Indian Springs student becomes national chess champion
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Indian Springs School junior and Chess Team member Matyas Jakubu made some smart moves, and he is now a national chess champion after placing first in the unrated section of the National High School Chess Championship held April 1-3 in Atlanta.
More than 1,400 players competed in the national tournament, one of the largest in history.
Jakubu, a native of the Czech Republic who is studying at Indian Springs this year through the school’s partnership with ASSIST (American Secondary Schools for International Students and Teachers), won six games and drew one, for a total 6.5 out of 7 points in K-12 Unrated.
“Matyas finished first in a field of 119 players, stunning the unrated section and placing Alabama and Indian Springs School on the national chess map,” says ISS Chess Team Coach Charles A. Smith.
In other exceptional showings for Springs’ Chess Team, freshman Logan Mercer tied for third place in a field of 298 (scoring 6 out of 7 points) and finished fourth overall on tie-breaks in K-12 Under 1600.
Mercer, whose playing was “outstanding,” says Smith, competed for the national championship in K-12 Under 1600, losing only to the national champion for that section in the final round of competition.
Senior Jack McGuire tied for 12th place in a field of 357 and finished 18th overall in K-12 Under 1200.
Springs’ team of Jakubu, Maddie Smith and Ashlynn Berry placed sixth in a field of 28 teams from all over the country, “also making a name for ISS,” Smith says.
“This is one of Springs’ strongest showings ever at nationals,” says ISS Director Gareth Vaughan. “I’d like to congratulate all of our Chess Team members for their excellent playing. I also want to thank Coach Smith for his many years of dedicated coaching of Springs students and ISS alumnus, along with Board member Frank Samford (Class of 1962) for his longstanding support of chess at Indian Springs. Chess and Springs have a natural affinity, and to be successful in a national competition run by the highly regarded U.S. Chess Federation puts us in great company, among some of the best private and public schools in the country.”
Named in 2015 by Business Insider one of the smartest boarding schools in the nation, Indian Springs School is a national leader in coed boarding and day education for grades 8-12. Inspired by the motto “Learning through Living,” the school seeks to develop in students a love of learning, a sense of integrity and moral courage, and an ethic of participatory citizenship.