News & Events

Catlin Gabel Chess Teams Win State Championships
Posted 03/27/2017 02:00PM


At the state championship March 4, hosted by Hillsboro High School, the Catlin Gabel Varsity Chess team came in first in state, and the Junior Varsity Chess team tied for first. Catlin Gabel's 3A OSAA designation applies in this sport, but CGS players played teams across all classifications to emerge as best in state. Representing Catlin Gabel were Nathaniel Veimau '20, Duncan Soiffer '20, Freddie Langlois '18, Hansen Lian '19, Jackson O'Neill '18, Will Leonard '20, Ben King-Hails '17, Jimmy Maslen '20, Avi Gupta '19, Mathus Leungpathomaram '19, and Seth Talyansky '19, who is currently the top scholastic player in Oregon


Of note:

• Nathaniel placed third in the individual section

• Duncan won the prize for best overall fifth-board performance

• Hansen won the prize for best 4A/3A/2A third-board performance

• Seth won the prize for best 4A/3A/2A first-board performance (tied for best overall, lost on tiebreaks)

• Mathus, Freddie, Ben, Jackson, and Will steered the second team to the JV title, each player scoring at least 3.5/5

• Seth, Ari, Hansen, Jimmy, Duncan, and Avi led the first team to state supremacy


Notes from organizer, championship Nancy Keller:

This weekend [March 4-5, 2017], there were major battles in progress as high schools from all over the state competed to destroy each other’s armies.  The battles were silent with only mental screams and pained faces demonstrating the fates as kings and queens were destroyed. It was the annual Oregon High School Chess Team State Championships hosted at Hillsboro High School to determine the 2017 Oregon Chess Team Champion.

All high schools from 2A to 6A played each other as they competed to become the 2017 Oregon High School Chess Team Champion. They also competed for their respective OSAA classification champion status. A new team from Catlin Gabel, a 3A school rose to the top after defeating LaSalle 5A, Crescent Valley 5A and defeating Lincoln 6A who has dominated the Oregon Champions for the last two years. Catlin Gabel did draw Jesuit 6A and Crescent Valley 5A but at the end, Catlin Gabel had 4 out of 5 points in the swiss sys type tournament. Lincoln, Jesuit, Wilson and Crescent Valley each had 3.5 points resulting in a four way tie with 3.5 but based on strengths of teams they played, tiebreakers gave them their ultimate places of 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th respectively. 

Winning the championship earned each of the five members of the Catlin Gabel team, a small scholarship to the college of their choice. The scholarship was mostly funded by First Community Credit Union who supports intellectual sports and local communities.

Last year Seth Talyansky, Mathus Leungpathomaram, Hansen Lian and Avi Gupta, started a chess club at Catlin Gabel. Seth Talyansky is currently the top scholastic player in Oregon and has earned the title of National Master through the United States Chess Federation. Through local competitions and at their chess club, Seth was able to help his teammates develop their chess skills. Starting last year, the Catlin Gabel chess team played in the Portland Chess League consisting of teams from Northern Oregon and Southern Washington, and won the League two years in a row. This year, for the first time, they brought a Varsity and Junior Varsity Team to the State competition. Their games were long and intense, often running right up to the time limit and developing a silent crowd of onlookers.  The varsity team’s overall win shows a small school can take on the big schools in the field of chess.

But it was not just Catlin Gabel’s Varsity team that was strong. Their B team in the Junior Varsity section also dominated. After the flurry of five rounds of chess, there was a three way tie for first place, each with four out of five points. Catlin Gabel High School became co-champions with Wilson High School and Happy Valley Middle School. These top three teams were very strong with their only loss being to one of the other co champions. 

The Oregon High School Chess Team Association (OHSCTA) is hoping to draw even more schools to the 2018 championships which will be held at Roseburg High School late February or early March.  Visit OSCF (Oregon Scholastic Chess Federation) and check out High School Chess Team news.  Teams are encouraged to play in their local leagues.

Oregon Varsity Team Champions:

1st  Catlin Gabel 3A

2nd Lincoln 6A

3rd Jesuit 6A

4th  Wilson 6A

5th Crescent Valley 5A


6A Class Champion



5A Class Champion

Crescent Valley


2A-4A Class Champion

Catlin Gabel

Oregon Junior Varsity Team Co-Champions

Catlin Gabel

Wilson High School

Happy Valley Middle School


6A Class Champion

Wilson High School


2A-5A Class Champion

Catlin Gabel


Open Teams

1st place:  LaSalle

2nd place:  Willamette

3rd place:  Hillsboro



1st place:  Jason Chen

2nd place:  Wesley Trieu

3rd place:  Nathaniel Veimau

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