West Palm Beach, Florida. Since the launch of the chess program five years ago, the chess team from Green School in West Palm Beach, Florida, has not lost a single game.
Coach Antonis Ludaras has coached for more than 35 years in Palm Beach County. He said their team is unlike anything he has ever seen.
“They are gifted,” Ludaras said. “They’re really working on it.”
The Greene School Chess Team finished fifth at the 2022 National Kick Championships in Columbus, Ohio. Twelve of Greene School’s 48 students competed with the nation’s best players.
The staff of the kindergarten up to the third grade consists of two first-graders and three third-graders. Some students started playing just six months before picking up the trophy home.
Team captain Cameron Green said he and his teammates have done a great job in preparing for national competitions.
“You have to do a lot, play a lot, do tournaments to gain experience,” he said.
Teddy Soylemed is in first grade, but is already developing a strategy for the next game.
“I think I’ve learned a lot,” Teddy said. “If it’s an attacking game, if you really want to attack because you have a great start, for example, you have open lines, you might like an attack on open lines.”
For third-grader Max Ulmer, it’s about competition and not letting your nerves get free.
“Sometimes I got up from my seat when I was playing and tried to walk and relax because I felt very nervous,” Max said.
In addition, their coach said, this year’s victory was just the beginning.
“I believe in them,” Ludaras said.
This article is written Danielle Seat for WPTV.