Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Christmas Blitzkrieg and the Family Tournament

No Snow : (

The holiday season did not provide any significant snow, but did produce some outstanding chess! The Christmas Blitzkrieg is an annual WRHS event and is
held just prior to Blaine County School's Winter Break.  Desmond Porth was named as the WRHS Blitz Chess Champion and he also had a perfect tournament winning all nine games. Dylan Porth won 2nd place and Nathan Stouffer won 3rd place, both from WRMS. They beat down the other high schoolers for placements in the open tournament that usually attracts only a handful of WRHS students. "Blitz" is fast chess that is usually between 2 and 15 minutes.  This tournament was G/5.


70 year age span at our tournament!
During the winter break, the Family Chess Tournament was a huge success - there were over 13 teams participating! Teams consisted of partners from the same family competing against the other teams by combining points in 30-minute games. Teams were mom-child teams, grandpa-grandson teams, cousins and even sibling teams competing. Nobody was turned away, however, and there were some mixed family teams. Chess games are experienced-based, and not age-dependent, especially at this tournament.

The grand-kids cheer grandpa on!

Teams would combine their scores to obtain their overall score.  All teams chose interesting or competitive names: 
  • Albino Monkeys (Riley and Dylan)
  • Powerhouse (Otto and Billy)
  • Powerful Peppers (Quentin and Shah)
  • Leaping Lizards (Collin and Melissa)
  • Black Mambas (Kalen and Jennifer)
  • Dotta Farrow (Lynnet and Darwin)
  • The Destroyers (Reilly and Spencer)
  • Cool Turtles (Leam and Deb)
  • Golden Dragons (Harrison and Desmond)
  • The Stowns (Garrett and Ike)
  • The Bears (Doug and Owen)
  • The Gophers (Nathan and Blake)
Winners:  The Destroyers!

Riley Neel and his brother Spencer, the "Destroyers"
 win the Family Chess Tournament

Collin Young, age 7, quipped to his opponent, "Dude, that's checkmate!" So, a seven year-old beating an adult can be common, to some of the participants surprise! Despite the age span of over 70 years, all the participants thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon. Riley and Spencer Neel ("The Destroyers") won with a combined score of 7 points. Only a half a point behind were "The Stowns", Garrett Stouffer and Ike Brown for a second place finish. Third place was won by a house player, Desmond Porth and Harrison. 
Our youngest player - Four Years Old - playing Kalen.

"Dude, that's checkmate!"
Father gets to play son
Quentin and his big sister, Shah - The Powerful Peppers
I like running chess tournaments over holiday weekends because it is at these times that older brothers and sisters return from college.  It is also a time when relatives and family members get together. 

I didn't know our math teachers played chess . . .

Look at the clocks . . .these were G/15 games, but Otto likes lightning fast chess!

Darwin contemplates his next move

 Powerhouse Team

Billy, Powerhouse team member and owner of the Powerhouse Pub in Hailey was so happy to play chess, he organized with me a community chess opportunity.  We are now playing on Monday nights after 8 pm at the Powerhouse Pub, located at 411 N. Main.  Relax with a beer and a game of chess with some enthusiastic and interesting people!

Quentin watches his mom's game

I am thrilled that Lynnet, the chess supporting spouse of yours truly, played in her first tournament.  Lynnet has encouraged and supported our whole family in chess endeavors and finally gets to experience it first hand.  She was surprised at how competitive she felt herself get and I am excited for the day that our family of five all plays in a tournament together - if we can afford the entry fees! 

This looks like a very contemplative game
Melissa plays Harrison
Harrison from Los Angeles (played with Desmond - our house player)
This is the first Family Tournament that our club has sponsored and it was certainly a hit.  I think it surprised many of the parents when they started to feel the adrenaline of the games start to flow and everyone wants to play in another family oriented tournament.  Melissa Young, the Leaping Lizards was happy to play with her child as a team and said, "I didn't know I was competitive."
Advice to keep chess fun and wild - lot's of candy canes and hot cocoa.

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