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  • Adam Porth

2017 South Central Regional Scholastic Tournament

Richard Black, Math Teacher, from Jerome High School contacted the Idaho Chess Association and conveyed his administration’s and school district’s enthusiasm to support chess in Idaho by offering a location for tournaments. Last year we were able to run a Scholastic Team Championship at Jerome High School and this year they also hosted an ICA regional tournament which allows players and students qualify for the state championships.

The Idaho Chess Association requires scholastic players to qualify for the state championships so that Idaho’s representative to the K-8th grade Barber Tournament of Champions and 9-12th grade Denker Tournament of Champions can be selected from a competitive field of players that have tournament experience. In order to qualify, players must score 3.0 points or higher, or win 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place in the regional chess tournaments. Players are able to compete in any region which allows for more mixing of chess players than a strictly regional tournament. It is at these tournaments where players are taught how to use a clock and what the tournament rules are. For the highly experienced scholastic players, these kind of tournaments can be grooling so we also offer exemptions to those that play in the ICA open chess tournaments that are held throughout the year.

The East Regional Scholastic Tournament had low attendance, probably due to Harvest and Halloween festivities taking place in many communities, however, 20 kids showed up to play, many were first time tournament players. Jay Simonson, Tournament Director, did a great job of teaching families and players how to play properly, how to castle, and other etiquette. Hence, learning the basics of how to play tournament chess takes place outside of our state competition!

The importance of the state competitions is also conveyed by the nervousness and excitement of players and families as they strategize how to get into the tournament. Players that do not qualify are encouraged to attend other chess events and regional competitions to improve their play. As of now, 75 players are qualified with the largest regional tournament yet to be played on February 10.

Of the 47 players in Jerome at the regional tournament, some secured their berth to the state competition. The big news at the tournament, however, was the excitement that the final game generated between Dylan Flukinger, Twin Falls, and River Shepard, Hailey. Time controls were G/60; d0 and their game was surrounded by all the players in the room, most with hands covering their mouths as they watched the game move into the endgame of pawns, rooks, knights, and kings. Knights exchanged off, then numerous pawns and finally the rooks - draw! Each player ended with 4.5/5 points.

Everyone ended the day a bit wiser and pleased with their performance as sections were combined as K-6th grade and 7th-12th grade. Players were from Meridian, Boise, Eagle, Twin Falls, Hailey, Jerome, Hailey, and Bellevue. “It was nice to see the kids hanging out together and sharing information,” quipped one parent, players will recognize one another at State.”

7-12th grade xtable

7-12th grade prize list

K-6th gtrade xtable

K-6th grade prize list

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