**For Immediate Release June 2, 2021**
Sam Chafee, 401-368-5124
Ann Powell, 646-894-6407
RISING CHESS STARS AT SUCCESS ACADEMY RECEIVE FEINBERG CHESS AWARDS
Fourth grade Winner is Ranked #4 in the Country Among Nine-Year-Old Chess Players
New York, NY – Two rising chess stars from Success Academy have been selected for the 2021 Daniel Feinberg Success in Chess Award. With a rating of 1847, Aditeya (Adi) Das, Grade 4 of SA Union Square received the elementary school award, surpassing the award’s required 1400 minimum rating, and Elizabeth Tsugel, Grade 5 of SA East Flatbush Middle School, received the middle school award, with a rating of 1646. Both players will receive $500 worth of chess lessons from a grandmaster and a chess set.
Ranked the fourth best chess player in the country for his age group, Adi has grown almost 400 rating points this past school year during the pandemic, according to his coach, Dakim Vanterpool. In the process, he has surpassed his coach’s peak rating. The Battery Park City native began Success Academy in third grade and will graduate as the number two-rated player in SA Union Square history. Next year he will attend middle school at SA Hudson Yards.
“No longer can I teach you about over the board skills, about end games or how to see deeper into calculation, because at this point you have surpassed me at all of it. The most amazing part about this is that you are only nine years old,” said Vanterpool at the virtual Feinberg Awards ceremony.
Elizabeth Tsugel of Bensonhurst took home 1st place in the K-6 section of the 2021 NY State Girls Chess Championships. This school year alone, Elizabeth has played 1,219 games on lichess.org, the free online chess server, while also competing in a whopping 27 United States Chess Federation rated tournaments, achieving a peak rating of 1646.
“She always comes to class eager to learn, asking many questions and often finding improvements over my ideas. She always wants a challenge too, and her record against me shows that she’s often up to it,” said Zane Eisen, SA East Flatbush Middle School Chess Coach.
“We are immensely grateful to Dan and Amy Feinberg for their gift which continues to inspire SA’s talented chess players to reach their full potential,” said Eva Moskowitz, Founder and CEO of Success Academy.
Dr. Daniel Feinberg, a retired child and adolescent psychiatrist, was first drawn to Success Academy’s chess program in 2007 as a founding board member of SA Harlem 2. As a chess player himself, he began playing against the students and met the coaches. He was struck by the quality of the program’s education, which introduces scholars to the game starting in kindergarten, teaching them life lessons earned through patience, strategy, and competition. This is the fourth year Feinberg has presented the awards, since he and his wife Amy created the program in 2017 with a $1 million gift, which is endowed for ten years.
Approximately 10,000 SA students take chess across 32 SA elementary, middle, and high schools. More than 500 U.S. Chess Federation-rated players compete in tournaments. Prior to the pandemic, SA routinely sent over 100 students to national tournaments around the country, from Orlando, FL to Nashville, TN. The program has remained strong during remote learning, with remote practices taking place three times a week and in-house online tournaments occuring on weekends.
ABOUT SUCCESS ACADEMY
Founded in 2006, Success Academy Charter Schools are free public K-12 schools open to all children in the state through a random lottery. With 47 schools across Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens, Success Academy enrolls 20,000 students, primarily children of color from low-income households in disadvantaged neighborhoods: 74% receive free or reduced-price lunch, 94% are students of color, 16% have disabilities, and 8% are English language learners. This year, 100% of SA’s fourth and largest class of 129 graduating seniors were accepted to college, two thirds of them to selective institutions, with robust financial aid packages; 75% of the class will be the first in their families to attend college. For more information about Success Academy, visit successacademies.org.