Checkmates: Students play in chess tournament
Sunday, December 10, 2006

Austin West was in search of some new competition.

“I’ve played with my dad a lot, so I wanted to join the Weber chess club,” said Austin, 6, a Weber Elementary first-grader.

Looking for new people to play the game of the grandmasters was a common reason for the nearly 80 elementary school students who competed Saturday in the Elementary School Tournament at Weber Elementary. The free tournament, open to students in kindergarten through sixth grade, was a nonelimination affair where students played at least four rounds.

Trophies were awarded for the top three overall players as well as the top scorers in each grade.
For organizers Travis Kraus and Karen Wolin — parents of Weber Elementary students and advisers for the Weber chess club — it was a chance to spread word about the game and test their skills against other students.

“I’m very thrilled so many students showed up and we had so many teams,” Kraus said.

Weber Elementary — which was state elementary chess champion last year — finished in first place as the top scoring school, followed by Wickham and Mann elementaries, Kraus said. Weber Elementary sixth-grader Jaye Jackson finished as the top overall player, followed by Weber fifth-grader Lukas Schmidt in second place and Lincoln Elementary fourth-grader Akash Borde in third place.

However, students who played in the tournament said they played for the love of the game.

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Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar