Monday, March 28, 2011

March Madness in Montlake Terrace?

Given that we are in the season that basketball fans refer to as "March Madness", I want to describe a miraculous chess tournament finish in terms that can be appreciated by any basketball fan.  Imagine a basketball team down by 10 to a superior opponent with less than a minute to go in the game.  When all seemed lost, the team suddenly plays at a level that none could have imagined to tie the game and send it into overtime.  There, in overtime, our team crushes the opponent to take the title. 

This very scenario played out on Saturday, March 19 at the WA State Elementary Team Championships held in Montlake Terrace.  In fourth place, with one match left against the first place team with 2 undefeated kids at 4 wins and 2 at 3 wins, our kids showed no fear.  One by one, our kids came out victorious and took 3.5 points out of a possible 4 from the first place team.  Our #1 and #2 boards handed their #1 & #2 their only loss of the day on that last match.  We split the #3 match and won the #4.  This propelled us into a  "speed chess" tiebreaker for 3rd place. 

Our kids, who have never played "speed chess" before were poised and fearless.  Each started slow and were behind in the openning few minutes.  Suddenly, our #2 (Kobe) yelled "checkmate", shortly followed by another "checkmate" from our #1 (Rohan).  Having lost our #4 (Kenney) match, we were down to our Ryan, our #3 board.  When a checkmate on Ryan was inevitable, Ryan brings in his knight and executes a perfect fork on 2 rooks.  Play of the day for Ryan.  Still in deep trouble, Ryan is chased relentlessly but somehow evades capture to run out the clock for win #3.  It was pure excitement for the parents and kids that had to privilege of watching this speed chess tiebreaker. 

We are very proud of these kids and what they have been able to accomplish in the year three of Frank Love Chess Club.  We owe much of our success to their dedication to train weekly with coaches Collin and Elliott from Chess4Life.  Just look at these happy faces...

No comments:

Post a Comment