By: Mijal Gutiérrez  | 

Yeshiva University Chess Club Hosts First-Ever Inter-Yeshiva High School Chess Tournament

The Yeshiva University Chess Club hosted its first-ever Inter-Yeshiva Chess Tournament for yeshiva high school students on the Wilf campus last month. 

The tournament was attended by 24 students from several high schools, including Rambam Mesivta, Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway (HAFTR), Davis Renov Stahler Yeshiva (DRS), Yeshiva University High School for Boys (YUHSB), Heichal HaTorah and Torah Academy of Bergen County (TABC). Three schools completed the tournament with awards. 

The tournament began with a light breakfast, followed by six competitive rounds of chess, each with a time control of ten minutes. The event culminated in an awards ceremony, during which trophies were awarded to the winners, and concluded with National Master Bryan Weisz (YC ‘26) and Grandmaster Semyon Lomasov (YC ‘24) playing games of chess against multiple students simultaneously without looking at the board, and offering some closing remarks. Weisz played four games simultaneously, and Semyon played 12. 

“The event ran very smoothly and a lot of the high schoolers were able to not only have fun but also enjoy the opportunity to play against other schools in a serious tournament, while also learning from incredible Jewish chess masters,” Leora Schramm (SCW ‘26), Beren president of the Chess Club, told The Commentator. 

The goal of the event was to create a high school tournament for yeshiva high school students, who are often unable to compete in competitive chess tournaments held on Shabbat or Chagim. According to David Yagudayev (YC ‘25), Wilf president of the chess club, the aim of the Inter-Yeshiva Chess Tournament is to provide Jewish students with the opportunity to play competitive chess while accommodating religious observance.

“The goal and idea behind the formulation of this event was to make this tournament the quintessential prestigious chess tournament for yeshiva high school students,” Yagudayev, who was the chief organizer of the tournament, told The Commentator. “Many Orthodox Jewish students often struggle to play in competitive, prestigious chess events due to most conflicting with the Sabbath. In creating this tournament, I hoped to address this need and design a tournament that my former high school self would have dreamed of playing in.” 

The hope for the tournament is that it continues to grow and be hosted regularly, Yagudayev told The Commentator.“We hope that this event will be even bigger and better next year and hopefully perhaps even transform into an established admissions-style event on par with YUNMUN and Sarachek, but for chess.”


Photo Caption: Yeshiva High School students at the Inter-Yeshiva Chess Tournament

Photo Credit: David Yagudayev