By Carol Baum and Derryl DePriest
The Cole Middle School Chess Team just wrapped up their season, and what a season it was! Youth chess has a strong traditon in East Greenwich, and the 11 boys who formed this year’s team upheld the winning tradition.
In the Rhode Island Middle School Scholastic League, the team brought home both the school championship as well as the Scholastic Blitz Chess Championship. In addition, the team placed second in the the Rhode Island Scholastic Chess Championship this past weekend at Rhode Island College for both the 5-6th Grade and 7th-8th Grade divisions.
Individuallly, Tom Sorokin was Rhode Island co-champion of the 5-6th Grade Division while Spencer Wood placed 7th, and Caleb Gupta placed 3rd in the state and David Delbonis 4th for the 7-8th grade division. Congratulations to the entire team and each of the individual winners!
For the Rhode Island Scholastic League season the team managed to go undefeated at 6-0 and managed to bring home the championship against very tough competition.The team consisted of 8th Graders Wyatt DePriest, Owen Petito, and Logan Roberts; 7th graders Caleb Gupta, Brandon Zhang, David Delbonis, Jonathan Yao, Andy Babb, and Sunny Sait; and 6th Graders Tom Sorokin and Spencer Wood. Wyatt, Brandon, Caleb, Owen, David, Tom, and Logan all participated at the varsity level during the season during which the team went 21-3 in individual varsity matches.
The team was coached by former alumni of the Cole team, East Greenwich residents Sameer Khanbhei (now at Wheeler High) and Grant Whitney (now at LaSalle). Grant and Sameer did a great job teaching the boys strategy and tactics.
In addition to the League championship, the team also won first place as a team at the Rhode Island Scholastic Blitz Chess Championship held this past Thursday, March 26th. The Blitz format is very fast-paced with players having a limited time to strategize and make their moves. The Cole team placed 2nd through 5th in individual competition as well with Caleb Gupta and Brandon Zhang tying for second place, and David Delbonis and Owen Petito tying for 4th.
The team photo (above) was taken at the Rhode Island State Scholastic Chess Championship held at Rhode Island College, March 28. Front row, left to right: Sameer Khanbhei (coach), Logan Roberts, Sunny Sait, David Delbonis, Spencer Wood, Owen Petito, and Grant Whitney (coach). Top row, left to right: Jonathan Yao, Caleb Gupta, Wyatt DePriest, and Tom Sorokin. Not pictured: Brandon Zhang and Andy Babb.
The Cole chess team is a great way to experience chess. Any new students interested in joining the team for the next academic year is encouraged to contact Carol Baum at [email protected]. The team especially welcomes 5th graders who will be coming to Cole in the fall from Eldredge or Hanaford.
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