by Larry King
The Mid-Hudson Scholastic Chess League s(MHSCL) tarted its 19th season after a 20-month hiatus due to Covid. Prior to the start of the season, the coaches decided to change the format from a head-to-head team competition to holding four five-round Swiss tournaments. The top four scores of individuals would count for the team’s score in each Swiss. The team with the best cumulative score after the End-Of-Season last Swiss would win the Championship.
Cornwall Central won the 2021-22 Championship, accumulating 63 points. Monroe-Woodbury finished second with 55.5 cumulative points and Pawling HS finished with 22 cumulative points.
It was Cornwall Central’s sixth title. The Mount Academy and Newburgh Free Academy each won four championships.
In the in the individual competition, Ben Harrell of Cornwall won 18 games and drew two games (total 19 points). The two draws were against teammate Nathaniel Silichta, who finished second with 16 points. Chris Mastrokostas of Monroe-Woodbury finished with 14 points.
Ben Harrell finished with the third-best regular season point total in league history. Jared Montal of Monroe-Woodbury had 21 points in the 2003-04 season and Stephen Decker of The Mount Academy had accumulated 19.5 points in the 2017-18.
Monroe-Woodbury HS - Second Place
Fall Swiss: Ben Harrell won the tournament on tiebreaks over Nathaniel Slichta. Both players scored 4.5 points. Players with four points were Chris Mastrokostas of Monroe-Woodbury, David Lanuti of Monroe-Woodbury, Kaelan Morales of Cornwall Central, Zion Barnes of Monroe-Woodbury, and Ed Li of Monroe-Woodbury. Cornwall Central edged Monroe-Woodbury 16.5 – 16.0. Pawling High School finished with 7.5 points.
Holiday Swiss: Ben Harrell won the individual tournament with a 5-0 sweep. Matt Safizadeh of Monroe-Woodbury, Nathaniel Slichta, and Zion Barnes each finished with four points. Cornwall Central again edged Monroe-Woodbury 15.0 – 14.5.
Winter Swiss: Cornwall Central extended its league by scoring 16 points to Monroe-Woodbury 12. Ben Harrell was again perfect, winning five games. Kaelan Morales and Nathaniel Slichta Scored three points apiece.
End-Of-Season Swiss: Cornwall Central (15.5team points) and Ben Harrell (4.5 points) finished winning the team and individual titles. Players finishing with four points were Nathaniel Slichta, Andrew Wingfield (of Cornwall Central), and Chris Mastrokostas.
Attention Mid-Hudson High and Middle Schools: We are looking for teams to join the league in 2022-23. If your school is interested, please email MHSCL president Doug Stack at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please go to www.mhschess.com for detailed information on the league.