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Haddonfield first grader wins New Jersey state chess championship

Liam Jesunas is the first State Champion from Haddonfield.

Haddonfield first grader Liam Jesunas won the title for the New Jersey K-12 chess championship in November. The boy was still wearing face paint from a birthday party the night before the announcement and told his mother, “I can’t lose, I’m a Superhero.” (Special to The Sun)

Liam Jesunas, of Haddonfield, NJ went undefeated to win the 1st Grade section of the 2022 New Jersey K-12 Championship presented by the New Jersey State Chess Federation late last month, earning the State Championship title.  

Over 500 students gathered at Brookdale Community College in Lincroft, NJ for the event. Traditional New Jersey chess powers:The Pingry School, Princeton Day School, Wardlaw+Hartridge, Princeton Charter and Deerfield Elementary School sent large contingents to represent their schools.  

Jesunas is the first chess State Champion from Haddonfield and his school does not have a formal team.  He takes lessons locally at the South Jersey Innovation Center in Mt. Laurel with FIDE Master Dov Gorman.  He also takes lessons online with Grand Master Daniel Naroditsky, New York Times Chess Columnist and social media celebrity.  Jesunas is one of top ranked scholastic players in the Nation for his age and has represented the United States in several International Events.  


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