130 Students Flex Their Mental Muscle at District’s 15th Annual Chess Competition
through eighth grade students from throughout the Mountain View School District
put their mental gaming talents to the test at the District’s 15th annual Chess
Competition. Representing nine of the
District’s 12 schools, 130 young chess strategists gathered at Madrid Middle
School on Saturday, May 21 for the competition, excitedly showing off their
chess playing skills.
five match tournament was divided into three levels: beginning for players with
one year of experience, intermediate for players with two to three years of
experience and advanced for players with four or more years of experience. Intensity filled the air as students
calculated their moves, strategized and maneuvered their pieces with the
ultimate goal of checkmating their opponents’ King.
Several MVSD schools have Chess Clubs which
meet regularly providing students the opportunity to learn the game of strategy
and logic and perfect their skills. Research
shows that playing chess has great benefits for kids including improving visual
memory, attention span and spatial-reasoning ability. Just like in school, in chess concentration
and memory are key. Playing chess also
enhances reading and math skills because it requires decoding, thinking,
comprehension and analysis and fosters logic, critical thinking and creativity.
“Chess is a fun game of strategy and
challenges that anyone can learn to play,” said Donelle Soto, Baker School’s
principal. “The focus, concentration,
and sportsmanship the students displayed during today’s competition was amazing. By playing chess they are not only developing
their analytical and critical thinking skills, but are learning patience and
good sportsmanship too,” she added.
As the battles on the chess boards
unfolded and the students moved their bishops, knights, pawns, queens and
kings, their sense of pride in their play was evident.
“We are very proud of all the students
and commend them for their enthusiasm, good sportsmanship and exceptional chess
playing abilities,” said Roberto Lopez, MVSD’s Director of Student Support
Services and Special Education.
Clenching top honors in the beginners
division in grades 3-5 was Eric Yan from Baker School and for grades 6-8,
Vivian Le from Madrid Middle School. In
the intermediate division for grades 3-5, Josh Phan from Parkview and for
grades 6-8, Destiny Moreno from Maxson earned the top spots. The winner in the advanced division for
grades 3-8 was Kevin Wu from La Primaria.
“Congratulations go out to our winners
and to all the participants,” said Soto.
“It is inspirational to see the level at which these kids perform and
way they carry themselves. It is way
beyond their years. Special thanks also
go out to our school site chess coaches for their excellent support of
students including David Chen, Elena Brown, Kryztofer Garcia and
Tanaka from Baker School, Belinda Hyde from Monte Vista School, Dolores
Haro, from La Primaria School, Domingo
Castillo and Maria Ramirez from Maxson School, Joseph Baldenebro from
Miramonte School, Jason Guerrero from Madrid Middle School, Jose
Sanchez and Cathy Spiess from Parkview School, Antonio Perez from
School and Ryan Smith and Arlene Legaspe
from Kranz Intermediate School.