SPARTA-The Sparta Chess Club won both first- and second-place in the Sussex County Chess Championship recently, defeating 15 school teams. The Sparta Middle School Team won the event, led by Steven Matchett's undefeated effort. Michael Sobin, Ryan Caruso, Kyle Ross and Reeshav Bhattacharyya also helped the team win 16 of 20 games. The biggest surprise was the Mohawk Avenue School team. The team of fifth-graders placed second, even though the event was open to middle school teams. Scott VanderVeen had the best result, going undefeated and was given an award for outstanding play. Colby Isenberg, John Irwin, Owen Whitley, and Alec Ragnetti completed the team, which won 15 of 20 games, and only lost to the Sparta Middle School team. This culminates a fantastic year for the Sparta Chess Club. Besides the Sussex County Championship, the club also won the Warren County Consortium Tournament and the New Jersey Public School K-9 State Championship. The club played more than 300 games at the state, county and national levels. The team is sponsored by Thomas P. Murray, a financial advisor with American Express Financial Advisers in Sparta.