This past weekend, young chess competitors in Campbell County gathered at Hillcrest Elementary. The competition featured Kindergarten through sixth graders from Hillcrest Elementary, Buffalo Ridge Elementary, and John Paul II Catholic School. Accumulating the most points in the tournament was Cody Piaseski from John Paul II Catholic School. Cody, still a third grader, faced some tough match ups and says he navigated his way through the tournament, including facing an older school mate in the finals.
“That was fun because it was a sixth grader, yeah, I liked it.”---Piasecki
The third grader says he learned the game playing chess with his older brothers at his house, and he was happy to be able to try out his skills in a competitive setting.
“Yeah, it was really fun. I was really excited, because usually I never get to go to one.”---Piasecki
Hillcrest Elementary accumulated the most team points throughout the day. Upcoming tournaments will also be hosted in February and May. Mary Sue Jagers, a sixth grade teacher at John Paul II Catholic School, helped bring the chess program to John Paul II.
John Paul II started a chess program for the children in conjunction with Hillcrest and Buffalo Ridge, for children to have an opportunity to learn the game, develop strategies, and just have another outlet for enjoyment outside of the traditional sports that children are usually offered.
“Hillcrest, I think, had a smaller Chess club; and they approached our school, and wanted to possibly see if we were interested in starting a Chess Club, so that we could be in as three schools coming together and offer tournaments, because they didn’t have an outlet in which their children could compete beyond the kids in their own school.”---Jagers