Young Champions

Sun staff writer

The chess national champion trophy at Oak Hall is taller than every member of the victorious team.

Of course, it was the kindergartners who won the contest at the U.S. Chess Federation National K-12/Collegiate competition in Houston on Dec. 7-9.

The chess team members, between the ages of 5 and 12, wear matching maroon polo shirts as they contemplate how to capture a queen, entrap a king or sacrifice a pawn.

“I get to take her queen every time,” Spencer Krebs, 6, said about playing chess against his mother.

That’s a true statement, Jean Krebs said, admitting frequent defeats at the hands of the kindergartner.

Krebs was one of 21 Oak Hall students to compete in the tournament.

For the second year in a row, the kindergarten class took first in the nation out of eight competing teams. The first-graders, who won last year’s kindergarten competition, took third place out of 11 teams, and the fifth-graders placed sixth out of 30 teams.

Oak Hall, a private school in Gainesville, held an awards ceremony Monday for the champions.

Tim Tusing began coaching the chess team almost 11 years ago when his child was a student at Oak Hall.

Here is the full story.

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