Tuesday, March 22, 2011

2011 State Scholastics Results

The Weekly Sun:  

Three Wood River Valley teams competed in the 32nd ICA Scholastic Championship and brought home several titles and this was the first time that the WRHS Chess Club has had elementary, middle school, and high school teams competing.  The competition took place at Riverglen Junior High School in Boise last Saturday and included nearly 300 other children from around the state.  There were 5 hour-long games in the K-8 sections and 5 two hour-long games in the championship section.

In the elementary sections, Darwin Porth, of Bellevue Elementary, scored 2.5 points in the kindergarten group, in a field with ten others to earn 4th place and a trophy.  In an odd result, six children scored 2.5 pts. and forced organizers to use tie-breakers to determine the champion.  Tie-breakers utilize mathematical algorithms that weight opponent's score to determine the difficulty of the games individuals win and then the placements are determined.  The Bellevue Bears also had a fifth grade team, consisting of 4 players.  Fifth grade had the largest number of players and it was tough to move up the ranks.   The scores were as follows:  Dylan Porth, 2.5 pts., Colten Weatherly, 2.0 pts., Victor Saldivia, 2.0 pts., and Spencer Neel.  Overall, their team earned 5th place.

In the middle school section, Desmond Porth , WRMS, lead his team to certain victory and 1st place team champions.  He also won third place 8th grade.  Jake Whitlock won 4th place 8th grade and a trophy, as well.  This is the first time that WRMS fielded a full team, with seven individuals competing.

The high schoolers produced some nail-biting moments with two players, Nick Bruck, 4.0 pts., and Andrew Uriarte,  4.0 pts., in strong contention for the championship. title  They played on the second and third boards in round five and needed two wins to win the state titles for themselves and for the team. As the games progressed into the 1 1/2 hour mark, Andrew finished before Nick with a decisive win.  Fifteen minutes or so later, Nick emerged without the final win and the WRHS three-time championship team earned 2nd place, with Boise High School earning 1st place.  Wood River High School ended the day with Nick Bruck obtaining the 12th grade title and Andrew Uriarte winning 2nd place.  There were no Wood River 10th or 11th graders competing.  In 9th grade, Chase Hutchinson won the 2nd place 9th grade title. "The overall placements do not show how close the final round was," says Coach Adam Porth, "essentially five players scored 4 points and tied for 2nd place overall, but tie-breakers are tear-jerkers and that drops players to lower placements."   

The Wood River High School Chess team is very happy with the results and will compete this weekend in the Magic Valley Chess Championships held in Twin Falls.  Their hope is to prepare for the National High School Championship held in Nashville, Tennessee at the end of April while simultaneously fund-raising for the prestigious event.  This will be the first time Idaho will have a full team represented and donations to achieve this are being solicited.  Please contact Adam Porth, 450-9048 to help out or find out about local chess-playing opportunities.  

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