Representatives of 16 schools from Lubbock, Amarillo, Olton, Shallowater, Sundown and Plainview converged on the Wayland campus in Plainview Saturday to compete in the 2017 Regional Scholastic Chess Championship.
The 62 competitors played a total of 240 games across four rounds between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. to vie for the title as regional champions.
With only 10 competitors in the rated divisions, the K-5, K-8, and K-12 divisions were combined into a single class. Awards were given based on performance among the division the team originally registered in, unless they outperformed schools in a higher division.
Plainview Homeschool Chess Club was declared overall regional champion, having a higher team score than any other school that sent rated players. The PHCC team consisted of 4th graders Montana Moore and Eowyn Thornhill and kindergartener Daniel Thornhill. Each won individual trophies as well as the regional trophy. Montana was awarded third place for K-8, while Eowyn was declared K-5 rated regional champion, with Daniel receiving second place.
Evans Middle School was declared the K-8 rated regional champions.
From Puckett Elementary in Amarillo, 3rd grader Ritvik Kallem won all of his games and was declared the Regional Champion among all rated individuals.
In the unrated divisions, Olton had the largest number of representatives with 28 students. They were able to claim the title as regional champions for the K-5, K-8, and K-12 unrated divisions with three separate teams. Plainview Homeschool Chess club claimed second place in the unrated K-5 with its team of 2nd graders Anara Thornhill, Eyan Smith and Jasmine Stone.
The individual regional champions for the unrated division were Elijah Zamora of Olton in the K-5, Aldo Vasquez of Olton in the K-8, and Juan Carlos of Olton in the K-12.
The regional championship was the final tournament in the 2016-17 Check with Tech series hosted by the Texas Tech Chess Team. The TTU Chess team recently finished second nationally behind Webster University in the college championship. Their coach, Grand Master Alexander Onischuk, finished second in the U.S. championship after losing to Grand Master Wesley So in a tiebreaker round April 10.
The Plainview Homeschool Chess Club participated in each of the Check with Tech tournaments this season, winning at least one team trophy and one individual trophy in each contest. A new season in the chess competition should begin in September.
The 2016-17 season marked was PHCC’s inaugural year. The team is coached by Robert Moore and Chris Thornhill. The team is open to any homeschoolers in the Plainview and surrounding areas.