Masterman Wins National Championship….in Chess

This happened over the weekend, so forgive the tardiness. But the game clock’s been turned off, so here you go: Amidst the thrill of the Final Four, the start of the Phillies season, and the Sixers tanking for a good draft slot, Philly’s Julia Masterman school was quietly competing, and winning, the national championship of middle school chess. And they’re not eager to dispel any stereotypes about boy-genius chess players, either!

Alex Wlezien, 14, came in second place for individual competition in his age group. Wlezien’s player rating is 2050. The top adult male player in the world has a rating of 2872.Wlezien, born in England, dedicated himself to the game after his brother took up the sport. “Every English school, public and private, has a chess club,” his mother Cristina Adams said.