The Final Checkmate: Kevin Chor’s State Championship


We’re all well acquainted with different sports: soccer, basketball, and debatably, the greatest mental exercise of them all: chess. According to Master Class, humans have been playing chess, most likely in different versions passed on from generation to generation, for more than 1,400 years, making it one of the oldest games to have been played, creating a culture and community from people and cultures all over the world. Not too long ago, our Knights took on the AIA State Tournament for Chess, and five of our members took the top five places at this year’s individual tournament. Amudan Mangudi took 4th place, Ankit Annasamudram took 3rd place, Jayde Lee took 2nd place, and finally, one of our Senior Knights, Kevin Chor, represented our school and took first place! To congratulate the team for this astounding accomplishment, as they have proved themselves to be the the best chess players in all of Arizona, let’s talk to Kevin, regarding his insight as not only a senior Chess player, but also his growth leading up to him taking first place at the State tournament.

Kevin has been on the chess team for all four years of his high school career; however, he has been playing chess since he was six years old. When he’s not finding ways to checkmate his opponent, Kevin likes to play basketball, golf, and work out. When we asked Kevin when he developed his love for chess and what he learned from his experiences on the board, he said that “The pattern recognition and calculation aspects drove my passion. As for lessons I’ve learned, I’ve learned to have patience and never give up.” As a senior, while he has many notable and memorable accomplishments to look back on as he goes into adulthood, he finds that “winning the team and individual state championship in the same year.” is the most memorable. Nearing the end of May, Kevin will have to pass on his chess wisdom to the upcoming classes of ’24, ’25, ’26, and more, but the advice he considers would be useful to the younger generations of Knights and chess players at our school would be to “Always push yourself to be your best, but make sure you have fun at the same time. Also, in the long run, a lot of things won’t really be as big of a deal as you think, so don’t stress about it.”

Chess is a game of the mind, which is arguably one of the most difficult assets of yourself to tame. The mind is like a monkey: always wanting to do something entertaining or think about something completely unrelated with what you have to do. Chess allows us to tame the mind to incredible focus, concentration, and discipline. As Kevin and many of our other chess players move on with their lives after high school and into college and beyond, they’ll find that the time they spent disciplining their mind will become incredibly useful as they will grow to become more independent and productive within their day-to-day lives. With that being said, if you are interested in joining the chess team, be sure to check it out at Mr. May’s room. And of course, remember to strive for the impossible and be extraordinary, Knights!

Photo credits:

Feature Image: “11 Reasons Why Chess Is The King Of All Games” by

Photos within this article are from Kevin Chor