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Chess on the move in Rockford Public Schools

Rockford Scholastic Chess heads into its next tournament Nov. 21 with strong representation from the Rockford Public Schools.

There are clubs at Washington Academy; Haskell Year-Round Academy; West View, Whitehead, Lewis Lemon and Hillman elementary schools; and Flinn, RESA and Marshall middle schools. At Washington alone, 136 students are signed up for chess; the club at Washington averages more than 100 students after school on Mondays. At Haskell, as many as 50 students play chess on Thursdays after school.

Students play chess at a tournament in October at Washington Academy.

Students play chess at a tournament Oct. 24 at Washington Academy.

Rockford Scholastic Chess is a non-profit organization. It hosts tournaments for students in kindergarten through eighth grade in Winnebago, Boone, Stephenson, Ogle, and DeKalb counties in Illinois, and Rock, McHenry and Green counties in Wisconsin.

To attract more students and improve the competition, the chess club made two changes to the tournament model. Students in kindergarten through second grade play three games, rather than five, which is more age-appropriate. Students in third through eighth grade are matched based on their chess rankings rather than age.

The president of Rockford Chess is Ryan Miller, who is the behavior interventionist at Haskell. (Read more about Ryan in a RPS 205 blog item.) More than 100 players are expected at the Nov. 21 Fall Tournament, with Round 1 to begin at 9 a.m. at Washington Academy.

For more information, see the club’s Facebook page (Rockford Scholastic Chess) and Twitter account (@RkfdChess). The organization has a new website, rockfordchess.org, as well.

Mary Kaull is communications coordinator for the Rockford Public Schools. Click here to subscribe to this blog. Also, please like RPS 205 on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

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