess Championships is an open tournament for all K-12 students and is part of the NYC Mayor's Cup series which encompasses a variety of sporting events throughout the year.