The Big Green proved to be a nearly unstoppable force on April 15, cementing Dartmouth as a top contender in one of the most up-and-coming sports in the Ivy League — competitive chess.
Dartmouth’s team — which included Jonathan West ’12, Kevin Wang ’14, Michael Wijaya GR and Hongyu Chen ’15 — placed second in the first-ever Ivy League Chess Championship hosted by the Chess Club of Fairfield County.
The event, held in Norwalk, Conn., pitted eight four-player teams against one another in four intense rounds of play. At the end of the two-day competition, Columbia University claimed first place, winning all four of its matches. The Dartmouth team took second place with two wins and a tie, while Yale University and Princeton University tied for third.
While Yale’s team included an International Grandmaster and International Master — titles granted by the World Chess Federation to exceptionally skilled players — and Columbia’s team featured three master-level players, Dartmouth’s team without a single master- or expert-rated player was considered the underdog of the competition, Wang said.
The championship was exciting from the start, with Dartmouth upsetting the Yale’s A team in the opening match. The Big Green then coasted to an easy victory in the second round to Yale’s B squad, but was defeated by Columbia in all four games in the third round.
In the final showdown, Dartmouth’s match against Princeton conceded to a tie, leaving Yale looking for a win in its match against Columbia to avoid a third-place finish. However Columbia’s team came through in the finish, edging out the Yale team in a close final battle.
“It was very exciting coming in as the fourth-seeded team and finishing second,” Wang said. “There were really strong players at the tournament so it was a good result for us, and hopefully next year we can do even better.”
Dartmouth’s team is certainly on the rise — go Big Green chess!
Tags: chess, Ivy League