Chess Team From Elbridge Gale Shines

The 2014 Florida State Scholastic Chess Championships were held in Orlando from March 14 through March 16, and the Elbridge Gale Elementary School Chess Team once again proved itself to be quite a force, placing in the top 5 teams in all divisions entered (K-1, K-3 and K-5), and cementing its position as one of the top teams in Florida.

In addition, Antonio Selva placed No. 5 and Raghav Venkat placed No. 7 in the state competition, making them two of the top ten chess players in their division in Florida.

This is the third consecutive year that Elbridge Gale has won awards in all divisions entered at the Scholastic Chess State Championship. It is the only school, public or private, to compete and earn awards in all elementary divisions. In addition, the school also had the largest team in Florida participating this year.

Elbridge Gale has been the district and regional champions for the past three years, and is sending its award-winning K-3 team to Dallas from May 9 through May 11 for the National Elementary Chess Championship. The K-3 team came in sixth place in the nation last December in Orlando.

Currently, Elbridge Gale has more than 100 students who play chess and 60 students who have a United States Chess Federation number. Coach Antonis Loudaros, who founded the scholastic chess program in Palm Beach County during the 1987-88 school year, was chosen as 2013-14 Florida Chess Coach of the Year at the state championships. Loudaros has also founded the award-winning “Melina’s Chess Queens” program, which promotes chess to girls.

Currently, the Elbridge Gale Chess Team is made up of approximately 25 percent females, as compared with eight to 10 percent of females from other scholastic chess teams. Parent volunteers are the backbone to the success of the team.

For more information, contact Michelle Nelson at

ABOVE: Coach Antonis Loudaros is honored for his work.