The Esperanza Chess Team competed in the 8th Annual, citywide PECO/ASAP Checkmate Violence Marathon Tournament. Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 5pm, Esperanza competed against over 250 students from around Philadelphia - and the coaches even got in on the action with a quick-match, coaches tournament Sunday morning!
The Police Commissioner spoke at the event, and coverage was featured on 6abc and 10NBC. Lemuel Rosa, a 7th grader on the Chess team, was able to meet the Commissioner and get his picture taken with him.
Saturday five matches were played in the unrated division to determine standings. Our own Valentino Martinez won three of his five matches and took home a bronze medal for Esperanza in the k-8 unrated division! This was his first tournament and he displayed all the virtues that makes Esperanza students great. We are so proud of him.
Sunday concluded the rated division with a total of seven matches played. These matches were a grueling 55 minutes long. Esperanza's own Mateo Ruiz won first place in the rated K-8 under 700 division! This is a huge accomplishment; he even faced Masterman's top rated player during one match.
Regardless of the win-loss record, all four boys comported themselves with Esperanza pride and determination; a testament to the Chess team requirement of As and Bs and a clean behavior record in order to play. Their hard work in academics and Chess strategy paid off: Esperanza Middle School took home the third place trophy in the k-8 school division!
As the smallest team at the tournament and the newest team in the league, this was a great surprise. Not only Ilan, Mateo, Lemuel, and Valentino, but the entire team/club has been working so hard this year to make Esperanza's presence known in the Chess world. The team comes to school early, before 7:30 am, to take lessons with Mr. Jaimes. They play over lunch and with the club after school Mondays and Fridays. They also help mentor the 20-some other Chess Club members who come to play.
Mr. Jaimes and I are so proud of them, not just for winning, but for the way they are truly coming to embody what Esperanza is all about. We are looking forward finishing our league tournament February 11th at Temple University and to the possibility of attending the state competition in Lancaster this March!