Published: Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Adults, kids battle wits at chess tournament in Nashua
Staff Writer

Adults and higher-level players competed for an impressive trophy with a lineage going back decades. Young players were themselves impressive as they vied for medals at the New England Open chess tournament held over the holiday weekend.

On Monday morning, while the advanced players battled in the Nashua Holiday Inn ballroom, 26 of the youngest players paired up in a conference room at the inn.

They were among 120 children in the scholastic division who joined 104 adults in the three-day tournament. At stake for the adults was $2,500 in prizes and international rankings. Competitors represented all six New England states, save Rhode Island in the scholastic division.

The youngest of the young were kindergarten age. Rarely has a group of children so young appeared so focused and quiet.

Two adult monitors watched over the players. No parents were allowed inside the room; in chess, unlike Little League baseball and other youth sports, children aren’t made pawns of grownups trying to live vicariously through them.

“Parents sometimes get overzealous and help their kids out,” explained Nita Patel, of Bedford, scholastics coordinator for Relyea Chess, which is sponsoring the event. She and her husband, Alex Relyea, are overseeing the New England Open.

The tournament marked a return to chess for Ankita Devasia, 8, of Nashua.

“I started when I was 5, but then I didn’t play for three years and this summer I started again,” she said.

Here is the full article.

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