Posted: Friday, May 4, 2012 1:00 am | Updated: 10:52 am, Thu May 3, 2012.
By Jeremy C. Ruark
SEASIDE – It’s not everyday that 275 kindergarten through high school aged kids gather in one spot and, for the most part, keep quite, but that was what was happening at the seventh annual Oregon Scholastic Chess Federation State Chess Championships held at the Seaside Civic and Convention Center April 25 – 26.
“The kids need a lot of focus to be able to perform well at this event,” said Dan Dalthrop, OSCF president. “One thing that we really emphasize is sportsmanship. So they learn how to win and learn how to lose and do it gracefully and with dignity.”
Dalthrop said the student chess players come from all over the state after winning their local competitions.
“A lot of the skills they learn include pattern recognition, analysis and calculation,” he said. “You try to anticipate what your opponent is going to do next, so before you make a move you have to carefully consider what the consequences of that move will be.”
Dalthrop said chess is a game that anyone can play and have fun, but the kids that make it to the state championships have put in a lot of effort and time and developed complicated skills.
“For me, it’s the patterns that are intriguing,” Dalthrop said. “The patterns on the board, in a sense, create a tapestry and a story. There is a lot of ebb and flow to the game that makes it really interesting.”
Scott Svetao, of Eugene’s Willamette High School, has only been playing competitive chess for three months.
“I like that chess is a big puzzle that you have to solve,” he said. “Chess takes a lot of concentration.”
Takuma Sato-Ducan attends Grant High School in Portland and said the state matches were hard competition.
“To prepare for this, I drink lots of water,” he said.
For results of the championships, visit oscf.org.