Excitement buzzed in the air as hundreds of students and families flooded to downtown Seattle for the 2014 Washington State Elementary Championships. The tournament was held on the Seattle waterfront in Smith Cove Cruise Terminal, a two story building with 145,000 square feet of space. In addition to players and their families, numerous chess related organizations arrived up and gave support for the event including Pico Dragons, Chessplayer.com, ChessSport.com, and Chess4Life.
Over 200 Chess4Life students participated, many of them placing in their grade sections against peers from all across the state. A few students placed particularly well, including Aaron Barnhart (Kindergarten, 5th place), Kimberly Ong (Kindergarten, 8th place), Winson Wan (Kindergarten, 9th place), Rushaan Mahajan (First Grade 4thplace), Miles Kuipers (First Grade, 3rd place), Tarik Kameric (Second Grade, 1st place), Ethan Pogrebinsky (Second Grade, 3rd place) Brandon Peng (Second Grade, 6thplace), Idan Uritzky (second grade, 9th place), Alec Beck (Third Grade, 1st place) Tendo Lumala (Third Grade, 7th place), Isaac Zhang (Third Grade, 10th place), Neil Chowdhury (Fourth Grade, 1st place), Everett Wang (Fourth Grade, 2nd place), Richard Yang (Fifth Grade, 2nd place), Anata Ranganathan (Fifth Grade, 5th place) Freya Gulamali (Fifth Grade, 8th place), Patrick Peng (Fifth Grade 10th place), and Lorenzo Patton Jr. (Sixth Grade, 7th place), and many more!
While many students came to compete, some were happy just to participate and learn. “I’m proud of my son for being here,” said one Chess4Life father, waiting on the upper floor for his son to finish a game below. “It takes guts to participate in something this big, with such great young chess players!” The mood on the playing floor reflected the old adage ‘win, draw, learn,’ as every child came off the floor with smiles on their faces, regardless of game results. Many students came to the Chess4Life booth for in depth game analysis with a coach.
“My first game went really well,” said Bellevue student Eashver Elango with a huge grin, “even though I lost my second game.”
Other students also expressed enthusiasm with their results. “I’ve won both of my games so far!” said Kevin Yang, “and I plan to keep on winning!”
In addition to sponsoring the event, Chess4Life provided assistance on the event floor, and featured two booths by the doors to help welcome visitors on the way in. In addition, the company provided a shuttling service for students and parents, sparing them the walk from the distant parking lot to the event center.
With the rousing success Chess4Life students were met with this year, it’s exciting to see how well our Nationals team in May will do in in Dallas, Texas!
Norman Rockwell: Building a Chess Legacy
Rockwell, an ever growing chess club, is located in the Lake Washington School District. With ninety plus students, the continued growth of the program is credited to the direct involvement of parents and constant promotion by the PTA. Rockwell has set the bar high by encouraging parents to take part in chess club by assisting in check-in/check-out and actively listening to the lessons provided by Chess4Life Coaches. Students often talk about getting to practice the topics and lessons covered in class at home. With this level of parent involvement, it’s no wonder the club is filled week after week with students excited and ready to learn more about chess.
The coaches at Rockwell set an atmosphere catering to both the advanced player and all the way down to a brand new chess player. They focus on finding goals for the club based what the students need, determined by their groups’ playing ability and interest in chess. These goals are what helps advanced players feel challenged week after week, and keeps the beginners come back ready to learn new and exciting chess topics. The coaches at Rockwell are Coach Dale (on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday), Coach Patrick (Monday), Coach Hristo (Friday), and Coach Rob (Friday). Each coach brings a unique chess background to the table and gives a great personal touch to the Chess4Life program.
Few schools embody what it takes to build a lasting chess legacy, but Norman Rockwell is among those few. With a love of chess from students, parents ready and willing to step in and take part of the club, and a strong support from the PTA, Rockwell has set the foundation for a great chess program for years to come. It is a pleasure and privilege for Chess4Life to be a part of this program and we look forward to being part of this legacy for years to come.
Chess Puzzle: Unconventional Checkmate in One
((Answer: Advance your pawn at E7 and promote it to a knight))
Final Chance to Join the Nationals Team Bound for Dallas, Texas!
If you would like your child to learn great teamwork, sportsmanship, perseverance, while having an incredible experience of personal mentorship and encouragement, this can be a life-changing event for your child of ANY skill level, whether in the championship section vying for the national title or competing in one of the rating restricted or even unrated/first-time player sections!
With a coaching team headed up by Chess4Life Founder and National Master Elliott Neff, you are invited to join the long-standing tradition of excellence and learning life through the National Championships Event.
Who is eligible: Any student Grades Pre-K through 6th grade, all skill levels welcome!
Dates: May 9-11 Location: Dallas, TX
Spaces are extremely limited, so sign up today before it’s too late!