HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, NJ --  The sounds of quiet competition filled the air as Hasbrouck Heights Middle Schools hosted the second annual Chess Invitational with Maywood Avenue School on Tuesday afternoon.

Last year Maywood hosted the inaugural event, so this year it came to Hasbrouck Heights. Two dozen simultaneous games were played tournament-style, with winners advancing to the finals. Players were categorized in three skill levels, Beginner, Medium (or Intermediate), and Advanced. Each game had a 15 minute time limit. The advanced players used a chess clock to track their moves.

The winners were:

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Beginners:

First: Maywood Timothy ​Pineda
Second: Hasbrouck Heights Andrea Durham



Intermediate:
First: Hasbrouck Heights Ria Vij
Second: Maywood Amiri Hayes

Advanced:
First: Maywood Samy Almshref
Second: Maywood Manish ​Nyayapati

The invitational was organized by Michael Binazeski, Hasbrouck Heights Chess Club advisor and middle school science teacher, with the assistance of David Wells, Maywood’s club advisor.

Wells has been the advisor for Maywood’s club for eight years. It has 58 members but started with 12 when he began. He finds that chess appeals with all types of students.

“We have a lot of athletic kids come down, they play (chess) then they go back up (to practice)” he said. “You sit down and have fun.”

Binazeski started Hasbrouck Heights chess club seven years ago, which includes sixth through 12th grade. The club averages 60  to 70 students per year and meets Fridays after school.

“They get the experience of spending two hours every Friday in a friendly, challenging environment and learn sportsmanship, teamwork and problem-solving skills,” said Binazeski.

“They develop these skills by playing different chess players of varying levels and learning from these games new techniques they can use in their next games. Playing chess allows students to use in class organization skills, time management, team building, confidence, and a feeling of accomplishment when they do well in a game.”