Local chess club raising money to compete at state, national championships

January 31, 2013


Several second through sixth graders from four West Philly schools are members at the Minor Threats chess club. The kids are trying to get to the State and National championships this spring. 

The Minor Threats is a chess club based at S. Weir Mitchell Elementary school at 55th and Kingsessing and consists of 2nd-6th graders from four different schools in West and Southwest Philly. Their coach and school teacher, Jason Bui, would like to take this talented and hardworking group of youngsters to two important upcoming competitions – the State Championships in Carlisle in March and Supernationals in Nashville, Tenn. in April. But traveling to and competing at these events require some funding which the club doesn’t have. So the Minor Threats are seeking community support. A total of $5,000 is needed to take the kids to both events.

Here’s what Jason wrote in an email:

“This has been an exciting year for the chess club. The kids have worked very hard. They have attended eleven tournaments around Philadelphia so far this school year. They have won 19 individual trophies, medals, and awards. They have won 3 team trophies. Now they want to prove themselves on the state and national level. They will not be able to do that without your help.

We need $1,300 to take 13 kids and 4 parents to the State Championships in Carlisle, Penna. for two nights in March. Most of the kids will compete in both the K-6 under 800 section on Saturday and the K-9 under 1,000 section on Sunday. Last year 105 of the best K-6 chess players in the state played in these two sections. I took four fairly inexperienced students there. We missed winning a team trophy by 1 point. This year the team is much more prepared. They have been practicing and studying for months.

We need $5,000 to take 9 kids and 4 adults to Supernationals V in Nashville, Tenn. for four nights in April. Every four years the elementary, middle school, and high school national chess championships are held at one location. This event is called Supernationals. The Minor Threats will compete against hundreds of the best K-6 chess players in the country. Based on their accomplishments at local tournaments they stand a good chance to bring home some trophies and glory for the team.

Your donation will make a huge impact on the lives of inner-city youth who are eager to achieve great things through chess. A $20 donation would pay for a hotel room for one child. A $50 donation would pay the Supernationals tournament entry fee for one child. A $100 donation would cover one child’s expenses for the State Championships. A $200 donation would pay for one child’s bus ride to Nashville. A $1,000 donation would cover one child’s expenses for the Supernationals.”

If you want to help the Minor Threats club, please send cash or a check made out to S. Weir Mitchell School with “Chess Team” written on the memo line. The school’s address is: 5500 Kingsessing Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19143. Jason has also set up an online fundraising page. Please go here to donate.

14 Comments For This Post

  1. Jason Bui Says:

    Thank you so much to for writing this piece! Thank you so much to everyone who has already given! My school team, the Mitchell Mustangs, just played their last regular season match in the Philadelphia Scholastic Chess League tonight. They are in first place in their division. They are so excited about States and Supernationals.

  2. Lynn Major Says:

    I hope you get all the funding you need for these fantastic kids to carry their skills further and have this unique opportunity.


  3. VPA Says:

    I was wondering if there are any girls on the chess team? Does anyone know?

  4. Jason Bui Says:

    Yes, there are girls on the team. There are two girls going to the State and National Championships. There is another girl who regularly competes in local tournaments with us. I have a handful of new girl players this year who are starting to get serious about chess. I expect them to start going to weekend tournaments in the spring and I expect them to represent my elementary school chess team the MItchell Mustangs next year in the Philadelphia Scholastic Chess League.

  5. VPA Says:

    Thanks, Jason. I was planning on donating- but now, I am even happier to give. Expect a check from Veronica. It’s in the mail today!

  6. Jason Bui Says:

    Thank you so much Veronica! I am overwhelmed by the support we have received. Karissma is my best girl player. She won most improved elementary player and female player of the year from ASAP last year. This will be her first time at States and Nationals.

  7. anon Says:

    how is the fundraising going?

  8. Jason Bui Says:

    We have enough money to pay for our trip to the PA Scholastic Chess Championships and maybe half of the money we need for the Supernationals.

  9. Jason Bui Says:

    The MItchell chess team finished in 3rd place in the Philadelphia Scholastic Chess League.

  10. Jason Bui Says:

    We just got back from the PA State Scholastic Chess Championships in Carlisle, PA. We won a total of 7 trophies. 3 Team trophies and 4 individual trophies. Now we need your help to get to Supernationals in Nashville, TN in less than a month. Please share this with your friends.

  11. Lynn Major Says:

    CONGRATS to the Minor Threats!!!

  12. Happy Curmudgeon Says:

    How much do you need to go to Tenn?

  13. Jason Says:

    We need a total of $5,000. We have about half of that.

  14. Hey nonny nonny Says:

    They still need about $2,500. There is an update on their website. A donor will match all donations up to $1,000 in the next couple weeks. Please help spread the word!

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