Thursday, April 29, 2010

WA State Scholastic Chess Championship

Isaac qualified at our Centralia tournament to attend the "State" Chess Tournament in Tacoma last weekend. I don't think either of us was prepared for the immenseness of the tournament. We got there early (we left Centralia early because they were working on I-5 and had all but one lane closed). We found our team table (where the team hung out between rounds) and then went upstairs to find the room he would be playing in.

The different colors were for the different grades, 1st through 6th. He played all the way in the back left corner as a 6th grader. The Kindergartners played downstairs in a different room. I'm not sure how many kids were there but the board lables started at 100 and he was playing up around 1069 and there were still 3 more tables. When all the kids and their parents were entering the room at the beginning of the rounds it was deafening in there.

Isaac played 5 rounds. The first round was pre-set and then you played the rest of the rounds based on how you did on the previous round. He lost his first 4 rounds and won his 5th round when his opponent didn't show up. He got a medal for participating.

The Centralia Tournament did not adequately prepare him for the level of competition. We talked about how the kids he was playing probably had been playing and competing for a lot more years than he had (this was only his 2nd year in Chess club). We talked about how playing with kids who were a lot better than he was could be a learning experience and teach him more than playing at kids his own level who he could beat. We also agreed that next year we would make it a priority for him to compete in a couple more big tournaments in Seattle or Vancouver as well as the Centralia and Onalaska tournaments. I'll also be watching for opportunities for him to play and learn. He has a good attitude about the whole thing and looks forward to continuing with his chess- that makes him a winner to me!

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