Saint Therese Carmelite School holds its first chess tournament

The STCS Chess Club is only one of the benefits of an education at Saint Therese.



On Sunday, May 19, Saint Therese Carmelite (STCS) held its first open chess tournament. Over 50 players of all ages competed for five rounds, consisting of 60-minute matches using the Swiss Scoring system (win = 1pt, loss = 0 pts, draw = 1/2 pt). Though often playing against adults, elementary school students, including STCS Chess Club members, were highly represented among the winners:

Open Section

First place: Bennie Teng — STCS, fifth grade.

Second place: Pauline Yang — 1st Ave Middle, seventh grade.

Third place: Arnav Aggarwal — Baldwin Elementary, fourth grade.

Fourth place: Matthew Ng and Dennis Wood — parishioners.

Intermediate Section

First place: Armando De La Cruz — parishioner.

Second place: Ron Sandoval — parishioner.

Third place: Johnny Tran — St. Monica Academy, eighth grade.

Fourth Place: Tiffany Zhang — Highland Oaks Elementary, fifth grade.

Matt Peterson — parishioner, Bishop Avila — STCS, seventh grade.

Beginner Section

First place: Thomas Espinoza — Clairbourn, seventh grade.

Second place: Paloma Velasquez — STCS, sixth grade.

Third place: Addison Orozco — STCS, fifth grade.

Fourth place: Mateo Ramirez — Meher Montessori, second grade.

The adults were impressed by the students’ skills. “I couldn’t believe it,” said parishioner Braddock Gaskill. “This girl from Saint Therese beat me in five minutes. She then proceeded to tell me what I had done wrong.”

The chess tournament was sponsored by the STCS Chess Club. School parent Franklin Teng and eighth-grade teacher Salvador Miranda coach the club where students, third grade and up, can play on a weekly basis at no charge. They divide each practice session into two parts: The first half focuses on the academic side with chess puzzles, lesson plans, and interactive study, and the second half focuses on friendly practice games where new tactics are applied.

“Our mission is to promote the game, goodwill, prayer, friendly competition, and share knowledge among all who wish to play, especially other students from local schools as a community builder,” Mr. Teng said. “The idea is not only to develop skills and the power of thinking and planning, but to bring these students into a more focused state of mind and boost their morale for self-confidence, spiritual growth, and problem solving.”

“Critical thinking is a fundamental skill in their academics,” Mr. Miranda said. “Chess also teaches students to recognize and make good choices in their day-to-day activities.”

The STCS Chess Club is only one of the benefits of an education at Saint Therese. The school educates students through the Catholic classical model to equip them with the logic, critical thinking, and language skills necessary to succeed throughout their lives. As an alternative to Common Core, this model is developmentally appropriate and aims to provide a well-rounded education, including classic books, math up to Euclidean geometry, science, Catholic catechesis, Latin, music, art, and P.E.

For more information, please visit https://sainttheresecarmeliteschool.com/ and the school’s Facebook page.


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Jan 2022


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