On Saturday, Feb. 8, 30 young chess players from Hood River, Wasco and Sherman counties assembled at Hood River Middle School for the annual Chess for Success Regional Tournament.
Chess for Success, an outgrowth of the Portland Chess Project founded in 1992 as an after school chess program, has been sponsoring the annual statewide event since 1994.
Approximately 2,300 young people are expected to participate this year in 25 regional tournaments throughout Oregon, and about 500 will qualify to play in the State Championship, to be held March 14-15 at Portland State University.
The regional tournaments include divisional play with sections incorporating grades K-5, grades 6-8, and high school, with both individuals and teams playing for the opportunity to move on to the State Championship. Homeschooled children participate within their appropriate age group.
Play in every section was competitive and exciting. Each participant in the event received a certificate of accomplishment for qualifying for and playing in this full day event.
Mid Columbia players who qualified to compete at state were: Dry Hollow Elementary School (Team Champion in the K-5 Division) winning on tie break over Dufur, 13-12.
Josh Tuttle of The Dalles represented the 8th graders with a perfect score of 5.0; Simon Blatz of The Dalles representing 7th grade with a score of 4.0, and Josh Wilcox of The Dalles representing the 6th grade with a score of 2.5. Team Champions: The Dalles Middle School.
High School Division Individual Titlists (no high school teams; only individuals): Cody Wise of Mosier, who is homeschooled, with a score of 3.5 out of 4.
Tournament Director Cristy Barsky wanted to express her thanks to School Coaches Benjamin Lin, Paula Brunt, Ernie Blatz and Jim Waggoner; to Dan Hutchison of Mosier for his assistance; and to the many parents and all the students who together made this a memorable event.
If you would like to help grow chess in the Mid Columbia, call Barsky at 490-3124.