Chess tournaments are filled with a focused, silent intensity. It doesn’t matter how many people are in the room, or what stage of the game they’re in — opening, middle or endgame. Player’s minds are abuzz, constantly drawing and re-drawing strategies, laying out tactical maps or puzzles with as many alternate endings as their experience has allowed them to have. And not only do players analyze the game and their opponents, but they also keep an eye on other players in preparation for their next game.
This is precisely what Staff Sgt. Ruben Cedeno does in the second round of the base double-elimination chess tournament.
He studies Petty Officer 3rd Class Alvaro Avanzado closely. He’s seen him before. “You can tell by looking at them who’s good,” he says, watching Avanzado’s game with Cpl. Nicholas Wolff. “I’m not a speed player, and this is speed chess, so he might give me a challenge.”
The tournament took place aboard Camp Lejeune Saturday, and although chess might not be a huge focus for the Marine community, the select few players can pinpoint each other easily. “It’s a small chess community on base. But we know who the top chess players are around here,” says Cedona with a smile.
Cedona is definitely one of them. For five years he was a member of the All-Marine Chess Team, which is formed annually by six Marines who have established a strong United States Chess Federation rating by competing in USCF-sanctioned tournaments. In 2005, Cedeno proved to be the top-scoring Marine at the Inter-Service championship, which includes top players from all branches of service, and earned a spot on the NATO Chess team, representing the United States in the competition in Poland.
Here is the full article.
Special thanks to Sara (PrincessChess) for the link!