SJGS Chess Club

Home of the 2019 K-3 Indiana State Chess Team Champions!

The SJGS Chess Club, an official affiliate of the U.S. Chess Federation (USCF), is open to students in grades 1-8, from beginners to expert players. Participants learn and practice strategies of chess in preparation for tournament play. Over 80 SJGS students now participate in Chess Club each year!

The club holds two seasons per year, in the fall and winter, each including participation in a Scholastic Chess of Indiana (SCI) tournament and other area tournaments. Additional lessons, camps, chess nights, and tournament opportunities are provided throughout the year.

Winter 2020

Details and registration for the Winter 2020 Season, beginning January 24. Open to SJGS students in grades 1-8.

Congratulations to…

  • Our 2019 K-3 Indiana State Chess Championship Team of Nathan Walatka, Julie Walatka, Declan Green, and Gabriel Palmer went a perfect 6-0 come out on top of the 52-team field in Martinsville.
  • Kindergartner Nathan Walatka was crowned the kindergarten champion at the 2018 US Chess Federation’s National K-12 Grade Championships in Orlando, FL.
  • 5th grader Therese Walatka won the 2018 Indiana K-12 Girls Championship in Fort Wayne in April, and competed as the Indiana representative in the National Girls Finals in Wisconsin in July. Therese ended up in 24th place (on tiebreaks) with 3 points in 6 rounds (and also won the “upset prize” in the last round). Considering that Therese is just entering the 6th grade and that her rating is under 1300, this was a very good result!
  • The SJGS 6th and Under “A” team tied for 3rd (6th on tie breaks) out of 53 teams in the Indiana Team State Championships in Hammond in March.
  • The SJGS 3rd and Under “A” team tied for 4th (6th on tie breaks) out of 50 teams in the Indiana Team State Championships in Hammond in March.
  • 1st grader Julie Walatka was 1st grade champion at the 2017 Indiana Grade Level Championships (and rising Kindergartner Nathan Walatka won the K/Pre-K Championship) in Fort Wayne in November. Julie and Nathan also finished 5th and 6th, respectively, in the 3rd and Under division of the 2018 Indiana Individual Championships in Indianapolis in January.
  • Catherine Lutz (3rd grade) and Therese Walatka (5th grade) were each runner-up at the 2017 Grade Level Championships in Fort Wayne in November.


SJGS Chess Club is open to SJGS students only, though we do host several tournaments throughout the year that are open to all players.  For questions about Chess Club or to be added to the notification list for upcoming tournaments, please contact club organizers Sean Kennedy and Todd Walatka.