SuperNationals through the eyes of a Coach

Maliq Soter has been an avid supporter of scholastic chess for a number of years and from time-to-time has contributed reports about the progress of New York teams. He recently traveled to Nashville, Tennessee to coach IS 131 at the SuperNationals scholastic tournament which drew a record 5,230 players from around the U.S.  One of the main stories was the excitement about MS 118x chess team and the success of Medina Parrilla . Maliq reported…

"In her swan song as leader of the MS 118x chess team, Medina Parrilla poured in six points out of seven games, including a draw with an Expert in the final round after a mad time scramble, to lead her school to a tie for the K-8 National Junior High School Championship with IS 318x of Brooklyn, NY in Nashville, TN. Medina's team won the first-place trophy on tiebreaks. Had she won the final game, she would have tied for first place in the tournament; as it was, she tied for second and received fourth place on tiebreaks. Also performing well were Akeim Griffiths, Tololupe Oladele, Dakim Vanterpool, and Chantz Delgado, who combined for the winning total of 19.5 points. (Top four scores were counted, and two players tied for the lower score.)"

Fritz Gaspard teamed with team trainer IM Yury Lapshun to coach the team to a national title.  It was Gaspard's second title and first since 1998. Meanwhile, Parrilla continues to add to her impressive array of accomplishments and will represent the U.S. in another international competition in the coming months.

Maliq, who has worked with the Chess-in-Schools program for the past few years, coached IS 131 and was proud of his team's showing in their first national event. They finished 17th in the K-12 under-900 section.  Unfortunately, Maliq will being leaving New York for
Ohio State University to work toward his Ph.D. He stated that he has intentions of following the progress of New York teams in the future.

MS 118x with Fritz Gaspard (far left) and IM Yury Lapshun (far right).

As for me, I will miss being a part of this scene, but I, too, move on to bigger and better things, and I am profoundly aware of the significance of this mission… Regardless, if this is my swan song, then it was a great experience to see Medina and Fritz, two great champions, go out in a blaze of glory.

Great champions indeed.  New York has consistently produced an abundance of chess talent and hopefully, these players will savor the sweetness of this victory and continue to build on this success. People like Maliq have given tirelessly of their time and resources to make an impact in the lives of the young players.  Having to delay his own chess endeavor to make National Master, he may have helped usher in a new generation of Masters. Well done Maliq and all the best at Ohio State!

Round One Action at 2003 Foxwoods Open. Copyright © Daaim Shabazz, 2003.

Maliq (right) facing Seymon Aferzon in the 2003 Foxwoods Open.

Posted by The Chess Drum: 23 April 2005