Out of close to 100 teams from all over the country, Esperanza brought home two team trophies! – An 11th place in the Under 1200 led by Giovanni Cortez, Moises Hernandez-Mejias, Osvaldo Perez-Rodriguez, and Diany Reyes; and a 16th place in the Under 800 with Jocelyn Machaquiza-Iza, Tiara Rosario, and Valery Jeronimo-Lopez. This is the highest level we’ve ever played at and the team stayed dedicated throughout four hour games that lasted until near midnight. They were mentally and physically exhausted.
Although 16th place may not seem like much, it’s important to note that this three person team was competing against teams that could draw from their top 4 scorers – meaning these Esperanza Toros took this trophy in spite of being a woman down to all the other teams!
In addition, senior Giovanni Cortez is bringing home an individual medal (that weighs about 3 pounds) placing 27th in the Under 1200 out of 300 of the best chess players in the nation!
Jocelyn Machaquiza was gifted an advanced, signed copy of WGM Jennifer Shahade’s new book “Chess Queens” after playing the best game against her in a simultaneous exhibition for USChess Women.
This team is a testament to Coach Angelo DelloMargio who has really honed the strategic and intellectual development of these chess players. David Jimenez came to Nationals having NEVER played a rated game of chess and relying on only the tutelage of his coach in the Unrated Section. Dave only lost two games out of 7 and even played on the TOP BOARD in round four, having his game live streamed over Twitch alongside the Grand Masters. His provisional rating came out just under 1000, making him the highest rated newbie ever to the Esperanza team.
There is something magical about Esperanza chess.
Coach Angelo, who works privately and professionally at some of the best schools and with some of the best players in and around Philadelphia, is the first to admit that he would work exclusively at Esperanza if it were possible. And I couldn’t agree with him more. The energy, dedication, and humility of our kids is inspiring and it feels like home, even in Memphis, a 16 hour bus ride away from Hunting Park. Please join me in feeling proud of our kids.
Gabrielle L Moshier