My Chess Accomplishments
(Life Master Dr. Shearwood McClelland III, M.D.)
Chess has been an important part of my life. I learned the game when I was 7 years old, primarily because my mom was afraid that I would rot my brains by playing Nintendo all of the time :). I really came into my own when I was about 13, so I was a relatively late bloomer. Here are some of the things that I have been fortunate enough to achieve:
Historic Achievements (independent of race):
First person to win the National 11th Grade and National 12th Grade Chess Championships
Youngest person to win at least two New Jersey State Championships (20 years, 3 months and 14 days)
Youngest person to repeat as New Jersey State Champion
Only person to win New York and New Jersey high school championships in the same year
Only person to win New York and New Jersey high school championships in back-to-back years
National Championships (5; 4 major, 1 blitz):
1993 National Junior High School Co-Champion
1994 National 11th Grade Champion [I dedicated this title to Kevin Satin, and it was here that I played my best game ever to win the tournament]
1995 National 12th Grade Champion (first person ever to win 11th and 12th grade championships)
1995 National K-12th Grade Blitz Champion
1997 United States Junior Open Champion
Also: 1993 National High School Runner-Up
State Championships (12; 7 in NJ, 5 in NY):
1989 New Jersey Junior State Champion
1990 New Jersey Elememtary Champion
1990 New York December Under 13-Open Champion
1993 New York City Junior High School Champion [This was the first championship that I dedicated to Kevin, as it was a great accomplishment for me]
1993 New Jersey High School Champion
1993 New York State High School Quick Chess Champion
1994 New Jersey High School Co-Champion
1994 New York State High School Co-Champion (first person ever to win NY and NJ High school titles in the same year)
1995 New York State High School Co-Champion
1995 New Jersey State High School Champion
1997 New Jersey State Champion (accomplished at the age of 19 years, 3 months and 8 days)
1998 New Jersey State Champion [I dedicated this championship to the memory of Kevin Satin, as the tournament ended on the 10 year anniversary of the day that he died; only fourth person ever to repeat as New Jersey state champion]
National Master - accomplished in 1994 at the age of 15 years, 11 months and 14 days; awarded to less than 1% of all people who play chess
1995 Scholastic Chess All-American (age 16; 1 of 41 selected out of 28,000 eligible)
Life Master - accomplished at age the age of 17 years, 7 months, and 8 days in 1996; awarded to less than half of all chess masters
1996 National Scholar-Chessplayer Award Winner
7th Place, 1998 Tournament of State Chess Champions (Philadelphia, PA)
Invited to the 1998 Interplay United States Junior Invitational Championship (by virtue of my status as the 1997 U.S. Junior Open Champion); finished 7th.
Bu Xiangzhi of China, at that time the youngest grandmaster in chess history, on May 5, 2000.
Historic Achievements (involving race):
Present:First African American to win five national championships
First African-American to win more than one national chess championship
First African-American to win the National Junior High School Championship
Only African-American to win the National-Scholar Chessplayer Award
First African-American to be reigning All-American, National Champion, and National Master simultaneously (December 1994)
First African-American to win a national scholastic blitz chess championship
Past:Most national chess championships won by an African-American (held from April 1993 until July 2013)
Youngest African-American Life Master at 17 years, 7 months and 8 days (held from January 1996 until July 2008)
Most national scholastic blitz championships by an African-American (held from December 1995 until November 2009)
Games (special thanks to Prof. Daaim Shabazz for putting these games in PalView format):
McClelland vs. Ariel, National 11th Grade Championships 1994. Winning this game gave me the 1994 National 11th Grade Championship, making me the first African-American to win multiple national championships.
Stripunsky-McClelland, 1997 New Jersey Open. This win shocked the New Jersey chess world, and catapulted me to the first of my two New Jersey state championships.
Bu-McClelland, 2000 New York Open. This win came against the youngest grandmaster in chess history, considered by many to be a viable future World Champion. This was his first ever tournament game in the United States; below is an annotated version of the game (please click on the pages for larger version):
The Jet article that I was featured in can be found here.
The Ebony magazine article that I was in can be found here.
A chess biography of myself can be found here.
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