First Chess Tournament at EHS

Greg Maiberger, Staff Writer

EHS hosted its first chess tournament on April 6th in the library after school. There were 20 contenders that showed up for the tournament, and the skill level of the players ranged from novice to expert. 

The tournament seemed to be a popular event among students, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the help of school librarian, Liz von Nagy. Von Nagy was a huge help in the setup and logistics of the tournament.

Players participate in chess tournament

When asked why the chess tournament happened in the first place, von Nagy said, “We noticed that a lot of kids in the library were playing chess again, so we started talking to them about it and they suggested that we do a tournament.” Von Nagy loved the idea that the students came up with, so she took action and made it happen.

The chess tournament ran touch move games which means when you touch a piece, you have to move it. On the other hand, the games were not timed, so players made sure to perfect every move and consider every strategy before they set their hands on a piece. The tournament was a single elimination tournament so players were extra cautious not to make mistakes. This created a high tension setting for the players right in our own EHS library. 

After several grueling rounds, two players remained: Cameron Stultz and Riley Ashe. 

Since the games were competitive, they took up the entirety of the time scheduled for that day and the tournament had to be adjourned. This meant that the final two competitors would have to wait for another day to battle it out for the win. 

All the players expressed their enjoyment of the tournament as it was wrapping up because it was a fun way to develop their skills as well as play in a friendly competition. Players also seemed to enjoy playing with competitors of similar skill level and bonding over their love for the game. 

Not just the players but everyone was relieved when they heard that the final game of the tournament would be rescheduled to Thursday, April 20th. This was a great date because the tournament would be ending just as April break was coming upon us. 

“Some kids stuck around even after they got eliminated just to watch the games,” von Nagy said. This goes to show the love for the game that all the players had, and how they seemed to enjoy the tournament no matter if they won or lost.

Players participate in chess tournament

On the day of the final game the players came in ready to rumble. You could sense the rivalry sizzling in the air as you walked into the EHS library. The game was extremely intense and both the players played with utmost excellence but, in the end, Cameron Stultz was crowned the winner of the chess tournament. 

Along with the players’ positive spirits, they also all had great sportsmanship. “There were a lot of laughs and handshakes, which I loved to see and also a lot of great games,” said von Nagy. 

In an act of kindness, Stultz gave the winning prize to the second place winner Riley Ashe, but since he already had the same exact version of the board, it was decided that the prize would be saved for the May tournament. 

Some kids loved the tournament so much that they expressed high feelings of having another one as soon as possible. “I had someone say to me, last Friday, can we do this again next year? And I said, yeah, we can do this again next month,” von Nagy said. 

The love for chess in our school left some wondering if a chess club would be a good idea. Von Nagy explained that there used to be a chess club at EHS.

 Von Nagy said, “Adam Murray [English teacher] used to advise a chess club before the pandemic, so I would say for after school clubs definitely reach out to him, and I’m willing to partner with him if he’d like to.” 

Cameron Stultz, the winner of the tournament, also expressed interest in starting a chess club. He walked around to many of the players before the tournament to seek out potential chess club members.  

Overall, the chess tournament seemed to be a smashing success, and von Nagy as well as other competitors seem to think that it will be a long lasting event at EHS. 

“This is just the first tournament of many!” Von Nagy said.