The Atkins Chess team is the largest in the state, and one of the strongest. We have won a state championship, had an individual state champion, and have even gone to Nationals. We are virtually the only team in the state with so many players that we travel by activity bus. You do not have to be already really good to be on the Atkins team, but you DO have to be dedicated and motivated, and want to be the best player you can be!
A goal to shoot for is going to the Supernationals tournament next year (2020-21).
We will accept all players at the beginning of the year for a "try-out" phase. After that, if I have an assistant coach, casual players can continue to meet on Tuesdays throughout the year.
** 2017-18: The Atkins Chess team continued to be one of the strongest and largest high school chess team in the state; we even hosted a team from the Bahamas here in Winston two years ago. We have won the state championship (U1600 division), gone all the way to the Supernationals tournament in Nashville, TN, and had the individual state champion last year, in William Odom. We also grew female participation in chess, were featured on Fox 8 news, and had the largest girls team in the state at the All Girls Championship. Last year we had a Chess Team but only a "club" for the most loyal and dedicated students. At states, Atkins had a team in each division and did well, but it was a building year for the team.
** 2016-17: This past year we won the state championship (U1600 division) and I even took the team all the way to the Supernationals tournament in Nashville, TN where our U1600 team finished 10th in the nation, our U800 team clinched the national champion runner-up title, and several of our players finished with national rankings (including William Odom as 6th in the nation in the U1600). This year we will have a Chess Team but not a "club," and all players who want to take chess seriously are welcome to try out at the start of the school year. We will also have an All Girl Chess Team. Read About States and Nationals.
** 2015-16: The Chess Team finished state championship runner-up at the Scholastic Tournament last year, and engaged in a global chess partnership with schools from all around the world. READ ABOUT IT.
** Our team finished third in the state in Charlotte in 2014, and we now officially have the largest high school chess team in the state. Also, we're playing students from around the world as a part of the Sister Cities organization, first, with students from Muldova, and when the school year starts up again, a program in the Bahamas.
You should really think about being a part of this large, skilled, and growing team! It will take your play to the next level. Within a few years, we could very well win a state championship behind some very skilled and dedicated players. (Update, we did win the state championship).
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Students need non-knowledge-based intellectual activity to encourage their academic development. Without the confines of language and background, students can compete fairly regardless of gender, race, or socioeconomic status.
I have played chess for years, but I am definitely not a master player; that is one thing I love about chess; you can learn the game quickly and study it for a lifetime.
Only dedicated players who want to play competitively will be selected for our Chess TEAM. We will play games and tournaments here at our school, but also travel to tournaments outside of school and to events around NC, including the state tournament. I have coached a team that finished among the top schools in the state, and now that I am at Atkins, there is no reason why our school cannot win the state chess championship. That is my goal, and I will hope it will become yours, too. Even if you've only learning to play, if you have analytical, strategic, or mathematical ability, we will put those skills to good use in chess.
I have collected some really interesting chess sets for our students to use -- everything from traditional carved wood, to Renaissance, to Chinese warriors, and even a hand-carved set from Africa.
I look forward to seeing you in Room 501 for Chess! [Another?} state championship awaits us...
2017 Chess Team (state champions, top 3 players in U1600, and more)
2016 Chess Team (with the Bahamas). State champion runner-up
February 2015 State Tournament (3rd place in U1600)
February 2014 State Tournament