Saturday, January 16, 2016

Tyson's Senior Project

Silver Creek Chess Tournament
December 10th & 17th
Christmas Blitzkrieg & Santa’s Bughouse
Tyson Spellman

Christmas Blitzkrieg & Santa’s Bughouse

It was a winter wonderland in the Wood River Valley where students from area schools competed in Blitz and Bughouse tournaments.  Silver Creek High School, Hailey, Idaho, housed two chess tournaments on December 10th and 17th.  Both are usually hosted by the BCSD Chess Club but instead this year they were directed by Silver Creek High School student Tyson Spellman as a senior project. This was the eighth year of the K-12 Christmas Blitzkrieg tournament  where 17 players played Blitz, or very fast chess.  Games were only 5 minutes for each player!  First, Second and Third place all received trophies and prizes the prizes are as follows:  First place prize was a brand new 22 inch wooden walnut/maple chess board (>$100 value donated by the PowerHouse), second place was a green and red chess set, and third place was a book “from the library of Dan Mayers” on the King’s Gambit.  The former Blitz Champion, Desmond Porth, failed to defend his title as he was graduated and not qualified to play. SCHS Senior Levi Catangcatang grabbed the title with force. Levi played a perfect tournament with 8 wins.  Second place was Wesley Brimstein (6.5) and third place was Dylan Porth (6.0).  Organizers gave the top elementary student a first place ribbon and second place ribbon, Darwin Porth and Dave Walters, respectively.
On December 17th , the  K–12 Santa’s Bughouse Tournament was played. There were 18 players and 9 teams total.  The team names were created by the players:  Unknown, The Pigs, Qfins, Weeping Angels, Lightning, Master Dragons Da-na-na-na, Shell Shockers, Greasy Bag Tie, and The Dish Rags.  The former champions were Wesley Brimstein and Andre Murphy. They successfully defended their title and are Bughouse Champions for the second year in-a-row, despite missing the early showing of Star Wars in order to finish the tournament!  The Shell Shockers (Wesley and Andre) were first.  The Second Place team was Dylan Porth and Otto Olsen, aka The Dish Rags.  Third Place team was River Shepard and Tyson Spellman, aka Greasy Bag Tie.  First and Second place received trophies as well as new chess sets and books “from the library of Dan Mayers,”  Winning With The Kalashnikov, by Neil McDonald.  
Tyson Spellman learned how to play chess only a month ago and has been a chess addict since.  He goes over historical games, plays himself, and plays nearly every day in the classroom with friends.  His first and only tournament was in West Jordan, Utah with the BCSD Chess Team in November.  He said, “The tournament was an awesome success and everyone had a fun time and many new kids decided to join the local chess club because of the tournament which is incredible and invaluable [to a growing program].”  Tyson sported a red tie and dress shoes. “He was probably the best dressed TD I have ever seen, but this indicated his efforts to be as professional as possible,” said mentor, Adam Porth.   Tyson also gave all participants candy kanes and a free ice cream coupon (Snowbunny Drive-Inn) which he secured from local businesses.  Tyson also exclaimed, “Tournament Directing and organizing isn’t as easy as it looks.  There are many rules and regulations you have know and have readily available for whenever a player asks a question or has a disagreement.  You also have to learn how to use a program called Win TD, which crashes much of the time and to top it all off, you have to do a bit of public speaking.  Public speaking  isn’t the worst thing in the world but not easy either.  I would do it again because all in all it was a great experience and it allowed me to do something you don’t normally get to do every day and that is, inspire kids with chess.”  
submitted to Northwest Chess Magazine, 1/8/2016

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