Chess Club History and Highlights

The Seward Montessori Chess Club has been in existence and successful since the late 1990s when started by Jack Mangan. The Club has sent winning teams to various local, state and national tournaments for over 15 years under the guidance of Bill Garner.

Visit this page for news and updates on the Seward Chess Club. Are you a former player or coach of the Seward Chess Club? Send us your news or help us fill in the history of the Seward Club. 

Thanks to current coaches and instructors Tim Couture, Bill Garner, Zach Adams, Don Hooker and Pete Munene for their contributions to the Seward Chess program.

Chess Highlights by Academic School Year

2014 - 2015 Highlights

  • On November 1, 2014 Seward students attended the SCA November Grade Level Tournament. Seward sent 9 players including 7th-graders Masango Akale, Sam Kendrick, Nelson Munene, Marshall Urban, and Tiger Worku, 6th-grader Alex Shuck, 5th-grader Soren Kung, 3rd-grader Anderson Beck and 2nd-grader Malcolm Munene. Tiger, Marshall, Masango, Nelson and Sam finished 1st, 2nd, 5th, 6th and 12th among 7th-graders and won the 1st Place team trophy. Tiger and Marshall were undefeated. Alex finished with 2.5 points and Soren finished with 4.0 points and finished 6th out of 44 5th-graders. Anderson finished with 4.0 points and Malcolm was undefeated with 5.0 points. Together, this two-player team was able to place 3rd amongst 3rd grade teams.
  • On November 15, 2014 Seward attended the SCA Priyanka Open. Malcolm Munene and Anderson Beck participated in the K-3 USCF Rated section. Noah Muller (2nd place) and Soren Kung competed in the K-6 USCF Rated section. Nelson Munene, Tiger Worku, Sam Kendrick and Marshall Urban competed in the K-12 USCF Rated section.
  • On December 13, 2014 Seward students attended the SCA Winter Grade Level. Malcolm Munene finished 5th individually among 2nd-graders. Teammates Noah Muller, Alex Shuck and Emory Russell finished 2nd place 6th-grade Team. Nelson Munene, Sam Kendrick, Marshall Urban and Tiger Worku finished 1st Place Team in the 9-12th Grade section.
  • On January 10, 2015 Seward players competed in the SCA Snowball Open USCF Rated Section. In attendance were Tiger Worku, Marshall Urban, Sam Kendrick, Nelson Munene, Malcolm Munene, Alex Shuck and Emory Russell.
  • On January 24, 2015 Seward attend the SCA Frozen Open. In the K-Adult rated section Sam Kendrick came in 2nd, Nelson Munene 3rd, Masango Akale 5th, Noah Muller 6th, Marshall Urban 7th, Malcolm Munene 8th and Alex Shuck 10th. Soren Kung placed 11th in the K-6 Open section and Andy Beck placed 11th in the K-3 Open section.
  • On February 14-15, 2015 several Seward students competed in the 2015 MN Open tournament. Tiger Worku finished 6th in the U1700 section. Also competing were Nelson Munene, Marshall Urban and Malcolm Munene. Coach Pete Munene won 1st place in the Unrated Section.
  • On February 21, 2015 Seward students competed at the MPS Check it Out Chess Tournament. In the 7-12th grade section, the Seward team of Nelson Munene, Marshall Urban and Tiger Worku took 2nd place. Tiger and Marshall finished 1st and 3rd individually. Seward's 4-6th grade team won 1st place. The team was Fritz Freeburg, Soren Kung, Helen Worku, Emory Russell, Alex Shuck. Soren and Alex came in 2nd and 3rd individually. Helen Worku won 1st place girl finisher. The K-3rd grade team was Malcolm Munene, Andy Beck, Jack Karlen, Theo Cornell, Max Schroder and Peter Scholtz. Seward's K-3 team also won 1st place with Malcolm and Peter coming in 1st (undefeated) and 3rd individually.
  • On March 14-15, 2015 Seward Montessori's K-6 team placed eitght in the 2015 SCA Statewide Primary/Elementary Championship (K-6). K-6 teammates were Noah Muller, Alex Shuck, Emory Russell, Fritz Freeburg, and Gil Bergin. Seward's K-3 team of Andy Beck, Peter Scholtz and Malcolm Munene also received a trophy as a Regional winner. Seward sent players Malcolm Munene (K-3 10th place) and Noah Muller (K-6 15th place) on to the April 13, 2015 Primary and Elementary Tournament of Champions--a tournament of the top 16 primary and top 16 elementary finishers at the SCA state tournament. 
  • On March 21, 2015 Seward teammates Marshall Urban, Sam Kendrick, Nelson Munene, Noah Muller and Alex Shuck competed in the Finals of the MN Jr. High Chess League. After winning the Cities Division and the first round of playoffs they came in 2nd to Metcalf's A Team. Students Tiger Worku and Malcolm Munene also participated during regular league play.
  • On March 28-29, 2015 Seward sent a K-9 and K-3 team to the  2015 MSCA State Scholastic Championships. K-9 teammates Sam Kendrick, Tiger Worku, Nelson Munene, and Marshall Urban combined to win the 4th Place K-9 Team trophy. K-3 teammates Andy Beck, Peter Scholtz and Malcolm Munene combined to win the 1st Place K-3 Team trophy. Coach Pete Munene is awarded School Chess Association's Coach of the Year.
  • On April 11, 2015 the Seward Chess Club sent 14 players to the April Open chess tournament in Plymouth. Participants were Malcolm Munene, Gil Berman, Peter Sholtz, Theo Cornell, Max Shroder, Helen Worku, Fritz Freeburg, Emory Russell, Alex Shuck, Noah Muller, Tiger Worku, Nelson Munene, Masango Akale, and Marshall Urban. Congratulations to Tiger who finished in 1st place and Nelson in 6th in the 7-9th grade section. Alex finished in 6th place out of 92 participants in the 4-6th grade section. Noah and Malcolm competed in the SCA Tournament of Champions - a special tournament of the top 16 primary and elementary players. Malcolm finished 8th and Noah finished 10th.
  • On April 23-27, 2015 Seward participated in the 2015 National Jr High Championship in Louisville, KY. Seward player Tiger Worku competed in the K-8 Championship section finishing with 4.0 points (67th place) in a field of 216 players. Seward teammates Masango Akale (3.5), Sam Kendrick (6.0), Nelson Munene (5.5) and Marshall Urban (5.0) competed against 27 teams and took the 2nd Place team trophy for the K-9 U1250 section. Nelson and Sam both finished in the top ten with Nelson in 9th and Sam taking 2nd in a field of 159 players. All Seward players contributed to a 10th place finish in the Blitz tournament.
  • On May 7-11, 2015, four Seward teammates Soren Kung (4.5), Noah Muller (5.5), Emory Russell (3.0) and Alex Shuck (4.0) competed in the 2015 National Elementary Championship in Nashville, TN. The Seward team finished 7th in the U1000 section in a field of 40 teams. Noah Muller finished 17th in a field of 233 individual participants.

