Lake Buena Vista, FL-- December 2015
Princeton Charter School became national champion at the K-6 National Blitz Chess Championship in Buena Vista, Florida, and tied for second at the main event, both as a team and individually. The team consisted of the powerful minds of Andreas, Constantine and Nicholas Oskiper from sixth grade.
The tournament was attended by 1,725 chess players of 622 schools from 39 states.
At the K-6 blitz, Princeton Charter School left behind PS 116 from New York, IS 318 from NY and Columbia Grammar also from NY. The pairings were tough, as the brothers had to play several times against players with a rating above 2000. 

“It was a tough competition  judging from the exceptional quality of chess players," mentioned Dr. Katerina Varsou-Oskiper, mother of the winners.  "The regular games were extremely demanding because of the very unusual pairings, which seemed to favor certain schools".
What seemed to make things more unfortunate was that at the last round, the top chess player from Columbia Grammar, got a point without playing, whereas Costas, who had just defeated him, had to play at the top board, against a member of the US chess team, from whom he managed to get a hard-earned draw. The fact that the top player was paired against Costas, instead of a Columbia Grammar team member who was second in standings before the last round, was also a mystery in itself. 
"This did not affect our morale very much," Costas said, "We know that we need to be extremely  alert if we want the top trophies”.

Costas, who ended undefeated after seven matches, tied also for second place individually but received the fourth place trophy, after what appeared to be a very strange tiebreak. Costas ended up with 6 points (5 wins and 2 draws, one of which against the top player), whereas the second and third players (after tiebreak) also had 6 points, after both having lost a game to the top player. 
The Oskiper brothers, champions of New Jersey, both as a  team and individually, had won the Nationals five times before, and they training weekly at TAG, the most prestigious chess program in Princeton.

This is the first time that Princeton Charter School wins the Nationals in chess.

USA Chess Championship 2015. Picture of the USCF
Nicholas, Andreas and Costas

PCS sixth grade chess team in Orlando, Florida, with the numerous trophies obtained.

The most powerful chess players of the United States playing in the first board!
Photos by
Katerina Varsou-Oskiper

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