Young chess players compete for state

April 23, 2007
Reported by Pam Dixon

On your mark, get set, go.

More than 200 students.

Henry Heights 2nd grader Jake Adaway says,"It's a big deal."

11 months of practice.

T.S. Cooley 3rd grader John Trouth says, "The strategy is one of the most important things in chess."

It all comes down to this-- a battle of the minds.

75 students from a dozen Southwest Louisiana schools squared off with students across the state at the 2007 Louisiana State Scholastic Chess Championships in New Orleans this past weekend. Our Lady Queen of Heaven 4th grader Nathan Johnson says, "I wanted to be in chess because my big brother was in it." E.K. Key 5th grader Katie McCabe says, "Exciting." Lake Area Home School sophomore Ariel Conley says, "I think it helps with concentration and just seeing patterns and thinking ahead about what is going to come before it happens."

While the concentration continued inside the De La Salle High School gym, parents outside played the waiting game Barbe High junior Samuel Congiundi says, "It's like a puzzle for three hours. You're sitting down and solving a puzzle the entire time."

The game of chess dates back to the 7th century. Today chess is one of the world's most popular games. It's played by an estimated 600 million people worldwide in clubs, online, through correspondence, informally and in tournaments like these.

The Llake Area Home School chess team won 1st place in K-12 U1000 and K-8 U800, while Our Lady Queen of Heaven School's chess team won first place in K-6 Open and K-6 U800.