The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Thomas Middle School hosts chess tournament


November 9, 2017

Darrell Alexander

Winners in the first Thomas Middle School chess tournament were, l-r, 1. Gabe Moon, 2. Wyatt Bruntmeyer, 3. Margaret Ames, 4. Colten Anrys, and 5. Alliana Bennett.

On Saturday, November 4th, the chess tournament held at the John Thomas Middle School was titled the First Cathlamet Open. I was recently informed by Rick Nelson, the publisher of The Wahkiakum County Eagle, that he had played in a tournament in Cathlamet back in the late 1960's. So Saturday's was not the first tournament, yet it did not make a difference to the entrants.

Chess is the game of kings and the king of games. The game of chess goes back nearly fifteen centuries originating in northern India around the sixth century and then to Persia. When the Moors conquered Spain, they spread chess to Southern Europe. Changes in the style of the chess pieces also became evident with the rooks no longer appearing as elephants but now as castles. Also the moves of the pieces changed in the 15th century. The Romantic era of chess began in the 16th century and ended in the latter half of the 19th century when modern tournament play began. In 1883 chess clocks were first used.

The first official World Chess Championship in 1886 was a competition between Wilhelm Steinitz and Johannes Zukertort. The first five games were played in New York City followed by four played in St. Louis, and the remaining eleven in New Orleans with Steinitz winning 10-5.

Darrell Alexander

Gabe Moon, left, defends against the attack of Margaret Ames.

Paul Charles Morphy was an American chess player who was and now is arguably considered to have been the unofficial world chess champion of his era and the greatest chess master. While in Paris, Morphy was going to play against the visiting German master Adolf Anderssen, believed by many to be Europe's most prominent player. Morphy was suffering from a bout of intestinal influenza and was treated with leeches, losing a substantial amount of blood. Morphy insisted on going ahead with a match. Despite his illness, Morphy won seven while losing two, with two draws. He died in 1884, never officially receiving the world title.

The Cathlamet tournament was a success. First place went to Gabe Moon, who received the first place trophy. Wyatt Bruntmeyer won second place and received the platinum medallion. Third place, Margaret Ames, received the gold medallion. Fourth place went to Colten Anrys with the silver, and Alliana Bennett received the bronze for fifth place. Special thanks goes to the Middle School Chess club led by Joel McEntire who hosted the event. He also assisted the tournament director, Darrell Alexander.


Reader Comments


Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2019