Virtual Chess Championship Sets Records in Participation

Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) first Virtual Chess Championship set a record in participation as 167 students in elementary, middle and high school put their chess skills to the test, competing in more than 300 games.

BCPS partners with chess organizations, such as Chess4Life, to incorporate chess into the school day for elementary students, as well as after school chess clubs for students of all ages. Due to school closures as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the Spring Chess Championship, which had previously attracted as many as 150 students for face-to-face mental bouts, was moved to a virtual landscape.

The tournament, held Friday, May 15, was divided into four categories by grade level: kindergarten through second, third through fifth, sixth through eighth and ninth through 12th.

At the end of five rounds of competition, the winners emerged: kindergarten through second grade – Matthew Dunlop from Eagle Point Elementary School; third through fifth grade: Miles Rosner from Beachside Montessori Village Academy; sixth through eighth grade – Alice Wu from Falcon Cove Middle School tied with Vladimir Bershanskiy from Parkway Middle School; and ninth through 12th grade – David Reyes-Tobar from Fort Lauderdale High School.

“Chess is an important part of our District’s plan for preparing students for success,” said BCPS Superintendent Robert Runcie. “It helps to enhance students’ problem-solving skills, concentration, and creativity and provides great lessons in patience and sportsmanship. I congratulate all the winners and competitors for challenging themselves by participating.”

Aspiring chess experts can continue to hone their chess skills during distance learning by accessing the Chess4Life platform through the District’s Clever portal. For more information, contact the Applied Learning Department at 754-321-1851 or visit