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Wesley Wang was named National Junior High co-champ.
Wesley Wang was named National Junior High co-champ.

Youngster leads Jericho team to victory

The Jericho Middle School chess team, comprised of Wesley Wang, William Hu, Evelyn Zhu and Andrew Chen, recently won the 2016 National Junior High Championship, with Wang crowned as the 2016 National Junior High co-champion. This is Wang’s second individual national champion title and his second team national champion team title.

More than 1,120 players from across the country traveled to Indianapolis, IN, to compete in the tournament last month.

Jericho sent four players to the tournament and defeated the legendary chess team at Brooklyn’s I.S. 318, which had a daunting 24 players in the same section. The Jericho squad also defeated the seven children of Bill Gates’ Microsoft brightest engineers from Odle Middle School in Bellevue, WA.

“The close competition was nerve-wracking until the very end and the final championship title displays how effective and efficient our team lineup was,” said Winston Wang, Wesley’s father. “Everyone had to perform reasonably well and all four kids took the pressure and made it. We are so proud of them.”

The Jericho chess team took home top honors.
The Jericho chess team took home top honors.

Every year, thousands of scholastic players from throughout the country gather and compete for the seven most prestigious scholastic chess tournament titles in U.S., which are National High School (K12) Champion, National Junior High (K9) Champion, National Junior High (K8) Champion, National Elementary (K6) Champion, National Elementary (K5) Champion, National Primary (K3) Champion and National K1 Champion. Junior High has two section titles (K8 & K9), so does Elementary (K6 & K5), to accommodate different grade school systems across the country.

“We are very proud of team’s achievement and the glory the team has brought to Jericho Middle School,” said Wang. “We are very blessed with the strong support from the school and the community. We should expect more great news like this to come.”

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Steve Mosco is the senior managing editor at Anton Media Group, editor of Plainview-Old Bethpage Herald and a columnist for Long Island Weekly's food and sports sections.

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