St. John Vianney Chess

 2013 Super Nationals champion team

The two-time national champion (2011 and 2013) chess club at St. John Vianney High School is available to all students who wish to join. Through practices, students will learn how to move the pieces, how to write and read notation, and deeper strategy.  Students will gain experience by playing one another informally during practices as well as during intramurals, by playing other students from area schools on weekend tournaments and in local league play, and by playing in a national tournament in the spring.

Chess club members are guided through weekly lessons including opening tactics, middle game strategies, and endgame methodology.  The combination of lessons and tournament experience have helped our chess club be one of my most successful in the nation.

Nathan Mittenzwey concentrates before a match


Each student is expected to attend practices as often as possible and alert one of the coaches when he cannot attend.  A respect for teammates and should always be maintained and an attitude and bearing consistent of Vianney ambassadors is expected from each student, especially when representing the school outside of the building.


Coach Ed Baur brings his many years of experience as an accomplished chess player, chess tournament administrator, and St. John Vianney teacher to help students bring their game to new levels.

Assistant Coach Dennis Matreci aids the team during practices and tournaments to provide the team with opportunities to improve their experience and proficiency at the game.  Chess mats are available in his room (500) for students to use during Encore each day.

Alex Moellering, Coach Baur, and Tim Ellebracht with their individual trophies at Super Nationals 2013

Chess Club Calendar (updated each season)

The chess club calendar is broken into three seasons.  The calendar below shows important dates including practices and tournaments.  It will be updated as more information becomes available.

  • The first season consists of practice and intramural games in which students play against one another to crown a champion from each class.  
  • In November, the second season begins in which we practice and play against other area schools at weekend tournaments and league play.  The season concludes with a state tournament.
  • In the spring, the final season of the year begins in which we practice and train for the national tournament.

Follow us on Twitter at @GriffinChess