Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Successful State Tournament

The ICA Scholastic Championship attracted 270 kids (mostly from the Boise area) was another wonderful experience for the kids from Wood River.  Games were tough as expected, but our goals were to be the top team and to take home some individual trophies.  We accomplished this and more!  Wood River High School is the number one team in the state of Idaho.  Until the kids actually begin studying and getting a bit more serious, the individual championship will be beyond our grasp.  Katie Abderhalden (8th grade)  of Boise was the tournament champion for the second year in a row with perfect 5.0.  There were only two other perfect tournament scores that occurred in the 3rd grade.  It seems that the players at this tournament are getting better and there are more kids of the same level.
Play online chess

Miles Hendrix gets some skittles games in with Erica Barkell, last year's co-champion
There were three teams competing in the championship section, Borah HS, Rigby HS, and Wood River HS.  Our team started out very slow with no Round 1 wins!  According to Garrett, Curly Ellis (2 pts.) should have had a win and Miles Hendrix (2 pts.) should have drawn, but inexperience in game endings affected the outcomes.  One has to be careful not to push the wrong pawn!  In Round 2, Taylor Walton (2 pts.) and Andrew Uriarte (3 pts.) earned our first victories against the two other teams.  Nick Bruck (2 1/2 pts.) earned a draw and Miles had to play one of our own and earned a win.  Round 3 produced naught as all Wood River competitors were paired against one another!  This was too bad to travel all this way and have a round of intramurals.  As expected, we were only 1 point ahead of the other teams entering round 4.  Curly  opened with the Scotch Gambit, but didn't get to see it through because he capitalized on an en prise blunder by his Rigby opponent.  In round 5, Nick and Tyler Jaramillo (2 pts.) each took another win from the other two teams and created a 2 point lead for our team and Wood River ended with the first place team trophy.  Great Job guys!  As it stands, we only lost 2 1/2 points to the other teams and we won the games we needed to win.
Nick battle Gregory Fong Non from Rigby
My team is irreverent sometimes!  Makes it all fun.

Curly works his magic in a lost game.
Individual results were difficult with the Abernathy's, Patterson's, Min's, and Jiang's prior tournament and year's of experience.  Remember, most of my high school players began playing chess in 9th or 10th grade.  My team still felt like they provided some good competition for those top competitors.  Andrew won 2nd place in 11th grade, and Juve Ruiz (2 pts.) was able to scoop 2nd place in 12th grade from Tyler due to head-to-head tiebreakers.
             Riley Neel thinks of a new opening           Lookout for h7 Jake!  Move Ng6 or Qh6

Riley's pawn structure gets a bit Katy-whompus

In the 7th - 9th grade section, Desmond Porth (2 pts.) and Riley Neel (2 pts.), both in 7th grade,  had a daunting task of playing more experienced players and struggled throughout the tournament.  Desmond got sick the day before the tournament, as did Dylan, Darwin, and Mrs. Porth (probably from our trip to Miracle Hot Springs earlier in the week!).  Playing with an ear ache is no fun.  However, in the 7th grade, all of the other teams were also only two-person teams and this catapulted Wood River Middle School into 2nd place.  That's pretty doggone good result for a 4 point total!
                                 Dylan wins 6th place                Jake comes close to a prize in round 5
Des plays as best he can while being sick.
The only elementary entrants included Darwin Porth (2 pts.) and Dylan Porth (4 pts.) from Bellevue Elementary.  Darwin is a pre-schooler that played in the Kindergarten section.  In round 1, Darwin was getting his tournament legs under him.  He spent more time looking around at the hundreds of chess-playing kids around him and did not concentrate on his game.  After losing to a boy that kept pawing his pieces, he became determined not to lose again and tried harder in the next rounds and earned a win and 2 draws.  In the end, he lost to tie-breakers and received 6th place.  Dylan began the tournament with a "winning" spirit and kept it up through the tournament.  She won all but one game and exuded pride in this accomplishment.  This great result also occurred with 7 other kids and Dylan ended with a trophy and 6th place.  This is her best result at the state competition and Darwin's debut.  The future holds great things for these kids.
Darwin plays in his first tournament at age 5

The cutest games in the tournaments - The Kindergarten section

In all, 5 trophies - 1st, three 2nds, and a 6th place for our eleven kids.

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