SJIC is sending a contingent of 27 chess students to the National K-12 Grade Championships being held just outside Washington DC from Dec. 9-11, 2022 (you can read more about the Nationals here: https://incntr.com/chess/sjic-is-going-to-the-nationals/ ). This is the first of a series of profiles highlighting four SJIC participants.

  • Player: Ben Lauer
  • Age: 16
  • USCF Rating: 2095
  • School: Lenape High School, Mount Laurel, NJ
  • Grade: 11
  • First Rating: 565 (age 7)
  • Playing style: “Very sharp, tactical, and confrontational player who likes gambits”
  • Favorite openings: Kieseritzky and Smith-Morra Gambits as White; Sicilian Dragon as Black
  • Best past results: 6/9 at the Washington International Tournament (Aug. 2022), where he reached Expert rating. Represented New Jersey in the Barber Tournament of State Champions in 2018. 4.5/5 and second place at the Eastern Chess Congress U-1500 Section (Oct. 2017)
  • Goals for this year’s Nationals: Ben hopes to finish in the top 10 and beat his past years’ best score of 5/7
  • Planned college major: Engineering
  • Random facts: Ben enjoys fencing (epee) and playing video games. He has three cats