Four player chess set donation

Someone donated a four player chess set to the chess club a couple of weeks ago.  We unfortunately did not get the name of the teacher or parent that gave us this set but we thank you.  If you donated it, please let us know so we can thank you properly.  The name of the game is Pi The Chess Game of the 21st Century.  It is a relatively rare boardgame that is a chess variant we had not seen before.  Created by a canadian inventor named Dan Brown.  Instead of a 64 square board, it has 4 segments that when placed together form a donut.  One each segment are two chess armies.  All together, there are 8 chess armies and 4 players control two armies each.  The play is similar to chess, but when a player reaches the edge of a segment, they say “En Garde!” and then move to the next segment to attack the next set of players.  The winner is the last player standing!

We look forward to the kids trying out this version of 4 player chess.  

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Amazing New Chess Table

Back in May 2016, a parent, Patrick Ivey, donated a beautiful marble chess set to the chess club.  It was too nice for everyday use, so we only brought it out on special occasions.  This meant that it sat on a shelf most of the time.  

Colleen Murphy, mom of club member Jameson Murphy-Hall, saw the set at the end of last school year and thought it would make a great woodworking project for her husband McLain Hall.  She took the marble chess board home over the summer and McLain worked his magic to create a table to house the board. 

Well, two weeks ago, the Chess table was completed and Colleen presented it to the Chess club.  It is amazing and a great example of fine woodworkmanship.   The table design was based off the existing chess table we have in the library.  Similar height, etc.  It has a built in drawer to house the marble chess pieces when not in use. 

McLain used 3/4 inch pine.  The legs were made by gluing multiple boards together to get the right thickness.  He used a gel stain for the finish and 3 coats of polyurethane as a surface protectant.  

We all thank Colleen, McLain and Jameson for donating their time and work to make this nice table for our club.  We hope all of our students get a chance to play on this board over the course of the year.  

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Recent tournament results

Congratulations to Nico McMullen for a first place finish at the annual Wooldridge Square outdoor tournament held last Sunday Nov. 4th in downtown Austin.  The weather was perfect and so was Nico’s chess game.  He won all 4 games to win a trophy and capture first place in the K-6 section.  Congratulations also goes to Aiden Chrisman for participating in this tournament and helping represent Spicewood Elementary.  

Nico then traveled down to San Antonio on November 10th to play in the Bach & Peace Tournament.  He won 4 games and drew one which put him in first place for the K-12 U900 section.  Congratulations!  He is on a roll.

Thank you for doing a great job representing Spicewood.

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Chess Club Helpers

To all the parents that help during our chess club meetings (or are thinking about helping), James and I put together a document that outlines all the tasks we need to perform to have a successful chess club meeting. It is very detailed and gives you a good idea of where you can help out.

Please review when you have time and go over with your kids so they understand their responsibilities during Chess club.  
 
After you have reviewed this, if you have any suggestions for improvement, please let us know.  
 
We want this to be useful for future parents that take on the torch of leading the club after James and I move on.  
 

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Musketeer Chess Pieces

We purchased ten new chess pieces that have unique movements.   They are variant chess pieces that are not official, but add some fun to chess play.  The ten new chessmen are Archbishop, Cannon, Chancellor, Dragon, Elephant, Fortress, Hawk, Leopard, Spider and Unicorn.  You can learn more about how they move on the Musketeer Chess website.  Please read over the rules on how we use these new pieces.  

We tested out these new chess pieces at last week’s chess club meeting and everyone had fun seeing how these pieces change the way we use our strategies.  

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2018 Meridian Tournament Results

We had 29 students from Spicewood Elementary participate in the Meridian Scholastic Chess tournament on September 29th, 2018.  The tournament consisted of 5 rounds of games each worth 1 point.  In total, our kids scored a total of 70 out of a possible 145 points.   (48%)   

This year we have a large number of Pawns and Knights skill groups and they showed up at this tournament and really did a great job representing the K-1 and K-3 sections.  

We got FIRST place in the K-1 under 400 section with 5 students getting a total score of 10.5 points.  The team received a tall trophy at the awards ceremony and you can see it in the Spicewood Elementary library this week.  

We got SECOND place in the K-3 New section with 7 students gaining a total score of 10 points.  This team also received a team trophy which is in the library. 

We got THIRD place in the K-3 under 400 section with 3 students gaining a total score of 7.5 points.  This team also received a team trophy which is in the library.

We got SECOND place in the K-5 under 800 section with 4 students gaining a total score of 13.5 points.  This team also received a team trophy which is in the library. 

We also came in NINTH place in the K-12 Any section which includes mostly middle and high school students.  Sean Teoh won 3 out of 5 games against a lot of tough opponents.  

For the individual awards:

We had two students receive trophies for 4 or more points in their sections:  Alexander Ho and Gavin Wang.

We had 8 students receive medals for scoring between 3.0 and 4.0 points in their sections: Sean Teoh, Gavin Gu, Isaac Belyi, Isaac Zhang, Julian Joseph, Joyce Song, Jeremy Yang and Reett Aulakh

Congratulations to all of our students who competed at this year’s Meridian chess tournament.  Each student received $5 chess bucks for their participation.  We had many first time tournament students this year and they all did a great job representing Spicewood Elementary.  

The tournament itself was very nice as it was not as crowded as other tournaments have been in the past.  Plenty of room to mingle with others, areas outside to play, etc.  The tournament coordinators did an excellent job and we look forward to more tournaments later this year and next.  

 

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Micro Chess Set

Here is a mesmerizing video of someone making a micro size chess set.  The video shows how they create the board out of wood complete with a drawer and insert to hold the micro chess pieces.   The chess pieces are made of brass metal and created by turning them on a lathe.  They are so tiny!!!

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New Bookmark Coming Soon

Each year, we print out bookmarks with Chess related designs for the kids to use.  Here is this year’s first bookmark design.  

We hope to have it printed and passed out to the students in the next few weeks.

 

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Club Meeting – September 21st

Chess club will meet in the gym for the next two weeks.  The library is setup for the annual Bookfair and not available to us.  

We will setup chess boards on the floor as there are no tables/chairs in the gym.  

Parents may want to consider wearing jeans.  Please do not wear shoes with heels as they can scratch the gym floor. 

 

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Club Meeting – September 7th

In today’s meeting, James showed the following video to the Pawns group:

Chris reviewed the Ruy Lopez opening and showed the following video to the Knights group:  

Ruy Lopez is the short name of Rodrigo Lopez de Segura who was a Spanish priest who lived between 1530 and 1580.  Ruy Lopez wrote a book in 1561 called Libro de la invención liberal y arte del juego del Axedrez which was one of the first definitive books about modern chess in Europe. 

The Ruy Lopez Opening (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5) is named after him, as is a variation in the Petroff Defence (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 Qe7).

The painting above shows Ruy Lopez being defeated by Leonard di Cutri, an Italian chess master.  After Leonard won against Ruy Lopez in Spain, he asked for his town Cutro to be exonerated of taxes and called Cutro “City of Chess”, where every year this event is remembered in a traditional day in August.

We also handed out some bonus chess homework that reviews how to take Chess notation during a chess game.  We ask that each student play a game of chess this weekend and write down the game in Chess notation on the provided notation sheet.  Students that turn in the notation sheet with a game written down will get a Chess buck at next week’s meeting.  If you did not receive the handout at today’s meeting, you can download and print it at home using this link.

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