CMSD's Joseph Gallagher Middle-School Chess Team Still Making History


Coach Amit Ghose and the Joseph M. Gallagher chess team are once again making history. Last week, the CMSD K-8 school in Detroit-Shoreway announced on its Facebook page that the chess team became the first middle-school team ever to defeat all the high school teams at the local "Legends Tournament" held at Brush High School.

The feat is only the latest for a chess program that, last year, made waves regionally and nationally with its unprecedented success. (Scene spent time with the Gallagher chess team to document their season of triumphs.)

Last year's team was led by mostly 8th-graders, who are now Freshmen in high school across the district. And though Coach Ghose said last year's achievements may never again be replicated, current 8th graders Sunita Magar and Reyosh Biswakarma are anchoring the squad as they conquer new challenges and set new benchmarks.

Gallagher has the highest percentage of Asian students among CMSD schools, and the chess team has been composed chiefly of recent immigrants from India and Nepal. Coach Ghose, himself an immigrant from India, recruited the students in large part to give them a social outlet because they were struggling to make friends. Their success in tournament play was a bi-product of their close friendships. 

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