Honoring the King: Chess Club Tournament

December 19, 2022


Silas Bowman (5) playing chess against Elyana Andrews (5). (photo taken by Kris Hunter)

Fair Grove chess club attended their third tournament of the season, hosted at Monett Middle school on December 8th. The Fair Grove team placed third overall.

Fair Grove team competitors Treyton Williams (6), Hudson Miller (6), Sawyer Cantwell (5), Eli Line (6), and Kaden Weigert (6) all had a score of 2.5/5, meaning they won two games and tied for one giving them half a point, helping them place third. 

Chess club welcomes anyone, grades 5-12,  interested in playing chess or learning how to play chess. The club meets every Tuesday after school until 4:30.  This year the team has a total of 28 members. Sponsor Michael Van Cleave shares, “Anyone is welcome to join the club and compete in the tournaments, and there are no attendance requirements.  For example, if you’re a high school student that is too busy to attend Tuesday practices, but would like to compete in a tournament, you are welcome to do so.”   

Other schools in the area that compete in these chess club tournaments include Springfield Public  schools, Monett, Ozark, Willard, and Branson. Van Cleave shares how a chess tournament is run, “A typical tournament will consist of 5 rounds, and every player plays a match in every round.  A computer program pairs the matches based on skill level and results of the previous rounds.” 

Elliott Roberts (8) has been a chess club member for 3 years. Elliott is currently in the top 3 of the Fair Grove students for winning the most games. In first place with 12 wins is Luc Deeds (12), and tied for second and third with eight points is Elliott Roberts, and Siefer Hubbard (8). Roberts shares how much he loves chess club, “I like to play chess with my friend Seifer usually. I even remember one time I even almost beat Mr. Van Cleave.”

Preparing for a chess club is just like any other activity. Roberts stated, “To prepare for a tournament, you usually play chess against someone with a timer (as you would do in a tournament).  The way I have prepared is just practicing, and hyping myself up.”  

Each year the chess club team typically competes at six tournaments. Three in the fall and three in the spring. The fourth tournament of the season is not yet scheduled but will be held sometime in January or February. 


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