Blackanthem Military News
INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana – In the U.S. Army, infantry is known as the “Queen of Battle,” and artillery is known as the “King of Battle.” Recently, one Soldier he was able to command all the pieces and was not just a pawn in the game.
An Indiana National Guard Soldier did just that with the game of chess and he earned a unique opportunity to test his playing skills against military members from 14 other countries during the 21st NATO Chess Championship in Koege, Denmark in October.
An estimated 84 chess players competed in the event and Spc. Nathaniel Rockhill, 38th Infantry Division, hailing from Hope, Ind., was among them.
Rockhill an instrumentalist for the 38th Division Band, said he earned his seat after he competed at the 2010 All-Army Chess Championship in May. He was one of six top Army players to advance to the NATO tournament.
“I had never competed at an international level, so I wasn’t sure how I would do,” said Rockhill, who placed 51st overall in the NATO event. Rockhill said he was slightly disappointed at his performance but said he did place higher than the tournament rated him to place.
“It was a great honor to represent the United States and the Army at such an event. Very few people get that chance, and I’m proud to have had this opportunity.”
Rockhill spoke about his enthusiasm for chess and said he spends a lot of time bettering his skills.
“I’d say I have a passion for chess. It’s something I love to do and devote much of my time to.”
Rockhill went on to speak about the endurance of the sport and how it relates to his service as a military member.
“It requires extreme patience to succeed in chess,” said Rockhill, while noting that it is not uncommon to see a single chess game last five to six hours. “It also requires a fighting spirit, and dedication. These attributes directly relate to my experience with the military. You don’t get far in the Army if you’re impatient and don’t have dedication to what you do.”