"Don't look for a princess in need of saving, search for a queen willing to fight by your side!" Well, that about sums up all the ladies playing at the 2017 Girls State Scholastic Championship held last weekend in Hailey at the Community Campus. In fact fourteen "queens" were fighters for nearly 6 hours as they competed against one another for a chance to represent Idaho at the National Girls Tournament of Champions held in Norfolk, Virginia at the end of July. Also, the top girl is nominated to the Susan Polgar Foundation Girls' Invitational held prior to the NGTOC.
Only one name could be submitted for the national events and Temilowa Aderogba won by 0.5 tiebreakers against Dylan Porth. Both Scored 3.5 points and are Idaho Girls State Scholastic Co-champions. In their game, the two agreed to a draw as Dylan's time fell below a minute though she was a pawn up in a knight-bishop endgame that pitted 4 pawns against 3 on the queen-side.
The youngest player was in 1st grade and the oldest was in 11th grade, with beginners and experienced players, and others in between. Players came from Hailey, Ketchum, Bellevue, Boise, Meridian, and Eagle and the parents spectated and lamented how poor their chess skills are compared to their players. Players were also thankful for the food and munchies that Deb Van Law provided.
Awards were presented to winners which were, in reality, competing for placement. Muffy Davis, Olympic Gold Medalist, visited to provide inspirational words and wisdom to the young players. Muffy was paralyzed in a skiing accident. She encouraged players to make their dreams reality among the other inspirations she passed on. After meeting the players, Muffy helped pass out trophies, autographed photographs and signed chess boards - organizers gave chess boards away as a souvenir.
The entire tournament was pleasant and taught the younger players etiquette, tactics, and strategies that will help them be more successful over the board and in life. Endgame Clothing, Snow Bunny Drive-In, and Powerhouse Pub were sponsors.