Sunday, March 18, 2012

Two tournaments this week!

Third place in State Scholastics this year!
This past week featured two outstanding chess events: the Spring Warm-up and the State Scholastic Championship. The Warm-up is intended to provide practice for students planning to attend the annual Idaho Chess Association's State Scholastic Championship. Interestingly, only elementary and middle school children were able to attend the Spring Warm-up and the games were more fun than competitive. Despite the comradery of the 16 players, competitive trophies were awarded in K-1st grade, 2-3rd grade, and 4-6th grade sections. Winners included, respectively: K-1st - Darwin Porth, Owen Stouffer, and Emmett Stouffer, 2-3rd - Quentin Van Law, Collin Young, Otto Olson, and 4-6th - Garrett Stouffer, Dylan Porth, and Victor Saldiva. Quentin Van Law scored very well with 5.0 points for a perfect tournament record.
A pit stop outside of Mountain Home
Quentin brings home 5 pts.
Students the WRHS Chess Club also traveled to Boise for the ICA's State Scholastic Chess Tournament where the State Chess Champions are crowned for each grade level. Thirteen Wood River students competed against 300 other Idaho students in their respective grades for grade level prizes. Additionally, WRHS and WRMS players were competing for team prizes. Coach Adam Porth indicated, "I am very proud of our players, our teams and their performances." He continued, "We are a young team this year with very little experience and are near to having several students becoming state chess champions." The WRHS Chess Club are three time State Champions, however, they again took home a third place at this year's tournament, narrowly losing second place by 0.5 points. Boise High School won 1st place (see last year's results).
The Old Jackson School 
The WRHS Chess Club did win one state title in the 10th grade category. Chase Hutchinson (3.0 pts.) is the 10th grade State Chess Champion and beat out Matt Reidy in round 5 to earn the award. Last year, Chase won second place.  Matt Reidy ended and Kalen Moffett (both from WRHS) tied for 2nd place, but tie-breaker points placed Kalen in 3rd place. Max Mihalic also scored 2.0 points. In the 9th grade, Desmond Porth (2.5 pts.) earned 3rd place. Jake Whitlock earned 2.5 points and Quin Gilman earned 1.5 points. Half points are earned from "draws" and there are a total of 5.0 points possible. There were no juniors of seniors from WRHS competing.
Skittles while waiting for the tournament to begin
In the middle school section, WRMS had a young team, as well. Sixth graders, Dylan Porth, Colten Weatherly, and Victor Saldiva earned 6th place as a team out of 10 other schools. Wood River was unable to produce an elementary team, however, three elementary students competed in 1st and 2nd grades. Darwin Porth tied for third place with 3.5 pts. but placed 6th due to tie-breaking points. Tie-breaking points are calculated in a variety of ways and consider the results of the players you were paired with. For example, two players with the same number wins will have different tie-breaking points when one persons opponent's were harder. Quentin Van Law earned 3.0 points and Otto Olsen earned 2.0 points.
Waiting for the Games to begin

Game details this whole week.

Tournament Calendar Updated thru 2013

Please see the Tournament Calendar.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Upcoming Tournaments

This Saturday, March 10 beginning at 9 a.m., will feature a Spring Warmup chess tournament for K-12th graders, and is sponsored by the WRHS Chess Club and Endgame Clothing, Inc..  The tournament is an annual warm up for the State Scholastic Championship tournament on March 17.  Last year we won second place and we are hoping for similar results this year.   I have several students already signed up for the State competition and none for this weekend's warm-up!

Championship Section
1.        Kalen Moffett  
2.        Max Mihalic (287P)
3.       Matt Reidy          
4.       Christoffer Mouritzen 
5.       Chase Hutchinson (789P)
6.       Desmond Porth (948)
7.       Alexandra Bagley
8.       Real Weatherly
9.       Riley Clark (101P)
10.   Quin Gilman
11. Kyle Mungall
12.  Jake Whitlock
**You guys (and gals) need to check your USCF license!**
6th Grade
1.        Dylan Porth
2.       Thalia Rojas 
3.       Victor Saldiva 
4.       Coleten Weatherly
1st Grade
1.        Darwin Porth

Winners from last years Warmup Tournament

Sunday, March 4, 2012

West Jordan Story

Don't Mess with this Pussy Cat!
After a long recuperation after my hand surgery, I am now able to type with some dexterity and finesse.   My fine Siamese Cat of 12 years old decided to jump on my face while sleeping at three in the morning.  Of course I grabbed the kitty, named Kitten, by the scruff of the neck and was going to bring him outside.  But, Kitten would have nothing of that and somehow twisted around to bite my hand.  By noon, my hand was burning hot and not very happy.  To make a long story short, the tendons and my knuckle joints got infected and required surgery and intense antibiotics (vancomysin and invanz) to rid me of the intruders.  I am now rehabilitating my hand so that I don't lose any movement.

Our West Jordan story picks up where we left off.  For the last four years we have won 1st place high school, and last year we won 1st place high school and junior high.  This year we are going to have a harder time as we are rebuilding our team.  Of our eleven competitors from the Wood River Valley, we have one in the elementary (k-3) section, one in the 4-6th grade section, a team in the 6-9th grade section, and one high school team.  Our entire high school team consisted of players that have never competed.  And half of our 9th graders are relatively new to competitive chess.  I am very proud of our results in the large tournament that had nearly 200 kids and 16 different schools competing.  Our Junior High team won 2nd place.

High School Section
46 players, 14 schools
Tyler                     0              0.5           1              0              0           1.5
Kalen                    0              0              1              0              1           2.0
Charlie                  1              0              0              1              0           2.0
Christoffer             1              0              1              0              1           3.0
Max                      0              1              0              1              1           3.0            

Junior High  School Section
47 players, 16 schools
Quin                      0              0              1              1              0           2.0
Riley                      1              0.5           1              0              1           3.5
Desmond               1              1              1              0              1           4.0
Jake                       0              0              1              1              0.5        2.5

Elementary Sections (87 players K-3, and 64 players 4-6)
Dylan                     1              .5            1              1               0           3.5
Dar                        1              0             1              0               1           3.0

I try to train our players to begin play with sound opening theory.  It sometimes pays off as demonstrated in Riley's game.

In Round 3, Riley Clark, whom was playing very hard this tournament, caught her opponent cheating and called him on it.  However, she asked Desmond for some advice on how to deal with her case and was almost forfeited by the TD for talking to a teammate! After pleading her case, the TD allowed the game to continue and I am happy to say that she beat him.

Christoffer plays a solid opening that eventually wins the game.  I believe . . .
In the high school sections, players struggled against experienced players.  Many attempted to record their games but I was only able to salvage some of the games because of errors on the score sheets.  It is clear that I have some work ahead of me to get students to follow my opening guidelines.  Some played really too fast and this greatly affected their results.  A player with little experience should not blitz an experienced player!

In the last round, Desmond and Dylan were both playing for 1st place in their section and their grade categories.  I am happy to say that Desmond came out on top, but lost in tie-breaking points to only win the grade level trophy.   Dylan played hard against a boy that opened with Scholar's Mate, but succumbed in the end game after a 59 minute battle that left her with seconds on the clock before the flag fell.  She dropped to seventh place.

Dylan gets a nice fork on move 16 and her opponent blunders their queen away.

Charlie is shocked at how hard the games are.
Max played slow and won three more points than last year!
Dylan played slow in every game - and did great.
Darwin gets into it!
What a long day!
Weally Tiwerd . . .
10 trophies and 11 kids - great work.
More pictures can be found here.

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