April has been a banner month for the Hampstead Hill Academy (HHA) Chess Team. The team competed on the local, state, and national levels, where they showcased their talents, tenacity, and teamwork.

HHA’s Chess Team is coached by Theo Epstein of Baltimore Kids Chess League.The 20-year-old nonprofit works with more than 40 Baltimore City Public Schools and hosts monthly U.S.Chess Federation-rated chess tournaments attracting hundreds of students to some of the city’s largest scholastic gatherings. Baltimore Kids Chess League is a longtime partner with HHA. 


Check out their April accomplishments!


18th Place, National High School (K-12) Championships

On April 5-7, the HHA team placed 18th in the U.S. in the U800 Section in the National High School (K-12) Championships, held at the Baltimore Convention Center and organized by the U.S. Chess Federation

Playing against mostly high schools around the country, HHA’s elementary and middle school players on its chess team tied for 17th place but placed 18th on tie breaks. 

Over three days, HHA chess players played seven matches each: two on Friday, three on Saturday, and two on Sunday. Each individual match could last as long as three hours. During these three days, each child on the HHA Chess team played over 20 hours of chess!

In addition to the chess team’s impressive national ranking, the HHA Bug House team of Spencer (6th grade) and Lillian (5th grade) took 19th place in the country, each playing ten matches of chess on Thursday alone. Bug house chess is a variant of the game played on two chessboards by four players in teams of two.

“Archer, Calvin, Spencer, Lillian, Timothy, Grayson, MJ, Marvin, Cameron, Lincoln and Rhett may have played the hardest chess matches of their lives and, most of the time, against high school students,” says Anya Cappolla, HHA Chess Club Coordinator. “Chess players like these inspire other kids at our school and beyond to learn and play chess. They worked very hard to win their trophy.”


1st Place Team Trophy, Baltimore Elementary Citywide Championship

While still fired up from the nationals, HHA Chess TEAM players won First Place Team Trophy at the April 13th Baltimore Elementary Citywide Championship. This was a BKCL invitational tournament where elementary member schools send their best elementary school players to compete for the top places in the city. 

In addition, four HHA players won First Place individual trophies:

Cameron – 1st place in 2nd grade 

MJ – 1st place in 4th grade

Grayson – 1st place in 4th grade 

Lillian – 1st place in 5th grade 


1st Place and 2nd Place Trophies for HHA Elementary Teams, Maryland State Championship

On April 20, the HHA Chess Team competed at the Maryland State Championship, which brought together more than 500 of the state’s best chess players from more than 100 schools. 

HHA Elementary teams swept the top two trophies in their grade sections:

  • The 2nd and 3rd grades team won Second Place in Maryland; 
  • The 4th and 5th grade team won the First Place trophy in Maryland.

Special mention goes to Lincoln (1st grade), who was the only player to represent HHA from the 1st grade. He came in 17th place. Players Spencer (6th) and Lillian (5th) played in the highest sections for Middle School (combined 6-8) and Elementary School (combined K-5), respectively. Lillian came 14th in all of Elementary; Spencer came 15th in all of Middle Schoolers. 

Two players head to Columbus, Ohio for the USCF K-6 Nationals, and the full team continues to compete in Baltimore tournaments this spring. 


Congratulations to the team!

About the Baltimore Curriculum Project

Baltimore Curriculum Project (BCP) is the largest operator of local neighborhood, public charter schools in Maryland. We create safe, supportive learning environments for children PK-8 by providing innovative, research-based educational strategies, intensive teacher training and extensive support for administration and staff. We support our local neighborhood needs by tailoring our resources and support through community partnerships.

As one of the longest-running charter operators in Maryland, our schools are regularly recognized as some of the most highly acclaimed neighborhood charter schools in the state. 

Pimlico Elementary / Middle School

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Fax: 410-675-7030

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