Friday, April 27, 2007

Catch the fever of art, science and sport

Chess tournament to be held at high school

Express Staff Writer

"Chess is life," Bobby Fischer once said of the game of wit, skill and resolve. So, get your rooks and pawns ready. Polish up your king's crown and burnish the queen's, too. It's time for the Cinco De Mayo Chess Tournament hosted by the Wood River High School.

The high school's Common Room will be the site of the action Saturday, May 5, from 8:30 a.m. until approximately 3 p.m. This tournament is a regional K-12 open that is co-sponsored by the Blaine County Recreation District Chess Rage and the Idaho Chess Association. Kids from all over southern Idaho are invited to participate with opponents traveling from Idaho Falls, Twin Falls, Boise and other communities. Confirmations from Twin Falls and Boise are already in.

This tournament is the last chance to practice in a tournament setting before the National Burt Lerner K-6 Elementary Championship in Nashville, Tenn., on May 11 to 13. Idaho Chess Association president Jeff Roland encouraged more events at WRHS in March when 57 contestants participated in a warm-up tournament.

Boards and clocks are provided. Spectators are welcome. However, attention to "no talking" (or gasping) or "no coaching" rules, touch rules, and other USCF rules will be followed. Tournament assistants will be available to clarify the rules for the players if they request it.

Individual trophies will be awarded for first, second and third places in five sections: K-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8, 9-12.

For individual achievements, one point is awarded for a win and half a point for a draw. There are five one-hour rounds using the Swiss System of pairing that provides opponents with the opportunity to be paired at the same level of play. That is, novices or chess newbies will have the opportunity to play and win. In the end, players with the most points (and tie-breaking points) will be declared the winners.

T-shirts, tournament boards, pizza and other goodies will be available for purchase in between rounds with all proceeds benefiting WRHS chess programs.

Early bird registration is $12 before May 2 and $15 thereafter. Other highlights include a giant chess set, "Searching for Bobby Fisher" video, and instruction from experts.

For more information about this and other chess tournaments, contact Adam Porth, 578-5020 ext. 2239 or 450-9048.

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