WASHINGTON -- A team of Alexandria high school students continue to check the competition on a national stage.

For the second year in a row, Thomas Jefferson High School’s Colonials took first place at the National High School Chess Tournament.

Just like in football and baseball, these chess players have to start pretty early; like at the age of 5.

The child prodigies are now seasoned professionals of the chess board. The Colonials are captained by Camden Wiseman and Praveen Balakrishnan.

The championship run started in 2018 in Columbus, Ohio.

“We ended up tying for first in that one,” Balakrishnan said. “So, we wanted to improve on it.”

In 2019, they did.

In Schaumburg, Illinois the team became the unquestionable 2019 champions of chess.

“It means a lot to me to be surrounded by such amazing chess players and have them put their faith in me as captain,” Wiseman said.

Day after day they practice by playing speed chess and helping each other with new moves. But, the Thomas Jefferson chess team has something else. If you look close you can see the pure joy they have from playing the game of kings together.