After nearly six hours of competition, Pine View’s chess team secured second place in Sarasota Scholastic Chess’s Fall 2014 Tournament. The six students competed against teams from across the county on Nov. 2.
Sarasota Scholastic Chess, a nonprofit organization run by volunteers, hosts three chess tournaments throughout the year. The competitions were moved to Pine View’s campus two years ago to take advantage of its central location in the county.
Contestants competed in three divisions based on age and ability: K-3, K-9 and K-12. For the first time, this competition hosted a fourth division for adults.
The tournaments follow the same structure as the US Chess Federation competitions, including ongoing player ratings and an increase or decrease in opponent difficulty based on whether the preceding game was a win or loss.
Southside Elementary School took first place, while Pine View received second place. All six participating students placed within the top ten for their division.
In the K-12 division, seventh-grader Christopher Patrick placed first, seventh-grader Ari Ginsberg-Klemmt placed third, and eighth-grader Ellie Bodor placed fourth. Fifth grader Ricky Siwiki received seventh place in the K-5 division. In the K-3 division, third-graders Maeva Ginsberg-Klemmt and Alexander Simos placed second and seventh, respectively.
After receiving first place in last year’s spring tournament for the K-9 division, Patrick entered the K-12 division this year. He practiced heavily for the competition by playing chess online and against his family.
Patrick entered the tournament without expecting to win, but he began to consider the possibility after his third round. “It was when I won my third game; it came after my second loss and I realized that I could bounce back.” Patrick said.
English teacher Dr. Paul Dean, The Pine View liaison for the competition, complimented student performance during the tournament. “There was some really good chess playing at the competition,” Dean said, “Our kids are great chess players and they’re interested [in chess].”
Dean sponsors Pine View’s chess club, which is open to middle and high school from seventh to ninth period on Wednesdays. Dean started the club after noticing how few students understood the rules of chess.
Pine View will also be hosting the Winter 2015 Tournament, which will take place Jan. 25 at 12:30 p.m.