look book

The Look Book Goes to Chess in the Park

At the tournament, more than 700 children (and a few adults) faced off over six rounds of rapid chess.

Photo: DeSean McClinton-Holland
Photo: DeSean McClinton-Holland

Anna Korneeva (pictured above)
Sixth-grader, Sheepshead Bay

How was the tournament?
It was amazing for me personally. I won three out of six. I mostly lost to people who have a lot higher rating than me. But I rematched the first guy I lost to. And won. My third game, I blundered. I blundered a lot.

Why?
Because of the tournament. It got on my nerves because it had clocks timing ten minutes per player. I usually like to think a lot to make sure that I don’t blunder, but the time counting was just so pressuring.

How did you start playing?
In my local library. That’s where I met my chess teacher. He told me that
I was so good, and he called a nearby club on Brighton Beach, White Rook. I love chess because it’s a sport but it doesn’t require you to move a lot. I can’t really be a basketball player because I’m pretty short. But chess I can be amazing at because I have the brains.

Will Neider

Fourth-grader, Riverdale

Diondra Miller

Fifth-grader, Bedford-Stuyvesant


How’d the day go?

It was really hard because I kept getting paired with teenagers. When I’m in situations like that, I just get a little scared. I’m like, Oh, great, I’m going to lose. What I learned at the tournament is that if you see a move that works, don’t be afraid to play it. Don’t be a sloppy mess.

Derek Duan

Second-grader, Great Neck

William C. Francis

Building superintendent, Throgs Neck

Carlos Rodas

Fifth-grader, Marble Hill

Alek Toce

Fourth-grader, Mamaroneck

Tosin Somefun

Kindergartner, Grand Concourse

Shammo Rahman

Seventh-grader, Borough Park

Justin Green

Chess instructor, Forest Hills


What’s your favorite piece?

The knight. It has something that’s unique to it because it’s able to walk, turn, and sort of jump over other pieces. If you have a knight in the center of the board, it’s almost like a giant octopus. 

Partho Nath

Chess-tournament director, Jamaica

Nile Miller

Second-grader, Bedford-Stuyvesant

Suhaan Virani

Fourth-grader, Corona


How long have you been playing?

Like a year now. The pandemic sucked, and we had nothing to do, so I just took advantage and learned how to play on YouTube. Now I play four-to-five hours a day. I like to watch this chess-teacher guy, GothamChess. No. 1, he’s an attacking chess player like me. No. 2, I would say he’s funny. 

Sofia Chu

Fifth-grader, Lower East Side

Tolani Somefun

Fourth-grader, Grand Concourse


Do you play at your school?

Well, I have a chess club at school. I don’t fully run the chess club; however, I am the main person in the chess club. I came today because I really wanted to get the trophy. It went good, but I didn’t exactly get the trophy.

Johnthan Newkirk

Barber, Upper West Side

Rory Prescod

Third-form student, Christ Church, Barbados

Arjan Toce

Seventh-grader, Mamaroneck

Sahaj Virani

Second-grader, Corona

Photographs by DeSean McClinton-Holland
Will Neider Fourth-grader, Riverdale
Diondra Miller  Fifth-grader, Bedford-Stuyvesant    How’d the day go?   It was really hard because I kept getting paired with teenagers. When I’m in situations like that, I just get a little scared. I’m like, Oh, great, I’m going to lose. What I learned at the tournament  is that if you see a move that works, don’t be afraid to play it. Don’t be a sloppy mess.
Derek Duan Second-grader, Great Neck
William C. Francis Building superintendent, Throgs Neck
Carlos Rodas Fifth-grader, Marble Hill
Alek Toce Fourth-grader, Mamaroneck
Tosin Somefun Kindergartner, Grand Concourse
Shammo Rahman Seventh-grader, Borough Park
Justin Green  Chess instructor, Forest Hills    What’s your favorite piece?  The knight. It has something that’s unique to it because it’s able to walk, turn, and sort of jump over other pieces. If you have a knight in the center of the board, it’s almost like a giant octopus.
Partho Nath Chess-tournament director, Jamaica
Nile Miller  Second-grader, Bedford-Stuyvesant
Suhaan Virani  Fourth-grader, Corona    How long have you been playing?  Like a year now. The pandemic sucked, and we had nothing to do, so I just took advantage and learned how to play on YouTube. Now I play four-to-five hours a day. I like to watch this chess-teacher guy, GothamChess. No. 1, he’s an attacking chess player like me. No. 2, I would say he’s funny.
Sofia Chu  Fifth-grader, Lower East Side
Tolani Somefun  Fourth-grader, Grand Concourse Do you play at your school?  Well, I have a chess club at school. I don’t fully run the chess club; however, I am the main person in the chess club. I came today because I really wanted to get the trophy. It went good, but I didn’t exactly get the trophy.
Johnthan Newkirk Barber, Upper West Side
Rory Prescod Third-form student, Christ Church, Barbados
Arjan Toce  Seventh-grader, Mamaroneck
Sahaj Virani Second-grader, Corona

Will Neider

Fourth-grader, Riverdale

Diondra Miller

Fifth-grader, Bedford-Stuyvesant


How’d the day go?

It was really hard because I kept getting paired with teenagers. When I’m in situations like that, I just get a little scared. I’m like, Oh, great, I’m going to lose. What I learned at the tournament is that if you see a move that works, don’t be afraid to play it. Don’t be a sloppy mess.

Derek Duan

Second-grader, Great Neck

William C. Francis

Building superintendent, Throgs Neck

Carlos Rodas

Fifth-grader, Marble Hill

Alek Toce

Fourth-grader, Mamaroneck

Tosin Somefun

Kindergartner, Grand Concourse

Shammo Rahman

Seventh-grader, Borough Park

Justin Green

Chess instructor, Forest Hills


What’s your favorite piece?

The knight. It has something that’s unique to it because it’s able to walk, turn, and sort of jump over other pieces. If you have a knight in the center of the board, it’s almost like a giant octopus. 

Partho Nath

Chess-tournament director, Jamaica

Nile Miller

Second-grader, Bedford-Stuyvesant

Suhaan Virani

Fourth-grader, Corona


How long have you been playing?

Like a year now. The pandemic sucked, and we had nothing to do, so I just took advantage and learned how to play on YouTube. Now I play four-to-five hours a day. I like to watch this chess-teacher guy, GothamChess. No. 1, he’s an attacking chess player like me. No. 2, I would say he’s funny. 

Sofia Chu

Fifth-grader, Lower East Side

Tolani Somefun

Fourth-grader, Grand Concourse


Do you play at your school?

Well, I have a chess club at school. I don’t fully run the chess club; however, I am the main person in the chess club. I came today because I really wanted to get the trophy. It went good, but I didn’t exactly get the trophy.

Johnthan Newkirk

Barber, Upper West Side

Rory Prescod

Third-form student, Christ Church, Barbados

Arjan Toce

Seventh-grader, Mamaroneck

Sahaj Virani

Second-grader, Corona

Photographs by DeSean McClinton-Holland

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The Look Book Goes to Chess in the Park