Club Update Fall 2020

Hello everyone.  Due to the coronavirus pandemic, we have suspended all chess club activities.   The club meetings have many things working against us that prevent a safe and healthy environment including:

  1. Large numbers of kids in the same small room (library).   The CDC still recommends ten or less people in the same space which we could never accomplish.   We could hold meetings outside, with each chess board spaced out enough, but see the next item.
  2. Two players sitting less than 2 feet from each other hovering over a chess board.   It is hard to play a game of chess without being very close to the other player.  We could require all players to wear masks, but see the next item.
  3. Each player has to physically touch their chess pieces and the pieces they capture that have been touched by the other player.  We could have the kids wear gloves and disinfect all the pieces before and after each game.

If we tried to implement the above measures to conduct a safe chess club meeting, it would look like this:   We would setup outside perhaps behind the school on the concrete steps near the playground.  All players and parents wearing masks and gloves, with parents who’s job would be to disinfect all chess pieces prior to each chess game and monitor the kid’s behavior to make sure no one violates our safety rules.   Being outside would most likely cause a lot of distractions that are not conducive to focused game play.  

So, I listed out the top three reasons we can’t provide a safe environment for the kids.   While there are options we could employ to help reduce the risk of transmission, it just doesn’t make sense right now to try to force chess club meetings.   

Another issue is that the school and the district probably would not approve any club meetings on campus anyway.  All of the local chess tournaments have these same problems and that is why they have cancelled and not planned any new tournaments.  

Our only option right now is to use online chess tools.   The kids have their chesskid accounts from last year and while our annual membership has expired, we could consider renewing it, but we first need to know how many kids would actually use it to justify the high cost of the annual membership.   I know with most kids participating in online school, adding another online activity might not make sense for many families.   This of course doesn’t stop you from using your Chesskid account to play online games against other kids.   The lapse in our Chesskid memberrship just reduces your access to the training videos they provide.  

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please feel free to email me

Thank you, 

Chris Jones



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November 15th 2019 Club Meeting

Today we will show the following video about creating passed pawns.

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November 1st 2019 Club Meeting

Coach James will be reviewing the Scholar’s Mate with the Pawn group by showing the following video:

Coach Chris will be reviewing one of the most common opening traps called the Fork trick with the Knights group.

The Rooks and Kings groups will complete the last round of their club tournament and then start a lesson from our new Westwood student volunteers.   

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October 25th 2019 Club meeting

Coach James will be reviewing the battering ram tactic to the pawns at this week’s club meeting.  

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T-Shirt contest winner – Leonardo Fernandez

Our judges have voted and the winning design goes to 5th grader Leonardo Fernandez.  His design has two cats or panthers playing Chess at a table with one standing up. Around it, text says “The Best Never Rest”

Congratulations to Leonardo who wins a $5 chess buck.  And thank you to all the students who entered the contest this year.  The design will be sent to our tshirt printing company for their graphic artist to clean up.  We hope to have tshirts in November for everyone to wear and enjoy.


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T-shirt Design Contest Entries

We received nine entries to our t-shirt design contest last Friday.  Our parent judges are currently reviewing them all and we plan to choose a winner at this Friday’s club meeting.  As soon as we have a winner, we will begin working with our shirt vendor to get the design touched up and finalize the shirt order.  We hope to have the shirts finished and passed out by November. 

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Pizza Party November 2nd 2019

The Spicewood Elementary Chess Club is having a party at the Spicewood Elementary school on Saturday November 2nd from 10:00 to 2:00pm.  The event is for 4 hours with pizza arriving around noon.  We know Saturday’s are a busy day with lots of sports and other activities, so this event is designed for you to come and go as you please.  Swing by for only 30 minutes or stay the whole time.  

We will be playing Chess and having fun with our friends. We will have coaches available to work with the students. This is the week before the Casis Elementary Scholastic Chess tournament, so we will be helping the kids prepare for the tournament as well as have fun with our special chess sets including our light up chess boards, our 4 player chess sets, our Musketeer variant chess pieces (elephant, unicorn, dragon, leopard, etc)

We have also invited some of our friends from other local elementary Chess clubs as well as local chess teachers and experts.

The club will be providing Pizza and we ask parents to signup to bring other items needed for the party such as drinks, plates, utensils, etc. This is also a potluck, so we encourage parents to bring cookies, snacks, etc.  There is a signup sheet for Parents to RSVP and let us know what item/items you can volunteer to bring.  Please remember no food containing nuts!

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Club registration is closed for the Fall 2019 semester

Registration closed on September 27th for Chess club.  We will re-open registration for two weeks starting in January 6th for any additional students who want to join. 

We have 109 students in our club this year.  Half of those students are in Kindergarten or 1st grade, so we have many beginners this year.  Here are some statistics:



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Short video on the history of Chess

Here is a nice animated video that talks about the origins and history of Chess.  We recommend all students watch this and it is only five minutes long.  

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2019 Meridian School Tournament Results

We had 14 students from Spicewood Elementary participate in the Meridian Scholastic Chess tournament on September 14th, 2019.  The tournament consisted of 5 rounds of games each worth 1 point.  In total, our kids scored a total of 35 out of a possible 70 points.   (50%)   

This tournament kind of snuck up on us as we did not do a great job of promoting it in the weeks leading up to it.  We will do a better job for the next tournament at Casis Elementary. 

We got FIRST place in the K-1 under 400 section with 2 students getting a total score of 8 points!.  Congratulations to Yashas Veerapaneni for winning all 5 of his games and getting 1st place in the section (Trophy).  Benjamin Yu came in 6th with 3 wins (Medal).  This two person team received the 1st place trophy at the awards ceremony and you can see it at our next club meeting.  

We got FOURTH place in the K-3 under 700 section with 3 students gaining a total score of 5 points.  (Devin Liu, Julian Joseph and Tiffany Teoh)

We got THIRD place in the K-5 under 1000 section with 2 students gaining a total score of 8 points.  Joyce Song came in 3rd place with 4 wins and Gavin Wang came in 5th place with 4 wins each getting a trophy!

For the individual awards:

We had three students receive trophies for 4 or more points in their sections:  Yashas Veerapaneni, Joyce Song and Gavin Wang.

We had 1 student receive a medal for scoring between 3.0 and 3.5 points in their sections: Benjamin Yu.

Congratulations to all of our students who competed at this year’s Meridian chess tournament.  Each student will get $5 chess bucks for their participation.  

We also note that Canyon Vista Middle school got first place in the K-12 Any rating section.  We were happy to see many Spicewood Elementary chess club alumni in the group that won!

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