Barring any unforseen circumstances, South Carolina Chess Association president, David Grimaud will be on hand as the Merriwether Mavericks Scholastic Chess Club hosts, what is believed to be, the first-ever U.S. Chess Federation-rated tournament in Edgefield County on Saturday, May 9th at the Merriwether Middle School. The scholastic (K-12) tournament will feature three sections, elementary, middle and high school. Individual trophies for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place will be awarded in each section, and the first place team in each catagory will also recieve a trophy. This new tournament is the cumulative effort of local educators, parent volunteers, and the leadership of the South Carolina Chess Association.
Registration begins at 8:30AM and the first round will begin at 9:00AM. The five-round swiss tournament is open to all K-12 students who want to participate. “Any team, any school, any individual can play,” says Coach David Whatley. “You don’t have to be a member of any chess club at all. The only requirement is that you be a member of the U.S. Chess Federation. This can be easily accomplished by visiting the website at http://www.uschess.org/ . On the upper right-hand side, is a link to “Join/Renew”. Clicking here will put you on your way to becoming a member. Depending on age, select Youth or Scholastic membership ($16-$27 for a year’s membership). The difference between premium and regular membership is the magazine. Once you’ve entered your personal data and credit card information, you can print the temporary membership card that contains you’re new identification number. This is what you’ll need at the tournament.”
Whatley assumed the responsibility of volunteer coach/coordinator starting with the 2006-2007 school year. He began by changing the name. “I wanted to give the club an identity. Since it was comprised of the elementary’s “Colts” and the middle school’s “Mustangs”, I just stayed with the equine theme and named them the “Mavericks””. During 2007-2008 the club was somewhat of a powerhouse producing several team victories at the elementary and middle school level. Members received numerous individual awards and were recognized by the Edgefield County School Board. “We have a smaller club this year, but we retained a couple of potent players, who will definetly give the competition a good game.” says Whatley. “One team from Beaufort, S.C. has already pre-registered in the elementary section. If you’d like to pre-register, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 803-442-9060.”
The entry fee for the tournament is $15 per player. More tournament information can be found at http://scchess.org/calendar/merriwether.htm.