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Nine teams from McAllen ISD will compete with the nation’s best at the national chess championships this spring.

McAllen ISD’s Morris Middle School took first at the Texas Chess Association Region X Middle School and High School Championship held in late February in Edinburg. They will be joined by Fossum Middle School which finished third.

In the High School Division, Lamar Academy earned second place and Achieve Early College High took fourth to qualify for nationals.

Five elementary teams also qualified following their TCA Region X competition held March 5. This includes two teams from Rayburn Elementary, two from Sanchez Elementary and one from Garza Elementary.

Both teams from Rayburn won first place in their categories at the regional competition. One team won in the K/1 Championship and another won in the Primary Championship.  

The high school teams will travel to Memphis, Tennessee for their national tournament April 7-11. Meanwhile, the middle school and elementary teams will compete in their national tournament April 27-May 1 in Grapevine, Texas.

The Morris team took four of the top five individual places at the Regional competition. Gael Guerra was first overall followed by teammates Emily Ham (third), Leonardo Jake Jean-Marie (fourth) and Julian Tijerina (fifth).

McAllen ISD had nine teams from six schools qualify for National Chess Competition in 2019. There were no national tournaments the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.