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Success Academy Chess Stars Earn Top Ten Finishes at US Grade Championships

Last week, 35 scholars from across the Success Academy network traveled to Orlando, Florida for some sunshine — and chess! Competing in the prestigious National K-12 Grade Championships, Success Academy improved from last year’s already stellar performance at both the individual and the team levels.

Standout individual competitors include SA Hudson Yards sixth grade scholar Nura Baalla, who drew against — and defeated — a player with a 2000 rating. The United States Chess Federation considers players rated 2000 and above to be at the level of Chess Expert. Nura finished in ninth place, winning 5.5 of seven games. SA Hell’s Kitchen third grader Brewington Hardaway finished in fourth place winning six of seven games.

The National K – 12 Grade Championships brought together over 1,800 players from across the nation. Our scholars competed against top players and teams, with strong showings across the board:

Third grade: SA Union Square placed fifth out of 30 teams

Fourth grade: SA Union Square took home fifth place out of 28 teams

Fifth grade: SA SA Hudson Yards placed sixth place out of 27 teams

Sixth grade: SA Midtown West placed fifth place (and tied for fourth place) out of 25 teams

Seventh grade: SA SA Bed-Stuy Middle School placed 10th out of 31 teams

Eighth grade: SA Harlem East took home fifth place out of 17 teams

Ninth grade: SA High School of the Liberal Art finished sixth place out of 18 teams

A big shout out to our parents and coaches, who continue to support our scholars’ love of chess. And congratulations to all our teams — we’ve listed our players below!


SA Union Square
Coach: Nicholas Norman

Grade 3
Naveen Paruchuri, Nathaniel Mullodzhanov, Krish Patni, Andrew Buchanan, Jag Dixit, Anya Omer

Grade 4
Aritro Chakravarty, Minal Omer, Aarush Naveen, Nathan Booncharoen


SA Hudson Yards
Coach: Christopher Johnson

Grade 5
Silas Smith, George Best, Emily Booncharoen, Seth Fenton

Grade 6
Nura Baalla


SA Midtown West
Coach: Waldemar Ortiz

Grade 5
Noni Hardaway

Grade 6
Kristian Garcia, Ethan Lee, Aidan Kuo, Jason Maldonado


SA Hell’s Kitchen
Coach: Robert Lazorchak

Grade 2
Gerard Petrella

Grade 3
Brewington Hardaway


SA Bed-Stuy Middle School
Coach: Tyrell Harriot

Grade 7
Geah Jean Baptiste, Geordany Solomon, Makhi Williams, Jessica Hyatt


SA Harlem East
Coach: Fritz Gaspard

Grade 8
Christian Chin, Edward Morales, Andrew Breton, Shadman Khan


SA High School of the Liberal Arts
Shout out to all the coaches for pitching in to support our high schoolers.

Grade 9
Samuel Eyre, Jason Zabre, Elliott James Deutou, Phillip Fenteng, Ramla Mohammed

Written by Success Academy December 18, 2017

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