Chess guru wins four matches at nationals

BY LEAH BOYD • February 17, 2009
Livingston Daily – Livingston, MI, USA

Andrew O’Doherty of Howell, the 10-year-old chess player featured in the Press & Argus Feb. 12, is now ranked 28th in the country for his age group (in this tournament) after winning four of seven games last weekend at the national Susan Polgar Open Challenge for Boys in Glendale, Ariz.

The previous weekend, Andrew, a fifth grader at Charyl Stockwell Academy in Hartland Township, won a gold medal after winning all five of his matches atthe Michigan Scholastic Chess Tournament in East Lansing.

“He is very excited he’s coming home with a medal,” said Laura O’Doherty, Andrew’s mother. “He played really well. He knew the difference between when he made a mistake or when he just got out-played.”

Prior to the national tournament, Andrew had been considered an underdog, having an 813-point rating according to the U.S. Chess Federation. The top player in Andrew’s third- through fifth-grade category, Tom Polgar, has a 1,800-point ranking. Tom is the son of Susan Polgar, who is considered one of the best players in the world.

“When I first saw something about the tournament, I didn’t even think I’d be going,” Andrew said before his trip.

However, Andrew made his mark on the national stage. Ratings by the U.S. Chess Federation are updated after tournament play. Before the tournament, Andrew said he had a goal of increasing his rating to 1200 points. Now, he said he is excited to see if he has reached that goal.

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