We were only expecting a handful, but then they just kept coming! In one's, two's, then 5's! I became overwhelmed as numerous kids began to register for the 2017 Wood River Elementary Chess Championship. Thanks to Kristy Turco's beating drum (and heart for chess!), 14 kids came from Hailey Elementary to play while Deb Van Law's encouraging aura brought 19 from Alturas! In all, 40 kids participated in the annual event that began as Nick Bruck's Senior Project. Last year only 5 players competed!
Many parents were also present to witness the fine etiquette, manners, and sportsmanship of their children and were shocked at their intense focus. "I was surprised to find out that my kid wanted to play in a chess tournament tonight," beamed one dad. The 2017 WRECC took place on Wednesday April 26 after a full day of school and lasted an additional 5 hours!
Hailey Elementary overwhelmingly won with 14.5 points and Alturas won 2nd place with 9.0 points. Hemingway posted 7.0 points and Bellevue posted 6.5 points. None of the private schools were represented.
1st - 3rd place trophies were provided the grade level winners. Conrad Foster Garin Beste, and Carson Bauer won top three overall and won a free drink from the Internet Cafe.
The night progressed smoothly with tears only appearing during Round 4 (and also when some kids had to go to a Spring Concert during Round 3). This was the first time many players had played in a tournament and so checkmate, draws, how to use the clocks, and other tournament nuances were learned at this event. The BCSD Chess Clubbers were also on hand to help: Otto Olson, River Shepard, Darwin Porth, Quentin Van Law, Sera Begay, and Dylan Porth all helped kids with their games, openings, tactics, and other stuff. River and Otto played a Blitz exhibition for parents and a scavenger hunt for those done playing was also available.
TD Tip: always grab a parent to count moves when the players don't quite know how to checkmate so that the 50 move rule is counted quickly. This happened in several games with Chess Clubbers helping to show how a queen and king, a rook and king, etc. can finish the game.
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