SJGS Chess Club

2023 6th & Under Indiana State Chess Team Champions!

2019 3rd & Under 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. As many as 80 SJGS students participate in Chess Club each year!

The club holds two seasons per year, in the fall and winter, with 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.

Joining Chess Club

For more info, please contact club organizer Todd Walatka.

Congratulations to…

  • Our 2023 6th & Under Indiana State Chess Championship Team of Nathan Walatka, Tripp Morrell, Julie Walatka, and Declan Green were crowned champions of the 41-team field in Martinsville on March 18.
  • Our 2019 3rd & Under 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, and then competed as the Indiana representative in the National Girls Finals in Wisconsin. 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 was just entering the 6th grade and that her rating was under 1300, this was a very good result!
  • 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. Julie and Nathan also finished 5th and 6th, respectively, in the 3rd & Under division of the 2018 Indiana Individual Championships in Indianapolis.
  • Catherine Lutz (3rd grade) and Therese Walatka (5th grade) were each runner-up at the 2017 Grade Level Championships in Fort Wayne.


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 organizer Todd Walatka.