A crowning achievement
Story by DWIGHT CASWELL
April 17, 2015 9:45AM
Sage Park played her first chess match at the age of 4, losing to her grandfather. The game fired her imagination, and this weekend, eight years later, Sage will square off against some of the best young chess players in Oregon, at the Oregon Scholastic Chess Federation State Championship, held since 2008 in Seaside, her hometown.
Over 300 K-12 students from all over Oregon will compete for the chance to go on to the National Championship Tournament. Sage will be the second Clatsop County student, and the first female, as well as the first from Seaside to qualify for the state tourney.
A tall 12 year old with blue eyes and a quick smile, Sage does not fit the stereotype of the young chess geek. But when she places her tournament board and pieces on the table, sets the competition clock and looks you in the eye, she is all business. You realize that you are in the presence of someone special.
Eddie Park has continued to provide practice for his granddaughter — and incentive as well. When she was 8, Sage fell in love with a “fairy” chess set. Her grandfather told her he would buy it for her as soon as she could beat him. Two years later she had her chess set. “Now I usually beat my grandfather,” she says.
He smiles. “I haven’t won a game in a long time.”
Full article here.