Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Student Interest in Chess Grows

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Student Interest in Chess Grows

Article excerpt

With the Medieval Fair rolling into town for four days in November, kings and queens and knights are the talk of the town. For Sarasota Scholastic Chess, however, feudalistic fun is a year-round affair.

Sarasota Scholastic Chess, an umbrella organization comprising individual chess clubs in Sarasota schools, will host its second tournament of the 2012-2013 school year Saturday at Faith Lutheran Church. The group is seeking students, parents and volunteers who wish to join the ranks.

Noting the lack of a competitive chess league in the area, parents from the NewGate Montessori School in Sarasota organized the organization in the spring so that students from schools in Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte and DeSoto counties could have the opportunity to meet and compete with chess players from other schools.

"There are small chess clubs in various schools throughout the Sarasota area, but the kids don't like to compete against and win or lose to their friends all the time," parent Wolf Weinhold said. "But you bring in another school, that's exciting for them."

Sarasota Scholastic Chess hosted its first tournament for children in kindergarten through eighth grade at the Selby Library in May. More than 40 chess players from seven different schools in Sarasota and Charlotte counties competed.

The positive turnout encouraged the parents to organize two more tournaments during the school year, including a tournament from noon to 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Faith Lutheran Church, 7750 Beneva Road, Sarasota.

Another tournament is scheduled for February.

The ultimate aim is to increase the number of participants from area schools and incorporate as a nonprofit organization that organizes tournaments and acts as an information and resource exchange for chess players.

Sarasota Scholastic Chess leaders also want to establish a regular venue that connects students with local retirees who have expressed an interest in acting as volunteer coaches, but are unsure how to connect with chess players and clubs. …

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