Sunday, March 2, 2014

February Chess Event Report

Levi Catangcatang lead the Silver Creek High School to a 2nd Place.
While most attention was on Olympic battles this past month, there were quieter and much more local competitions that featured as much excitement and as much glory as the Olympics.  Though, it was the best mind that won. The Idaho Closed Chess Championship is the premiere chess competition sponsored by the Idaho Chess Association and has named a state champion since 1947.  This year 24 competitors with nearly 50 years between the youngest and oldest played for three days in games that averaged about 3 hours each, and sometimes up to 6 hours at the Shilo Inn in Twin Falls.
2014 State Champion

Five players from the BCSD Chess Rage Club attended and played excellent games against the top players in Idaho.  Adam Porth, Desmond Porth, Dylan Porth, Andre Murphy and Keegan Crowson had their sight set on the class prizes.  In chess, players are ranked according to their abilities and separated into classes though the tournament is of open format and it is all-against-all.  For example, Larry Parsons from Boise is 18 time state champion and is a class A player with a rating of 2000.  He, of course, was in attendance and spent most of the tournament on board 1.  The lowest ranked player was rated 521, is new to chess this past year, and is class F.

In the end, Caleb Kircher of Boise became one of the youngest chess champions in Idaho, winning 4 games and drawing 2 games in the 6 round event.  The wood river representatives fared well with Desmond Porth earning Top Junior, Andre Murphy winning 1st place Class E, and Adam Porth winning 2nd place Class D.

Andre Murphy
Desmond Porth
With most of the school district news focused on adults and finances, it is important to recognize the achievements of the children that attend the Blaine County School District.  The Scholastic Triple Crown was also held this last week and the BCSD Chess Rage was there.  The Triple Crown included the Novice Championship, Girl’s State Championship, and the Elementary Championship with Idaho representatives for National Events chosen from those pools of players.

Girl's State Championship
In the Girl’s State Championship, Dylan Porth vetted her mind against 6 other girls in a round robin event.  Dylan has chased a placement in this tournament for six years and successfully scored 5.0 points of 6 possible and earned 2nd place and a possible birth into Grand Master Susan Polgar’s National Girl Invitational Chess Camp this summer.  Her only loss was to 2-time Girl’s State Champion, Carmen Pemsler of Meridian.
Otto Olson

In the elementary novice section, Otto Olson (4th grade) won 1st place 4th/5th grade with a perfect tournament score of 5.0!  The high school novice section was very exciting with Silver Creek High School pitted against Renaissance Technical Charter School.  Beginning chess players, Levi Catangcatang, Kaden Rinehart, Jordan Pulliam, Journey Iverson, Cooper Dean, and Zac Spor worked together to win the team trophy, but ended up with 2nd place by only 0.5 points.  Levi, Cooper, and Kaden won medals for 2nd through 4th place but their 3.5 points each were unable to de-throne one Renaissance student that had a perfect tournament.  This is the first Silver Creek High School team to compete in an event, but look for them in other events.

The Novice High School Section
The next tournament is a local K-12 Spring Warm Up on March 8 in the Community Campus.  This prepares players for the Scholastic State competition on March 15 in Boise.  This next month, 6 Wood River High School and Silver Creek High School students will combine efforts in the High School Nationals in San Diego.  Contact Adam Porth,  if you would like to sponsor a student traveling to one of these events, or would like more information about chess.

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