The Bashkansky family Chess Travel blog

The Bashkansky family Chess Travel blog: parents Guy and Ludmila with children NM Ethan and WIM Naomi

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

High School State Team Championship

Newport takes 1st in King County, shares 1st in WA State!
The 2018 High School Washington State Team Chess Championship took place in Interlake High School
in Bellevue on March 2-3, 2018.  It's the central annual event of the Washington State school chess life.

The board order (1 to 5) of each school team is constant: board 1 the strongest player, board 2 the next
strongest player, and so on. Some schools had more than one team, e.g. Team A and Team B.

The 28 participant teams were selected according to the results of the chess league in their respective
counties, a great achievement in itself.

Naomi's Newport High School Team A took first place in King County!  Congratulations!
Before that, Newport High took 1st in King County only once, in 2013, with Naomi's brother Ethan.

And then ... drumroll ...

Naomi's Newport High School Team A shared first place in WA State!  Double congratulations!
Before that, Newport High took 1st in WA State only once, in 2014, also with Naomi's brother Ethan.

Newport A winners: Gabriel Tafalla, Ronen Huang, Luke Xie, Naomi Bashkansky (Joseph Truelson is absent)

Remarkably, Gabriel Tafalla from Newport A got 5 out of 5 possible points, playing on board 3.  

A statistically improbable event has occurred -- FIVE high school teams (each with 5 players) each took exactly
18 points after 5 rounds and shared 1st place: Newport A, Garfield A, Interlake A, Bellevue, Lakeside.

It's a strong tournament. The players on the first boards in the winning schools all have high USCF ratings:
Garfield A - Roland Feng (2481), Lakeside A - Bryce Tiglon (2472), Newport A - Luke Xie (2159), Interlake A -
Derek Zhang (2150), Bellevue - Wenyang Du (1955), and the runner-up Inglemoor - Kyle Haining (2262).

In short, all Washington State high school chess stars were here!  Here's the winning teams collective photo:

5 teams -- Newport A, Garfield A, Interlake A, Bellevue, Lakeside A -- share 1st place

To play for the school, Naomi and many other participants had to forgo a very interesting tournament with 3 (!)
Grandmasters especially invited to our state. Games with Grandmasters would look impressive on the chess
players' resumes.  That tournament was held at the same time in the Seattle Chess Club.


However, on the eve of March 1, the Seattle Chess Club hosted lectures of the three Grandmasters:
- GM Andrey Gorovets: "How to improve the pieces"
- GM Julio Sadorra: "My Secrets in Conducting an Effective Attack"
- GM Yaroslav Zherebukh: "How to do the impossible: reflections on beating world’s #3 and losing to 1200"

The lectures were followed by a blitz tournament, where Naomi played with GM Yaroslav Zherebukh:

It was a glorious, cherishable defeat -- see GM Zherebukh vs WIM Bashkansky blitz video.


  1. Hi,

    Thanks buddies for participating in the contest made earlier recently in junior level championship! Hope visitors must have got ideas and learn lot of things in the series given. We would like to invite readers, bloggers to publish stuff in our magazine Meeting Media Company to spread awareness on business, sports, article which brings budding talents to come closure in personal development, business association, industry exhibition etc.

  2. That tournament was held at the same time in the Seattle Chess Club.