Northside PREP Chess Team Upsets
in Final Round to Take 3rd in Niles North
Coach, Northside College Prep Chess Team &
Instructor, Renaissance Knights Chess
The Northside Mustangs Chess Team posted an
impressive result Saturday, January 9, winning 3 out
of 4 matches to take 3rd place at the Niles North
high school chess tournament, which featured many of
the best teams in the state of Illinois. Northside
scored the key victory in the final round with an
upset of Glenbrook South by a match score of 41.5 to
In the Northside - Glenbrook South match the
Mustangs' top two players, freshmen Chengliang Luo
and Edmond Jay, won their games to give Northside 28
early points (including a forfeit win on the 8th
board). Glenbrook South countered with wins on the
4th, 5th and 7th boards for 23 points. With 34.5
points needed to win the match, it all came down to
two games: The 3rd board game for 10 points,
Mustangs sophomore Captain Jayce Feiger vs.
Glenbrook South senior Isaac Lee, and the 6th board
game for 7 points, Mustangs freshman Ahmed Akhtar
vs. Glenbrook South junior James Tomaszewski.
For a long time the situation appeared grim for the
Mustangs as Glenbrook South had a better position in
both games. But Jayce and Ahmed both fought
relentlessly to hold their positions, and the
pressure mounted on the Glenbrook South players as
they couldn't finish their games off. Finally,
Northside's fighting spirit paid off when Jayce
pulled off an amazing comeback: With just one rook
vs. Lee's two rooks, Feiger checked Lee's king a
couple times to lure it forward into a trapped
position where the rook and two pawns surrounded it.
When Jayce moved his own king and one more pawn
forward, Lee's king was completely trapped and on
the next move Feiger moved his rook, protected by
his pawn, right next to Lee's king to deliver
checkmate. Jayce's hard-fought victory gave
Northside 38 points to win the match.
Shortly after the Feiger-Lee game finished, Akhtar
and Tomaszewski agreed to a draw, reaching the final
match score of 41.5 to 26.5. Ahmed's result was
especially impressive considering this was his first
ever high school chess tournament.
In the earlier rounds, Northside began with a 51.5
to 16.5 win over Carmel Catholic High School in the
1st round, featuring wins by top board Luo, 6th
board Akhtar, and two more freshmen, 4th board Alex
Bologna and 5th board Aamir Ansari. Draws by Jay and
Feiger on 2nd and 3rd boards and a forfeit win on
8th board completed the scoring for the Mustangs.
Northside then posted a dominating 68 to 0 shutout
of Mundelein High School in the 2nd round. The
Mustangs' only match loss came in the 3rd round vs.
crosstown Chicago rival Whitney Young, but Northside
still showed strong improvement in the match: after
a 58 to 10 loss to Whitney in the Prep Bowl in
December, this time the final score was an extremely
close 35-33. The top 3 boards Luo, Jay, and Feiger
all won to give Northside its 33, while Whitney
reached 35 by winning boards 4 through 8.
The Mustangs had the same 3-1 match record as 2nd
place Glenbard West, but took 3rd place on tiebreaks. Host
team Niles North finished 1st with a 4-0 match
record. Northside finished ahead of Evanston (4th
place), Whitney Young (5th place), Stevenson,
Glenbrook South, Prospect, and Mundelein, who all
had 2-2 match records.
The Mustangs are now looking forward to the Chicago
Public Schools Championship tournament January 23,
where Northside will compete with Whitney Young and
the rest of the top CPS chess teams for the title of