2013 - 2014 Highlights

  • On December 7, 2013 Seward participated in the SCA Winter Grade Level tournament. Tiger Worku, Nelson Munene and Masango Akale combined to win the 6th grade 1st place team trophy. Masango placed first among all 6th graders with 4.5 points and Nelson tied for 5th. Malcolm was 4th among 1st graders and both Lucas Nerbonne and Anderson Beck had winning records for the day.
  • On January 11, 2014 Seward Chess Club members participated in the SCA Snowball Open. In the K-3 primary section, Anderson Beck had 3.5 pts (12th Place) and Malcolm Munene 4.5 (2nd Place) in a field of 64. In the 4-6 elementary section in a field of 67 players, Soren Kung had 2.5 pts, Emory Russell 3.0 pts. Marshall Urban and Masango Akale tied for 5th place with 4.0 pts, Nelson Munene took 3rd Place with 4.0 pts and Tiger Worku took 1st place with a perfect 5.0 pts.
  • On January 18, 2014 Seward participated in the SCA Frozen Open: 6th graders, Marshall Urban, Nelson Munene, Tiger Worku and Masango Akale took 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th in the K-6 section (55 players). Andy Beck finished with 2.0 points, Noah Muller with 3.0 and Malcolm Munene with 3.5.
  • On February 22, 2014 Seward attended the 2014 SCA Statewide Grade Level tournament. 6th graders Tiger Worku, Nelson Munene, Marshall Urban and Masango Akale took 1st place team trophy with Masango and Marshall coming in 2nd and 3rd overall among 6th graders. Malcolm Munene took 4th place among 1st graders and Andy Beck received his Gold Medal for 50 Merit points. Soren Kung, Emory Russell, Noah Muller also competed and finished with 3.0 points or better.
  • Also on February 22, 2014 Seward teammates Jack Karlen, Cassius Dolan and Fritz Freeburg the 3rd Place team trophy for Seward in the K-3 division at the MPS Check it Out Tournament.
  • On March 8, 2014 Seward players participated in the Burnsville Open and Middle-school Jr. High Championship: 6th-graders Nelson Munene, Masango Akale, Tiger Worku, Marshall Urban and 5th grader Noah took 5th Place as a team. Malcolm Munene had 3.0 points in the Burnsville Open Primary section and finished 17th out of 62 players.
  • On March 15-16 2014, Seward Montessori defended its 2013 title against 32 other teams and placed first in the 2014 SCA Statewide Primary/Elementary Championship (K-6). Congratulations to Seward and to Capital Hill in St. Paul who were also declared co-champions based on points. Seward was also eligible to send players Malcolm Munene, Masango Akale, and Marshall Urban on to the Primary and Elementary Tournament of Champions--a tournament of the top 16 primary and top 16 elementary finishers at the state tournament. Winning the K-6 title two years in a row is an impressive feat! At the April 5, 2014 Tournament of Champions, Malcolm Munene finished 13th in K-3 and Masango Akale finished 11th in K-6.
  • On March 30, 2014, The Seward Montessori Sharks Chess Club took the first place K-6 team trophy at the 2014 MSCA State Scholastic Championships held March 29-30, 2014. Team members were sixth-graders Masango Akale, Nelson Munene, Marshall Urban and Tiger Worku. Nelson Munene also finished 8th amongst all K-6 competitors. Seward also won the 2nd place team trophy for the K-3 division with first-grader Malcolm Munene and second-grader Anderson Beck finishing 6th and 9th place respectively among all K-3 competitors. 
  • Seward Wins 1st Place Team Trophy for K-6 U1000 at the 2014 National Elementary Championship! The Seward Montessori Sharks Chess Club sent six students to Dallas, TX from May 8-12, 2014 to particpate in "Nationals," or the US Elementary Chess Championship. As the crown of a great chess season, Seward's K-6 U1000 team of Noah Muller, Nelson Munene, Marshall Urban and Tiger Worku beat out 34 other teams to win the title. In a field of 238 players, Noah finished 131st, Tiger 22nd and Marshall and Nelson finished 6th and 7th respectively. Soren Kung and Malcolm Munene earned 4.0 and 3.0 points respectively in their sections. Watch a short video of our Dallas trip produced by Mate Aman.