Return to Headlines

Fifth-Grade Chess Whiz: Daniel Martin Takes Second in State Chess Championship

student holding two trophies and two medals in hand

April 10, 2024 -- Talent is everywhere you look at Columbus City Schools, and we are proud to recognize Daniel Martin Jr., a fifth-grade student at Huy Elementary School. Martin recently competed in the 2024 Ohio Elementary Chess Championship in Cleveland and scored an outstanding achievement by placing second in the 4-5 Reserved category at the state championship, showcasing dedication and skill in the game of chess..

"I started [playing chess] in third grade," said Martin. "It was a club I wanted to join because I wanted to be a part of something. I did not think I would get this attached to it, but I still love chess."

Martin's openness to learning from his chess teacher and fellow students contributed to his success in chess.This willingness to absorb knowledge and strategies has assisted him in his recent competition and will serve him well in future endeavors.

"In third grade, students learn how to move the pieces and what they are called," said Sean Gill, a Fifth-Grade teacher and chess instructor at Huy. "In fourth grade, they start to decide whether or not they like it enough. Then, in fifth grade, they begin applying strategies."

Following Gill’s instructions and practicing multiple hours daily, Martin has morphed into a true enthusiast for the game. He uses strategy taught by Gill through the chess club and super chess, a club for advanced players at Huy. Martin’s passion for chess is evident in his commitment to honing his skills and engaging with others who share his love for the game, like Gill and the over 70 other students at Huy who participate in chess club. 

"I am so impressed [with Martin]," said Gill. "I am so proud of him."

Martin's achievement is a testament to his hard work, determination, and love for chess. Columbus City Schools congratulates Martin on his success and looks forward to seeing his continued growth and achievements in the world of chess.

Power of One

Priority 1 - Whole Child FocusedPriority 2 - Equitable Opportunities for AllPriority 3 - Strong Learning Communities in Every RegionPortrait Attribute 1 - AdaptabilityPortrait Attribute 2 - CommunicationPortrait Attribute 3 - CreativityPortrait Attribute 4 - Critical ThinkingPortrait Attribute 5 - Global EmpathyPortrait Attribute 6 - Technology