The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

Chess Club To Host Second Menlo Tournament

Geoffrey Franc
Students play in the first Menlo-hosted, interscholastic chess tournament on Saturday, April 22, 2023. Staff photo: Geoffrey Franc

The Menlo Chess Club is hosting its second chess tournament at Menlo on Dec. 2, 2023, from 1-4 p.m. in the West Gym. The tournament, organized by junior and Menlo Chess Club leader Cody Kletter, will consist of four rounds with 20-minute games and players from schools around the Bay Area. 

89 students from 20 different high schools have registered for the tournament, an increase from the 55 students who competed in last year’s April tournament. A $10 registration fee is required to participate in the tournament and all proceeds will be donated to the US Chess At-Risk Youth Initiative.

The tournament features both team and individual rankings, and there are separate rated and unrated sections. The top three finishers in the rated and unrated sections, as well as the top three high school teams overall, will receive a trophy. Kletter will calculate team scores by combining the top four place finishers for each school that has at least four team members playing in the tournament. The first finisher in the rated section will receive a $50 prize, the second finisher a $30 prize and the third finisher a $20 prize. The winner of the unrated section will receive a one year free membership, valued at $49. After the rounds finish, there will be a raffle with prizes such as chess sets and clocks.  

Kletter started planning the tournament in the middle of October alongside four other chess club leaders from Kehillah Jewish High School, Evergreen Valley High School, Sacred Heart Preparatory, and Crystal Springs Uplands School. “We’re planning to […] each host a tournament at our school, so I’m starting by hosting a tournament at Menlo,” Kletter said. He also said that working with other high school chess club leaders will help promote chess tournaments and increase signups. 

Kletter is part of the Northern California High School Chess Association, started by Sacred Heart alumnus Armin Palmer (‘23) last year. Palmer helped Kletter plan his first tournament and now Kletter is continuing Palmer’s work. 

Kletter notes that barely any high schools in the Bay Area host chess tournaments despite the prevalence of chess clubs and the widespread popularity of chess. “There wasn’t a lot of high school competition […] in the Bay Area, which I find really weird because chess has really boomed recently especially during the pandemic,” Kletter said. He hopes to further chess competition in the Bay Area through chess tournaments and continuing to have Chess Club and after-school study teams. 

Kletter appreciates the community these tournaments foster. Junior Jacob Lipman, who leads the chess club at Kehillah in Palo Alto and helped organize the tournament alongside Kletter, agrees. “Tournaments like these are [a] great way to build a community around chess with high schoolers from the Bay,” Lipman said. 

Menlo junior Tony Dokanchi, who participated in last year’s tournament, is planning on playing in the upcoming tournament’s rated section. “[Tournaments are] a good way to either show your skills and compete to win or just hang out with your friends and just have a good time playing chess,” he said. 

Dokanchi is also the co-leader of Kletter’s after-school chess team, which meets weekly to study the game. He has been practicing for Sunday’s tournament. “I want to win this one,” he said. “I want to come out and represent Menlo.”

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Amelie Giomi, Spread Editor

Number of years in The Coat of Arms: 2

Favorite aspect of journalism: interviewing different types of people and bringing unique stories to light

Interests outside of school: soccer, baking, spending time with my two dogs and friends
Class of 2025
Geoffrey Franc, News Editor

Number of years in The Coat of Arms: 3

Favorite aspect of journalism: Telling people's stories and learning about the world through them.

Interests outside of school: history, running, and Mock Trial

Class of 2025

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