SJA Wins 2018 Vermont State Scholastic Chess Championships

SJA chess team
April 30, 2018

The SJA chess team won the 2018 Vermont State Scholastic Chess Championships. Pictured left to right are Majd Al Abas (spectator), Porter Iselin, Matthew Newland, Abisola Akinsete, Elijah Schreiber, Joseph Vineyard, Charles Fisher, Elliot Nordstrom, Emma Keenan, Koby Sol Cruz, Mikhail Kliuchnikov, and Rashid Abdo.

The SJA Chess team won the 2018 Vermont State Scholastic Chess Championships. The Academy entered the competition with 10 students, the largest number ever to compete from one school. They took first place among the five high school teams competing, beating Rutland by just one win. Abisola Akinsete ’18 from Nigeria won the girls’ division and has been invited to the National Girls Tournament of Champions, which will take place in Middleton, Wisconsin, in July.


Students who participated in the competition were Elijah Schreiber ’18 of Waterford; Vermont, Abisola Akinsete ‘18 of Nigeria; Mikhail Kliuchnikov 2018 of Spain; Emma Keenan ‘21 of Peacham; Joseph Vineyard ‘20 of Danville; Elliot Nordstrom ‘18 of Dulles, Virginia; Matthew Newland ‘21 of St. Johnsbury; Charles Fisher ‘20 of St. Johnsbury; Porter Iselin ‘19 of Newton, Massachusetts; Rashid Abdo ‘20 of Lowell, Massachusetts; and Koby Sol Cruz ‘21 of St. Johnsbury.


The team’s coach, faculty member Tyler Hartshorn, said, “There has been excellent participation in our club this year, with about 20 to 30 students playing during each club meeting. The team’s success should help to further encourage youth chess at the Academy and within the Northeast Kingdom. Ultimately, I believe that the problem-solving process and sustained thinking that chess demands will lead to great gains in the classroom.”

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